SMD Importer?

Started by nickharuk, October 06, 2012, 11:25:45 PM

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I see scripts for SMDs in the WWMT folder, but I have no idea how to use or load them.

I'm using 2013 now, and as far as I know the smd importers available work for 2012 and older.  I've tried the 2012 importers, and they error.

Do you have them for 2013?  How do I use them?  D:
If I wasn't working on TF2 stuff this wouldn't be a challenge.

Thanks Shawn! 


There is only an SMD Exporter in WW... I've not built any importers. My own process is always building assets in Max and sending to Source... not the other way around. I may add an SMD Importer at some point but not sure if/when that will happen.


Right, WWMT are built to streamline your own work pipeline.  That's totally understandable.  And, you release those tools to the world, which is awesome.

I'm curious how long you think it would take for you to write an importer.

Having an importer for 2013 would definitely bring you more traffic, exposure, and possibly donations, since you'd be first to market.
I'm willing to donate to expedite that happening.  I'd like to know how long it would take you, because I want to give you value for that time you could be working on something else.


Well I'm sure I could build a SMD Importer that does static props in a day or two... but that is dependent on how easy it is to reconstruct normals into smoothing groups.... which would probably be a pain. Adding animations (and the bones/skins) would be even more challenging, I'm sure, taking me who knows how much time.


Right, then it becomes a question of scope.  Skin, bone and animation would probably be handy.   Normals likewise.   Pose-able tf2 (or any valve) models in max are good for all sorts of things. 

If I'm understanding what you saying correctly, and from what I know about software projects, there's a point where the tempo of the project becomes nebulous, and it's difficult to project how long it will take.  I've got to totally respect that.

Of course, there's got to be alternatives right?  I could download 2012, for instance.

What about wunderboy or cannonfodder?  would an older version of the importer be easy to build on or port?  I don't know, genuine curiousity.  :)
On the other hand, inheriting code doesn't necessarily go faster either.  Quite a conundrum. 


Yes, it is always hard to estimate time in any projects. For example, when I first started the VMF exporter, I thought I'd have it done in a few days (at least the basic implementation). As it turned out, one of the main (and primary) functions (getting correct UVW on world geometry) took me almost a year! With help! (In truth, the majority of that function was solved by my friend and fellow WW Andrew Penry ... but the point is that it took a really long time).

Importing SMDs has several problems. First, all models in Source are what you call a Trimesh in Max. That means that once you bring it back into Max it is entirely composed of Tris. That, in itself, is no big deal if you are just reskinning or doing simple things... but it does mean that it isn't as "modelable" as it probably was before it went into Source because it no longer has quads (and cannot utilize many quad-specific functions available to Editable Poly objects).

The normals issue is also problematic because in Max smoothing is primarily controlled by smoothing groups. While you can utilize a Normals modifier ... I have not learned how to integrate that into WW yet. That is a current problem for people who bring models in from Maya to Max with the intent of exporting with WW... Maya normals are stored per face vertex ... and I haven't really figured out how to account for that yet (as the functions I'm using should already work with that based on my understanding but simply don't work). So figuring that out (even for the WW exporter itself) is important... otherwise I would have to try to recreate smoothing groups based off of normals... which really sounds like something that would make my brain melt.

So I'm not saying this will never happen. What I am saying is that it's not something that will get rolled out in the immediate future.

It is more likely that Wunderboy could get an importer working for 2013 before I could since he already has the code to do it. But lately he's been off the radar. I'm sure he's already gotten a horde of emails on the issue... I'm not sure if he's currently taking orders ... :P

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