JMS Model Exporter

for 3ds max v5.0+ and gmax 1.2

by TheGhost

As part of Project BlueStreak

Blitzkrieg was included in the HEK as a way for Halo modders to create custom models in 3ds max and then compile them into gbxmodels for use in Halo. Blitkrieg is an essential tool for any HaloCE developer. However, Blitzkrieg is limited in a number of aspects, most notably its 3ds max version dependency and user friendliness (it was, keep in mind, only intended for developers). Chimp was a script designed to allow users of the freeware version of 3ds max, gmax, to export custom levels to a compilable format, allowing modders to create custom maps from gmax. However, this script also was limited in a number of aspects, most notably its ability to only export level geometry, with no support for weapon, vehicles, bipeds, etc. The JMS Model Exporter brought to you by Project BlueStreak attempts to bring you the best of both worlds. It was also my opportunity to take something so essential to Halo modding and customize it exactly the way I felt it should be. The features of all three options of model exporting can perhaps best by summarized in this chart:

features

Additionally, an exclusive feature (that I was able to implement as something that was seemingly left out of the Blitzkrieg exporter)
is the ability to export vertex weights directly from 3ds max! This means your rigged models will be rigged upon export, with no need
to inject weights later in the process!

To show you how accurately this Exporter is as compared to the one released with the HEK, here are two comparison pictures...

Exported with Blitzkrieg Exporter:

blitz_export

Exported with BlueStreak JMS Exporter:

blues_export

The models are essentially identical!

Also, this fully rigged, textured, Master Chief model was exported directly from 3ds max with no additional modifications:

riggedmc

The GUI for the application looks simple, because it's incredibly simple to use:

gui

Simply press the button to export your model. Enjoy!

Download v1.0.1 of the script here.

For more information on how to create your own custom levels, models, and other content for Halo: Custom Edition, visit TheGhost's HaloCE Tutorial Resource. Also make sure to read the official HEK tutorial on the site which covers basic level creation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I export a rigged model?

Use the skin modifier to rig a model, and make sure the "Export vertex weights" checkbox is checked. The Skin modifier MUST be on top of the modifier stack.

Q: How do I export a Biped using 3ds max's Biped system?

This exporter will only look for scene objects that are NOT HIDDEN objects. You do not have to convert a Biped's toes to Editable Mesh before exporting, all you have to do is hide them. Also, it is very important that you do not export the Bip01 object, because this isn't really considered a node in Halo. Make sure you hide "Bip01" before exporting.

Q: What does the error "There are too many actors in the scene! Cannot export single model." mean?

As with Blitzkrieg, this means you have too many parent nodes in the scene. Make sure that all nodes are linked to a single parent node.

Q: What does the error "Warning: There was no geometry to export." mean?

As with Blitzkrieg, this means you do not have any geometry that will be exported. Make sure that all geometry objects you wish to export are linked to the parent node.

Version History:

  • Version 1.0.0 - First public release.
  • Version 1.0.1 - Fixed a section of code that was incompatible with gmax, causing export errors for rigged models.

To-do List :

  • Find a way to improve speed for gmax users. As of now the speed of the export for gmax users is limited to your computer's capacity to handle and manipulate large text strings that are written to the MAXScript Listener (the JMS data). The better your computer, the faster your data will export.

 

ghost_small
Last updated August 22, 2006 - pageloads
Intellectual © Adam Papamarcos, 2006