Hey guys, I'm back with another tutorial! This time it's how to manually convert .WMO Files, aka the ever so elusive WoW building models, into .M3 files usable in SC2. First off, I'm warning you now that this tutorial is for advanced level users only, and requires knowledge of both Photoshop and 3ds Max. It's a fairly long and complicated process that the everyday user won't want to do, but for a dedicated few, will make their mods entirely.
Lastly, you'll also need working copies of Adobe Photoshop and 3ds Max 2009-2011 (2012 will not work!).
With that said, here's the video:
Protip: If you're having trouble with the material editor, under the Mode menu you can change the appearance to the classic version. I don't know anyone who uses the slate material editor and neither do I know how to use it.
I've also uploaded the tutorial files here for you to check out. It includes an example map and 2 additional models to play with, as well as some experimental Normal Maps created from the Farm House's diffuse textures. In the future I may go over the creation of Normal Maps, but I'm by no means an expert on them. For that, I recommend you contact someone who isn't a noob at 3d like myself.
If you're a bit more knowledgeable, you can cut down some of these models to optimize them. Remember that most WoW structures have interiors which you will never see in SC2 looking down on them. All those insides are wasted polys slowing down your game, and they're using textures that may not even be necessary to import. So, if you know what you are doing, during the texture application process you can select and delete bits of geometry from the insides of the models. Make sure to save often, or you may need to revert back to your .OBJ file and start over again!
Lastly, I want to warn all you would-be total conversion modders out there. Yes this tutorial will teach you how to access a wide array of new assets, but keep in mind that NONE of them have any animations! You will have to go and create those yourself in 3ds Max, so don't rush off thinking you can create a bunch of structures for your custom race. I will not tell you how to go about doing this as I have no idea myself where to start when it comes to animation. These models will be good as a base and nothing else!
Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps bring all of your fantasy/warcraft mods closer to completion!
Alrighty.... The WC3 remake people just got really lucky :D
Good job Saeris!
Thanks! I should really have done this tutorial sooner, as I've known roughly how to do it for months now.
Another thing I want to note about it, that's now included in the video annotations, is about textures. Unlike most .M2 files which have 1-3 uvmapped textures, .WMO files share textures with most other .WMO files, meaning that buildings that look like they have the same roof or walls.... really do have the same roof and walls! Thusly, you can further cut down on your texture memory by only importing 1 of each texture you need, making .WMO files very flexible!
As a preview of a possible tutorial I'll be doing in the future, I plan on combining a bunch of .WMO's and .M2's in 3ds Max to create composite buildings, such as recreating the Chicken Farms from WC2 (which are bassicaly just a farm house, some fences, a few little field plots and some roaming chicken models).
I think combinations like this will be what will make up most of the buildings used in say, a WC4 mod. Think about it: Barracks with units actually training out front for their build animations, an Altar of Storms with summoners standing in the middle channeling a spell, etc. The combinations are truly endless, and although will still take quite a bit of time to put together, it's all using assets provided to you and eliminating the need to create buildings from scratch.
So remember when people were going to start creating great model assets using this technique? What happened to that?
by people you mean me and only me? Cause as far as I know I'm the only one who has expressed this interest. No one has offered to help and therefore it's going really slow and I have my own project I'm creating it for.
Well I don't think a lot of people can exactly help because those who have access to 3DS Max are a minority. I'd help in any non-3DS Max way possible like identifying which WMOs crash and such if you wanted, I was just really expecting at least the staples like barracks, towers, walls to get released.
is it possible to have someone post the 3ds max 2011 i have 2015
Due to licencing reasons it is not possible, sorry.
Since the software is end of life you might be able to pickup licences quite cheaply. Additionally Blizzard might migrate the art tools to newer versions of the tool chain due to the tool chain end of life and the continued development on the SC2 engine.