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NeverBlender adds a menu entry at File » Export » Aurora (*.mdl). NeverBlender exports MDL files in ASCII format

Export options can be saved to operator presets which persist across sessions. Clicking on the + button will add a new preset with the current options, whereas the - button will delete the currently selected preset.

General


Meshes

TODO

Lights

TODO

Armatures

MDL files do not have extra objects types for skeletons or bones, instead they use normal Meshes. Therefore an armature has to be converted to meshes. NeverBlender comes with operators to convert an Armature to Meshes and back.

Animations

TODO

Materials

NeverBlender can read a materials node tree. It supports the following shader types:

The shader has to be connected to an output material node, i.e. actually be set up correctly and displayed in Blender. Note that the texture and color nodes do not have to be connected directly  to the shaders inputs. The Exporter will walk down the node tree and look for matching node types automatically.

 The following texture types are supported:
 Diffuse

Texture: The closest texture node connected to the shaders Base Color input. When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Color: The closest RGB node or unconnected input from a  mix node to the shaders Base Color input - or the default color of the Base color input if unconnected. Defaults to white (1.0, 1.0, 1.0) if not found, i.e. only a texture node is linked. This will be written to the MDL file, as diffuse parameter.

 Specular

Texture: The closest texture node connected to the shaders Specular input. When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Value: The closest RGB node or unconnected input from a  mix node to the shaders Base Color input - or the default color of the Specular input if unconnected. This will be exported to an MTR file, and only if its non-Zero. Defaults to 0.0 if not found, i.e. only a texture node is linked. This will be exported to an MTR file, but only if its non-Zero.

 Roughness

Texture: The closest texture node connected to the shaders Roughness input (if available). When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Value: The closest RGB node or unconnected input from a  mix node to the shaders Roughness input- or the default color of the Roughness input if unconnected. Defaults to 0.0 if not found, i.e. only a texture node is linked. This will be exported to an MTR file, but only if its non-Zero.

 Normal-Map

Texture: The closest texture node connected to the shaders Normal input. When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Value: n/a

 Heightmap
Texture: The closest texture node connected to either:
  • A bump node connected to the shaders Normal input.
  • The output nodes displacement input.

When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Value: Height offset. If an (add) math node is connected to the heightmap texture node output. Default to 0.0, if the node is not present This will be exported to an MTR file, but only if its non-Zero.

 Illumination (Glowmap)

Texture: The closest texture node connected to the shaders Emission input. When an image texture node is found the texture name will be taken from the specified filename (even if the file does not exist).  If no file is specified or it's a generated texture node (procedural texture) the node label will be used instead.

Color: The closest RGB node or unconnected input from a  mix node to the shaders Emission input - or the default color of the Emission input if unconnected. Defaults to black (0.0, 0.0, 0.0) if not found, i.e. only a texture node is linked. This will be written to the MDL file as selfillumination color.

Export Settings


Settings available from the file browser when exporting MDL files.

Miscellaneous

Export Animations

Whether to add animations to the mdl. When disabled animations are never exported regardless if they are present or not.

Export Walkmesh

Create a pwk file (placeable walkmesh), dwk file (door walkmesh) or wok file (tile walkmesh) with the same name as the mdl file. The type of the created walkmesh depends on the models classification:

  • Classification: Door result in dwk file
  • Classification: Tile results in wok files
  • Everything else results in pwk files

Walkmeshes will only be exported if they are correctly set up and contain data, i.e. no empty files will be created.

Export Smooth Groups

Controls the creation of smooth groups. The way smooth group are generated can be specified separately for every mesh. When disabled no smooth groups will be created regardless of the setting in the meshes.

Export Normals and Tangents 

Add normal and tangent data to each mesh when possible. Normals and tangents can only be generated if the mesh has an active UV map and either:

  1. Is fully smooth
  2. Has properly set up Custom Split Normals

UV Map

Auto Join UVs 

When enabled UV vertices with the same coordinates and belonging to the same vertex are merged into a single UV. When disabled three separate UV vertices will be created for each face, resulting in an enormous number of tverts in the mdl file. This may be necessary if multiple UV maps are used.

Mode 

Controls which meshes have their uv coordinates export to the mdl.

  1. All: All meshes get UVs, regardless of their type.
  2. Rendered: Meshes must have rendering enabled
  3. Textured: Meshes must have a texture assigned to them

This setting is mostly there to save on file size and for using a custom shader, which may need UV coordinates even when there is no texture assigned

Order 

MDL files can hold up to 3 different uv maps, Blender supports an arbitrary number. This setting determines which uv map will be written to the MDL and in which order. If a mesh has only a single uv map this option has no effect at all.

Blender

Apply Modifiers

Automatically apply modifiers to meshes before exporting. For further information on available modifiers and their usage see docs.blender.org

Strip Trailing Numbers

Removes trailing numbers (e.g. ".001") caused by importing duplicate object names. MDL files allows duplicate object names, Blender however requires unique object names and will add trailing numbers when attempting to import/create objects with the same name.

Export at Frame 0

Sets the current frame to 0 before exporting.

Batch Mode

When batch mode is enabled multiple MDLs can be exported at once. The names for the files will be generated from the name of the Aurora Base. Following options are available:

  • Off: Default. NeverBlender will only export the currently active model (or a random one should none be active). It is sufficient to select ANY part of the model, it is not necessary to select the Aurora Base.
  • Scene: All models in the currently active scene will be exported.
  • Selected: All selected models will be exported. It is sufficient to select ANY part of the model, it's not necessary to select the Aurora Base.
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