Simple Sword Modelling Tutorial - 3DSMax/GMAX -1 reply

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Inyri Forge VIP Member

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#1 12 years ago

3DS Max (or GMAX) Modelling Tutorial - Roman Gladius Sword

NOTE: This tutorial was written with 3DS Max in mind. Some parts may not be compatible with GMAX - I can't say for certain because I don't use it and don't know what functions it doesn't have. See the attached key to find all important buttons/functions listed in this tutorial.

This tutorial will cover all aspects of both modelling and skinning a very simple sword - a Roman gladius. This sword will need the following basic shapes: a plane (or box), two spheres, and a cylinder. That's right! You can make a sword out of just these basic shapes. I purposely picked a very simple design to begin with. It's never good to try and learn to do something by starting out with something complicated.

The first thing we want to do is find a good reference picture. I've already done this for us by using a quick google search. Searching google is one of the easiest ways to find good reference pictures without having to do much work yourself. For self-concepts or less common models you may have to draw your own references. If this is the case you just want to make sure your reference is as straight as possible. This will help in the modelling process.

So here is our base reference image:

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As you can see, this image is only from the front. We will have to "guess" what it looks like from the side. It is okay to assume that the hilt portion is either perfectly round or slightly ovular - whether you want your grip to be round or an oval will be up to you - it really doesn't matter. I am guessing both the sphere on the bottom and the guard separating the hilt and blade are also round. This will be important later.

The first thing we want to do is open up 3DS Max or GMAX and start out with a fresh scene. Pick a viewport - I usually use the front viewport - and hit ALT + B. This will bring up the viewport background window. What we want to do is add our base image as our viewport background. Find it, wherever you saved it on your hard drive, then under Aspect Ratio select Match Bitmap. Just to the right, make sure both Display Background and Lock Soom/Pan are selected. Click OK.

So now we should see our gladius image on the background of our viewport. If you find the grid distracting, as I usually do, you can turn it off by right clicking the viewport name and selecting Show Grid. This will toggle the grid off. There, now I can see my reference better! At this point I would zoom in to your selected viewport by hitting the Maximize Viewport Toggle button in the very bottom right. You will probably also want to zoom out by using your mouse scroller.

So now what? We have our image, but how do we start? First of all, make sure yo'ure in the create tab. I use a plane method to make all my sword blades, so I don't have to worry about two layers of vertices, but you can just as easily use a box and skip the extrude step I will get to later. This tutorial will go over the plane method. Make a plane roughly the size of your blade. Don't worry if it's not perfect. Once you have made your plane, you may want to change the viewport rendering to Smooth + Hilights. Find this in the same place as Show Grid. Now hit escape to deselect the plane tool and select your plane. Hit ALT + X to go into x-ray mode and F4 to show your edges. If you see lots of edges, go into the modify tab and change your length/width segments to one.

[color=red]MODELER'S HINT![/color] It's always easier to add edges than remove them! If in doubt, use less detail than you need. You can always add more later, but removing detail can be a pain!

So now your viewport should look something like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47117&stc=1&d=1141536098

What we want to do now is right click on the plane, go down to Convert To and chose Editable Poly. This will bring up the Editable Poly Roll-out. Select the Edge Tool and select the two long edges. Right click and select Connect. You should now see an edge in roughly the middle of the blade. Using the Move tool, drag it up to where the blade first begins to narrow.

At this point, your viewport should look like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47118&stc=1&d=1141536098

Now we want to select all three of the short edges and hit Connect. This should draw a line right down the middle. Now I will teach you a time-saving technique for use with symmetrical objects. Select the Vertex tool and delete all the vertices to the right of that center line. That will destroy the right half of your plane. Unselect the vertext tool and select your plane. Hit the Mirror button and make sure it it set to X. Then under Clone Selection chose Instance. This will copy the right half of your blade to the left half, so whatever you do to one side will be mirrored on the other. Handy, huh?

Now select the left side again, and select the vertex tool. We will now use the Target Weld tool. Select the target weld button and click on the top left vertex. Now click on the top middle vertex, where the point of the sword is. Now our plane looks a little more like it's supposed to!

