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[REL|Beta] DFF Import/Export script for Blender

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Hollower
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#1

Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:20 PM Edited by Hollower, 12 May 2004 - 08:13 PM.

I've been working on this for a while, and I think it's finally ready for public testing. Keep in mind you will need to be familiar with Blender before you think about trying to use this.

Click here for home page and download link

Edit (May 12th): A few changes to note. The free hosting I was using really sucked so the above link is now my home. I'll put redirects on the old page if I can get into it. Also, I fixed a bug for Blender 2.33 and seperated the tutorial from the script download.

QUOTE (readme.txt)

Introduction
=============

This is the first public beta version of a new script for importing and
exporting models for GTA3 and GTA:VC. I am pleased to be able to offer
a new alternative which surpasses many of the limitations of the other
options available to the modding community.

"Beta" means the script has only been tested under a limited set of
conditions (my own PC). By using this script you are participating
in experimental testing. I offer no guarantee that the program will
run properly, and like everything there exists the remote possibility
that it could damage your computer.

Requirements
=============

Blender 2.31 or above (for Windows):
www.blender3d.org


Supported DFF Features
=======================

- hierarchy (meshes+dummies)
- materials
- vertex colors
- normals (export only)
- UV textures
- alpha maps
- reflection maps (export only)
- bump maps (export only)
- skeletal mesh (with limitations)
- file locking


Known limits/bugs
==================

- object names are limited to 20 characters in length
- limit of 16 materials per mesh
- importing more than one model can cause name conflicts, messing up hierarchy
- import can "hang" on high-poly models with 'msplit' option enabled
- DFF UV coords and vertex colors are shared by adjacent faces, Blender's are not
- normals are not imported, they are calculated automatically
- quads are not automatically converted to triangles (exports a corrupt file)
- VC skeletal models are partially supported (must reuse skeleton of existing model)
- VC cutscene models are not yet supported (mesh works, but no skeletal support)
- multi-clump DFFs are not yet supported (only first clump will be imported)
- cannot import DFFs exported by the old 3DS Max R3 plugin


Acknowledgements
=================

Special thanks to the following people for their help:

Alastair Burr ('KCow')  ... file format help
Oleg M                  ... file format help
Steve M ('ST.MU')      ... file format help
'ashdexx'              ... example models
'Theeth'                ... code tips
JM Soler ('jms')        ... code tips
Nick Winters ('z3r0_d') ... code tips

And of course Rockstar Games, Blender Foundation, and the
online communities, for providing me with a fun and challenging
hobby.
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TRN4L
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#2

Posted 06 March 2004 - 12:58 AM Edited by TRN4L, 06 March 2004 - 01:23 AM.

wow impressive. is there any player model tutorials in the works?

EDIT: also, is there any possibility of you writing a script for max? like version 5 or 6. i have a LEGAL valid liscence and SDK if that matters

EDIT2: ahh the tut is in the zip tounge.gif

Redkiller
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#3

Posted 06 March 2004 - 01:12 AM

I think someone deserves some nice shiney stars! happy.gif

Hollower
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#4

Posted 06 March 2004 - 01:24 AM

QUOTE (TRN4L @ Mar 5 2004, 18:58)
wow impressive. is there any player model tutorials in the works?

EDIT: also, is there any possibility of you writing a script for max? like version 5 or 6. i have a LEGAL valid liscence and SDK if that matters

There is a tutorial in the download that covers everything I could think of. As for Max, I don't have it and don't plan to get it either legally or illegally. I'd be happy to help anyone with file format info but I don't know maxscript. I know Blender isn't newbie friendly but it is powerful and free.

TRN4L
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#5

Posted 06 March 2004 - 01:41 AM

how do i get the text editor in a verticle shape. i can make a new panle horizontal, but not verticle

Hollower
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#6

Posted 06 March 2004 - 02:50 AM

QUOTE (TRN4L @ Mar 5 2004, 19:41)
how do i get the text editor in a verticle shape. i can make a new panle horizontal, but not verticle

I'm not sure what you mean. To get a screen like the one shown in the tutorial you right-click the border between the 3D window and the buttons window, then select 'split area'. That should give a vertical border to place. Then change the window type.

http://download.blen.../html/c371.html

DexX
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#7

Posted 06 March 2004 - 03:17 AM

wee! im downloading blender as i type this. maybe its jsut alot of people downloading it at once, but i had a transfer rate of 400 BYTES per second, when i tried to get your script from your site.

at the risk of sounding rude and/or ungrateful (im not, i swear!), i have a few ideas id like to toss around for future versions...

