Blender + Games

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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second_exodous
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:26 am

Post by second_exodous » Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:38 am

Old thread, but a good one. I got ut2k4 special edition and have watched a few of the maya tutorials. One problem that I have is I use Linux, and the personal leaning edition doesn't have a linux version, and I'm not sure I want to invest 2000 bucks. Does blender do all that Maya does? Can it make game content like in the tutorials?

This would be an excellent place for blender, and it would get more bug reports, plug-ins, and donated code. Maybe this is an area that blender should expand to.

Thanx,
Stan

halibut
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Post by halibut » Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:12 am

I second that second_exodus, as a ut2k3 player.

There is a working ASE export script (with uv coords) for blender, and somebody is currently working on a more polished version =)

(ase is the format the unreal warfare engine uses for static meshes)

Search for ASE in the pyton forum here.

leinad13
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:35 pm

Post by leinad13 » Fri Apr 02, 2004 10:30 am

No i dont think that Blender has some of the more advanced tools that Maya has, that is what i was asking for. Maybe someone could creat a spinoff, like with BlenderCAD.
-------------
Over to you boffins

L!13

cekuhnen
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:04 pm

Post by cekuhnen » Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:07 pm

i never did a game project but as far as i know game engines try to do the most with the lowest amount. i think what need to be done is modeling texturing and than animation. i have no clue about how the animation inlcuing the rigging etc comes into the game but i could imagine that this made with gmax the game engine just can understand and interpretes it in realtime.

so i think all you need for that you can do with blender compard to maya. the power tools in maya are more used in films than in games.


i would realy say focusing on this devellopment to make blender be able to model animate and so also mod games even dev games would be a pretty big boost of popularity sicne blender is also free. and who knows what could be the result when companies get involved.

claas

halibut
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Post by halibut » Sat Apr 03, 2004 8:29 pm

ahh, blender to mod games,

that would be a dream come true ^^

One day i will learn python :)

oin
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 6:34 pm

Post by oin » Sun Apr 04, 2004 5:27 pm

In my opinion, Blender is quite capable already of it.


Blender I can see it as a very advanced game level editor. fantastic control of cameras, lights, animation...Great materials support.

For my main worry, character animation, I am seing it has a lot of constrains possibilities, and a game artist loved feature, vertex weighting.

Imho, once it gets directx export, and perhaps md3 or/and md2 export, you have them lots of engines covered.

I purchased Ultimate Unwrap (I am not rich, is only 35$) so I could import Blender exported charcater animations with bones and weights, in the shape of an dx x file export from Blender, and then export as other formats...Blitz3d format, Gamestudio format, md2 ...all these are available from there, and preserving weights,(Blitz3d format, directx8 , I could even uvmap after animation! inside Ultimate Unwrap) or converting into vertex animation (md2, gamestudio) .

Directly, with no need of a converter(actually is a great Uv mapping tool) you could already to export to directx engines like Urgh3d, TV3d, and some others...that are not directx but import x with weights, like Irrlitch (open source, multiplatform) , Gamestudio (no weights yet) , DarkBasic Pro, etc...

Also, the md2 and md3 formats give access to other engines. Just is way less advanced in animation terms than bones and weights.

Other thing, very important in game level building is lightmaps. I was dedicated to characters, but always so it being done with max. Is like baking only shadows/light info into a texture map (like a texture uv template, in pixels) , which usually is put in the second uv channel. But can also just be used 1 mapping channel, and use Ultimate Unwrap for copting the uv channel 1 uvs into channel 2, and making new standard texture uvs in channel 1 for the standard texture. Again, this involves a comercial aplication if is not output from Blender. Anyway, there are free tools to generate lightmaps for free like Fsrad...well, actually is th eonly one I know. And don't know if works.

Main problem is porting character animation, but there's an md5 exporter done (yet I don't have any converter/application for that format, though have many for directx *.x files) , there's the already working for statics x export plugin from Ben, and the md2 import export (I have problems with it, but maybe my lack of Blender knowledge, though made work the obj import-export one from other user) by Bob_holocomb.

I think is pretty near. In my case, I am just waiting the x export, and maybe see if I can solve somehow that of the glueing feet(at Animation forum). And I't'll be great. A really complete solution for games.

cekuhnen
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:04 pm

Post by cekuhnen » Sun Apr 04, 2004 8:19 pm

directx is pc only and this will make blender not be able for cross platform.

also in blender the radiosity calculation is stored in vertx information and i dont know if this is compatible with games when you talk about a second uv channel!

so i understood you correct that a character animation with bones is possible to get exported out of blender into a game mod through a file converter?

sweet!

oin
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Post by oin » Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:38 pm

-- directx is pc only and this will make blender not be able for cross platform.


