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Author Topic: Use geometry to represent cameras and lights instead in 3DS scene instead?  (Read 3722 times)

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pem

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Hi,  I'm very new to Wintermute but experienced with 3D. I am interested in making a 2.5 adventure and I am working through the documentation.

Like many others, I am struggling with the issue that the scene geometry has to be in 3DS file format with cameras and lights included. Of that, the biggest problem is the camera and light information. I have several inexpensive, easy-to-use programs that can export 3DS geometry and textures but no lights or cameras. I have Blender and your WME/3DS export Plugin  ( http://wiki.dead-code.org/wakka.php?wakka=BlenderHiddenGeometryExport ) but Blender is very hard to pick up and I'd much rather use the inexpensive modeling programs I have.

So this led me to think about the whole issue of how a 3D scene is created and used for a 2.5D experience and I want to ask if Wintermute can be made to only need camera and light position and orientation information in the scene geometry file and the rest of the information (Field of view/Focal length for cameras and colour, intensity, angle and range for lights) can be created and manipulated in Wintermute?

Currently, a user creates a detailed 3D scene in any package and renders out images to use as backgrounds and sprites. They then have to create a low-poly proxy scene that matches up to the detailed scene.  Wintermute determines what the geometry is for in the scene by how it is labeled: areas the 3D actor can walk on start with the label walk_*, blocked off areas start with the label blk_*and so on.

What if, when building my proxy scene, I could align a simple cube to where the camera is and label it "camera_*" and put other cubes where the lights are and label them "light_*".  Then if my exporter only supports geometry in 3DS export but not camera and lights, I have a low poly scene geometry file that still has the information about where I placed the camera and lights and how they were oriented. If Wintermute could then use this position and orientation information as a starting point for creating the rest of the scene camera and light information, I could do the rest of the adjusting within Wintermute (just like I can adjust camera field of view right now)

If Wintermute could do this, I wouldn't need to worry about learning Blender (and relying on a script that could be broken in the next release of blender or python) or buying some expensive 3D software that I can't afford, and anyone could use the modeling software that they like/have because all they need to do is export 3DS geometry.

So, is it possible for Wintermute to eventually do this?
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Mnemonic

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So, is it possible for Wintermute to eventually do this?
It's been suggested before. I think technically it's possible, but it would probably take quite a lot of tweaking to get the camera/lights right.
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pem

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So, is it possible for Wintermute to eventually do this?
It's been suggested before. I think technically it's possible, but it would probably take quite a lot of tweaking to get the camera/lights right.

Well, I can appreciate that unless you are importing the camera and light data directly, there is going to be some fussing around to do to get a good match. Still, at the moment tweaking sounds better to me than not being able to do it at all since I haven't been able to get Blender and the export script to produce a working 3DS scene for me yet.

I was hoping to model scenes in Hexagon and Carrara (my preferred apps), and then aligning cubes or cones to the lights and cameras and then just writing down the camera and light information and hopefully plugging it into Wintermute.

What data is needed for the cameras and lights?  I am guessing that for a camera, you would need to know its 3D position and orientation, if it is orthographic/isometric or perspective/real, its focal length equivalent if it's not isometric and its clipping plane distance. For a light, again you would need to know its position, orientation but then also its colour, intensity/brightness and half-angle (360 for a bulb, less for a spot) potentially you could also need to know it's range and falloff/decay for the range and the half angle.  Most of that information is going to be visible/adjustable in a 3D app already and could be transposed manually if Wintermute's scene editor could be made to allow that data to be typed in.  I don't know what camera and light data Wintermute needs but I'd guess that would be the minimum data.

Thanks for considering it.

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Nihil

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Can you export more than one object at once from Carrara?

Edit: Oh, nevermind, I found it :-)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 09:30:51 AM by Nihil »
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pem

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Yes, Carrara can save a multi-object scene as a 3DS file, it just doesn't include cameras and lights, only geometry and materials.
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Nihil

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Yes, I found it, just got confused by the different behaviour of "export" and "save as" in Carrara.
Today they started a new sale-special for Carrara at DAZ, so I guess version 6 is soon available, which possibly includes a DirectX-exporter. At least they said that they were working on one in the forum last year.

pem

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If they've announced DirectX import and export, you can bet they'll have it as they usually don't announce upcoming features but we'll have to see if it is import/export of only objects and materials like many Direct X exporters or whether Carrara will handle bones and animation too...
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Orange Brat

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I think this is a good feature request. I think I requested something like it a long time ago, so we could use any modeling program we wanted that had a 3DS exporter but didn't save out lights or cameras (like Wings 3D...I've found most programs don't save those out).

I'm going to make an addendum to this request. I realize it's pretty steep, and if and when development on new WME editors begins, this would be the time to add such a feature. I think it would be useful to be able to add our walkplanes, collision boxes, cameras, and lights inside the WME editor. This was we could take a handdrawn image or even a photograph and use 3D characters with them. Suppose I want a certain look/style to the game and want it to be 2.5D, but this style doesn't really require me to build the levels in a 3D program? This is the reason for the request.
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Nihil

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If they've announced DirectX import and export, you can bet they'll have it as they usually don't announce upcoming features but we'll have to see if it is import/export of only objects and materials like many Direct X exporters or whether Carrara will handle bones and animation too...

The announcement was from August(?) 2006, so I'm not too sure if it made it's way into C6. I've asked at the forum, but didn't get an answer yet.
 

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