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Thread: TIMtoE - Static Mesh Converter

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA

    TIMtoE - Static Mesh Converter

    I've finally got a version of a TIM to .E format converter working well enough to let you folks play with it. You can find it on my web site (see sig) under the Tools page.

    It's a command line tool, so you need to run it in a command prompt window. I'm working on a nice GUI version, but GUIs take more time to build. The ZIP file is just the executable and a little Readme file.

    NOTE: I convert the objects using the existing scaling, so in most 3D editors, the objects will be HUGE. You'll need to scale them appropriately.

    I don't do anything with converting textures, so you'll have to dig them out yourself and convert them into something compatible with your 3D editor. When I release the GUI version, it will automatically (if you want) extract the textures and convert them to a selected format.

    I'm working on the reverse translation, from 3DS into TIM format, but it'll take more time.

    If you guys run into bugs, problems, things that won't convert properly, etc - post the problem here or email me. Let me know the object that's giving you trouble and I'll dig into it and find out what's wrong.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  2. #2
    ALL HAIL THE GREAT SHADOWSPAWN!!!

    More praise when you do 3dstoTim...

  3. #3
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: ...and mastadons
    Excellent!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Tatry Mountains, Poland
    Great! I'll try it tomorrow...

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Tatry Mountains, Poland
    I converted .tim file to .e, then I converted .e to .3ds. But when I try to import this file (.3ds), max gives me message: "Improper File Format".

    BTW, I tried this with 3 different .tim files... Does this converter work for everyone?

    I wonder what I am doing wrong...

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    In the past, I've had problems importing my 3DS files into MAX. I've never been able to figure out why, but I guess I'll need to figure it out before the nice GUI version comes out.

    A friend of mine has 3DS Max, so I'll try it out on his computer and I'll see why it complains.

    OK, it fails on his machine also, but after converting it through Accutrans or Deep Exploration, it works.

    OK, I've got both versions of the 3DS file, mine and the converted one. I'll dump them and find out what's wrong with mine. Look for an update in a few days.

    In the meantime, use a converter from my 3DS file to another one and try to import it.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Dunno. What week is it?
    Got happy feet! Gotta do my Snoopy dance!

    Thanks Shadowspawn!

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Corvallis, Oregon

    Blender

    TimtoE & Eto3DS works well with Blender (along with the import-3ds python script). Now if I only knew how to use Blender . . . sidenote: does anyone know any utilities (aside from the expensive ones like Maya or ActorX) that works with UnrealEd skeletal meshes?

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    I think we'll eventually get MilkShape working with them, but it'll be a few more months.

    I'm willing to eventually build plug-ins to any 3D editor, provided I can get a copy to test with, and get whatever developer stuff I need (SDK) without spending much money.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2000
    Location: Russia
    Shadowspawn

  11. #11

    Great work, Shadowspawn!

    We do the dance of Joy!

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA


    What an annoying, fussy, anal program 3DSMax is! After much messing around and a ton of debugging, I FINALLY got it to read in a simple 3DS file (the training footprints). It's about as simple as it can get.

    3DSMax hates my 3ds files. It doesn't like quotes around any names, it doesn't like texture names bigger than 8 characters. It just seems generally unhappy, and it won't say what's wrong (except incorrect file format).

    I'm trying more complex objects, and it just keeps bitching. None of my other conversion programs dislike my 3ds files. I'll bet 3DSMax can't open the majority of 3ds files out on the internet, they're too variable for it.

    Anyway, back to messing with it. Damn!
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  13. #13
    I am curious - what is .E? Is it some additional format that 3DS uses, or is it some external format you just happen to have used before?

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    It's a legacy format from Thief 1 and 2. All AI and objects were first converted to .E format (from 3ds or a Maya output format) and then converted to Thief binary.

    It's an easy ASCII format, and I already had the Eto3DS tool. So it was a logical first step.

    Eventually, we'll be able to go from TIM to 3DS and back, directly. But for getting people started, this should work for a while.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  15. #15
    Just tried it on CLKtowerroof.tim and it crashed with a "Send Error report?" dialog. A .E was generated but it was incomplete. I can send you the error report text if it helps.

