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Modding and Scripting
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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Modding and Scripting » All-new Modeling Tools!
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Topic Subject:All-new Modeling Tools!
Dnas
Mortal
posted 21 January 2007 08:59 PM EDT (US)         
Files last updated 2007-01-24

Hopefully they'll be of some use.

To make a long story short...

Dnas used to mod for AoM in a time long long ago when most people here weren't modding yet.

Dnas eventually learned to model.

He hated Gmax.

He still hates Gmax.

Dnas liked to model in Blender, a Free and Open Source modeling program. He also used to like to model for AoM.

Dnas was bored one day and decide to make it possible to combine the two so that others didn't have to suffer with Gmax... also Dnas wanted to practice scripting in Python because Python is fun. (To Guido van Rossum: Curly braces are a good thing!)

Anyways, so I wrote Blender versions of the import_gmax.ms and export_gmax.ms scripts. The workflow in Gmax and that of Blender will still be more-or-less the same (brg -> AoMEd -> 3ds -> ${modeler} -> import script -> model -> export script -> 3dx -> AoMEd -> brg) however with some important differences.

1. Blender is tons better than Gmax.
2. You don't have to deal with that silly Listener window and Gmax Exporter.
3. The readme file is a pdf and thus can be viewed without silly word processing software by a certain silly company. And it was typed in LyX which plugs into LaTeX, so the document should be very pretty.
4. The export scripts have lots of auto-merging and mesh-preparation features that make modeling lots easier... the export script should not bug out if you did something weird when deleting a vertex or used extrusion or multiple uvs per vertex or what-have-you. In short, any model is theoretically exportable... within reason.
5. The import scripts are at the mercy of Blenders (relatively lacking) 3ds import... for the moment, you'll just have to work around the problems if need-be and I would recommend using these mostly for from-scratch modeling.

For more information, see the readme file, which incidentally was quite fun to type.


IMPORTANT: If you have not modeled in Blender before, it's interface is infamous for having a steep learning curve. However, once you learn it, it is a very productive and get-the-job-done-quickly interface. (Except for the file chooser dialogs... those indeed are annoying... they should plug into the GTK dialogs... they're cooler.)

Also note that I will not be offering tutorials on learning to model in Blender. I'm not very good at it myself and there are tons of resources out there. Blender has a very active user community.


And as proof that the scripts actually work, here is the first model ever to go into AoM from Blender! (to my knowledge)

(It's the Blender mascot with a 2-minute UV map and a messed up texture with colors at the request of a strange friend.)

Happy modding!

Note that these scripts are still in beta and may have bugs.

If there are any problems with the script, specifically the export script as the import script is subject to the 3ds importer, please try to include the following in your bug report:

- The Python error that shows up in the console Blender leaves in the background. (I believe you can copy and paste from it... not sure though, haven't used Windows for a while...)
- A .blend file of your model
- What your base model was
- Anything else that might be remotely interesting

Hmm... oh! I knew I forgot something!

The files are at AoMH downloads... right around... here.
http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=6029


Dnas
Wildfire games 0 A. D. texture artist.
Rest In Peace, Flipbizcut (1979-2005)

[This message may have been edited by Dnas (edited 49-92-4096 @ 42:93 PM).]

[This message has been edited by Dnas (edited 01-24-2007 @ 07:20 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Hakuo600
Mortal
posted 21 January 2007 09:13 PM EDT (US)     1 / 15       
awsome

+|MW|BaxteR|+
[My|Projects]
[Destruction 1%]
[Gamer|Programmer|Destoyer of World's]
MythicRuler
Mortal
posted 21 January 2007 10:49 PM EDT (US)     2 / 15       
Finally! Something better than gmax! I was getting sick of those freakin...anyway great to see you back dnas.

Check out all of the mods I made here
Hakuo600
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 03:04 AM EDT (US)     3 / 15       
the exporters work on and off but work fine though when I use aomed to export into a brg it has either an error about permissions or it can not convert the number of frames.
When I try with gmax it has an error about permisions

+|MW|BaxteR|+
[My|Projects]
[Destruction 1%]
[Gamer|Programmer|Destoyer of World's]

[This message has been edited by Hakuo600 (edited 01-22-2007 @ 03:10 AM).]

Stephen Caines
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 07:16 AM EDT (US)     4 / 15       
So now he tells us!!

P.S. Let me guess, from left to right, You, Guardian, Rider and King Jared.

The Modsmith
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 06:44 PM EDT (US)     5 / 15       
Hey Dnas, did you fix that problem I had with it?
Dnas
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 06:46 PM EDT (US)     6 / 15       
MythicRuler: I'm not really back... just popping in to post something and popping in occasionally to see if anything needs fixing... modding is kind of pointless when AoM doesn't run on one's operating system. (Haven't tried Wine yet though, but I'm not that intent on getting it to emulate.)

Hakuo600: I don't quite follow you... explain. Did you remember to set the frame ending point manually? (I have yet to find out how to make the script automatically do it for you.)

Stephen: You were close. Monkey-head, Monkey-head II, Monkey-head III, and Monkey-head Jr., twice removed. BTW, you could have played with it several weeks ago. :-P I kinda posted it in LTA forums first... to give it a trial run, but no one was interested

The Modsmith: Hehe... oops. Updated the download... changed that silly 0 into a 1. (I hate typos.... grrr...)


Dnas
Wildfire games 0 A. D. texture artist.
Rest In Peace, Flipbizcut (1979-2005)

[This message may have been edited by Dnas (edited 49-92-4096 @ 42:93 PM).]

