New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

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New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:55 am

I have released a tool to expedite the creation of model for Source in 3ds Max. This tool will create QC files, export SMDs of your Model, Sequences, Collision Model and LOD models... as well as compile them. It makes the LOD models for you. It also compiles VTFs and VMTs. And it has a visual tool to set the distance at which LODs switch as well as an LOD camera.

There are a few other features at the moment, along with the end goal of auto-generating collision meshes (not yet implemented).

Feel free to share feedback on: The Wall Worm Model Tools.







Last edited by shawnolson on Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:00 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby marks on Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:36 pm

Looks pretty cool but I really cant overstate how important it is to do things like LODs and Collision meshes by hand, a computer will never be able to do it as well as an artist with good eye can. I really like the visual LOD distance tool though.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:27 pm

marks wrote:Looks pretty cool but I really cant overstate how important it is to do things like LODs and Collision meshes by hand, a computer will never be able to do it as well as an artist with good eye can. I really like the visual LOD distance tool though.


Thanks for the comment. What isn't easily apparant in the video, and I haven't done any documentation yet, is that the LODs and collision mesh are still editable objects. Once the tool makes an LOD, that mesh is accessible via a layer for the tools objects. The LODs are simply copies of the original object with a Mult-Res modifier applied to it. You can change the vertex level, add modifiers, etc still.

But the tool isn't done. Eventually, when you click a distance handler, a floater will appear with settings and options such as displaying the associated LOD model, changing it's auto-generated multi-res settings, etc.

I should expect that some models want a lot of artistic control. Others just don't require it. Anyway, the whole point of the tool is expedition and I think that when I finish it, there will be at least one or two features that Source modelers will enjoy in it.

I probably won't get around to actually documenting it until I've gotten done with the level I am currently working on that prompted me to make the tool to begin with.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby Saxon on Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:53 am

I honestly think this is a great idea =)

Please keep us posted about the project, the automatic hitbox creation would so unbelievably useful.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:09 am

I've loaded a new version ( 0.8 ) that includes bug fixes and new features.

New features include the ability to set the $illumposition visually and controlling various flags like $staticprop, $opaque and $mostlyopaque. The QC idle FPS now defaults to the FPS of the Max file.

Bug fixes include QC output now outputs correctly. Original release had typos.

Another fix is the LOD distance generator is now much more realistic. The original calculations were wrong. New ones are good approximations. (But since LOD distances are actually determined by client screen resolution, the visual cue in the app is merely an approximation).

Below is a screen shot of the updated tool interface (click the image to view explanations of the buttons).

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See Explanation Here

The download link has been updated from the original release to http://wallworm.com/projects/utilities/ ... _tools.zip

I'm presently rendering a new Camtasia session with presentation of the new tools.
Last edited by shawnolson on Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby source-maps on Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:22 am

nice work, I will definitely check this out next time I open up 3ds :)
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:50 pm

I've updated the script to version 0.82 earlier today to fix the LOD distance helper pick buttons not working.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:06 pm

I've updated the tool to version 0.83. Here is the set of fixes:

    * Fixed the problem with QC files having quotation marks at the beginning and end of the file.
    * Fixed the QC file bug where model paths and material paths has backslashes (\) when they needed forward slashes (/).
    * Made the Model Path and Material Path fields in the UI work regardless of whether forward slashes or back slashes are used.
    * Fixed bug where LOD would not generate if the LOD spinner was never changed from the default value of 1.
    * Commented out the $shadowlod property in the QC file. If you want that setting, simply uncomment the $shadowlod lines in the QC.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby cheesemoo0 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:30 pm

This looks really cool. I am definitely checking this out.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby stoopdapoop on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:08 pm

this is intensely cool. Thanks for this.

I don't use max, but I don't feel that this thread is getting as many replies as it deserves so I'll thank you anyway :S
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:56 am

stoopdapoop wrote:this is intensely cool. Thanks for this.

I don't use max, but I don't feel that this thread is getting as many replies as it deserves so I'll thank you anyway :S


Thank You! Hopefully I will have a final version of the tool before long. All the suggestions and feedback have already helped. Everyone is encouraged to send me emails through my site with bugs and feature requests! And of course I am happy for all the great remarks here!

PS. Polycount featured it in a front-page news story on Nov 24.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:52 am

Version 0.84 released on 12-07-2010

    * Added $automass flag.
    * Added Mass value setting.
    * Fixed bug with getting the $opaque setting of a model's attributes when reloaded in Max. $opaque was always being set to true.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby TheDanishMaster on Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:52 am

Damn fine! Hopefully this works well with 3ds max 2011...but what if I want to add several animations ex a vehicles needs 4-5 animations or a weapon? Can this tool also do this in some how?
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:18 pm

TheDanishMaster wrote:Damn fine! Hopefully this works well with 3ds max 2011...but what if I want to add several animations ex a vehicles needs 4-5 animations or a weapon? Can this tool also do this in some how?


At the moment the tool only lets you pick a single mesh... so the animations (controlled by bones, helpers, etc) are not yet supported. I need to extend the tool to allow a collection of items to support this. It's the main item on my TODO list.

If you have a suggestion on UI/workflow for that addition, now's the time to speak up--before I've started on it :)

As for Max 2011... that is the only version I've been using for about a year... so yes it works in 2011. It's older versions that are questionable. I assume it works in 2010 but won't make assumptions further back. I know for a fact it doesn't work in Max 5.
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Re: New 3ds Model Tool to expedite Source Model Creation

Postby shawnolson on Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:14 am

I've updated the tool to version 0.85. This update fixes the QC syntax error with the idle line and FPS. It also adds the $masscenter control gizmo and the ability to add your own LOD models (instead of the auto-generated models)*.

The tool also no longer assumes $concave... you have to set it manually.

*The ability to choose your own LODs is limited and incomplete in this version. I wanted to finish that function before this release but got enough emails about the FPS error above that I released this as it is now.
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