I am new in the community. I have read about the Panda3D engine on www.devmaster.net, where it recieved outstanding reviews
I am very much interested in the engine.
I study Computer Science, have a solid background in Programming (Java, C++, Python) and the Theory of Computer Graphics
So far, I have done a few simple Games with “3D Game Studio”. It’s s a nice piece of software, but now I am looking for something more serious.
I am aware, that creating a game with “Panda3D” requires a bit more working and understanding for the engine, than doing that with a system like “3D Game Studio”. And I have absolutely no problem with that.
There are , however, a few things I want to clarify before I get into depth with Panda3D:
Does the engine offers simply mechanisms for getting 3D contents into the game?
Which level-formats (model.formats) are supported?
Do reliable converters exists for those level-formats (model-formats), that are not supported?
I have no problem with coding more then I have done with “3D Game Studio”. I like programing (especially in Python), but the last thing I want to do, when creating a game is to spent days and nights googling for - more or less complete - format specifications and writing my one parser / loaders programs.
Art is generally created in Maya, Max, or Blender. In each case, there’s a plugin for the art program to suck the data out of the art program and store it in Panda3D’s file format, egg. Of these three plugins, the Maya plugin is the only one that’s feature-complete.
There’s also a file format converter to convert DirectX file format into Panda3D’s file format. Unfortunately, DirectX file format is an older file format and not feature-complete either.
That sounds very interesting! So itâ€™s a common file-format for “static” and “dynamic” geometry, right?
( i am used to that distinction because 3D Game Studio (unfortunately) uses BSP-Trees for the level geometry)
The short answer is that from a user’s perspective, the only difference is that the egg file contains a little flag indicating static vs dynamic. It’s good to be aware that the flag is in there. When you export data, if you export it wrong (ie, tell it that a model of a dungeon corridor is dynamic geometry), the performance of the engine will be significantly reduced. But aside from simply knowing that the flag is there, and that you should be careful to set it correctly, there isn’t much difference between the process of creating static and dynamic geometry.
Now, actually, when panda loads the data, it does some heavy analysis and optimization, which depends greatly on the value of that flag. So once the data is loaded, there is a real difference.