Static meshes. Maya to UnrealEd

Article by [furrycat].

Creating the mesh

The first step is to make the mesh which you will export. The mesh should be composed of polygons (ie don't use NURBS or subdivs) and should be triangulated before export.

AVOID using instances of objects, as the exporter will only save the original. If you need to duplicate some geometry, create a new COPY not an instance (this is the default).

In the screenshot below I have created a simple table model using a cylinder and four cubes. I created a new set containing all the parts and scaled it by a factor of 32. That means that each "leg" of the table is 64 units wide. As you will see later, this still turns out to be quite small in the editor...

A simple table

Texturing the model

I haven't found a way to tell the exporter which textures the model will actually use. You will need to apply the materials you want in UnrealEd. This means that you will be exporting your model untextured.

However, you still need to set up the mesh's UVs in Maya. You can either create your own textures as usual or you can use existing textures from the game. In the latter case you must first export those textures which you will later apply to your model.

To do this, browse through the textures in UnrealEd until you find one that you like. Here I found floor_wood_01a_impexpt from the Import_Export_T package (Floor group). It looks like it would make a nice wooden table leg.

floor_wood_01a_impexpt

One way to export this texture would be to press Alt and PrintScreen to take a screenshot, then edit the screenshot in Photoshop. A much better solution is to use the Unreal Tournament Package Tool to export the texture to a Targa file.

Export the texture

I had trouble importing Targa files back into UnrealEd but I successfully loaded 24-bit (very important) BMP files. Since this image was going to be my table leg, I saved it as legs.bmp - preserving the alpha channel and saving in 24-bit mode:

Saving a BMP

I also chose int_wall_base_01d for the surface of my table (saved as tabletop.bmp). This texture is also in the Import_Export_T set, under Walls.

Remember! you don't need to do any of this if you are creating your own textures from scratch. Tweaking your UVs is going to be tough without a texture to work from, so the above steps are to be used when you have already decided to use a texture from the game.

The finished mesh

Now that you've created or exported the textures for your mesh, go ahead and finish your model.

I used my two BMP files in my Maya materials and completed the simple table:

The table, textured

Next we will export the mesh so that UnrealEd can load it.


Jump to a section

intro | part 1: Creating the mesh | part 2: Exporting the model | part 3: Importing the model | part 4: Texture the model