Thursday, September 23, 2010

From Mabinogi to Pepakura

A sneak peak of what I'm messing with in various 3D editing tools, hehehe...

Potion shark! Yeah!!!

Currently I'm kinda stuck on fixing the textures, which are lost in the export from Mabinogi's system of {.frm, .pmg., .ani, .dds} files to the .3ds format for Pepakura Designer. I'll probably have to fix the textures manually by mapping each surface group in the .pdo format to using a whole image as its texture. However, that's different from the way Mabinogi organizes texture is in .dds files, where a single .dds file may contain several pieces of textures to be used separately. I'm not sure where it tells Mabinogi how to grab, for example, a rectangle starting at coordinate (X,Y), for length L, width W, in a .dds file, and map it to which surfaces, and so on. Also, I am not sure how the animation data is encoded in .3ds format, so I have not figured out how choose a specific frame in the animation to make into the .pdo model. If anyone has more expertise on various 3D formats, particularly .3ds, please let me know.


A little update on the lack of progress, for the nobodies interested.

The Mabinogi PMG viewer only exports into .3ds or .x formats. So far, I would conjecture that the .3ds format, due to its structural limitations, simply cannot capture some of the more detailed models in Mabinogi. In those cases, the exported .3ds models turn out to look like crap. However, I have confirmed, via some DirectX viewer, that the .x format indeed captures the entire model successfully, where the .3ds failed. However, in attempt to edit the .x object in some free 3D softwares such as Blender, these softwares probably transform the .x data into some .3ds-like format as soon as the .x data is read in, and they look like crap again. In conclusion, in some(most?) cases, Mabinogi's 3D models cannot be exported for use in Pepakura Designer without turning into crap.

In the fortunate cases where the exporting is successful, the models turn out to be too detailed, too smooth, too many triangles, etc. that they are simply not "optimized" for physically building the papercraft models. I wish I know of a 3D software with the capability to apply an algorithm to "roughen up" those detailed models and make them more jagged and polygony, or allow me to manually merge adjacent polygons. Meanwhile, the more feasible approach seems to be to build the much simplified version of these models from scratch, using only lines and rectangles, not curves and circles. Meanwhile, the even more feasible approach is to just download the Mabinogi papercraft models someone else already created. Yeah!!