Adverti horiz upsell
Unreal Model Importing: The 3ds2unr Converter
Unreal Model Importing: The 3ds2unr Converter
sdb1987, added 2005-09-08 09:51:41 UTC 35,489 views  Rating:
(0 ratings)
Page 2 of 2

Using the Converter

Once you�re set up, using the converter is pretty simple. Just type 3ds2unr, followed by an optional class name and one or more .3DS files, like so:

3ds2unr Trolloc Walk.3ds Run.3ds Attack.3ds

The converter reads the given 3DS files, and produces a class file (Trolloc.uc) and model files (Trolloc_a.3d and Trolloc_d.3d) to be used by Unreal.

If this is the first time that you�ve run the converter, you�ll be prompted to select your project directory (i.e. the directory from item #2 in the preparation list (for me, c:\Unreal\WOT). Once you�ve set this directory, you won�t need to set it again. If you do need to change it, because you�ve began a new project, just type

3ds2unr �setproj

and you�ll be able to select another project directory.

When specifying 3DS files, you can use standard DOS wildcard characters (`?' and `*'). So, if all of those Trolloc animation sequences were the only 3DS files in the current directory, you could type:

3ds2unr Trolloc *.3ds

The class name is just the name of the object that you�re converting (Trolloc, AngrealHealing, Myrddraal, etc.) and is used as the base filename for the converter�s output. If you�re converting an object with no animation, you can omit the class name, in which case the base name of the sole 3DS file is used as the class name. In other words, this:

3ds2unr AngrealHeal.3ds

does what you probably want it to. However, if you try to convert more than one 3DS file at a time without supplying a class name, you'll be prompted to make sure that the class name inferred by the converter is correct. For example, omitting the "Trolloc" from the previous example is probably an error:

3ds2unr *.3ds

ClassName [Walk]?

You can just hit Enter to continue with that name, or type the correct name (Trolloc) first.

Be careful with your class names � the converter will happily overwrite existing files.

Converter Output


The converter will create three files:

1. ...\Models\ClassName_a.3d
2. ...\Models\ClassName_d.3d
3. ...\Classes\ClassName.uc

(where "..." is your project directory).

The .uc file will contain the appropriate UnrealScript commands to import your model, list its animation sequences, and set its textures.

Unreal needs all three files to use your model. The same three files are used by the Mesh Viewer (see below, and separate documentation) to view models.

Fixing Texture Maps


Since the converter doesn�t read 3DS materials files, and Unreal requires PCX rather than TGA-format input, you have to manually help out the converter.

First, you need 8-bit PCX versions of all of the textures that you used in the model � use Photoshop, etc.

You then need to examine the .uc file in a text editor that can handle straight ASCII text � Notepad is fine. Look for the lines that begin with #exec TEXTURE IMPORT and note that each such line ends with a material name after a pair of slashes:

#exec TEXTURE IMPORT NAME=JSpider1 FILE=MODELS\Spider1.PCX GROUP=Skins FLAGS=2 // SpiderSkin

(The above should be a single line, but can�t be shown here legibly that way.)

Notice the reference to a Spider1.PCX file. Both Unreal and MeshViewer will need this file to properly display your model. It corresponds to whatever TGA file you used in the given material, SpiderSkin. You need to have this file name match the name of the material�s 8-bit PCX file, which you can do by either editing the .uc file directly, or renaming your PCX file to correspond with the name in the .uc file.

Using the above example, say that the SpiderSkin material was made with a SpiderSkin.TGA texture map. You�d convert that TGA file to and 8-bit SpiderSkin.PCX file. You could then either rename that file to Spider1.PCX (because that�s what the script is expecting), or edit the script to look for SpiderSkin.PCX instead of Spider1.PCX.

Conversion Errors and Warnings


You might encounter the following problems when converting:

can't find file

You referred to a file that doesn�t exist. Make sure you�ve typed the name and directory correctly.

No project directory found � exiting

The converter couldn�t establish a project directory, either because you cancelled out or there�s a problem in the system registry. Make sure that your project directory structure is correct, then try rerunning the converter with the �setproj option before attempting conversion again. The converter cannot run without a project directory.

read error [TAG]

The converter was expecting data that wasn�t there. This probably means the 3DS file is corrupted.

too many textures

Unreal has a limit of ten materials that can be applied to an object, and the converter encountered an eleventh material. For memory and rendering performance reasons, you really should be using less than ten anyway.

Warning: out of sequence obj (Foo) skipped

The converter expects to find sequentially numbered objects in file, and it found an object either without a sequence number (e.g. Box instead of Box01) or with an out-of-sequence number (e.g. Box01, Box02, Box04). This is probably something you want to fix, although in some cases, like leaving a stray light source in the project, it might be OK to ignore (providing that the correct object was converted).

Warning: Filename.3DS: Bad coordinate x.xxxxx, y.yyyyy, z.zzzzz

The converter found a coordinate that was outside the allowable 256x256x256 coordinate space. Rescale your model or fix the animation sequence. To minimize warning lines, only one bad coordinate is reported per object in the file.

If you encounter errors other than those listed here, it probably indicates a converter bug.