In this tutorial we will be extracting a model from KotOR and making it game ready, with your own animations, this tutorial can only be done using Actor X, and 3ds Max 2010
We will be using the 64bit version.
We are presuming you have installed the NWmax plugin by Joco,
and also have Fred Tetra's tool installed on your machine.
In your max scene, start off by setting up the UU's for 3ds max scale 1 UU = 2.54 cm
this will ensure everything will import to the Unreal Engine 3 correctly scaled then save your scene as
_BlankTemplate save this. we will use this template with the units already set. Don't forget you can also set the grid lines to match UE3/UDK grids. do this before saving, it will make it a whole lot easier to get stuff into UE3 correctly.
We use these grids in 3ds max.
Grid spacing 64
Major lines 8
To begin importing assets you need to fire up freds tool.
then find a model you want to fix and correct.
Double click, don't use the extract button
check the extract animations box,
check the each model in own dir,
uncheck the other two options, set your output path
this will give you a model that will need to be imported into max
through Nwmax, now the latest plugin does work for 3ds max 2010
switch back to 3ds max as it should already be open,
now if you have nwmax installed and set to run automatically
which it should already do you should have a floating speedbar.
Go to the MDL Loading set, click browse.
the file we have selected for demonstration purposes is darth nihilus
so with the file selected click ok,
its loading into the tool now you have some options here,
you can import geometry only, the anims only or both,
we usually do separate files, one with a mesh only, mesh and anims.
then just click import.
a few mins and the magic will happen, :)
there you have a fully rigged, character mesh.
first off we need to hide the rig (white mesh) then were
left with the model, perhaps make some selection sets,
they will come in handy
now its not ready yet as when you examine the mesh,
not a single one of the polygons are connected,
so lets say you add a subdivision modifier, well you will see,
go ahead add the modifier not the wsm one though,
now you will see why the mesh has to be corrected.
so delete the stack mod, now lets go into vertex mode,
we need to wield the vertices so the mesh becomes rigid,
now, sometimes this can go bad so sometimes you may have
to manually set the vertices UVs will need to be recreated
for the textures but, perhaps have a friend help
you out with the UV mapping.
So with the rig hidden start selecting each piece,
you will see there is a skin modifier attached this is
important, dont delete it click on the editable mesh,
if a warning box comes up click hold/yes, go into vertex
mode, now select all the vertices (Ctrl + A) and wield selected vertices.
and what this does is it makes all the separate polygons,
a whole polygon with no breakages, most of the time this
doesn't affect the UVW map instead sometimes the textures
look quite good when you do a few quick renders, and when
you add the turbosmooth modifier, you start to see a really
good looking model.
and you do this process for each piece of the model,
now if you want to add details to the models then you
will need to edit the uv maps for the edges as they can
be pretty messed up. Now you should have finished the model, doesn't it look good,
and Darth Nihilus will be available to use as a multiplayer character too.
now, your model is now high res, with okayish textures,
p.s you can render this at 1080p in max and the model retains
fairly decent quality considering the age of the game. kudos to Obsidian for that.
remember, once this is done you need to group it,
and Pro Optimize it for UE3
so with the whole mesh as a group select
ProOptimizer and make the verts 50% and keep materials,
uv boundaries and material boundaries and protect borders.
Now this makes a low poly version, so now you turn on
and off the stack for hi and low poly meshes.
now you can create your animations and actor x files.
I hope you have learned a few tricks from this.
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