Export a weapon model.
by Element11

Published : 15th December2005

Getting ready to export a weapon model.

Okay, I have decided to write a tutorial, because several people have had problems with this. There are many tutorials for weapon modeling, but I haven’t seen a tutorial for getting ready to export, and there are many important things you gotta do. So here goes.

What you’ll need

1. 3ds Max 3, 4 or 5.
2. All plugins properly installed. Check this tutorial for installing 3dsm plugins
3. A weapon model finished and textured.
4. The reference weapons for scaling purposes, download here.

First, download the references and make sure your plugins are installed. Then open the finished model. You might have several parts to your model, so click edit > select all to select all the objects, and go to group > group, and name it whatever you want. I'm naming mine hk53 cause that’s what weapon this is. Make sure your viewports are set up like mine, and make sure that all but the perspective are set to wireframe. You can change this by right clicking the name of the viewport. I also like having the tab panel out, I find it much quicker, and I will be referencing it in this tutorial. There are many different ways to access everything and I think this is the quickest. You can enable the tab panel by pressing 2 on the numbers above the letter keys, or by right clicking on an open space on your main toolbar, and checking tab panel.

Click to enlarge

Now that were set up and have our model grouped as one piece, we can merge the reference object in. Right now our model is much too big for the game.In max we will go to File> Merge, and navigate to the folder called "Sized and positioned .max files" and open it. There should be another folder, open it and then you should see a whole bunch of folders with the names of guns. Find one that matches your gun the best, and if there isnt one, just open the ak47. We're only looking to scale here.

Since I have a small submachine gun, I'm going with the mp5 sd, since the hk53 is a similar weapon. Pick one that matches your gun and click merge. There will be a window that pops up, so click on the only object there (the gun model) and click merge. Ignore the obsolete file popup. The model should now be in the scene. You won't be able to see it because it's so small, so we will fix that now. Select your weapon model and click the uniform scale button on the toolbar, shown as selected in the pic below - it's the button in yellow.

Click to enlarge

Then select your model, and click and drag the mouse down to make your model small. Keep going until all you see is a small dot in the viewport.

Click to enlarge

With your model selected press alt+A to use the align tool, and then press h and select the model we just merged in.

Select the object, click pick, and make sure the options are like the ones below.


Click OK, and your weapon will be aligned with the reference. Click and hold down the zoom extents all button, and then more buttons should roll out. Click the one with the white box and then your weapon will be visible in all viewports.


Click to enlarge

It's still a bit big, but we can fix that with the scale tool. Scale and rotate it (make sure you always rotate in 90 or 180 degrees, we don’t want the weapon being crooked) until the handle is about as big as the reference weapon's handle. You want to try and get the handle and magazine proportions the same as the reference. I have gotten my HK perfect in the picture below. Check all viewports and make sure your weapon is perfectly aligned with the reference.

Click to enlarge

When your weapon looks like mine, select the reference, and delete it. Now that we have scaling out of the way, lets save our work so far as a new name, so we can go back later if we mess up. I'll call mine hk53_helpers.max. Now we can add the helper points.

There are 4 mandatory helper points for a weapon, and they must be named as follows (without the quotes).

"^BrassEjectionPoint" Point where the shell casing ejects. Should be centered at the chamber of the weapon
"^MuzzleFlashPoint" Point at where the muzzle flash it. Goes at the tip of the barrel.

These points are merely helper points placed in the right places and named properly. So let's get started. Go to the tab panel and click on the "helpers" tab and click point.

Place one in the front viewport, and name it ^RightHandPoint and hit enter. Now click the move tool, and using the 3 boxes circled below, type 0 in each one. It is important for the right hand point to be at 0,0,0 in the scene.

Now add another point, name it ^LeftHandPoint and center it on the grip of the weapon, and also make sure it's centered in the other viewports as well.

Click to enlarge

Now add the ^BrassEjectionPoint and center it on the chamber of the weapon, and where you want the shell to come out. Rotate on the y axis in the front viewport about 45 degrees, and then add the ^MuzzleFlashPoint and center it on the barrel and move it to the tip.

And That’s it! Now we can export. Go to file>export, and navigate to your mod folder. Make sure the drop down menu is set on Map (if you don’t see it your plugins aren’t installed) and save it as whatever you want and DON’T FORGET TO ADD .qob TO THE END OF YOUR FILE NAME OR IT WILL SAVE AS A .MAP. I'll name mine hk53.qob, and click save. Make sure your settings look like the picture below.

Then you should add this to your mods/model/ folder and the texture to the textures/ folder, and your done!

Any questions plz email daniel_lapp14@hotmail.com or PM me at the forums at ghostrecon.net as Element11.

Hope you enjoyed this tute!!



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