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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format (Read 10755 times)
AlCapowned
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How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Dec 1st, 2011 at 1:59pm
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Just realized that I could delete my old topic.

Copy and paste from my thread at UnrealSP:

Quote:
This is a basic guide for putting certain Unreal 2 monsters into Unreal or UT. I have only recently figured this out, but it has worked perfectly for the two creatures I tested this with (the Light Araknid and Hummer). This is mostly meant to be used with models that don't normally hold weapons. Sorry if I go overboard. If there's anything that's unclear, I'll update the guide accordingly.

What is required: 3D Ripper DX, Unreal 2, modelling program that can import *.3DR or *.obj files and export *.3DS files, 3ds2unr or U3D, and a lot of patience

1. Install and set up 3D Ripper. If you don't have a program that can import *.3DR files, make sure you have 3D Ripper capture frames as *.obj files.
2. Choose to analyze Golem Studio (GlmEd.exe), which is in Unreal 2's system folder.
3. In GlmEd, open U2.gws. A message should appear that asks if you want to continue.
4. There should now be 2 menus and 1 window open. The window should be completely black, but "Ready to capture" should appear in its upper left corner.
5. In the Entity menu, choose whatever creature that you want and check "Frame-by-frame".
6. Choose a script/animation in the Entity menu.
7. Capture every frame of the animation by pressing the capture key (F12 by default) and then going to the next frame.
8. Repeat step 7 for every animation you want to capture. You might want to put each animation in a separate folder.
9. Import each frame into your modelling program.
10. Resize and move the models if they don't fit into a 128x128x128 cube. The models will usually have to be moved forward.
11. Rename each model in the order that they were imported. The first model/animation frame would become OBJ01, the second would become OBJ02, etc.
12. When every frame of the animation is renamed, moved, and scaled, export them all as a *.3ds file.
13. Use 3ds2unr or U3D to turn all of those *.3ds files into Unreal's vertex mesh format.


Limitations:

1. Not all models will appear complete in GlmEd, including weapons and anything that uses static meshes.
2. This is very time consuming.
3. It might not be feasible for some of the larger creatures, like the Tosc.
4. Not all models have fluid animations that can be chosen in GlmEd. An example of this would be the DrakkBoss.
5. Some models won't animate at all with the frame-by-frame option.
6. The vertex meshes can have a very large file size, depending on how many frames you imported and how complex the original model is.
7. It seems that once a model has a certain number of frames (over 800), it won't be able to play the correct animations after that point. This might depend on how complex the model is, but I'm not sure at this point.


Notes:

1. 3ds2unr seems to remove some of the animation frames for no reason. If it removes too many, use U3D.
2. UnrealFX will be very useful for getting certain effects, like the Hummer's transparent wings.
3. For 3DS Max, the Batch Object Name Editor script (http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/batch-object-name-editor) can speed up the process slightly.


I haven't gotten much feedback on the guide itself. If there's anything that's unclear, please let me know. I'm thinking of remaking this with pictures or a video.
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #1 - Dec 1st, 2011 at 8:54pm
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That's a pretty neat idea (although obviously a hacky way of doing things). I'm pretty sure it would work, although as you can see, there are quite a few limitations to this, also that you can't import it to UE2 games properly.

Of course, the proper way would be to use a GEM file importer. Too bad that none of the importers for Blender that have been in development are usable. The one by VendorX was extremely promising (it can import the mesh even now, but no animations, which makes it a lot less useful), but it was never finished, while the older ones have some cryptic instructions to use and most of the time don't work anyway.
  
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AlCapowned
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #2 - Dec 1st, 2011 at 9:08pm
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Couldn't the models be imported into UE2 games the same way the Unreal models were imported into UT2k3/UT2k4 for invasion? I haven't tried doing it, so I'm not sure.

I noticed on BuF that VendorX is working on his GEM importer again, but he needs help with some value to get the animations to work. I wish I could help him out so I wouldn't have to use this method.  Undecided
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #3 - Dec 2nd, 2011 at 10:44am
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Yes, they could, but UE2 is not optimised for vertex meshes. You also could not attach things to the models, which makes exporting characters like that rather useless.

Oh, that's good to know. I haven't been following BuF at all, since I'm too busy to bother with that...
  
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #4 - Feb 24th, 2013 at 2:43pm
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Wait. You've at least once tried using the Material editor, right? Well, You've noticed some stage functions called "DotProduct3" and "BumpMapEnv"?
I theorise that you could somehow use that to add normal maps and EMBMs to meshes that way...and it'll actually be visible ingame!
  
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AlCapowned
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #5 - Feb 24th, 2013 at 3:53pm
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I'm not sure how that applies to this tutorial. Unreal doesn't even support normal maps, does it?
  
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iLikeTheUDK
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #6 - Feb 24th, 2013 at 9:04pm
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But apparently GlmEd does...
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #7 - Feb 26th, 2013 at 9:13pm
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iLikeTheUDK wrote on Feb 24th, 2013 at 2:43pm:
Wait. You've at least once tried using the Material editor, right? Well, You've noticed some stage functions called "DotProduct3" and "BumpMapEnv"?
I theorise that you could somehow use that to add normal maps and EMBMs to meshes that way...and it'll actually be visible ingame!


Yes, that's the idea. Golem material editor is pretty much a direct frontend to DirectX functions, so anything DirectX supports, Golem (and thus Unreal II) supports as well.

I'm not entirely certain why other UE games can't support things like that, but it's probably due to compatibility reasons. Making it work on DirectX, OpenGL, software rendering, and all the different hardware configurations probably means that they didn't expose certain features just to be safe. In the case of Unreal II, since they tightly coupled the game with DirectMusic anyway, they decided to simply let the designers do whatever they please.
  
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AlCapowned
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #8 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 1:00am
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Now that VendorX has released his script, there's no need for this cheap method anymore.

http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?p=2588316#post2588316
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #9 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 3:36am
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Wow, awesome news. This may very well allow me to implement the missing weapons in my UT2004 mod.
  
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Victor Delacroix
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Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models to Unreal's vertmesh format
Reply #10 - Apr 19th, 2013 at 9:02pm
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GreatEmerald wrote on Apr 16th, 2013 at 3:36am:
Wow, awesome news. This may very well allow me to implement the missing weapons in my UT2004 mod.


And in Gizzy's port of your work to U1 227, no doubt. All in all, indeed excellent news.
  
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