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You'll notice the shape isn't quite right, as the gladius narrows a bit at the top. No worries! With the vertex tool, select the top right vertex (not the point of the sword!) and with the move tool move it to the right until it matches the reference image. You may also have to move the bottom left vertex out as well. Now you should know enough about the basic tools to be able to do this, though! Move the outer vertices around until you're happy with the general shape.

So now what do we do? All we have is a flat plane. Now comes the fun part. The first thing we want to do is combine the two halves of our sword to avoid headaches later on. Because the right side is an instance, we can't attach them directly. So what do we do? Delete it! Repeat the process of making the instance, but this time chose to copy it as a copy. Now you can chose Attach from your modify panel and click on the other side of the blade. To reduce the vertex count, use the vertext tool, select all vertices, and click Weld. With the default number it should weld all the middle vertices without welding any vertices you don't want to weld.

Now that our blade is complete again, use the Polygon tool and select all the faces of your blade. There are only four, so it's not a big hassle. Just hit CTRL + A to select all. Now hit Extrude in your roll-out. Don't see a difference, do you? Now we'll need to go to a different viewport to see what we're doing. Hit Cancel and press the P button on your keyboard. This will send us to the Perspective viewport. Don't worry that your base image is gone - it's still on your other viewport. Zoom out so you can see your whole model and use the Viewport Rotate button to get a good angle on your blade so you can see both the front and side. With all faces still selected, once again hit Extrude. Now we can see what's happening! This will only be one side of your blade, so the default 10 should be okay. We can always increase it later if we need to. Click OK.

So our sword now should look like this:

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Now we're going to use the Target Weld tool again to make the blade sharp - nobody wants to use a dull blade! Weld the vertices of the front to the back, leaving the middle vertices where they are - you have nothing to weld them to anyway! This is easiest to do in perspective mode. Remember, you can turn edges on here too by hitting F4.

Here's another trick, to make sure your blade looks sharp. With the Polygon Tool select the faces of one side of the blade - right or left. Scroll down in the rollout until you see Smoothing Groups. Underneat this will be buttons numbered 1 to 32. 1 should be hilighted in yellow. Click it so it is grey, then click the 2 next to it so that the 2 is yellow. This will cause one side of your blade to have a different smoothing group than the other, making it have a hard edge. This will help your blade to look a bit harder. For smoothed blades you'll want to forgo this step.

Now to make the back side of our blade we will once again employ the mirroring technique, but this time choose Y as your axis. You can mirror as a copy if you like and attach the front to the back if you're sure you aren't going to make any more changes. If you think you might alter your blade later, copy it as an instance again. You can skip the welding phase here also if you like. This will keep the blade from smoothing around the edges. For swords with higher vertex counts you will want to weld them and apply different smoothing groups to either side, but this sword has so few polies in the blade that it is unnecessary.

So now our blade is done! Phew! Let's move on to the hilt. Hit F to go back to your front viewport. Use the Pan tool to get a good view of the hilt area and zoom in if you need to. We will make the hilt before we make the guard. From the Create tab select Cylinder. A section will pop up called Parameters with a bunch of options. Change the Height Segments to 1 and the Sides to 8. Eight sides is more than sufficient for a Jedi Academy hilt. Using more sides than that is simply wasteful.

Put your mouse cursor at roughly the middle of the hilt and click, dragging outwards until the edge of the cylinder is close to the edge of the hilt in the picture. Drag the mouse a little bit and click again - this determines the height of the cylinder. Since you can't see how long you made it, we'll worry about changing it later. Hit escape to deselect the cylinder tool. Once again hit ALT + X to put this cylinder in x-ray mode.

