UT3 Modding with available free licence software...

UT3 should be coming soon with a new gametype, improved vehicles, and MORE PLAYERS! Death Warrant will be there with hardware to spare!
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Savage
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Wed May 20, 2009 12:44 am

Some have found that my tutorial is lacking in areas and is often hard to follow and I agree completely. I will be editing a majority of this tutorial and changing the rest completely. I will be breaking it down into sections and highlighting important facts within it. I will also add a section on creating a simple door mesh like the one in your house, which will take us through some of the important editing tools within Blender. Including but not limited to, Scaling on axis, extruding on axis, smoothing, and pivoting at the doors hinges. We will create a UV map(I'll try to show pinning if I can work it in) and will paint it in Gimp with greater detail and accuracy and may even get into layers within Gimp and use some opacity masking in the editor for a small window in the door. Stay tuned.
Last edited by Savage on Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Savage
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Fri May 22, 2009 4:06 am

Before starting this tutorial, you should be familiar with navigating your way around in the UT3 Editor and I will also assume you have some modeling skills as well; However, if you do not, I would recommend you check out the Blender Basic video tutorials at http://www.blenderunderground.com.

First and foremost you must download the goofos .ase plugin for Blender. Open file manager and find your Blenders plugin file and extract the goofos .ase zip file into you Blender plugin file... Now we can begin!

Many people, myself including, are thrown off by the inverted mouse configuration in Blender. Right mouse button selects and grabs objects instead of the left mouse button. UT3 Editor has object manipulation snap to grid by default, Blender does not. However, both of this settings can be changed in Blender and saved as the default.
Image Default screen

The above image is Blenders default screen on start up. If you move your mouse over the upper border of your modeling window where it meets the header, your cursor will resemble a double sided arrow. Now you can grab the header and drag it down to view your preferences that were previously tucked away. See below.
Image preferences

Click "view and controls" and go under your "snap to grid" options and click grab/move, rotation, and scale. Now move to your right a bit and click left mouse to select. UT3 Editor by default has a perspective view and three orthographic views, I personally prefer just one large window and selecting between views which is also preferred in modeling but if you wish to split your screen in Blender, you may do so by once again moving your cursor over the borders to get your double sided arrow and right clicking and choose split screen. You will be shown a line which you can move around to where you wish to split the screen. Once you have the number of windows you want click on view under each window and select the view you want to show in that particular window. Now that our preferences are configured to something a bit more familiar I need to go over a few important buttons that we will be using often throughout this tutorial.
Image Obviously view will give you viewing options, select selection options, and mesh will give you various other options to manipulate your mesh. Play around with this to become familiar with what they do. The buttons that concern us for this tutorial are the two buttons to the far left in the image above (one showing a grid and the one below showing an image of two buttons.) These buttons will bring up our menu of available window types which we will be using often. Last but not least we got our mode selection to the right of our mesh options. This allows you to switch between edit and object mode. You can also Tab between modes as well. When you open Blender, a cube will be present in the middle of the screen. If you do not wish to model with the cube, you can delete it by selecting it and pressing 'X' and confirming the deletion in the dialog box. To add another mesh simply press the space bar and a menu will pop up, go to add-> mesh and select the object you wish to add. Now look to your buttons panel toward the bottom of the picture above. The button depressed containing what looks like a square with vertices in each corner brings up additional edit options and some pretty cool modifiers. Play with them a bit if you like, if not, lets move on.

Now that we got that out of the way we can begin modeling our mesh. Modeling is out of the scope of this tutorial but their are plenty of good tutorials on the net. You can find documentation on Blender here: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual. Keep this in mind though as you model: One Blender unit is roughly the same size as an unreal unit and 16 unreal units is approximately a foot. For an example, my default cube is 2 Blender units square which is a little over an inch and a half. I forgot this and it shows later by not showing in the thumbnail in my UT3 generic browser.

Once you have completed your model the first thing we must do is create our collision mesh. The collision mesh must be similar in shape and size but doesn't need to have as much detail since it wont be seen by the player. For our tutorial I will be using the default cube so I will simply duplicate my square by tabbing out of edit mode in to object mode and pressing 'ctrl D'(this is very important because if you duplicate in edit mode both objects will be linked and essentially be considered the same object to the program, remember your collision model must be its own object.) Again, The collision model must be its own object and contain the prefix of 'UCX_' in its name. For an example I will be naming my model "cube" and my collision model UCX_cube. For the time being, you can separate them by selecting your collision model and moving it to another layer by hitting 'm' and choosing a layer; However, make sure that they are in the same space and layer within each other when you export or when you do the collision model will not be placed appropriately inside the unreal editor.

