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    posted a message on World of Warcraft Model (M2) Exporter for M3

    @vjeux: Go

    It's much much faster and way less overhead and it can be done without 3ds Max at all. This means free conversion of WoW models to Starcraft 2 format fast. Importing into 3ds Max with all the anim files and such is messy and can take large amounts of time whereas exporting from WMV automatically handles all the extra files, exporting just the TGA's involved with the model and the .M3 needed for the model to work in the Starcraft 2 engine. It simplifies the process.

    Chuanhsing and CuteVisor have done superb work on converting the format. It's always a hard task to convert from one file format to another, even with decent documentation of both. The TGA's that WMV exports now work properly in the Starcraft 2 engine. The code is for the moment being updated consistently and it has great room for improvement, this means that once M3 particles are decyphered we can have a straight conversion of the M2 particles to the M3 format. The UI options can potentially include a host of tweakable settings and once it's figured out, exporting the difficult character models with their specific submeshes will be super easy rather than the complex mess it is to import them into 3ds Max and delete the extra meshes.

    Overall this is a great step forward for the mod community as I feel we're finally moving away from 3ds Max dependency and moving into the open source environment.

    @zzPop: Go

    Aye I'm very pleased with the work :D I regret that I can't contribute moreso to the coding side of things. On my next holiday break I hope to devote some time to the blender plugins people have been asking for but we'll see how I go for time.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on texture issues

    @ryanmywow: Go

    Screenshots would help :). Take a screenshot of your import panel so we can see if there's any errors in how you're importing your files. Does your model look textured in game? Don't trust the editor so much, it does not handle importing models very well and it's obvious the import models feature is more of an afterthought than a fully supported feature.

    Always always import your textures first, save the map, THEN import your model. The editor stores model filenames in some kind of cache that flags errors in the model, so once you load your model without the textures present the cache is built with the model having no texture and an editor restart is required to effectively reset the cache. This applies to importing models the editor doesn't like, once it becomes a sphere with the keyboard texture the editor marks the filename as a bogus model and a restart is required for the editor to render a model with the same filename correctly.

    So to recap:

    1. Export the model with the correct texture paths
    2. Import textures first into your map into the correct path and don't forget to save your map to finalise the import
    3. Import model into the editor. Save your map again to finalise the import
    4. Check the model in the previewer if it still appears untextured, or place the model in the map and test run the map. The editor is much buggier than the game engine which has the final say on how things really are.

    If the models still fail to have textures in-game then your texture paths are wrong or the texture maps are incompatible with the Starcraft 2 engine (must be a certain kind of .dds or .tga), those are the only two things that could be in error. Again, screenshots will go a long way toward helping diagnose the possible problem you're having. I understand your frustration but it's equally frustrating to troubleshoot a problem without the appropriate details.

    Posted in: Artist Tavern
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    posted a message on M3 Exporter

    @tigerija: Go

    Particles are a massive beast. Just figuring out the M3 structure is a pain, let alone what each setting does. It's taking me a very long time to figure out what most of the LAYR chunk does and that's just bitmaps, with particles it's probably five times as complex. I do have MDX and M2 documentation as a bit of a reference, but particles and ribbons are hard to work with and I'm no expert on them. I want to add support as much as anyone but without having the necessary particle expertise I'm basically blind guessing at close to 30 or 40 particle settings with no hint as to their ultimate function.

    My strategy is usually to change a setting and observe the effect but this is largely guesses when it comes to particle settings as I'm not sure what some of them even do despite having an effect. Since I can't just list a bunch of particle settings that don't have a description (how would you design your own?) I'm not sure whats going to happen here. The particle chunks are massive and while I may be able to figure out alot of the settings by cross referencing with the MDX and M2 documentation there's bound to be a whole lot more settings to which I have no idea what they ultimately are.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on World of Warcraft Model (M2) Importer for 3ds Max

    @justdanze: Go

    I haven't encountered that error. If you could provide me with the model through PM it'd go a long way to helping me troubleshoot the problem. I don't have direct access to cataclysm so I can't test it myself.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on Linked exported wow models ¬°HELP!

