First of all, I suggest that it should be extremely huge tutorial and include almost all aspects. Not only buildings transferring. Most of people would rather give up than read this. But it is beneficial for us, since we have fewer competitors. Beginners need to follow the instructions and do them each time. As they start handle with making SA objects, it would become far easier. And maybe they will help me with my own city Almaty as I need this help.
First part – how to transfer your buildings from SketchUP.
Before starting make a backup of "models" and "data" folders inside GTA San Andreas folder. Also you should know that GTA SA uses 3 files .dff (skin), .col (collisions) and .txd (textures) for 3d models. You need 3ds Max to make .dff and .col files, as you can use Kam’s script for GTA inside it. All your object files have to be called with a one object name. In my case it was "abay_155.skp", "abay_155.dff", "abay_155.col", "abay_155.txd".
OS and programs used:
Google SketchUP 7 Pro (Follow official video tutorials “Get started with SketchUp” in YouTube to begin with Google Sketchup. To build 3d model is simple there. But you need to know the right methods, as you can get stuck in it)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 (not design 3ds Max. Actually 2011 version can import SketchUp 6, 7th version files except 8th. This function we will use instead of exporting files by Sketchup in .3ds)
Kam’s script (You need to download archive and put files in folders inside Autodesk 3ds max folder)
TXD Workshop 2012 (for creating .tdx file)
IMG Tool 2.0 - (to re-edit gta3.img file)
Med Editor v0.32
Collision File Editor II (Optional) – simple tool for shadows and lightning
1. Make new User «GTA SA» in Windows and new folder for GTA SA objects, and inside it make folder for current object. You could call it with the name of the object to recognise it. As you will see in the future you should be extremely organised with modelling for GTA. When your 3d object is built, copy it in this folder. Avoid using textures in your model before copying.
2. Open your copied model in Google SketchUP. Use the textures other than “Colours” and “Colors-named”, since you cannot export them, but you need textures for GTA .txd file. It is better to use imported textures (see tutorial in YouTube) with the file names renamed to have 6-8 characters. But so far in my model own Sketchup textures with long filenames have been working. All surfaces should be textured.
3. Be sure that you have only one object which you need to export. Then explode (right click -> explode) all components and groups created till the moment, and make only one group.
4. Create a box near your object with 0,13mx0,08m and height 0,05m. It is a sedan car size in GTA. If your model has real scale, GTA object proportion is close to 1x28. Scale your object to match GTA proportion and delete the box.
5. Using “Axes” tool, set point of origin to the corner of your object.
All the SketchUp preparations are done.
6. Now open Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 with Kam’s script. To have a preinstalled Kam’s script you need put the script files in correct folders. To find it in 3ds Max, click on “Utilities”, which you can find on the right side of the program (hummer icon).
7. File(left top icon) – Import – Your SketchUp Project (.skp). Tick “skip hidden objects” as in most cases you don’t need them. You do not need other options.
8. I don’t know why but 3ds Max often makes 2 groups. If you select the area where your object is, you could find 2 entities. Click on your object directly and define what the group name of your object is (for example Group_001). Then on top menu you could find “Graph editors”. Click on it and then make “New cinematic view”. You could see 2 groups. Delete one of them which is different from yours. Then you could “Delete cinematic view”. I had accidentally created four. So I deleted all of four.
9. Then once more you need to set your object to the point of origin in 3ds Max. Click on the icon on the top menu, then on your object. On the bottom of 3ds Max try to find the set points . Change them as at the picture to 0;0;0.
10. Change the object group name to the name of your object. For example – apartment_001. In my case the name was abay_155. After that click on DFF IO button in Kam’s GTA script panel.
11. Select “skip COL” and Export DFF. Call it with the name of object – in my case “abay_155”.
12. Create new project. File - New (Don't save any changes). It ESSENTIAL to create empty project.
Now we need to import .dff file and work with it. If we use original object for collision, collision and skin will be in different degree to each other. For some reason the degrees often changes in .dff file. And we need to match this change.
13. Select DFF IO on Kam's script. And then open Import tab.
And click on "Import DFF" and choose created .dff file.
14. Now click on the "Rendering" on top menu, then "Material editor" -> "Compact material editor"
Click on "standart" and double click on "GTA COL surface"
15. Drag left top ball (texture) direclty on your object, and your object might well become grey.
16. After that click on Collision IO. In appeared tab click on "Collision mesh", and immideatly on your object. Button will be given your object name.
17. Put the object name above the button "Export" - in my case "abay_155". And finally, you can export collision file by clicking "Export".
So, at the moment you should have 2 objects - .dff and .col file. Let's move to the .txd creation.
18. You need to open your .skp model in Sketchup. I strongly recommend you to use hot-keys. Open Paint Bucket (or press B on keyboard). Go to the materials "In model". Right click on material, click on "Export texture images", change "Export type" - jpg to bmp format as bpm compatible with most programs. Do it for all the materials.
19. Open each picture in Paint and correct properties. Image size shoud be one of these 64x64; 128x128; 256x256; 512x512; 1024x1024;
20. Once your did that, open TXD Workshop. Create new file. File -> New. Use 32 bit. First image will appear automatically. Then import first texture, after that double click on image. Change name to the name of texture. Tick on compressed. Untick alpha if ticked:
20. Add new image by "Image -> New" and repeat previous steps. Be sure that you compressed all the images.
21. As soon as you add all the textures you could save your file "File - Save". Save it with the name of your object. In my case - "abay_155.txd"
Voila! We have all 3 files. But we need to check them. Best way to do it, put them in the game.
22. Open IMG Tool 2.0. Then open file gta3.img. (it is inside "Gta San andreas/models" folder)
23. Click "Commands - Add". And add created 3 files .dff, .col, and .txd. "Command - Rebuild archive". Now you have modified gta3.img.
Edited by builder, 25 August 2013 - 10:59 AM.