Chapter 12

Skeletal Animation

Animating characters for a 3D game is very different from animating characters for a 2D game. This chapter looks at skeletal animation, the most common animation used in 3D games. This chapter first goes over the mathematical foundations of the approach and then dives into the implementation details.

Foundations of Skeletal Animation

As described in Chapter 2, “Game Objects and 2D Graphics,” for 2D animation, games use a sequence of image files to yield the illusion of an animated character. A naïve solution for animating 3D characters is similar: Construct a sequence of 3D models and render those different models in rapid succession. Although this solution conceptually works, it’s not a very practical approach. ...

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