Now we must apply a material to our object. Select the object and press the material editor button in your buttons panel(look below.) The collision model does not require a material. As a matter of fact, your collision model requires no more attention at all within Blender until export. Apply a material at make sure to name it. I will name mine 'cubematerial' to keep it simple.
Image Once you have applied your material we can start UV mapping but first lets split our main modeling screen and add a UV/image editor window type off to the side like so:
Image Tab into edit mode and choose edge select to begin cutting your mesh. Remember that the more cuts you make the less deformation however, painting will become more tedious due to matching up the seams. Two examples are shown below. The first is my cube I will be using for the remainder of the tutorial and the second is a UV sphere.
Image Image press 'A' to deselect everything and to select multiple edges hold the shift key while selecting them with your mouse. Once you have selected the cuts you wish to make, press 'control E' and choose 'mark seams' then then deselect the edges that are highlighted with 'A' and press 'A' again to select the entire mesh and then press 'U' for UV calculations menu and choose 'unwrap'.

You should now see your UV map inside your UV/image editor window. if you wish to load a UV mapping texture to get an idea of distortion and where to match your seams, go to image and go to open and select you UV mapping texture. If you do not have one, their are many on the net if you do a google image search on 'UV mapping texture'. You can choose new under image if you want to use Blenders paint program to mark areas for reference or even do your texture but I wouldn't recommend it since their are much better paint programs available for free such as Gimp which we will be using.
Image Image To export your UV map to an external paint program, in our case Gimp, go to your material editor and under the material tab tick 'Texface'. Then you must click on window type in either window and scroll up to 'script window' and click. Now that you're in the script window you will notice the word 'scripts' at the bottom of the window. Click scripts to go up to 'UV' and choose 'save UV face layout' and the following box will appear. Choose the amount of pixels you would like and save to an area where you can easily find it later. I am going to leave it at the default 512 pixels but you might want to choose something higher so that you can scale down later and it will be harder to see your brush strokes in game making it more realistic but for the tutorial I'm not going to be too picky. Try to keep it in multiples of two and square when possible to get into the habit. It is good practice to save images in power of two and keeping your images square allows compatibility with some older graphics cards.
Image Go to file in your header and save your work in case you need to come back and make changes later. Make sure that your model and collision model are on the same layer and on top of one another, hit 'A' to select all and go to file in the header. go to export and choose 'ASCII Scene (.ase) v# (unreal) and a dialog box will show. Simply click okay and save it somewhere where you can easily find it later. close Blender and open Gimp.
Image In gimp, open a new project and choose the same pixel size as the Blender image you exported earlier. Now go to file and choose the 'open as layers' option and open the .targa that Blender had exported and you should see your UV map from earlier placed over the work space for which you are going to be painting in like the image below.

Image With your UV map now in place you must go to your 'layers, channels, paths, etc.' dock and choose your UV map layer, which should end with the .tga file extension, and with it highlighting, turn down the opacity until the UV map is Faint enough to see your workspace beneath. Now you can choose your work space or 'background' and begin painting your texture. The UV map is just a guide, the background that you first opened will be your texture that we will be importing into UT3 Editor.
Image Image I just threw some blood brushes on mine with the Gimp airbrush so that we can quickly move on. With your texture finished choose the UV map layer in your 'layers, etc.' dock and delete it, it is no longer needed and if you should ever need it again, you can load it if need be later. Save your texture as a targa or .tga file...
Image ... and the following dialog box should pop up. Simple textures like mine can be compressed quite effectively to save space but I'm not to concerned with it so I unchecked it but you may choose to. More complex textures will not benefit from compression so I wouldn't bother either way.
Image I loaded my texture back into my Blender UV/image editor to show you what it looks like but this isn't necessary. If you want to see it in Blender just open your file back up and go to 'image' in you UV/image editor window and open your texture, the targa file, you developed in gimp.
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Open UT3 editor and go into your generic browser shown below...
Image Go to file-> import and import your mesh. You can use the default mypackages in the import window or you my create a new package. You can also assign it to a group for example, static meshes. Don't be concerned with any thing else and click okay.
Image Now import your texture the same way as described above.
Image Choose mypackages in the generic window and you will see your mesh and texture however no material has been created yet to apply the material to your mesh. UT3 requires a material and you apply textures to your material then applying you material to your mesh...
Image Image To create a material right click your texture and choose create new material and a new material editor window will show. Simple select your out node on your texture and plug it into the diffuse channel on your material and exit.
Image To apply your new material with the texture, click on your mesh to open the mesh editor window and go...
Image ... and go to LODInfo and open all the folders until you reach material at the bottom then click on the magnifier which will take you back to the generic window. click to highlight your new material and return to the mesh editor and click the green arrow to apply your material. While you are in the mesh editor go ahead and left click inside your mesh viewer to the left of the mesh editor window and move around until you got a view of your mesh that you like, use right click to look around in viewer, and click the eye icon above to save a thumbnail image for the generic window ( mine doesn't show because remember that I created my mesh to be an inch big :P) Now check that your collision mesh imported correctly by clicking the show collision button near the take thumbnail image icon. You should see a green wire frame which represents your collision detection.
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Now that everything is in order, you may use your new custom mesh. I hope you enjoyed my very first tutorial! Thanks and happy fragging!
Image I had to scale it by 30 in the UT3 editor but here it is! Remember that a Blender unit is equal to an Unreal unit and it takes 16 Unreal units to roughly equal a Foot. The airbrushed blood splatter looks bad only because I have my UT3 Editor settings on low detail to run on my laptop. The UCX_ prefix technique for collision models will work on any mesh that doesn't contain a lot of complexity. A collision model with concaved areas or a lot of vertices ( I still haven't gotten the limit on vertices but will update when I do) will need to be devided up into sections that do not overlap one another. The images below will give you a clearer picture:
Image See how this supports' collision model is divided into three parts, a green being the first collision model, a red being second, and a blue? This is needed because a collision model must be solid and have no openings so you will need to make multiple collision models and place them within the visible mesh where you need them to be but at the same time be careful that no parts of the collision models overlap each other. Even a slight concave area will require this technique, even one as slightly indented as the following mesh:
Image Their is also another way to get around this that I am looking into now. Supposedly within the mesh editor that can be reached through the generic browser has three check boxes simpleboxcollision, simplelinecollision, and rigidbodycollision. Unchecking this and then place your mesh within the map and accesing the mesh properties through the viewport will allow you to access per poly collsion. I haven't yet tried this but I plan to soon. Stay tuned...

