Importing Other Models

Even if you’re not familiar with the general modding process, davidwww‘s How to get a 3D model into Moviestorm tutorial will show you the basics in just a few minutes.

He is using nb99‘s 3D model converter, nbconv. Currently this is our sole means of converting models other than Sketchup’s into the Cal3D format which Moviestorm uses. Although it supports .obj, .3ds, .dae (including Sketchup), our resident technical guru, equinoxx, is the only one I know of who has tested any .obj files and had this to say-

nbconv does support .obj, though my experience has not been as uniformly successful as with .3ds and Sketchup .dae files.


Getting a Model into Moviestorm

Prepare - You will need to download and install nb99’s nbconv to convert your 3D model.  It appears that version 7 no longer exports to nbconv’s required “Google Earth 4 (kmz)” format.


Step 1- For Mac Users Importing SketchUp Models

Build or get a Sketchup model - Within Sketchup, you can access the official help files to get you started. Additionally, even a casual Internet search will bring up tons of user made tutorials. You can grab a Google Warehouse model by going to File>3D Warehouse>Get Models. Be aware that the Google 3D Warehouse’s Terms of Service states that the creator of a Warehouse model owns that model and that you are not allowed to distribute groups of models in one package (Content Pack or Addon). Short Fuze has stated that you will not be able to sell models pulled from the Warehouse in the Modder’s Marketplace but there might be the potential of making an agreement with the model’s creator.

Export your Sketchup model - In the top, left-hand corner, go to File>Export>3D Model. On the bottom, for Export Type, choose “Google Earth 4 (.kmz)”. Name the file, browse to the location you wish to save it, and hit “Export”. Note: If, during the building of your model, you created “components”, or if the creator of the model did, you will want to “explode” each of them before exporting. Not doing so can cause pieces of your model to be placed in random locations as well as a “smearing” of the model’s textures.

Unzipping your Sketchup model - Browse to the location that you exported your model to then Right-click>7zip>Open Archive. Extract both the “images” (if you intend on using any textures that you applied in Sketchup) and “models” folders to the default location. Close 7zip.

Convert the Sketchup model for use in Moviestorm - Open nbconv. Setting nbconv’s resize factor to 100 results in a model’s longest dimension scaled to exactly one meter. If you adjust the “Set size for resize” number to match an object’s longest dimension in centimeters, and have “Auto Resize” ticked, it should come in right to scale. Next, go to File>Open and Convert, browse to of the exported model and open the new “model” folder. Double-click on the .dae file.


Step 1- For Importing Other Models

Convert the model for use in Moviestorm - Open nbconv. Setting nbconv’s resize factor to 100 results in a model’s longest dimension scaled to exactly one meter. If you adjust the “Set size for resize” number to match an object’s longest dimension in centimeters, and have “Auto Resize” ticked, it should come in right to scale. Next, go to File>Open and Convert, browse to your model’s file and double-click.


Remaining Steps For ALL Models

Add the model to your Addon folder - In your Moviestorm directory (C:\Program Files\Moviestorm for PC, (???) for Mac) open the “Addon” folder. In this folder, create a new folder with the name of your Addon. This Addon can have multiple items in it. You do not (for organization’s sake) need to have a separate Addon for each item. Add each of these next folders. “Data”, then inside that “Props”, then inside that, a folder named after your prop, and finally, inside that, “Textures”. Keep this window open and in a new window, browse to the location of your model. From this location, copy the files from inside the “Textures” folder into your Addon’s newly created prop’s “Textures” folder. Now, in the location of your model, open the “model” folder and copy the .cmf, .csf, and all of the .crf files into your new prop’s folder. So, in your Addon’s folder you should have a folder named “Data”, in that a folder named “Props”, inside that a folder named after your new prop, and in there all the .cmf, .csf, .crf files and a folder named “Textures”. nbconv also creates a .CFG file which apparently isn’t needed by the Modshop and neither is the .dae that is created when converting Sketchup models.

Find your prop - Fire up the ModShop, go to the Master Browser and open the Props folder. Browse through, locate, and click the “+” next to your prop. The “Textures” folder only lists the textures that are in your prop’s folder. You cannot interact with those files. The “Template” folder will list the template that you or the Sketchup Importer creates for this prop. A Template is basically a blueprint which tells Moviestorm how to build a model and what characteristics it’s textures have. You can make variations of a single model by creating new Templates. Then, when you customize an item in Moviestorm, you’ll be able to pick from the different variations.

Create a Template - Right-click the “Templates” folder, choose “New Template”, and give it a name that leaves the option for variations later. If your prop’s name is “Book”, name the Template something like “Book_Thick_Red” or “Book_Thin_Red_Worn”.

