You can download this scene's .max files, .ead files and textures from our linkar community.
This was a complete scene made for the Engine. In this section we'll check all the files and explain what each one is for, and why is made this way. Also, connect to other specific sections in case you need to know more about something. Hopefully this will give you a glimpse of how to create a project for the Engine.
In the project folder you'll find several folders:
- 01_eads - .EAD files for the project.
- 02_textures - Textures in different resolutions.
- 03_cfgs - .cfg files needed for texture transparencies and reflections.
- 04_max - .max files from which the .EAD files are exported.
Now let's one step by step, explaining each file into these folders!
Into the folder ”01_eads” you'll find another set of folders, each one for each part of the scene. Let's check them:
- 01_girl_animations - character model on the floating island, and animations.
- 02_skydome - background textured sphere (sky & mountains).
- 03_buttons - models for the buttons that play animations
- 04_lights - lights for the scene
The reason to export these parts of the scene by separate is quite straight forward: they have different functions, and it's easier to manage if each one of them is separated from the rest.
1. The .EADs for the character, for example, is made up from 4 files: one with the model and hierarchy, and 3 for the different animations. As this is the only animated object in the scene, it's appart. If you want to learn to export this type of models and animations, check this documentation about advanced export. Later we'll see how this scene is made in 3ds Max and its organization.
2. The background sphere, called skydome is separated as it's good to have full control over it independently to make it bigger or smaller, and also to prevent it to be affected by lights. Not only that, then in the Engine it's easier to add some kind of animation like a constant rotation. The main reason is that it doesn't have anything to do with the character's animation, so it's better to separate it.
3. Then we have the three buttons that play the animations. These are objects that have a function, so it's easier and more organized if we have them appart.
4. About the lights, they're separated to have better control over them independently, or easily turn them off (just not loading this .EAD), which would cause the scene to be displayed in only diffuse color. They're only affecting the girl and the island, not the buttons or the background. If you want more info about lights, lead to Lights documentation section.
If you look into the ”02_textures” folder, youll see several folders. These folders are named with the resolution that the textures inside have. Textures are all named exactly the same, so you just need to overwrite them into the engine textures folder. They range from 128×128 to 2048×2048 pixels. The sky_texture.png that is outside the folders is bigger (the environment is really big, so more resolution is sometimes needed), up to 4096×4096 pixels.
There is also the Reflections folder, which you should paste directly into the textures folder of the Engine. See how reflections are set up in 3Ds Max HERE. This folder contains 6 images, which form the cube map for the reflections. Check this documentation to learn how to create your own cube map from 3Ds Max.
These files are meant to work with the textures (they need to be placed into the same exact folder as them, to be loaded together), as they are configuration files for the texture and material parameters that may change their appearance, activate reflections, transparency, and others. Learn more about how to use .cfg files HERE.
The folder ”04_max” contains the 3Ds Max files (from where the .EAD files were exported). Let's check what we have into them: 01_girl_animations: it contains the girl model and skeleton, and the floating island on which she's standing with her sword: Now we'll see how objects are structured into this scene, as it's a bit complex:
- The scene is made up from two layers, so you can turn them on or off to easily select what you need. The layers are “Skeleton”, including the bones, and “Meshes”, including the girl and floating islands models.
- First, we have the models, which are named with the m_ prefix.
- The bones are named with the ctl_ prefix, to know more about these naming conventions, read this section.
- We have animations. By default, the timeline goes from frame 0 to 1 (to export only the model), but if you change the frame range, you'll see the animations (Read this to learn about exporting animations):
- Frames 0 to 40: Animation 01
- Frames 41 to 140: Animation 02
- Frames 141 to 240:Animation 03
- There are several materials:
- One for the girl model
- Another one for the floating island, this one with transparency
- A third one for the reflective part of the sword. It has a random texture as reflection, as in the Engine it will reflect the cube map into the textures folder.
Here is an image that shows the bones structure. This structure will deform our model, so if you move or rotate one of its parts, the model will act accordingly: These bones are structured in a hierarchy, in which ctl_girl_root is the father bone of all the girl's skeleton. So you'd need to move this one to move the whole girl. The floating island is child of the bone ctl_rock_root, so move that one for moving the island. Meshes are child of the world, as in max it's possible, but other softwares don't allow parenting objects that are being deformed by bones, as the vertices are already child of the deforming bones. In this image (click it to watch it full size) you have the hierarchy tree of all the scene:
The previous scene was the most complex one, this and the following ones are pretty simple. Skydome scene contains a big sphere-shaped model that simulates an environment all around the main part of the scene (the girl on the floating island). Looks like this: This is the model, with the material and environment texture, the only difference is that in the final scene, we're going to see it from the inside, so we can rotate the camera around, and always be looking at some faces on this skydome, as we'll be surrounded by it.
The buttons file includes three buttons, each one of them with a material and unique texture. Each button is just a plane model, and they are placed to stand in front of the floating island. Naming here is specially important, as then, in the Engine, names are needed to add functionalities to these buttons.
In the lights scene there are just several lights, with colors and ranges set up to affect the girl. They where originally created in the girl scene, but then isolated and saved in their own .max file (to avoid problems with Animation Managers when playing the animations for the girl). Click HERE to learn more about how to setup lights.
And that's all. Hopefully, this article and test scenes will let you better understand how everything should be made to be compatible with our Engine.