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After making some maps I think look great, he wanted to branch out. He also loves cars and trucks, so he wants to add some to his maps. They don't need to move; they can just be decorative.
He found Botpack.Car01-03, and that gave him hope he might be able to make his own. But we're at the upper limit of our experimentation.
Is Blender that right program to use to create the 3D models? What I've researched here and on the wider internet suggest it is, but the topic gets a little unclear between UT 2003.
Would we export the model as an obj, fbx, or some other format to import into UnrealEd?
Do you know what UT's original artists used to create Botpack.Car01? Was it something proprietary to Epic? Or is it something we could use?
Sorry this question is so all over the place. My son taught himself on UnrealEd, and neither of us has a graphics art background. I'm trying to understand what tools we need to learn, so I really appreciate any insights you can share.
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It will generate a mesh based on a brush from map. All you need is designing any sort of vehicle using a few textures (not many) and then you can turn static wall-type vehicle in a decoration - it takes a t3d brush file exported from Editor as resource for future decoration package. I think you'll find information in forum, I have to admit that last time when I used it was a few years ago (perhaps 2017-2018) and then I don't have in my mind all details.
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On the other hand, there are large libraries of 3D models out there that can be loaded in Blender, tweaked for learning purposes, and then exported as `.3d` files for UnrealEd to import.
UnrealEd has no visual tooling for importing meshes like it does for textures and sounds though, so you either need to hand-craft the `.uc` files with the associated `#exec` directives (in UnrealEd, look at the script for the Botpack.CarNN actors to see how it's done), or some tools with supported exporters may export the model and associated .uc files for you.
For example MilkShape 3D (http://www.chumba.ch/chumbalum-soft/ms3d/index.html) generates the .3d and .uc files when you export a Unreal/UT model (MilkShape was pretty cool and easy back in the day, a good UnrealEd companion tool - I'm not sure if/how it runs on modern systems!), which you can then import into the "MyLevel" package in UnrealEd and compile, which should then make it available as a decoration.