Overview

XSIZETools is an addon for Softimage with full export and import of 3D .msh files for ZeroEngine (Star Wars Battlefront I and II). That includes geometry, materials with all ZeroEngine-specific flags, animations, collisions and simulated cloth.

In general, important updates will be gathered into a release, so choosing the latest release should give you the latest working features. Alternatively you can download the most recent commit directly with the "Download ZIP" button.

For more information on usage go to the XSIZETools homepage. If you encounter bugs or have problems, feel free to post on the Gametoast forums (you might need to use a proxy from some countries) or send me a mail via Github.

Download & Installation

To use XSIZETools you need the following:

  1. Choose one of the releases from here and download it.
  2. If you don't have a Softimage version of 2011 or higher, download and install python and pywin32.
  3. Download and install the Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable. Download both versions by selecting the format and activating the Download button. If the page doesn't automatically navigate to the Visual C++ 2015 redist select Tools for Visual Studio 2015 on the left and then choose Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable.
  4. Unzip the downloaded archive into C:/users/%user%/Autodesk/Softimage_%version%/Addons/. In the end, the directory including README.md, xsizet.ver, etc should be C:/Users/%user%/Autodesk/Softimage_2015/Addons/xsizetools/.

If python and pywin32 was installed correctly it should look something like this.

Contributors

Schlechtwetterfront/ANDEWEGET
Programming, Graphics/UI, most .msh file research.
AceMastermind (gametoast.com)
Created most templates, provided example .msh files, additional .msh research.
DarthD.U.C.K (gametoast.com)
Created some templates, provided example .msh files, additional .msh research.
tirpider (gametoast.com, swbfgamers.com)
Additional .msh research, MSH Info Tool greatly helped with debugging, interesting discussions.
FragMe! (gametoast.com)
Provided a tool/material for some additional research.

Export Guidelines

Error Checking
The CheckSel function in the export dialog can detect some problems.
Exported Objects
The currently selected object + all it's children will be exported.
Overlapping clusters
Might break the .msh file. Might mess up the exported .msh's UVs/Weights/Vertex Colors.
5-Sided(or more) Polygons
Might break the .msh file. Will mess up export result(missing polies).
Supported Model Types
The supported model types are: poly mesh, null, bone.
UV
Only apply one 'master' UV projection to a object. All subsequent projections should be Sub-projections.
Collision
Collision meshes can be created by naming the model collision_* or *_collision.
Do not freeze any primitives, freezing will remove essential information.
Animation
It's not important how you animate bones (FK or IK etc), the exporter will go through all frames one-by-one and get the current local transforms of every bone.
Weighting
Only weight to objects with bone in their name(NOT: root, eff).
Always apply the envelope to ALL bones. This might slow your workflow down but it ensures the points are weighted to the correct bone after export.
Try to apply the envelope only to models which won't be merged after weighting. This does not have to break the .msh, it could though.
No Materials
You should have at least one material named Scene_Material when exporting. If you have at least one material you don't need Scene_Material.
Material/Render flags are applied per material
You can apply them by opening the ZETools Material Manager, selecting a material and then clicking "ZE-ify". This will add all the ZeroEngine material flags to the material. Afterwards inspect your material (click the "Edit" button) and change those settings in the appended options.

Import Guidelines

Animation
Animations will be imported as linear animations on a per-frame basis.
It should be possible to re-export animations directly after import. For SWBF1 you need to have at least one material though.
Geometry
There might be some misplaced edges.

Cloth Guidelines

Geometry
Try to avoid triangles in the cloth mesh. There's a high change triangles might produce artifacts in the cloth simulation.
UV/Cloth Splits
Cloth will be split along UV seams, so UV accordingly.
Collision
For ZETools to recognize cloth collision primitives the name needs to start with "c_".
Error Reporting
If you have problems with cloth simulation artifacts, provide a screenshot from the debug SWBF.exe with "render_cloth_connections" enabled via the console.

Scripts

Create Bone Group
Creates a group of all objects which have 'bone' in their name. If you have a SWBF2 skeleton in your scene this will group all bones you need to envelope to.
Addon Mesh Setup
Creates an addon mesh hierarchy, by creating a null (named like the Addon Root text box) and matching its position and rotation to the selected Addon Bone. You can then move the currently selected object(s) into the hierarchy by pressing Set As Addon Mesh.

