Horde3D

Next-Generation Graphics Engine
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PostPosted: 03.01.2012, 00:26 
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Joined: 03.01.2012, 00:16
Posts: 2
Hi all,
I am currently a CS PhD student and my research is on knowledge engineering and particularly on modelling film direction knowledge.

For the purpose of conducting some experiments, I have been searching the web to find a high-level, open-source 3D engine/API, preferably for Java but any other suggestion would be useful, with fair documentation/tutorials and an active community, that will enable me to easily generate some basic "film scene" examples programmatically, without having to go in the deeps of 3D programming. And this has to be done through code, rather than in some 3D platform like 3DMax or Blender.

For example I may need to generate a room, then place some objects (e.g. furniture, everyday-objects) and some human characters in it, and then create basic animations for the characters (e.g walk, sit on a chair or lie on a bed, bend, make simple gestures such as wave, point, hug or grab an object, etc). I will also need to move the characters around, so I need to be able to create motion paths (straight or curved) for translating the characters and the camera in space.

I have spent a lot of time checking out a large number of 3d/game engines and the truth is I have got quite confused... I don’t have any experience in 3D programming and for that reason I need the API to be as high-level and easy-to-understand as possible. Note that I don’t care about audio, networking or high rendering quality. Also I don’t want this to be interactive at all (as opposed to games). I just need to generate a rendered clip through code, according to a number of specific directives.

I came across Horde3D and it sounds really promising and close to what I want! But I am wondering, Is Horde3D high-level enough to easily tackle such tasks without having to write indefinite code? Or maybe it would be overkill and something simpler could be more appropriate?
Another thing that I didn't understand when reading Horde's overview is regarding the API: It read at some point "interface accessible from virtually any programming language". What does that mean exactly? Is there an API written in a certain programming language like java or c# (which is basically what I am looking for)? In what sense the interface is accessible from a programming language?

I will very much appreciate any help/tip/hint!


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PostPosted: 03.01.2012, 02:40 
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Joined: 21.12.2011, 01:10
Posts: 15
There a quite a few bindings for other languages, including .NET and Java. I haven't used them, however people seem to be happy with them.

I think Horde3D would work for your task. Check out the "Chicago" sample, which basically already does what you want. You would have to create a few new animations and characters and model your room in Google Sketchup or something and you'd be done. However, this does not include physics or motion paths. You would have to add that in yourself (or rather use someone else's work) since Horde3D is just a renderer.

That aside, I would also urge you to reevaluate Blender as an alternative. I think that has some kind of simple 3D game framework included and might be even easier to use. But I have never tested that.


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PostPosted: 03.01.2012, 20:09 
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Joined: 17.11.2009, 17:00
Posts: 199
Location: Russia, Moscow
You might also want to see GameEngine that is based on Horde3D, and AAA application that already does practically everything you've described.


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PostPosted: 03.01.2012, 20:21 
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Joined: 09.09.2009, 18:58
Posts: 107
I had the pleasure of using Blender to test out exporting physics information for bullet. It is a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it it's not all that bad.

You might also consider Panda3D and Unity. Hell, you might even try some WebGL.


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PostPosted: 05.01.2012, 16:10 
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Joined: 03.01.2012, 00:16
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I have checked out Blender, and what I understand is that the API does not allow you to completely generate a scene through scripting (i.e. without touching the Blender GUI in order to load objects etc). Is that true or am I missing something?

I also checked the AAA, but it seems that is more of a tool, rather than an API. But I suppose you meant that I should check it out as a showcase, not as an alternative to Horde.

So is Horder3D considered appropriate for a project as I described it above?


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