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Need help with static meshes

Discussion in 'Level Design, Skinning and Modelling' started by afecelis, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Hi guys! I followed one of the site's tuts to create static meshes for the engine using 3dsmax. Although the model imports ok and shows up ok in the static mesh browser and in the engine, when I compile and run it, it doesn't show up.

    Any ideas?

    here are some shots:
    mesh in the editor:

    [​IMG]

    no mesh in the game:

    [​IMG]


    thanx!
     
  2. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    Make sure you save the static mesh first. In UnrealED, it often keeps a temporary package so that the level designer can import seveal types of meshes all at once. When you quit UnrealED it will ask if you want to save the package. However this is not the good way since it will just save the meshes you use in the last level you were building.

    To save, click on "File" on the Static Mesh window and click on "Save" ... it will ask you to define a new USX file.

    To prevent further pain in future when you load up a level, it will automatically load up any static mesh packages, however, it will only load the meshes it needs from that package, so if you append to that package later on during the level building ... do NOT save otherwise you will loose all the other meshes that were not used in the level.

    The proper way to append to a package is to manually load up the package. This way, UnrealED will load up the entire package. Then you append to it, and then save.
     
  3. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    help with static meshes

    Nothing!

    Thanx for replying solosnake. I tried it out the way you told me but it didn't work. Light gets calculated and shows up in the level, but the mesh is not there (check the screenshot and the shadow on the floor).

    [​IMG]

    here's the usx file and the textures in case you may download the mesh and try it out:

    http://www.theshower.nl/cgi-bin/genesis/web_pages/afecelis/mover.zip


    thanx!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2004
  4. HAL9000

    HAL9000 New Member

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    Try renaming the package files to mover_s.usx and mover_t.utx. Having two packages with the same name always seems to cause problems.
     
  5. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    They ALWAYS will cause problems. Basically Unreal packages are all exactly the same. USX and UTX are the same according to the Unreal engine. The last last 3 letters are purely for human reasons so that we can tell them apart in what they are. Never ever have packages the same name, MyPackage.U will conflict with MyPackage.UTX, MyPackage.USX will even conflict with MyPackage.UMX. It is just an engine restriction.
     
  6. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    help with static meshes

    Great guys! that did it!

    I had no idea naming each package diferently would be so important.
    Now everything is working fine.

    @HAL9000: I assume you use _t for texture packages, _s for static meshes and so on, right? Interesting naming convention. Thnx for the help.

    @Solosnake: thnx for the attention and time. Now I can move on to learning something new in the engine. Q: r u the same solosanke that created the Ase2T3d converter?

    thnx!!!!!



    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2004
  7. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    afecelis: Nope, it appears people have mixed me up. I'm Solid Snake aka James Tan, not Solo Snake.
     
  8. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Yep! It's a fast nickname confusion. I just noticed it solid-solo solo-solid soso - lolid, ha hha ha . Anyway, it's good to count with people like you's help.

    =)

    one lats q. Now that I know how to import my own models in the engine, what are the limitations? UT2k3's egyptian meshes are pretty complex for instance. Is there a vertex or poly limit to take into account when modeling static meshes?

    One thing I love is that they're made collidable automatically (which requires coding or tweaking in other engines). Kewl!


    cheers! ... and thnx!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2004
  9. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    I've imported 5000 polygon Static meshes before, even up 10'000 static meshes before. However once I tried to import a 20'000 polygon model (ASE) the editor locked up when it was trying to compute the vertices.

    With meshes (PSK, PSA) I've imported 41'000 polygon models before, as well as full rigging with Character Studio 2.x. However, importing a 100K model didn't work for me.

    The collisions is automatic, but I don't recommend it for more collision important meshes. Your best either making your own collision mesh or using the tools in UnrealED to make sure the collision is really what you wanted.
     
  10. Spooger

    Spooger New Member

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    I did the same thing, I thought that SolidSnake (at first glance) was Dáire Stockdale (solosnake). :D Solosnake did a good job writing our ASEtoT3D converter, it's too bad it's not needed much these days, but I warned him of that when he was creating it. ;)

    I also tried using the same name on a texture package and a SM package, with the same results, and I knew better... live and learn.
     
  11. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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  12. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Great resource. I must find some time to read it... carefully.


    The runtime kicks arse!

    Spooger: any interesting links on where to go after learning to import models?
     
  13. Spooger

    Spooger New Member

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    Nothing comes to mind except for the UDN site itself... I don't use many resources these days, I do what has worked for me over the years. I'm sure other people can point out a couple thousand though. :)

    If you run into anything else odd exporting from MAX for Unreal I can help in the MAX department, been translating TONS for the last 8 weeks solid and I teach MAX for the local Autodesk/discreet dealer. Feel free to email, etc.. if I can help at all.

    mail@danielpatton.com

    Peace
     
  14. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Hey Spooger! Cool to see an official Discreet guy offering support for max... even in unreal, ah aha h =)

    Man! I've wanted to get my Discreet certificate ever since I bought 3dsmax but the nearest place to get it is in the States (and I'm in Colombia, a bit far huh?). Anyway, max has been a tool of great help in my career. It has helped me sell my projects very fast. It's interesting to see someone who uses max also interested in 3d engines. I'm trying to learn as much as I can from the Unreal engine to use it in architectural walkthrus.

    here r some shots:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the first 2 are of a contest we participated in , and number 3 is a house we're designing that's about to be built.

    thanx for the personal email too. I'll be writing you to chat about some max stuff.

    ps. Any success in the jerky mouse issue?


    cheers!
     
