What can we use to open the example ships .DAEs?

(Ebil Pigeon) #6

Thanks, that’s heartening to hear. I can understand documentation takes a long time, and agree releasing the DAEs are the best way right now. Perhaps there is some more work that can be done in analyzing the DAE file from our side. I think some of us are eager to start importing ships into the game using the tools, even bare bones.

Will do some more digging around, thanks!

(BitVenom) #7

I really only want to ‘talk’ here as it’s sanctioned and where our ‘official’ info lives. Are there other places people are doing this ‘digging’ that I can follow to at the very least know what to help correct or make more clear? If a group is doing this stuff and has something wrong, or is just stuck - I can work on top of those docs instead of blind. I just have no real idea (or time to search) where to track.

(Ebil Pigeon) #8

Sorry, I think “digging” is perhaps a key word I’m not aware of. I simply meant I will personally do some more looking around at the DAE files, how 3DS Max handles them, and how HODOR works, your tutorials, etc. Between the GBX forums, the tools, examples, and the relicforums (which you are aware, I believe), there’s probably a lot of information people are throwing out. If I ever get anything working through Wings3D, I’ll post it here, of course. :smile:

(making space ships) #9

For Wings3D I had success getting stuff into it by using an online format converter:


and converting .DAE to .OBJ

I want to say that at some point I had tried exporting a .DAE from Wings but it didn’t work with HODOR but I don’t remember. The biggest problem with Wings is that I could never figure out how to import a .DAE, only export.

(D Kesserich) #10

I figured out that I can use Visual Studio 2013 to convert the DAE to FBX and Blender will open that. It doesn’t like the materials (converting to OBJ kept the materials in tact, so between the two if there are special material naming conventions that can probably be figured out), but it will keep all the empties and animations (though no keyframes, so I’m not certain how important the animations are).

From what I can tell, each LOD mesh and the collision mesh is parented to an empty that is named appropriately. The LOD0 empty also has a ton of empties that control docking and capture points and stuff, and some of THOSE have more child empties for orientation.

Documenting this stuff is going to take a while…

The good news is that Blender is open source, so if you REALLY wanted to change Blender to allow longer node names, you could.
Although having a “Homeworld Remastered” specific version of Blender would be kind of a pain (not to mention the fact that it might not support future Blender plugins because it would fragment the base). I wonder if we could possibly submit some changes to Blender’s trunk to get merged in to make this process a bit cleaner?

Forking Blender outright shouldn’t be necessary. We just need a HW:RE Collada Import/Export add-on. If the Better Collada Exporter works (or at least works better than the default Blender exporter), then making tweaks to that should be significantly easier than adjusting the main Blender Collada I/O code.

Later I might try the DAE->FBX and OBJ for layout and materials to Blender to exporting with BCE using the swarmer and then diff the result with the original and see how it looks.

(Ebil Pigeon) #11

The silly thing is I was surprised VS2013 opened the DAE. I simply wanted to examine the XML structure, so I had to rename the DAE to stop VS2013 from recognizing it. It looks like it was created using the FBX COLLADA exporter in 3DS Max, so DAE to FBX seems like the right thing to do.

(D Kesserich) #12

Yeah, I’d known it had an FBX viewer, so figured it was a possibility that would open DAEs instead of just going to the XML.

(Ebil Pigeon) #13

Well, DAE files are XML files, so I was surprised it did anything else with them! I recommend any and everyone interested to take a look at the COLLADA specifications for more information for now. Not sure if it’ll help per se, but it’s something.

(Siber) #14

I imagine that with a little work, anything that handles XML well enough could be worked into a converter to/from blender and HODOR compliant .daes

(BitVenom) #15

Well, let me know how it goes and where you get into trouble. If a small tweak to what the parser does now is all it takes to get things over a ‘bump’ and working - I’ll see what I can do. Certainly getting everyone up and running is job #1.

(Major Stress) #16

I can tell you right now 3dsMax 2010 will NOT open the .DAE files. Desite being able to import them. So i am assuming the DAE was updated since. 2010 Crashes to desktop at every attempt on the swarmer, or carrier. 3dsMax 2015 has no problem opening ether the turanic carrier or the swarmer. I am not sure about other versions of Max in between, because i dont have them.

