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saetrum

blender/directx advice needed

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I am hoping for some advice about how I should procede. I finally feel up to speed on getting Direct3d up and running, and I am now ready to start creating something more than a box or triangle, or some simple geometry. I want to create a mildly complex shape and start using it in Direct3d. My understanding, is the best way to do this is to model something in a 3d modeling program. My choice is blender currently, but I''m willing to take suggestions. I''ve tried the milkshape trial, I liked it, but thought I would give blender a "whirl" =) . I am having "fun" trying to model something in blender, and I am still looking for a way to create .x files to load into directx. (Any one know of a file converter out there, I couldn''t find any of the ones listed by doing a search in the forum?). Anyway, my question is: Is this the way you guys would suggest doing this? Is there a better way to start creating 3d objects for your games? I just got sick of writing down vertices, computing normals, and doing all the math by hand. I am just a hobbyist, trying to create a simple game just to say I did it, and then maybe look for something more complex, but I''m not sure I''m on the right track. I mean I''m a programmer not an artist... maybe I have to be both, huh? 2nd question: What do you guys think of blender for DirectX games, anyone currently using it? Is it easier for me to write my own file parser for a blender supported file format, or should I continue my search for a .blend (or vmrl) -> .x file converter? Thanks!

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Here''s what I use :- Truespace.

Download truespace 1 for free from www.pcplus.co.uk and go to the downloads section. You can then either

1: save as .3ds files and convert to .x using conv3ds

or

2: save as cob and use format changer such as 3D exploration.

Neil

WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE LARGEST ARMS IN THE WORLD RUN WILD ON YOU?!?!

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I use Truespace 2 (occasionly). Someone else of the forums asked
about blender file formats, the only place I could think of was
the Open Source Blender site. There are some people using the
blender file format for various apps there and someone might be
willing to pass on the spec. There are no blender converters
that I could find although there were two in progress (Open
Source Site).


,Jay

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Guest Anonymous Poster
saetrum,

You and I are walking the same path, I''m just a bit further along than you it seems. I''ve got to the point where I can load a mesh created in Blender into my DX app. Currently I''m just loading the poly''s, but soon I hope to get normals and textures as well. As to your question. The only "nice" way of exporting from Blender is to use the Python script plugin. There are many scripts available for different file formats, or you can write your own script to convert the data to your own file format. Either do a google search on Python Export Scripts or go to the main blender site www.blender.nl and cruise to the Knowledge base and read up on the Python section. As with any free software, it''s a little more work to get this running smoothly, but it''s FREE!

HTH,
Squid56

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Thanks Squid56,

I found something called xExport1.blend. It contains a few export scripts, but I am not sure I am using them correctly. I guess I will have to read up on using the python scripts.

I find it hard to believe that most people are paying lots of $$$ for the other 3d modeling programs out there... I expected a ton of people to use blender, strata3d base or milkshape, etc (you know the cheap/free programs). I'm hoping some of you will comment, and explain how you use this in conjuction with Directx. Or do most of you really just do the calculations of the vertices, normals, texture coordinates, etc in your programs?

Anyway, Thanks for the comments so far...maybe I'll look in to truespace 1. How old is the program? I see they are up to 5.x now.

Edited by - saetrum on February 26, 2002 9:34:24 AM

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Just thought I'd update this post with what I have found. I bit the bullet and bought the Blender Guide, I figure I might as well get it, it will reduce my stress level by leaps and bounds.

I downloaded Crossroads, its a program that imports and exports several file formats, including .x ~ I'm not sure it is complete, but it allowed me to export a simple cube to Direct X from blender (saved in .dxf format)...so that was at least a start, we'll see. I'm not sure if it converts the normals, textures/materials, etc. I'll have to keep playing around. Thanks for the help.

Anyone have a good python script that exports to .x? (It can't hurt to ask can it?)

On another subject...If you load a mesh, is there a "quick" way to calculate vertex normals, or is there a way to include these in your .x file?

Thanks



Edited by - saetrum on February 28, 2002 5:48:49 PM

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