Ri-Karou

Can blender be used with XNA GSE Just wondering b4 i go and get my new comp this week because my desktop crashed...

Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Glenn Wilson

Use it can, I have been using Blender for Modeling for a long while.

But Blender should not be a decider in a new Computer, it will run on any of the modern PCs, even if the hardware dosn't support XNA. When purchasing a new machine you should be making sure that XNA is supported, then all of the support tools that you need will run.

I would check the XNA FAQ and make sure that you are purchasing Hardware that is supported for XNA and the Game Studio Express.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Nemo Krad

Glenn,

I have been trying to use Blender for my XNA project but I am having a few problems and was wondering (as you mentioned using it) if you may be able to tell me where I am going wrong.

I build the project in Blender and it all looks as it should, I then export it to a .x file to be used by my XNA project but when I use the model in my project it all comes out a little odd. I get all the shapes I created in the Blender project but there positions and dimensions are not as I set them.

For example if I create two spheres and join them together with a box I stretch and position to do this, it all looks great in blender, but in my XNA project I am left with two spheres and a box, the box will have the original dimensions drawn for it and not the ones that require it to join the two spheres, if you know what I mean (probably not the best example but it is late here :))

Am I doing something wrong with the export





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Fluxtah

I am quite sure in blender you have to apply transformations and scaling, there is an option somewhere to do this.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Glenn Wilson

Is there some where you could post some samples of you model so I can test them, I will try and simulate what you have posted about but the sample scenes you have will make sure we are using the same models.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Nemo Krad

Glenn,

Thanks for taking a look.

This is the model in blender: http://www.randomchaos.co.uk/XNA/blenderModel.jpg

This is how it looks in my XNA project: http://www.randomchaos.co.uk/XNA/XNAModel.jpg

Here is my blender project and the resulting model

http://www.randomchaos.co.uk/XNA/LightCycle1.blend

http://www.randomchaos.co.uk/XNA/LightCycle1.x

Thanks for your time.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Richard Kain

It looks like you didn't actually combine the three models in Blender. I've said this before. Applying modifiers to models in any 3D application is not enough for exporting. You have to first collapse the altered model into a triangle mesh before you export it for a game. That includes XNA applications. Before you export a model from blender, you're goign to want to collapse it into a triangle mesh. You should be able to pull this off from the editing panel in Blender. There should be an option in the modifier panel that allows you to apply the modifiers permanently. This will take the modification you made, and translate it into pure triangles.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Nemo Krad

Richard,

As you can probably tell I am new to blender, and 3D modeling in general. Can you explain what you mean in a bit mre detail please as I dont quite get what you mean

I have the three objects in a group now but can't for the life of me see how I can "collapse the altered model". I don't know blender very well so it might be staring me in the face, but I just dont know how to do it..

Thanks for your time :)





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Richard Kain

Don't sweat it. It isn't as hard as it seems. You just have to familiarize yourself a little bit with some basic 3D modelling conventions. And most importantly, you need to familiarize yourself with the interface of the programs you are using. Blender's interface is a bit unique. One thing you need to wrap your head around is that Blender's interface is entirely fluid. The default set-up is to have three main components, a 3D window (the biggest and most obvious component) a main title menu, (along the top of the screen) and a button bar (along the bottom of the screen). Here's the funny thing. None of those three components have to be what they start off as. If you want to, you can change the button bar along the bottom, into a 3D window. The bar along the top can be transformed into an ISO curve editor, or an NLA animation manager. The big 3D window in the middle can be changed into a UV face editor. Any window in Blender can be changed into any other type of window.

I'm warning you about this in case you accidentally change one of your Blender windows. It can be a bit panic-inducing at first. Each window has its own little toolbar. In that toolbar is a little button that allows you to change what type of window it is. If you ever get lost, just refer to that button. All of the various functions of Blender are accessed by changing through the different window types. For editing 3D models, you're going to want to have at least one 3D window active. I like to keep 2 or 3 3D windows open while I'm modeling.

