First thing that we have to do, with our new mesh is get it to a size and placement to be used in the game. We need to make sure that we don't loose any parts of our model, so we are first going to select it all, and group it. First make sure that nothing is hidden or frozen. (keypad +, for unfreeze by name, and keypad * for unhide by name) Then select all. (ctrl-A) Then group. (ctrl-G) doesn't matter what you call it.
Now under the hierarchy tab, click Affect Pivot only, then, with the Select and Move Tool selected, right click the tool. you will get a Type-In Transforms window, just enter 0 for the x, y and z under the absolute world. That part is very important. It will allow you to keep your car on track as you resize it. Speaking of that, go ahead and click on the Rotate tool then the Scale tool before un-clicking the Affect Pivot only button, Max is a little squirrelly about the tools not getting the reset pivot command, by clicking on them you will make sure it resets them.
Next, we need something to give us a size representation of what is in the game. The game designers were thoughtful enough to provide an easy reference. One of the cars in the game called Limey. it is a Stingray Corvette. I have provided a file, modified from the original called Fred. to help us here. Fred is Limey, just really basic. Go to the File pulldown, then to Merge... and choose Fred, which you should have placed in your Max Scenes directory.
Notice the little blue dot in the center of the car, that is Fred. He is so small..... so we have to get our car down there to him. Use the Scale tool to do that. Just select the car and reduce him till he is small, you don't have to be exact, just small....
He is small.... real small.... OK, now if you downloaded and installed my keyboard settings Control-0(zero) will zoom extents this window.
Actually, that isn't that bad, before going on, I will view this in Wireframe mode, and rotate the car until it points upward. Then resize it until it rougly is the size I want it to be, compared of course to a mid 70's Corvette. The next three pictures are of the various viewports I used to size this car correctly.
Notice You can see the width very well here as the Saleen is a very wide car.
Again, the Saleen is a little larger then the Vette as an overall.
This is a good measurement of Length.
Now with the car in place, and to size, it is time to get rid of Fred. the Fred model consists of three pieces, the chassis, data_chassis and Wheel_master. Make sure you get rid of all three, and not the dummies surrounding it. OK, here is now what you should have. The MAIN_NULL, the ViewFX, four wheel Inst and a Driver_B32, and of course your meshes. Now that that is all done, select your model and ungroup it.
I feel now is a good time to tell you about Center of Mass. The best way to explain it is, where the center of the bulk of the car will turn if it could pivot in free air. Center of mass is where the MAIN_NULL should be. You should take the opportunity to move your meshes, minus the wheel masters and the dummies to where the center of the world is the center of the vehicle's mass. or at least till the center of the world is in the center of the car. Center of mass is also governed in the main data_chassis mesh, so it can be changed if it is incorrect. You can select the meshes, by clicking the select by name button. and turning off helpers on the right hand side. Control clicking the wheel masters will deselect them before clicking select.
The next thing we want to do is to reposition the wheel Inst's to the wheels. Select and hide everything but the wheel placement wheels (those are the ones that appear where they are supposed to be, and the wheel Inst's. In the Front Viewport, select one of the dummies for the wheels.
Then go to the Tools pulldown menu, then to Align (A). Click the Wheel it is to be associated with. Then you get this window.
Click the X, Y and Z Position buttons, and in this case, The Current Object and Target object should both be in the center. then click OK.
Now do this for the rest of the wheels.
Alright, if you didn't think to make a wheel master, now is the time. the easiest way, if you followed the instructions from the original or tips tutorials is to just select one of the wheels, with the Select and Move Tool selected, right click on the tool and set the x, y and z values to 0. Delete any of the wheels that are not necessary anymore.
Unhide everything and Save it as a new document. Mine is now Saleen3.max, cause I have been saving backups during this whole process. I really hate to loose work.
Now is a good time to talk about Creation Point. Creation point is the original location something was created at. For some stupid reason, the game is very insistent on Creation Point, Creation Size and Creation Rotation. You cannot change, by any method I have seen thus far, where it is created at. So from now on, our primary Viewport will be the Top Viewport. Rotate nothing, scale nothing.
Our first part will be to create a box, at World Zero, this will serve as a creation point for every Zero-World Piece that we are going to work with. So go to the Creation Tab, and Click on the Box Object, then to the Keyboard Rollout.
Here we fill in the Length, Width and Height of 5 each. and make sure that the X, Y and Z are all 0. With the Top Viewport selected, click Create. Next, we go to the Modifier Tab. And click the Edit Stack button, in red below.
