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Thread: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

  1. #1

    Default Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Hi everybody!
    This is my first tutorial, and i'm sure it will be lacking in many ways. Possibly everybody already knows this, but since it hasn't been posted here already, this is for all those who don't know.

    TUTORIAL: Getting your own models into the game

    Intro:
    This tutorial explains how to get your own, "homemade" models into the game. I mean completely scratch: not CA's models modified through pushing vertices. I'm unsure if this can be done with all types of models, but so far it _has_ been used to get made-from-scratch swords, shields, helmets and bows made using 3ds Max into the game for a mod. [The Broken Crescent]. This gives you an opportunity to have completely unique looking weapons etc. in the game. I feel its a nice, sometimes necessary, touch.

    Warning:
    It hasn't happened, but if for some reason these modifications cause damage to your installation, or causes your computer to explode/implode or causes any other form of damage, i'm not taking responsibility. But i'm only kidding, that type of stuff won't [probably] happen .

    The Steps:

    1) Take any ".mesh" from the game and convert it into a ".ms3d" using GrumpyOldMan's amazing convertor. I personally converted the arab_cav_lod0.mesh as it has a complete head [many of the helmet-given models only have heads upto their foreheads]. You can convert any.

    2) Open this ".ms3d" using Milkshape 3d. Export the whole file as a Wavefront Object [.obj]. For example export it as "m2tw_character.obj". I'm not sure of other filetypes, but i know this one works. I use ".obj" because of my own reasons. Now, delete all the "groups" in this .ms3d file. All that should be left are the blue joints. Save this file as "m2tw_skeleton.ms3d."

    3) Close Milkshape 3d. Get your favourite modelling package running. Now import "m2tw_character.obj" into the scene. I know 3ds Max 7, 8, 9 and Maya are naturally compatible to this filetype. If your software isn't, then google some convertor scripts.

    4) Alright, in some cases, you may notice that certain faces have their normals pointing away from u, along with other errors. These don't matter. As a matter of fact, this mesh doesn't matter at all. We just brought it in for proper scale, and location of our meshes.

    5) Create your model. Make it in the right place, make it of the right size, make sure it fits and looks right etc. UV map it. Texture it. You can do it all in your software, it doesn't matter. The pivot point doesn't matter... "nothing" matters: not even topolgy [though you should maintain "all-quads."] After you're done, select the models you've made, and go to "export" or "export selected". Export these as a Wavefront Object [.obj] and save them with a clear filename, for your own benefit.
    [ NOTE: don't export the meshes you imported! ]

    6) Open Milkshape again. Open the file that you saved as "m2tw_skeleton.ms3d." Now import the Wavefront Object [.obj] that contains your own models. The joints should still be there, along with your models.
    [NOTE: according to AlphaDelta, the mesh can occassionaly behave badly in-game. For example, texture co-ordinates might be messed up, textures may not show, or smoothing errors may occur. If u face similar problems, select your model in Milkshape 3d, and unweld the verts.]

    7) Now, go to the 'Joints' tab and select the appropriate joint. [i'll try and compile a list below]. Now select your models from the front/side/top viewport. Now, [in the Joints tab] hit "assign". This will assign all the verts of that mesh to this bone.

    8) Save this ms3d file somwhere else, with an appropriate filename.

    9) Now you can merge [using GoM's converter] this ms3d file with _any_ other one that has been imported from the game and modified. ie. Suppose u have a weaponless peasant [ie. u imported a peasant, deleted its weapons]. You just merge ur weapon model ".ms3d" to this peasant's ".ms3d", and then convert it into a ".mesh" for the game to use like a normal mesh!

    CONGRATULATIONS! Your own model is in this amazing game!

    If you're having troubles, just post up your questions. If this tutorial helped you, please do let me know [im sure u can think of a way ]
    any errors found in the tutorial? found shortcuts? let me know....

    ____________________________________________________
    list of which joint will be assigned ot which model:

    JOINT ---------------------------------- MODEL TYPE
    bone_weapon_weapon01------------------> Primary Weapon
    bone_weapon02 --------------------------> Secondary Weapon?
    bone_weapon03_shield_shield01-----------> Shields
    bone_head -------------------------------> Helmet
    bone_torso -------------------------------> Quivers, attachments between shoulders and stomach
    bone_pelvis ------------------------------> Attachments at belts
    ____________________________________________________

    NOTE:
    if any part of this tutorial is to be replicated, please seek my permission through PM first. Also, if this tutorial is replicated as a whole, or in part, please do give me due credit.

    Cheers
    -indian_boy

    Advice from fellow members:
    zxiang1983:
    Don't forget one of the most important things. After you finish your model, open it in milkshape again. Uncheck the auto-smooth box and then refresh textures. Then save and exit. If you jump over this step, your model will be in low quality espeacially you can find a line in the middle of his face and will also make game more lag.
    Last edited by PartyElite; August 26, 2007 at 12:52 PM. Reason: added more to the "joints list"
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  2. #2
    B. Ward's Avatar ★★★★ RockNRolla ★★★★
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    excellent my friend. i suck at 3d modeling but i'm sure someone will find this extremely useful. i will be sure to give you rep when i can.....i think i've given too much out in 24 hours....lol

  3. #3
    Matthæus's Avatar Knez Bribirski
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    great. could someone explain how to skin such new model?

