1st Edition

Real-time 3D Character Animation with Visual C++

By Nik Lever Copyright 2002

    Do you have some experience and a reasonable knowledge of C++ and want to write your own computer games? Have you ever looked at a PC or Playstation (R) game with characters running and leaping through an exciting landscape and wondered how it was done? If so then this book will give you all the information you need to achieve this goal, whether you are a hobby programmer, student or even a professional wanting to add that third dimension to your website.

    Nik Lever takes you through the journey from the basics of 3D manipulation all the way to morph objects and sub-division surfaces. On the way you get Visual C++ project files to study and software that runs on the Windows desktop. The downloadable resources give you a full-featured development environment for 3D character animation, so even if you find some of the maths and the code hard to follow straight away you can still create your own games. The game engine (Toon3DCreator) provided free and fully functional on the downloadable resources, even has an ActiveX control that allows you to distribute your work on the Internet. All source code for Toon3D is included on the downloadable resources. You will also get an insight into the artist's problems; learn how to keep the characters interesting while not exhausting the game engine.

    Understand the complete picture and make the most of your skills to help you succeed in, or break into the computer gaming industry with this comprehensive guide to programming for real-time 3D character animation.

    Introduction; 3D Basics; Drawing Points and Polygons the hard way; Drawing Points and Polygons the easy way with OpenGL; OpenGL lighting; Creating low polygon characters; Texture mapping; Setting up a single mesh character; Key frame animation; Inverse kinematics; Importing geometry and animation from Lightwave 3D; Importing geometry and animation from 3DS Max; Motion capture techniques; Collision detection; Using morph objects; Using sub division surfaces; Using multi resolution meshes; The scene graph; Wed3D, compression and streaming. Appendix A - Using Toon3D Creator; Appendix B - MFC Document view architecture; Appendix C - Further information. Free CD-ROM.


    The author has been programming for about 20 years. Professionally, he started out as a drawn animator. These days he spends most of his time programming, but occasionally gets his pencil out. He is married with two children, one of whom spends far too long glued to his PS1!! He lives high in the Pennines in England and tries to get out sailing when it’s not raining, which means he spends most of his time playing with computers, because it rains a lot in England.

    "By covering character animation in depth, Nik Lever's book digs right in to one of the most interesting and challenging areas in computer graphics and interactive entertainment. The book provides algorithms and source code for many advanced topics that are at the leading edge of real-time 3D technology. Programmers interested in bringing life to their interactive characters should definitely have this book."

    Jeff Lander
    Darwin 3D and Game Developer Magazine

    "Packed with features, 'Real-time 3D Character' promises to help program-savvy designers hone their techniques still further."
    Edge Magazine