-.ipl / ide support for map modding. since you support vertex coloring, its ideal to make buildings in blender and add the lighting in there end export right to the game. if we could generate / import the ipl / ide data right from blender with multiple objects, that would streamline the process a bit. just a thought. collision support would be neat too, but not as much.

actually, that was the only idea im comfortable mentioning right now. congrats on the release. i hope it works well smile.gif

JBandit
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#8

Posted 06 March 2004 - 03:30 AM Edited by JBandit, 06 March 2004 - 03:35 AM.

Nice. I am gonna try to add arthas from WC3 into vice with this. Hope it works. BTW, could i add this and the other things you made to my site? Also, have you made any player models with this?

Hollower
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#9

Posted 06 March 2004 - 03:43 AM Edited by Hollower, 06 March 2004 - 04:01 AM.

QUOTE (ashdexx)
maybe its jsut alot of people downloading it at once, but i had a transfer rate of 400 BYTES per second, when i tried to get your script from your site.


Hmm. I've been trying to find a decent free host. Gone through several already with similar problems. Bleh, there's always a catch isn't there. sad.gif I'll keep looking. I'll try to get some mirrors up on other hosts that haven't deleted me yet.

[quote=ashdexx]
if we could generate / import the ipl / ide data right from blender with multiple objects, that would streamline the process a bit. just a thought. collision support would be neat too, but not as much.
[/qoute]

Not a bad idea. Currently it's not coded well for exporting multiple objects at the same time, but maybe eventually. And I was already planning to support collision files.

edit: gah, what is with these quote tags? suicidal.gif

Hollower
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#10

Posted 06 March 2004 - 03:58 AM

QUOTE (JBandit @ Mar 5 2004, 21:30)
Nice. I am gonna try to add arthas from WC3 into vice with this. Hope it works. BTW, could i add this and the other things you made to my site? Also, have you made any player models with this?

I have of course made test models enough to know it works, but they are definately not releasable. I still have problems with deformed joints, but it's a modelling/weighting problem not a bug. I need more practice.

BTW I warn in the tutorial not to dive straight into a mod project, let alone a player model, without first getting very cozy with Blender usage. Maybe you can handle it, but I felt it bears repeating before everyone's excitement turns to frustration.

Sure, you can put it on your site. Just make sure people know it's a beta, and try to update it when I release a new version.

TRN4L
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#11

Posted 06 March 2004 - 03:58 AM

hollower, i can host this on 3dfx-core.net if you want. its got a good connection.

Hollower
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#12

Posted 06 March 2004 - 04:05 AM

QUOTE (TRN4L @ Mar 5 2004, 21:58)
hollower, i can host this on 3dfx-core.net if you want. its got a good connection.

Cool. Anyone else who wants to host it, just read the copyright at the end of the readme.txt file. I'm okay with redistribution as long as the archive remains unaltered.

Redkiller
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#13

Posted 07 March 2004 - 04:19 PM

Is there something wrong with the script? Cause everytime I try to open it, a messege pops up saying that its not the right file type or something. dontgetit.gif

TRN4L
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#14

Posted 08 March 2004 - 12:45 AM

I'm currently hosting the script on my site, to help ease the possible stress on the free host...

THE DOWNLOAD

Hollower
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#15

Posted 10 March 2004 - 12:08 AM Edited by Hollower, 10 March 2004 - 12:09 AM.

TRN4L: Thank you!

Redkiller: You're probably going to the main menu. Perhaps it's wasn't clear in the tutorial, but you're supposed to open it from the File menu at the bottom of the Text Editor window.

ModelingMan
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#16

Posted 11 March 2004 - 07:30 PM

Well done with the script Hollower. colgate.gif

I'm a newbie with Blender, the problems I have is the parenting and creating group vertices. I don't have a clue about Blender, but soon I will, hopefully confused.gif .

Phreak2k4
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#17

Posted 17 March 2004 - 10:07 PM

Hollower, Blender has animation support. Will you be adding animation support to models in the future?

Hollower
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#18

Posted 17 March 2004 - 10:37 PM

QUOTE (Phreak2k4 @ Mar 17 2004, 16:07)
Hollower, Blender has animation support. Will you be adding animation support to models in the future?

