Character Models from JPG

Hi @ all in the community.
I need some help with Charactervisualization for my RPG.
I don´t want the Char just to have 4 or maybe 8 directions to go to, because
it is controlled by mouse not keyboard.
My problem is that I don´t want to use something like Java3D.
I know there is a possibility to load 3D-objects from files and show them in every angle possible.
I saw Jpg-files in other games which look really awkward as a picture itself,
but ingame they look really nice like a “normal” person.
My question (I know, finally :wink: ) is:
Do you know how to draw such chars and especially how to load them ingame and draw them with
Java2D in every possible angle?
I guess some of you already experienced and hopefully solved this problem.
Greetz and thanks :slight_smile:

So you mean do we know how to load a 3D character, take images of them from different angles and then use those images as game sprites?

It’s quite possible, but it sounds to me like one heck of a long-cut.

Yes, somehow.
I want to create an image that looks like an unrolled 3D-character,
load this image and draw the parts of it necessary from a certain angle.
I think of something like a globe as a map if you know what I mean.
Its upper and lower parts are narrower than the middle one in the map
and same goes for the neck or the legs of the character f.e.
That´s the problem. If the character was just a cylinder it would be really easy
because unrolled its already a rectangle from each angle.

I guess you just mean usual models. Those odd images you’ve seen are mapped onto 3d geometry.

If you look at Age of Empires, that is what they did. They drew full 3D models, then animated them in 16 different directions and stored all those animations for use in the game. Very labour intensive, but gives good results.

To do it, you create your model in a 3D modeller. Most modelling programs allow you to take a screenshot of your model to store as a 2D image. You need to create all the animations and take each screenshot and then put them all together in your game.

You can use Blender3D to do this. Blender is a powerful open source 3D modelling software.

I will try that.
Interesting what you wrote about Age of Empires.
I didn’t know that, guess I have to play it again and
watch the units more carefully :slight_smile:

Would you know any Blender tutorials about making graphics (environment and character animations) for isometric games?

It just seems to me that the process is this:

Make Model -> Skin and Texture Model -> Animate Model -> Import Model Into Java -> Take snapshots of model from each angle for each step of animation -> Discard Model -> Animate sprites based on those snapshots -> Use sprites in 2D isometric engine

But after step 4 you’ve done all the hard work, why not just chuck it into a 3D engine and let that sort out everything else for you? It seems like an enormous amount of extra work for a final outcome that won’t actually look as good as if you did it the easier way.

You reversed the last 2. You take your snapshots from the modelling program and then load the 2D images into your game

For the art it is. But 3D programming is still harder tahn 2D. Although scenegraphs alleviate this somewhat.

There is some advantage to loading the models into java and rendering imposts there - it means you can use the 3D models for close-up shots and the imposted images for more distant shots where detail’s not such a problem. Creating the imposts in the game also means you can change lighting/costumes on the fly (well, between levels anyway) without having to load 1000s of new impost images.

Blender has come a long way in terms of community contributed documentation.
There is an excellent wiki-book here.

go to the blender website and you there are a lot of good tutorials. also, is good too.

You don’t even need to go that stir-crazy, depending on your game’s perspective. You could simply use Graphics2D.rotate() to spin your character around.

If that won’t work, then I recommend using a program like Poser to do it. Simply display your character facing forward in frame 1, then rotate the camera around for frame 10, 20, 30, or whatever. It will fill in the blank frames. Then export your animation to an image series (PNG), and you’ll have a bunch of nice transparent images.

I use this method for my models in Agent: 00PK, if you want to see what it can look like.

The problem with simple rotations in Java is that my point of view won´t be
top down or how that is called…
I guess in a isometric view something like just rotating the character would look a little awkward.
But the export in png with a bunch of frames done with poser seems to be the best solution atm.

I´d like to see your models, but the link seems to be wrong…
the site cannot be loaded.

Hmm, the forum inserted an http:// at the front for some reason.

Oh, and each character animation takes approximately 15 minutes.

rotate a doll/toy, and take 16 pics with a digital camera, and then colour the pics?

download UVMapper.