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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Importing Level Models for Unreal Tournament 2003 em Qui Jan 27, 2011 8:37 pm

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by Pancho
Eckels
, Digital Extremes




Unreal Tournament
2003 has a huge 3D object library that comes
with UnrealEd: Unreal Tournament2003's level
editor. Many of these objects have been made
at Digital Extremes using LightWave®️

LightWave®️ is
an excellent 3d modeling and animation package
that lets you create objects for Unreal Tournament
very easily. Digital Extremes included object
support for LightWave®️ in UnrealEd. This
tutorial will show you step by step how to import
models yourself. Some modeling ability is expected
with this tutorial. The other thing that I will
assume is that you have some working knowledge
of UnrealEd. Included is the [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.] discussed
in this tutorial.

LightWave®️ tutorials
are found on [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]

UnrealEd
tutorials can be found on [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]

Note:
I will be using the LightWave®️7.5 basic
setup for this tutorial.


Rules:

Here
are a couple of simple rules that one needs to
keep in mind while making game objects for UnrealEd.
This will just make life easier for the level
designer that will use your objects in his or
her level.

The
first step is to make sure LightWave®️'s grid
has been set to a power of 2 m (2,4,8,16 etc).
This will align objects perfectly in UnrealEd.
You do this by pressing [d] or by going
to the Display/View Options: View Options,
this will bring up the display options. You can
go straight to the Units tab where you
will find the Grid Snap pull down and
select Fixed. Right below it you can enter
a value to your liking (powers of 2 are the best!).
I always start with either 4 or 16 depending
how big my object is going to be. (See Figure
1)


Figure 1.

Also,
keep in mind that one unit in UnrealED corresponds
with 1 m in LightWave®️ A character in Unreal Tournament 2003 is
96 units high (approx. 2m). Sixteen units are
approximately 33 cm = 1 foot.

In
UnrealEd not all geometry is the same type of
geometry. One type is called 'BSP geometry' and
is generally made within UnrealEd. Sometimes,
if you wish, you can also make BSP geometry in
LightWave®️, but that needs to be generally
of a simpler nature because of the way UnrealEd
uses this geometry. See the UDN web site for
more details. Another type, that we are interested
in, is called a 'static mesh'. Static meshes
should be regarded as objects that are like clothing
on a character. Depending on the individual level
constructing style, a level is made out of basic
BSP geometry in which you will add the static
meshes. Some people make levels by first putting
all the static meshes together and then adding
the 'shell' i.e. the BSP geometry, but that's
not important right now.

Another
rule that you need to abide by (and this should
be a rule for modeling in general), is to keep
your models clean. Make sure that there are no
duplicate polygons in the same position and that
all polygons are tripled. Quads or more point
polygons will not get imported with the object.

Getting
ready:


Now
that this is all out of the way, we should start
with something that will touch all aspects of
importing objects for UnrealEd. This example
will be a doorframe with a door in it. Obviously
the door needs to be able to move (open or close)
when a player gets near, so this object will
receive some special treatment.

UV
mapping:


I
will not go into details on how to model and
UV map an object since there are plenty modeling/UV
mapping tutorials around. See the tutorial link
above. So I will use a door +frame that I have
used already for the game and included with this
tutorial.


Figure 2.

As
you can see at the top in figure 2 where the
different layers are shown, in the first layer
slot the actual doorframe is placed while in
the second layer the door resides. You'll also
notice that the pivot point (or the origin) for
both objects is roughly in the middle of both
objects. If you were to make a swinging door,
this would be the point that it would swing around
on. Our example will only use an up or down motion
so we are okay here. It is, however, a good habit
to get into to make sure the pivot point is not
out in the middle of nowhere, or we might say;
your object should not be out in the middle of
nowhere.

Now,
both objects have two UV maps associated with
them. The first UV map (called UV1, but can really
be called anything) is used for the main textures
that are visible in figure 3. These textures
are the base textures that can be used for all
objects in UnrealEd. When you go into UnrealEd
you will see, after loading them in, a massive
amount of textures at your disposal to dress
up your levels with. We simply load copies of
them into LightWave®️ for texturing as well.

As
you can see in figure 3, the UV map is not constricted
in the 0 to 1 UV space. As the textures start
to tile when you go over the 0 to 1 space, you
get more texture detail and that is a good thing.

I
have put the doorframe in the background layer
and the door in the foreground layer for easy
viewing in the UV window. In UV1 space it doesn't
matter too much where you put the UV polygons
because the textures tile. The only time it matters
of course is if you want a certain feature in
the texture to be prominently shown on whatever
polygon on the object.


Figure 3.

The
UV2 coordinates are a different story. These
do not get any assignments in LightWave®️ They
just coexist with the objects as you save them.
They can be used to assign detailed lighting
textures on top of the first UV1 map. They need
to be therefore within the 0 and 1 of the UV
mapping space. See this tutorial: [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.].

Surfaces:

The
other thing you need to watch for is that each
surface name on your model needs to reference
the exact same name as the texture in UnrealEd.
This is so that UnrealEd knows what textures
to use for what surface on the object when the
LightWave®️ object gets imported into UnrealEd.

