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Blender is an open source 3D content creation suite that has built-in support for the file format COLLADA that the HPL2 engine uses to import 3D models.

Program setup

The great thing with Blender is that it will work great without any additional settings, plugins or similar.

How To - The very basics

  1. When Blender launches it creates a default cube.
  2. Select it and press F6 (Texture menu for materials).
  3. Set Texture Type to Image and in the image menu click load, go to your HPL2 directory and select a texture (the .dds/.jpg/.tag not the .mat file).
  4. Press TAB to go to edit mode and make sure the whole object is selected, Press U and select UV - Unwrap.
  5. Go to the UV/Image editor view mode and in the pop-up menu right of the UVs menu, select the previously loaded texture.
  6. Go back to 3D view, change draw mode to Textured and you can see that the model is textured and ready.
  7. With the object selected go to File → Export - Collada 1.4 and set the following options to On(all others off) (for Blender 2.49):
    • Triangles
    • Only Export Selection
    • Disable Physics
    • Only Current Scene
    • Use Relative Paths
  8. Click the “…” button by the Export file: path and export the file as “filename.dae” in a folder within HPL2, for testing do it in the same folder as the texture you selected.
  9. Using the model viewer you can now view the newly created good looking cube.

Additional Information about the above steps

The above is intended to quickly give a sure step by step process to successfully export an object and get it to display within the game engine. It is not intended to be a lengthy tutorial or be suited for advanced, novice or any specific type of user. It's just a quick how to. In step 6 you do not actually have to select the object or make those specific export settings, but they create the smallest file with the least amount of waste information as well as minimize the risk of that something is not working due to an export problem.

Important information about images

Textures(.dds, .jpg. tga and other general image formats) and material files(.mat, the engine specific file) - The material file is an XML file that contains information on what images is used in the material to create the texture and other properties. When the game loads a 3D model it searches for the name of the image used as a texture for the model(the .dds etc) and then replaces that name with the extension .mat to know what material file to use. Because of this it is important that the texture used has the same name as the material file, with the exception of the extension.

Blender to .Dae, How to get it right

This article is written by yasar11732 in forums.

First thing to take into account when exporting is, correctly U.V mapping the texture. Adding texture to material without U.V mapping will NOT work, it will just crash your model viewer.

Also, before adding texture to your models, save your model (blender file) to where textures resides (It is better if they all in one place). And use relative paths when adding textures instead of absolute paths, then export your .dae to same place. So that you can easily port your models from one place to another (Always keep .dae and textures together). If you don't do that, you will probably fail at some point when trying to move your models from one place to another.

Sometimes, when you export your model and see it in model viewer, you may see that texture is shown “inside” of the model, not the outside (look really weird)! That is because normals of your model is mixed up. You should go back to blender and flip the normals and export again. This should solve your problem.

And also, one should remember always to use textures with sizes of exponents of 2 (256×256, 512×512, 128×1024 etc.) Otherwise it will either crash your model viewer, or just look awkward.

One last point to remember is that, materials you create might be mixed up when you create it and one material accidentally get linked against 2 different geometries (or datablocks, or vertex groups… whatever one calls it). If this happens without proper care (accidentally), your model will not export correctly. Will look funny in model view.

You can export rotation/location/scale animations without problem, however, I couldn't export shape animations correctly into .dae format (because blender's collada export sucks! Not actively developed.) If anyone can do it and post the method, it would be great to learn about it.

And also, do not try to export armature/bones, because as far as I can say, that doesn't work either. If someone could do it, I also want to hear about how to do it.


Blender Tutorials

Does Blender seem like a good program for you? But you have not modeled much before or not modeled much with Blender? Here are some useful sites that have tutorials and information to help you out.

hpl2/third_party_tools/3d/blender.1315265968.txt.gz · Last modified: 2011/09/05 23:39 by yourcomputer