The cylinder isn't facing the right direction, so we'll need to rotate it. If you have 3DSMax you can use the Angle Snap Toggle to make sure you rotate it exactly 90 degrees. If you have GMAX you'll just have to be a little more careful, as I'm told it lacks this function. Click the Rotate tool and rotate the cylinder 90 degrees. That should look more like a hilt! Move the cylinder up or down and use the Scale tool to scale it only up and down (select just the green part and pull it up or down, depending on how you rotated your cylinder). Position the cylinder so it approximately covers the hilt. To compensate for our hilt guard and pommel section we will need to make it a little bit longer on both ends. I forgot to tell you to do this for the blade, so we'll fix that later.

Your model should look something like this at this point:

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You can see our hilt isn't quite the right shape, as we did with the blade, change the cylinder to an editable poly. Using the vertex tool, select all of the bottom vertices and scale them (you can scale in all directions this time by clicking the center of the yellow portion and draggin) until the are about the width of the bottom of the hilt in the picture. Do the same with the top.

Now we have this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47122&stc=1&d=1141536098

Much better! Our hilt is done! Wasn't that easy? So now we have to do the pommel and the hilt guard. This'll be a little bit more complicated, but not too bad. For these we will use the sphere tool.

The first thing we want to do is fix our blade. It isn't quite long enough right now, so we want to drag the bottom verts down so they're just overlapping the hilt guard in our picture. This will ensure our model doesn't have any holes. Overlapping objects isn't a bad thing. In fact it is often the easiest way to make sure your model doesn't have any gaping holes in it!

Now select the Sphere tool from the Create tab. Change its parameters so the Segments are about 10 or 12. Twelve segments will be much easier to work with for our purposes. To get the sphere to match our reference, place the cursor near the middle of the very bottom of our blade, click, and drag. If it doesn't match up with the picture, use the move tool to reposition it. Remember to put it in x-ray mode! To make things easier for ourselves, let's rotate this sphere 90 degrees up so that it has a straight line across the middle, where our hilt guard and blade will meet. It's a good thing we picked 12 sides, because the mid line falls right where we want it to! Scale the sphere to the left and right if you need to, then convert it to an editable poly. Delete all the vertices above the center line.

You should have this:

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Now if you look at this in perspective mode you'll see we have a problem. Deleting those vertices left us with a hole! In Polygon mode, select Create. Now click on each vertex in order around the top of the half-sphere. This will create a large face which will be the top of our hilt guard. Our hilt guard is done!

Now for the easy part - the pommel. I could explain a complicated way, which involves attaching it to the hilt, yadda yadda yadda, but doing that is really unnecessary and will only make UV mapping it more difficult, so we're just going to leave it unattached.

Once again select the Sphere tool with the same parameters are our hiltguard. Click on the center of our pommel and drag outwards. Scale the sphere up, down, left or right until you get the right shape. Voila! Done! Before we move on, you may want to go into perspective mode and make sure your hiltguard and pommel aren't elongated from front to back. If they are, scale them appropriately.

Here is our finished sword model:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47124&stc=1&d=1141536098

Pretty nifty, huh? Now we need to UV map and skin it, which I will cover in the next part of the tutorial.




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#2 12 years ago

3DS Max (or GMAX) UV Mapping Tutorial - Roman Gladius Sword

Our model's done, so now we need to UV map it. Easier said than done. However it's really not as hard as it seems, especially if you've used basic shapes. The first thing we'll want to map is our blade, because it will be easiest. In this tutorial we're going to map all the parts of our model onto one skinmap, to save space and to make skinning easier.

First, select your blade. Either both sides of the blade should be attached or you should have an instance. Either way will work fine. In any case, select your blade and in the Modifier List select Unwrap UVW. You should see Unwrap UVW above Editable Poly in your modifier list now. Click the little plus (+) and you will see Select Face. Click it. Now hit CTRL + A to select all the faces of your model. In the rollout below you should see a section labeled Sub Object Params. Make sure Z is selected, then hit the Planar Map button. Under Parameters click the large Edit button. This will bring up the UV map window.

