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How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshes

For questions and discussion about UnrealEd, UnrealScript, and other aspects of Unreal Engine design.

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User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshes

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 01:14

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.

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.
Last edited by AlCapowned on 20 Dec 2011, 20:44, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar []KAOS[]Casey
Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 03:13

Couldn't you get the T-Pose then extract the animations and remake the skeletal structure and use it as a skeletal mesh? I have no idea how the ukx format works at all however. This plan can only work if it's possible to remap the Animation files to a new model or.. something.

edit: it seems its possible to export the T-Pose from U2 but I wouldn't know how to get the Anims and bones to work as a UT static mesh.

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 13:20

There are converters that can take the T-Pose of a model and make it into a *.psk file/skeletal mesh, but all of the animations would have to be remade from scratch. It would be really time consuming. Until somebody figures out how to extract the animations into a *.psa file, this is probably the fastest way. I hope a real converter comes out soon, because this method gets old very quickly.

I have no idea how the ukx format works at all however.


I think it's just a place to store *.psa and *.psk files. Giving different models the same animations is pretty easy in UT2k3/UT2k4 once you give the models the same skeletons, but the problem here is that those games don't have a lot of skeletons or animations that the Unreal 2 models could use.

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Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 13:51

You can rig T-Pose with standard UT skeleton, so it'll be able to play all anims from SkeletalChars. That's a piece of work, but less than make all the animations from scratch.
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UBerserker wrote:Architecture doesn't need to detailed, it just needs to be right.

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Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 13:56

Also, page at http://www.gildor.org/en/projects/umodel says:
Export of skeletal, vertex and static meshes and animations into formats supported by 3d modeling software and by Unreal engine
Image

UBerserker wrote:Architecture doesn't need to detailed, it just needs to be right.

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 14:03

Yeah, that would work well for the human models. Umodel doesn't support Unreal 2 at all, unfortunately. I had asked Gildor if he could add support for the Unreal 2 alpha, since it uses skeletal meshes, but I guess he had trouble with it. If it was supported, a few creatures and almost all of the human/Skaarj models could be converted. :/

I was focusing on the creatures that don't have similar skeletons to other models when I wrote this. That's pretty much all it's good for, but luckily there are a lot of creatures like that in Unreal 2. :D

UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 15:22

I guess Drakks are most bitchin' to "port" over
ImageImage

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2011, 23:16

From what I remember, the Drakk Droid could definitely be converted this way, but I'm not sure about the rest.

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Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
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Subject: Re: How to turn (SOME) Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmeshe

Post Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 08:38

It's a pity UModel does not support Unreal II. :( Didn't know that.
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UBerserker wrote:Architecture doesn't need to detailed, it just needs to be right.

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 15:12

Unreal 2 uses a different model format that any of the other Unreal games. What sucks is that new models can only be imported into GlmEd as skeletal meshes or *.3ds files, but there's no official way of exporting them back to their original format.

User avatar Gizzy
Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 01 Dec 2011, 14:43

There was a tool floating around somewhere that converted U2 models into static ones. I think anims were partially supported (not sure about this though). I did port a couple of weapons but i lost them :/
I'm at uni atm but ill try digging out this tool when i get back.

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 01 Dec 2011, 14:46

Interesting. Was it a stand alone tool, or did it need a certain modelling program to work?

User avatar evilgrins
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 05 Dec 2011, 21:19

While it's great you've explained how you do this, for those of that don't have those skills or the time... could you possibly make .u files for some of us to download and then summon U2 monsters in our UT99 games?

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2011, 00:01

It would take a lot of work to convert most of the Unreal 2 pawns, but it's on my list of things to do. Just don't expect anything soon.

User avatar evilgrins
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Subject: Re: How to convert SOME Unreal 2 models into Unreal vertmesh

Post Posted: 08 Dec 2011, 06:36

AlCapowned wrote:It would take a lot of work to convert most of the Unreal 2 pawns, but it's on my list of things to do. Just don't expect anything soon.

That's cool.

You could do monsters of one specific class per .u file, rather than put them all into a single one.

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