    @hipnos14: Go

    Hrm, that random scaling shouldn't be occuring in the first place. I think it has something to do with the way attachments are handled. I'll try and look into it. Glad to see you managed to fix it by linking to different bones :D

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on [Voting] Model Plugins for Blender

    Sorry guys, at the moment I'm swamped with uni work to be able to undertake this project properly. When my next holidays come up I will try to dedicate some time to create some tools for blender as it's showing pretty large support. I'd like to add a few more features to the 3ds Max version of the plugins, but for the most part they're working pretty well.

    @pqpoiuyqwert: Go

    When I start on the blender plugins, the help would be appreciated. I've never coded in python so it might be a bit rough starting out.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on Diablo, Lord of Terror

    @rustychops: Go

    Actually the diablo model from WoW is fully animated with attack animations and everything, it's obviously skinned over the top of the original Dreadlord bones if you look at the model in the WoW model viewer. You can tell the Starcraft 2 model uses the same animations and virtually the same geometry, its just been made larger than its WoW version and some fancy particle effects added. The chibby cartoon proportions have no impact on the way the animations work :P. They did the same thing with the Marine Murloc, it's pretty much a direct port of the WoW version. Why they converted the Diablo model without the walk and attack animations is a bit puzzling.

    It's completely possible to take the diablo/dreadlord animations from the WoW model and put them into the SC model to give it walk/attack animations. However at the moment I'm not sure the tools exist. The diablo model also uses some particle effects and unusual material settings that will be lost on import into 3ds Max. However it is possible to do if the proper tools were developed. If I were to code a tool to achieve the effect, I would design something like an animation injecter that injects animations into a model while leaving the rest of its settings as they are. This way you can keep the fancy materials and particle effects and gain the animations.

    Posted in: Artist Tavern
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    posted a message on [Request] Psionic Hydralisk Model & Portrait

    @Salirth: Go

    What model is that? Like exact path. Can't find it by description alone (there is no model called ZealotPrison or anything).

    Posted in: Requests
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    posted a message on World of Warcraft Model (M2) Importer for 3ds Max

    @zzPop: Go

    Agreed, I would prefer a straight conversion from M2 -> M3 using CPP. It would be quick and flow better. You could incorporate the MPQ libraries and so access the WoW MPQ's directly much like WMV does. You could also implement some kind of DDS library which would automatically convert .blp files to the appropriate .dds format. It would still need some kind of interface though, which is why WMV is probably the best way to go. Perhaps you could add an export to M3 function to WMV. Infact that sounds like a great idea, considering the framework is already there for exporting to other formats. You'd still need to remove meshes associated with glows and particles, but since you've got WMV already parsing the model file you could easily choose not to export them out through WMV.

    I think that's possibly the best option, a straight export option from WMV. You could have UI associated with it that woud allow you to select what animations to export and such, similar to how my M2 importer works. I'll look into it though I'm not well versed in CPP so I don't think I could code it quickly. I think it could pretty easily be done though for someone that's good with CPP and it'd make things much simpler, rather than having to import the M2 and it's cavalcade of associated files into 3ds Max to export to M3.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on World of Warcraft Model (M2) Importer for 3ds Max

    @zzPop: Go

    Perhaps the WMV developers can help you, but most likely not. You could theoretically create an M2 file that has the unneeded submeshes absent, but that would mean creating an M2 export library which would be a pain in the arse. What WMV does is read in raw M2 files and interpret the data. When you click extract, you're just extracting the raw M2 and its associated files that WMV interprets with the help of DBC definitions and such. I'm pretty sure exporting to their other formats (.fbx, .obj) would preserve the geometry you have rendered only. Infact from what I've read FBX works pretty well.