Export Documentation

Auto-Overwrite
Overwrites any output files if they already exist.
Use root model name for .msh file name
Will use the name of the topmost object in the currently selected hierarchy as the .msh file name. Has to be enabled when Batch Exporting.
Batch Export
Exports all children of the currently selected object as a full hierarchy.
Export Animation
Exports animation for the current frame range.
Current Frame as Basepose
Exports only the currently selected and following frame to minimize file size.
Check Sel
Loops through all objects in the currently selected hierarchy and analyzes it for problems which could cause a bad export.
Error Description
Bad model type Only nulls, bones and polygon meshes should be used.
Bad Faces Faces should not have more than 4 sides. To fix use Modify > PolygonMesh > Triangulate or Select > Select n-sided polygons > Five sides or more.
Bad Clusters Overlapping clusters, should be fixed.
Unnecessary clusters Do not need to be fixed, just warnings.
Store Flags
Stores the current export configuration (path, check boxes etc).

Import Documentation

Texture Folder
If the textures for the to-be-imported .msh file are not located in the same folder as the .msh file.
Set Frame Range
Will set the frame range to that stored in the .msh file.
Apply animation to selected hierarchy
If you have already imported a .msh file (like a unit) then you can apply an animation stored in another .msh file to the previously imported mesh (root of that hierarchy must be selected).
Null Display Size
Set the display size of nulls.
Ignore Geometry
Will replace any meshes with nulls, use this if you are applying an animation to a hierarchy.
Ignore Animation
Ignores any animation. Use this if you are importing baseposes to later apply animations (and just generally if you do not need the animation).
Color Nulls
Will color nulls if the importer can find out which type they are (bones, effs and roots).
Hide Roots/Effectors
Will hide roots and effectors in the hierarchy so they are not accidentally animated.
Wield Boundary Edges
Imported meshes usually have splits along the UV seams. This option will wield any of these edges after geometry import.
Store Flags
Stores the current import configuration (path, check boxes etc).
Triangulate
Triangulates any quads or more-sided polygons on import.
Log
Logs the MSH unpack (can be slow).

Material Manager Documentation

Create
Creates a new Phong material with the name in the box to the left of the button.
Edit
Will inspect the currently selected material for editing.
ZEify
Will add ZeroEngine specific material and shader settings to the selected material(s). This lets you add features like scrolling textures, glow, bump mapping and many more.
For more information on render types look here. Textures listed under Additional on that page will need to be put into the Texture 1-3 slots.
De-ZEify
Removes ZeroEngine specific settings.
Remove
Deletes the currently selected material(s).
Assign Tex
Opens a dialog to assign a color/diffuse texture to the selected material.
Assign
Assigns the currently selected material to the currently selected component/object in the scene.
Unassign
Unassigns the material.

Animation Export

Each of the following steps will produce one .msh file.

SWBF 1 Note
The ZenAsset.exe which comes with the SWBF1 mod tools seems to need at least one material to work. Just add a small primitive(eg: cube, you can hide it, too) to the scene. It needs to be in the exported hierarchy for animations so don't move it out. To minimize filesize you could replace one of the needed nulls with the primitive(maybe dummyroot). Sereja got his animation into SWBF1 by using a textured primitive as DummyRoot. It's not important what type of model the other models are.

Step 1

Placeable model for ZeroEditor
Export the model which will be called in the .odf and place in ZE. To do this move the frame cursor to the first frame of your animation (usually 1, it's not relevant what the frame range is). Then select your root, uncheck Export Animation and export.
Resulting file: stuff_door.msh
Animation preparation
To cut down on possible problems you can now drag'n'drop all object which are not a part of the skeleton (collisions, meshes, shadows) out of your current hierarchy.

Placeable model

Step 2

Animation Export
This file will contain the actual animation. Here it's important to set the right frame range.
It's not important where the frame cursor is, but the frame range must be correct. In my example it's 1 - 20. Check Export Animation and export.
Resulting file: i.e. open.msh

Animation

Step 3

Basepose of the animation
This will be the pose the model is in when it's not animated.
If your first frame is 1 move the frame cursor to frame 0. Check Export Animation and Current frame as Basepose. With that the preparation is finished. Select the root of your hierarchy and export.
Resulting file: basepose.msh

Basepose

MSH2TXT

Documentation for the .msh to .txt converter. Lays out data structure.

Model Types

Models can have different types, some with geometry, some without etc.

