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A-Z of Modeling a new Lightsaber


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This Tutorial is still under review


In this tutorial you will learn the basics of Ngon modeling, UVW mapping and useing the replacer function in cchargin's MDLops. I wrote the tutorial in word so you can open the document in wordpad or MS Word.



Building a new Lightsaber


To follow along with this tutorial you will need these tools:


Gmax This is a free program is used to make 3d models. You can also use 3ds


NWmax This is a plug-in that was designed to import NWN models, but it works to import KotOR models as well. IF your useing 3ds you will need to Download the 3ds version of NWmax.


cchargins MDLops 4.1 This app is used to convert the models from KotOR to ascii.mdl so that you can import the model into Gmax by useing NWmax. This app will also compile the model after you export your model from gmax.

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Hey, Hey, awesome tutorial T7, I'll give it the full go-over this weekend when I start work on my second saber model. Thanks again for mapping my first model, now with this tutorial, hopefully I can map my own models, lol. Yeah for modeling newbs...lol

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Originally posted by maverick187

T7, I just finished doing a full run-through of Part 1, the modeling part, and wow modeling is a lot funner now...lol. Great tutorial.


whew! thats good to hear.


Remember if there is any part thats unclear please post so I can see about amending the tut.

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Excellent tut T7 I’m really glad you did this. :thumbsup:


I hope it helps clarify 3d , get to know the program before you jump in and decide to model a 800 poly saber. Knowing the tools makes any job easier.


*A note of caution going back and forth in the modifier stack can cause the program to crash and to completely loose your unwrapped UV So save before you do this each time to be safe, and choose the option [HOLD YES]


Or detach the model to separate elements after modeling it. Then apply the mapping unwrapping modifiers and you won’t have to go back down in the stack when Unwrapping.



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  • 2 weeks later...

ok i dont get one part, really confusing me.


"So we’ll start with the blade emitter (this is not a part of the hilt that will be seen much in-game but I like to add the detail to it anyway). Start selecting the polys of the of the top face of the emiter" ok i selected them.(its the top of the saber right?)


then i get lost at this

"Once all the polys of the top of the emitter is selected , open the UV editor and hit Planar Map with averaged normals checked. What will happen is those selected polys will be centered over the texture in the editor. But you don’t want it to take up the entire map so you will need to scale them down to a more manageable size and then position it in the corner of the map." and everything under that

:confused: can anyone help :)

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  • 1 month later...
Originally posted by kay338

error occured :( heres the image i took of it.



I know what you're problem is (happened to me the first time I tried modeling)...


When you export your model from MAX, it overwrites your original binary model (cuz' the name is the same)... look in your folder and notice the time/date... it'll shock ya' ;)


Keep your existing .mdl (the one exported from MAX)... goto KotOR Tool and re-extract a lightsber model (extract, don't convert)... preferably to a different folder than your ascii model...


Now, re-name the model you just extracted from KT (add something like "copy" to it).. then place the re-named file into your folder along with your ascii model and MDLOps...


now, for your binary model (in replacer), use the "copy" file... and in your ascii field, use your exported MAX model...


should work :D


From now on however, before you begin modeling... when you first extract a model to be converted.. make a "copy" of it so you don't run into the problem again ;)


Hope this helps! :)

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Originally posted by KillerWave

Maybe I am not really exporting it?

It's the "export all or selected" button or nwmax, or that's wrong?


You should do it like this:


(Referring to numbers in picture above)


1) Select the AuroraBase object

2) Click on the Modify (bent pipe thing) tab in the sidebar

3) Make sure the AuroraBase is selected in the list

4) Set the path to where you want the ascii file to be saved when exporting.

5) Click the "Export Geom Only" button.

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I get a "SanityCheck failed for w_lightsbr_001. Push YES to continue export" error. If iI choose yes, it doesnt export anything as far as I can see...:(

MY SanityCheck is failing :(


I got both hilt models i wanted to get in-game and saved in max format in the hope it can be resumed once its figured why I cant export. Could someone take a look at this?


Also, i saw references that led me to believe that lightsbr_001 is the blue lightsaber. If I want to have this hilt available for all lightsaber colors, I have to convert one model for each of the colors?


Btw, id hope to get a those models as unique hilt, that only my character has them. Don't want to just replace the original, because that way, all lightsaber hilts would look the same.

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