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-   -   How To Import Objects into Alice (http://www.alice.org/community/showthread.php?t=3411)

x2495iiii 11-17-2009 08:48 PM

How To Import Objects into Alice
 
2 Attachment(s)
UPDATE: Video Tutorials now online.

Mine:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omWcj726sSs[/url]

King's:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIw9x8rBDWU[/url]

Thanks entirely to Gillette Fusion, there is now a better way (which works PCs and terrible Macs:)) to export models to Alice using only Blender and (possibly) Sketchup.

-First, download two (free) programs: Blender and Sketchup (regular, not Pro) from these sites (respectively)
+[url]http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/[/url]
+[url]http://sketchup.google.com/download/[/url]

-Second, find a 3d model online. A good 3d model should have a low polygon count, under 10,000. If the model doesn't list the polygon count, you can check it later in Biturn, but this basically means that the model can't be TOO fancy (Alice just can't handle it). A good model should also NOT be in .max format, (unless you have 3D Max Software) since nothing can read it but 3D Max. I recommend NOT importing objects that require complex animation, like people, animals or robots, because their subparts probably won't move properly. Good sites to try, due to wide selections and lots of free stuff:
+[url]http://www.the3dstudio.com[/url]
+[url]http://www.amazing3d.com/free/free.shtml[/url]
+[url]http://artist-3d.com/index.htm[/url]
+[url]http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/[/url]

-Third, you'll need to install some extras into Blender. First is a collada import/export script which allows Blender to read 3d models sent from Sketchup (Some copies of Blender come with this pre-installed, but not all do, so just in case, I've included this step). Second, there's an ase export script which will let Blender save the model as an ase file, which Alice can read. Take the scrpits I've posted below (unzip them first) and find the
Blender Foundation>Blender>.blender>scripts folder to put them in. On Vista, this folder is hidden in a folder called App Data>Roaming under the main user name on the c:/ drive. To see hidden folders, click "organize" in he upper left corner, then click folder and search options, click the view tab, then click the radio button next to show hidden files and folders and click OK.

-Fourth, you need to convert the model from whatever format it's in to .ase format. If the model is in .3ds or .obj format, all you need to do is use Blender to import and convert it. If it's in .dae format, you need to open Blender and use the scripts you installed into Blender earlier to import the .dae model, select it all (to make sure it all exports), and then export it as a ,ase file.

-Fifth, you need to make some finishing touches. Open up the .ase model file in Notepad and use Ctrl+F "name" to find all the names in the file. If there are any empty names (double quotes "" or spaces " "), replace it with a dummy name. If there are any periods in the names ("body.leg.foot" or "mesh1.cylinder1"), delete them (parentheses are okay to leave in, though). You may wish to delete all references to texture maps as well, such as map diffuse and map opacity, but it isn't necessary. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes after you've done it a few times. When that's done, make sure you have a texture file ready (if the model came with one, that is). It should be a picture in either .jpeg or .png format.

-Finally, import the .ase file into Alice, clicking Cancel for every error that may pop-up (sometimes, a bunch will pop-up, sometimes none will, it all depends). The model will probably be VERY large and may have a strange axis of orientation, but that can be fixed by shrinking the object and inserting a dummy object as a pivot for the model. Import the texture map (there's a button under the textures property for the model that lets you import the texture into the same file as the model) for the model and apply it. You may need to change the colors or emissive properties of the subparts to make it look right. When that's done, save the object and pat yourself on the back, it's done!

EDIT: I forgot to mention, the reason why I said to download Sketchup is because Sketchup can load Google earth models and export them as .dae files, it can soften the edges of other 3d models giving them a substantial quality boost without increasing their polygon count too much, and it can be used to fairly easily create your very own own custom 3d models.

reuben2011 11-18-2009 07:23 PM

Wow! Very descriptive! I'm sure this will be useful for people that don't know how to import objects.

gareause 11-24-2009 04:19 PM

Problems importing objects
 
Hi there,

I tried importing an .ASE object file into Alice 2.2, but Alice gave an error, and wouldn't import the object. Any suggestions?

Cheers, Steve

zarfang8 11-24-2009 04:26 PM

Can i do this with only sketchup, even if it doesn't work very well, or do i absolutely need all three?

x2495iiii 11-24-2009 04:31 PM

If you have Sketchup Pro, you only need two, Sketchup and Biturn. If you don't plan on editing any of your .dae files, you only need Blender and Biturn. But you can't do it with only Sketchup because only Biturn can convert the model to .ase format.

x2495iiii 11-24-2009 04:37 PM

[QUOTE=gareause;13575]Hi there,

I tried importing an .ASE object file into Alice 2.2, but Alice gave an error, and wouldn't import the object. Any suggestions?

