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U.S. Patent No. 6,926,608: Recording medium storing three-dimensional image processing program, three-dimensional image processing program, method and device
Issued Aug. 8, 2005, to Konami


Summary:

The ‘608 patent describes a system used in sports games where the camera changes depending on the action on the screen. The viewpoints are programmed to change to keep the character in the center of the screen at all times. The invention changes the camera in synch with the speed of the player, without lag. Thus, the player does not have to worry about a lagging change in the camera and will be able to control his player with a consistent view during the game. This invention is ideally used for sports games like skiing and snowboarding where a steady camera will be advantageous to the player.

Abstract:

To display an image seen from a suitable camera viewpoint, the present invention comprises a viewpoint determination section 301 that finds a position of the camera viewpoint appropriate to a control operation of determining an action of the main character (main object), which control operation is assumed to be performed by the game player; a viewpoint movement section 302 that moves the camera viewpoint from its current position to the position found by the viewpoint determination section 301; and an image display section 303 that displays an image of the main character seen from the camera viewpoint.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A recording medium which stores an executable three-dimensional image processing program that displays an image of a main object which is an object that plays a central role in the progress of a game and that moves through virtual three-dimensional space in which objects of a plurality of subject matters are arranged, as seen from a virtual camera viewpoint, and said program makes a game device function as: viewpoint determination means for setting a position of said camera viewpoint appropriate to a control operation of determining an action of the main object, said control operation being performed by the game player; viewpoint movement means for moving said camera viewpoint from a current position to the position set by said viewpoint determination means, said viewpoint movement means setting a speed of movement of the camera viewpoint in accordance with a subject of at least one of the objects which is located in a prescribed range from the main object and moving said camera viewpoint with the speed that is set while said main object is in approach to the at least one object; and image display means for displaying an image of the main object as seen from said camera viewpoint.

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