Skeletal Animation (Part 2 – Node Hierarchy, Interpolation)

Algorithm goes on to describe skeletal animation, as its implementation in the game engine Flame Steel Engine.

Because the algorithm is the most complex of all that I implemented, in the notes on the process of development can occur errors. In the last article of this algorithm, I made a mistake, bone mass is passed to the shader for each mesh separately, rather than for the entire model.

Node Hierarchy

To work correctly you need to model the algorithm contained a link bones together (graph). Imagine a situation in which both played two animations – jumping and raising his right hand. Animation jump should raise the model on the Y axis, the animation show of hands should take this into account and to rise along with the model in a jump, otherwise the hand will remain on its own on the spot.

Describe the relationship of nodes in this case – the body contains a hand. In developing the algorithm will produce bone graph reading, all animations will be included with the correct connections. The memory model graph is stored separately from all animations, just to reflect the connectivity model bones.

Interpolation on CPU

In the last article, I described the principle of rendering skeletal animation – “transformation matrix are transferred from the CPU to the shader when rendering each frame.”

Rendering each frame is processed on the CPU, for each bone mesh engine receives a final transformation matrix by interpolation position, rotation, zoom. During the final interpolation bone matrix produced by extending the tree nodes for all active nodes animations, final matrix is ​​multiplied to the parent, is then sent to the rendering in the vertex shader.

For interpolation position and increasing use of the vector, quaternions are used to rotate because they are very easy interpolated (SLERP) in contrast to the Euler angles, as they are very easy to imagine a transformation matrix.

How to simplify the implementation of

To simplify debugging work vertex shader, I added the simulation work on the vertex shader CPU using FSGLOGLNEWAGERENDERER_CPU_BASED_VERTEX_MODS_ENABLED macro. At NVIDIA graphics cards manufacturer has a tool for debugging the shader code Nsight, perhaps she, too, can simplify the development of complex algorithms vertex / pixel shaders, however, test the functionality I have not had the opportunity, enough simulation on the CPU.

In the next article I plan to describe the mixing of multiple animations, supplement to fill the remaining gaps.