Planning: Model Maker/Converter

Discuss artwork in all of its forms here, from level design to GUI button themes. New MODs planning, work-in-progress and other samples are welcome in this forum as well.
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2143
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Planning: Model Maker/Converter

Postby Carsten » 2009-05-16, 13:48

Hi all,

a while ago Kai and I discussed a very important question: Getting models into Ca3DE.
Quickly summarized, it turned out that we need an auxiliary program that comfortably helps in the tool-chain and work-flow.

In this thread, I would like to summarize my understanding of our discussion and how such a program should work, as I'm going to implement it as another module inside CaWE soon.

Here are the crucial steps:

  1. The user loads the input model.
    The model can be in any format that is possibly supported, e.g. ase, mdl, md5, lwo, obj, Collada, ...
    Once loaded, the model is displayed in a 3D preview window, similar to the current Ca3DE model viewer.

  2. Now the most important step: The user is able to make plenty of settings for the model, as for example:
    • Scale - Your character is in centimeters or inches and doesn't fit to Ca3DE units? Your male character was exported just an inch shorter than your female counterpart? Being able to adjust the scale fixes this easily.
    • Origin offset - Not quite so important as Scale, but sometimes it's nice to move the model wrt. the origin.
    • Material slots - Very important. General 3D modelling programs all work a bit different from the Ca3DE Material System. Here is the right place for assigning Ca3DE materials to the individual parts of the model. This will come with a build-in material editor - no material script editing required (unless you really want to).
    • whatever else we need... e.g. attachment points, colors, etc.

  3. The result is saved, all combined, in a Ca3DE model file format (cmdl) that CaWE and the Ca3D-Engine can directly read. The result will then look exactly as set in the previous steps.

A comfortable GUI will be provided for all these settings - no command-line input required.
In the above list, I've had especially static models in mind, but the concept can of course be generalized to animated models as well.

I do not yet have any mock-up screenshots of the new program available, but it will be implemented as another module inside CaWE, and I hope to be able to present you some screenshots soon!

Please let me know if the above outline is essentially correct and complete - your feedback is much welcome! :up:
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Thrawn
Posts: 302
Joined: 2004-08-30, 10:38
Location: NRW, Germany
Contact:

Re: Planning: Model Maker/Converter

Postby Thrawn » 2009-05-16, 19:58

Hi,
good idea, should make importing models easier for a lot of people!

2 sugesstions:

  • Could you include an option for displaying animations and an adjustment option for their "play speed" (if that's possible at all)?
  • Tip for the scaling function: Maybe add an option that just puts a 1,80m high person (could be a simple box or one old model) next to the loaded model? I'm sure a lot of people want to scale the model in comparison to a person in the engine and not calculate sizes in their head. Problem: When the model is to big it could hide the person: maybe it could "shine" through other models?

Greetings :)
Image
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2143
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Planning: Model Maker/Converter

Postby Carsten » 2009-05-17, 19:52

Thrawn wrote:good idea, should make importing models easier for a lot of people!

Yes, I finally realized that such a program, combined with an own model file format that Ca3DE's own programs write themselves, is the only way to have a content tool-chain that allows the easy and effective use of other file formats with the Ca3D-Engine, and actually employ the Ca3DE specific features at the same time (e.g. the Material System).

  • Could you include an option for displaying animations and an adjustment option for their "play speed" (if that's possible at all)?

Ah, I like this one!! :up:

  • Tip for the scaling function: Maybe add an option that just puts a 1,80m high person (could be a simple box or one old model) next to the loaded model? I'm sure a lot of people want to scale the model in comparison to a person in the engine and not calculate sizes in their head. Problem: When the model is to big it could hide the person: maybe it could "shine" through other models?

Yes, I was thinking something along these lines, too. The user must be given some kind of reference that allows him to set the proper scale value easily. When there is a reference, it's easy for the user to set the proper scale value, using a slider, entering a number, etc.
Best regards,
Carsten

Return to “Models, Materials, Textures, Sound, Music, ...”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest