Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutorial)

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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Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutorial)

Postby biohazard » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:06 pm

Since I had so much trouble doing this and because I'm not the only one who has asked this question, I think it wise to post a simple how-to.

So you're modelling in 3DS Max. You've made your model and you're quite proud of it. Wonderful.
But how do you get that awesome stuff into BF2? I'll tell you how. This is not an exhaustive how-to-make-a-map tutorial (I'll admit I haven't even gone quite that far myself at this point) but it will tell you how to get your models into ZeroEditor. As I write this tutorial, I assume that you have read the docs provided with the official mod tools download and have at least munged your first map.



You will need:
1: 3DS Max (This tutorial is designed with version 7 in mind)
2: SWBF2 Mesh Viewer (download here)
3: A minimum level of competence and the ability to follow directions


Step 1:
Create your model in 3DS Max.

Step 2:
Once you're finished, make sure you save it, and then go to File > Export And then in the dropdown menu for file type, choose VRML 1.0 (.wrl) Choose a name for your model and hit OK. It is wise to always have your textures and models in the same directory.

Step 3:
A box with a ton of options will appear. The only one we're worried about is the one on the bottom called "Bitmap URL Prefix". If you think you know what you're doing, you might mess with the others, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Find the checkbox that says "Use Prefix" and make sure that it is not checked. This feature would ruin your textures. Also, if you're very precise with numbers like 1.06235 and everything isn't neat, like me, where the most precise you get is 2 decimals, then get the dropdown that says 4 by default - it's approximately in the center of the window - and it says "digits" to the side of it, and set it to a higher (or lower, if you prefer) number. Hit OK when you're through.

Step 4:
Run SWBFViewer.exe (which you should have downloaded here) and then minimize the window. Got it? Minimize the window. Minimize it. Now, in windows explorer, find your exported .wrl files in their folder. Remember, SWBFViewer is minimized. This step is not necessary but is integral in your understanding that you are not opening the file, but rather finding it in windows explorer. That's the white-background window that shows all those appealing manilla folders.

Step 5:
Now, with both SWBFViewer and the folder in windows explorer with your models in .wrl format on the screen (this means you may maximize SWBFViewer now) click and drag the icon for your file and drop it inside the blue area of the SWBFViewer window. If you've done all that right, the model should show up in the viewport.

Step 6:
Now in SWBFViewer, choose File > Save As and find the folder you want to put all your models in. Personally, I would recommend just having a copy of them outside your Modtools folder, but that's just me. Regardless, saving the model will generate multiple files. The .msh file and several .tga files. The .msh is your model and the .tga files are the textures. Copy all of these and proceed to the next step.

Step 7:
Go to your BF2_Modtools directory, data_ABC\Worlds\abc and create a msh folder unless you already have one and just paste the tgas and msh there.

Step 8:
Open up your choice of a text editor, like Notepad, and enter the following, replacing your_msh_name with the name of your msh file:
Code: Select all
[GameObjectClass]      

ClassLabel      =   "prop"
GeometryName   =   "your_msh_name.msh"


[Properties]      

GeometryName   =   "your_msh_name"

FoleyFXGroup    = "stone_foley"

Step 9:
If you don't have an odf folder in data_ABC\Worlds\abc\ then now is a good time to make one, save your new odf as {mesh_name}.odf in your odf folder and of course replace {mesh_name} with whatever name you want or just use the name of your msh to keep things organized. Make sure if you're using Notepad that you've chosen All Files in the drop down box in the save menu so that your file does not have .txt appended to the end of it.

Step 10:
Open ZeroEditor, load your level and switch to the layer that you want to include your objects then click on Object Edit Mode. On the menu to the left side of your screen, make sure at the top you have "Place" selected rather than "Select" and click the "Browse" button near the bottom next ot the box labeled "ODF file". Navigate to your odf folder and open your .odf file. Now click on the map to place your object!



Important Notes:

The approximate height of a player is around 2 units in 3DS Max. (1 unit, by default = 1 meter)

Many of the material options (such as tiling) that Max supports will not be carried over to your mesh. the UV options, however, do.

You should have your textures in targa (tga) format, without RLE compression.

The recommended way to organize your asset files is to keep them like this:
- data_ABC\Worlds\ABC\
- - msh\
- - - Your msh, tga and option files
- - odf\
- - - Your odf files (duh?)
Last edited by biohazard on Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutorial)

Postby AceMastermind » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:28 pm

biohazard wrote:Step 5:
Now, with both SWBFViewer and the folder in windows explorer with your models in .wrl format on the screen (this means you may maximize SWBFViewer now) click and drag the icon for your file and drop it inside the blue area of the SWBFViewer window. If you've done all that right, the model should show up in the viewport.
I don't know about previous versions but if using the latest version of SWBF Viewer your textures should be TarGAs before converting the wrl to msh or else discard the ones created by SWBF Viewer.


biohazard wrote:Step 7:
Go to your BF2_Modtools directory, Your map's folder > Common > mshs. I strongly suggest making a new folder and naming it after your mod's initials and placing your models in there so that you can easily keep your custom assets separated from the stock. Just paste them where you choose. Next, go to Common > odfs and, if you created a new folder before, repeat the process here.

You shouldn't put your custom assets in data_ABC\Common\ either.
Getting Started.doc wrote:Adding New Objects-
...These files need to go in a corresponding folder inside your new mod folder. For example, if you want to copy some objects from the Kashyyyk world into your new world, you could either just copy the entire msh and odf folders into \data_abc\worlds\abc\, or you can create the odf and msh folders manually...

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Re: Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutorial)

Postby biohazard » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:54 pm

It appears I yet have a bit more to learn.


I'll get to fixing it once I figure all of it out myself


EDIT: Fixed what I saw erronous.

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Re: Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutorial)

Postby Fett » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:45 pm

Does this apply to SWBF1 too? Or is there a separate tutorial? I have 3DS Max 2010 and under the export file types, it lists only VRML97 (.wrl). I chose this option and tried dragging the resulting file into SWBFViewer but it crashed. Tries twice with different models. Any ideas?

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Re: Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutori

Postby GalacticLord » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:21 am

Thx for the helpful tut!
One problem though, I can't get my model into zeroeditor without it crashing... :(
It happens when I select my odf or msh using the browse button on the left hand side bar. Do you know what might be happening here? (BTW, msh file size is 9kb and odf is 1kb)

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Re: Create your model in 3DS Max and get it into BF2 (tutori

Postby bJIacTep » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:30 pm

Hello! Please tell me what's with the animation skeleton?

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