Model conversion tool thread

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Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 19 Jun 2010, 20:47

Hey all,
I'm just wondering which tools 3D artist would benefit from the most.
This thread should serve as a wishlist where I can get ideas to work on.

Try to keep your descriptions concise!

Note: I don't plan on making plugins.

P.S. The was no general forum section so this seemed to fit the best.
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby MaNGusT » 20 Jun 2010, 02:08

I don't understand the question... :(
what tools do we use to convert models into the .pie format and vice versa? for now it's plugins for blender and a program that Colditz found somewhere. It will be good to have all-in-one program.
or give pls more description about what you want to hear. :)

P.S. I use 3ds max 2011 x64(the latest) because it has more options for fast modeling than blender or others. also it has all what I need for "render to texture"(baking) option.
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P.S. Sorry for my English.
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 20 Jun 2010, 11:48

MaNGusT wrote:what tools do we use to convert models into the .pie format and vice versa? for now it's plugins for blender and a program that Colditz found somewhere.
I'm not asking what you're currently using, I'm asking for ideas for tools that don't exist that I could create.
MaNGusT wrote:It will be good to have all-in-one program.
Which conversions would you want, only 3ds, obj, etc. to pie ? Or would you need the inverse as well?

Any what other features would you want in it?
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Jorzi » 22 Jun 2010, 05:24

What would be most useful is, I think, a direct pie editor with the following abilities:
-Ability to import meshes, only one format needed, 3ds or obj are propably the easiest alternatives
-Ability to choose texpage and view the model in realtime (a simple turntable with rotate and zoom would be good)
-Ability to mirror, scale and rotate model (at least 90 degree rotations) preferably prior to snapping it to the low-res grid of the .pie format
-Ability to assign separate pieces of the model into separate .pie layers
-Ability to set joints to the model (enter joint coordinates and view it as a sphere/marker object on the model, preferably with the ability to toggle occlusion for the marker object)

Possible extra abilities:
-Ability to toggle triangulation direction on quads
-Ability to select and move vertices
-Ability to edit as many ingame stats as possible
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 23 Jun 2010, 03:34

Jorzi wrote:Ability to import meshes, only one format needed, 3ds or obj are propably the easiest alternatives
3DS is easy and I have half done obj code, so both should not be an issue.
Jorzi wrote:preferably prior to snapping it to the low-res grid of the .pie format
I'd use a internal representation that doesn't lose information ( WZM, PIE3, etc.) and only apply the transformations on export, so that's a not an issue.
Jorzi wrote:Ability to assign separate pieces of the model into separate .pie layers
It's probably easiest to import the pieces separately ( meshes in 3ds, groups in obj, levels in pie) and then merge them as needed.
Un-merging and polygon picking can be done, but would likely be left out of a first release.
Jorzi wrote:Ability to set joints to the model.
I'm not really sure what you mean by joints, do you mean connectors?
Jorzi wrote:Ability to toggle triangulation direction on quads.
This might be best done on export of the modeling tool, though it is doable. I'm not sure why it'd be needed though.
Jorzi wrote:Ability to edit as many ingame stats as possible
Which stats are you talking about?
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Jorzi » 23 Jun 2010, 05:23

Yeah, I meant connectors and not joints ;)

It's probably easiest to import the pieces separately ( meshes in 3ds, groups in obj, levels in pie) and then merge them as needed.
Un-merging and polygon picking can be done, but would likely be left out of a first release.

Sounds practical enough...

About the triangulation, all non-rectangular quads get mapped differently depending on triangulation direction. Therefore textures sometimes look better if you change the triangulation.

About ingame stats, I have no experience of modding but it would, of course, be practical to be able to choose the name, type (body/turret/structure etc) and stats like hp, cost or range of the model from the same program. I don't know if this is possible or how long it would take to code but it would be very artist-friendly :P

However, what you already have sounds very promising ;)
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 23 Jun 2010, 13:05

Jorzi wrote:About ingame stats, I have no experience of modding but it would, of course, be practical to be able to choose the name, type (body/turret/structure etc) and stats like hp, cost or range of the model from the same program. I don't know if this is possible or how long it would take to code but it would be very artist-friendly :P
That might be best left as a separate project/tool (a csv stats editor.) Though it shouldn't be too difficult to merge in a viewer into a such tool (to see how units look will all their parts.)
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 29 Jul 2010, 23:50

I haven't forgotten about this.

Complete:
PIE2<->PIE3-->WZM

Partially done:
3DS-->WZM
OBJ-->WZM
Gui stuff.
WZM-->PIE3

Incomplete:
WZM-->3DS
WZM-->OBJ
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Jorzi » 30 Jul 2010, 03:49

Sounds good :)
I didn't even know about the WZM format, is it meant to replace PIE in the future?
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Safety0ff » 30 Jul 2010, 12:29

Jorzi wrote:I didn't even know about the WZM format, is it meant to replace PIE in the future?
Yes, though right now the format is more of a draft.

I'll likely be using WZM under the hood and converting back to the other formats on export.
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Update

Postby Safety0ff » 03 Aug 2010, 22:41

Update x3:
Usable, though not 100% complete:
Code: Select all
PIE2 <--> PIE3 <--> WZM <-->3DS
                     WZM <--> OBJ


Incomplete:
Gui stuff.
a few other things I have planned.

Note: the other conversions (e.g. OBJ-->PIE2), will be done like so (internally): OBJ-->WZM-->PIE3.
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Re: Model conversion tool thread

Postby Olrox » 31 Aug 2010, 15:13

IMO, the most useful tool would be a .3ds to .pie converter with output preview, and capability to convert multiple files, mantaining the name and changing the format.

The preview should have a 3x3 grid with that greeny undesigned droid in the middle, with checking boxes for you to select what kind of model you want to convert - "weapon" would remove the undesigned turret, "body" would remove the undesigned body, and "propulsion" would remove the undesigned propulsion, while selecting "Other" would just display the grid. The converter could check for the necessary connectors and warn if they're missing, and if the model's correctly made, it would be displayed in the correct position, using hte connectors and position in relation to 0,0,0 just like they're used in-game.

Along with the 3d display we could have the function to set the scale (an optionally, rotation - actually easy to do in any 3d software so it's not quite necessary) of the output model, with real-time update of the display. This way, it'd allow scaling and rotating converted files correctly without the need to build a mod everytime and test them in-game or compare with original models in PIEslicer - definetely would make things ALOT easier! It would allow anyone to quickly showcase how the model would look in-game without the need for messing with mods. This would save a lot of time and encourage people to produce artistical content.

As for the output, a set folder could be selected, and all the converted models would be sent to the target folder. A checkbox would allow for quickly overwritting files with the same name, so that modders could easily convert and update their mods with new models, without the need to manually check every PIE. This would allow for developers to organize WIP in a folder and easily test 'em all without forgetting any models.

As for converting multiple files using the same scale, I don't think it's a real problem since usually the artists make models using an imaginary scale (I, personally, use centimeters as a proportionality unit for any standard model), so they are usually already proportional between each other. Creating the habit of using a standard imaginary tile size, associated with a standard conversion scale, would be really great for anyone who creates 3d models. Another alternative would be to allow the user to set an individual conversion scale for each model, so that he can go through the list and set the adequate scale for each model, then convert them all.

Sorry for the long text, I can decrease that to a small list without that many details.

Thanks for your kind willing to help! You can be sure that we appreciate that, very much.

~Olrox
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