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I want to make custom characters for UT2004, where do I begin?

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    I want to make custom characters for UT2004, where do I begin?

    Apologies if I managed to put this in the wrong section, didn't know where it'd go.

    Anyways, as the title implies, I would like to make custom characters for UT2004, are there any tutorials, tips, tools, and etc. that I should know about considering that its my first time for UT2004 character modeling? (Would really help me if there was step-by-step instructions for conversions like 3DS Max to Unreal 2K4 or XNALara to Unreal 2k4)

    My pipeline usually involves these steps using Blender and Noesis, explained as simple as I can:

    1. the modeling, the skinning, etc. For Peacock this took roughly 6 hours tops. FROM SCRATCH.

    2. The importing of the skeleton. This is really tricky because the PSK/PSA import/export scripts don't seem to be working properly, so instead I convert the PSK to SMD with Noesis and import that using an older version of the SourceTools plugin which retains bone names. The Skaarj skeleton also had to be extracted using Umodel.

    3. Rigging it to that skeleton manually. This is a bit time consuming..... sometimes autoweighting won't get things right like putting half the face onto a hairbone making them look melted from the ark.

    4. Exporting. Again like step 2 it goes through a Noesis chain - I export an IQM model which Noesis then converts to PSK.

    5. I open UnrealEd, import my PSK in the Animation tab to a new package, such as "SkullgirlsPlayers" with the mesh named Peacock

    6. Since I imported a Skaarj skeleton it's appropriate I take the animset and properties of the Skaarj player. So in UnrealEd's animation tab I open the SkaarjAnims UKX package and click the Copy Properties button, and then expand the AnimationSet property and copy that. Note that these two things use separate buffers so you could just copy them both in one go.

    7. Go back to my mesh Peacock and then click the Paste Properties button and then also paste the name of the AnimationSet. Click off it and click that linked chain icon to bind the mesh to the animations and a list of animations will appear for your model to preview with. This is important because you'll want to see if it deforms properly or it's a bad rig and you must to back to step 3 to correct the mistake.

    8. Importing my textures as a new UTX package. This should be straightforward enough, but make sure you change the LODSet properties of your textures to LODSET_PlayerSkin so the engine lowers their detail properly. Respect the low ends, and don't forget to apply DXT compression to your textures (use DXT5 if alpha is used, DXT1 without)

    9. Saving these and writing a UPL. Using an existing one shouldn't hurt. Make sure you have the BodySkin and FaceSkin set properly with the materials you want to use, as well as the mesh name.