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How To Import Objects into Alice
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Default How To Import Objects into Alice - 11-17-2009, 08:48 PM

UPDATE: Video Tutorials now online.



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)

-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:

-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.
Attached Files
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File Type: zip (10.5 KB, 554 views)


Last edited by x2495iiii; 10-11-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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