Although the game scenery is mainly composed of static objects, you might want to use some animated models for animated characters—the player and the nonplayable characters (NPCs)— in your game. You can create animated models in different ways. For example, in a racing game, the car might be an animated model because its wheels rotate as the vehicle moves. You can easily reproduce this type of animation just by finding the part of the mesh that corresponds to a wheel and rotating this part over its axis. However, when you need to animate a character (running, jumping, falling, and so on), the animation process becomes more complex. This is because you’ll need to modify the character’s mesh, called skinning. This chapter focuses on techniques for animating characters. Let’s begin by looking at the two main types of animation.
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