Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting started with 3D games and applications

Step 1: Modelling:
     The first step is to create the 3D models(meshes) required for your game or application. 3D characters are made up of triangles. There are many modelling tools. But note that Blender is the most popular free open source tool.

Step 2: Texture mapping:

     The second step is to paint the 3D model with attractive colours and thereby create the UV-map for the created 3D models.

Step 3: Rigging:

     In case your game/application includes animating human/animal meshes you require rigging. In this process, you assign some weight for each joint in the bone with every vertex in every triangle in the mesh which are affected by respective bone. This helps smooth animation to the skin.

Step 4: Animation:

     Animation data is stored in the form of position and rotation for each joint in each frame. These frame loops can also be created using softwares like Unity3D, Blender, Maya etc.,

Step 5: Applying Shaders:

     This is the most complex step in the process. In this process, we perform the calculations required for camera movements and shadows. This is where all your knowledge in Matrix Algebra and Vector Algebra will be applied.

Steps involved in Game Development

1. Modelling

2. Creating texture map
3. Rigging
4. Animation
5. Applying Shaders
6. Game play (Depends on your game)
7. UI and music (Menu, Scoreboard, Background sounds etc.,)

For learning some important concepts on meshes, triangles and all the math involved behind 3D games, you can watch the videos in this youtube channel.

To start with OpenGL in C++, I'd suggest you can directly start running the examples in Irrlicht and thereby start developing 3D games quickly. You can download the freely available 3D characters from the web.