Grouping models is not the function you're looking for. Grouping models together will just parent some of the models to another model. They will inheret the parent model's transformations. (its position, scaling, and rotation) But they won't actually become part of it. For that, you are going to want to use the "Join" command. If you're ever unsure of how to access a command in Blender, use the "SpaceBar" menu. When your mouse is over a window, you can hit the spacebar to bring up a sub-menu with commands that are specific to that type of window. For a 3D window, there is a sub-menu with commands relating to editing 3D models. First, you would select the objects that you want to join. (hold down the shift key while selecting to select multiple objects, when they are selected the objects are highlighted in pink) Now put your mouse over any open 3D window and hit the space bar. A little sub-menu pops up. From the sub-menu, select the "Object" category. In this sub-menu category, you should find an option called "Join Objects." Select this option. Now your multiple objects are combined into one single model.

If you ever want to edit particular parts of a model, you have to switch to "Edit" mode. There is more than one way to do it. In 3D windows, there is a little option button that tells you what "mode" you are currently working in. There are several modes to choose from. (pose mode, editing mode, face select mode, painting mode, etc...) The default mode is object mode. (where you select and manipulate separate objects) To switch modes, you can just click on the "mode" option button on the 3D window's option bar, and pick whichever mode you want. To switch directly to "Edit" mode quickly, you can just hit the "Tab" key. (the Tab key is the default keyboard shortcut for Edit mode in Blender) Once you are in edit mode, you can edit the particular areas of a model as you see fit, as well as apply various modifiers to refine your mesh.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

BOCBoss

To join 2 meshes just select object 1 and 2 then press "ctrl J"



Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Arek Bal

IMO Blender's interface is more Windows-based than any other 3D app's(3dstudio,XSI softimage,Maya). Just one main difference - your toolbar is at bottom of the screen(of course, you can change it anytime).





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Nemo Krad

I am not too keen on Blender I prefer GMax, but I have had trouble exporting models from this to, but IMhO GMax has a better interface. That could be down to me trying Blender first and getting basic concepts from that before using GMax.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Nemo Krad

Thanks guys, my blender models are fine now :)





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Richard Kain

That's good to hear. If you have any other issues, I would advise going to the following site.

Blender 3D: Noob to Pro

This is a convenient little wiki that will walk you through a lot of the basics of Blender. It covers most of the features of Blender that you would need for game models. It will also help out with the interface navigation, and teaching you a lot of the common keyboard shortcuts. (which are a big part of speeding up Blender development)

Blender is a bit of a mixed bag. You've got your good and your bad. The bad is that it  isn't a commercially supported software package. As such, it will probably never have the same kind of industry support that Max, Maya, or SoftImage get. There will never be as many commercial books released documenting its features either. In fact, even the on-line documentation for Blender tends to be behind the times. Since it isn't supported by profits, it will probably never be as feature-rich as commercial applications either.

On the other hand, it's kind of hard to argue with its price. As an open-source project, Blender is free to use, and even modify. You can create a complete commercial project with it, and not pay a dime in royalties. There's no initial charge either, its freely distributed for download from the Blender site. You don't even have to sign up or register. There's also no arguing with the size of the software. Blender takes up less than 5 MB. Most commercial 3D apps eat up hundreds of MB, and some are even pushing into the Gigabyte range. And though Blender's feature set doesn't match up to major commercial products, its surprisingly close, and getting closer. Most 3D artists will find Blender's tools more than enough to satisfy. And regular updates are swiftly adding to the programs functionality. When I first started using Blender a few years ago, the UV editing was a joke. It was barely even functional, and a pain to struggle with. Blender's current implementation for UV mapping is robust, efficient, and very fast to work with. I can skinmap models just as fast as I can in 3DS Max, if not faster. The next major revision is due in a few weeks, and it will be adding ZBrush-like features for sculpt modeling.

When most commercial 3D apps can cost upwards of $1000, (and certainly no less than $100) Blender provides a very appealing option for ametuer and hobbyist game designers. It's great for designing simple game models.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Blender

Arek Bal

I wouldn't be so sure about that "no-support".
Link