Unleash the power of 3D
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  • #14630 Likes: 0
    MildlyInterestingUsername
    Participant
    • Posts 4

    Hello!

    I tried doing some research into any add-ons to import/export .mdb/.dds files, but I’ve come up empty handed. I was curious if there are any add-ons that support this file type and I’m just not searching the right terms.

    I want to make some models for an older game, but all it accepts are these file types. I appreciate any help or advice!

    #20731 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    Hi,

    That’s image / texture formats. There is no explicit im- or exporter for it. You simply load it. So no wonder that you rarely find information about it. You usually fit the textures in your game engine then. Unity for example converts them internally to a format similar to dds when i remember right.

    #20732 Likes: 0
    MildlyInterestingUsername
    Participant
    • Posts 4

    Thanks for getting back to me quickly. :)

    Yes, correct. They are image / texture formats. However, in the game Neverwinter Nights 2, editing the models for this old crusty game require it to be in a .mdb format.

    I’m attempting to isolate part of a model, and spent hours in Blender last night after following more than a dozen tutorials. Blender wouldn’t load any of the files from the source of the models I was using, and the content creators for this game have created a plug-in for importing/exporting .mdb files. After three hours, I managed to finally get the model to load, but the .dds textures were all black and wouldn’t load. I viewed the .dds files in GIMP to make sure they’re not corrupted or broken some how, and all of them are intact.

    A few angry hours later of trying to get the texture to apply to the model, I ran across this program and the promised UI fixes and cleanup had me downloading/installing almost instantly. However, BFA doesn’t recognize any of the files in the folders of these models just like Blender wouldn’t until I installed the plug-in from the NWN2 vault.

    This was why I was curious if BFA could open these files like Blender did, but perhaps in less than 6 hours of rage inducing demoralization. I *really* want to get into 3D modeling as I have some really awesome life improving ideas that I can’t sculpt in clay, so I wanted to cut my teeth on something hobby-level to learn instead of diving into professional prototyping.

    If I provided a link to the plug-in for Blender, is there a means to review it to make something similar for BFA?

    #20733 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    I fear this would not help. We are already Blender under the hood. This fork just concentrates mainly at the UI and usability. The featureset is equal. And when it does not work in Blender, then it does not work in Bforartists.

    The plugin is made for a much older Blender version, back into a time where our fork did not exist. You could try to import the model with the Blender version for wich the addon was made for. 2013 was the release date of the mdb import export addon. This must have been around Blender version 2.60. That’s still no guarantee that you can get it to work. But is worth a shot.

    You can find the old Blender versions here: https://download.blender.org/release/

    #20736 Likes: 0
    MildlyInterestingUsername
    Participant
    • Posts 4

    I have Blender 2.79 with that plugin installed, and the models open up with it to work with… but I’m not sure if the textures not applying is my fault (not being able to decipher Blender’s UI) or if there’s some unseen gripe with the models and textures.

    While the plugin was created back then, it still functions for a majority of the content creators for NWN2. However, they’ve had years to struggle in learning Blender and frankly… I ain’t got time for that. 6 hours in tutorials didn’t get me anywhere, and that’s garbage. It’s why I headed this way, specifically for the promises of a better UI.

    That said, I specifically downloaded BFA1 where it states “Bforartists 1 is based at Blender 2.79 b.”, which is the version of Blender I have installed because 2.8 invalidates 99% of tutorials available. Despite being Blender under the hood, it’s not working in BFA1 where it’s “working” in Blender 2.79b.

    This is why I came to ask because it should work, but it doesn’t show up as an add-on to enable in the menu. I want to avoid getting Max, but that’s going to be my route here pretty soon. I want to love BFA as Blender deserves all the hate it gets for failing humanity with its UI… but if it can’t do this function I’m after, it’s useless, too.

    I appreciate your time helping me!

    #20737 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    Ah, this part wasn’t clear to me. It should definitely work with Bforartists 1 when it works with Blender 2.79. So that sounds like a bug. We unfortunately cannot fix addons, this is behind our scopes. But you could have a look into the console if you can see an error message popping up. 

    To ask again, have you tried it with Blender 2.6x? Does the textures show up there?

    #20738 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    I had to dig in my memories. It’s been a while that i made games, and even longer that i used DDS file format somewhere. And from what i remember, DDS was never meant to be reloaded into any graphics package. And loading black in Blender/Bforartists could even be intended.

    It is a special compressed format for just the graphics card and for useage with game engines. The usual workflow is to create the textures, then compress in DDS. To modify the textures you would need the original textures since DDS is a lossy compression format.

    As a workaround you could open the textures in Gimp and save it as png. Then use this png texture to modify what you want to modify in Blender. And then save it as dds again. But as told, it is a lossy file format, you will loose lots of quality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectDraw_Surface

    I have tested the addon meanwhile. And it is one of those unfortunate addon cases that does not work in Bforartists 1. Most probably because of some hardcoded paths towards Blender. Sorry. There is nothing that we could fix. You need to use Blender for that task.

    #20742 Likes: 0
    MildlyInterestingUsername
    Participant
    • Posts 4

    Thanks, again, for your helpful reply!

    I haven’t given it a shot in older Blender versions yet, but I might not have to after giving it some thought.

    You made a suggestion about the .dds to .png in GIMP, and it dawned on me. I could simply export the .mdb models into a different file type that BFA does support, try my work on those in BFA, then open them in Blender to export back into the file types I need. Basically using Blender as the conversion tool to bypass it’s own nightmare UI.

    I’ll have to give this a shot once my off time comes again.

    I really do appreciate you giving your time and effort to helping me. It means a great deal.

    #20743 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    In that case, skip Bforartists 1. Blender 2.8x and Bforartists 2 is the future ;)

    Blender 2.8x is also much better to use. They have done quite a few things right this time. Not enough to stop our fork. But the handling is much better :)

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