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Unreal 3 Character Modding

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  • Unreal 3 Character Modding

    Anyone have any info about character modding capabilities in Unreal 3? Whether it's based on assumptions from experience with UT2K4 mods, or actual info gleaned from Epic, I'd love to hear it.
    I'm looking to get a jump start on porting some character models to Unreal 3 and any info on this topic would be helpful.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Assuming that it won't be too much different from RoboBlitz (probably even closer to UT2k4 and thus easier) you should maybe contact SolidSnake, who modded UT2k4 characters in.

    http://www.beyondunreal.com/daedalus...t.php?id=10498

    In the comments you should find SolidSnake.

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    • #3
      http://www.ballisticpublishing.com/b...er_modeling_2/

      there is also a book with one of the guys from EPic: Kevin Lanning

      Kevin Lanning of Epic Games takes you behind the scenes of creating characters for the triple-platinum Xbox 360 game 'Gears of War' with tutorials on workflows for creating high-polygon and low-polygon characters.

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      • #4
        There will be an Offically Autorized Book, a bible type thing, for all your modding needs and it's being created a the moment along with a Video Tutorial Series by the guys over on www.3Dbuzz.com.
        If I remember correctly they said in their buzztv segment that their are being pushed by Epic to have it complete around the time the game releases in the 3Q 2007

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        • #5
          olly:There will be an Offically Autorized Book,...complete around the time the game releases in the 3Q 2007
          That's definitely good news, and will be hugely helpful, but I'm looking for info to help me get an early jump on getting my stuff ready for when it comes out.

          SweetTooth:there is also a book with one of the guys from EPic: Kevin Lanning
          That book is AWESOME. I just got my copy the other day, and after I recovered from the shock of realization that Kevin was responsible for ALL of the Gears characters, I got a LOT of great insight into their character modeling pipeline. DEFINITELY worth the money.

          fuegerstef:you should maybe contact SolidSnake
          That's great stuff he's doing with the Roboblitz UE3 editor. I had the same idea to get an early start by picking that game up, but alas, my PC was unable to run the game. Seems my ATI card wasn't up to the task. Still though, that doesn't prevent me from prepping models to be ready for UT3 when it comes out, and ideally, I want to delay my purchase of a new PC until that date. Oh and THANKS for the beyondunreal link! That site had a link to a mod team doing something VERY appropriate for the character models I'm working on, so that was an exciting find.


          I guess what would REALLY be helpful would be if anyone has a straight front and/or side view of a new UT3 character, or even better, a screenshot of what the deformation skeletons look like. Then, I could manually recreate the skeleton using those images as a template, and get my character working right with those proportions well in advance of game release. I've got a lot of armor sections to worry about, and the sooner I can get an idea of UT3 character's proportions and joint placements, the sooner I can start tuning my character model to fit.

          Thanks for the quick responses!

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          • #6
            Don't the skeletons vary from one type to another. At least they somewhat did in the original. I guess you're talking about a "basic" skeleton?

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            • #7
              There will probably be generic male and female skeletons, and all the character variations of each sex will use a common skeleton. This let's Epic make the most out of each moveset. Most of the Locust and Cog characters in Gears of War have the same proportions, and therefore probably the same skeleton, and I'm guessing UT 3 will most likely be the same.

              It would be awesome if I could get a screenshot of what the deformation skeleton looks like, as I'm sure they've got the base proportions nailed down by now, and the skeleton probably isn't going to change at this point.

              How many different character skeletons are in UT2K4?

              Thanks,
              mycatfield

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              • #8
                If you were directing that last question at me, I was talking about UT99. But to answer your question I'm not sure how many there are/were. As a matter of fact I'm not sure how many there wound up being in UT99 either. I'll have a look at goty when I get back home.

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                • #9
                  Surely you can use your own skeleton, if this is the **** hot, end all and be all games engine then surely when you export to their format you'll be able to say, hey there engine, good little engine, here's my model, nice isn't it? Ya, funky. Thanks. Oh, here's it's skeleton, nifty eh? Sure, it's ok, it's more **** to load and interpolate but hey, i'm **** hot, the end all and be all of game engines! So it ok then? Oh ya, i'll deform the crap out of your model. Lovely.

                  Cause UE for 2004 was able to do that, There was that CAT utility? I think.

                  But yes, i understand you perdicament, ya don't want to be doing all that work for nothing.

                  But my thinking is that if I was modelling a hugh detail model and there was a low detail already made (that Malcom for 2004) i'd take that model and use that as a reference or even the starting block?

                  There not using CAT anymore thoug, Their on Novodex, which was bough by AGEIA, so maybe get there C++ SDK, or ROCKET application, that might help.

                  softimage XSI 5.0 has Novodex built in

                  Thats really all I can thing of?

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                  • #10
                    xray and olly, thanks for the responses!

                    I'm sure the engine will support importing of new character skeletons, most FPS games do. But to not use an existing character skeleton means you have to recreate the character's entire moveset from scratch. That's a lot of work, and I'm no animator. So as a modeler, it's in my best interests to make my character retain its unique flavor while still conforming to an existing animation skeleton. Working around these limitations is the kind of thing character modders have dealt with for years now, and it's not a problem, especially with the proportions that UT3 characters look like they'll be exhibiting (slightly heroic, wide shoulders).

                    It would just be nice to get an early jump on adjusting my character over to those proportions, and to start planning out my armor deformations a little beforehand.

                    Slightly off-topic, what is the common consensus on projected release date? I'd guess July, but maybe that's wishful thinking.

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                    • #11
                      What about re-targeting? Anyone know if they will have re-targeting support? I saw some of Hawkprey's concept art for new characters a while ago, and it looked like there was a female, a male, and a "heavy", more armored male. So possibly 3 skeleton types? The Heavy male looked allot like the Marcus, Dom, Cole proportions in GoW, and the standard male looked more like the Kim, Carmine proportions. Don't know how much that will help you though. Also, this may be of some use to you:
                      http://www.unrealtechnology.com/scre..._character.jpg

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                      • #12
                        Tanasoo- Thanks for the image! It gives some clues....29-30 joints in the body. Of course, that's a GoW locust, not an UT3 character, so the proportions for the 2 games' characters are not necessarily going to be the same. Though from the art I've seen, they look pretty similar.

                        3 body types would be fantastic...but impractical. When you think about the context of competitive first person shooters, players would be unlikely to choose to be a bigger target. So unless the heavy body type brings with it certain benefits (like the ability to yield certain heavy weapons that the regular body types can't), I can't imagine why Epic would take the time to include it.

                        Re-targeting support would be a dream, as would the ability to add driven joints on top of the existing skeleton and animations.

                        The ultimate would be if Epic provides Maya/3DS set-ups and animation files. Then the base set-up could be modified and the animations cleaned-up as necessary...no need to animate from scratch. Quake 4 did a similar thing, and it made modifying character animations a snap.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mycatfield View Post
                          3 body types would be fantastic...but impractical. When you think about the context of competitive first person shooters, players would be unlikely to choose to be a bigger target.
                          Correct me if I'm wrong, but in UT99 wasn't the Skarrj a larger model than most? I've been under this impression for a long time and have actually used it because I thought it was more conspicuous.

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                          • #14
                            Along the same vein, does anyone know if there's any 3DSMax compatible meshes for any of the UT3 characters available?

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