Cheers, Steve[/QUOTE]

Try a few things:

-click cancel on all the errors that pop up. Some are just warnings

-if it still doesn't import, close Alice and open the .ase file in notepad or another text editor. Be sure to delete any periods or spaces in names and be sure to fill any empty names with a dummy name (any set of letters will work, really)

-if that doesn't work, do the conversion process backwards to that it's a .dae file and import it inot Sketchup. Then use the soften edge feature on the whole model to make it less polygonal. Then, re-convert it and try it again (I don't know why, but this has worked for me before with some problem models which wouldn't import)

-finally, if it still doesn't work, there's a problem with the model. Copy the error message ad post it so i can see what that problem is (but only do so if the above actions don't work)

snipes domez 12-04-2009 12:26 PM

Blender will not convert the file is there anything else to convert it?

x2495iiii 12-04-2009 12:47 PM

Well first, are you talking about .dae files or .skp files or something else?

If it's .dae, you need to put in that plugin I included (unzipped, of course, there are two files you need to copy and paste into the Blender folder)

If it's .skp, you need to use Sketchup to export it as a .dae file, then use Blender.

If it's .max, you'll need to download 3D Max or at least the trial version, as NO OTHER program can convert .max models.

Delpenator 12-18-2009 03:32 PM

How do you export a model from blender as .obj? It was originally a .dae, and it imported fine, but how do you export it?

x2495iiii 12-18-2009 06:40 PM

You click select, then select all (to get the whole model), then click export, then Wavefront object (near the bottom), then name your new object and click ok (I haven't messed around with the settings they ask you about when you export as a wavefront object, but you can try if you want).

x2495iiii 12-19-2009 11:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Dameria, try putting this folder (unzipped) in your Blender contents folder.

If there's already a folder called bpymodules in you Blender contents folder, put the ColladaImEx folder inside that. If not, create one and put this folder inside it.

Dameria 12-19-2009 01:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
...
Ok, I did it, but the error still persists for me. When I try to click import after I go through the directory to import the .dae file, this is what shows:
...
...

x2495iiii 12-19-2009 03:03 PM

So you have the two python files, and a folder called bpymodules with a folder inside it called ColladaImEx with a bunch of other python files and stuff in that?

If you have that, it should work.

Dameria 12-19-2009 08:25 PM

Wait a sec, at the bottom of the command prompt in my picture above, does that say on the last line "%1 is not a valid Win32 application."? Because I do not have a 32 bit system, mine is 64 just in case that might be the problem?

Dameria 12-20-2009 06:24 PM

I just found something other than Blender that lets me change .dae into .obj, and also lets me do a lot of other stuff to the object like adding vertexes (although I don't know how yet). It is called MeshLab, and I downloaded it here.

[url]http://sourceforge.net/projects/meshlab/files/[/url]

It is so much easier to use than Blender, and I don't need a collada plugin =D

Delpenator 12-20-2009 07:13 PM

Is it possible to add parts to an object? What i mean is, i have imported a model of a person, and it worked fine, but all its parts (ex. wizard.upper body.forearm) are only its pieces of armor. Is there any way i can add parts to the model for its arms and legs so i can move thos separately?

Dameria 12-20-2009 07:15 PM

I am pretty sure that you could do that, but you would have to know a lot about 3d editing, and I have no idea about that stuff.

Delpenator 12-20-2009 07:24 PM

:(:(:(:(:(
Nor do i.

I call upon you super moderator, to enlighten me in the ways of 3D editing. Bestow upon me your powers of superness, and i shall rule my alice world!

And Chris101b thought x2495iiii was wierd.:p

Dameria 12-20-2009 07:36 PM

Chris101b, deplementor just threw you under the bus :p lol. I don't think that x2495iiii knows a lot about 3d editing either, but I don't know, he might know how to do it.

Delpenator 12-20-2009 08:06 PM

I know that's probably true, but this really means a ton to me. If i can't figure that out, i can't even get my WoW world started, which i have completely planned out.:( So can someone please possibly direct me to a site to help me? Also, would meshlab be better than blender in this case?(although blender seems to work fine for me so far)

Dameria 12-20-2009 08:10 PM

No keep using blender, MeshLab is just as confusing when it comes to adding vertexes as far as I can tell (although there is a vertex option in the toolbar that I did not yet explore).

Zack Strife 12-31-2009 11:57 AM

problems with Biturn
 
:confused:I am new (to the forums, not so much Alice), and when i try to run Biturn, it says I need another program. Can you give me an explanation and/ or another free program that can run it.

jediaction 01-11-2010 07:41 AM

You can use winzip7. Its fast easy, you have a like 30 day trial but its useful

x2495iiii 01-11-2010 08:00 AM

[QUOTE=Delpenator;14972]:(:(:(:(:(
Nor do i.

I call upon you super moderator, to enlighten me in the ways of 3D editing. Bestow upon me your powers of superness, and i shall rule my alice world!

