Here's the tutorial made by Ben_Kai for Schmackbolzen's excellent sur making utility
1. Import CMP into MS3D. "auto load", is the only box I check. "Import hardpoints" is optional
2. Use DirectX Mesh tools to remove some triangles. Move the slider, for most models it will only reduce by 5 - 10%. Click the save button that has the - sign.
(Note on above: If the model is low poly to start with, you can ignore 2 and move onto 3)
3 . Export as .OBJ. You can try to import back into MS3D and use Dx tools again, but I usually just reduce more triangles with LithUnwrap. I've noticed that using DX tools numerous times begins to degrade the model to the point where your SUR will not be very from fitting. For small fighters this is fine. But for larger ships and stations I think It kind of defeats the
purpose. I guess you could delete some triangles manually inside the mesh but I'm not a modeler so I dont attempt it.
4. Open .OBJ with LithUnwrap. Go to File - Model - Open. Go to Tools - Optimize model. Check all 3 boxes, click OK.
5. Save mesh as .OBJ. Go to File - Model - Save. Make sure format is .OBJ.
6. Import .OBJ back into MS3D.
7. Go to Edit - Select All. Go to Vertex - Weld Together. Make sure you dont skip this step or your SUR could have huge holes....
8. Export as .OBJ
9. Select your .OBJ. I leave 1st option at default. Check 2nd and 3rd boxes then input your hardpoints. I will add that on bases i haven't had to add in hardpoints. Once sur is generated, close this program
FL MODEL TOOL
10. Open flmodeltool, import the cmp, DO NOT MODIFY ANYTHING and simply save it. This should prevent the model from going invisible when you turn away from it.
11. Job done!
Thanks to Ben_Kai for the tutorial, if i can use it then anybody can.
Programs used, Milkshape, Lithunwrap, FLModelTool