For those of you who aren't at all familiar with UV mapping, you will see a grey background with a blue grid on top. You should also see a darker blue box around part of the grid. This is your UV map space. You want all the parts of your map to be inside it. Right now you should see some lines and dots representing your blade, perfectly shaped. That's all you'll have to do with that, but scale it down a little (just a little!) so it's not touching the edges (hold CTRL to uniformly scale it), then move it out of the way toward the left side of your UV map. Place it like this:

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This leaves us with plenty of room for the rest of our model's sections. Close this window, then deselect your blade. Now select your hilt. This will be the second easiest section to UV map because it should be already done for you! However we need to make a bit of modification to our model first, to save us some confusion. On each end of the cylinder that is your hilt will be faces - sort of like caps for your model. As you should notice, these caps are going to be covered up by your hilt guard and pommel, so no one will ever see them. So why bother UV mapping or skinning them? In fact, why bother having them? Yep, go ahead and delete them. We don't need them.

Now add the Unwrap UVW modifier to your hilt cylinder and go back to edit. We don't want to hit planar map this time! Once you hit edit you should see why. The UV map is already perfect! With a little scaling it'll work perfectly. Scale it so it looks something like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47126&stc=1&d=1141538431

Now we'll need to do our hilt guard and pommel. These will be a little trickier. Let's start with our pommel, since the hilt guard will be most complicated. Once again add the Unwrap UVW modifier, then hit edit. You should see a mess that looks nothing like a sphere. Close the window, then repeat the steps we took for the blade. Now click edit and you should see something much nicer. The tricky part here is postioning it so it doesn't conflict with the blade or hilt. To be very honest I hardly ever get it right the first time, so if you're really worried about it overlapping another surface, move it outside your box for the time being. We will be attaching all the pieces later, so once we do that all the UV maps will show up on the same screen and we can move them around. That's what I'm going to do right now with the pommel and hilt guard.

Now our hiltguard is going to be a little trickier. We can't just use planar map, otherwise the top of our hilt guard will have stretched textures. This UV map will take two steps. First, add the modifier and do a planar map like we did before. Scale it down in edit and move it out of the way. Now go into perspective mode and, with Select Faces selected select just that top face, the one we created earlier.

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47127&stc=1&d=1141538431

Make sure the little yellow box around the face is in the right orientation (if it's up and down we'll just get a flat line) and hit planar map again. Click edit and look at your UV map. You should see the section we created before, and this new section separate from it. Scale it down and move it out of the way as well.

Now what we're going to do is collapse our UV maps on all of our objects. First select your blade, and make sure none of your modifiers are expanded (click the little - if they are). Then right click in your modifier list and click Collapse All. This will save your UV map, but any changes you make to your model won't reset it. Very handy! Repeat this for the hilt guard, hilt, and pommel.

Now we're going to attach the pieces of our model together. You don't have to do this, but I like to make it one large model so I don't have to worry about individual parts. If you have a higher-poly model you probably won't want to do this. However for this small model it's fine. Click your blade and select Attach. Now click on your hilt guard, hilt, and pommel. You should have one large model now.

To fix the UV mapping we made earlier, re-add the Unwrap UVW modifier and click edit. Now move your pieces around so they fit snugly inside the blue box without overlapping any other pieces. You may have to scale things up or down. Now don't forget which sphere is which! Your pommel and hilt guard may look very similar, depending on whether you mapped the hilt guard from the front or from the bottom. I did it from the bottom (which I may regret later :p) so they look almost identical. What I'm going to do avoid texture stretching is move the outside polies of the sphere for my hiltguard out a bit further. This ensures that the texture doesn't stretch, since the faces are much larger than the UV map shows. The tools in the Edit UVWs window are very similar to the viewport windows, so you should be able to figure them out okay.

Here's what I came up with (the bottom sphere is the pommel):

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47128&stc=1&d=1141538431

Now the easiest way to get your UVs exported to a texture so they're useful is to use Texporter (find it in the tutorial sticky). It is a plugin, so if you don't have it yet you'll have to restart Max before it'll be available to you. Once you're ready, click the Utilities tab (the little hammer up with the create/modify tabs - I didn't list it in the key, but I'm confident you can find it). Under utilities there is a button labeled More, and a button labaled Sets. Next to that is a button with a weird little thing on it that my eyes are not good enough to make out. Click it. At the bottom you'll find Texporter, which you can then drag over to the right to add to your utilities list. It will then show up in the rollout.

