Author Topic: Using Maya for mods  (Read 4865 times)

Mahak

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Using Maya for mods
« on: March 22, 2008, 09:18:44 AM »
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has had any luck using Maya as a viable art asset creation tool, and what kind of dev. pipeline people use?

Have been mucking around a bit, trawling through forums, but it seems that art asset creation with ANY modelling package is a huge headache, with multiple conversions, editing tools etc. etc.

Just trying to decide if this engine is the way to go, or whether to find something a little friendlier.  Interested in starting up a bit of a mod project, however any team I get together would be using Maya.

If anyone has any technical specs on the .pof file format that would be great,  have not found a great amount of detail.  Really want to avoid having to go through a pile of separate programs to get assets through.

Success stories, anyone?

Akalabeth Angel

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Using Maya for mods
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 11:29:57 AM »
Quote from: Mahak;94787
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has had any luck using Maya as a viable art asset creation tool, and what kind of dev. pipeline people use?

Success stories, anyone?


     I've used Maya 8.5 to create a few models. Well, one finished model (needing textures) and uh . . started another fighter. And did some crap test model as well.

     Here's my fighter for example (supposed to be Vasudan):
       


     So in terms of development pipeline . . or workflow, whatever.
     Models not finished, but I have put some crap textured one in game. Here's what I did to get it there.

1.* Create ship in Maya
2. Enable OBJ export in Plugin manager, export ship to OBJ format
3. Load OBJ file in 3d Exploration (though mine has a trial which is counting down!), save the OBJ file as a COB file
4.** Load COB in Truespace 3.2 (free but aggravating program), set up the necessary hierarchy. Save COB file.
5. Convert COB to POF file using a number of programs. PCS2 is supposed to be the way to go these days but it doesn't like my computer. I use PCS1 to convert to POF, then load it in ModelView and add weapons and gun points etcetera there.

* - If you add turrets and the like, what I did is parent the turrets to the main hull. And export the ship. Then later in Truespace set-up the proper hierarchy crap (basically parenting with light sources thrown in to create groups). Helps to use Trueview, which is the Truespace equivelant of Maya's outliner.
** - Note that when you export to OBJ file, the orientation goes all out of whack. You'll have to rotate your model a bit to get it back to normal. I found it helps to open up a second window since I dunno, Truespace's controls suck b***s imo. (3.2 is an old, old program)

   Some dude name Kazan is working on some Maya to POF export sorta thing?? I'm not sure exactly. But I think it's still in the works. There's a bit about it in the uh, Hard-light MOD forum. "Collada XML" support he calls it. See my thread here:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,52430.0.html

Mahak

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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 12:43:22 AM »
Interesting...  I wonder what is wrong with maya heirarchy, that pcs can't read it...  I really want to avoid the whole truespace step.

What texture format did you use?

Akalabeth Angel

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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 02:27:19 AM »
I used DDS which seems to be the norm these days.
   I don't know about PCS2 but PCS1 doesnt read obj files, only COB and POF. And of course Maya doesnt deal in COB format. But I mean, even if you save as an OBJ file and then convert to a COB using 3d Exploration, you still want to open it in truespace because the conversion process for some reason totally screws up the orientation of your ship. Instead of lying flat on the ground plain, it'll be standing on it's tail. This will be true in any POF format to, and it'll be really annoying to try to orientate your craft and add weapon points, etcetera. Basically the "front" of the craft won't sorta be the front in Freespace I think. Like you know if you throw a ship down in FRED2, the ships all point the same way at the start. If you throw down one of these screwed up ones it'll still be screwed up.
      Also the thing is, everything in the hierarchy has to be in groups. When I moved a ship with hierarchy to Truespace, the hierarchy was still there but I very much doubt PCS would've read it. Common practice is to add scene-lights everywhere to the hierarchy so that every level has at least two components. See the post by Vasudan Admiral in this thread here (with the images): http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,52726.0.html

      Either way, maybe the best thing to do if you want to avoid Truespace is to ask Kazan on HLP about his XML Collada support for Maya. Sounds like it avoids Truespace.

Akalabeth Angel

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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 02:29:30 AM »
But the way, if you go the DDS route you'll need some sort of add-on for Photoshop that allows to the program to save and read DDS files. But the addon is fairly easy to come by. The other alternatives I think are JPEG or TGA. The latter of which is avoided because of slowdown issues?? and not sure about JPEG. DDS seems to be preffered because of minmapping support whatever that is. I think in some cases so that say a map for LOD0 can be used for LOD1 as well.