ID Description
null Dummy object without segments.
geodynamic Geometry with envelope and modifiers.
cloth Simulated cloth (ClothGeometry segments).
bone Animated null.
geobone Animated geometry (only SegmentGeometry segments).
geostatic Standard geometry, no envelope or deformers.
geoshadow Shadow geometry (ShadowGeometry segments).

File Structure and Naming Conventions

When msh2txt converts a .msh file to text representation it will create files in the following schema. All these files are JSON files.

Tags in angled quotes (<>) represent placeholders. I.e. <name> will be replaced with the .msh's name.

Scene Root <name>.txt
Type Name Description
bool has_shadowvolume Does this .msh have a shadowvolume (SHDW)?
Scene Info <name> nfo.txt
Type Name Description
string name Scene Name.
float[2] frame_range Start Frame, End Frame.
float fps Scene FPS.
float[3] scale Scene scale.
BBox bbox Scene BBox.
Model Root <name> mdl <model_name> .txt

For every Model.

Type Name Description
string name Model name.
string parent Parent name.
string model_type One of the Model Types above.
int visible 1: visible, 0: hidden.
bool collprim Is this model a collision primitive?
[int, float, float, float] primitive Primitive type, value 0, value 1, value 2.
int num_deformers Number of deformers on save, ignored when loading.
string[] deformers Deformer names.
BBox bbox Model BBox.
Transform transform Model Transform.
Model Mesh Segment <name> mdl <model_name> seg <# of segment> .txt

For every segment (SEGM/CLTH/SHDW) in the models geometry.

SegmentGeometry
Type Name Description
string type SegmentGeometry / ShadowGeometry / ClothGeometry.
string material Material name.
int num_vertices Number of vertices on save, ignored when loading.
Vertex[] vertices Segment vertices.
int num_faces Number of faces on save, ignored when loading.
Face[] faces Segment faces.
ShadowGeometry
Type Name Description
string type SegmentGeometry / ShadowGeometry / ClothGeometry.
int num_vertices Number of vertices on save, ignored when loading.
float[3][] vertices Positions, currently only used to store the information.
int num_faces Number of faces on save, ignored when loading.
Face[] faces Segment faces.
ClothGeometry
Type Name Description
string type SegmentGeometry / ShadowGeometry / ClothGeometry.
string texture Cloth texture.
int num_vertices Number of vertices on save, ignored when loading.
ClothVertex[] vertices Segment vertices.
int num_faces Number of faces on save, ignored when loading.
Face[] faces Segment faces.
int[2][] stretch Stretch constraint value pairs.
int[2][] cross Cross constraint value pairs.
int[2][] bend Bend constraint value pairs.
ClothCollision[] collisions Collisions.
Material <name> mtl <material name> .txt

For every Material.

Type Name Description
string name Material name.
int index Initial index on save, recalculated on load.
string tex0 Diffuse texture.
string tex1 Special texture 1.
string tex2 Special texture 2.
string tex3 Special texture 3.
Flag[8] flags [string name, bool active, int enum_value].
int render_type Render type.
int data0 Shader data 0.
int data1 Shader data 1.
Color diffuse Diffuse color.
Color specular Specular color.
Color ambient Ambient color.
float gloss Gloss value.

Structs

BBox
Type Name Description
float[3] rotation Rotation in degrees.
float[3] extents BBox extents.
float[3] center BBox center.
float radius BBox radius.
Transform
Type Name Description
float[3] rotation Rotation in degrees.
float[3] extents Position.
float[3] center Scale.
Color
Type Name Description
float[4] rgba Channel values (0.0 to 1.0).

OR

Type Name Description
int[4] rgba Channel values (0 to 255).
Vertex
Type Name Description
float[3] position Position in world space.
float[2] uv UV coordinate.
float[3] normal Vertex normal.
string[4] deformers Deformers for this vertex.
float[4] weights Weights for the corresponding deformer.
Color color Vertex color.
Face
Type Name Description
float[] vertices Indices to the vertices forming this polygon.
ClothVertex
Type Name Description
float[3] position Position in world space.
float[3] uv UV coordinate.
string deformer Joint this point moves with.
bool is_fixed If true, does not get simulated and moves with deformer (if it exists).
ClothCollision
Type Name Description
string name Collision name.
string parent Parent of the collision object.
int unknown_long Unknown purpose.
float[3] collision_primitive [value 0, value 1, value 2].