Here is the second part, not the merging yet... but it is coming!
3. Preparing the model
Now we are going to work in the mesh we want to merge in our base, there are three reasons we want to merge meshes on the bases:
1.we have a new model modeled on another 3D program or even in Gmax/3DMax but it is a file without all the aurora base polygons/helpers/bones.
2.we want to merge parts of different models, for example, the torso of one model, the legs of other and the arms of a third one.
3.we have remodeled a body model from one game and want to port it to the other. If someone knows a better way to do it let me know, but remember that porting is illegal, only do that if the model you worked with is in both games.
I'll cover all those situations, the 1st and 2nd requires some modeling and UV editing/texture painting, and all of them will require bone weighting. So in this part we will talk about how we go into modeling in Gmax.
3.1 Importing a new model into Gmax.
Lord Spartan exported one of the body meshes to another program to remodel it, that is why he asked about merging, how he can add his new model into the game? So I have here the 3DS file of his model and we are going to import it into Gmax.
Start Gmax and open the file we loaded in the first part of this tutorial (Robes_01.gmax) and hide everything.
In the “File” menu click in the “Import”, choose the .3DS file and click ok in the 3DS Import warning, with “Merge objects with current scene” checked.
And in the next 3DS Import warning click no.
As this model was extracted from the game it follows the same division as the original model, the torso is separated from the arms and legs. But even if it was one whole piece we could just cut them to fit the bone setup. And both models are the same size.
With all those separated parts selected let's save this selection the same way we have done with the bones, helpers and mesh, name this selection model.
So let's see how the original model was constructed and them compare with our new model to see if it requires any modeling. Hide the Model Selection and unhide the Mesh selection.
Select only the torso by clicking with the left mouse button over it, and click on the “Modify” icon on the Gmax roll-out.
Here is where we control what we are changing in the model. Under the “Modify” icon there is the name of the mesh, in this case Torso, and the “Modifier List”, with the “Skin” and “Editable Mesh” modifiers.
Those modifiers are applied to the mesh to modify it somehow, using the “Editable Mesh” modifier we can move, delete, create vertices in the mesh, it is here that we model the it.
The “Skin” modifier is used to apply the bones to the mesh, and to change the influence of the bones over the vertices of the mesh. We shouldn't change the order that the modifiers are applied on the mesh.
If we wanted to change the mesh texture we would need to change the meshes' Uvmap for that we apply the “Unwrap UVW” modifier on the Torso mesh.
Select the “Editable Mesh” modifier, because we want apply the “Unwrap UVW” modifier over the “Editable Mesh” one, when you select it a warning will appear to tell you that there is another modifier, the “Skin” that depends of the “Editble mesh” and if you change or add something between them something weird can happens, just say yes.
Now we click on the arrow beside the Modifier list, a big list of modifiers will appear and we select the “Unwrap UVW” in the “UV Coordinate Modifiers”.
Ok, we have the 3 modifiers we need to change our model to use it in game, under the list there are some icons, the second one (show end result on/off) when it is active it is white and it shows the effect of all the modifiers applied to the mesh on the 3d scene, when it is deactivated it is half white and half gray, it shows only the effect of the modifier selected. Some modifiers doesn't allow it show the effect of others... for example the “Editable Mesh” when selected, it doesn't allow the “Skin” modifier shows its effect, even if icon is white. The light bulb turn on/off the modifier, but you can not see the difference now.