Figure
3A shows the surface name in LightWave®️ that
corresponds to figure 3B UnrealEd's texture browser
with the correct texture name.


Figure 3A.


Figure 3B.

You
also need to specify the smoothing angle of each
surface by setting the smoothing threshold in
the surface editor. See figure 4. You can see
in the LightWave®️ perspective window what
smoothing angle setting you need to get the desired
result. It will be the same in UnrealEd.


Figure 4.

Special
Properties:


And
last but not least, remember that the door needs
to be a moving static mesh. After all it is a
door that opens up when players are nearby. Well,
a quick and easy way to tell UnrealEd that the
door will be a mover is to name it thus in LightWave®️ You
do this by opening up your layer browser in LightWave®️ Hit [ctrl]-[F5] or
go to Modeler/Windows/ Layer Browser Open/Close to
do this. In here you can extend the object into
the various layers that it has. See figure 5.

You'll
see a (unnamed) field into which you can enter,
you guessed it, a name. So just double click
the (unnamed) field and for the doorframe layer
enter Frame. For the actual door that
needs to move in the game, enter Mover_Door1.


Figure 5.

Importing:

Okay,
now we can do a test run to see if it will work
for you. So you have the objects modeled, they
have been properly named, UV mapped, the proper
texture names have been assigned to the surfaces
in LightWave®️ and the smoothing angle has
been set. Or you are using the object included
with this tutorial. Save this object!

Let's
load up UnrealEd that came with Unreal Tournament
2003.

There
are two methods of importing that you can use.
One method is called a batch import. This means
that you can load in as many objects at the same
time as you want. The problem with this method
is that it is not an organized way of doing it,
since UnrealEd will then give it generic names
like 'staticmesh1', 'staticmesh2' etc. But if
you don't care about organizing all of this or
you want to organize it all in the editor for
whatever reason, this is the way to do it.

The
other method is a more organized way that lets
you create a library of static mesh packages
that you can hand out to other level designers.

We
are just going to test our object, so we will
first do it the batch import way.

NOTE:
Right now I am assuming that you know how to
create an empty space in UnrealEd for you to
view the object in.


In
UnrealEd, go to the [brush] drop menu and select
[Batch Import.] and select the object that you
created. See figure 6.


Figure 6.

Right
about now, you will probably see all kinds of
error messages pop up, but you can ignore those
for now. Now, if everything else went well, you
should see your creation, or 'static mesh' I
should say, in full glory in UnrealEd. You'll
also notice that the door static mesh in the
wire frame windows is colored purple. This is
an indication that the door is ready as a mover.

But
there is something amiss right now; the textures
you assigned are not showing up. Instead it has
this bubble texture. This is because the texture
package was not loaded before you imported the
object. The texture package needs to be in memory
for UnrealEd to be able to assign the textures.
If the texture can't be found, UnrealEd will
assign a default 'bubble' texture to the object.

Delete
the object, load the texture package with the
proper textures in it and import your object
again. Ah, that's better. As you can see everything
is in there and ready for you to use. Again,
right now this is not saved in a proper 'static
mesh package'. This setup you have now will only
be saved if you save the actual level. The static
meshes will then reside in a static mesh package
called 'MyLevel' which will always travel with
that particular level.

Let's
do this the right way. For this method you don't
need an actual level, as it will go directly
into a static mesh package. You still need the
right texture package loaded however. Since we
now will import the objects as individual objects
we will copy the door object as a new object.
Select the door layer in LightWave®️ and hit [c].
This puts the object into a buffer for you to
paste it into the new object layer. Hit [N] to
create a new object slot and [v] to paste
the door right in there. Before you save this
object, notice that the name that you gave it
has been lost in the layer browser. That is okay
since putting objects in a 'static mesh package'
makes them all of the same type, so special properties
(like MOVER_) get lost. The 'static mesh to a
mover trick' only works with the batch import.
To turn a static mesh added from a static mesh
package in UnrealEd into a mover please consult
the UDN web site. Save this object.

Let's
make sure you have the correct texture package
loaded (in my case the 'AlleriaArchitecture.utx')
otherwise UnrealEd will assign its default 'bubble'
texture to the object again.

Now
that is done, we can import the object through
the static mesh browser.


Figure 7.

In
UnrealEd, click on the archway icon as shown
in figure 7. This brings up the static mesh browser.
We might as well begin importing right away by
clicking on FILE-IMPORT. Click on the object
you want to import. Start with the Door object.


Figure 8.

The
window that pops up (figure Cool will give you
several options. You need to name the new static
mesh package and you enter this in the Package
line. I called it 'FromLightWave®️'. The Group
line is there to organize the individual objects
within the package. Since it is a door I put
it into the 'Doors' group. And lastly you need
to give the object a name. I called mine 'DoorA'.
Once you enter all of this you can hit OK and
your object is now a static mesh. Do the same
for the doorframe.

You
should see a similar setup as in figure 9. Of
course you want to save this static mesh package
and you do this by clicking on the FILE>SAVE drop
down in the browser.


Figure 9.

There
you have it! Your LightWave®️ object is now
in UnrealEd.
Download
Source Files Here
- (9.64 MB)

Any
questions? Please do not hesitate to email me: [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]
]

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