That is good news indeed I have used the collada plugin to get static models into Multiverse another mmo game platform based on axiom ogre, but the plugin does not support animations so I am at a dead end with MV unless I get 3DS or Maya.
I have many times looked at CS but it is at best a mess. I was hopeful for the Blender CS project but it seems it did not get far as you can't find any info on how to set up Blender 2.48 with Crystal Space and I tried many times to get what is offered to work with NO success.
I also looked at Plane Shift as a development platform but I am not much of a programmer so getting the code and learning it will be a big time sink.
That is why I went with Multiverse in the first place they do the code I do the Art (assets).
The sad thing is that Crystal Space code and Plane Shift code make a good team and if someone were to make a bridge for Blender you would have a GREAT Open Source MMO SDK.
You're absolutely right. The thing is that, like commercial development packages and standards, Crystal Space has no control over how Blender's models are kept within Blender itself. Thus, folks need to write importer/exporter tools, which sometimes work, and sometimes don't work, in order to overcome this situation. This is part of the reason why I really like COLLADA - it's a (now) open standard for digital asset interchange (i.e. exporting between objects), and am in the process of developing a method of getting COLLADA format items into Crystal Space.
True, you can have many types of work flow based on your needs but here is where your opportunity presents itself.
What I mean is this today's game asset design is really exciting and at the same time very confusing.
Let me explain from the view of an artist I want a high detail model in my mmo and I am only going to use opensource tools Crystal Space, Blender, Inkspace and Gimp. Now here is where many who would attempt get lost. They don't understand that to get a high poly model you need to know how to go through all the steps to bake it to a lo poly version and how to make and use all the texture maps to get the desired effect in the engine.
Oh and if you need to export... and of course you will need to export you just as well shoot yourself as an artist this is how I feel much of the time. And lets not even talk about animations.
Please don't think I am just trying to gripe, I spend a lot of time searching out every instruction and tutorial I can find. And learning as does anyone who really wants to learn.
And I think that Crystal Space and open source would rise to be a force in mmo development if some time was put into seamless pipeline import and export examples.
If there's ever the need, i would put spline support into CS as a general-use plugin which the converter uses. However so far the argumentation has been: Why implement a triangulation routine if there are a lot of tools out there that are dedicated to the job?
With COLLADA support the perspective changes a little, because it could be that an artist doesn't know whether or not his artwork will be used on an engine that supports splines.
I guess there will be other points were we will have to skip collada nodes anyway.
Yeah, I think that would work fine for now. In the future, I think it might be nice to add a function which converts the splines to actual polygonal meshes. The conversion function is somewhat complex, however, so it probably won't be in my current implementation. It'll give me work for the future, though. ;)
An option which will be planned for COLLADA Convertor v1.2 maybe. ;)
Well, I actually have been thinking about including it. The problem I am trying to resolve is - where? I could, worst case scenario, place it in comments, but this is somewhat verbose, because COLLADA documents could have an asset tag for just about anything - the vertices of a scene could have a specific asset tag, then the polygons could have another one. It would be a lot of nested comments which really don't have any relevance to the way the world or library file is going to work.
It's worth noting that some of the functionality described in this log entry has been replaced. Specifically, Load() no longer requires a user to load both the COLLADA file to be converted, as well as the Crystal Space file to convert to. It merely needs the COLLADA file. Thus, the second parameter has been removed. See detailed information in the UML class diagram update on 6-15-07.
Yes, I completely agree. I don't intend to cut the <asset> tag out entirely, without parsing it, I just think that some of the information in the <asset> element isn't going to be placed directly in the CS file.
Well I wouldn't embed the asset tags into the CS world file either, but it might give you useful information during the conversion process.
Look at the <unit> and <up_axis> tags which typically go under an <asset> tag under <COLLADA>. These look like they would tell you if you have to scale the units or rotate things if the up axis is different than CS.
Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. For some reason, I didn't get an email telling me a comment had been posted. The crystalspace community was kind enough to set me up with a separate branch. There isn't a ton of functionality at the moment, but you can download the code with the collada plugin using the following svn command:
svn co https://crystal.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/crystal/CS/branches/soc2007/collada/
Thanks for the supporting words! Feel free to comment on this blog about anything that you see/don't see and want added. Either that, or email me. I definitely want to listen to the user population (which does, actually, include myself - I have been looking for this support for a short time now), so feel free to let me know if you think there is something I should/could add. I will, of course, talk things over with my mentor and the rest of the CS community, and I am sure anything that you want added as a user will more than likely be wanted by the rest of the community, so keep those thoughts coming!
Gidday Jwir3s, good luck with designing and implementing the collada converter for crystalspace! It looks like you're tacking it well so far.
I will be looking at your blog often, I think this would really close the gap between importing content from any 3D app which supports collada into crystalspace. I've been researching on how to get things from maya into cspace for quite some time and the solutions are quite messy when you want to bring in rigged characters :)