UE3 Custom Static Meshes

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In a slight change to plan I am going to move the subject of player direction to tomorrow, and today I am going to be giving another tutorial in Unreal Engine 3; Namely how to Export a 3D model from 3Ds max and import it into a Unreal Engine 3 game.

Again I am going to be using Unreal Tournament 3 as my UE3 engine game, but this process is mostly the same for all UE3 games.

3Ds Max:

I will go over some basic tips of 3D modelling in 3Ds max at a later date; In this tutorial we are simply going to export our model from the program. For this we need a model.

I have built a Box and used the UVW mapping tools to create a layout for my texture, creating this:

3D Model

Its not especially pretty, but it will let us go through the procedure and check that it all works and the mesh saves the material co-ordinates.

I now have a 3D model and a .TGA image file which i have built as a texture for the model.

Exporting:

With the box selected, go to File > Export > Export Selected (in newer versions of 3Ds MAx the ‘File’ menu is now accessed by clicking the Max logo in the top left corner of the screen).

Choose a file name, select to save the file in ASCII Scene Export(.ASE) format and save the file somewhere on your hard drive; Once you click save you will get the following dialogue box appear:

ASCII Scene export dialogue box

The ASCII Scene Export dialogue box

This step is the most likely point to make a mistake; you need to be sure you are exporting all the correct information to your new .ASE file; duplicate the settings in the image above if you are unsure.

Important Note: Make sure you have ‘Mapping co-ordinates’ ticked in Mesh options. Without this selected, your mesh will loose all its texture data and you will be unable to apply a material correctly to it once you have it in Unreal Engine 3!

Once you have the settings sorted out, click ok. Max has now exported your 3D model into a file that Unreal Engine 3 can understand. The next step is to import the model into the game.

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