by Rick J. Kelley
This tutorial will show you to get your model into Unreal Tournament as fast as possible from gameSpace.



What is needed to complete your model
You will need to get UnrealED installed on your system, as well as the latest Unreal Tournament Patches from the Unreal web site known as utpatch4361.exe, as well as the
Bonus Pack 4 known as UTBonusPack4.umod. These are necessary to compile a skeletal character for Unreal Tournament. At the time of this writing you can find these patches at this web site: http://www.unrealtournament.com/downloads/. You will also need make sure you have installed the Milkshape 3D plugin for gameSpace by Mete Ciragan.

Preparing the model

Before you start, I cannot emphasize enough, to make a backup of your System Folder that you find in your UT game directory. If you don’t, you may have to reinstall the whole game and apply the patches to it.

Another consideration is how you’re going to create the model and its textures so UT will recognize it. The mesh needs to be of one group only, and not separate objects. The textures have to be in a certain order as well. If your going for team support you will need at least 3 separate images. One is for default, or for no team color. Two are needed for Red and Blue teams. One other image needs to be used for what is called a Chat texture, or what you see ingame when another player or a bot is speaking. The textures should start out with a 4 character naming convention that contains a part of the name, and the name of the package that you will be creating for import into UT. I chose Engy, and each image that will be used for his default, and team colors and the Chat texture all started out with Engy. For example the default had Engy0.pcx as its name, then the teams followed with Engy1.pcx - Engy4.pcx, then the chat texture was named Engy5Face.pcx. Later it was important to name the packaged UTX texture file EngySkins.utx so the engine could find it and appoly it to the model, but more on that later. These “skins” need to be 256 indexed color or the UT engine will not be able to use them and may crash.

For demonstration purposes, I am using my old model by that was made for another game and is pretty low poly. Please don’t laugh at him as he is quite old as models goes, and pretty darned low poly!

Once you have completed your mesh in gameSpace, you can export it for use in Milkshape by clicking on the Milkshape 3D button on your toolbar. Then uncheck the Skeleton and the Animation checkboxes.


Figure 1.1 Mesh to be exported in Milkshape

To prep your mesh for final output, you will need to import the UT Male skeleton. To do this, you will need to start up the Milkshape program that is under your gameSpace program folder. Use the menu commands File->Open and locate your MS3D file that you just created. Next, use the menu commands Tools->Unreal Tournament->Load Default Male Skeleton. You will then need to rig your mesh to it. If you do not know how to do this yet, I suggest you read up on some tutorials on how to get your mesh assigned to this skeleton. There is an excellent help file for milkshape that you can download here to get started leaning how to rig it: http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/files/MS3DHelp.chm. From the table of contents, go to the section Animation->Part 2 Assigning Vertices to Bones.

Setting the folders for export from Milkshape 3D to UT

Before going on, you need to give some careful thought as to how you are going to set up your model for UT to recognize it. If this is not done correctly, you will poor model will never see the light of day inside of UT!

Since my model idea was an Engineer from the classic game of TFC and he was based on some fictional writings of the James Journals on PlanetHalfLife, I am going to call him Engineer James. This will be shortened to Engy for export purposes. In this case, this is how I set up my folders as Figure 1.2 shows.


Figure 1.2 Folder setup for the model Engy

Put all your textures into the Texture folder that is needed for your model. It is a good idea at this time to load your default texture from this folder and then to save the MS3D file to the Models folder.

It’s now time to do your export to UT format. Use the menu commands File->Export->Unreal Engine Skeletal Mesh PSK…

You should now have a dialog box ready for you to input information of your model. I strongly suggest that you keep your naming conventions simple and use the same names for all the settings until you get familiar with exporting to UT. Take a look at my settings for Engineer James in Figure 1.3.


Figure 1.3 Export settings for Engineer James

After clicking OK, you hopefully will see a dialog box pop up that will say something similar to what is in Figure 1.4.

Figure 1.4 Successful Export and comments on completing Model

Now that you have exported your player model into the Unreal Tournament folder of your models work area, you have some suggestion as Figure 1.4 shows. Follow the steps that are shown in the list of the dialog box. There is one thing that really needs to be added to step number 1, as if you have never compiled for UT skeletal animations, your UCC compile will fail and you will be tearing your hair out like me trying to figure out what is wrong! Add this line above the line where in this case I should put EditPackages=Engy: Editpackages=SkeletalChars. Type this in exactly as its worded here in your Unrealtournament.ini file.

