Purpose: To finalize the optimizations required for exporting a prop into HL2.

Objective: To optimize our prop and review the final advanced features in the XSI MOD Tool.

Create a Single Texture

Now that our Dynamite Time Bomb is completely detailed, let’s finish it off with some final optimizations to prep it for exporting into the Half Life 2 game engine.
To create a single texture from all of the components of our prop we will need to merge and optimize all of the polymeshes and materials in our scene.

  • Open the explorer and note the large list of components
  • Select the first object (cube) and holding shift, select the bottom object (Torus18) to select the range
  • Press Freeze – now we can get rid of our circles and curves without affecting the geometry of our scene
  • Select the four circles and curves (above our objects) and press delete

Now let’s merge all the objects in our scene into one single object.

  • Select all the objects in the explorer (exclude the light and camera_root)
  • Create > Poly. Mesh > Merge
  • new object is created, polymsh4 in my case (it is highlighted in the explorer)
  • Expand this new polymsh and expand the Polygon Mesh Component
  • Click on the Merge Meshes operator
  • In the dialogue box that opens, remove the Tolerance
  • Under the Materials, UVs, VertexColors, WeightMaps Header click on the Merge button
  • And then click on Delete to delete the Input Operators
  • Now that all of our objects have been merged into one object, in the explorer window press F2 to rename polymsh4 to TimeBomb

Notice we still have all of our Material clusters grouped together (if you expand the Polygon Mesh component under TimeBomb in the explorer window). We will get rid of these in a minute.

But first we are going to add a bit of lighting to our scene

  • In the camera view panel select Textured.
  • Get > Primitive > Light > Point
  • Translate the light out from the center of our prop

  • Place this light above our prop model towards the left side
  • Duplicate the light and position in underneath our light towards the right side (this is going to give our prop a nice highlight in game).

The lighting position does not have to be perfect; just spend some time moving both of the lights around in these respective areas until they cast a nice light on all sides of the model. Note we do not want to bathe our model in light completely – just cast nice highlights on it.

Now that our lights are setup, it’s time to generate a rendermap.

Create a Rendermap

  • Press 3 to activate the Render Toolbar
  • With our object selected: Property > Rendermap
  • First change the X resolution to 512
  • First change the X resolution to 1024, uncheck the Square checkbox, and set he Y res to 1024
  • Then bump up the Super Sampling quality to 10
  • Go to UV, Select New > Unique UVs (Polymesh)
  • Under Path click the Usr button, then click on the three dots () and choose the Paths Advanced 3D Design (from the upper right hand corner) and select the Render_Pictures directory and name the file TimeBomb
  • Then under format, save it as a Targa (.tga)
  • Then click on Regenerate Maps

Note: Depending on the speed of your computer and the complexity and number of the props various components, this may take anywhere from a few minutes to several minutes.

Once the Regenerate Maps is finished, lets double check that it generated correctly into the directory we specified.

  • Open windows explorer and locate the directory you saved the TimeBomb.tga in to:

C:\Softimage\Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5\Addons\Advanced 3D Design\Render_Pictures

If the file is not there, double check the Path in the Rendermap dialogue window, as well as the Paths you set after clicking on the three dots (…).

Now let’s apply our texture to our object

  • Select the TimeBomb prop in the camera view
  • Click on the Polygon Mesh component underneath the TimeBomb in the explorer window and expand the Clusters component
  • Select all of the cluster objects under Clusters (except for Texture_Coordinates_Auto) by holding shift, and press Delete.

Apply Rendermap

  • Select our prop in object selection mode, and under Modify > Texture > Add > Image,
  • Under Image select New > New From File and navigate to the Render_Pictures directory we just saved our TimeBomb.tga in to, and select it.

The first thing you will notice is that the texture is not displaying correctly. That is because we currently have 2 Texture Projections.

  • Select the 2nd Texture Projection from the Texture projection drop down list.
  • And finally, remove the lights from the scene as our final texture includes light.

We now have a game ready model ready to be exported into a Game Engine!!!!

In Module 16 we will go over the basics of the Valve Source Engine and Take a crash course in Modding for HL2 by importing this custom prop into a Level that we can test afterwards.

  • Save your work in the Scenes Directory under the Haus of Mapping Project Path.

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