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Exporting into the engine

polycounter lvl 11
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Bigjohn polycounter lvl 11
Making this thread out of curiosity as to how other studios handle engine exporting and importing of assets.

I'm just curious as to how other places work. For us, the artists handle it through an exporter from Max. I heard of some places where all you do is save the Max/Maya file and it goes right in. Others where there's a person whose job is (among other duties) to get assets into the engine.

How is exporting into the engine handled at your studio?

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  • Fuse
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    Fuse polycounter lvl 14
    We just export FBX's and textures into the asset directory. Then when we tweak/assemble the materials/meshes in the engine it simply references all the appropriate files with a special .pkg that holds all the settings and instructions for an asset.

    Advantage is that I don't need to export into any kind of a special custom format. I simply dump all my files into a directory and the .pkg knows what to do.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 17
    with the company i'm with now all the artists do rough tests in engine while they work then pass to me for final assembly at which point i take care of all the apropriate naming conventions, shaders, animation, blends, ect...
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Save Maya file, type build level name into a fancier cmd prompt of ours, level builds in like 5min, run around level and play.

    Love being able to build everything in Maya and export directly to my dev kit. No need to go into a secondary engine like UDK, set up things there, assemble the scene and then export to the dev kit.
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 11
    Autocon, that's interesting. So the engine just reads the Maya files then.

    How does that work for characters?
  • passerby
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    passerby polycounter lvl 10
    Dam lucky ND bastard hehe.
  • Bibendum
    Bigjohn wrote: »
    Autocon, that's interesting. So the engine just reads the Maya files then.

    How does that work for characters?
    I think he means the engine compiles it without the need of a transitional xml format like fbx, not that the game engine straight up uses maya files as game data...
  • passerby
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    passerby polycounter lvl 10
    Bibendum wrote: »
    I think he means the engine compiles it without the need of a transitional xml format like fbx, not that the game engine straight up uses maya files as game data...

    ya i worked with game engines that have a builder app that watches your project folder for new files and automatically converts anything that gets saved there.

    than there is unity that will actually just fire up maya in the bg when it see's a mb or ma and make a fbx out of it.

    also in the case of ND if it is there server that is bringing it all in engine, maya can run cli only to do simple tasks and runs on linux servers also, so it might be on the server and exporting it all out to what ever the game engine wants.
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Well basically the game engine dose straight up use the maya files as game data. It converts what is in our maya file to data that is displayed on the PS3 directly. There is no "engine" like a UDK, where you are editing things after the fact. It is straight from exactkt what I have in Maya to the PS3.

    We do have a stand along program that reads what our Maya files are in a super condensed version so Designers can set up spawning and scripting shit, so I guess that is kinda like UDK, but really they are just using the level geo as a reference of where to place in game triggers.

    At least background stuff is as simple as that. Anything that moves such as characters will require a bit more work for things like rigging/animation, but it is more or less the same principal.
  • Bibendum
    Ah you mean you use Maya as the scene editor and not just a modeling program. Yeah I can imagine that's nice to work with.
  • passerby
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    passerby polycounter lvl 10
    Bibendum wrote: »
    Ah you mean you use Maya as the scene editor and not just a modeling program. Yeah I can imagine that's nice to work with.

    also allows for some more complex stuff when placing objects too, i remember a talk where ND was showing how they rigged tree roots, so they could easily wrap them around things in level, as a way to add variation to trees, while using the same mesh, and texture.

    being able to just have a environment come into engine exactly how it is in maya really opens up a lot of possibilities.
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 11
    I wonder if that's something that's possible with Max, or is there something that's Maya unique.
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Bigjohn wrote: »
    I wonder if that's something that's possible with Max, or is there something that's Maya unique.

    Its possible with any 3d modeling program. We used Max up at Bungie and it was the same thing. Export directly from Max to the 360.


    I think a lot of people have a big misconception that most studios have an engine like UDK that everything is placed in after its created in the 3d package and then from that engine, exported to the dev kit.

    I would say its possibley half proprietary engine (exporting from your 3d package to dev kit) and half external engine (something like udk, source, frostbite). This of course just a while guess based on friends I know at various studios/talks with co-workers who have worked at numerous places.
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 11
    In my studio it's pretty much a different engine for each project. Sometimes it's UDK, sometimes whatever engine for the platform you're working on, sometimes an in-house engine.

    I think if you work mostly for smaller studios, you'll use more engines like UDK, especially since they're cross-platform.
  • o2car
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    o2car polycounter lvl 12
    At Dice we saved FBX files which was imported into FrostEd. Any changes done in Maya could then just be refreshed and displayed directly on screen. I guess its more or less the same as in UDK.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 17
    I'm currently doing levels inside of max - I think I prefer working with external editors especially for large open world mmos.
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