[This message has been edited by Dnas (edited 01-22-2007 @ 08:46 PM).]

Dnas
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 09:08 PM EDT (US)     7 / 15       
Updated the Download (Again)

Sorry about the last-minute fixes... Modsmith helped me find a stupid typo... and you should no longer have to manually set the endframes. YAY!

And as a side note, the ugly black that the 3ds file sets as the default material color is now changed to gray by the import script... you'll still have to toggle texture rendering etc. like one usually works in Blender... but at least the solid view won't be ugly.


Dnas
Wildfire games 0 A. D. texture artist.
Rest In Peace, Flipbizcut (1979-2005)

[This message may have been edited by Dnas (edited 49-92-4096 @ 42:93 PM).]

[This message has been edited by Dnas (edited 01-22-2007 @ 09:12 PM).]

MythicRuler
Mortal
posted 22 January 2007 11:23 PM EDT (US)     8 / 15       
lol i should have said great to see you back.

Check out all of the mods I made here
Fluttershy
Mortal
(id: Freaky2)
posted 22 January 2007 11:25 PM EDT (US)     9 / 15       
Well, maybe it's time for me to take up modding.
I've always wanted to learn how, and now with all the different things going on it might be the perfect time.

(_̅_̅(̲̲̲̲̲̅̅̅̅̅̅(̅_̅_̲̅marij̲u̲̅an̲̅a̲̅̅_̅_̅_̅()
(is not as helluva drug as pepe)

[This message has been edited by Freaky2 (edited 01-22-2007 @ 11:26 PM).]

PrplPplEater
Mortal
posted 23 January 2007 01:08 AM EDT (US)     10 / 15       
Holy crap I wish I had more interest in Blender. I've tried starting a few times but the best I could come up with was a lame-looking heart that I followed a tutorial word-for-word to make.
Sir Dundo
Mortal
posted 23 January 2007 11:40 AM EDT (US)     11 / 15       
"The Modsmith" was Tasev FYI.

|/\|
/\_/_/_/Sir Dundo\_\_\_/\
|Winner of Botolf's Best Idea Award|
|Proud Leader of Modsmith Studios|
\_/\_/
|\______/\--/\--/\______/|
\...Supreme Commander Heaven.../
Dnas
Mortal
posted 23 January 2007 12:53 PM EDT (US)     12 / 15       
Dundo: Yes, I am aware of that... in fact we were chatting over MSN discussing what the problem actually was.

Learning Blender:
Some good beginners tutorials are here:

Stuff about the Interface, which is probably different from what you're used to on Windows.
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartI/The_Interface

This is like a Your First Steps in Blender thing...
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Your_First_Animation_in_30_plus_30_Minutes_Part_I
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Your_First_Animation_in_30_plus_30_Minutes_Part_I I

VERY Good Intro Tutorial... just note that you'll never be able to put this into AoM... way too many polys
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation

UV Unwrapping:
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/UV_Unwrapping_And_Texturing
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Unwrapping_a_Mesh
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Editing_the_UV_Layout

Other Stuff:
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Manual


Dnas
Wildfire games 0 A. D. texture artist.
Rest In Peace, Flipbizcut (1979-2005)

[This message may have been edited by Dnas (edited 49-92-4096 @ 42:93 PM).]

[This message has been edited by Dnas (edited 01-23-2007 @ 12:54 PM).]

Candlemaster
Mortal
posted 23 January 2007 01:28 PM EDT (US)     13 / 15       
Finally! I love using Blender (Mostly because it's free), and I can finally use it to make mutated chicken demons to blow up my enemy's Titan Gate!


Hooray!

Ykkrosh
Mortal
posted 24 January 2007 11:26 AM EDT (US)     14 / 15       
Looks good . I think Gmax was probably a sensible choice at the time (about four years ago, when Blender was only very recently open-sourced and there weren't any other free modelling programs that I knew of), but the situation has changed a lot since then, and it's nice to have updated tools. (Even better if AOMEd was modified to use something nicer than 3DS and 3DX, but maybe you want to avoid that since it's Perl )

(Incidentally, would there be any chance of your Blender export script experience helping with any problems we might find in Blender's COLLADA exporter for 0 A.D.? )

Dnas
Mortal
posted 24 January 2007 07:19 PM EDT (US)     15 / 15       
Editing AoMEd: Heh. Actually, the code did help me in deciphering a few things in the 3dx files... namely those annoying mat_#### lines... up till a few months ago I had thought that they didn't do anything. But yeah, I didn't feel like doing the task of putting Collada into AoMEd... (especially considering that I don't even mod anymore) these scripts were considerably easier.

0 A.D.: Sure. The only problems are, as usual, time. Speaking of which, I have several helmets in the queue... and some homework assignments for that matter.

Download Updated
Pretty important fix too... despite it only being like two lines... (plus two lines of cleanup since they weren't needed... silly NMesh module... fortunately 2.43 will let me insertKey() with Mesh and avoid NMesh altogether in import)

Anyway, so if you've been importing animated models, you might have noticed that the script actually destroys the first frame... and offsets the animation... hehe... oops... that is fixed now and should no longer be the case. Sorry about that.

So, download the fix!

(Yeah, I know I'm kind of releasing ridiculously often for what y'all may be used to... I like the open source practice of Release early. Release often. ... plus this is beta stuff, you should expect this.)


Dnas
Wildfire games 0 A. D. texture artist.
Rest In Peace, Flipbizcut (1979-2005)

[This message may have been edited by Dnas (edited 49-92-4096 @ 42:93 PM).]

[This message has been edited by Dnas (edited 01-24-2007 @ 07:46 PM).]

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