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I want to write a 3D App (think of a MotionBuilder clone for simplicity sake) that would be able to import a scene from common packages and apply/run my own character animation algorithms.

Normal Workflow

  1. Design a character into Blender, Maya, 3DS, etc;
  2. Import it in the 3D App;
  3. Rig it into the 3D App and animate it;
  4. Export it back to other packages or to a game engine.

It should allow common features you can find in any good 3D software.

Requirements of the 3D App

  • Must run under Windows and Mac OSX
  • Multiple viewports
  • Object Selection
  • Objects manipulation (positionning);
  • Common File Format import/export
  • Basic lighting support (NO EDITING)
  • Basic mesh animation (skinning, etc) (NO EDITING)
  • Written in C/C++
  • GUI in Qt
  • Embedding a scripting language (not sure though, optional)
  • etc (I think you get the point^^)

My background

  • Strong mathematical skills;
  • Strong 3D animation algorithms knowledge;
  • Strong C/C++ background;
  • Good Qt background;
  • Good Maya programming skills;
  • Some (but old) OpenGL knowledge;
  • Absolutely NO graphics card programming skills; (if I can avoid that, it is better);
  • A little (very very little) low-level optimization knowledge; (if I can avoid that, it is better);

Based on your experience, which 3D rendering engine should I use to write a MotionBuilder clone (without any mesh, light, shader editing capabilities) focusing on skeleton animation ONLY? I saw that Ogre and Irrlicht are great... Or should I write my own one?

Thanks for any advice.

Best regards.

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closed as off topic by Tetrad Jan 26 '12 at 7:41

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If your goal isn't to write a game, why would this be on-topic for a game development site? –  The Communist Duck Jun 10 '11 at 10:20
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If the aim is to create a tool to simplify game Dev? I would go for a custom engine in OpenGL as you don't need anything spectacular, except maybe for Renders, in which case you'll probably end-up doing raytracing. A custom engine would also allow you to use the game engine's renderer, that would be great for artists if they could directly see what their models would look like in-game. –  Jonathan Connell Jun 10 '11 at 10:26
    
custom engine is clearly not an option... Too hard to do and should take 1-2 years to get anything but 10% of what other engines already have. We need of course all the basics of mesh animation (skinning, etc), lighting, etc... Thanks for your comments guys! –  Korchkidu Jun 10 '11 at 11:41
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It's quite hard to see where you are going with this question. Do you want to make a modeler? Will you need to edit the meshes and to operations in different way? Very few 3D engines are made for that, since they want to run as fast at possible doing "game things". Maya on the other hand has quite simplistic rendering, and usually not much of occlusion and other stuff that requires precalculation. You might want to reconsider, and write your own simplistic renderer if it writing an editor that you want to. You can write a good renderer in a lot less time than you seem to think. –  void Jun 10 '11 at 12:21
    
I edited the question again. Think of writing a MotionBuilder clone (without any editing capabalities other than skeleton animation). No rendering capabilities too. Thanks. –  Korchkidu Jun 10 '11 at 12:38

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