Tim Prokop wrote:Hi All,
I'm guessing I'm not the first to realize that the base model set doesn't fit very well to a period piece. There are a lot of models that are needed to create a serviceable world.
I'd love to know how others addressed issues involving not just one model to be imported but hundreds. Did you try to import from sites like Sketch-up or turbosquid? Or did you bite the bullet and have low res models created and set up for import?
Besides what Z-Boy says, you can search the internet, 3D forums, 3D web sites and sellers of 3D models but most if not all have too many polygons to be suitable for FrameForge 3D.
What you want is 3D models produced for Games with a low-poly count. You can find sites which host this stuff, some you have to pay for and others you can download for free..
One of the worst case scenarios is textures. They are a pain in the butt! If you manage to acquire an excellent 3D model which you can import into FrameForge if the bitmap textures are provided or embedded then these import into FrameForge 3D no problem. Some don't however, and finding a solution for this is hair-pulling if you don't have a background in 3D..
I acquired Autodesk's 3DS Max v9 so I could convert 3D models and textures but again textures and texture maps don't always export if the models use internal shading or coloring. If they come with a UV texture map then these 3D models have been produced to be exported and imported.
There's a lot to this stuff, modeling is one thing but texturing is a specialized field in 3D all by its self, not only designing and producing excellent looking textures that fit in a 3D world environment but getting the textures to export and import along with the 3D model is another. This is the problem, most model producers don't give a crap because they simply render their models in Maya or 3DS Max or Cinema 3D or whatever using their renderer or V-Ray to obtain scene pictures or animation and they export these images from the program itself.
A couple of good programs which work as stand-alone or as plug-ins with some of the major 3D programs is Maxon's Body Paint 3D and DeepPaint 3D and DeepUV by Right Hemisphere.
These three programs are very different but they enable you to paint directly on a 3D model, its various elements or layers and you can also edit the UV Texture map or create a new one and paint on that and export it.
This is the thing you need to get into. To be able to create and edit UV Texture maps so you can export the map along with the model and then when you import your low-poly 3D model into FrameForge it pulls the texture map in with it also.
If you do have any 3D models with UV Mapped textures you can import the model and import the UV texture map in the greenroom as a decal or as a complete texture. A lot of FrameForge users do this as a work-around.
What's lacking with FrameForge is somekind of editor which will reduce the polygons in a model to enable a user to import and somekind of UV texture map builder which can be performed outside the program so when users import their models the pre-made texture map is imported along with the model.
Currently, the only way to produce textures is using the 3D Packages I've mentioned and or using those third-party products which are both stand-alone and plug-ins such as BodyPaint 3D and DeepPaint 3D and DeepUV - otherwise, forget it!
What you really need to do, is like me, and do some research on how these 3D Graphics artists actually produce textures for games, what tricks they employ, what programs they use and how they make them so they import along with the model...
Be prepared for a steep learning curve.. I went down this path myself and got lost amongst all the info out there, it is overwhelming...
You've only got to look at Daz 3D, Poser and the wonderful models and textures produced for those products to realize what we have ain't much. I really wish we had a library of stuff like they do for Daz 3D and Poser, the stuff for those programs is amazing and I mean any character and genre for film ideas possible. I'd actually pay for FrameForge add-on packages like that, those would expand my ability to produce storyboards for any genre ideas possible. Innoventive Software would have to set-up a model and texturing department just so it can produce these add on packs and personally if they did that it would enhance their product 100 Per Cent, it would increase productivity without the user having to mess around with models and textures when all they want to do is storyboard.. That other stuff simply gets in the way of an already fiddly and complicated process..