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Blender plugins & modelling info

Questions and tools for modelling.
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Kajgue
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Blender plugins & modelling info

Post by Kajgue »

Heya,

As I'm made aware, (as with myself aswel until recently) it can be hard to find the relevant plugins, or even know that they exist; for Blender in order to create world geometry or models.

Blender

Blender is a free, powerful 3d modelling tool. It can be used to create many things, ranging from cartoonish images, realistic renders, animations, movie graphics as well as 3d models and animation sequences for them for games. If the costs of most 3d modelling applications exceed your budget, Blender would be the ideal suggestion.

Blender can be obtained here -

https://www.blender.org/

World Geometry

World geometry can also be created in Blender, and is probably a more specialised tool to create organic geometry in. In order to create geometry from your blender models, first of all export it with the .ASE scene exporter -

ASE Exporter plugin
(By MCampagnini)

IF THIS PLUGIN DOES NOT WORK, THE FOLLOWING ASE EXPORTER SHOULD!
ASE251.zip

(Tested with version 2.79 and 2.8. 2.93.1 seems to have a few issues)

Before exporting using the ASE exporter, make sure your 'will be' brush is triangulated, which is even more relevant if using this object as organic/fluid geometry. The reason behind this is that, the type of graphics that most games comprise of may only consist of flat surfaces, and it is impossible to make a triangulated polygon 'bent', meaning you are free to manipulate vertexes in any way you desire. If you have ever seen a stock Unreal map through the editor in wireframe view, you will notice that outdoor brushes or organic geometry (except in a few shortcut cases) will only consist of polygons (flat faces) which have three corners (vertexes) and three sides (edges). Unreal cannot handle polygons (faces) which are in any way non-flat, therefore you should always be working with triangulated faces for organic geometry.

After exporting your file as an .ase, you can then use the asetot3d tool in order to convert your exported file into a .t3d brush.

ASEtot3d
(By Daire "Solosnake" Stockdale)

Finally, you can just load up that new .t3d file within UnrealEd by 'Importing' it as a .t3d brush (that option can be found under the 'Brush' menu-tab), which will draw your redbrush as that file you just exported, converted and loaded. Also remember your model from Blender MUST be a continuous mesh, it may not have any gaps, holes or parts of the model which exchange a 'leak' between what is meant to be the outside of your model, and the inside (brush volume) of your model.

Skeletal meshes

Skeletal meshes may be slightly more complicated to set up and import, but they have alot of advantages over vertex meshes. Skeletal meshes have much more vertex precision than vertex meshes. The reason stock models (take a look at the RTNP predator) wobble is because they use vertex meshes, with very limited vertex precision. Skeletal meshes are also imported with their armature (hierarchy of bones), which are eligible to have things attached to them (other meshes and effects spawned at a specific bone for example), this can be used to attach a weapon to a characters hand, to other things. Skeletal meshes also support IK bones that can be set up to work with IK solvers.

I will not provide a tutorial on how to create, rig and animate a skeletal mesh at the moment, but may later on in a separate thread. If you know how to create character models, rig them and animate them (or anything else which has animations) but don't know where to obtain the necessary plugins to export to .psk (Unreal skeletal model format) or .psa (Unreal skeletal armature format) I will provide the exporter:



Exporter
.PSK/.PSA Exporter
(By Colin Basnett)
Version of Blender that I was able to use it with: Blender 2.93.1

I ended up having issues installing this addon by selecting the .zip file using Blender 2.93.1, to get around it I ended up having to drop the script in manually.

Image
Place the folder highlighted in red above in your Blender 2.93.1 addons directory. It should be something like C:\Blender Foundation\Blender 2.93\2.93\scripts\addons

Rules for making your rig exportable and eligible for Unreal:
1. Ensure that Location, rotation and Scale are applied or left at these values for any objects/rigs you are exporting
Image

2. Bones with IK Constraints are eligible, and can even be used with IK solvers in Unreal if setup correctly.

3. Ensure to 'Normalize all' weights before exporting, otherwise your imported model could end up a janky mess! Normalizing weights makes sure that no vertex groups attached to bones exceed the sum total of 1 (100%).

4. Make sure your mesh object(s) have atleast 1 material set and 1 UV map

5. Select each object (mesh[es]/Armature) separately when exporting. Export model geometry as .PSK, and your armature as a .PSA. Make sure your model origin and your skeletal armature origin use the same location as each other.

6. Creating a .uc import script is necessary for importing skeletal meshes into Unreal in conjunction with using the ucc to generate your package.

Supplementary importer
https://www.mediafire.com/file/odv8cq43 ... r.zip/file
(By Unknown Author)



Vertex Meshes

SkyWolf has been working on a Blender plugin to handle the creation of Vertex Meshes from within Blender (sorry that i didn't include this in this thread for a while).

https://forums.oldunreal.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2409
Last edited by Kajgue on Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Skywolf
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Skywolf »

By default these plugin already come with Blender. Just enable them under User Preferences.

