Converting Creature mdl into a statue
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Bannor Bloodfist
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Converting Creature mdl into a statue

Post by Bannor Bloodfist »

Brief notes on using 3dsmax to copy a particular pose from an animated creature, to save it as a single posed object that can then be placed as a statue.[INDENT]1) Open the base mdl of whatever creature/npc you wish to use.


2) Using the animation slide bar at the bottom of the max screen, go to the keyframe you want to use.

  • To be safe, do the following: Select all the model nodes
  • Hit the create key button on the max interface
  • (should be on the bottom, towards the right side of the screen, the square button with a large key on it)
  • This will create a position, rotation and scale key on the current frame for all selected objects on the
3) Now, if you have not done so already, you need to configure your trackbar to display animation ranges
  • (right click on the track area - the area with the keyframe display, then select "configure>" then make sure "show selection ranges" is checked
  • (Note: you max will be like that till you change it back
4) Ensure that you're still on the frame you want.
5) Now, select all the objects of your model - including rootdummy
6) Then right-click-and-drag your trackbar all the way from the current frame to frame zero, when you release, the keyframe panel will pop up (Be sure to check 'create rotation and position keys' for everything (no need for scale) and hit OK
7) Now, right click on the animation bar slider (right-click and drag) you will see all the other animations as you drag but this operation is the max equivalent of a keyframe cut-and-paste basically, it memorizes the pos/rot state of the source frame then creates frames at the target frame for them when you release)
  • Note: You WILL see the animation changing as you drag, but do NOT Panic, when you release at the zero location, that original pose you had picked will be the one that is displayed after you click ok.
8) Now head for the trackbar and select all the keyframes from frame 1 to the end then right-click somewhere on the selected frames and choose "delete selected" this should leave you with just the frames on the frame zero - essentially your new default pose
  • (Note: don't remove that first key in the zero location NWN1 max doctrine - always key your default pose to frame zero )
9) What you should do now is to delete the extraneous helper nodes
  • (you still need rootdummy and the modelbase and the impact node)
  • You may also want to add a "use" node (just duplicate impact and position it to where you want)
10) then, when you export, hit the "export geom only" button to force NWMax to ignore the animations still defined in the modelbase.

Congrats, you now have a 'Posed' mdl base to work from, and you can now edit the mdl to join up bits, (like elbows, hands, feet, head etc, that are all seperate objects in original animated mdl.) You can also re-texture etc.

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Making Placeable Statues and Corpses From Creature Models

Post by Pstemarie »

Some time ago there was a rather extensive tutorial published about how to convert creatures into statues. I don't recall the specifics, but I do remember it was rather labor intensive. Well, I've found a simple method that gets the job done in only a half-dozen or so :thumb:
  1. Load the creature in 3DS Max that you want to convert into a statue or corpse (in this case, I'll be making a corpse).
  2. If the animations aren't attached to the creature, you'll have to import those as well:
    1. Select the AuroraBase of the creature.
    2. On the NWMax Import Rollout, check the bullet that says "Animation Only."
    3. Select the ???.mdl file that contains the animations for the creature and click import.
    4. NWMax will then import the animations and rebuild the animation data as it attaches them to the creature.
  3. Run the animation slider upto the pose you want the statue/corpse to have.
  4. Select ALL of the objects in the model - I use the "Select All" function in the Edit Menu.
  5. In the Animation Menu, click "Delete Selected Animation" - at the bottom of the menu. Now your creature model is "locked" into the pose you have chosen for it.
  6. Since we're making a placeable, delete all the nodes except the "rootdummy" and the visible geometry of the creature. You can keep any shadow boxes, but these usually aren't necessary as 3DS/NWMax will reconstruct the shadow geometry on export.
  7. Temporarily "Hide" the creature and rootdummy. At this point I import a "placeable template" that has all the standard nodes and animations preloaded.
  8. "Unhide" the creature and rootdummy.
  9. Attach the rootdummy to the "damage" node - this will link the creature to the animation.
  10. Name the model and export it - you're DONE!!
Note: This is a quick and dirty tutorial that assumes you have a working knowledge of 3DS and NWMax, along with placeables and creature models.

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