Make sure your settings look like this, then click Pick Object and click your model. A window will pop up as in the following screenshot. Click the disk icon in the upper left hand side of this new window to save this image, so that you can skin over it.

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47129&stc=1&d=1141538431

Voila! Your UV mapping is done! See, not as scary as you thought... Of course for more complicated models, the UV mapping becomes more complicated.




ArcticMonkey

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#3 12 years ago

>< very explain..-ative =) lol... what about getting it into Jedi Academy? Before i lost my data i had a gun that pointed the wrong way. Can you show us which way the tag should face in comparision to the surface which will bolt to rhang_tagbone?




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#4 12 years ago

3DS Max (or GMAX) Skinning Tutorial - Roman Gladius Sword

For this section of the tutorial I'm going to have to assume you already know how your graphics software works, because not everyone has the same software and I can only go over photoshop really, and I have less powerful software than most. Keep in mind that there are lots of techniques on how to skin things, and I and not by far an expert, so this is just how I do it. I didn't want to leave you guys high and dry, though!

First of all, open up your exported UV map from wherever you saved it. We're going to be mimicking our base image, so you might want to open that as well for quick and easy comparison. The first thing we want to do is isolate our model sections from the black background. The easiest way to do this is with the magic wand tool. With a low tolerance, select the black area, then contract your selection by about 1 pixel. This'll account for any spillover around the edges and keep us from having nasty 1-pixel seams. Now make a new layer, invert your selection, and use the paint bucket to fill it in in the color of your choice. This is just a reference, so it doesn't matter what color you make it. Make it pink, if you like. That's what I'm going to do, just to irritate all the guys out there.

So you should have something like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47135&stc=1&d=1141543225

Now, once again using the magic wand tool, select the portion that is your blade on the pink layer. Make a new layer and fill it with a light grey color. Now on the pink layer select the large rectangle that is our hilt. In a new layer fill it in with a color that's close to the color of the hilt in the reference image.

[COLOR=red]MODELER'S HINT![/COLOR] To keep track of your colors, make a layer (I like to call it "swatches") and pain a 10-pixel dot on it. This way if you need to come back to an exact color used earlier you have an un-altered sample!

Follow the same coloring procedure for your other sections. Why are we just using the boring ol' paintbucket? To get a general color-scheme for our model. Once you've got your color scheme set, save it, then go back into Max and hit the M button. This brings up the Material Editor. Expand the Maps section and find Diffuse Color. Next to it click where it says None, then chose Bitmap in the window that pops up. Find your new texture (I saved mine as a PSD, which Max will recognize just fine and keeps me from making layer merge errors). This will cause the first little sphere to change, having your texture on top. Click and hold that sphere, then drag it onto your weapon. Nothing happens! Click the blue and white checkered cube button below the spheres. Now you should see your sword with glorious paint-bucket colors. Now we can see in real-time as our texture changes and how it looks on our model.

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47136&stc=1&d=1141543225

Now back to our texture. We have our basic colors, so now we need to add detail. Select the blade portion by CTRL+Clicking on the grey sword layer. This should select just that area. Make a new layer, fill it with black, then hit D. Use the render clouds filter (Render>Clouds). Repeat this filter until you get a pattern you think looks good. Set the layer to overlay. Play around with the layer opacity until the pattern looks believable on your model. I set mine to 50%.

Our blade is not done. Make a new layer, fill with black, then use the noise filter (Noise>Add Noise). We want quite a bit of noise, so change the percentage to 50%. Click OK. Now we want to use the motion blur filter (Blur>Motion Blur). Make sure the angle is 0, and put the distance to about 20. Now set the layer to overlay. We don't want this effect on our whole texture, so CTRL+Click the gray layer again, invert your selection, and delete the rest of the blur. Now we have a nice clean blur on our sword. Change the opacity until it looks believable on the model. Once again, i set mine to 50%.