The PSA/PSK exporter seems to be quite hard to get working right though. First the model and skeleton's origin must be at center. But even then I can't get it to work correctly. When making the model flat shaded it works fine but when it's smooth shaded it deforms the model.

Another thing is that you need to export the PSA/PSK files to the same folder as the .blend file else it simply refuses to export anything.
Last edited by Skywolf on Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kajgue
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Kajgue »

Oh?

I actually had to download these plugins separately, that could be because I don't have the very latest version of Blender.
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Kajgue
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Kajgue »

I know SkyWolf has his own thread, but I thought it'd be a good idea to link the thread to his Blender: vertex mesh plugin here.

I'll also sticky this thread and add more plugins to the list as time goes on.
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Skywolf
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Skywolf »

Are all these plugins compatible with Blender 2.8? Might be worth checking as 2.8 breaks pretty much all plugins.

I hate it when people ask me what my favorite game is. Just try to explain you're not talking about Unreal Tournament ::).
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Kajgue
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Kajgue »

Ah good point, i know for sure they're compatible with the version i'm using (2.79).

I'll add something to the initial message. Thanks.
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luke11685
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by luke11685 »

I hope someone will make update for this plug-in. https://www.oldunreal.com/cgi-bin/yabb2 ... 1490136781 version 1.3.5 and the rest of them all versions are outdated so they won't be working.
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han
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by han »

https://github.com/Befzz/blender3d_import_psk_psa

Are these the latest versions?

And in general: Would anyone be willing add support for an additonal "NORMALS" chunk for the PSK files?

Code: Select all

struct VNormal
{
      FVector Normal;
};
I haven't yet looked into whether it makes sense to store it per VVertex or VPoint.

I'm currently overhauling the PSA/PSK exporters for inclusion into UTPG, and while doing this is noticed that never a chunk for normals was defined for the PSK files.

In particular as normals are for the low complex geo a really dominant factor, so it really makes sense to allow for editing them.

On top of that, when it comes to normalmapping, it is crucial that normal maps are baked with the same normals (and implicit the same tangent space) as which will get used during rendering. Otherwise shading errors do occur.

Last edited by han on Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kajgue
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by Kajgue »

I definately would support the inclusion of normals into the psk file, if you mean it would allow content creators to have more control over overall mesh shading (especially if smooth and flat shading combined become possible).

Though what do you mean by UTPG? The UT patch counterpart? I wouldn't have much use for something that's only going to be in the UT patch, nor does it make sense not to include it in 227.
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han
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by han »

Though what do you mean by UTPG? The UT patch counterpart? I wouldn't have much use for something that's only going to be in the UT patch, nor does it make sense not to include it in 227.
https://www.oldunreal.com/cgi-bin/yabb2 ... 1569587267
Yes. Unreal Tournament Presevation Group.

I can't tell how much of support for it will end up in 227, neither can I be sure for UTPG. Maybe they never will get included into UTPG. Even my old fixes for them never made it back into Unreal 227. Probably because they accidently got lost.

Either way, I'm halfway rewriting the exporters first, but probably will write a new UFactory based importer as well. I can't tell what will make it into 227, neither can I for sure tell  they will make it into UTPG (but I just assume here they probably will).

I'm probably gonna add support to my ActorX fork as well. I certainly need it either way for the Nerf 300a project.

I think it also make sense to introduce an additional chunk for extrusion vectors used for fattening. So one can have one set and/or materials split up in a ways suitable for shading while at the same time not mess up geometry. One could even do such things as to keep the bottom of meshes on the same plane, like when you have the monk mesh. You don't want to make fattening lower it into the ground.
Last edited by han on Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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luke11685
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by luke11685 »

This plug-in version 1.3.5 is working only in Blender as export not import in Blender version 2.79b.
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Re: Blender plugins

Post by luke11685 »

Same for Unreal Vertex Plugin 1.2.5 for Blender 2.79b(older version)the latest newest one is version 2.93b of Blender. As you see here.
I even downloaded t3d plugin which worked only few times. I have no proof because I didn't make screenshot.
https://www.oldunreal.com/cgi-bin/yabb2 ... 90136781/0 So this older forum will cease to exist completely?
https://github.com/wizardgsz/Imagine-T3D-Importer
Well one of 3D Realms forums forum links appears to be broken nowadays.
So this is the only brand new example.
https://forums.unrealengine.com/t/blend ... t3d/115477
This is where I really originally(found link) found it.
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I guess those kind of informations might be useful for the others.
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Kajgue
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Re: Blender plugins & modelling info

Post by Kajgue »

Updated the initial thread post a little bit to detail some more info in regards to skeletal meshes, and provided a new exporter/importer that seems to work a bit better with 2.93.1.

I want to over time give this thread some more love and have more updated/relevant information so that modelling Unreal content is more accessible and streamlined for people who are unsure on how to get their stuff from Blender to > Unreal.

However, I'd rather not go into making any Blender tutorials, atleast just yet. Blender is something which has mounds of tutorials on youtube and quite alot of documentation, and imo it's better to listen to those people who are great Blender tutors than listen to me try to explain my muscle memory with the program :) I think they can do that alot better than I can. thumbsup
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