Post tutorial RSS Level importing and exporting in RuneEd

If you want to use UnrealEd version 2 to create levels for Rune, this tutorial explains how to do so and get it to run in Rune. Good stuff from Brother Kane!

Posted by on - Advanced Mapping/Technical

Originally posted on Planet Unreal by Brother Kane

Mirrored here for archival purposes

Level importing and exporting in RuneEd

What is this function good for?
With this function you transport a level from one Unreal engine based game to an other. That means if you have a favorite Unreal Tournament map you want to play in Rune you can export it in UEd2 and import it into RuneEd.

You can also merge two Rune levels into one by exporting one and then importing it into the other. When you create a single-player campaign this is a good way to ensure the change from one map to another looks alike. To use an extreme example: It is not good to have the player jump into a dark-blue lit cave and after the new level is loaded he stands in a bright yellow lit dungeon room.

What do I need to use that function?
Basicly only RuneEd! That is all you need to merge two maps.

To transport maps between games, you need at least two of these games:

Unreal, Wheel of Time, Klingon Honor Guard, Unreal Tournament, Deus Ex, Rune, The Fallen, Clive Barker’s Undying.

If you own two (or more) you can use the import/export function to transfer levels between these games.

What about the UnrealEd v2?
The main reason to use the import/export function is to build levels in the UnrealEd v2. This editor is available only to Unreal Tournament. It has more functions than other versions, and many people in the Rune community are used to it. So, if you have Unreal Tournament with this Ued 2 you may want to build your levels there and then import them into RuneEd to texture and decorate them.

How do I export?
Every UnrealEd has an export function at the same place - in the “Files” menu. There is also an import/export function in the brushes menu, but is is used for brushes only, not for maps, so it has nothing to do with what is described in this tutorial.

To export a level, you only have to select the point export in the files menu. The program will then ask for a filename and a folder, and then will save it with the “T3D” ending. Files with this format can be imported into any UnrealEd.

How do I import?
Again, use the file menu and select "import." Then find the right file and click on "open." Now the editor will ask you if you want to add the imported map to the currently existing, even if you have done nothing, or if you want to create a new one.

If you choose to add it, you can merge two maps. After you choose that option, it will take a moment, and then you will see the old level as before, but you will see the new one as wireframe.

Now be careful because that wireframe is selected, and any actors inside the imported map, too. That is done to make it easy for you to move the complete level to its new position. If you deselect it before it fits correctly, you will have to select every actor manually, and that is a lot of work especially with big levels and lots of lights. After you move the imported map part into position, you must rebuild the complete map. After that you will have one big map.

If you choose to create a new map with the import, the level you are currently designing will be removed from the editor without warning or chance to save, so be careful with this.

Again, you will see the complete imported map as wireframe and with all actors selected, so you can move it around. After the position is fine for you you must rebuild and than have a new map.

Regardless of how you import a map, the result will always be named “Newly imported map”. That is to protect maps that you add to, because they can not be accidently deleted this way if you have the autosave option turned on.

What parts of the map cannot be exported/imported?
You can export everything, every actor, every texture and their properties as well as the level properties.

The problem comes with the importing. Again you can import everything. If you merge two Rune levels in RuneEd for example you will have everything in the new one that you had in the two before they where merged.

Of course there is a catch to importing/exporting! The editor will not load something just to put it in the new map. So, if you export a map, then shut the Editor down to start over, and then import the map, you will have no textures. They will only appear if you load this textures before you import the map. The same is with any actors.

When you transport a level from one game to another, some things are not imported because the version can not use them. The mover sub-class polyobject for example is exclusive to Rune. If you try to import that into UT it will not appear. Same with textures or properties settings.

Manually altering the t3d file!
WARNING: What now follows is for experienced users only! Do not open a T3D file if you are not very familiar with the editor and the game engine itself!

If you export a level the result is a text file that can be opened with WordPad or any other writing program. In this file you will find a listing of any polygon, what brush it belongs to, where it is placed, its size and texture. You can change all those values manually, but that is by far the easiest way to produce one of the beloved BSP holes. One change of a value, regardless of how small it is, can make at least the brush unuseable.

At the top of the file you will see the level info, then the listing, in the order of the insertion. The first things added to the map are placed at the beginning of the file. Here is the one big use of the manual edit: You can alter the order in which things are added. If you need to replace something that was added sometime ago, and the "Set to last/first" order in the editor is not precise enough, you can export the level, search the brush and cut and paste it wherever you want!

Unreal vs. Warfare!
Warfare is the next generation Unreal engine. As any Unreal PC game it will come with an editor. Most functions of that editor are pure speculation, but the import/export function has proven its worth, so it makes its way into the WarfareEd. That means you can transport any map to a Warfare engine based game, but not vice versa.

Sadly this is just theoretical speaking, because it will not make much sense to import the maps. In Unreal 16 units represent one foot, but in Warfare 24 units are one foot. That means, any door that can be easily passed by a Rune Viking will bring an Unreal 2 Space Marshall to his knees!

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