At this point our texture should look something like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47137&stc=1&d=1141543225

Are we done with our blade yet? Nope. Use the rectangular selection tool and select half of one side of the blade. It doesn't matter which half, and it doesn't have to conform to the blade shape - just make it tall enough and wide enough to cover the whole side. Make a new layer and fill with black. With the section still selected, render clouds again and adjust the opacity just as before. Set it to overlay. This causes the two halves of our blade to have different cloud patterns, helping give the impression that it bends at an angle in the middle instead of looking flat.

To add some more detail to your model, draw a couple of lines down the center of your blade right next to each other - one white and one black - like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47138&stc=1&d=1141543225

Give each line about a 3.5 gaussian blur, then delete the right half of the white blur and the left half of the black blur. Set both layers to 50%. It'll now look like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47138&stc=1&d=1141543225

Now, around the very edges of the blade, blur some white with about the same blur. The easiest way to do this is the select around the blade section, fill with white in a new layer, blur, then select the blade section and delete all the white around it, leaving only what overlaps with the blade section. That's pretty good for our blade, so let's move on to our hilt.

The first thing you want to do is see if your UV map is upside down. I find that half the time Max does put it upside down, though for something symmetrical like this it really doesn't matter. It looks like we're trying to make some kind of leather or wood with gold bands around it. Sounds hard, but it's really pretty simple. Our reference has 5 gold bands, with one at the top and one at the bottom. Remember that our hilt overlaps our guard and pommel a bit, so part of the top and bottom of our UV map will be hidden. We need to account for this when we start to skin it.

The first thing we want to do is make a rectangle, a bit wider than our orangish hilt rectangle, and fill it in with a gold color on a new layer. You can check your rectangle size on your model to see if it's to large or too small. For right now we're just going to do one of these. To make it look like it is popping out, since we didn't model that onto our hilt, we will need to "fake" some depth. First, make a line near the top of the yellow rectangle (in a new layer of course) and fill it with black. It should overlap the yellow rectangle by bit and should be wide enough to produce a good gaussian blur. Yep, you guessed it. Go ahead and blur it, with the same settings we used before. Blur it a total of four times. Duplicate the layer and move it to the bottom of the rectangle, so it mirrors the top. Now select outside of the yellow rectangle and delete the extra parts on the two black blurred layers so only what overlays the yellow rectangle remains. Have a look at this in max and you'll see that we now have a little bit of depth! Yay!

Now flatten these three layers (the gold rectangle and the two blurred layers) and duplicate this layer four times, moving them down to make the 4 other bands. If they aren't perfectly spaced don't worry about it. Nothing's ever perfect. As long as it looks close it's fine.

Our skin now looks like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47139&stc=1&d=1141543225

Well, the hilt looks a little plastic-y. We'll address that later.

Now for the hilt guard and pommel. These'll be pretty simple. For the pommel simply make a good-sized dot in the middle of the sphere and give it a gaussian blur of about 40 (depending on how large you made your dot). There, done. Good enough! Remember, the blade is what people will be looking at. Put most of your effort into what's most often seen. I'm not going to bother putting the little gold dots on the pommel. You can if you like.

For the pommel we probably don't need to do much except make the gold rim around the edge. Make a circle inside the sphere portion that's a good percentage of the sphere. On a new layer, paint the gold color we used before around the outside of this sphere by inverting your selection.

Now I mentioned that I might regret UV mapping the hiltguard the way I did, and indeed I do. If I use a circle, the edges look bowed. So now I will have to use straight lines according to my UV map. Now as a result I will have to do minute adjustements by looking at how the coloring appears on the model. This is why generally modellers will use a checkered pattern on their models when UV mapping, to determine stretching. I don't usually bother with weapon models, because there's usually very little stretching. Every once in a while, though, you make more work for yourself than necessary.

