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Detailed MDL format docs?

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Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby JasonX » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:17 pm

I'm writing a small MDL viewier/editor and i'm interested in knowing more details about the format. Any links? Basically, i'm using QT to recreate what QME does, in a more modern and cross-platform framework. For fun, obviously.
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Re: Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby r00k » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:24 pm

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Re: Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby Spike » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:52 am

pretty much just regular 8-bit trisoup. except with added front/back weirdness. the easiest way to handle rendering that is to create two sets of verticies and select the front/back vertex based upon the triangle.
framegroups and especially skingroups are rare enough that its almost tempting to not bother with them at all, without these things its quite a simple format.
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Re: Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby frag.machine » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:06 am

Spike wrote:framegroups and especially skingroups are rare enough that its almost tempting to not bother with them at all, without these things its quite a simple format.


I agree about skingroups, but unfortunately framegroups were surprisingly frequent on third part models (prydon gate's peasants for example).
Well, looking as a modder I suppose that for an engine with so few non-essential features supported anything additional offered was worth to use.
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
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Re: Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby Spike » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:24 am

framegroups mean less network traffic. in a world of client-side code, this becomes redundant. iirc, carmack regretted adding framegroups in one of his .plans. personally I think a startframe/count/rate might have been a better choice, if only because it would have meant that a whole lot of monsters etc would then have no excuse to not use it.
however, when you do get client-side code and skeletal blending, framegroups/animations become much more interesting.

either way, they're rare enough that you can ignore them in the early stages of writing an editor. often its better to get something working than to get bored before you managed to get anything fun working.
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Re: Detailed MDL format docs?

Postby mankrip » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:26 am

Framegroups are great for networking and QC coding; they simplify it a lot. And it makes a lot of sense to use them in looped animations (e.g. idling and walking).

Engine-wise, of course, they can be annoying. But it's more a matter of the whole MDL code being poorly structured.
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