Then the Vertex Sub-Object button and select all the points in the box (ctrl-A). The fastest way I have found to do this is to select all the points of the original box first, then delete them with a single keystroke once you have attached the new piece. Now you have to watch all of this, because in editing, you may have some of the points from your originals selected. A good method is to Zoom Extents all the windows (shift-ctrl-0) and watch very carefully. Unclick the Vertex Sub-Object button, then the Attach List button.
The first part we will start with is the main chassis. Duplicate the box (ctrl-D), and rename it either Chassis, or lod13_chassis. (if you don't understand this, go back in the this tutorial to where it say's LODS.)
If you don't know now which piece is the main chassis, you need to cancel out of this, and piece by piece, rename all of your meshes to what they are. It is very important you know what you are doing.
After you have the main chassis selected, click to the Vertex Sub-Object button and no other points other then the box are selected, you can delete those points.
After that , Un-click the Vertex Sub-Object button and Hide (keypad-/) the object. Click on the box again, and duplicate it. (ctrl-D) and call this one Wheel_Master or lod12_Wheel_Master. Do the same procedure, but select the world cetered wheel master. If you have multiple wheel masters Identify each seperately.
Next, we start on Zero-World objects. Note, If you have Zero-World objects, which are detachables, which are in turn connected to non-zero-world objects, do not do them.
My order will be done like this:
All windows, labeling them lod12_Window_(node).... oh , the (node) represents proper location, like Front or F for front, or Left or the like.
The front light covers, labeling them Light_L and Light_R, they have very few polygons so I won't give them a seperate level of detail.
The tail lights, labeling TailLight01 to 04, making sure to label from the left of the car to the right.
The engine and transmission combined, Labeling them Engine.
The driver, labeling him Driver.
The steering wheel, labeling it, lod13_SteeringWheel.
The lisence plate, labeling it, LicensePlate.
The rear spolier, labeling it, Spoiler.
A good trick is also to hide everything but what you are working on, and hide as you go.
Now, after all your Zero-World objects are done, it is time to concentrate on defining the chassis. Make sure that the chassis is the only thing that is visible. Duplicate it (ctrl-D), name it Doors, if you have doors, then hide the original chassis. Of course If you have no derachables which are still connected to the body, you don't have to do any of this. But do read through it. Go to the Modify Tab, and click on the Faces Sub-Object button.
Now we get to have fun, we get to delete everything that is, what will be the chassis, leaving all the polygons in place for the detachables. Just click and drag to select then delete, when the window comes up, always delete isolated points. Remember, you have to select two different sides here, so always try to click and drag. also, remember what's what.
Basically this is the selection that I made.
Now Duplicate this one, call it Trunk, Provided it's easy, just delete the front part of the car and you have a Trunk. Mine was labeled lod13_Trunk. Once it's done, hide it.
Now, it would be an easy task , to just delete the trunk off of the other mesh. Next, duplicate it again, and call this one, Hood. on this one, you just delete the doors.
Next, Duplicate the Hood mesh, and Call it Fenders. Now you start to make decisions on where things will be separated. Delete anything that is not the Fenders.
Notice that the Fender area I selected was not the same on both
sides. The car is roughly one piece
of fiberglass, so I didn't figure that it would come apart the same on both sides.
Select the Hood Piece again, and Duplicate it, Call this one, the
Grill. Now comes the fun. We get to delete everything that isn't the
grill off of this
one. There are two tricks that are easily used here. One, in another Viewport, select the side that faces what you are working on, as you delete things, if holes appear, undo it. The second is to go back and forth from the Polygon Sub-Object mode, to normal mode, and click on the other one in wireframe to see where it ends. Both will take some time.
Notice Here, I also made the fenders a different color to help.
Next, we back up to the Hood. and delete everything but it.
Lastly we do the doors.
Save it here. If you didn't think about it, you are about to finalize a major change. If you delete something here, and it isn't correct, you are screwed if you don't save a new copy of it.
Speaking of which, this is what the fenders are supposed to look
like. If I had not saved it, I would
have lost the polygons right inside the lights, and running the entire length of the hood.
Now, back to the chassis... Just simply select everything that isn't supposed to be the chassis, and delete it.
Once that is done, inspect it, every piece, make sure you haven't deleted any polygons that you needed, make sure that there aren't things left over from one that would overlap another. after you are very sure of it.... save it.
Next, Unhide everything that would be considered part of the chassis. Make sure you double check because after you attach it, you can't easily unattach it. Once you have all of it visible, and nothing else, attach it all to the Chassis.
Make sure you save it.
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