View Full Version : How do you make sabers?

06-18-2002, 10:16 AM
How do you make lightsabers? what program?:(

Master Burner
06-18-2002, 09:55 PM
got this from one of the sites on this forum...

Po'noobs Saber Tutorial v2.0

For those of you noobs (i am perhaps the biggest) who don't know anything about modelling, have zero bucks to spend on 3dsmax, and want a saber hilt of your very own in the game, this tutorial is for you, me just having figured it all out. EDIT: Version 2.0 addresses several problems, i.e. the omission of a VERY important step to skinning saber models, and various clarifications. Here we go!

1. Download Gmax and Tempest from www.discreet.com If you don't want to download tempest, you can get just the plugins.
a. Get familiar with these programs, especially modelling. (POLYCOUNT, people!)

2. Using Tempest, import Kyle's saber.
a. How? Open assets0.pk3 (in base folder) using winzip. Select All (or just the saber) and extract somewhere using folder names.

3. Model your lightsaber next to Kyle's (so you can get the right size). When you are happy with it, delete Kyle's and move yours into the place his was (centered on the x,y,z origins).

4. As of now, it's possible to get this saber in game, but there would be 2 problems (i know from experience). Your saber will have no texture and emit no blade. The first problem we will solve is the blade.

5. Tags. You've heard about them, this is what they are. Small, one-sided right triangles. One side must be half the length of the other. How big they are in relation to your saber doesn't matter, they don't show up in game, but i made them fit within the hilt just to be anal.
a. So how does this triangle differ from any other? You must name it. There are 2 tags involved in saber hilts: tag_parent and tag_flash. tag_parent must be situated so that it lies flat, so that it's right angle (90 degrees) lines up with the x and y axes, and so that it lies where the top of your character's right hand is meant to go. i.e. the top of the grip. Edit: tag_parent is NOT necessary unless your hands are meant to go somewhere else than the 0,0,0, coordinates.
b. tag_flash, which emits the blade, goes where you want the blade to start, the emitter. It is situated so the short side faces down with the sharp, acute angle pointing striaght up. the right angle lines up with the x/y axis and the z axis. Standing on it's end as it were.
c. Edit: Tag elaboration, i've recieved numerous requests at a more in depth explanation of tags, here it is:
Time tags have nothing to do with what we refer to as tags. A "tag" is simply a brush, like any other on your model, with a few differences. To create one, simply create a PLANE twice as long as it is wide, with a height of zero. now using vertex editing, under the modify tab, simply delete one vertex. You know when you've done this right when you can only see one side and it is a triangle. This is the shape of a tag, now, to truly make it a tag, you just need to name it, this is the only thing that makes it a tag instead of just another brush. you must name it tag_flash. Position it where you want the lightsaber to extend from and when you compile make sure the tags are not attached to anything.

6. Skinning the sucker: I'm not going into detail about uvwrapping and unwrapping, there are far better tutorials elsewhere (polycount). Once you have a 2d image (.jpg, usually), that you're happy with in Gmax (use the materials editor), you can now get it in game and fully functional! Here's how. BIG FAT EDIT #1: To get a 2d Image: Select your model (w_saber) and UVW Map. position the gizmo correctly, so it covers everything, then UVW Unwrap. Click EDIT. This will show you your wireframe flattened out. Hit PRINT SCREEN. Paste this into your graphics editing program (if you don't have one look up paint shop pro, its good and free(ish)). Cut out the "box". The "box" is where the texture shows if you've applied one. it's the area of your skin that gets applied, just mess around with it. Then save this "box" as saber.jpg in you saber file. You can then apply it in Gmax (Material Editor thing), to see how it looks.

7. Compiling. Load your saber model and the tags. Select ONE BRUSH of your saber (not the tags), and select ATTACH LIST (under modify, if it's not there, convert everything to EDITABLE MESH). Select every other brush of your lightsaber, not forgetting to omit the tags. This will group them so they are only one brush. Name this brush w_saber.
a. UVwrap it and then Unwrap it (again, check other tutorials) assign your texture to it, so it looks exactly how you want it to ingame, cause that's what it's gonna look like. now select everything (w_saber, tag_parent, and tag_flash), making sure your skin is applied in gmax. Go to export and export selected as .md3. Under SELECTED FRAMES, enter "w_saber tag_parent tag_flash" without quotes, then uncheck the boxes. Name this file saber_w.md3 to save time.
B. BIG FAT EDIT #2: You must create a .skin file that is used in conversion. Simply copy a model_default.skin from a player model, put it in your saber folder, and rename it saber_w.skin. This file must contain only 1 line (unless you have more than one skin) this line is

"w_saber,models/weapons2/saber/saber.jpg" without the quotes.

c. MD3 -> GLM: Now open up MD3VIEW, a program that comes with the jediknight2 tools. Open saber_w.md3 and select View Origin, under View. This will show you your tags, if they are installed correctly. Everything good? BIG FAT EDIT #3: Now, under FILE, choose LOAD SKIN. Load your saber_w.skin. It WILL say cannot find bla bla bla. IGNORE THIS. Now, export as a .glm.
Take this .glm and the 2d image (usually saber.jpg) and pak them up ( a whole other tutorial. if you don't know, ask me ). And if everything went according to plan, Your saber will be ready to slice and dice stormtroopers and other noobs alike! SMALLER, BUT STILL FAT EDIT: Your pak need contain ONLY your saber_w.glm and saber.jpg.

06-19-2002, 09:31 AM