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Editing Models for Warcraft III
-
By Arcuive

Step 1: The Big Decision
Step 2: Extracting the MDX
Step 3: Editing the Model
Step 4: Exporting your Model
Step 5: Editing the MDL
Step 6: Getting your Model in Game



All of these tools, except 3DsMax and Gmax, can be found at Warcraft III Campaigns. KMK's Max Script can be found on the Wc3Campaigns Forums.
3D Studio Max 4.0+ 3DsMax is a modeling tool developed by Discreet.
Gmax Gmax is a free, cut down version of 3dsMax, which you can find here.
We will be using 3dsMax in this tutorial.
MPQ View This is an application that we will use to extract our files from the War3.MPQ. You will also need the listfile.
KMK's Max Script MDX Importer/Exporter This is something called a MAX Script, which is used in 3dsmax. This MAX Script allows you to import and export MDX files from 3dsMax.
Yobguls mdx->mdl File Converter This is a file converter, which can convert mdx files to mdl (text version of the model.)
WinMPQ This is an application which is used to implimenting files into MPQ files.

Step 1: The Big Decision

The first step into editing models for WCIII is to decide what model to edit? In reality you could edit any model you wanted, into anything you wanted; it is just that some model may be easier to shape into the shape you want than others. This often puzzles people, because some people don't know what certain models look like. I suggest getting in to the World Editor and checking out the models before you choose one.

Now go to your desktop and create a folder called My Model. We will use this throughout the tutorial.


Step 2: Extracting the MDX
Go ahead and boot up MPQ View.
Next, go to File, Open Data File, and select War3.MPQ.txt.
Next click on Open Archive and load the War3.mpq MPQ file.
Select to filter .mdx files, and find your model on the list.
Next, click Save, and save it to our folder we created earlier.

Step 3: Editing the Model

Now it's time for the fun stuff! Go ahead and load up 3D Studio Max.

Now that it's loaded click on the Utilities Tab and click Run Script. Go to were KMK's Max Script is located, and load it.
After you load it, click the down arrow on Utilities, and select MDX Importer/Exporter
Now, you will see that a new little window show up, with some options.
Check Static* and De-check Bone Rotation. Then, select Import MDX, and load our grunt.mdx in our My Model folder.
Now that we have the model imported, we can start editing! The first thing were going to do is hide the meshes that we are not going to edit. But first we must click on the Modify Tab.
Now, click on this part of the model:
Right click, and select Hide Selection.
After you hide that mesh, go ahead and hide this one:
Now that we have those parts hidden, we can start editing. I will not get into detail much here, I'll just get you started off. For more in-depth information on modeling visit Google and do a search for +modeling +3dsmax +beginners.

The first thing to do is select a mesh, so go ahead and click on a mesh you want to edit, and click on Vertex, under the Selection drop down menu.

You will notice that the mesh that your editing with suddenly show up with dots all over it. These are called verticies. Select move from the top of bar, and start to move verticies around, shaping your model.
WARNING: DO NOT DELETE ANY VERTICIES, OR MOVE ANY OF THE MESHES AROUND.
Well, after 2 minutes of editing I have done this;
As you can see all I've done is put the horns into the head, and the teeth into the mouth.
Now , right click and select Unhide All.

Step 4: Exporting Your Model

Now its time to export your model, to do this, select the meshes in order from least to greatest. Ex: Each mesh has a name, in this one there are grunt1-grunt8. So first select grunt1, hold down Ctrl and select grunt2, and so on and so forth till you have select all the meshes.
Now click on the Utilities Tab and scroll down. You may have to load the Max Script again, so do that just for good measure. After you have it loaded scroll down to where you see the button Export Selected as MDX. Click it, and save it to our folder My Model.

Step 5: Editing the MDL

Now we come to the more difficult part of this tutorial, editing the MDL. Throughout this part I will try to include as much detail as I can.

First, we must convert our model, Grunt1.mdx into Grunt1.mdl; to do this load up Yobguls mdx->mdl File Converter.

Now, click Load File, and load our Grunt1.mdx

Next click on Convert to MDL. As you can see it is automatically saved to our folder.
Now, load the original grunt.mdx model, and convert it to and MDL also.

Next, open both MDL files with Notepad, do this by right click on the file, selecting open or open as, and select Notepad from the list.
Now that we have both files open, cascade them, and close all other windows so that we can concentrate on what were currently doing. Now, press Ctrl+F on the keyboard, while the window grunt1.mdl is active. Type in the box Geoset, and click enter Three Times ONLY!!

Now, confirm that you are on line 111.

O.K., now, click in front of the word Geoset, then scroll down until you reach this part:
Now, hold shift and click in from of the '}', which is over the 'N' in Normals.
Now, hit Ctrl+C to copy this selection. Then, go to the grunt.mdl window and press Ctrl+F like before, and type Geosets and press enter 3 times. Make sure your on line 192. Next, click in front of Geoset, and scroll down until you reach the '}' above the 'N' in Normals, like before.

Hold Shift and click in front of that '}', like we did before. While this is selected, press Ctrl+V.

There, we have replaced one Geoset, now we must move on to the next one.

Continue to repeat this process till you have replaced all the Geosets. The table below will show the Geosets and which line there on, how many Verticies they have, etc. In the file grunt.mdl and grunt1.mdl.

GRUNT.MDL
Geoset Line Verticies
Number 1 192 167
Number 2 933 411
Number 3 2688 83
Number 4 3109 12
Number 5 3231 4
Number 6 3319 4
Number 7 3407 62
Number 8 3727 16
GRUNT1.MDL
Geoset Line Verticies
Number 1 111 167
Number 2 864 411
Number 3 2595 83
Number 4 3010 12
Number 5 3141 4
Number 6 3240 4
Number 7 3339 62
Number 8 3670 16

After you finish replacing the Geosets we need to save our file, so just go to save, in our grunt.mdl window.



Step 6: Getting Your Model In Game

Well, now we come to the end of this tutorial, getting your model in the game is pretty easy, and there are many ways to do it. In this tutorial we will be implimenting our file into the War3Patch.mpq. So I suggest backing up that MPQ just in case.

The first thing we have to do is to convert our grunt.mdl to grunt.mdx. So, go ahead a load up Yobguls mdx->mdl File Converter, load our grunt.mdl. Then, click on Convert to MDX.

Now, go ahead and boot up WinMPQ.

Next click Open, and select the file War3Patch.mpq.

Now, click Add, select our grunt.mdx from our folder My Model, next we have to specify the location that the file will be located in the MPQ. For this model the path will be Units\Orc\Grunt\

Now we have added our MDX to the War3Patch.MPQ. Well it seems like were finished!

Contact

You can contact me at ansible@worlnet.att.net .

Credits

I would like to thank the following people:

Blizzard for making such a kick-ass game. Keep it up Blizz!
Discreet for making such a powerful 3D Modeling tool.
WarCraft III Campaigns for having such a great site and wonderful forum! You go Skull!
KMK for making his MAX Script Importer/Exporter
Yobguls for his File Converter
Korgath for inspiring me to write this tutorial, and who taught me a all I know about MDX and MDL files.
To the Creators of the programs in this tutorial that I don't know the name of.
And to all the people at the Wc3Campaign forum and from IRC.


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