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horace farbuckle

modelers for .x files: whaddaya use?

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Hello again everyone-- What''s the skinny on a good modeling environment for producing .x meshes (w/textures and animations, of course)? I have training (yeah! actual *training*) in Lightwave, and had been hoping to use that for my project, but oh, man... can you believe the issues involved with getting .x files out of .lwos? So, I''m shopping around. My skool has Maya too, but--get this--no one knows how to use it. I don''t know how to use it either, but I''m willing and able to learn. That is, if it''s worth it in the first place. I''m pretty good with Lightwave at this point, so it''s frustrating to hack in Maya and take 2-3 times as long to produce something half as good as I''d get with Lightwave. So, what do you all prefer? Aside from 3DSmax, that is... -john

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Our artist is also a big LW fan. He found a great .X exporter for LW that has suited all of our needs just fine. I don''t have the link on me for the plugin right now, but I''ll have him get it to me first thing tomorrow morning. The plugin is great, it exports a full mesh hierarchy (with or without mesh-skinning) for animation, textures, you name it. Very handy.

~Rob

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thanks for the replies.

I''ve checked out milkshape, but I don''t like the interface... there''s just no pleasing some people (yar!).

Rob: I eagerly await that URL. I''m rubbing my greedy little hands together in anticipation... Full mesh hierarchy you say? Hot damn. Yes, I''m interested, if you couldn''t tell. Thanks!

-john

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how about anim8tor? Thats what I am using, its very simple, but lacks the user friendly short cuts that maya has.

Ive used maya, I''ve found it much harder to use than anim8tor.

By the way anim8tors free, and exports to 3ds. So you gotta export the 3ds using another program to .x

(anim8tor also has a nice forum to ask questions, I made a tank maybe a day after i started using it)

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As Pipo DeClown pointed out, Google does indeed rockzor. That''s the plugin we''re using at the moment. Sorry about the documentation (it''s all in some oriental language I sure don''t speak). We''ve had no problems with the plugin and we''re very happy with it so far. I''m not sure if you''ve imported the mesh hierarchy yet (with the .X file) but it''s quite an interesting project. I *strongly* reccomend taking a gander at the SDK code examples for loading a skinned mesh since they use the D3DX interfaces in that example. Also, if you want the mesh hierarchy but no bones (i.e. mesh-skinning), that is the example you should look at too. We''re writing a space game, so we don''t want ships geometry to "bend" during animations, hence the no mesh-skinning requirement for us.

~Rob

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Milkshape may not have a pretty interface but one of the really cool things about it is that you can write up an exporter for your model fairly easily so you can move to using your own proprietary models.

I don''t know how easy it is to write an exporter for LW. Anyways, good luck.
~Wave

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Writing exporters for LW isn''t the most fun thing IMHO. I had to wite a level exporter for LW once (as an alternative to creating our own world editor). I''ve got to say, their documentaiton is lacking, and the API is clunky, at best. I''m not talking about LScript (for those of you who know what that is), but rather the C/C++ API that is available. The .X exporter that is available for LW is a dream come true for guys like me who have artists who are LW fanatics

~Rob

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For those using Milkshape, what program do you recommend for creating .x files with textures and bones?

My modeler friend has had problems exporting and them viewing in the mesh utility that comes with directx sdk. Any advice?

thanks,
dan

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Thanks for the url, pipo!
The docs are in japanese. I studied it for three years (another sign of a mis-spent youth) and got to where I could speak it without causing an international incident. Reading it, though... ugh. I''d rather pore through the disassembly of MFC code. Doesn''t matter, as who reads docs anyway? I''ll just click buttons and yell at my computer... that''s more fun.

-john

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Milkshape comes with a xfile exporter included. Most people find that it works without problems but maybe it''s just me but I had trouble exporting my model in the x file format with it. It was a hit or miss sort of thing with most models... I''ve written a custom exporter for Milkshape that is based off the exporter that exports milkshape models in ascii format. Then I just wrote a class in my program to load up the models. And so far I havn''t had any trouble with it.

~Mo

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