(Eville Jedi) #17

2011 opens them, throws an error about containers, but nothing seems to be missing, working through updating my ship rig and will see if HODOR likes them

(BitVenom) #18

DAE export can have a ton of options - let me see if I can list or screenshot the ones I use to help smooth that…

(Ta Erog) #19

This seems to be working well. Max 2015 is quite happy and it is interesting looking at all of the helper points.
We really need to get a Wiki or something to store all of these steps, gotchas, settings, etc
But so far the tool chain seems to work fine. Now getting all of the settings fulls defined and documented for us and a good idea what should be done and what will break things seems like it may take time.

(D Kesserich) #20

Okay, tried the DAE->FBX->Import into Blender->Export to DAE again->Run through HODOR, and it almost works. It looks like materials are going to be the big problem with Blender. If I convert to OBJ and import that into Blender, the Material names are super long (like: “MULT[P2Swarmer]_LOD[0]_TAGS[DoScar]Mesh_MAT[Kad_SwarmerThruster” some are longer, but Blender has a 64 character limit on data block (objects, materials, etc) names) and presumably contain a bunch of tags that are necessary for HODOR to pack up the materials.

The FBX materials names are significantly shorter (“MAT[Kad_Swarmer]_SHD[ship]”), but when I just export the FBX directly and run it through HODOR, the entirety of HODOR’s output will be

DAE->HOD: Creating Homeworld2 Multi Mesh File - Version 512
DAE->HOD: Generating Scene Data LOD[0]
DAE->HOD: Generating Scene Data LOD[1]
DAE->HOD: Generating Scene Data LOD[2]
DAE->HOD: Generating Scene Data LOD[3]
DAE->HOD: Generating Collision Meshes
DAE->HOD: Generating Animation Channels

And generating a 138kb HOD. I haven’t tried putting it in-game, presumably it’ll just give me an untextured mesh (if that, since I’m not getting the STAT[shipname] with Shader[ship] line in the output.) If the long material names are the issue, that should be something that we can address just by editing the xml. Though Visual Studio shows the materials with the short names in the original.

Looking at the XML directly, it looks like the library_images entry isn’t in there for the Blender output, so maybe I’m just overlooking something in the material set-up and Collada export settings.

Also the FBX import has some fun scaling issues that I’m going to have to figure out. Looks like it’s about 1% of what it should be.

(BitVenom) #21

I have an idea for dealing with long node names. I can’t give you a firm ‘I can fix it by X date’ - but I am looking into it. As for the multi-material stuff - that’s potentially because OBJ doesn’t always handle multi-material correctly (the format can do it, but not all OBJ readers are that smart).

When you get a DAE like this and it’s not working - leave me a PM with a link to it somewhere, because as I dig through the exports of various tools I don’t use, I may be able to track the differences in formatting and get some of this resolved in advance - it’s really just raw data gathering, and is very useful even when it doesn’t work.

(Ta Erog) #22

Like what I was saying, could these names be generated and inserted manually? At least for now?
Also if you want to get fancy a lookup table file with script could be made for you new ship so you would only have to run the script and not have to manually update each time, but would still have to generate the names for the first time.

Good news for OBJ. I have had inconsistent problems with OBJ over time. another format that is rather loosely standardized.

(D Kesserich) #23

Yeah, the names can be inserted directly into the XML, but doing find and replaces for everything can be time consuming. And there are issues with the ids in the Blender Better Collada Exporter that I’m looking into sorting out.

Whatever you do, don’t open and re-save the collada as a collada file in Visual Studio. For some reason VS strips all the texture data out when saving a DAE.

(Antharis Sjet) #24

The errors are related to the FBX plugins .DLU file. Update the FBX Plugins to version 2013.3. They work on 3ds max 2011.

Blender DAE Exporter for HWRM
(Ta Erog) #25

Never said it would be easy or wouldn’t be time consuming :stuck_out_tongue: But it MAY? be a workaround of using Max for now if that is the only problem.