3D Documentation

So you don't know what you're doing, eh?!

The Weapon by Alain Bertrand

We thought so! We knew better than to trust the likes of you on your own... ;-) Hence we have created documentation to ease your head scartching and wondering. You should find everything you need here regarding WorldForge 3D and texturing policies as well as many tutorials to hone your mesh sculpting and texture painting skills. If you don't find your question answered here you can always send an email to the media mailing list.

If you're serious about joining the project you should definitely join the media and probably the general mailing lists. Otherwise you can drop by #media our IRC server irc.worldforge.org to get your questions answered. Below you'll find the major areas of documentation:

3D Tools

Comparison of various 3D tools is here.

Tutorials - Lessons on how to create 3D media.

Information below this point needs to be edited as it may or may not be accurate because it was taken from our old site...

The WorldForge project, like most other games, relies heavily on graphics arts. But in our case the graphics must be in different formats because different types of clients will be used: 2D and 3D. And for the 2D, different views will be used: 2D isometric, and 2D top view approach. To reach these goals we need to have a common 3D format and the possibility to download the 3D mesh to render in the proper view.

The common 3D format used by the WorldForge project is the 3DS binary (the format of 3D Studio). Most of the 3D modelers can generate and read this format. But there are also some limitations; not all features of your modeler/renderer will be supported so please follow these guidelines:

  1. Your object must be a normal mesh and not a NURB, Metaball, or Spline object so first convert it to a mesh.
  2. Each face of the object must be a triangle. So triangulate your object before saving it. For example my modeler (TrueSpace) uses faces of any type, but I must use a special tool to triangulate my object before saving it in 3DS.
  3. Do not use procedural textures (*).
  4. Please upload all the textures needed in the texture page.
  5. Before uploading a 3D object please try to load it from your 3DS file and see if it is correctly generated.

(*) Basic material informations are stored in the 3D Studio file: diffuse color, shading type, shininess and transparency. Texture bitmap files and bump bitmap files are stored also. Each face can have assigned to it a different material. Faces are stored in appropriate smooth groups, therefore smooth and faceted surfaces are supported.

The common character format used by the WorldForge project is the cal3d format (Cal3d site). Cal3d exporters exist for 3dsMAX and Milkshape. Blender exporters are in the making. Cal3d splits a character into several elements:

  1. A skeleton file (.csf), specifying the skeleton which works as deformable frame for the model.
  2. A number of animation files (.caf), specifying how the skeleton moves.
  3. A number of mesh files (.cmf), which specify meshes, how they are attached to the skeleton, and which material number(s) is used for each face of the mesh.
  4. A number of material files (.crf), each specifying the properties and textures of one material.
  5. A caracter definition file (.cfg/.cal), specifying which of the previously mentioned files are used by the character. Each individual game character requires one such file.

3D Tutorials

Cal3d Media describes how to export a model to cal3d format as used in WorldForge be the Sear client and the model2sprite tool.

Textures: what, why, and how - Talks about the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of texure generation.

Creating face/head textures for human(oid) game characters - A tutorial for making head-textures using photographs.

And the light is on! - Revolves around the various types of lighting one can use in a scene and their impact upon the mood of the scene.

Image Composition - Learn the fundamentals of good image composition and how to compose interesting scenes from plain looking everyday objects.

Lights and Reflection Study - Puts everything learned in the previous three tutorials together to create a photo-realistic picture of some billard balls on a table.

2D Isometric Creature Animation - Learn the procedures necessary to create an isometric rendering of a creature (in this case a giant crab) to be used in isometric WF clients.

Tree and Plant modeling - Discover tools, tricks and techniques to creating vegetation suitable for photo realistic results and realtime 3D engines.

Off-Site 3D Tutorials

Approaches for 3D modeling - Paul Steed of ID Software discusses various techniques used in creating 3D meshes such as vertex editing, nurbs, spine patching and many others in a series of tutorials.