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Choosing a format: exporting static meshes from a 3D app

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    Choosing a format: exporting static meshes from a 3D app

    I'm brand new to the world of game engines, so obviously I have lots of questions. At the moment, I'm working with static meshes. So far in my learning endeavors, I've watched tutorials that show exporting a model from a 3D app using both ASE and FBX.

    Does it matter which you use?
    Are there situations where one is better than the other?
    What do the pro's use?
    Are there other formats used as well?
    And what are the benefits of those?

    See... lots of questions.

    My situation related to FBX:
    Since I have an older version of 3D Studio MAX (2009), I'm not able to use a newer version of the FBX exporter. Or so I have found to be true to this point. I tried installing the 2011 version, but I get a message when MAX loads that it cannot be loaded. And so since I have to use an older version of the FBX exporter, I get the message when importing into UDK that my version is older and there might be incompatibilites. But apparently this is the best I can do without upgrading 3DSMAX.

    I'd be grateful for any insight into any or all of this. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    If you're only doing static meshes, either ase or fbx will work the same. I prefer fbx, but it doesn't really matter, and I haven't found any advantages of using one or the other. For skeletal meshes, you can either use fbx (the new standard, so I'd go with that), or the ActorX plugin for 3ds Max that exports psk format. I use Blender, so I have no experience with ActorX, but fbx works great for skeletal meshes as well.

    The fbx export for Blender is apparently outdated (I get a warning message on importing to UDK), but it doesn't really matter. I haven't had any problems with it, so you should be okay with the older fbx for 3ds Max. Can't be 100% sure though, as I've never used 3ds Max.

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      #3
      if your using max 2009 you might as well stick with the ase export and actorx.

      using fbx afaik only adds the materials to the export

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        #4
        Err... the newest FBX is only good for 2011 and up... thanks ADSK!

        FBX gives you a lot of options, the newer versions have less stupid stuff going on (well, haven't tried the very newest). Of course more options means more ways you can screw it up, but it seems more pleasant to export individual animations then having to stick an entire set into a single psa (unless that has changed).
        Not that I've tried it, but apparently the multiple mesh (modular pawn?) imports through FBX.

        You might be able to get the latest version of FBX converter, maybe that would be useful - I have not yet found it necessary.

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          #5
          If you are making static meshes with baked normal maps, it is almost a requirement to use FBX. ASE is dead in the water and unused by most.

          http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/XNormalWorkflow.html

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