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Old 9th November 2003, 01:48 AM   #1
Willy
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Default UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

I don't know if there's anyone else but me using AC3D to try and model static meshes for UT2003 but I thought I'd ask.

I'm having to export these models to MilkShape via .3DS in order to export them from there as a 6.5 .LWO which UnrealEd can import.

I'm having a hard time getting my meshes to look at all similar in Ued and UT2003 to what they look like in the modeling program. I'm sure it's a beginners mistake but so far I can't seem to figure it out. It's the lighting on the meshes. See pic:

http://www.citlink.net/~ckearley/ModelingHelp.jpg

If anyone can give me a hint as to how to address or even approach this problem then please do.

Thanks
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Old 9th November 2003, 03:18 AM   #2
Andy
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

It looks like a problem with the texture coordinates.

The question is - whee is this happening? Where do the tewxture coordinates change - AC3D or milkshape?

When you load the 3DS model into Milkshape and then texture it, are the textures positioned correctly?

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Old 9th November 2003, 03:43 AM   #3
Willy
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

Actually I have been unable to import (using .3ds) into MS with textures applied. So I have to apply the textures in MS before exporting as a .lwo.

But... It's just a test texture without any type of adjustment. When I applied it in AC3D I let it just use its default coordinates. A square texture covering all the mesh. When I import to MS, without the texture, and then reapply the texture by assigning it as a material and etc. it appears on the mesh in the same configuration and orientation as it did in AC3D.

Please do not make too much of the apparent texture differences between the two pics. I noticed afterwards that I had the square panels that make up the floor of the open-topped 'tunnel' rotated and the texturing looked different. They really aren't. The texture orientation on the meshes are the same in both pics. It's just some of the meshes were rotated.

If I make the meshes 'unlit' in UnrealEd (a valid option for static meshes) the textures are drawn just as they were created in the paint program. The weirdness goes away but I lose all local lighting on the meshes. Their textures are displayed literally 'fullbright' just as they were painted without any type of rendering by the Unreal Engine's lighting. This is something I'm very much trying to avoid as it means all lighting on the meshes would have to be 'painted' on the texture rather than being rendered in the game. Since these meshes are designed to be components that can be duplicated and put together different ways and placed into different lighting conditions no prepainted 'lighting' on the textures will fit all the conditions they are likely to be placed in.

I have spoken with others about this strange rendering of the meshes and they pointed out that static meshes in UnrealEd sometimes take their lighting from their origin. A point that usually lies outside the mesh. But I do not know how to create an origin in AC3D or MS so I haven't been able to test it. It's probably something that can be done but I don't know how yet.

Once the .ASE is working things will be easier to test I think since I shouldn't have to use two programs just to get something into UnrealEd. I know the problem can be solved since all the many, many meshes in UT2003 were created with Max, Maya and LightWave.

I just have to learn how to do it.
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Old 9th November 2003, 04:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

Also, for reference, here's an ingame pic of some earlier (rather crude) models I made in MS and exported into the map in UnrealEd. I do not know why these don't have similar problems.

http://www.citlink.net/~ckearley/Tanks.jpg
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Old 9th November 2003, 04:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

Well, I found some information and it doesn't look like my problem is modeler program related at all. It appears that the problem is that I do not know what the hell I'm doing.

In a nutshell... Static meshes in Unreal, and many other game engines, use vertex lighting. And a person who is modeling needs to know how to work with that situation.

Here's a link to a recommended tutorial on vertex lighting. It probably won't be of use except to those who might end up making meshes for an engine that uses this type of rendering.

http://www.planetunreal.com/phalanx/tut's/tutorial_vertex.htm

Sorry for the excitement. :shock:
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Old 9th November 2003, 04:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

As far as I am concerned it's all good, anything to stimulate some sort of conversation in hopes of forming a strong community.
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Old 20th November 2003, 08:04 PM   #7
figgy
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

Andy, the Y Z axis in UnrealED are flipped.

3ds to unreal file converters flip the axis. If he's exporting normal 3ds files
won't the axis be wrong?

Just a thought.

Mark
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Old 21st November 2003, 03:28 AM   #8
Andy
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

Before outputing 3DS files, you could untick FIle->Settings->files->3DS-swap-yz.

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Old 21st November 2003, 11:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: UT2003 Static Mesh Modeling Help... Maybe?

it looks like you tiled a texture over the part. Many games don't see tiled textures from AC3D. I'm guessing if you was to fully map the part then export it the textures would look fine. The lighting on the part is messed up cause you haven't cleaned the surfaces and removed any unwanted objects.

I bet after that the part would be fine and look pretty good in UnRealEd
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