View Full Version : Exporting models to a game engine?
07-09-2003, 04:10 PM
I have just finished creating my first ever low poly model (been learning how to use Max at uni for about.... 3 months now). I've modelled, textured and applied a biped to the model and everything seems to be in order.
What I want to do now is export this model to a game engine or directly to a game itself. For example, how would I export it to say...counter-strike? Is the method engine specific, or is it the same for all games?
I saw another thread and followed a link to an Unreal site that explains how to export meshes into that game. It has two steps.. one is exporting the mesh, the other is exporting the animations. What if I don't have any animations? Do games take in JUST biped models, and use default animations for it? Or do I need to make my own? What if say... I exported my model to Unreal without any animations?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've managed to find tutorials on most things that I want to learn so far (trying to learn extra stuff that we're not being taught), and so far exporting is the hardest topic to find anything on. There are tons of tutorials on everything else.... like rigging and UVW maps...etc.
07-09-2003, 07:47 PM
It's engine specific. A quick google search on counter strike mods, (or Half life mods as it uses the HL engine afaik,) or else a trip over to www.planetquake.com/polycount should put you in the right direction.
Regarding your question about animations - again it will vary from engine to engine, but generally if you don't have any animations but exported a rigged character I think the most likely thing is that the engine would treat it as a static mesh - that is to say a model that doesn't move, such as a building or level furniture. This means your character would just stand there & not do very much. I doubt he/she would even be controllable.
For the engine to treat it like a character, you have to let it know that it is one. Computers aren't very good at second guessing people's intentions so you have to explicitly state what you want it to do. (Sorry if that sounds patronising, I don't know how much you know, so I'm covering as much as possible,) I doubt whether any engines can recognise a character & assign the default animations - anything without animations assigned will be treated like a static mesh as I said, otherwise you might have problems with buildings trying to run around etc, or even just a girl running around with a guy's animation set. (You'd be surprised how wierd that would look.)
Usually the animation is assigned to the model by either doing it manually from scratch, or else there may be a way to assign the default animations during export. I think UT2k3 for example, requires a text file & it's in there that you can state what animations your character uses. Other games may do it differently - possibly even during the level design stage or using the level editor once the model is in game.
I'll move this thread over to the game art forum too - I know you're not showing any work here, but it's games related & not really software specific & so not suitable for this forum.
08-09-2003, 12:22 AM
if you are trying to import to your own engine or anything opengl c/c++ based then look at NeHe (http://nehe.gamedev.net/) . Some good tutorials/code in there about exporting directly from 3ds models and quake3 models, all of the gamedev.net related sites are very informative but NeHe is a personal favourate.
08-09-2003, 11:28 AM
Each 3d engine has specific demands on how you do animation. Some engines want you to do all the animation within the 3d file, and then specify from which frame and to which frame certain commonly used animations run. For example, walk cycle could be frame 1 to 100, run cycle frame 200 to 350, fall cycle from 400 to 500, etc..
Other engines will want you to export your model in various seperate parts (netimmerse for example supports this), so there you need to export head, torso, upper arm, lower arm, etc. seperately.
Many (if not all) engines use their own 3d format, so animation will be different for all the formats. The most used program to make mods for things like quake and halflife is Milkshape 3D .(http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/ms3d/ ) This program allows you to import/export models to and from a whole bunch of formats, and it also allows you to add animation within the program. It even allows you to model directly in the program if you feel like doing that ;)
Just have a look at that page, there's several tutrials there and lots of other stuff...
Good luck! ;)
08-09-2003, 06:10 PM
Thanks for all the help guys.
I can't believe I forgot to mention what software I am using. I'm modelling in 3dsMax 5.0
I'll go through those tutes you mentioned...thanks again
09-09-2003, 01:12 PM
If youre using 3ds max 5 then UT 2k3 is maybe the best game to mod. With a little free plugin for max, called ActorX, u can export your mesh and ani in a few minutes. I f you would like to know more about moding UT2k3 then visit www.3dbuzz.com, the absolut greatest site. You can find a lot of videoes for learning 3ds max and how to create terrain, weapons, models, movies and more in UT.
To answer your question. UT is the only game that i know how to mod for, the easiest way to make a game char is to build one over a default UT biped. When doing this no animation is needed. u then just export your char to UT, just see the videoes on 3dbuzz.com and you will know everything.
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