If you do not find a .u file that is name in the dialog box that you need to delete, or in this case it says to delete the Engy.u file, don’t worry about it because if this is the first time you have exported to UT, and haven’t yet compiled it, it wont be found.

You are now ready to compile your file for UT. You will need to get some kind of command line shell going to do this. If your using and older version of windows, you probably can find the MS Dos prompt in the Accessories group off your Start button. If your using a Windows NT compatible OS, you can use the Command Prompt shell in your Accessories group off the Start button. Type the letter of your Drive that your UT game has been installed in, and then type CD <your folder structure to your System folder in UT>. In my case it was E:\UnrealTounament\System.

Now type in “ucc make” in the command line shell. If your successful, you will see a window similar to what is shown in Figure 1.5.


Figure 1.5 Successful compilation window

Creating your UTX texture file for use in UT

You may wonder why you need to create a UTX file since your model had the textures already mapped. UT needs to have it in a format that it knows about. To get this file created, you will need to start UnrealED and use its Texture Browser.

You will need to start UnrealED, the editor for Unreal Tournament. If you do not have it on your system, you can find it on the 2nd CD that came with your Unreal Tournament game. I am using the UnrealED version 2.0 for this tutorial and this will be added to your Unreal Tournament game if you have updated with the latest patches and the bonus packs that you can download from the unreal sites around the web.

Find your Texture Browser in the UED, (short for UnrealED), Figure 1.6 show what the button looks like in version 2.0.


Figure 1.6 Texture Browser button UnrealED
Load your textures, from the Texture folder that you set up and put all your textures into for you model by using the menu command File->Import on the Texture Browser. You can select them all. You will see a dialog box that will ask you were you want to put them. In the case of my model I typed in EngySkins for the Package setting, as this is what the UC file was telling the UT engine where these images would be found for my model. You need to delete anything that may be in the Group textbox. Uncheck the Masked checkbox. Check the Generate MipMaps box for every skin that will be applied to your model except the one for the Chat texture. The Chat texture will not work if you apply MipMaps to it. (See Figure 1.7 and 1.8 for how this model was set up).


Figure 1.7 Image import for UTX file.


Figure 1.8 UTX file Package

Now you need to set up the texture package for proper use for the UT game engine. In the UED, there is a Quality settings that needs to be changed.

To set the textures, you need to right click on each texture in the Texture browser, then choose Properties. Click on the Quality setting, and drop down the list on each texture, except the Chat texture, (or the one you see up in the corner when a bot or player is saying something ingame), and set the LODSet setting to LODSET_Skin. The Chat texture needs to have the LODSet setting set to LODSET_World if its not already that way.


Figure 1.10 UTX Quality settings UnrealED

Now all you have left to do is to save this UTX file. Use the menu commands File->Save. When the SaveAs dialog box comes up, navigate to your UT Texture folder, (not the Texture folder that you created for the model to export/import to UT). This should be under the main UT directory.

There is one thing that seems to be needing fixing from the Milkshape 3D export, the file called whatever you named your model with the Skins.int added to it. In my case it was called EngySkins.int, and it was found under the System directory from the UT folder. Open up your Skins.int file in notepad and edit all the lines that could be messed up because it was expecting images to represent groups of images to be applied to body sections. I didn’t do it this way and assigned only one texture to the whole mesh. I accomplished this by deleting anything below the lines that contained: “Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy0,Class=Texture,Description=.” After this I put in the name of the team so my lines now looked like this:

[public]
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy0,Class=Texture,Description="Default")
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy1,Class=Texture,Description="Red Team")
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy2,Class=Texture,Description="Blue Team")
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy3,Class=Texture,Description="Green Team")
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy4,Class=Texture,Description="Gold Team")
Object=(Name=EngySkins.Engy5Face,Class=Texture,Description="Face")

That’s it! You’re done! You should have what I have in the Unreal Tournament screens as below. Now fire up Unreal Tournament and start having some fun. I know I will be!


Player Selection of Player model import


Ingame Bot of imported model

 

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