Tutorial Models - Creating and editing a SC2 model

Zwiebelchen

You can change this now in User CP.
Note: This tutorial is NOT meant to tell you anything about modeling in general. There are plenty of other tutorials on the web that teach you the basics of modeling, animating and mapping. This tutorial was written only to tell you how to make your model work in SC2.

Additional note: There is currently NO tool on the web that allows actually converting .3ds files to .m3. All you can do until now is preparing the model for SC2, so that you can convert it once StarTools, the build-in model editing and converting program of the Release version of SC2 comes out ... or some crazy russian is writing another maxScript to actually expert .3ds into .m3.
EDIT: Okay ... I lied ... there IS an export script for 3ds max, which can be found here: http://www.sc2mapster.com/assets/m3...tarcraft-2-model-m3-export-plugin-for-3ds-max ... however, its far from working correctly, so I can not recommend using it yet ...

So let's begin ...

1. Importing a SC2 model to 3ds max

1.1 Required tools:
- LadiK's MPQ Editor: http://www.zezula.net/en/mpq/download.html
- .m3 import script for 3ds max: http://www.sc2mapster.com/assets/m3-import-plugin/files/1-m3-import-0-11-plugin-for-3ds-max/

1.2 Installing the .m3 import script:
- Put the extracted import-plugin folder into your Scripts folder in 3ds max. ... you can basicly put it anywhere, but by default, 3ds max goes into this folder, so you will find it faster

1.3 Extracting the SC2 files:
- Open LadiK's MPQ Editor
- The options menu will pop up now ... if it doesn't, then you can access it manually by clicking the Tools tab and clicking on "options"
- Select a work directory ... this is the directory where all your exported models, skins, etc. will be extracted to
- Select your SC2 folder as the listfile directory
- Now go File/Open MPQ
- Go to your SC2 diretory /mods/Liberty.sc2mod
- Select "Base.sc2assets" ... this file contains almost all art files that exist in SC2
- On the diretory window on the left side, right click on "Assets" and click extract

The editor will now extract all files in the Assets archive to the extraction directory.
Note: The complete extracted Base.SC2Assets file has a size of 3 GB, so make sure you have enough hard disc space.

1.4 Importing the model to 3ds max:
- Open 3ds max
- on the "MAXScript" tab, select "Run Script"
- Select the m3_import file
- Click on the hammer icon "utilities" on the top right corner of 3ds Max
- Click on the "MaxScript" button and it expands
- On the bottom of the utilities tab, select "m3 import" from the expandable field
- Click "open" and select the model you want to import from the extracted SC2 mpq folder, then click "import"
Note: This may take a while, depending on the number of animations and polys
- You will now encounter an error that tells you that 3ds max couldn't find the textures used by the model ... Click "no" and write down the names of the files
- Copy and paste those texture files to your "maps" directory of 3ds ... if you are too lazy to do that for every model you want to edit, just move the whole textures folder there
- Try to import the .m3 file again and it should work now
- The m3 sequences script will run and fire automaticly now, which allows you to browse through the animations of the model
(On older 3ds max versions, you may need to also install a .dds plugin in order to make it display .dds files correctly. You can download it here: http://developer.nvidia.com/object/3dsmax_dds_plugins.html)

Note: Remember that this .m3 import script is far from being perfect ... it may mess up some meshes and can also produce weird animations, but for simple objects, it should work fine.


2. Importing a .dds texture to Photoshop

2.1 Required tool:
- http://developer.nvidia.com/object/photoshop_dds_plugins.html

2.2 Installing the .dds import script for Photoshop:
- This is different and depends on the version of Photoshop you have ... simply try on your own ...
- You should now be able to import and export .dds files to photoshop


3. Special things you need to remember when making models for SC2

3.1 Animation names:
Always remember to add Key-notes containing the name of that animation in ""'s to your starting and ending notes of your animations by using "Track View - Dope Sheet" under the "Graph Editors" tab in 3ds max ... remember the naming convention for SC2 (which is very similar to WC3). Also remember to write Looping or NonLooping to the note below the name (without ""'s). I don't know exactly wether this note command is still the same as with MDX files, but I doubt they changed it.

The naming convention of SC2 seems to be quite the same as in WC3 - except that you do not write "Stand -1" anymore, but "Stand 01".
But basicly, you can write any name for your animations you want ... as the data editor of SC2 allows manual setting of "standard" animations for actors' models.
There are also two new "standard" animations you might add to your model: "Stand Left" and "Stand Right", which seem to be turning/sidestep animations ... you should really make those, because lots of custom maps will use keyboard unit controls that allow sidesteps which would look weird without those animations.

3.2 Nodes
Remember to add attachment nodes to the bones of your units. Nodes in SC2 are basicly just additional bones named after a certain naming convention, which is:
"Ref_nodename".
Example: Ref_origin is a static point between the feets of the unit.

If you need more than just the ordinary attachment points "head", "origin", etc. then you should name them "Ref_Hardpoint XX" with XX being a number between 1 and 20.
This should be done because GUI only allows those names to be accessed in the trigger editor.