So now I have it all evened out. We're going to want to use the same technique we used on the bands on our hilt. The only difference now is that our "rectangle" is actually a ring. Make a new layer, select all the areas around our gold ring, and paint black in this new layer. Then blur like we did with the bands. Now to give a little depth, I'm going to paint directly under the yellow ring in a new layer a bit of white, then blur that. This technique can also be applied with black colors, such as for adding detail to the hilt. I'm going to apply this technique under the bands on the hilt with black to give a little more depth.

After all this, our texture looks like this:

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attachment.php?attachmentid=47140&stc=1&d=1141543225

Now here's the big secret to making things look better. Make a new layer, above all the rest, and add a layer of black and use the noise filter, at about 20% or so. Set the layer to screen and change the opacity to 20%.

And there you have it! A very simple skin. It's a bit simpler than I'd normally do, but it's best to start out simple, and this'll certainly do it.

Here's the final skin:

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And a render of the finished sword:

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If for some reason you got lost somewhere, let me know and I'll help you through it!

Next we'll cover getting your finished model in-game.




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#5 12 years ago

Getting Your Weapon In-game - Roman Gladius Sword

Plugins you will need: -GLM Import -MD3 Export

Now that you're done modelling, UV mapping, and skinning your model, I bet you'd like to get it in-game, wouldn't you? No worries! This is actually the easy part.

The hardest part about getting your sword in-game will be resizing it. You might wonder what's so hard about that, but the fact is unless you want to import another model to judge from (and hope that model is sized properly) you'll have to guess. Luckily for me I have made plenty of models that I can just import one (and steal its tag!), but you can just as easily import a lightsaber hilt from the game assets. A normal lightsaber hilt should be sized to about the size of what your hilt would be.

Let's import a lightsaber hilt. I'm assuming you have all the proper plugins, so go to File>Import and find a saber model. If you don't have one handy, extract one from assets1.pk3. Now that I've imported a saber, even if I put my model in x-ray mode I can't see it? Where is it?! You might've guessed that our model is just huge! So grab it and scale it down - a lot. As you zoom it you will start to see the hilt. Make sure to keep your model near the origin - 0 0 0 - so you don't lose the hilt. You can just select the move tool and set the coordinates at the bottom to 0 0 0.

Well, it seems the lightsaber hilt I picked isn't quote the same length as my hilt, so I'm going to judge by the width of the hilt rather than the length. Now I've got it pretty much scaled correctly (I hope!).

Spoiler: Show
attachment.php?attachmentid=47144&stc=1&d=1141545612

So what now? See that little triangle? It's the blade tag. It is what tells the engine where the lightsaber blade should come out of the model. If your sword doesn't have one, the blade will be sticking out of the player model's crotch. Ouch! So what we can do is steal this tag. Select the tag and your model, then hit CTRL + I. Now press delete. This will get rid of the hilt model, since we don't want that.

Now select the tag. You will notice it is called *blade1. This is no good - rename it tag_blade1. Now the engine will recognize it as a tag. Move it up a little so the top fo the tag is at the bottom of your blade. Now we're ready to export. The first thing I'm going to do is rename my mesh before I export. Click on your sword, then rename it something like "gladius", just like you renamed the tag. Also rotate the model 90 degrees to the left. Trust me on this one. Now go to File>Export and choose Quake3 (*.md3) as your file type. You can't just export to GLM - it won't work!

Now in order to be able to compile correctly, you need to set up the right pathway. I am saving my MD3 in a directory of D:/base/models/weapons2/gladius/ - MD3View, which you will need to compile to GLM, will look for this kind of pathway. Keeping the path as short as possible is always better, since you need everything from base on.

Make sure you saved your texture to this new folder you have created. I called mine gladius.jpg (makes sense, right?). So now I have gladius.md3 and gladius.jpg in my gladius folder. I am now going to open notepad and put in the following line:

gladius,models/weapons2/gladius/gladius.tga

You can always put .tga in a skin file, regardless of what filetype the texture actually is. Now save this file as gladius.skin and set the filetype to all files. Save this in you gladius folder with the other two items. Now open your MD3. It should open in MD3 view, otherwise search for MD3View and choose it to open the file.