    The best solution would be to improve my importer script so that it interprets the M2 raw data in a similar fashion to WMV rather than have WMV cater to the importer script. If I get time I'll look into supporting this functionality so that the flow is simplified.

    Extensive documentation of the M2 file format can be found at madx's wowdev wiki and within the WoW Model Viewer source code. My source code for the importer may also be of assistance in understanding how to treat the file format. MDX documentation is available at a variety of sources, a google search will help you if you're interested in parsing the format.

    Some M3 documentation can be found at libm3, though some of it is out of date. I'll be updating alot of it when I get the chance. There's a 010 template for the 010 Hex Editor available for download that can give you a good idea on how the file format is parsed and can be found in the downloads section.

    Good luck :)

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on how do i export cutscene animations

    @bologna3421: Go

    Currently the M3 Importer doesn't support that, but in the future I hope to be able to allow you to import M3A files into a max scene provided the model has the correct bone structure. The exporter will then allow you to export the model as a complete M3.

    EDIT: Just beware I'm noticing the .m3a files can be quite big (2 meg+ for some). Sure if you only use some of the animations from the .m3a files you'll save on space, but I can see how the models would quickly add up and put you over the 10 meg limit that Blizzard has insanely imposed. Just something to think about.

    Posted in: Artist Tavern
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    posted a message on M3 Exporter

    @hipnos14: Go

    The butt needs to use a different material that doesn't have an alpha map assigned to it. The importer should create materials for you, and only certain materials need alpha maps added to them with the 200 cutout threshold. Since Starcraft 2 models don't use opacity maps exactly, it's the only way to mimic the way that opacity maps work in World of Warcraft models. Also I notice for the Lich King you've left the particle meshes on frostmourne. If you delete them you won't have the black textured meshes problem.

    So for the spider, the hairs should be a submesh with an assigned material that has a diffuse and an alpha map with 200 cutout threshold whereas the body should have a material applied with just the diffuse map. These materials should be setup for you automatically by the importer.

    Hopefully that helps, good luck.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on World of Warcraft Model (M2) Importer for 3ds Max

    @zzPop: Go

    If you're getting extra meshes then they're defined within the model file and not an error with the importer nor WMV. There are a few reasons you may be getting extra meshes:

    • Character models use extra meshes for different hair/face styles. They also use different meshes for different items which is how capes, boots, bracers and belts are shown on WoW models. Through DBC definitions certain meshes are switched on or off in the game engine, which is why you normally don't see all these meshes at once in game. My only solution for the moment is to just delete the meshes you don't want as annoying as that can be. As has been mentioned earlier, you can grab the combined 'Skin' texture for characters by exporting as .obj in WMV which will create a baked texture of your character in WMV for you. You can discard the .obj model file and use the created texture for your model in 3ds Max.
    • Particle/Ribbon emitters sometimes have associated meshes. At the moment, since particle/ribbon emitters are not supported, you'll just have to delete these meshes.
    • Some meshes are used for 'glow' effects. Basically they're not currently converted to any kind of format that the M3 exporter can handle so they should be deleted.

    I don't contribute code to WMV so I can't speak for the problems that it has. I've noticed that the export all and export all to TGA options are not perfectly implemented and you can get alot of junk through that method, but it beats having to extract the files from the various MPQ's by hand and convert them yourself. I would like to add character support to the importer so that you have more control over what meshes are imported but I don't have the time to implement such a feature presently.

    I appreciate the thanks, though the model format is well documented it is still an intricate task to design an importer that handles the various files involved.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on [Request] Psionic Hydralisk Model & Portrait

    @Salirth: Go

    That's a really interesting model. I think I know how that effect is done...I'll take a look at the model and see if I can update the importer/exporter to support it.

    Posted in: Requests
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    posted a message on M3 Exporter

    @Gadaffy2: Go

    You have to also set the cutout threshold to at least 1 from memory. Cutout thresholds control how much opacity you get from the alpha map. For WoW models, I used a cutout threshold of about 180-200 to mimic their opacity maps.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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