And Chris101b thought x2495iiii was wierd.:p[/QUOTE]

Can't believe I never saw this post until now! Big miss on my part.

Unfortunately Dameria's right, I don't know enough about 3d editing (I know some) to change the part structure of the object...yet.

That's next on my list, though, since that'll be another big expansion for the possibilities of Alice.

I'm going to go take a look at some Blender tutorials now.

jediaction 01-11-2010 08:02 AM

haha funny ok, you do that

REDOS 01-12-2010 07:25 PM

Mac user
 
HI , thnx for the information, i tried but i couldnt find biturn for MAC , and by the way, there is no notepad here, i have Textedit, and couldnt see the .ase.blend file, can u tell me one diff option to change that .ase.blend to another extension? thnx

x2495iiii 01-12-2010 08:36 PM

If it's a text-editing file and your model is in .ase formet (not .ase.blend, just .ase), then you can open it up with any text-editing program, as .ase is a text file format.

I don't think there is a version of biturn for the Mac. If I were you, I'd use a virtual machine for windows, or try to use google to find a similar program for Mac.

Nephtysis 01-24-2010 06:03 PM

Maya export >> obj >> ase :)
 
3 Attachment(s)
I did a bit of looking around and I found a way to get objects from maya (I use 2009, might be different on other/earlier versions!).

Firstly you will need a plug-in called: objExport.mll (I got it automatically with my installation of the program, again this may be different for others)

Then you go to: Window >> settings/preferences >> Plug-in Manager

Make sure this plug-in is loaded.

Next you can simply use: File >> Export all/Export selection and export as obj.

1 note: you can't export NURBS this way to obj, so make sure you use polygons. There might be a way around this, but I'm not proficient enough with the program yet to make that work.

And of course the proof in the form of screenshots, using a simple object :)

Hope this helps you ppl with getting more objects in Alice :)

jediaction 01-25-2010 08:11 AM

Thats cool. Maya 2010 is what i have, i had 2009, and now trial for 2010. I know how to use Maya very well, and wow, you got an object into Alice. Alice can now like completely be start from cratch games~!

Nephtysis 01-25-2010 10:19 AM

[QUOTE=jediaction;16050]Thats cool. Maya 2010 is what i have, i had 2009, and now trial for 2010. I know how to use Maya very well, and wow, you got an object into Alice. Alice can now like completely be start from cratch games~![/QUOTE]

I'm not that good with Maya yet, but I'm learning. And the best part is that I have this 2009 unlimited version completely free, along with a couple of tutorials :D I'm still wondering as to whether it will really work with complex objects and those things, but as soon as I know more on this, I'll just post here again :)

jediaction 01-25-2010 10:57 AM

Maya 2010 is helpful and is better. Got rid of some annoying glitches with face and clicking the dots. you have actually click the sides now. My objects arent the best but i want to post a pictrue of my animated object, i dont know what the URL means
[URL="http://users/Andrei/Desktop/Andrei%20Movies1/pictures/TD-20/TD%2020%205.5.JPG"][/URL]

belso 01-25-2010 08:01 PM

cam i just use truespace?

zonedabone 01-25-2010 08:17 PM

[QUOTE=jediaction;16072]Maya 2010 is helpful and is better. Got rid of some annoying glitches with face and clicking the dots. you have actually click the sides now. My objects arent the best but i want to post a pictrue of my animated object, i dont know what the URL means
[/QUOTE]

The URL is the place online where the image is located. the easiest way to get your image online is to post it on your photo gallery for this site. Click [URL="http://alice.org/community/album.php?"]here[/URL]

add a picture to this, and then copy the image URL into the URL prompt.

King Gamer(gorit) 01-28-2010 07:13 PM

Does exporting straight from sketchup work?
 
Ok, I know the question for my title has already been answered but
I am a RCT3(roller coster tycoon 3) modeler so I have a plugin that exports direct to ase would that work?:confused::confused::confused:

zonedabone 01-28-2010 07:27 PM

Yeah!
 
I'm pretty sure that it would! Does it export textures, as well?

Zack Strife 02-13-2010 09:33 AM

I tried to save the colladaBlender and .aseExport but I don't have a .blender or scripts folder anywhere ion my computer (well I have scripts for other programs but not blender)

zonedabone 02-13-2010 09:41 AM

They can be in this directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Blender Foundation\Blender\.blender\scripts

Zack Strife 02-13-2010 10:49 AM

I can make it into blender foundation than the blender folders but ther are no more folders after that

x2495iiii 02-13-2010 12:32 PM

I updated it when the .ase scripting method came out, but you can always use the old-fashioned way of converting it from .skp to .dae in Sketchup, .dae to .obj with Blender, and .obj to .ase with Biturn.

I actually still do it that way. Less fiddling with the .ase files that way.

Zack Strife 02-13-2010 12:42 PM

I tried to convert to ase with biturn but for some reason it didn't have ase as an option


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