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Make Model Import/Re-import More Efficient/Less Painful


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Seems some simple/small improvements to model import, specifically with regards to sensibly remembering settings for a batch, or previously applied before re-import.

Re-importing a model or import similar ones in a batch it can quickly become annoying.

Model import should remember settings applied after import (e.g. resize, normal settings) so that if you do reimport you have option to reapply previous settings. If you are iterating the creation of your own models it feels like LW is mocking you everytime you take the 'crazy' step to re-import your improved own model.

If you import many models at once the chances are you want the same settings applied (resize/normals) so why not have tickbox or something to apply previous settings or something.


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  • 6 months later...

I've recently had a break from LE and in coming back, tasks in LE that I had become numb to are now really apparent again. There are a couple of ideas that I think will make the import of models better,  flexible and time saving. I've always felt the LE import system has been really good, but missing a few key things which could potentially be overcome. I've tried to give reasoning.

Skinned Models don't collapse on import On/Off -> Would be great If I control the import of this feature. For example a piece of armour could be then accessed in code and hidden or something.

Set a texture directory path on import -> One I've found that's especially laborious in LE is the amount of time you need to set things up. I might be tweaking an animation -> exporting -> assign materials-> test -> repeat over and over. If a texture is in a different place or named differently than expected your constantly setting it which I don't think I should have to. Maybe the editor needs to store the entity name (because there can be more than one in a model) and it's last known texture directory and name then searches on those values when importing. If it cant find it then it fails.

Don't prune bones on import Possibly a bone naming convention on bone to prune Yes/No if zero weights assigned -> On my models i much prefer setting up the mount points for things like weapons armour in the animation program. The only way this is possible is to assign a slight weight to it, this will cause unwanted deformations to the character and feels a little hack. I want to be able to have the freedom of being able to animate a non skinned bone with out a side effect. If you have ever tried to parent a pivot to a bone (prefab) for a mount node on a mesh you will know any further exporting of that model will result in that work being lost.


Import Animation Scale On/Off -> I've brought this up before or import setting to turn on off per skinned model. Sometimes you do need to scale a bone just to make things line up properly in game whether it be a pose holding a weapon or a model shrinking. 

Settings in model editor read from file or preferably model import prefs saved setting in the editor -> Each model has properties assigned and read when imported and remembered. Settings that are set are the ones found in the model editor eg. collision shape to assign, textures etc. Obviously this is all about saving time.







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Skinned Models don't collapse on import On/Off

I don't know if this is possible. Do you mean maintain different limbs or different surfaces? Like are two limbs with the same material being merged into one single surface, and you want it to be two separate surfaces? A skinned model in Leadwerks must have the surfaces on the top-level model in the hierarchy, and all bones must be children.

Set a texture directory path on import

It sounds like this could be accomplished with a list of "search directories" the editor scans for texture import. I don't know, that sounds an awful lot like the project folder. Why not store your MAX and FBX files all in the project directory?

Don't prune bones on import Possibly a bone naming convention on bone to prune Yes/No if zero weights assigned

I think we can do this.

Settings in model editor read from file or preferably model import prefs saved setting in the editor

This sounds like the 3ds max modifier stack. It's not exactly "settings" it's a series of actions that have to be performed in the same order. This might be doable in version 5.

Import Animation Scale On/Off

It would help to see an example of this. I have never encountered a model with scaled animation so the engine does not use this in the animation routines.

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Merged threads.

I recently converted over 100 model packs and I found some scaling issues that only really come up when you are converting large amounts of items. I am talking to Brad now about how we can streamline this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

New FBX converter is on the way thanks to Brad's help.

  • Normals loaded from vertex normals or smooth groups (previously only smooth groups were used).
  • File units are accounted for and model is scaled to meters (previously the raw positions were used regardless whether the file was saved with inches, centimeters, etc.
  • Updated to latest FBX SDK version.
  • Like 6
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In some ways it's a double edged sword for me and the scaling import fix and relates to a bug post I did ages ago. Problem for me now is I need to scale everything by 100 to compensate and make them the right size. Id much rather the scale work properly like it is now, it just means a bit of extra work in the short term as I want my models scaled properly on import. Once again.... I'm super happy with this.

I haven't done much testing as far as this goes but I think there is a picking bug in the editor with the newly imported models (not sure if this is isolated to a newly imported skinned or scaled model). I cant seem to click on a newly imported model in the view ports. I can only select it in the scene graph. I can do more testing tonight if needed, I just ran out of time last night.

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