Archive for November, 2010

Hey guys. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier or not, but I had recently decided to remake my Aurion 3D model. Alongside with recreating the ruins as well, and preparing the work for the Homeland Project. >.<; OVERLOAD STRESS!

Anyway, I have just finished modeling the character and his accessories, and I am unwrapping him now. But for now, enjoy this teaser of my newly modeled Aurion Simmons.




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Spore to Maya

Okay, so you want to put your Spore creatures into Maya so that you can create animations / replace them within other programs, such as Unreal Tournament.  Well, look no further than here.  I followed a few tutorials and found out the best method that works for me with Maya 2011, since for right now there are no collada plugins for Maya 2011.

To get started, we must have the 5th patch, or higher, for Spore.  This will enable you to use cheats within the editor of Spore.  Now, let’s open our Spore creature within the creature editor.  Once it is loaded, make sure it looks the way you want it to look, and you have named it.  Click onto the paint mode in the creature editor.  Now bring up the cheat window by pressing “control+shift+c”. Here, you can place in cheats to allow you to get more DNA to spend, or whatever else you want.  But we’re going to export our creature from spore.  So write “colladaexport”.

A window will pop up, if this is your first time, and you will need to agree to the EULA.  The exporter will then create a collada file (a .dae file), along with the specular, diffuse, and normal textures.  It will place them in your “My documents/My Spore Creations/Creatures/” directory.

Now you may think that we’re done with this.  Well, you’re partially right.  If you already have a collada exporter/importer with your respected version of Maya, then go right ahead and continue.  If not, then you will need to get it.  If you have Maya 2008, 2009, or 2010, then go to here: http://www.opencollada.org/download.html Download the OpenCOLLADA for Maya for your respective computer type, and go ahead and install.

If you have Maya 2011, like I do, then you must do a little coding for now until they create an OpenCOLLADA for 2011.  So for us, we must download the DAE to Maya ASCII File for our respective computers.  Mine was 32 bit.  After you download it, copy the DAE converter to where your creations are.  We must now open the command prompt window, and yes we must do this with each creature until the new plugin is made.

To open the command prompt window, type in either RUN or in the SEARCH bar, “cmd”. Now set up the path to where the DAE converter and your creations are.  Example: cd  C:\Users\Dustin\Documents\My Spore Creations\Creatures Now, we need to check the parameters for our converter, so type: dae2ma_1.2.2_x32 (for the 32 bit version) or dae2ma_1.2.2_x64 (for the 64 bit version).  To change the parameters, type:  dae2ma_1.2.2_x32 -i (CreatureFileName).dae (CreatureFileName).ma -v 2011 (for 32 bit version) or dae2ma_1.2.2_x64 -i (CreatureFileName).dae (CreatureFileName).ma -v 2011 (for 64 bit version).  Now, we can open the .ma files and play around with our creatures.


When you first bring in a creature, you may notice both the creature and a mess of wire-like things. These are actually the joints. Go to “display > animation > joint size.  Change the size of the joints to something smaller, until it looks good to you.

Since Maya ASCII is a coding language, at times the joints will be screwed up some. Take the time to move the joints and realign your creature. It is still riggable, or you can delete the rig and create your own. Just be forewarned that sometimes if you delete the rig, the mesh changes even more from what you had intended. You’ll see what I mean.

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Gone For Too Long

Okay. So I have been dealing with a lot of annoying / major life choices back over here, and it’s been a very difficult time for me. I’ve started to finally get past it though, and am now ready to resume where I was. As you may notice, the “Escape the Ruins” is no longer my capstone. I came to the conclusion that in 6 months, I would not be able to create a game by myself. There is just too much to do with it. So instead, I am now teamed up with my roommates on their project, called “Homeland”. More details of this game will be posted at a later date, but for now just know that it is awesome.

I have also attempted to redo my Aurion character in the time that I have. I don’t like how he was turning out, so I scrapped it, and the new model is looking rather nicely. I am also applying for the Spore Grant Project at IUPUI. They’re wanting to create an educational game, with a team of 15 passionate students. You had to apply for it. And in that process, I came across some interesting little tidbits that I’ll post up after this.

Project deadlines are coming closer, and I feel like I’m not ready. I really hate creative slumps / blank moments. Oh well. Still has to be dealt with. I’ll try to get more information up here for my fellow students though.

Take care everyone.

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