Computer Graphics and Animation
Games and Edutainment
In the fall of 2007, I took CP411 Computer Graphics as an interest course since I had never taken it before. Computer Graphics has been an interest of mine for many years, and a hobby that I turn to now and then.
My first work with computer graphics was creating sprites in CBM Basic 2.0 on the Commodore64C in the late 1980's, including a educational game I created for a grade 9 science fair project. Since then I have progressed with the technology and now find joy creating 2D and 3D imagery as a hobby.
Below are some links that you may find useful if you are trying to learn 3D graphics, OpenGL, computer animation or simply looking to waste some time.
Character Animation, Skeletal Rigging
Animating a biped or even a quadruped in code is a complicated task. While there are libraries available such as cal3d (C++ library, exports to Milkshape), Animadead (C++ library) and Milkshape (not a library, but lots of features and meant to work with Halflife and Unreal), it is possible to create a data structure to animate your characters yourself. Doing so requires knowledge of forward and reverse kinematics, and it helps to have background in "rigging" a character in a 3D modeling package such as Maya or 3D Studio Max.
Some useful links:
The Character Animation FAQ - contains bits of code and descriptions of many useful skills
DAZ|Studio - A *FREE* 3D rendering system that will allow you to do basic modelling and learn about working with mesh characters and objects. Many excellent 3D objects, characters and scenes are available to purchase and there is plenty of free stuff to get you started.
Students in fall 2007 seem to prefer Blender (its free, its OpenSource). It apparently has a steep learning curve, but a much simpler program that many artists/animators use would be Wings3D. You can also check out Anim8or... simple, specializes in animation, and done completely in OpenGL!