  4. #4

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Hi All

    @IB90

    Greta tutorial, thanks for putting it up. Of course people, if they wish to, can make and modify meshes within Milkshape too. Here is a thread on the basic info on weights within Milkshape http://www.chumba.ch/chumbalum-soft/...ad.php?t=18917

    Quote Originally Posted by matko View Post
    great. could someone explain how to skin such new model?
    It's a fairly involved process to make a new skin from scratch, but there are some free programs that can help. There is LithUnwrap http://files.seriouszone.com/download.php?fileid=198 which can help you make the initial uv mapping, and there is Tattoo from http://www.terabit-software.co.uk/ which allows you to paint in 3d on your mesh once you have mapped the uv values. There are a lot of great tutorials out there on mapping and texturing models. This thread has lots of links - http://www.chumba.ch/chumbalum-soft/...ead.php?t=3003 .

    Cheers

    GrumpyOldMan
    Last edited by grumpyoldman; April 17, 2007 at 06:00 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    I know Milkshape is what allows you to open meshes through your excellent converter, but you can actually edit them and make completely new models in it too?

    It seems Milkshape is the 3ds Max of M2TW

    RM3
    RIP Calvin, you won't be forgotten.

  6. #6
    Indefinitely Banned
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Great stuff Indian boy! If you wanna see some of Indian Boy's work in action click on my sig.

  7. #7
    Matthæus's Avatar Knez Bribirski
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    thanks for answering grumpy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    @bdotward : thank you. i appreciate it

    @GOM: no probs. glad i could be of use to the modders out there !
    in case u are well versed with Milkshape 3d, all you really have to do is apply the skeleton to your mesh, setp " 7 " onwards.

    @matko : guess ur question already got answered

    @mirage41 : w00t! Broken Crescent is the way to go.! Seriously though, if u guys wanna see some completely custom meshes in game, check out the Broken Crescent threads!

    by the way, this method also works for small attachments, like daggers and even things like quivers. I modified the joints-meshes list to include them.

    cheers
    -indian_boy
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  9. #9

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Nice Tutorial !

    All worked well so far, but could you elaborate on the skinning/weighing vertices part ?

    It seems so tedious to skin in MS, so how do you skin/assign joints on a new model ?Is there an easier way, or do I have to sellect all the vertices and assign them to the according joint ?

  10. #10

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    thanks.
    well, to answer ur question:
    what exactly have u modelled? if it is a simple weapon/shield/helmet, then just do "step 7 onwards" while referring to the list at the bottom of the tut. If it's a full character? im actually not well versed with milkshape, which is why i needed this tut for myself. Im not sure exactly how to do vertex weightings, so u'll need to google it, or ask somebody who actually knows, lol. sory i can't help u there, but i'm glad the tut has helped you.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Quote Originally Posted by indian_boy90
    what exactly have u modelled? if it is a simple weapon/shield/helmet, then just do "step 7 onwards" while referring to the list at the bottom of the tut. If it's a full character? im actually not well versed with milkshape, which is why i needed this tut for myself. Im not sure exactly how to do vertex weightings, so u'll need to google it, or ask somebody who actually knows, lol. sory i can't help u there, but i'm glad the tut has helped you.
    Haven't modelled anything, just swapped some body parts,enough to essentially having to reskin the damn thing.I think it's easy to find a workaround, but I was curious, if there was an easy way to skin in MS - I mean I don't even know how to unselect vertices (yes,rtfm I know), the joint tool appears to genuine crap also (tool that automatically selects the vertices closest to the single joints).

    Thanks anyway though, just with your tutorial one can do a lot.

  12. #12

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Milkshape costs $25 right? Is there anyway to edit things with it without paying? If not, is there a similar program?
    I thought about writing something clever, but then I remembered I'm not clever enough.

  13. #13

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Don't forget one of the most important things. After you finish your model, open it in milkshape again. Uncheck the auto-smooth box and then refresh textures. Then save and exit.

    If you jump over this step, your model will be in low quality espeacially you can find a line in the middle of his face and will also make game more lag.

  14. #14

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    good point zxiang. thanks for notifying me of that.

    @spl00ge: u can try the trial... its not that pricey really... there are other ways to get it free, but i'd rather not talk of those...

    @Alcibiades of Athens: lol, u can't ask me about Milkshape... im not a milkshape pro by any means. heck, i don't even know its basics really!
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  15. #15

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    I have got 2 more problems:

    1. whenever I assign new created vertices to a bone in the next moment it says that they are not assigned.

    2. I don't know how to assign the texture to the new parts...
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  16. #16

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    hmm..

    1. are u sure ur following the steps in correct order? u have to choose the right tabs and right object names etc. in this order or sometimes they won't get assigned.

    select joint, select ur mesh hit 'assign' and it should work.

    texturing... hmm... ur gonna have to google it. its too big a topic to be explained here.

    but get back to me on problem #1. need to find a solution to every problem that crops up.

    cheers
    indian_boy
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  17. #17

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    I'm new to M2TW so I'm wondering, is the bone structure in the models exclusive to M2TW or can I create my own bone structure and rename them to the appropriate name? Will the game read it correctly? Because I"m using Blender and I'm making my own bone structure for my model and was wondering if I renamed the bones to the list you gave, if this will all work properly. Thank you.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Hi!A very usefull tutorial this is!I couldnt export a single model into mtw untill ive read this...But i have a question.Ive modelled 3 different helmets and managed to get them ingame,but how do i make units NOT to wear them?I mean i want some of them to be without helmets,while other will cary hats,sallets etc.Heres a screenshot btw.

  19. #19
    Lusted's Avatar Look to the stars
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    You'd probably want to make a helmet group which is invisible or something so no helemt would show up ingame for some of the soldiers.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Getting your own [made from scratch] models into the game

    Thanks.Ill make a single-poly thingy then and attach it as a helmet.

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