Note: It seems that there are no more refpoints for "Hand" anymore. Instead, you can use "Ref_Weapon Left" and "Ref_Weapon Right" or simply "Ref_Weapon".
Also, the chest node is gone. It seems that "Ref_Center" has taken its place.
Sometimes, there is also "Ref_Target", but not all units have it (For example zealots don't), so I suppose it can't be that important.
Also, it seems that "Ref_Hardpoint" without a number is always near the Center of the unit. Dunno if that is important or not. You should add this uncounted Hardpoint to the center too, just to go sure.

Also, there are some more special points that I couldn't figure out what they do:
"HitTestTight", such as "HitTestFuzzy", which are always below the feet of the unit, "HitTestFuzzyXX" with XX being a number ... dunno what they are there for. They don't have "Ref_" before their name, so it could also be just helper bones for the specific unit that have no real effect on gameplay. Or they somehow have an effect on collision detection of missiles.
 

Attachments

Weep

Godspeed to the sound of the pounding
Can SC2 model files be decompressed into plain text like WC3's .mdx to .mdl, so those without 3ds MAX *coughMacusers* *coughme* can at least have a prayer of making effects?
 

PurgeandFire

zxcvmkgdfg
Can SC2 model files be decompressed into plain text like WC3's .mdx to .mdl, so those without 3ds MAX *coughMacusers* *coughme* can at least have a prayer of making effects?
Possibly, although it would probably be a bit tedious. Possibly .m3 -> .3ds -> .mdx -> .mdl to edit. Or at least until there is an easier way. =P .m3 and .3ds are unreadable in note pad.
 

Zwiebelchen

You can change this now in User CP.
Possibly, although it would probably be a bit tedious. Possibly .m3 -> .3ds -> .mdx -> .mdl to edit. Or at least until there is an easier way. =P .m3 and .3ds are unreadable in note pad.
I think when you reach the end of the line (mdl), then you probably lost all the information the original .m3 model had ...
Keep in mind that every import step always comes with a lot of features and data lost. Animations will not be imported like that, if not worse, as obj files do not have animations.
 

Deep thought

New Member
For mac users, there is a Blender script being made. I think you'll have to hold tight until thats released, but when it is everyone on every platform should be good to go with a free solution.
 

Weep

Godspeed to the sound of the pounding
For mac users, there is a Blender script being made. I think you'll have to hold tight until thats released, but when it is everyone on every platform should be good to go with a free solution.
Sweet! :thup:
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
Someone is rewriting it in Python for Maya. I'm writing a new one for Max right now, as this one doesn't work very well.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Labor Day vacation is the best.
    +1
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Make sure you keep checking out my news..
    +2
  • Jesus4Lyf Jesus4Lyf:
    Man, I made this account 15 years ago? Wild. :)
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Seeing J4L is definitely a blast from the past.
  • Jesus4Lyf Jesus4Lyf:
    Oh hey Ghan! Long time. :)
    +1
  • jonas jonas:
    J4L! What has happened in your life
  • Jesus4Lyf Jesus4Lyf:
    Hmm, how to summarize... Moved to the USA and got married. Became a professional software engineer and solution lead. Learning Godot for game dev. :)
  • jonas jonas:
    So you are pursuing game dev as a hobby? What industry is your dayjob in?
  • jonas jonas:
    FAANG?
  • Jesus4Lyf Jesus4Lyf:
    Not quite FAANG, less pay for a less hours/stress. Yeah, game dev as a hobby.
  • jonas jonas:
    makes sense. Do we have a hobby game dev subforum to showcase some work?
  • Blackveiled Blackveiled:
    Happy Thursday
    +1
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Thursday!
  • The Helper The Helper:
    TGIF!
  • The Helper The Helper:
    hey tom_mai please do not archive anymore news
  • Ghan Ghan:
    AMD Ryzen 7000 next week :D
    +1
  • The Helper The Helper:
    noice!
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    "hey tom_mai please do not archive anymore news" ----> Got it. What should we do with the "News Archive" subforum?
  • The Helper The Helper:
    I think leave it for real old news that cannot be sorted the reason we had it in the first place was a server issue that we do not have anymore. I don't want to get rid of the archive just not put anything in it for now until we figure it out more
  • The Helper The Helper:
    The side chat has nothing on the discord. it is not possible but the biggest thing on my wish list right now is a sidechat channel on the disord that hooks up to this...
  • Ghan Ghan:
    I've been selected for the Diablo IV beta.
    +1
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Woo!
    +1
  • The Helper The Helper:
    that is so cool
  • V-SNES V-SNES:
    Eh just noticed the new discord section on the side. Looks great!

    The Helper Discord

    Members online

    No members online now.

    Affiliates

    Hive Workshop NUON Dome World Editor Tutorials

    Network Sponsors

    Apex Steel Pipe - Buys and sells Steel Pipe.
    Top