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Importer/Exporter: What next?

 
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Mr.Fletcher
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Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Posts: 1772
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject: Importer/Exporter: What next? Reply with quote

I'd love to have another try on import/export plugins, but I don't really know what would be the most urgent format coming up next.
I was thinking about the lightwave .lwo format or wherever .ase comes from. Or maybe an exporter for another (free) game engine? But don't they all support the major formats anyway?

What do you think? What makes sens?

O-Or should I stick to modeling and forget plugins?
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jwatte
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Delgine has a preliminary Collada exporter, but is there an importer? If not, that'd be useful to some people, I'm sure.
Also, ASE comes from 3ds Max, and is a fairly high quality representation of the Max scene structure.
FBX would be the next format to tackle; it's starting to become more popular with a concerted push by Autodesk and it being used in XNA Game Studio.

Actually, if I could vote, I'd vote for an FBX exporter first.
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Paul-Jan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet! I'm with JWatte on this: I'd like to have FBX export/import too. Basically, there is a C++ SDK available that might make this an easy task (depending on the quality of the SDK and your ability to deal with 3rd party C++ code).

On the other hand, the ASE file format is relatively simple and would make a great addition, too.

Of these three, I am the least interested in the collada importer, but that is because none of the other (yeah, they are all indy and small) 3D tools I use does a proper export. This might be completely different for everybody else Very Happy.
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Mr.Fletcher
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I'll have a look at FBX!
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Starnick
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Im brand new to Delgine...its a nice little piece of software. Anyways, what brought me to here is because Ive been working on a game project that's on the (in beta...although the 1.0 release just happened) Multiverse platform (www.multiverse.net) and I keep an eye out for modellers (especially little gems like Deled).

To convert into their format we use a collada file which is run under a conversion tool that extracts a .mesh, .material (yup - its based on a modified Axiom engine, so there's quite a bit of OGRE in it regarding mesh, material, particles, etc), .physics (collision), and a .skeleton (along with animations and so on).

For my purposes with Deled im interested in that collision file, unfortunately the collada file that Deled exports does not properly work with the conversion tool (I half-arsed it a bit though by modifying the collada file after the export, where the file properly converts/can be opened by the Multiverse model viewer, but the physics file is never extracted). And of course, the OGRE exporter only exports a .mesh and a .material file...

Anyways, this was a topic of discussion today over at the multiverse boards, so heh if you're bored and looking for a plugin to do...by all means! Laughing
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Paul-Jan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting suggestion! So you are saying the best solution would be a specific exporter for multiverse? The alternatives would be

1) Improve the collada exporter so the Multiverse conversion tool can read the files properly (which might be a good idea anyway).

2) Extend the Ogre exporter so it's output can be directly read into multiverse (the feasibility of this route depends on how much the multiverse and ogre formats are still the same).

About the problem with the collada file format, does the conversion tool _generate_ the physics/colission data from the files (but can't there is something wrong with the file), or does it only try to extract it (but can't because there is no physics information in it)?
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Starnick
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul-Jan wrote:
Interesting suggestion! So you are saying the best solution would be a specific exporter for multiverse? The alternatives would be

1) Improve the collada exporter so the Multiverse conversion tool can read the files properly (which might be a good idea anyway).

2) Extend the Ogre exporter so it's output can be directly read into multiverse (the feasibility of this route depends on how much the multiverse and ogre formats are still the same).

About the problem with the collada file format, does the conversion tool _generate_ the physics/colission data from the files (but can't there is something wrong with the file), or does it only try to extract it (but can't because there is no physics information in it)?


Improving the collada exporter would probably be the best way to go, unless if you work out something out with an officially supported exporter (they have one for 3DS that they officially support, for example). Much like how you folks have your torque exporter.

But as far as the ogre exporter goes, I was able to take one of the pre-fab models in DeleD and export it to a mesh/material and directly view it in multiverse without any extra changes. So im pretty sure they aren't many changes between them, at least for the material file (and to throw in, particle systems...they're exactly the same in both so most of our documentation is actually from the ogre wiki heh). But I cant say for certain for the mesh.

