Did you know?
Computer animation is essentially a digital successor to the art of stop motion animation of 3D models and frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. For 3D animations, objects (models) are built on the computer monitor (modeled) and 3D figures are rigged with a virtual skeleton. For 2D figure animations, separate objects (illustrations) and separate transparent layers are used, with or without a virtual skeleton. Then the limbs, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. of the figure are moved by the animator on key frames. The differences in appearance between key frames are automatically calculated by the computer in a process known as tweening or morphing. Finally, the animation is rendered.
A well-known subset of game engines are 3D first-person shooter (FPS) game engines.
Groundbreaking development in terms of visual quality is done in FPS games on the human scale.
While flight and driving simulators and real-time strategy (RTS) games increasingly provide realism on a large scale, first-person shooters are at the forefront of computer graphics at smaller, more human scales.

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The 3d modeling stage could be described as shaping individual objects that are later used in the scene.
3d Modeling processes may also include editing object surface or material properties (e.g., color, luminosity, diffuse and specular shading components—more commonly called roughness and shininess, reflection characteristics, transparency or opacity, or index of refraction), adding textures, bump-maps and other features.
3d Modeling may also include various activities related to preparing a 3d model for animation (although in a complex character model this will become a stage of its own, known as rigging). Objects may be fitted with a skeleton, a central framework of an object with the capability of affecting the shape or movements of that object. This aids in the process of animation, in that the movement of the skeleton will automatically affect the corresponding portions of the model. See also Forward kinematic animation and Inverse kinematic animation.
At the rigging stage, the model can also be given specific controls to make animaton easier and more intuitive, such as facial expression controls and mouth shapes (phonemes) for lipsyncing.

Tessellation and meshes
The process of transforming representations of objects, such as the middle point coordinate of a sphere and a point on its circumference into a polygon representation of a sphere, is called tessellation. This step is used in polygon-based rendering, where objects are broken down from abstract representations ("primitives") such as spheres, cones etc, to so-called meshes, which are nets of interconnected triangles.

Meshes of triangles (instead of e.g. squares) are popular as they have proven to be easy to render using scanline rendering.

Polygon representations are not used in all rendering techniques, and in these cases the tessellation step is not included in the transition from abstract representation to rendered scene.
Rendering is the final process of creating the actual 2D image or animation from the prepared scene. This can be compared to taking a photo or filming the scene after the setup is finished in real life.

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3D is what accounts for the enormous complexity of graphics today. Because 3D content development demands the most technologically advanced hardware and software, designers need a resource devoted to their hi-end needs. Our mission is to produce easy to master, affordable Java3D graphics solutions for Apple(MAC OSX),Windows and UNIX(Solaris).
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