Now MD3View is kind of dumb, and since Max and GMAX have no method of telling the MD3 where the textures are half the time they won't show up. That's what we made the skin file for. Even if your textures do show up, go to File and choose Import Skin and select the skin file you just made. Now zoom in to your hilt area and hit ALT + 0. Well what do you know, the tag is rotated incorrectly! Never trust a Raven model. The blue lines represent your model, and the white ones represent your tag. The tag must have the -X axis facing up (parallel to your blade) in order for the blade to come out the right way. You can see here that my blade would be coming out sideways:

Spoiler: Show
attachment.php?attachmentid=47145&stc=1&d=1141545612

To fix this, we go back into max and rotate the tag until we get the right angle. You'll have to apply the skin each time. It's tedious, but necessary. Once you get one model done, then you can just steal the tag from the original project file and won't have to worry about it anymore. As a bonus, you can also use that file as a base file to scale other models from, assuming you scaled it right!

So now I've fixed my tag, so I can finish up compiling my model. First, after you've applied your skin, export back out to MD3 and overwrite your old one. That way this new one will already have the skin applied when you open it. Then export to GLM. Choose the second option, which says (for JKA) after it. Phew, now you're done compiling! All that's left is putting the PK3 together.

So here's what you'll need in your PK3:

-Your GLM -Your MD3 -Your texture -A saber file (.sab)

Those are the bare minimums. You don't need your skin file because the MD3 and GLM will remember where the texture is. First, set up the following folder structures in PakScape:

Spoiler: Show
attachment.php?attachmentid=47146&stc=1&d=1141545612

In the gladius folder place the GLM, the MD3, and the texture.

Spoiler: Show
attachment.php?attachmentid=47147&stc=1&d=1141545612

In the saber folder place your .sab file.

Wait a sec, I haven't told you how to make that yet!

Open notepad back up and add the following:

gladius { name "Gladius" saberType SABER_SINGLE saberModel "models/weapons2/gladius/gladius.glm" soundOn "sound/weapons/sword/draw1.mp3" soundLoop none soundOff none saberLength 35 noblade 1 trailStyle 2

spinsound "sound/weapons/sword/spin.mp3"

swingSound1 "sound/weapons/sword/swing1.mp3" swingSound2 "sound/weapons/sword/swing2.mp3" swingSound3 "sound/weapons/sword/swing3.mp3"

fallSound1 "sound/weapons/sword/fall1.mp3" fallSound2 "sound/weapons/sword/fall2.mp3" fallSound3 "sound/weapons/sword/fall3.mp3"

hitSound1 "sound/weapons/sword/stab1.mp3" hitSound2 "sound/weapons/sword/stab2.mp3" hitSound3 "sound/weapons/sword/stab3.mp3"

}Save this as gladius.sab, once again choosing all files as the file type. Now place it in the sabers folder.

Save this PK3 to your base folder and try it out. If everything went well it should work!

I have attached a zip with my finished product in it if anyone wants to look at it. The soundset is incomplete, but I didn't want to go over adding new sounds so I used the default sword soundset, which kind of sucks...

Now the tutorial is done. Feel free to ask questions! But I won't answer them until tomorrow because I'm sleepy... ;)




Almighty_gir

Mutated Inyri Clone No#00001.5

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21st July 2004

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#6 12 years ago

looks like a clear, and well thought out tutorial :)

gratz iny :D




Jaden Kenobi

On Your Knees Dog!

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5th August 2005

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#7 12 years ago

:eek: WooW.:eek: This is just what I was looking for, Thanks alot Inyri.:bows:




Metall_pingwin

Call me Pingwin

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26th May 2005

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#8 12 years ago

*cough* skinning *cough*




Szico VII

We want FF7-2/remake!

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15th September 2003

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#9 12 years ago

eek...thats one long tutorial.

but hey, maybe I'll try it, never thought about modelling much :)




ElegosVos

Fortune favours the bold

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29th July 2005

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#10 12 years ago

Well this is awesome Inyri, strange thing is I modeled a Gladius yesterday morning. I was looking to learn how to UV it. Very nice tut Inyri!




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