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So, we're making a game in C++ using SDL - a TDS. It was originally intended to be 2D, but our lead programmer wanted to redo the engine and make it 3D. And, now, we really don't know how to go about it.

What model and animation formats should we be using? We're considering COLLADA, and if I understand correctly, we export models as .dae, then the animators import them, make the animation, then export as .dae. We then load them into the game using AssImp, then render, am I right? Or does the animator build a rig, save it as .dae, then the modeller builds on that, saves as .dae, then the animator makes the animations?

Thanks a lot for any help, really appreciate it.

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I don't think COLLADA makes for a good format to work with. The standard is too open and seems to be implemented differently across different software. So some features might not be readable by other software and vice-versa.

Ideally you would have your working-assets in a proprietary format, eg. the one of the 3D modelling/animation package you're using. That way you can leverage the full potential of the 3D package and not care about compatibility and format-specifications.

Exporting your final assets to COLLADA is ok though. As long as it covers your needs and you got a decent parser for it, then go for it. I suggest you create one asset for testing and import it with the parser at hand. Then you'll see if everything gets imported correctly. Otherwise you should probably use another format... but that won't be too much of an issue, because you'll only generate the "production asset" at the end of your workflow.

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