Nope... :) Directx is Windows only (surely you meant windows, Xbox is not...well, yeah some people say is a Pc too ;) ) , yes. But actually not directx *.x files. Is not actually using direct x , but that format.
Irrlitch engine has lots of linux coders behind it, the author did choose *.x format because it can be used in several platforms. It doe snot means using directx libraries, the game maker can choose to use Opengl or directx 8 and 9 with Irrlitch.
That's only to say an example to show that *.x files are just ascii files that can be used also in linux.
One of the main reasons he had to use it was that x files can be exported by many 3d packages by free plugins (Max, XSI, Lightwave, Maya,Character Fx, 3d Canvas etc.. and not free also Truespace, Hash Animation Master)

The thing is for free or cheap there's no other tool as powerful as blender to make character animations.

-----also in blender the radiosity calculation is stored in vertx information and i dont know if this is compatible with games when you talk about a second uv channel!

Well, the important part is if that can be exported as a tga or other bitmap format. You see, one could just uv map outside Blender (in Lithunwrap, Ultimate Unwrap) , do that radiosity bake in Blender, export the tga, and with Ultimate Unwrap copy the uvs of the object to a second uv channel, as Ultimate support this.
The complete solution would be to have Blender support a second uv channel. Is like another uv space, where you uv map the model, usually differently (I never thought of using same uvs anyway) and has its texture, which is the tga with the lighting/shadows baked in it, so when you load the scenery model in a game, it has its standard texture (wood, whatever) , which uv info is stored in uv channel 1, and baked lighting info in the texture assigned to uv channel 2. The game engine then like "overlays" the light/shadows baked tga, over the standard texture in the model. This can be done calculating the lights with an standard render of any renderer, or much better, with radiosity. results is like a radiosity rendered scnery, while it is not calculating anything at realtime, which is what counts :)

Even though, there are ways to do this with other tools, I'd priorize way more character animation tools and x full export. (for games)( imho)

-----so i understood you correct that a character animation with bones is possible to get exported out of blender into a game mod through a file converter?
sweet!


Well, not yet. Though yes to certain mods.

x files are quite universal, and indeed, the 35$ Ultimate unwrap can import full animation, bones and weights info in *.x format. As it can export to a huge load ( http://unwrap3d.com/downloads.html ) of game and other 3d formats, you already would have then a potential montain of exports available.

besides, already you can export in md5. So, any doom3 mod, if already possible. And for sure Doom3 is going be quite important in mod comunity.

Also, I found there's a NeverWinter Nights exporter, or that I think I read.

There are several quake2 "revival" mods (Tenebrae, etc) using md2 and md3 formats...If you ask me, I'd rather prefer md3. MD2 produces accurate problems, as was only using intengers, not floats, and that precission errors drives to an ugly trembling and bad deformation, specially 2000 triangle models (my preferred count these days for most games, though depends drastically on the game) But anyway, some engines use md2 and not md3, so is very good to have it too.

There's an ASE export plugin,(haven't used, but ase use to support lights and camera export--->great for porting full scene from Blender.Also, programmers use to love its simplicty and clarity) I use the objio modified plugin for all my imports; there are enough formats for static meshes.
Unreal Ed from Unreal1, 2003, etc, use ASE for scenery and objects.
And a complex bone and weights format for characters.

cekuhnen
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:04 pm

Post by cekuhnen » Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:57 am

ah yes i ment windows.

a bake function in the radiosity tool would be very usefull so we burn it directly into the uv map and dont have to hazzle with two channels or so!

i hope blender will get there someday since i plan when i am finished to teach 3d with blender.

claas

noselasd
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:08 pm

Testing..

Post by noselasd » Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:14 pm

I'm in the beginning of a trying a little OpenGL programming,
if others want something to atleast start with, I made

http://utelsystems.dyndns.org/code/openglexample/

Which just sets up a scene, has a camera, and loads a mesh
exported from blender (Python export script included.. )
Should atleast get people started. (I just finished exporting
UV coords as well, works nicely ;)

shul
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:12 pm

Post by shul » Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:49 am

If anyone want to learn opengl, I find nehe's site excellent, you can find it at:
http://nehe.gamedev.net

shul

TorQ
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 2:03 am

Post by TorQ » Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:20 pm

cekuhnen,

The reason only having one channel for texture and shadow won't work is because all of your textures would end up unique. Basically you map your level using tiling textures then you let the light generation tool create the light map which would have its own channel. To save memory the shadow map can be VERY small like 128X128 for an entire level. Having multiple map channels is an important feature.


oin,

Check out this link for some exporters. Don't get too excited about some of them as they aren't 100% yet. The guy who is developing them seems really cool and if you need anything from him he is quite responsive.

http://scourage.servebeer.com/programmi ... index.html


TorQ

Mohij
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 8:12 pm

Some level editor features

Post by Mohij » Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:32 pm

This post has some ideas how levelediting could be enhanced in blender, look at points 9 - 12 and the last reply. I think they would be quite helpful in levelediting.
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17,28

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