Future of the Modding Art Tools

Posted by trevor 7 years ago

Ed. Note 1: NOTE:  Build 278 has been reverted due to some unforeseen problems. Unfortunately this means the Trim Tool got rolled back with it.  It will be back soon!

Ed. Note 2: The Trim Tool is now available again on Steam. Let’s hope it stays put this time!

Howdy folks!  I’m Trevor “BeigeAlert” Harris — better known as the guy who hasn’t done one of these blog posts yet.

Just wanted to give a quick heads up that there’s some really cool stuff on-the-way/already-here that we’ve been working on for all you mappers and modders out there.

First things first, with 278 having just been released, mappers now have access to the editor’s new “Trim Tool”.  If you missed it from the changelog (how could you!!!? 🙁 ) then you can find a quick tutorial video of the tool here: https://youtu.be/qIxRkvdYQ6w  It’s a bit complicated to use at first, but it’s very very powerful!

Next up, we’ll be working to drastically improve the art-pipeline of NS2.  Currently, the only way to get new content into the game is by either using a very old version of 3dsmax, or by using my limited Blender plugin.

This will be changing soon, as I’ve been working hard to implement support for the Autodesk Filmbox (FBX) format.  This is a MUCH more widely used format than the Collada (DAE) format that the compile tool currently supports, and will allow any application that supports FBX to support making content for NS2, including animations!

I’ve got more good news for all you Blender-users out there:  Also on the way is a solution for building the .blend projects DIRECTLY inside of Builder.exe.  This means there will be no exporting to any intermediate format (eg DAE or FBX) and no dealing with cluttered folders of models.  You’ll simply drop in a .blend, and Builder will chew away at it, spitting out the model, good to go!  This includes animations!  Here’s a small test-case I put together, showing off the new animation capabilities. (It’s a gif… CLICK ON IT!!!)

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Along with this, I’ll be putting together a long sought-after manual for the entire NS2 model pipeline — applicable for all 3 workflows, not just the Blender one.

But for now, enjoy the holidays everyone, after all, 278 just dropped.  Let’s play some NS!

— Trevor “BeigeAlert” Harris

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