[Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

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[Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Manuel18 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:13 am

Hi , I'm Manuel Mejias, from High Speed Trains  and Venezuelan Railway OpenBVE developer

Here is a FINAL TUTORIAL, about how to create objects and export them into OpenBVE.

http://trenesvenezolanos.blogspot.com/p/openbve.html

Check this Out!
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:42 am

Muchas Gracias, that's great work really!
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by ecreek on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:47 am

Great work Manuel! I hope this leads to many new modellers!

Michael

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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by leezer3 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:24 pm

Good work Smile
With regards to the scale issue, you need to set your units of measurement in your modelling program so that one unit = one meter.
For Blender (IIRC, Blender should already be set correctly):
http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24476&sid=63d968029f0aff007009a9bc5af4a2d0

You're modelling in 3DS Max, where I suspect you've got one unit set to be one centimeter.
http://blog.duber.cz/3ds-max/system-units-setup-in-3ds-max

Let me know if you want the grammar and a little bit of the phrasing tweaked a little by a native english speaker, but it's very readable as is Smile

Cheers

Chris Lees

http://www.bvecornwall.co.uk

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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Northern Line on Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:11 am

And I think this should go up on the "Knowledge Base" in the portal. 

Nice work Manuel Smile
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:40 pm

I played around with the scripts. Indeed, the BVE scripts do not work in current Blender, it's a pity... It's quite a pain in the a$$ to work with 2.4.6 if you already got used to the new Blender GUI (which changed quite soon after 2.4.6, dunno when exactly; dramatically so, it's a virtually totally new GUI). Other than that, it's quite easy-going.

I just updated SketchUp meaning I'm in the (few hours long) Pro-Trial, so I'm not sure yet whether the export as .obj is possible in the normal free version, I'll tell when the Pro functions will be gone. However if using the .obj export, that's really comfortable, you can go to Blender directly without any rotation issues. What I didn't check yet though is whether the scale issue is gone then too. Oh, to prevent the rotation issue you have to check the option "Z and Y axis swapped" is checked (by default it is) in the export options.

With complex models (I used a model of a "Tinkerbell" class steam engine I built to check out the workflow with perspectively distorted images; SketchUp really is nice to work with for such things) there's the issue though that you have faces flickering when looking from a greater distance; that's because the export script exports everything with Face2 commands. If you modelled with much detail, you probably also modelled so that every face needs to be visible from one direction only (with the backside of the same object being an own face with own texture and own normals), so you can safely exchange all "Face2" by "Face". However you might find all faces are facing the wrong direction... Select all faces (or if only some faces were affected, the affected ones) in SketchUp, right click, "reverse faces" and try the conversion process again.
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:38 pm

So... I played around some more. Both Blender and SketchUp were updated since Manuel wrote his manual, allowing a slightly easier workflow. Forget what I wrote above though about those .obj files; that's a pro function of SketchUp.

Step 1: Build your model in "SketchUp 2013 Make"
Step 2: Export your model as a "Collada (.dae)". In the export settings check the settings named along the lines of "export double-sided faces" and "export edges" are unchecked
Step 3: You'll have the .dae file and a folder named like the file. Open the folder and move the content (texture images) up a level
Step 4: Using current Blender import the .dae file. You'll notice everything is untextured; but if you select a face you see the materials are well there. The easiest way is this:
Step 5: Create, somewhere outside your model, a simple cube (by the "add mesh" command). Select it, open Blender's materials tab and assign the cube the first material from the list
Step 6: Go to the textures tab, click on "new texture", select the texture type "image", click on "load" and select the image file named as the current material
Step 7: Go to the materials tab, select the next material, add the texture. Repeat for all materials and delete the cube
Step 8: Export as .obj and close Blender
Step 9: Open Blender 2.4.6 (you can have Blender 2.4.6 and the current Blender installed next to each other on the same system, there's no problems whatsoever) and import the .obj file
Step 10: Export the model as .b3d

This way you neither have the rotation nor the scale problem; also you don't need Milkshape or any other payware. Blender 2.4.6, current Blender and current SketchUp are absolutely enough.
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:49 pm

http://www.parkbahnschmiden.de/JuliansSachen/Generic%20Bridge%201.zip

Sorry for spamming around *g* The above link leads to a generic bridge (for use as a rail file in a 25m block length route) created for demonstration purpose. Construction time in SketchUp (using integrated textures): some hour and a half, if I'd known from the beginning what I want to do it'd've been even less. Export time from SketchUp to b3d: Less than 10min.

