Import data conversion

Now that I had a basic application running and managed to import model data, I needed to look into how to get said data into a DirectX compatible format. So, without going into too many details: For each mesh I needed a Vertex Buffer, a Vertex Declaration and an Index Buffer. Since each mesh can come with a variety of different vertex data, I opted to implement a somewhat generic approach: I added an abstraction layer called DataConverter. A DataConverter has an input data type (either a assimp value type or an array of assimp values) and a function Copy() which will convert the data to a desired type and store it into a target array. Data Converters also know about the corresponding DirectX Vertex formats, they can generate a list of D3DVERTEXELEMENT9 elements and copy them to an array via the function CopyType(). Here’s the interface definition for a basic Data Converter

class DataConverter
    D3DDECLUSAGE mUsageType;
    int mUsageIndex;
    int mOffset;

    DataConverter( D3DDECLUSAGE usageType, int usageIndex, int offsetInBytes )
        : mUsageType( usageType )
        , mUsageIndex( usageIndex )
        , mOffset( offsetInBytes )

    virtual int Size() = 0;
    virtual void CopyType( std::vector<D3DVERTEXELEMENT9>& out_Type ) = 0;
    virtual void CopyData( BYTE* destination, int index ) = 0;

In order to make working with assimp value arrays easier I derived an ArrayDataConverter from DataConverter

template< typename T >
class ArrayDataConverter : public DataConverter
    const T* mSourceData;
    const int mSourceSize;

    ArrayDataConverter( D3DDECLUSAGE usageType, int usageIndex, int& offsetInBytes,
            const T* sourceData, int sourceSize )
        : DataConverter( usageType, usageIndex, offsetInBytes )
        , mSourceData( sourceData )
        , mSourceSize( sourceSize ) {}

    const T& GetElement( int index )
        assert( index >= 0 && index < mSourceSize );
        return mSourceData[index];

which basically adds a GetElement() function that lets us retrieve an element from the underlying source data. So, give these two definitions here’s the simple and elegant definition of the

struct aiVector3DToFloat2Converter : public ArrayDataConverter<aiVector3D>
    aiVector3DToFloat2Converter( D3DDECLUSAGE usageType, int usageIndex,
        int& offsetInBytes, const aiVector3D* sourceData, int sourceSize )
    : ArrayDataConverter<aiVector3D>( usageType, usageIndex, offsetInBytes, 
        sourceData, sourceSize ) 

    int Size() { return 2 * sizeof(float); }

    virtual void CopyType( std::vector<D3DVERTEXELEMENT9>& out_Type )
        D3DVERTEXELEMENT9 _result = 
            0, mOffset, D3DDECLTYPE_FLOAT2,
            D3DDECLMETHOD_DEFAULT, mUsageType, mUsageIndex 

        out_Type.push_back( _result );

    void CopyData( BYTE* destination, int elementIndex )
        const aiVector3D& element = GetElement( elementIndex );

        float data[] = { element[0], element[1] };
        memcpy( destination + mOffset, data, Size() );

Some more praise to the Assimp developers: The scene data is stored in a very understandable and easy to access format. Only took me a couple of hours to get that into DirectX compatible buffers. Great work guys!!


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