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Gibbon

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1

Saturday, June 25th 2011, 8:07am

OBJ->SUR Converter tutorial

Here's the tutorial made by Ben_Kai for Schmackbolzen's excellent sur making utility


MODEL PREPARATION


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.

Close MS3D.


LITHUNWRAP


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


OBJ CONVERTER


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

Read more:Gizmo Studios Forum - OBJ -> SUR converter tutorial
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Saturday, June 25th 2011, 8:34am

Weird, I didn't use any of it and the converter works fine with me.
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Sunday, June 26th 2011, 7:12pm

I'm assuming you've tested them as npc ships, as dockables not just as flyable? Helps to add in the thruster, mine and cm hardpoints as well as there have been issues if you don't. Following that tutorial guarantees a fully working sur with 99% of models
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Sunday, June 26th 2011, 8:16pm

I usually make the SUR before hardpointing.

I don't understand a few parts:
What triangles I have to remove?
And about the FLModelTool: I usually use it to resize the model. The tutorial says I mustn't modify the model. Is there any other model resizing tool? Or I'll have to resize it manually in Milkshape?
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Sunday, June 26th 2011, 9:15pm

never go by original tutorials, they are never correct

I personally would never use the original ship model to create a sur
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Gibbon

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Monday, June 27th 2011, 8:14pm

So let me get this straight, what exactly is wrong with this tutorial? Answer, nothing. This tool creates surs based on the model in milkshape or come to think of it, any other 3D program as long as it's in OBJ format. It's so easy to understand my cats could even create one. Obviously making the sur from the original model as how else will you get a truly figure hugging and exact sur file?

This is just one method in creating a sur file, there are others as i know OP makes his own his way, and that's fair enough. Lancer Solarus has a sur creation tool that is also excellent if a shrink wrapped sur is required, very model shape dependant but nonetheless reliable. Sur splicing is another method. All of these work and are tried and tested.

@PB yes there is another way of resizing models and surs that is far more reliable than FLModelTool. A quick visit to Adoxa's site will point you in the right direction.
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Monday, June 27th 2011, 11:40pm

i know 6 methods of creating surs
and actually nothing is wrong with this one... it works
i just prefer other methods due to performance reasons
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