How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

How to create models in XSI and other 3D applications and make them work in Battlefront 1 & 2. Post models, tips for application usage and share anything XSI, 3DMax, SketchUp, etc.

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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Sorry to say this, but I think the link might be broken. Might anyone still know how to make/edit models in Blender?
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

You may need to clarify what your specific issues are. If you're already familiar with Blender modeling, then the easiest solution (assuming you're working on static models) is to make Blender your second-to-last step in your pipeline and either go through XSI or one of the other monopurpose tools for bringing in static meshes (e.g. http://www.gametoast.com/viewtopic.php?p=400319#p400319).

If you're planning to work on animated models, you've got a handful of extra steps that you're just going to have to plug away at with a little trial-and-error. You can likely work back into XSI (which is going to have to be your end step if you're doing animated models unless you want to write a Blender export script yourself) via .fbx, but that's where your trial-and-error will come in. Orientation of bones may be different in Blender and so your weights may be wonky.

Bear in mind that the tutorial in the first post of this thread was written before several of the export tools we have now were finished, so the pipeline it recommends probably isn't even the optimal pipeline circa 2018.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

I wish to make textures for units while seeing what I'm doing and how it will look before putting them in the game.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

That's really simple, then, and you can ignore a lot of the extra baggage you'd have if you're looking for an actual finished product. You just need to convert your stock model from .msh (the SWBF-compatible compiled model) into a universal format (like .obj) and then open it up in Blender. In the example of .obj, all your material data is preserved so you'd just assign your textures to your Blender materials and start work from there.

An easy starting place for getting models to the format you need is probably one of the standalone tools linked in the XSI FAQ thread (try Meshtool). There are a handful of different ways you could back-convert the models to a format like .obj, so find one that works best for you.

When you're working with unit models for the purpose you have, you're going to have some extra data when you convert to a format as coarse as .obj - you'll have things like shadowvolumes (lower-poly untextured versions of the model) as part of the model that you'll have to delete. It'll be really obvious what parts of the model are this (for you) junk data and what aren't after you apply your texture.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Sounds good. How to compile everything into OBJ format?
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

It depends on what tool you use. Each standalone tool should have instructions in its release thread and/or with the tool itself.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Alrighty, then. Might there be any programs/plugins you would personally recommend?
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

Like I said above, I'd try Meshtool. It's probably the most straightforward .msh in> .obj out tool. It'll give you the full model unstripped (i.e. with the shadowvolume still in, as mentioned above), though, and I'm not familiar enough with the other tools that exist to say if some other tool nets a cleaner end result (thus the hedge).
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Marth8880 »

Agreed with Mav regarding meshtool.

However, if you're able to get XSI working, you might consider using the ZETools plugin since it'll almost always import all meshes (except mshex-exported ones) nearly perfectly. You can then export whatever you want from the mesh as OBJ (or other formats like DAE or FBX) for import into Blender.

http://schlechtwetterfront.github.io/xsizetools/
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Oh, I have the ZETools plugin, but I can only edit the wire mesh of the model, and I can't even make a dent in any line segment. Sorry
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Marth8880 »

M3PB wrote:Oh, I have the ZETools plugin, but I can only edit the wire mesh of the model, and I can't even make a dent in any line segment. Sorry
How do you mean?

You should be able to use the Import MSH function to import a mesh, and then you could select the mesh's objects and go to File > Export > OBJ.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Well, I can't edit the mesh as to making it asymmetrical or even any other kind of different. Besides that, I can't find MeshTool for Blender.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Marth8880 »

M3PB wrote:Well, I can't edit the mesh as to making it asymmetrical or even any other kind of different.
I'm still not entirely sure what you mean. Are you saying you can't edit the mesh in XSI or in Blender?
M3PB wrote:Besides that, I can't find MeshTool for Blender.
Meshtool is a standalone application. It can be found here: http://www.gametoast.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=14857 ;)
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

I can't edit a thing in XSI, because no matter how I approach things, nothing happens.

EDIT
Well, I am unable to access my conversions.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

You'll need to be a little more descriptive regarding where you're running into issues. Meshtool is a very simple program, surely you're at least making it to the step of having an .obj file? If not, what are you seeing? If so, where are you running into a roadblock? "...unable to access my conversions" could fall anywhere on the spectrum of "I'm not sure what to do with an .obj file" to "my computer exploded and now my house is on fire please send help."

Image
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

Oh, never mind. I have my clone up in Blender now

EDIT
I might need some help with correcting the texture, if at all possible.

Image: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xWlkiT ... 4Qlge/view
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

Use Blender's version of "island select" (press "L" once in edit mode, according to Google) to select the shadowvolume (that's the portion with the messed-up texture) and then delete it.
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

I think there might be some different methods for this. I have version 2.78 of Blender, and when I press L, nothing happens. Is something wrong?
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by Maveritchell »

This is a quick recording of what you should be doing. This is in Blender 2.78. When things turn orange, I'm pressing "L."

https://gfycat.com/AdventurousPeacefulInsect
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Re: How to use Blender to make SWBF series models (FAQ)

Post by M3PB »

I have everything unwanted selected. I'm not seeing any "Deselect" option in the Tools sidebar or anything that relates to "shadowvolume", unless "faces" happen to be it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_mwASt ... sp=sharing
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