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DrJim 12-13-2006 06:20 PM

Saving multiple basic shapes as one.
2 Attachment(s)
Just came up with a way to do this - Shadow Sovereign has been using this approach to make new objects but didn’t have a way to save the combination. There is a catch (of course :p ) - it won’t work with the shapes supplied in the Alice gallery. Instead you - or someone - has to first generate the basic shapes in another program that will put them into a hierarchical .ase file (I used 4DBlue for the attached) and then import that file into Alice.

However, once that new object file (such as TestWoman - note the sphere and cone were combined as one sub-object in 4DBlue) is in Alice you can duplicate the shapes, move them, resize, color or texture them, etc. (be sure to check "affect subparts") and then [I]save the result as a [B]new[/B] .a2c file[/I]. All of the changes will be saved with the new object (TestWoman2 as an example). (An exception is that any changes made while a world is running - resize in only one direction, for example - won't be saved.)

I like 4DBlue for this (even though using it takes a bit of time to figure out - it‘s not hard, just not well documented) because (1) it has good basic shapes, (2) the shapes are easy to resize once you figure out how, (3) it’s default is to assign one texturable surface per sub-object and (4) it exports directly to .ase format which, at least so far, avoids the problems with normals that I’ve had with some other programs and Biturn. Note all the surfaces in these objects are one sided but supposedly :confused: you can make two sided surfaces and also cap the cylinder.

Let me know what you think, look at the simple shapes I've already converted to Alice format (in the attached zip folder) and let me know what other basic shapes you might like. :)

Also see later post for folder with these shapes in .ase format and Shadow Sovereign's post for how to get those into an object hierarchy.

DrJim 12-13-2006 06:40 PM

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Here is the smile :) texture for the sphere if you want to experiment with it. :)
(Try eliminating the blue, for example, or make the complete list of smiles available for these messages. ;) :o :mad: :p :rolleyes: :cool: :eek: Please post if you do the latter. :D )

Shadow Sovereign 12-13-2006 09:05 PM

:eek: Well...

Good News - Finally, a way to make my own combinations! I've been trying to figure out how to save several objects into one, and I've only recently stumbled upon the Import Texture button under an object's properties (which takes another object and puts it within another object's sub-part tree), but I'm still experimenting around with it.

What I've previously done is create a folder within the object tree and place the specific objects in there, but that only turns out to be an organizational tool rather than a grouping function. :(

Bad News - Frigging catches... I'd have to download Biturn, then... I've continued to play around with DrJim's Pavilion statue thingumabobber, but it seems rather hard to manipulate (it only has two subparts :rolleyes: ). I guess I'll poke around in the forums... I remember something about Biturn from a previous thread, and it may have a link to it.

I'll let you know how it turns out. :o

DrJim 12-13-2006 11:17 PM

Not sure why the title of your message - but if it was referring to my message you don't need Biturn if the shapes I uploaded suit your purpose - just manuver them in Alice and save the result.

If you do use a method to resize in a specific direction or something - make it an object level method and save it with the method - then just run it the first thing when the world starts.

Also re textures - strictly speeking they are object [I]properties[/I], not objects. The only things you can import for them are image files, not full objects.

Shadow Sovereign 12-14-2006 08:29 AM

[QUOTE=DrJim;2029]Also re textures - strictly speeking they are object [I]properties[/I], not objects. The only things you can import for them are image files, not full objects.[/QUOTE]

Actually, I beg to differ. The Cuotl Pavilion picture I posted [URL=""]here[/URL], I used the Edit Texture button located in the properties window. I used it with another pavilion, and it suddenly created a second pavilion statue, with its location in the object tree being within the first pavilion's object subtree.

I'm not trying to be mean or anything, I'm just saying :o . And when I said, "Crap!", I had thought you meant that Biturn was required to group objects together. If that's not the case, then it was a miscommunication on my part. WHOOPS! :eek:

Shadow Sovereign 12-14-2006 08:34 AM

Now after reading my post above, just forget I said anything... :p

DrJim 12-14-2006 10:06 AM

Made original post clearer - I hope>
First, I added a clarifying note to the original post to make it clearer that I had already converted the simple shapes shown to .a2c format and included them in the .zip attachment. You [B]don't[/B] need to have Biturn or 4DBlue to experiment with them. :)

Second - it would not be unusual to have two different instantiations of a class of objects that differ only in texture - but the textures would still be only [I]one of many properties [/I]of each instantiation. It would be very nice if a new object could be added automatically to the object tree like you describe - and such a method may lurk somewhere in Alice, but so far I haven't found it. :confused: If you have, please post more details. (Who knows what lurks in the heart of Alice - the Shadow?)

Third, don't worry about posting questions/comments for me (though it may get you called Pickles :D ). Things that are clear to me may not come through in a post.

Shadow Sovereign 12-14-2006 07:34 PM

It's right h33r!
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Here, lemme point out what I'm talking about.

This button (at least in my case) allows me to summon another object into an object's subtree. This may possibly allow for an easier way to save multiple objects together. :)

DrJim 12-14-2006 11:58 PM

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Like I said: :rolleyes:


Who knows what lurks in the heart of Alice - the Shadow?


Actually, so far I've only been able to get things in as sub-objects if they are .ase files - .a2c files go right back to the top level, which gets one back to the problem with saving a combination of multiple Alice shapes. :o

Does this happen for you and, if so, do you have a solution. :confused:

(The attached shows what happens for me - the gun was an .ase file and went in as a sub-object while the shapes were the same .a3c file I posted earlier and imported at the world level, even though I did everything the same as for the gun.)

DrJim 12-16-2006 08:55 PM

My first results using Shadow Sovereign's "import mesh as texture" approach.
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Here are my first results from importing simple meshes in .ase format as sub-objects of an existing Alice object. I chose these two Alice objects because they each [I]already had a very detailed and flexible hierarchy[/I]. The torus was imported as a sub-object for the ring finger of the hand and the sphere was imported as a sub-object of the street girl's head (all of which, except for the hair, it then replaced). In both cases, they behaved exactly the same as any other sub-object of the original. :) Also, the color of the ring was set and the texture for the sphere applied with Alice tools.

Not up to Pixar quality yet, :cool: but a nice return for the time spent - about 30 min for the ring and less than two hours for the head. :)

Later Edit: Realized I'd only uploaded the shape files in .a2c format. :o .[B]ase format [/B]files are attached. :)

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