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  1. ##########################################################
  2. # Info about the MD4 format supported by the ioQ3 engine #
  3. ##########################################################
  4. All models included with the original version of Quake3 from id soft are in
  5. the MD3 format. Animations in this format are realized by saving the position
  6. of every vertex in each frame which can make these files pretty large.
  7. ID started work on a newer format, the MD4 format which they never finished.
  8. This format uses a skeleton with all vertices "attached" to their bones.
  9. Because only the position of the bones must be stored for each frame and the
  10. number of bones is not very high this format is more efficient when
  11. doing animations.
  12. Raven software "finished" this format originally started by ID and included
  13. it in their game EliteForce. They called their model format "MDR" which is
  14. the name I have used throughout the sourcecode and I will continue using in
  15. this readme. Since the code on how to handle those MDR files was released
  16. under a GPL licence a long time ago, I was able to implement this format for
  17. Quake3 and do some efficiency improvements.
  18. To enable the support for this model format, go to qcommon/qfiles.h,
  19. remove the comment slashes for #define RAVENMD4 and then compile the engine.
  20. Including finished MDR models in your projects is easy: just load the model
  21. files in your cgame code as you would normally load an MD3 model. The engine
  22. will expect the models to have a ".mdr" suffix.
  23. The rest is pretty much the same: Selecting the current animation frame,
  24. adding a skin to the model, etc..
  25. You can check out the original eliteforce game sourcecode if you want to
  26. have examples on using the md4s. The source can be got at:
  27. http://eliteforce2.filefront.com/
  28. You can also get reference MDR files there, just go to the model/skin
  29. section there and pick something to download.
  30. Now here comes the tricky part:
  31. Creating files with this format. There are tools to create these kinds of
  32. MDR files, like a plugin for Milkshape.
  33. A pretty good overview about MDR file creation is available at
  34. http://synapse.vgfort.com/
  35. You can find some tools for creating MDR files there.
  36. On a sidenote:
  37. There is an independent implementation of the MD4 file format available
  38. here:
  39. http://gongo.quakedev.com/
  40. At this time, ioquake3 has no support for these models though that may
  41. change in the future. Nevertheless, he has got a tool for skeletal
  42. animations that can possibly be hooked into the MDR format with some
  43. modifications.
  44. Good luck!
  45. - Thilo Schulz