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I am creating a 3D creature creator, much like the Spore Creature Creator App, except that in mine you will have the ability to load and create your own parts, and I have a few other ideas that will make mine unique. Anywho, I am in the starting stages.
The first thing I want to implement is a body designer, much like the one in spore, where you control the length of the spinal column with arrows, and increase the areas in size where you want the body and head to be. If you haven't seen, or used the Spore Creature Creator, this probably sounds alien. Well, I figured that I'd use Digital Rune's library to help build my project.
I viewed the rope demo in the physics library examples, and I thought that would be a perfect starting point. I can use the capsules as a temporary place-holder until I model better looking spine parts. What I'm looking for now are some examples, or code that will help teach me how to skin the linked capsules with a mesh that will grow or shrink based on whether the user adds or removes another link to the chain.
If you are at all interested in this project, and you significantly help me with the coding, I will give you a free copy of the application when it is finished, and will add your name to a thank-you list in the program's title screen. Needless to say, I will add Digital Rune to the splash-screen as well, as I was very happy to discover these products. This is a project for college that I hope will turn into a successful tool for game creators, artists, and hobbyists, much like you and I.
Thank you everyone for listening[reading] as I ramble on. ;)
sounds like an interesting project. I have seen Spore in videos, but never actually played the game or tried the Spore Creature Creator.
I remember a paper about the animation part in Spore: "Real-time Motion Retargeting to Highly Varied User-Created Morphologies"
Regarding the mesh of the creatures: I think that metaballs are a good starting point for building the creature meshes. I did a quick google search which returned another interesting article: My Liner Notes for Spore, by Chris Hecker. Seems like a good starting point.
Great papers, thank you for those links. It's funny that you should mention Metaballs, I was just playing around with them in Blender the other day. I remember thinking how cool they were, and I actually tried to find some working examples in C#. I can't believe my brain didn't connect the dots.
Does D_Rune have native support for 3D metaballs? I googled it, and haven't tread upon any good examples of it in 3D for C#. I found one example that uses C# and Unity, and I've emailed the author for clarification. In the meantime, unless something better shows up, I think I'll start trying to understand and code it myself.