If you would like to see my own questions on the matter at the Epic Games forum, go here: http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=684874

Let me do another demonstration on the correct use of collsion detection. I have created some stairs and a little structure attached like so:
Image Now in a situation like this the player must navigate the stairs without getting hung up and go between the supports. We can't simple duplicate this model to create our collision model because the player would get hung up on the stairs and the UT3 editor simple will not take the support structure without tearing it up into sections and frankly the editor does a very very bad job of it so we must do it ourselves. First we create collision detection for the stairs and it must be a gradual incline like so:
Image This way the character model goes up smoothly. No jerky movement and no hung ups.

Now for the other sections I will do the supports but I'm not too conserned about the top so much because I want the player to jump out of harms way if need be but the collision model should encompass the supports so the player isn't able to get his or hers eyes within the mesh which we have all seen happen so make sure the collision is just outside the bounds of the mesh.
Image Here it is, a mesh with three seperate collision model the way unreal likes it and don't forget the UCX_whatever prefix! Have fun!
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Last edited by Savage on Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:00 pm, edited 31 times in total.
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-1PARA-Queenie
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Fri May 22, 2009 12:10 pm

awesome, nice work savage =D gotta love those brushes hehe

:queen:
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Savage
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Mon May 25, 2009 4:36 am

Thank you Rocket. It wasn't quite finished when you looked at it but it is now. My next tutorial will be on modeling characters for UT3! It will be a couple weeks though...
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DW_KarmaKat
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Tue May 26, 2009 4:20 am

Very nice work, Savage! You've come very far indeed in the last few weeks! Congrats!

KKat

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Savage
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Tue May 26, 2009 5:33 am

Thank you very much Karma, I am glad you like it. BTW, thanks for the warm welcome... I'll be waiting on my lab coat or whatever it is you guys are stitching up for me...

I was going to do my second tutorial on custom character development but I have found through my own trial and errors that that would be such a dramatic leap forward from custom mesh development that few would be able to follow. Therefore I have decided to take a smaller step forward to the eventual tutorial on custom character development. I want to be sure that the beginner as well as the more experienced modder be able to follow along and grasp the concepts that I am demonstrating. I have started my second tutorial but I'm not yet certain where I plan to take it but it will include a simple animation. I promise it will be more interesting than the square. Stay tuned and happy fragging... and happy modding too!
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DW_Fry
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Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:55 am

Just found this tutorial being linked to from odedge.com :)

http://www.odedge.com/html/ut_3_tutoria ... aticMeshes
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Savage
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Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:08 pm

Cool!
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Savage
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Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:11 pm

I can't believe I made this just before my birthday last year! Boy, I have been slacking more than I thought... Hmmm. I guess that is what I get for trying to learn a programming language and following a version of Blender that isn't even out yet but at least I will be able to take advantage of it when it is ready. I removed 2.5 and brought back 2.4x so I can start getting back to work. I should have something for your Adren soon, I'm going to start concept drawings today. I'll put together a couple versions and the medic globe should be rather simple. Don't forget that the normal wont be pretty if their is one at all, but we can add it later or use some already in the editor in the meantime. Once I get that together for you, I'm going to organize all my static meshes and try to put a library together for mappers to download and use whenever they like. I got a lot of random stuff like furniture, boxes, and barrels, and even pallets... Heck, I even got the bathtub and kitchen sink! So that should be fun. Once I'm able to figure out these armatures, I'll get started on some monsters again. Well, that's it! Happy fragging!
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