New SOD Exporter for 3DS Max =ALL VERSIONS=

Talk about anything related to old versions of Armada.
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posted on February 11th, 2012, 6:52 pm
Exporter updated to Version 1.2. Changes in this version:

• Allow multiple emitters with the same name (e_ename_01, e_ename_02... etc)
• Sprites and emitters can be animated directly without point helpers
• Added rudimentary error handling to the script

There are no changes to the documentation, except for version revision history. Thanks for your interest :)

Mr. V
posted on February 11th, 2012, 7:10 pm
posted on February 25th, 2012, 3:08 am
Exporter updated to Version 1.3. Changes in this version:

• Material sharing between different textures and models

I should probably elaborate ;)

When assigning a material to a model, you were probably told a long time ago to make sure the material name is unique. The reason for this is that upon loading a new SOD, Armada saves the material settings. When you load another model that shares the same material name, the game just looks up the saved material properties. To avoid conflicts, you would normally just have unique names. Stock Armada 1 has 24 materials (not sure about Armada II), but even those can be condensed down to around 6. Most of the materials are in fact defined in a SOD that is unsurprisingly called "Material.SOD".  This SOD is the first to load in Armada.

You don't have to use Material.SOD to define your materials, but if you have a large number of models, you can try to keep track of what material names you use, and then re-use them on future models. For example, instead of naming a material "heavyCruiserRomulan5b", you can just name it "romulanHull", and reuse for all Romulan ships.

If you have more than one texture requiring the use of the same material on a single model, instead of "romulanHull", you can name the materials "romulanHull_01", "romulanHull_02", etc... The exporter will condense the materials under the single name of "romulanHull". Note that the numbering MUST start at "_01".

So why so much trouble for such a small thing? Most of the models I'm working on use 2-4 distinct texture files, plus 2-3 damage textures, and 2-4 lightmap textures (A1 stuff, in A2 the last bit you don't have to worry about)... However, the vast majority of stuff is using the same lighting materials (no ambient, full diffuse, and small amount of specular reflection). Do I really need to have a unique material for each texture? Probably not. To give you an example, most of models I have right now use on average 6 different textures, and there are a few hundred models overall. This results in over 1000 materials! It would be silly not to condense this down to just 4-5 materials, with no loss of model quality.

Cheers, let me know if something is broken.
Mr V.
posted on February 25th, 2012, 4:37 am
Updated the guide, thanks for continuing to work on this  :thumbsup: .
posted on March 17th, 2012, 3:16 pm
Thanks for the Exporter;

The Importer would be a great help too
posted on March 22nd, 2012, 3:01 pm
MessalineApghar wrote:The Importer would be a great help too

+1
posted on April 7th, 2012, 8:35 pm
Thanks, glad people are using this :)

I will consider an importer after a bit of discussion. I recall that an unlocked importer for Milkshape has caused a bit of a mess in the past. What do people think? Is this still an issue? In my opinion, it shouldn't be an issue when everyone plays fair.

I've updated the exporter with a few more bug fixes thanks to a little feedback. See the first post for the download.

Changes in this version:

• Fixed an animation export error when using “set key” function.
• Materials that can not be used in Armada are ignored (ie, noise or parametric textures)
• Fixed an error that occasionally occurs when exporting the same model twice
• Other small bug fixes
posted on April 7th, 2012, 9:04 pm
an importer would be kool
posted on April 7th, 2012, 11:31 pm
It caused a bit of a mess, but even though the importer was extremely widely available for a short time, no models were stolen, no claims of that were verified, and in general it blew over pretty rapidly.  :sweatdrop:

Armada II modding in general is at such a low point, that it would be hard to find people that would be so dedicated to stealing models and altering them from what I've seen. :)
posted on April 8th, 2012, 4:24 am
Dominus_Noctis wrote:Armada II modding in general is at such a low point, that it would be hard to find people that would be so dedicated to stealing models and altering them from what I've seen. :)


Heheh, that seems to be both a pro and con for making an importer. If I make one, it will probably not cause any trouble, but that's only because there will be no one to use it ;) Well, I kid. Hopefully this will bring more people into trying modding.

Right now I have a little too much on my plate, so this will have to wait a few months. I do, however, have this unfortunate habit of letting things at the back of my to-do list come first because of a nagging personal interest. So, it might get done sooner than I think.
posted on December 25th, 2012, 12:06 am
Almost a year after the original release, I find enough bugs in the A2 version of the script to warrant an update. Apologies to all that may have encountered bugs with the way self-illumination worked or not worked for you.

If you noticed that your models sometimes have dark and bright patches on them for unexplained reasons, this update will fix this issue. This issue is primarily with the way A2 determines face normals for illimunaton. If you "flip" the texture map along a symmetry line, (to save texture space for example), you end up flipping the texture normals for half of the texture faces. ALong the border where the normals flip, you will get dark/bright patches.

A not-so-elegant fix was to break the vertices along the border. This does result in a visible edge, but far less intrusive than dark blotches.

Another important update fixed a problem with self-illumination when using enumerated materials (explained in earlier post). Hopefully this update will make the whole experience less frustrating for everyone.

Changes V1.5:
- Added an extra check on texture face continuity to eliminate dark patches on A2 models.
- Fixed a bug in handling of smoothing/lighting groups. Was missing a chunk of code here. Oops
- Corrected an error in the documentation on smoothing/lighting material command node.
- Updated a few sections in the documentation for clarity

Thanks to everyone that has helped with bug tracking for this thing.

Temporary link is in the first post.
posted on December 25th, 2012, 11:19 am
the new version sounds good will download shortly

I would really like an importer for 3dmax as ive lost the max files i had for a few animated models ive worked on in the past and would like to go back to them without having to redo them
posted on December 25th, 2012, 8:28 pm
Blade wrote:
I would really like an importer for 3dmax as ive lost the max files i had for a few animated models ive worked on in the past and would like to go back to them without having to redo them


/\ This :) Tis also handy if you want to tweak something or add an extra hardpoint etc but don't want to have to find the source and so forth. Just a simple pop in, edit, pop out. It's a handy dandy tool.
posted on December 26th, 2012, 3:16 am
I've actually started work on the importer ;)

I foresee major problems with the importing of animations, but will see what happens when I get there.

Also, there may be a way to "lock" a model to prevent importing for authors wishing to protect their models. Not sure how well it will work, but I think that it will not be easily circumvented. Will leave this for last..

Cheers
posted on January 15th, 2013, 5:32 am
Pepperman has discovered a bug with the A2 script. The download link in the first post has been updated with the errors corrected.

The error prevented a model from being exported when multiple smoothing groups were used on a single mesh. My bad, for introducing this error as it didn't exist in V1.4. If you had unexplained problems with exporting stuff, give the new script a try :)
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