Nali Weapons 4

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Feralidragon
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Re: Nali Weapons 4

Post by Feralidragon » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:22 pm

Blade hunter wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:14 pm
I'm wondering what is your workflow to implement models into UE1 ?
I tried to use later blender versions however I still can't do shit :(
I also tried milkshape but it was quite awful to use IMO although if it can be used to take my blender models to it then use it to create proper usable files...
Back when I developed NW3 I used MS3D (Milkshape), and it was indeed a quite horrible experience.

For things which are basic in Blender, such as extruding, opening holes, etc, I was forced to build large parts of the models either poly by poly (setting the vertices, then connecting them) or by planning on how to achieve the same result but from different shapes.
It also has huge bugs with the animation key frames, it would sometimes tween in a very stupid way, almost like it was applying some sort of bezier function to something that is supposed to be linear, it was quite a nightmare at times.

However it was the only editor at the time that had a good enough exporter to the mesh Unreal format (_a.3d and _d.3d), so I stuck with it back then.

Nowadays, however, if I developed a new weapon mod, there are a lot of things I would do very differently, starting with the used editor: I would use Blender.
It doesn't even compare with Milkshape, and the only problem it had thus far was the proper lack of a good Unreal format exporter, but someone in the community created a _a.3d/_d.3d exporter for Blender a few years ago which apparently works very well (and is open-source).

Besides the old Unreal format exporter, it also seems to have had the ability to export to the skeletal Unreal format for years (due to UDK, UE3), which brings me to the second thing I would do differently: I would use skeletal meshes instead, almost exclusively.

The old .3d Unreal format is quite terrible: it's limited to a 256x256x256 bounding box, the vertices are rounded to the nearest 0.125 in X and Y, and the nearest 0.25 in Z (hence having to double Z in import), animations are literally all the vertex positions in each key frame (resulting in great file size, and you never get full quality in rotating animations, it gets distorted), the UVs are stored in 1 byte in each coordinate, meaning that textures above 256x256 will never be properly aligned with the surfaces, etc, etc ,etc...

The skeletal format has none of this drawbacks, and you can reuse the animation in different meshes, and the mesh can have different animation files: the only con it has is the fact that, if you want animation which is done by vertex (like the biorifle green blobs), then skeletal for that is overkill, especially if you have several vertices, you should use the old one.

It also pretty much kept its format unchanged across all engine versions that support it, meaning that a skeletal that you do for UE1 will also work in UE2 and even UE3, at the very least.

So the TL/DR:
  • use Blender (but do some basic exporter tests first to assure that the exporters work);
  • use skeletal format for everything (including non-animated meshes), except for models where you wish to animate per vertex.
From there, as long as you set the right exec imports in the class files and are able to import them without errors, you're good to go. :)
If you search about this kind of topic here in the forum, there are a few threads about this with people able to import stuff just fine in the end (one of them used MS3D though).

Blade hunter wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:14 pm
As for knowing about NW3's modularity I think it's not as appearant as BW, even if NW3 displays a lot of custom elements still.
I am not sure about BW, but NW3 also has tons of technical documentation that come with the mod, which I have written myself on how exactly to add and configure all sorts of stuff.
People just never used it.

Blade hunter wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:14 pm
Also the other thing is BW I have spent a whole lot of time making stuff that I know the workflow for it. I also helped in the mod UT2341 which is one of the other projects I worked on. So yeah if that stuff could be easily ported that would be fine because I remember someone ported a whole lot of stuff from UE2 to 1 until apparently he got banned from the BU forums ...
Well, if that "someone" is Blackcheetah... well... I don't exactly remember why he was banned, but his mods back in the day weren't that good to say at the very least.
I generally don't talk shit about other developers, especially in something which is just a hobby to everyone, but he kinda elevated the ability of doing broken and buggy mods to another level, to the point that installing some of his mods would actually break your UT install, because he did some stupid stuff such as redistributing modified UT files, so his mods could actually be taken as "malware" (although he didn't seem to intend to do any harm, he was just doing things in a very wrong way).

fudgonaut wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:12 am
That's a bummer. I'm hoping to incorporate (particle, smoke) FX in my next map. I've been looking for an FX package but I don't know where to start — I see that you you wrote something called CSMXExtras — would that be suitable, and is there any documentation? Or is there something else you can recommend?
Yes, I wrote that one (CSMCXExtras), and have used it myself for years.
As a matter of fact, the whole point of the new package I was developing was to replace that one, since that old one is something I developed for a speed mapping contest (it was developed in under 48h).

It doesn't have any documentation, but it was used in quite some maps, both mine and in a few others from other folks.
Perhaps the simplest example of its usage is the very first map done using it:
https://unrealarchive.org/maps/unreal-t ... 88549.html

So you can check how the package is being used in that map.

fudgonaut wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:12 am
Best of luck, I hope it all works out!
Thank you. :tu:

Blade hunter
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Re: Nali Weapons 4

Post by Blade hunter » Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:39 pm

Thanks for the elaborate answers and yeah that was blackcheetah. I never was aware about the malware thing, however yeah his mods weren't the best when it was about stability. But his ports were descent and worked quite well since he ported game mods from UT2004 to UT99 which is a nice thing at some point.
Ballistic Weapons have some tutorials in their forums and a still active community on discord, and since I was teached to do some stuff I can help with what I got and what I learned from myself.
Also Dark Carnivour have put a lot of comments in the various uc files which helped a lot of modders continuing to implement stuff into BW.
So I know a lot of things and pretty much know what to do with blender since I'm used to the skeletal animations above all the things related to that.
If I knew a bit more about the vertex animations and how to record them in blender or better use my skeletal animations then be able to do a recording onto vertex then put that in UE1 that will be a winner here.
Because I helped someone who wanted to use the UT2341 mod as an HD port for UT99 which used our whole lineup but he seemed to be unable to do certain things because I used the skeletal animations which aren't something easily usable in UE1 I know bones are replaced with triangles where you can attach either particle effects or meshes.... But for the rest some stuff is quite weird since someone who sent me a JC denton HDTP file was huge and with many poses of JC and I was unable to do a thing aside of trying to do what I'm used to do is doing skeletal anim for legs to do kicks ...