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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!