    Also, the POINTS{} block is empty, the PARTS{} has stuff in it but the PARTS_MAPPING{} is just a list of (0,0) triples.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    I'll take a look at that one. Stay tuned.

    EDIT: Thanks. This file contains a tag field I hadn't encountered before. Looks like I need to figure out what's in it. I'll upgrade TIMtoE once I get this figured out.

    Let me know if anyone else finds one that doesn't work.

    EDIT AGAIN: Found it. It's a different tag name for a data structure I already knew about. I'll get a new version up to my web site tonight.
    Last edited by Shadowspawn; 28th Apr 2005 at 15:55.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    OK, I updated the version on my web site. It's version 1.10 - it should work better. I may not have all the worms out, but it's better.

    Still beating on the 3DSMax compatibility - it's tough when you know it's wrong but not what went wrong...
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    I think I finally found the 3DSMax import problem.

    3DSMax insists that text strings imported from 3DS can't be longer than 10 characters. As long as I truncate them, my newest Eto3DS works fine. (I did fix a number of problems in it, though).

    Other conversion programs and 3D editors (Truespace for example) can handle the longer names, or truncate them automatically.

    It sounds like I need a command line option for Eto3DS to use "3DSMax" mode, which will truncate strings (texture names, objects names, etc) to 10 characters. I'll also need the option for the TIM <-> 3DS program, but I'll make that a checkbox option on the settings panel.

    However, texture names and the object names in T3 are much longer. Somehow I need to allow the user to edit them during the 3DS to TIM conversion... I'll have to think about it. Suggestions?
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: He's behiiiind yoooou!
    You could pop up a dialog giving the user a list of all the original names that are too long, and giving them the opportunity to change them. (Ideally through a two-column list view control, where only one column is editable.) You could pick sensible defaults as well. (Say, the truncated names, with numbers on the end if there are naming collisions.)

    If you want to automatically restore the names when a conversion is done back the other way, you could have the TIM->3DS conversion generate a simple text file in the same directory as the new 3DS file, mapping every original name to each new name (even unchanged ones). Then the 3DS->TIM conversion could look for that file and map the names back. (If the file is missing, you could pop up a reversed version of the name editing control I mentioned above, and/or give them the opportunity to browse for the file.)

    Unless I'm misunderstanding your question.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Tatry Mountains, Poland
    So... the newest converter version still does not work with max, right? Sorry to hear that...

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts, Shadowspawn! I'll patiently wait for GUI version with max support... (few weeks? more?) I hope you'll be able to fix all possible problems.

    Once again, thank you!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    bukary,

    I'll have a fixed Eto3DS sometime today (although work is going to get in the way). And I'll add a "original text" output file to TIMtoE, to save the original names, for future 3ds -> TIM conversions. You should be able to play with it all weekend.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  22. #22
    Does anyone know if these formats will work with Anim8or? I don't know Blender (hell, I don't really even know Anim8or) but when I open Anim8or to load or try to save, the only options are Anim8or format, or "Any." No specific mention of 3DS.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA
    Use the Import function under the Object menu.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

  24. #24
    Nice!

    Now I just need some talent.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Pepperell, MA

    OK folks, I think I've fixed Eto3DS to work properly with 3DSMax.

    It's at my web site, you'll need to download the "Free The Objects" toolkit on the Tools page. The version of Eto3DS has been updated to version 1.30, it contains a new option, and the readme for that file has been updated .

    The /t option will truncate object names to 10 characters, and texture groups and file names to 8 or 8.3 format. That seems to make Max happy with the handfull of files I've had tested.

    I'll eventually update TIMtoE to output an extra file which has all the object info which gets lost in the translation. But, I want to make it compatible with the files from the GUI version, so let me see how that finally comes out before I do that update.

    As always, email me or post here if you find a file which doesn't work. I'll try and fix it promptly.
    Shadowspawn's Thief Pages
    Darkness is always faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, it always finds the dark waiting for it.

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