I was contacted by Daniel 'Spooger' Patton of planetunreal during early October 2001. he had been looking for three years for a convertor capable of converting from a 3ds max scene into the Unreal engine editor, UnrealEd. He had an idea (correctly) that the file format known as Ascii Scene Export (ASE) could be used, and found via the web that I had some previous experience with it. The convertor was done Pro Bono for him, and the Unreal editing community at large.
The main advantage to this convertor is that it can translate the texture coordinates as well as the geometry. Geometry only was always available via the DXF file format, supported directly by 3dsmax (its is an AutoCad format, and Discreet's 3ds max was originally known as 3D Studio, and was an Autodesk application. Autodesk was also responsible for the great AutoCAD application, now the industry standard).
To date the application seems quite popular with the Unreal community, and anyone who has a use for textured T3D brushes. As with all my applications, and perhaps especially this one, I am committed to supporting it, so please feel free to contact me with sugestions/problems etc. If you have an ASE file that cannot be converted, and you have read the help file and still think it should, then send me the file and I will fix it if it is a problem with the convertor.
Limitations of the convertor are as follows:
- Only W rotations are expressed in the ASE file format, so only W rotations will appear correctly in the T3D brush.
- As yet I have not been able to get both rotation and offset of textures to be translated correctly. So if you are texturing an object, try to use either one or the other of these features, not both together. Tiling is not affected by this problem.
- Only the Diffuse map is used as the texture data for the final brush. This is not really a limitation, rather a design intention. As the T3D format is single textured, I had to choose only one map, without limiting the convertor to rejecting valid 3ds scenes.
- Objects converted which were not textured in the original 3ds scene will not look very pretty in the UnrealEd, as the convertor has no way of 'guessing' the texture coords.
Some of these limitations are due to the ASE file format, and not the convertor really. The convertor is still young, so bug reports are welcomed. I have already received a useful bug report from Germany (thanks) and this led within an hour of me getting it to Version 1.0.1.
The current version is 1.0.2: when adding the ability to convert untextured models I broke an important feature of the convertor, namely to include the texture name in the T3D file. This was pointed out to me by Mathias from Finland, and so led to the correction. I will be adding multiple sub texture support in February.
Daniel 'Spooger' Patton should be considered the main host of the application, and questions about the 3ds scene aspects and limitations / abilites of the convertor should be directed to him. I believe he may be setting up a FAQ.
If anyone has examples of cool brushes they create, I would love to see them, and would like a little gallery for my site.
Download ASEtoT3D 260 KB
View Read Me file of ASEtoT3D
Project Source Code on Sourceforge
I have decided to open source the converter. The code is old and shameful for me to look back on, nice though the final application was. I have been asked several time to open source it and I wish I had done so earlier.
You can see it all on at http://sourceforge.net/projects/asetot3d/