Index to the 30 lessons in this tutorial

The structural components of a video game model There are three basic parts of a model: The Skeleton, the joints and the skin. When building your model you will define these components. There are of course lots of things you will have to do to make your model but these three things are the basic blocks of models.

The Skeleton and the Joints

When you play a video game you don't see the skeleton and joints of the models so why do you need them?

These are very important because they tell the game how the model will move. Here is an explanation of motion and the skeleton structure under your model.

Imagine this image as your forearm. You can see the joint at the elbow and the joint at the wrist. The bone runs from one to the other. What if you want the arm to move so the elbow stays where it is at and the wrist moves to the new position shown by the arrow.

Without a model you would have to animate this by drawing a new model in a bunch of different steps so it shows a smooth transition from the beginning point to the end point. This could be a real lot of work! Think about all the drawings you would have to make so it looked smooth. And you are not just moving the arm, you are also moving the head, torso, legs, feet and hands.

If you were drawing just a simple line it would be relatively easy to draw all the steps in between. But what if you had something like our dwarf where there is a lot of complex stuff going on like armor, clothes and an ax? It would take you forever!

This is why we do the skeleton and joints. Once they are created you define the beginning point and the end point and the computer draws out all the images in between. It saves a lot of time.

So this is where you start, by making a skelton for your model. Here is a basic human skeleton right out of the milkshape program. It comes with the program.

Lets continue and take a look at the wireframe skin and textures.



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