These two plugins will allow you to import/export a SFC model into 3ds Max 3, 4, or 5. Do note the Max 4 plugin can be used with Max 5.
These are the official Taldren plug-ins for 3D Studio MAX v3.x that are used to import models from and export models to Starfleet Command Volume II. Copy the files SFCImp.dli and SFCExp.dle to your 3D Studio Max "plugins" directory. To import an SFC2 model into 3DS Max: 1) Select File/Import. 2) Change the file type to "Starfleet Command (*.MOD)". 3) Double-click on the desired MOD file. Note that all the textures for the object must be in the same directory as the .MOD file or the importer will not find them. 4) The Importer asks, "Is this a break-up model?" Break-up models (represented as ModelName_brk.mod in SFC2) are models sectioned into debris pieces that are displayed when ships explode. Choose YES for models specially-designed as debris pieces, and NO for all other models. The Importer will then load all the geometry into Max and create a single multi/sub-object material with all the bitmaps assigned as textures in sub-materials. Each sub-material has a diffuse color map and may have a corresponding self-illumination map. SFC2 self-illumination maps are named exactly like the corresponding diffuse maps but with an "i" before the extension (for example, FCA_1_1i.bmp is the self-illumination map that goes with FCA_1_1.bmp). Hardpoints (where weapons fire comes from) and damage points (where weapons fire connects to) are represented as dummy objects. Hardpoints are named Hardpoint1, Hardpoint2, etc., while damage points are named a1, a2, a3, b1, b2, b3, etc., in a clockwise ring around the ship. The models for each different level-of-detail are each loaded up as a separate Max object. Object_1 is the highest LOD, Object_2 is less detail, etc. Some models also have a break-up model file, represented as ModelName_brk.mod . These are models sectioned into debris pieces and are displayed when ships explode. To Export 3DS Max geometry as an SFC2 model: 1) Select File/Export or File/Export Selected (Export Selected can be very useful if you have the LODs and the break-up model all in the same file; if just Export is used, all the objects in the Max file will be exported). 2) Change the file type to "Starfleet Command (*.MOD)". 3) Enter a name for the file. 4) The exporter asks "Force smoothing over the entire mesh?" Choosing yes will cause the exporter to disregard all Max smoothing information and smooth all connected polygons together. Currently, this is only used for planets and space backdrops. 5) The exporter says "Click YES to generate a standard model with multiple levels of detail or NO to create a single sectioned (break-up) model." Answering NO will cause the exporter to immediately generate the .MOD file, with each object in Max as a piece of debris in a break-up model. Answering YES will bring up another menu. 6) The exporter now needs to know at which distances you want SFC2 to display the different levels of detail. Note that the distances are in SFC2 units. You can also adjust the tolerance for the level-of-detail swapping (i.e., how sensitive the game is to dramatic camera shifts when switching LODs; the default value usually works fine) and choose to sort by model complexity (LOD1 is the object with the most polygons, LOD2 is the object with the next-highest number of polys, etc.) or by object name. Have fun! David T. Potter Art Director, SFC2
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