Yes, I plan to support animation when I learn how. This is going to sound insane but when I started this project I was a newbie to Blender, and in many respects I still am. I learned what was necessary to make the script...as I was making it. When I figure out how to read/write Blender animation data from Python I will work on import/export of IFP files. How fast it goes depends on how much free time I spend on it in place of a social life smile.gif

Phreak2k4
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#19

Posted 18 March 2004 - 12:03 AM Edited by Phreak2k4, 18 March 2004 - 12:21 AM.

Ok, good to hear. IFP files are found in dffs, arent they? Ill look in the weapon.dat if you want to see what I find.


Edit: Errr, i found out where most ifp animations are at.*hits head at table*

El Super Phreak
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#20

Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:40 AM

Thought I'd bump this.

Hollower, does blender allow .dff importing?Is it possible? It'd be a lot easier if we could model our player model in Zmod, then export , import into blender and make the bones.

DexX
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#21

Posted 22 March 2004 - 09:58 PM

oh great, you made baby jesus cry. its not even 300k, just download it and read the tutorial (in handy html format), it will answer your questions.

Wolf-X
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#22

Posted 23 March 2004 - 01:50 AM

Damn good idea El Super Phreak, now if only I could get blender to run without errors

JernejL
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#23

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:59 PM

nice stars hollower biggrin.gif


Hollower
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#24

Posted 24 March 2004 - 01:04 AM

Wow - thank you, Delfi!

I feel bad that everyone has such a hard time with Blender. Every comment I've seen so far ends with the person giving up. Sometimes you can simply fiddle around with an app and figure out how things work...Blender is not one of those apps. The workflow is mostly hot-key and mouse driven. Unfortunately most of the documentation is for older versions, but still important to read. If anyone has questions or is stuck on some point go ahead and ask. I really wanted this to become a viable alternative to ZModeler and Max.

user posted image

killer.ip
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#25

Posted 24 March 2004 - 01:28 AM

Although Blender can be a little buggy at times I can definitely recommend following Hollower's advice, sit down and plug through the first few stages of the documentation... doesn't take long to reach the end of 'Your first animation in 30 minutes', it just takes a little getting over that initial learning curve hump.

It's getting late here over here in the UK but I've some questions about pre-lighting I need to ask at some point, getting some bizarre effects that can hopefully be straightened out (well, not that bizarre really).

Great looking new character btw, just goes to show Blender is capable of these things.

DexX
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#26

Posted 24 March 2004 - 05:42 AM

The app itself isnt TOO bad, if your willing to put forth the effort. Although as an experienced max / zmodeler user, i must say i find blender's UI to be somewhwat.....what are the words im looking for......ah yes, f*cking retarded. but thats not your fault, so i wont go on. congrats on the stars

JernejL
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#27

Posted 24 March 2004 - 12:55 PM

just one thing about normals, they shouldb't be calculated,
but imported, as the cars use non-calculated normals
at the chassis-door edges, to improve reflections - as
otherwise there is the vierd "water-edge" like problem
around doors where the reflections get vierd visible borders.

Jordan
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#28

Posted 08 April 2004 - 04:48 AM Edited by d8cam19, 08 April 2004 - 05:39 AM.

I mean no disrespect to Hollower, but I just tried for a half-hour to even get Blender to do anything I wanted, and it not only severely pissed me off, but it didn't do one thing I wanted. I hate it. Words cannot express the hate I feel for this "Blender" program.

Anyway, I am trying to get one dff file and one txd file to work as the main player.dff and player.txd in Vice City. It originally worked fine in GTA III.

I load the script and all and select the right dff file, import it, everything looks good, choose VC Human, export, and errors in the console....but I don't see what errors...

Any help would be appreciated.

ModelingMan
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#29

Posted 08 April 2004 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE (By Hollower Posted on Mar 24 2004 @ 01:04)
Sometimes you can simply fiddle around with an app and figure out how things work...Blender is not one of those apps.

Well I think you have said something completely wrong, as this is exactly what I did to get used to Blender.

@d8cam19: You don't just import a dff, select VC human then export, it's much more than that. You have to load the TommySkeleton model which comes with the script, you have to make some objects parents to other objects/dummies, then you have to create vertice groups, then fix some bone weight. It's not simple to do, toke me about about a week to be able to start exporting valid VC models. Did you even read Hollowers tutorial?

Switch_Designs
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#30

Posted 13 April 2004 - 04:21 PM

is there any way to get this script into zmodeler whenever i try to run blender the blender windo looks like it's going through a blender and keeps fadeing away and I have a fast machine and i can not get the script to work are there and install instructions. thanks switchdesigns [email protected]
PS and if this works wheres a new player model for vice city I wanna see one.




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