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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 6:27 AM
Default Is it possible to make objects using blender only?
Hello, I was wondering, since blender 2.8 has a UV editor, and you can simply paint the texture on, is it possible to create objects in blender without the need for a separate uv mapping program? Most beginner tutorials I’ve seen use separate programs, and they’re so step-by-step that I actually don’t understand what files are needed to have a mesh and a texture for an object. And I really find it kinda annoying to use multiple programs if one is enough
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Mad Poster
#2 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 12:53 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 23rd Jun 2020 at 1:08 PM.
It is absolutely possible if you're only working with OBJ meshes, just make sure you're using the proper export settings (or SimPE throws a tantrum with an error screen that technically may not matter but is still very annoying, or occasionally turns your mesh inside out or some such)


You can also use Blender as a bridge, doing all the meshing and UVmapping there and doing the finalizing of the mesh in Milkshape (I do that more often than not nowadays, especially when working with meshes supposed to be transparent, because Milkshape keeps the proper mesh layering if you export as Unimesh, and layering is often very important when doing transparent meshes).

If you're working with body meshes or animated meshes, it's a bit more difficult. I don't know whether the available plugins are updated for 2.8, so you're a bit lost if not, but they may be available for the older Blender versions. I still use Milkshape for animated meshes (but use Blender if convenient, like accessories and things that only need very simple assignments in Milkshape).

You also still need to export the texture you paint as a texture file in Blender (just saying, because after having done a bit of TS4/Blender help desk, I have seen a few TS4 creators on beginner level who think the texture will be completely baked into the mesh just because it shows in Blender, but it won't, and needs to be added as a texture)
Theorist
#3 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 3:27 PM
In addition to the settings in that screen cap, you're also going to need to check the triangulate faces box.
Mad Poster
#4 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 3:38 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 23rd Jun 2020 at 4:07 PM.
That's not really necessary. They actually do triangulate fine on their own (I've never seen any square polys/faces come out of SimPE, anyway...)

Whenever I've imported with those particular settings, I've not gotten any warnings, and if I've imported out of SimPE again, the faces are triangulated, so it seems SimPE manages this fine on its own. Polys are technically triangulated even if they look square, having a preferred triangulation (can't remember if there's a phrase for this, but there probably is), which you can turn around for a slight change in the normals in the meshing program, and most meshing programs tend to be smart enough to recognize this. If you for instance import a mesh with square polys into Milkshape, it does triangulation for you.

I used to work a lot with 3D Max back in the days and had some troubles exporting directly to SimPE as OBJ, but often got that similar warning I'd get with Blender meshes so I tended to work via Milkshape. Back then I had no idea, so I assumed it was a compatibility issue. With Blender I first I assumed it was related to compatibility issues or triangulation or something like that (I had a lot of weird results, with inside-out meshes, meshes collapsed into one group, and you name it), but I tested out several of the settings, and the ones above were pretty much the only ones that gave me separated groups, the mesh turned the proper way, no warnings, and no other weird things happening. I've stuck with these settings since (tweaked maybe once), and they work fine pretty much all the time, even directly to SimPE. The settings also work fine for importing to Milkshape or for importing to Blender itself. I've had a few occasional blips, but usually due to a problem elsewhere in the meshfile that I had to fix.

Some of the settings shown may be completely unnecessary, some can probably be added without causing any significant problems.
I think I figured out these were absolutely necessary:
-Objects as OBJ groups (keeps objects separate)
-Write Normals (otherwise you get the inside-out mesh)
-Smooth Groups (otherwise a not-so-smooth, blocky mesh)
Apply Modifiers - I'm a bit unsure of this, but it's probably a good idea to keep it, in case any modifiers are not applied.
Inclde edges + Include UVs - Probably a good idea to keep, not entirely sure what they do or don't do, and can't remember if they did anything while I was testing, but they didn't cause anything bad, so I left them in.
Theorist
#5 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 8:27 PM
We've had different experiences then, because when I've forgotten to triangulate the meshes, the objects look weird in game (of course this only applies to things I've created myself, and not 3t2 or 4t2 conversions, which were already split into triangles beforehand).
Mad Poster
#6 Old 23rd Jun 2020 at 8:55 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 23rd Jun 2020 at 9:22 PM.
SimPE manages square polys perfectly fine (four vertices), but five or more corners or more - not so much. You have to make sure there only are square or triangular polys in the mesh when you make it. I've had some strange results with a few object conversions (that I downloaded from a mesh site) where it suddenly had a ton of holes. Turned out there were a lot of 5/6/7+++ sided polys. SimPE doesn't know what to do with those. Milkshape approximates them, but occasionaly with some strange results.

If you want to make sure, you can of course triangulate the meshes, but it's often best to do it yourself in areas like that, or you can get some rather unfortunate results. For instance, there are mesh programs that just hate to cap cylinders with a circle of triangles, and instead slaps a single multi-polygon on it. Leave that alone, and Milkshape will approximate triangles all over the place in a "broken window" pattern. I prefer having some control in those areas.

Blender has an internal triangulation tool. Just mark the parts of the mesh you want to triangulate and click Ctrl+T. Instant triangulation. Similarly, instant de-triangulation (well, some fixing usually required) is achieved with alt+J.
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