File formats - please help!

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BananaBanshi
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File formats - please help!

Post by BananaBanshi » 21 Jun 2009, 09:54

I've been eyeballing TS since 3.x, but the interface always seemed like too much trouble to learn, but now that I'm doing some game modeling I've been looking around a lot and TS looks pretty cool. And I learned Blender ages ago (and forgot now), so how bad can it be?!

Anyway, I'm trying to animate some game models, and getting anything into a useful format is giving me fits! I'm modeling for Blitz3D and RealmCrafter, so I'm trying to make .b3d or .x files.

I model and UV map in Wings and sometimes Hexagon. I've been into "fine art" modeling/rendering for years, so I'm pretty attached to Poser or Carrara for animation. I know they're not the "preferred" animation programs for game models, but I have a lot of time and money invested in them and they're just cool. But I'm willing to learn a new package if it looks like it's going to be useful. From what I've read TS is a pretty nifty program, though the interface is going to take a lot of getting used to!

Everything I've read online says to export animated models from Max (yeah, right!) to Milkshape to convert to .b3d format. Unfortunately, when I export animated models from Poser or Carrara they lose their bones and animations, get mangled UVs, or just sort of implode when I try to import them into Milkshape or any other program, no matter what format I export them in. I've tried importing to Milkshape, Truespace 7.6, Fragmotion, DeleD, and a bunch of programs that I never heard of and deleted as soon as I found out they were useless.

I've tried animating in Milkshape, but I really kind of hate it. Anyway if I'm going to end up having to relearn everything, I'd like to do so in a more ... useful program - like TS! I tried exporting a model from TS in .x format, but once again it was unreadable to other programs. If this is going to be the case, maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree again. I hope not - TS seems like a really cool program and a really cool community!

So what gives? Are all these programs exporting whatever format they feel like and calling the files something else? Are they just changing the extension without changing the content? Is there any kind of standardization in this industry? I would think that eventually I could get something useful out of *one* of these programs.

If anyone can help, I think a file format explanation would be an awesome sticky. All of the veterans everywhere else I've looked seem to think it's too elementary to bother explaining. I am beginning to suspect that when a program claims to export in a particular format it doesn't necessarily mean that it exports all of the important information in that format. If that's the case, it would probably also help a lot of people to know which programs export just the model, for instance, and which ones export bones, textures, and animations.

TIA for any help - I've been researching this for days and it's amazing how difficult it is to find such basic but critical information.

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GraySho
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by GraySho » 21 Jun 2009, 10:23

Exporting/importing models with a working skeleton and animation has always been very tricky. You are right that not all exporters support bones or animation. For most it´s just important to get the geometry and uv´s through. Maybe someone here can help you out.

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Tiles
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by Tiles » 21 Jun 2009, 10:45

Finding a working Art pipeline is always a bit of a problem when it comes to games content. Not just in trueSpace. Hmm, Ultimate Unwrap could be a good choice for you. Not this expensive. It reads the Modeler X and the Workspace Collada and X from tS. And exports to a ton of formats including FBX, B3D, etc ... . Only thing i miss a bit is MDL7 for the 3D Gamestudio, it just exports to MDL5. But FBX gives me the working pipeline then because the MED from Gamestudio can read FBX.

http://www.unwrap3d.com/u3d/index.aspx
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BananaBanshi
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by BananaBanshi » 21 Jun 2009, 16:47

Thanks for your replies! I have a feeling I'm gonna like the TS community. (^^)v And that's at least as important as the software, imo.

I've seen other references to Ultimate Unwrap 3D in my adventures, and it looks like a pretty good choice. Unfortunately, their website doesn't seem to like people in Japan, so I had to mask my IP just to view their pages. (^^)v

So now that I can actually see the website, I was able to download the demo, but not the plugins, so all I can import are .obj and .3ds files. (As far as I know .obj's are only geometry, and I can't get animation or bones to load from my .3ds files. So I'm off to send an email to UU3d and see if they can fix their special website "feature".

Meanwhile, has anyone actually been able to wrangle any textured, rigged, animated models from TrueSpace, Poser, or Carrara to .b3d or .x? If so, how did *you* do it? TIA for any further tips!

BananaBanshi
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by BananaBanshi » 21 Jun 2009, 17:17

ROFL! I can't even get the email link to work on the UU3d website, so no way to get help with the blocking other countries thing. So UU3D may be out of the question. Bleh.

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nigec
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by nigec » 21 Jun 2009, 19:22

UU3d does seem the way to go.
I use Awakening and that could get .x from workspace with no textures but animation was fine, modelside no animation but textures, DAE worked but again textures could be screwed up

The Awakening game I did was Poser 5 child exported from Daz as a DAE, and exported from Max as TRI and ANI for Awakening, I did get a Poser 6 character in there but no clothes, Daz characters just exploded, even very early stuff where screwed up, so on that note try early Poser models rather than DAZ, I've had Poser 3 models working in 3DGS

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GraySho
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by GraySho » 21 Jun 2009, 20:17

Not sure about Milkshape3D, but it supports skeletal and morph target animation: http://www.milkshape3d.com/
It´s a typial modder-tool with endless import-export functions.

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Tiles
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Re: File formats - please help!

Post by Tiles » 22 Jun 2009, 06:32

These are bad news. Sure it is not your server that makes trouble?

Milkshape is indeed another option. But i am not sure if it reads the tS files from Workspace.
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