I found that this time all textures were already loaded, so I didn't need to reintegrate them into the materials; seems to be a lottery (or I looked wrong before). So it was simply *.dae-export from SketchUp, *.dae-import in current Blender, *.obj-export from current Blender, *.obj-import in Blender 2.4.6, *.b3d-export in Blender 2.4.6.

In other words; this way you can create objects with fair detail in a good speed. With time you get to know SketchUp better, allowing to even create complex objects (the Tinkerbell steam engine I mentioned took roughly six hours, although it was my first time at using "matched photos" in SketchUp!) at reasonable speed; especially the "matched photo" feature of SketchUp takes all calculation load from you, you simply show to SketchUp where the perspectivic lines are in the photo and then start drawing along the lines. If your photo material is good enough, you can even use it for automatic texturing; just right-click on the face you want to texture from the currently active photo, select "project photo" and voila SketchUp does all the de-distortion for you.

The downside is that in the conversion process faces are virtually all triangulated, leading to higher face counts than might be achieved when manually coding; however the vertex count and face count have very low impact on FPS; compared to the effect size and count of textures have it's negligible. Another thing is the workflow in SketchUp provokes creation of invisible faces. If you try it out you'll notice what I mean. However, again, that's face count (not even vertex count), the relevance is negligible. Also it isn't that big a deal to (roughly) go through the model and remove unnecessary faces, I did with the bridge. Don't even bother to look after the edges, those aren't exported anyway (except if you tell SketchUp to, but you shouldn't do that).

Oh, and remember to "explode" any groups before exporting; groups might cause issues anywhere along the conversion chain.
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by chrisrose1993 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:00 am

Can I just make a point that Sketchup adds unnecessary faces and vertex's without you knowing which is why it is never used for proper game modelling.

Basically, Stay well clear of it and learn how to use Blender!
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:12 am

I think I wrote about those^^ You have to keep track of the faces, right, but that's still easier than Blender. No matter how strong the respective fanboys might be, neither Blender (which I personally can work with) nor GIMP (which I detest) are suitable for most users. SketchUp on the other hand is very intuitive. Of course this has its downside, but still, I don't think anybody here will be willing to learn Blender...


EDIT: Of course Blender-made objects would be top efficiency, I don't question that; it's just that you can't expect people will invest damn much learning time for a program just to then only use a very limited part of its capabilities; especially since the workflow is so different to anything they're used to. Especially since the downsides to SketchUp aren't that big (the software evolved very much during its time at Google; many of the cliches are maybe not entirely out of date, but definitely way exagerated) while the work time possible in it is way better than the work time possible in Blender for anybody not having CGI as their main hobby. The average dev IMHO can reach very big time savings with SketchUp but won't ever be able to get that experienced in Blender to have a time saving against manual coding; let alone if you count the necessary learning time in.


Last edited by Quork on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by chrisrose1993 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:24 am

Don't get me wrong, Blender is horrible to use but if you believe that you will get good results using Sketchup then you may as well stick your head in the sand.

It is not meant to be used for creating models for games, It doesn't even allow you to texture objects properly!!!
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

Post by Quork on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:30 am

Oh, I edited my post while you wrote, please not the edit above.

Yepp, texturing in SketchUp isn't the same as in real CGI software, not at all. But the approach is quite compatible with the texturing approach of BVE files.

Every software has its upside and downside. But saying that SketchUp generally is no good is very simplifying to say at least.
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Re: [Exporting] 3ds Max , Google Sketchup, Blender In BVE!

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