Read this and then save the Template - Saving in the Modshop can cause terribly confusing issues if you’re not paying close attention. In the Toolbar (NOT the Master Browser), the Current Addon will continuously change as you browse to different models. You may have set it to your Addon but it may not be set to it when you save. Right now the new Template doesn’t exist in an Addon so if you navigate to another model and back again, the Current Addon will remain the same as the one of the last model you viewed. Before going any further, switch the Current Addon (in the Toolbar, NOT the Master Browser) to your Addon and then scroll to the bottom right of the model’s template and save. Now, even if you navigate to another model and the Current Addon changes, when you navigate back to your model the Current Addon will switch to your Addon. In the event that you save your template to the wrong Addon, right-click the template’s name (not the prop name) in the Master Browser, choose “Move to Addon”, and select your Addon.

Note: If you save your model in the wrong Addon, it won’t be registered when you publish your Addon, it will not appear in Moviestorm, and you’ll have to close/restart Moviestorm, reload the Modshop, “Move” the template to your Addon, re-publish the Addon, close/restart Moviestorm, and reload your movie. Other instances of “Saving” issues involve even more steps to fix so get in the habit of checking that the Current Addon is set correctly before saving.

Add a mesh and materials - Click “Add a mesh” and choose the one listed. You have basically just added the model’s wire frame. Click “Add material” and choose each of the ones listed once. You have just added the surfaces to that wire frame.

Add textures to the materials - Right now the materials have no textures. You need to designate which textures are used, which ones the materials “point to”.

a.) In the list of materials that you created, click the first one. It is now the “active” material and any textures (and their settings) you designate will be applied to it. The only way to tell which surface this material is, is to have, for .png or .jpg images, a browse window open to your Moviestorm directory Addon\YOUR_ADDON\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP\Textures, or for .dds, and image editor browsed to that same location. So, if the first Material’s Diffuse texture is “Textures\texture00.png” you can look at your browser, see texture00, and see where it is on the model. You can have one of each type of textures applied to a material and the steps are the same for Diffuse, Specular, and Normal Map (I’m not certain if Emissive works correctly at this time).

b.) Click the “Browse” button to the right of the Diffuse texture type. This opens the Modshop file manager. It’s default is the Textures folder of the prop that you’re currently in. If you have a texture in that folder and you choose it, it will be applied to the material. However, if you browse up to use a texture outside of your prop’s Textures folder, the material will turn light grey when you apply the texture. This is a Modshop bug. The file path for the texture is incorrectly written and the Modshop cannot locate it. To fix this, simply click in and scroll to the left of the file path and delete everything to the left of “Data” and hit “enter”. If the texture remains light grey, check to make sure that there are no spaces in the file path. Sometimes the Modshop will add them and the toughest to spot are the ones hiding after a ” _ “. Repeat this step for the other types of textures Specular, Normal, and Emissive (if needed).

c.) Apply settings (shininess, invisible to camera, etc.) for the textures on this material.

d.) Repeat all of step #5 for each of the materials that you added to your model.
Read step #3 again and then save - Including the “Note”. I mean it. I didn’t write all 257 words of it because I like the clickity-clack of my keyboard. Re-read it and then save the template.

Apply settings to your prop - In the Template you can apply settings to groups of textures on the materials of your prop. These dictate the “look” of the prop. Now, we’ll apply settings to the prop which dictate how it behaves and is categorized.

a.) In the list of props locate your prop and, above the Textures and Templates folders, left-click on it’s name. This menu doesn’t have a name at the moment so we’ll call it the “Descriptor” as that is the name of the file that it writes once you save it (DESCRIPTOR). Most of it’s options either do not function or are pretty specifically labeled. So being, I’ll leave it up to you to explore for now.

b.) Choose your settings, the most common of which is “scalable” and choose or create at least one tag for categorization.

Read this and then save the Descriptor - As with the Template, the Current Addon, in the Toolbar (NOT the Master Browser), must be set to the Addon of the prop that you’re currently working on BEFORE saving the DESCRIPTOR. Unlike the Template, however, you can’t move it to the correct Addon with a few mouse clicks if you save it incorrectly. Also, you can’t just switch to the correct Addon and save the DESCRIPTOR again as it will continue to write to the DESCRIPTOR’s current location regardless of what the Current Addon is set to. This means that if when you place this prop onto a set in Moviestorm, and the prop’s folder is called upon, there will be no DESCRIPTOR found. None of your settings will be applied. The only way to fix this is to hunt through your C:\Program Files\Moviestorm folders, then find and move it.

It’ll be in a folder with the name of your prop and can be located in any of the prop folders in your Moviestorm directory. It all depends on where you saved it to. “Moviestorm\Data\Props\” is the most likely place as it will be saved here if the Current Addon is set to “ROOT”. Check there first and then search through-

Moviestorm\Addon\Core\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP

Moviestorm\Addon\Base01\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP

Moviestorm\Addon\Coffeshop01\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP

- and so on until you find it. Then move (NOT copy) the DESCRIPTOR it to the correct Addon which is-

Moviestorm\Addon\YOUR_ADDON\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP

Publish your Addon - Login as a Publisher and, making sure to untick “Requires a License”, publish this model’s Addon in the Master Browser.

As long as everything is saved in the correct location, your model is ready for use in Moviestorm.