Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few things

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Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few things

Postby nullReference » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:27 pm

I'm considering starting a new project with irrlicht and wanted to get some feedback from other users. In the past I have used libgdx for
game development and enjoyed that experience moreso than working with something like unity since libgdx gave me the power to do most things
how I saw fit. However using java/libgdx (from my experience) does not perform well for larger scale 3d applications.

What I'm really looking for is something similar to libgdx but compiles to native code, is more geared towards 3d development, and most importantly,
gets out of my way so that I can build my own game engine and implement my network code how I see fit, but abstracts away the intricacies of low level
graphics programming allowing me to simply load and manipulate models within 3d space (without having to create vertex buffers, complex shaders, etc).
From what I gather irrlicht provides all of these things. Am I correct?

One thing I did notice that I found odd though was irrlicht's lack of compatability with 3d formats for skeletal animation. However I did
some research and found an exporter script for blender that will generate a .b3d file. Are there any plans in the future to support a format
such as collada or fbx?

Which brings me to my next question. What are the plans for this engine moving forward? While lurking in the forums I found a thread where
it was stated that after release of version 1.9 that the repo would be moved to github? Is that correct? That would be wonderful.

Any and all replies are greatly appreciated!
Thanks :D
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby CuteAlien » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:50 pm

Irrlicht abstracts aways some low level stuff.
If you never have to do anything with vertex buffers... depends on what you do. As soon as you need your own custom scene-nodes you will have to care about that. In some project I don't need that - in others I do. Then again - vertex buffers are not really scary - it's just 2 arrays describing your triangles (one for the vertices and one for the order in which to use those vertices).
Similar for shaders, as long as it's simple stuff you don't need shaders. But if you want to have a certain quality in your game you don't get around writing shaders at some point.
Currently b3d is probably the easiest way for skeletal animations. There's no plans to support collada animations or fbx. But someone wrote an Irrlicht wrapper for assimp (a library for model loading), which might or might not work with other skeletal animation formats (I didn't use the wrapper myself so far, so I can't really tell, but I read that it allows loading fbx files).

Irrlicht is currently moving very slowly forward, aka - 1.9 release has been in the works a long time and still no release date in sight. After that - yes, we plan to move to git.
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Code snippets, patches&stuff: http://www.michaelzeilfelder.de/irrlicht.htm
Free racer created with Irrlicht: http://www.irrgheist.com/hcraftsource.htm
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby nullReference » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:06 pm

Wow! That was a quick response. Greatly appreciate the info. After hearing this and going through some more of the tutorials I believe irrlicht is just what I'm looking for. :D
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby mant » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:20 am

I haven't tested b3d exporter for blender (not sure it's text or binary) but .X format currently works well for us. We use tool to convert .X exported from Blender to binary and loading time, size decreased very much. If blender's b3d exporter is well done and capable of exporting to binary, I will consider switching the format.
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby CuteAlien » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:48 am

Best b3d exporter for Blender was from Supertuxkart project.
IRC: #irrlicht on irc.freenode.net
Code snippets, patches&stuff: http://www.michaelzeilfelder.de/irrlicht.htm
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby nullReference » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:18 pm

mant wrote:.X format currently works well for us.


Are there any issues using the .X format with opengl?

mant wrote:We use tool to convert .X exported from Blender to binary


Is this tool available to other developers or a proprietary solution?
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby mant » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:51 am

Having no issues with OpenGL so far, I only use OpenGL.
We write a script to call MeshConvert.exe from DXSDK June 2010 to convert exported meshes to binary format.
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby nullReference » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:29 am

mant wrote:Having no issues with OpenGL so far, I only use OpenGL.


That's good to know! Since blender supports .x I'll probably use it instead of .b3d.

mant wrote:We write a script to call MeshConvert.exe from DXSDK June 2010 to convert exported meshes to binary format.


Is there a reason you're using the sdk from 2010 and not a more recent version?
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Re: Thinking about using irrlicht...want to confirm a few th

Postby mant » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:11 am

No, it's just that 2010 SDK is easy to obtain. Later version is larger, bundled into Windows SDK as I remember. And I'm not sure MeshConvert is there in later versions.
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