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I want to purchase a number of 3D models from TurboSquid and animate them in an XNA game.

I wrote a lot of games from 1985-1999 and have recently become involved with XNA. Now I would like to port one of my old games to the XBOX. I do have a background in 3D animation; but that was years ago.

What is the current method for animating a walk cycle with a 3D model and using it inside XNA?

Is there a book, software or a tutorial that you can recommend?

Thanks in advance and sorry for such a broad and currently naive question.

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This site:

Has TONS of free motion capture data that you can apply to a biped in 3DSMax or import into other tools. It's pretty useful for getting realistic walk, run, jump, etc.

My approach was (in 3DSMAX, but you could use just about anything)

  1. Create a biped (basically, a skeleton with joint hierarchies in place - it's a predefined system type in 3DSMAX)

  2. Import and assign the motion capture data

  3. Export the result to FBX, and go crazy with it in XNA.

If you're looking for sprites ala Prince of Persia, you can just render them in MAX.

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Again, thanks for the great & quick answers. However, the game that I wrote in about 1987 was called 'Designasaurus' and the models I want to buy from Turbosquid are dinos. So, I need to create walk, eat, fight, lay eggs, etc., animation cycles. Got any suggestions? – Zetar Jul 3 '12 at 21:30
MoCap for dinosaurs will be difficult to obtain. You're probably stuck creating it yourself. – David Lively Jul 3 '12 at 21:53
Yeah, that's probably true. So, can you recommend some 'cheap' software that I could import the purchased dino models from TurboSquid and create the walk cycles and then export the file in some format that is acceptable to XNA? Again, thanks for the great answers. – Zetar Jul 3 '12 at 22:00
In this area, you really do get what you pay for. Blender is free but, in my opinion, sucks beyond the telling of it. Google Sketchup is a pretty awesome, easy modeling tool, but I'm not sure what animation features it provides. 3DSMAX is phenomenal, but outside of a student discount, it ain't cheap. Hopefully someone else will chime in with something helpful. – David Lively Jul 3 '12 at 22:12

Microsoft has created animation skinning samples that, with all code included that you can look at. The sample works on PC, Xbox, and Windows Phone 7.

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That's great. But, how was the walk cycle created? How is the walk cycle stored? Obviously, I'm going to need a number of different walk cycles. – Zetar Jul 3 '12 at 21:03
You'll need a 3D modeling program like Blender or 3DSMax, and somebody to rig and skin the models. The transform information is likely baked into the model file. – Nic Foster Jul 4 '12 at 3:54

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