Author Topic: Using gmax to import and export SMDs  (Read 5052 times)


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Using gmax to import and export SMDs
« on: January 14, 2007, 11:53:04 am »
Using gmax to import and export SMDs

When creating mods for Mount and Blade, you will often want to modify, or even create whole new sets of armour, mounts for players to use, or even monsters for players to fight.  These meshes are slightly more complex than your standard weapon or scene props, in that they are "rigged" to a

Highelfwarrior has a tutorial on rigging, however this tutorial will cover the step by step details for using gmax.  For more details on performing the actual rigging, see his thread.

In this tutorial, we will import an SMD (that has been exported from BRFEdit) into gmax, then export it back out.  This may seem completely pointless, and it is! However you should of course do any modifications you wish to make to the mesh before exporting it, or if you prefer, create a whole new mesh and bind it to the imported skeleton.

If you do not already have gmax and the required plugins, you can get them from the BRFEdit thread.  You will require:

gmax (you need to register to download it)
SMD Importer (gmax / 3ds Max)
SMD Exporter (gmax)

Place these plugins in Gmax\scripts\startup

Part 1: Getting an animated mesh from BRFEdit, into gmax

Step 1: Open a file in BRF that contains an animated mesh, such as armour in item_meshes1.brf.  Select an item that has the "Skeletal Animation" checkbox ticked, then select export, and export it as an SMD.

Step 2: Open gmax, and select the utilities tab from the right hand menu.
Then click the MAXScript button, and it should then display a section with a dropdown box containing the plugins you have placed in the startup folder.

Select the Half-Life SMD Import option.

You should then see a new panel similar to this:

Click the Import SMD button, then select the SMD you wish to import.

You should now have the SMD in gmax, which you can modify all you like.

Wasn't that easy?

I will leave this to another tutorial to explain the details of using gmax, however I will go over a few things of the key steps if you are making your own mesh from scratch for exporting:

To rig the skeleton, use the skin modifier, applied to an editable mesh (read up on this if you have no idea what I am on about).
You must apply a Multi/sub-object material to the mesh (with your texture applied to it) before exporting.

Part 2: Getting an animated mesh from gmax, into BRFEdit

Step 1:  Open up the utilities tab again, and this time select the SMD Exporter option.

Click the Pick Model button, then select your mesh

The button should now have the name of your mesh.

Now click the Export SMD button.  You will not see anything happen: this is to be expected so don't worry  :)

Right click in the text box in the bottom left corner of the screen, and then select open listener window.

Now run GMaxSLGRAB.exe (included with the SMD exporter plugin) and click Grab.

Save as a filename, ending in .SMD, such as armor.smd.

Then open up notepad, and drag this file you just saved into it.

Remove the top and bottom sections highlighted below:

Then save it, and open it with BRFEdit.

You should now see your mesh in the mesh resource list, and should be able to select and view it.

If you still have any problems let me know :)