I just switched to the Legion WMV which has not anymore M3 export. So I installed Art Tool and started to learn the stuff by myself.
I can actually deal with M2 importer and generate "viable" models (textured and animated through Art Tool). Unluckily, M2 won't work for the WoW character models, so I have to import FBX instead.
As I'm a total newbie at 3DS, I don't succeed to merge the animations to have them all in an unique scene. What's the way to do it ? I tried the Import > Merge as indicated on some tutos, but it seems to overwrite everytime the last animation.
What I recommend would be to save the animations as "XML Animation" files and then import them into your main scene.
to do this you will need to be familiar with how to select/hide/freeze specific objects and the animation timeline.
open two separate instances of 3DS Max
Export the desired model from WoW Model Viewer as a FBX with no animations included [ This model will be referred to as BaseModel ]
Export the same model as FBX with specified animation (example: Attack1H) [ This model will be referred to as AnimModel ] *I recommend only exporting one animation at a time until you are comfortable with the process.
Import AnimModel into 3DS Max
select the mesh, right click and choose "Freeze Selection", the mesh should now appear grey
with the mesh frozen, now select all the bones in the scene, you should see keyframes in the timeline on the bottom of the screen, scroll the timeline to the last keyframe, this will be the animations duration.
with the bones still selected, on the top menu bar, select "Animation > Save Animation..." you should see a dialog box pop up that says "Save XML Animation File" at the top
In the Dialog box, on the Right-hand side, Check the box marked "Segment"
In the "From:" box, put the frame number of the start of the animation (in this case, should be "0")
In the "To:" box, put the frame number of the end of the animation duration
Choose a name and click "Save Motion"
Import BaseModel into a new (the second) instance of 3DS Max
Select the mesh, right-click, and freeze
Select the bones
In the top menu bar, select "Animation > Load Animation..." this should bring up the "Load XML Animation File" Dialog
in the Dialog, Navigate to and select the animation file you just created (should be titled *name*.xaf)
On the Right-Hand side of the Dialog, click the radio button next to "Insert At"
In the box under "Insert At" choose the frame number at which you would like animation to start at
click the "Load Motion" button
and your done! you should now see the keyframes in the animation timeline
using this technique you can choose which animations you would like and import them into SC2 Sequences without overriding existing animations.
To have all materials when there are several or when I want to show/hide some parts of the models (stuff for character), I tried out something, but I get duplicated skeletons and I cant load animations.
I export several parts of the models I want (shown or hidden with ) to *.fbx with only the Stand animation.
I save every one as *.3ds files.
I import and merge all with the 3ds functionality.
I have a correctly animated model on my Stand animation, I can add materials to the parts, but the skeleton is duplicated as many times as I imported a part of my model. Then I can't import any animation exported as described in this post.
Whatever I do on the Import and Merge wizard, I get those multiple skeletons. Deleting unused bones and reforming the whole skeleton sounds crazy and time wasting.
Is there any way to merge those duplicated bones if they have the same name ? Through scripting or something else ?
The solution was in the Model Viewer istelf since the beggining : View > Show model control.
This tool allows to show/hide every mesh of a model. So you can export the parts you want (according to the textures for example) in FBX. Once you have your parts, you import one, rename the mesh, import another one, rename the second mesh, and looping with all the FBX files.
I still have problems (with keyframes I guess), I will show it as soon as I reinstall my Windows.