Here's MV's explanation on their conversion tool: http://update.multiverse.net/wiki/index.php/Model_Conversion_Tool

From my un-technical understanding, you build a model - lets say a simple cube. You name that cube "cubeA". Then you clone that cube and name that as "mvcv_obb_cubeA_01", which is the collision volume. mvcv_obb refers to a oriented bounding box

For CVs: http://update.multiverse.net/wiki/index.php/Creating_Collision_Volumes

I also failed to mention another type of MV-specific component in that last post - sockets. These are special objects that are invisible, but where you can attach other objects (ie put a socket on your avatar's left hand, put a socket on your gun...you can attach the two now in the game code) or for attaching particle systems too (ie a chimney). In 3ds you use a dummy object, so I don't know if or how this applies to deleD. But those too have a specific prefix: mv_sock. I believe sockets remain within the mesh file.

For sockets: http://update.multiverse.net/wiki/index.php/Creating_Models_for_Attaching_to_Sockets

So im pretty sure the conversion extracts (at least for physics, skeletons, etc) them so they aren't in the mesh file.
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Starnick
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my half-arsing the collada file last night, I compared a DeleD collada vs a 3DS collada. At the end of the mesh/geometry information for each sub-object there's a series of lines of: <input> tags between a <polylist> tag

In the 3ds version, those tags are between a <triangles> tag. Changing the tags allowed the MV model viewer to read the file, and I was even able to convert it. However, it still didn't read the CV, which remained in the mesh file, despite the CV mesh being named properly so I only got the mesh/material file.
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Paul-Jan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a whole lot of *very* useful information, thanks a lot. In the meanwhile I've signed up for multiverse and the forums, and I'll be doing some research. Will be getting back to this soon!
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ta2025
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul-Jan wrote:
That's a whole lot of *very* useful information, thanks a lot. In the meanwhile I've signed up for multiverse and the forums, and I'll be doing some research. Will be getting back to this soon!


Has there been any updated activity? I just asked the same question through the "comments/email" section. A specific exporter for muliverse that correctly exported collisions would be a blessing!
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Paul-Jan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just responded to your e-mail, thanks for your inquiry! Activity has a bit slow with the holidays and the recent 1.71 release, but we are back to full speed now.

I am not sure yet how to go about this exactly, need to do more research first. With the Torque Exporter we decided to call the existing conversion tool (map2dif) from within the exporter, but I think in this case it would be wiser to avoid that step altogether and skip directly to the export of a .mesh, .material and .physics files. I'll need to find out
(a) if the .mesh format and the Ogre .mesh are 100% the same, and likely to stay the same in the foreseeable future
(b) how the .physics files work

Some experiments with the multiverse toolset will probably answer these questions... Will get back to this!
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Starnick
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul-Jan wrote:
I just responded to your e-mail, thanks for your inquiry! Activity has a bit slow with the holidays and the recent 1.71 release, but we are back to full speed now.

I am not sure yet how to go about this exactly, need to do more research first. With the Torque Exporter we decided to call the existing conversion tool (map2dif) from within the exporter, but I think in this case it would be wiser to avoid that step altogether and skip directly to the export of a .mesh, .material and .physics files. I'll need to find out
(a) if the .mesh format and the Ogre .mesh are 100% the same, and likely to stay the same in the foreseeable future
(b) how the .physics files work

Some experiments with the multiverse toolset will probably answer these questions... Will get back to this!


At this point Id doubt MV's mesh format will deviate from what it is currently. Whether or not its exactly the same I dont know, but as I said before the ogre mesh -did- work in MV.

For b, might have to ask the MV devs about that. It still might be easier just to improve the collada exporter (the MV folks have us use the feeling software collada exporter for maya/3ds). At the least, it would help with model transfers between users that use different software - ie you make a model in deleD, ship it off to an animator who uses 3ds; because as I said I noticed that a model exported from deleD as a collada file wouldn't work with MV when it was exported as another collada file from 3ds.

Anyways, either route would be superb I guess heh. Btw great job on v1.171 of deleD Very Happy
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