Thanks for the help there.
Kat - I'd got to a point of manually unwrapping a box, not knowing that there are tools out there that you can use to do this, like chilli-skinner....
I've not tried Chilli_Skinner yet but I understand it does work with GMax.
To get around the problem with GMax and get a 'template
' for a skin what I often do (I do it now after I tested it out) is place a flat plane into the scene that's perfectly square (you can alter the dimentions of the plane using the size settings in the control panel on the right - or left depending on your setup).
Using the 'top view
' (keyboard 'T') place it under the main model so that your flattened mesh roughly fills it; you can see what this is doing after you've done this - it's providing a rough guide for the skin texture. Once you've got it sized up roughly, make sure you're in 'top view
', switch to 'full screen
' (keyboard 'W
' - pressing 'W' again will return you to multi windows again) and take a screen shot of that full screen. In your photoediting app cut out the square and resize it to 256x256 (or what ever size you want). That's our base skin.
All we need do now is map that to our model. You'll need to 'attach' the flat plane to the rest of your model. Select it (using the 'modify' control panel [there is a series of TABs that you can select to view different properties about the meshes you work on - select the one that says 'MODIFY' when you mouse over it - looks like a little rainbow]
, make sure you're at the 'root
' of the object - 'subojects
' which you often see refered to is simply the stuff that makes up the mesh, ie the 'vertexes
', the 'edges
', the 'faces
' etc...) and hit the 'attach
' button in the control panel (should be about half way down). When you give the mesh a material and UVmap it the skin will now appear and fit (with a little bit of tweeking) the mesh perfectly.
Once you've UV'd the mesh, you can convert the model back into an 'editable mesh
' (right click and select 'convert to...' or select the option from the drop down menu in the MODIFYcontrol panel) and continue tweeking it. We actually need to remove the plane. Select the mesh object, and select the 'element
' subobject (if you can't see this in the control panel there should be a small '+' symbol next to the 'editable mesh' entry, clicking that will expand the subobject group).
To make selecting easier to see you can switch on 'edged face
', this shows the wire frame of the model at the same time as the mesh (if you're using the smooth+highlights view). Where it says 'PERSPECTIVE' in the top right of the view window, right click on that word and select 'edged faces', you'll see a wire frame appear. Still in the 'element' subobject, if you now select the plane the wireframe will turn red indicating it's selected, delete it. You should be left with the original mesh with the texture still asigned and applied correctly.
You now need to reshape the mesh back to what it was originally before export. You can do this manually or use the 'MORPH' option. The morph tends to bork up sometimes with GMax so I'd suggest you do it manually 1st so you get a good idea of what's happening. Reshape your model BUT, and this is vitally important, don't reconnect the vertexes, leave the model split up the way it was when you mapped it.
The reason for this is the UVmap co-ordanates won't match the outputted mesh and you'll get errors on export. Once you've done this you can export the mesh to *.MD3 from GMax; it does work quite well and if you've done what you need to you can open the model in something like MilkShape and finish the model as everything will be in place for you to do that (UVmap etc....).
I don't know if this info will help you or get you more confused, but it's a way to work around the limitations of GMax. Just about any of the tutes you find for MAX will work with GMax, they often take a bit of rethinking though due the difference in the apps.