  15. Vito

    Vito New Member

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    hey, afecalis, if you get something like that running in the Runtime, we'd be happy to help you make it a standalone Runtime application and feature it on UDN.
     
  16. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Wow! Vito, I feel flattered! That's a most interesting proposal. That's exactly what we want to do with the engine; be able to show the project to our clients but not only through static renderings but also by making them get into it to live the space. The only difference is that we'd be using your engine and who would say no with that kind of motivation? ha ha hah =)

    Of course I'll give it a try. I'll start working on the model of the last pic (which I like more); that way if I succeed I'll have a good material to show to our clients and you'll have an interesting project using your engine. Cool, cool, cool. The only thing would be to count with your support (specially in the technical part) as I advance in the creation process. waddaya say?

    Ps. I'll start off by creating the texture file with the library file I used in the pics, and write down some questions I got before starting.
    Ps2. I love the idea of having it as a standalone Runtime application.
    Ps3. Feel free to cintact me at: afecelis@intercable.net.co to discuss the chances of creating the level


    thanx for the invitation!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2004
  17. Spooger

    Spooger New Member

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    Very nice indeed!

    I too would love to see that in the runtime! I know the pitfalls if you would like a heads up, I did just the framing for a house in the runtime from ADT, but had complications with the whole house. Our client wanted the inside only and that's (most of the time) better left to BSP brushes (and then populate with static meshes).

    Anyway, count on Vito for the runtime/code related stuff, and use me when it comes to the CAD "conversion" related questions. Email me at the mail@danielpatton.com if I can help with anything, or grab a calling card and I'll shoot you my number.

    Vito... can I send him the rest of the conversion related articles? Or are we up and running on UDN now? I have not looked recently.
     
  18. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Hi there spooger:

    Thanx for the comments. I also would love to see one of our projects come to reality with the unreal engine. The sort of questions that cross my mind now are exactly the ones you mention. Anything that has to do with units conversion because I think that keeping the right proportion is an important key in the success of the look n' feel of the project. In our country we work everything in meters so usually we have some trouble when working with engine units systems and usually we end up building things too small or giganticly huge! So any info on this regard would be really appreciated.

    The other thing now that worries me is level creation itself. I was wondering if it would be wise to export all the walls and main structures directly from 3dsmax to an ase file to import them as static meshes. Or if it has to be done the way you say, the building created in Unrea's native geometry (brushes-bsp) and static meshes for decorations and furniture....hmmmmmmmm Definitely, the toughest part of a project is to start it. Other important issues would be:
    1. Terrain creation (a very basic one)
    2. Transparent textures (for glasses-windows)
    3. Seamless skyboxes (all the skyboxes I create in Unreal engine got the edges of the skybox visible)
    4. Sunlight
    5. Water effects
    6. Entities - for triggers, ambient sound, etc

    So, my dear Spooger, as you can see I could definitely use any type of info you guys may have. And thanks again for your email, I'll definitely write you to get the help I need.

    many many thanks and let's get this project going!
     
  19. Vito

    Vito New Member

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    Spooger, you can send them to him. I'll try and get them up on UDN this weekend.
     
  20. Spooger

    Spooger New Member

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    Sweet, thanks Vito, I think it will help him out a lot considering his building platform (CAD). I hope he's using Autodesk's ADT (Architectural Desktop). *Fingers Crossed*

    afecelis... I build everything in Autocad/ADT/MAX in generic units, as 1 inch = 1 Unreal unit. But you can build in meters just as easy, or so I have found. Just build everything to scale and worry about the player model later. As I learned from Vito, you can change the scale of the player pawn using the PawnScale download from UDN. By doing it that way you get to build at 1 to 1 and set the scale of the pawn to fit the scene. It changes the collision radii as well as lower the eye level AND it gives you a third person view/player model if you need to check your player scale against a static mesh. In al,l it makes designing around architectural related presentations much easier when using the Runtime .

    - "I was wondering if it would be wise to export all the walls and main structures directly from 3dsmax to an ase file to import them as static meshes."

    I have done this but the results will be different every time when it comes to walls and structural. It's fine as a "just dump it in and see how it looks" kind of thing but the way CAD programs cut surfaces up usually does not light well in the runtime. Also it confuses the SH** out of the engine in regards to collision, it gets pretty crazy. So as a reference to build on and be deleted later, or as a let's see how it looks, it can be done but it rarely ever looks good enough to take seriously. The worse thing in my opinion is how the lighting looks against the surfaces, I didn’t care if the collision was off, I could have created my own collision, all I wanted was a “build and dump” file that I could fly through in real time. But as I said, the lighting will turn your head fast to that concept.

    Since Vito’s approved, I’ll email you the link to the rest of the information that you need, it should answer a lot of your conversion questions. As for terrain, skybox’s, etc., I have a build partner that is far better than I, so he’s my resource for that stuff. If I can’t help you (and I know I’ll fall short in that department) I’ll ask him to pitch in with his 2 cents.

    Peace and yes, let’s get this project going. :D

    p.s. the framed house from an ADT sample in Unreal that I spoke of...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2004

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