rich_is_bored@Posted: Tue May 18, 2004 2:51 am :
I've been toying with Scorched 3d alot lately. (Thanks again bullet.)

I was thinking, the textures aren't the best and the trees are a little on the low poly side. I figured I'd try my hands at replacing them.

The first priority is to determine the file format and find a method to convert to it. Almost all day today I've been scouring the net for some means to convert from Lightwave to Milkshape Ascii.

Now, I know what your thinking, "But doesn't Milkshape 3D do that?". Yes, it does, and it probably does a damn good job of it.

The problem is that Milkshape has a trial period of 30 days. Once that period has expired, the import/export functions become crippled. Apparently, an expired trial period also happens to carry over to new versions. That means if you tried version 1.5.x 6 months ago, then install version 1.7.x, you'll quickly find out that you aren't afforded a new trial period to see if the changes warrent a purchase.

The truth of the matter is, I'm already content with Lightwave as my modeling package of choice. The interface is "Rich" friendly and with that being said, it's going to take one hell of an impressive package to convince me to make the switch. :)

So, that really means that the only thing Milkshape can provide me is a means to convert my LWOs to various formats. Hmmm.... It's only ~$25 but then again import/export functions should really be dealt with by Lightwave to begin with. I shouldn't have to pay some third party $20-$60 everytime I want to convert a file because Newtek dropped the ball.

That's not to say that Lightwave doesn't have any export options because it does. It can export to 3DS, OBJ, DXF and Lightwave 5. But, these export plugins are kinda quirky, at least my experience with one of them today has been.

I found a program called Character FX. The selling point for this program was that it supported import/export of 3DS, OBJ, and Milkshape Ascii.

Just to test the conversion, I made a simple box shape, UV mapped it, trippled it, and exported to OBJ. Then I imported to Character FX and it loaded the mesh but.... I lost all my UV coordinates.

It turns out you have to assign the UV map to each material before you export an OBJ. Okay, I tried this, and when I went to import it into Character FX, it crashed. I guess that excludes OBJ format, at least with this program.

Next I tried 3DS. For some reason it seems to load the mesh but nothing shows up. It's like the program reads the file but stops there. It doesn't create anything. So that pretty much excludes this program period.

The bottom line here is this isn't the only third party tool I've tried this with. I had to have installed and uninstalled a dozen or so apps today either to find they didn't work like I expected or the features I was interested in were disabled in the trial version.

One thing that really ticks me off is the fact that Lightwave has a scripting language that makes import/export plugins possible but, because of a lack of documentation/tutorials on that specific subject, import/export plugins are about as common as pink elephants.

Of course, I'd love to just jump in there and bust out free open source LScript plugins myself but, since plain-text doesn't always mean easy to interpret - something I learned from an attempt at an MD5mesh import/exporter - I'm really just jumping into something that's way over my head.

Qwertys@Posted: Tue May 18, 2004 6:39 am :
poor rich. I'm not a modeller but i can see what you're trying to do. i guess it can be quite frustrating. might i suggest looking up some open source 3d modelling programs?
to get you started: ... lling.html

if i knew more i'd try to help program a plugin, but really geometrical math is my worst subject.

rich_is_bored@Posted: Tue May 18, 2004 4:06 pm :
Well I've started on an LScript Importer and so far I haven't needed to apply any 3D matrix math. Of course that will change when I start trying to interpret bones ect... but I think I'm actually making some progress with this one.

RedEyes@Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:17 am :
hi rich, it advances this Lscript ? or you have to give up.
Lightwave SDK really sucks..