Question: Convert A 3D Model to .DDS Image

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    • Question: Convert A 3D Model to .DDS Image

      Okay so I've made some 3D models for Rising World & some of them are leaving me with questions. Every time I look into the texture files they all seem to be .DDS images of a flattened 3D model. This could be for Vegetation, Objects to NPC's and it is confusing me. How do you flatten a 3D model into a .DDS image? I don't know how these images are being made so they could render into the game appropriately but I guess just making a 3D model of a mini-gun isn't enough because it still has the texture of a mining drill in game?? Can someone please explain this to me like this: Graphics For Dummies Part 1.
    • Hey, sorry for the late response, for some reason I've missed this topic 8| However, unfortunately you can't just "convert" a 3D model into a DDS file. DDS is just a texture format, more precisely it contains compressed image data (just like JPG, with the exception that graphics cards can work with DDS files directly - the compressed DDS file is loaded into the VRAM and is decompressed "on the fly" by the GPU, while a JPG files always stays uncompressed in your VRAM, resulting in up to 8 times higher memory consumption).

      But a DDS file does not store any model information. The "flattened" 3D model you've seen was probably a UV map. This is nothing but the texture of a model. Each triangle of the model is projected on the texture, or in other words, the model gets "unfold". The image represents the texture for every triangle of the model. Here you find more information about UV mapping: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping

      There are tools out there which enable you to generate a UV map automatically (more or less), but "proper" UV mapping has to be done manually and it is a rather complicated process, unless we're talking about primitive geometries like cubes, cylinders etc. UV mapping is usually done in the modeling software, e.g. Blender, Cinema4D, 3DS Max etc.
    • red51 wrote:

      Hey, sorry for the late response, for some reason I've missed this topic 8| However, unfortunately you can't just "convert" a 3D model into a DDS file. DDS is just a texture format, more precisely it contains compressed image data (just like JPG, with the exception that graphics cards can work with DDS files directly - the compressed DDS file is loaded into the VRAM and is decompressed "on the fly" by the GPU, while a JPG files always stays uncompressed in your VRAM, resulting in up to 8 times higher memory consumption).

      But a DDS file does not store any model information. The "flattened" 3D model you've seen was probably a UV map. This is nothing but the texture of a model. Each triangle of the model is projected on the texture, or in other words, the model gets "unfold". The image represents the texture for every triangle of the model. Here you find more information about UV mapping: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping

      There are tools out there which enable you to generate a UV map automatically (more or less), but "proper" UV mapping has to be done manually and it is a rather complicated process, unless we're talking about primitive geometries like cubes, cylinders etc. UV mapping is usually done in the modeling software, e.g. Blender, Cinema4D, 3DS Max etc.
      What I mean is I made the icons textures for the toolbar rather easily. What I don't know how to do is create a .DDS image of these models with Blender. What I've done is brought over some 3D models from Fallout 3, textured them differently, changed them quite a bit so they qualify under creative commons according to Bethesda's Guidelines I can do this the work has to be unique and not be an exact replica. So how do I take these new models I've made and make .DDS images with Blender? That's the most confusing part. Is there any tutorial guides on how to take a 3D model and turn it into that? I am rather new to this graphics design stuff and learning it has been quite frustrating.
    • I can't say much about using 3D models from another game, usually this is always quite problematic in terms of copyright, but I'm not familiar with Bethesda's guidelines. However, these models are already uv mapped (the uv mapping information is stored in the model). The DDS file is just the texture of the model (which is used to determine the color of every polygon / fragment of the model).

      If you're looking for more information about uv mapping with blender, there are several tutorials out there. This was just one of the first results I got: docs.blender.org/manual/en/lat…ing/unwrapping/index.html

      If you want to turn an image (e.g. a PNG or JPG file) into a DDS texture (DDS is really just a different file format), there are plugins for Gimp and Photoshop available on the net ;)
    • Being an avid modeler, I can confirm Red is spot on here. DDS files (Direct Draw Surface) are not 3d models just flattened out. When it comes to changing or importing models from anywhere else, even free-to-use public domain models from TurboSquid or other market places, or even other games*, there are usually quite a few differences in both the model itself, and in what data the game engines require.

      I’ve done some rather extensive work with Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series of games, from Morrowind (I was the creator of the original Glass Display Case model and animations), through Skyrim (currently working to port my Horse Racing mod made for Oblivion), and can say there are considerable differences in most models just between these games. The output file used by the games’ engines are more that a little different!

      I’m not sure what format Rising World uses, or what sort of import/export plugins exist or for what 3d modeling packages. Personally I use 3d Studio Max, and have for quite a long while.

      UVW mapping, also known as “skinning” is how textures get applied to plain grey models. It isn’t short for anything, it’s just 3 consecutive letters, similar to XYZ, which are the coordinate plains used in 3d modeling, and explain to the program how to position a texture on a model, so it doesn’t look like plain grey plastic.

      Hope this clears things up, and if I can answer any questions, feel free to ask - just don’t ask me how to model - lol it’s complicated to say the least, and there are reasons they offer college courses in doing it! :)