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How to get textured models into Re-Volt style; Poly-reduce & Single Mesh w/o remapping
Topic Started: Sep 26 2011, 08:20 AM (6,524 Views)
Citywalker
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Hi!

First of all - you don't need to read all this wall of text. There's an extremely short outline and an extremely detailed step-by-step, so pick what you need.

Introduction:
I'm sure all Re-Volt modellers and converters know the main problem with Re-Volt models: they need to be single-mesh and single-texture, but most of the world uses multiple-mesh and multiple-texture models.
Until now, the main method has been to re-map all faces of the mesh after merging it - this is lots of work and sometimes very frustrating, depending on the source models (for originals) or the source game (for conversions).
But fear not, my friends - Google is our friend! After a long search, I have found a way to merge meshes _and_ their textures, so that the merged model retains its texturing and the texture is in Re-Volt style single 256 x 256 file.
Behold: this is how a model consisting of several meshes and textured with several images becomes a single mesh textured with a single image, with all its texturing intact! Yay!

Disclaimer:
Nothing in the world is foolproof. If the source model has seriously screwed mapping, then you may need to remap a few faces after this process, but this is only minor work when compared to remapping everything.

So buy the DVD now! <cough> Sorry, I got carried away... :blush:
Anyway, on with the tutorial.

Necessary tools (freeware):
• Blender 2.49b (http://download.blender.org/release/Blender2.49b/) (blender-2.49b-windows.zip)
• Your fully textured model. It doesn't matter in what program you made it, as long as you exported it in some common format.

Short outline:
• Import your model into Blender 2.49b. This program supports many formats.
• Consolidate the separate textures of your model into a single image in Blender 2.49b, using a script included in Blender 2.49b.
• Export your model as Wavefront .obj file, telling Blender 2.49b to include the new single-file texture (so it’s not lost inside Blender’s subfolders).
• Merge the model and export it in your favourite format (for example .3ds), so you can work with it in your favourite modelling program.
•• For converting cars, this means deleting everything except the body, merging and exporting the body, then undoing the merge and deletions, deleting everything except the front left wheel, centering that, etc.

Step-by-step tutorial for those who have never tried Blender:
• Download the tools:
•• Blender 2.49b:
••• From where: http://download.blender.org/release/Blender2.49b/
••• What file: blender-2.49b-windows.zip
• Install the tools:
•• Blender 2.49b:
••• Extract the file blender-2.49b-windows.zip into where you want it to be. That's it.
• Choose a working folder for your textured model and put your model and all its textures there.
•• If the model came with a structure of subfolders, put the entire structure there and don’t modify the subfolders.
• Process your model with Blender 2.49b:
•• A word of caution: if you go to other windows and back to Blender, the window is black. Move the mouse to get the picture back.
•• Another word of caution: Blender likes to work with one and the same folder, unless the program is closed and opened again. So use that working folder for the entire process (some organisation is always good).
•• Open Blender:
••• Run blender.exe, in the folder where you extracted the program.
••• Wait until two windows have opened: small console and large main window.
••• In the main window, move your mouse so that the splash image disappears.
••• In the middle of the main window is a cube and a small circle. These need to be deleted.
•••• Press A, then A again, then Del on your keyboard.
•••• Small popup asks for confirmation. Click on "Erase selected Object(s)".
•• Now import your model:
••• In top left, select the menu "File", then "Import", then whatever your model's format is.
••• Navigate to your working folder (".." means up one folder), click on your model and then on the "Import..." button.
•••• A small popup with options may appear. If there's something saying "Rotate X", or "RotX" or "90X" or something like that, then this should be not pressed in. Otherwise, just click "OK", because Blender is intelligent enough in most cases.
••• The model is displayed in the Blender window, in Shaded mode. The texturing is there, it's just not displayed, and it's really not necessary to display it anyway for simply merging the textures. But if you want, click the little icon at the right side of the “Object Mode” selection at the bottom, and select “Textured”.
••• If you need to zoom in, use mousewheel. If you don't have mousewheel, use "+" and "-" keys on your keyboard. Shifting the view is done with Ctrl+Numpad 4,2,6,8.
••• If you need to delete anything first, right-click it and press “Del” key. A small popup appears, asking for confirmation. Simply click it. If you want to delete a whole section, press “B” key and draw a selection rectangle on top of it with left mouse button, then press “Del” key. If you need to rotate the model for that, use Numpad 4,2,6,8.
•• Now merge the texture files of your model into a single texture file:
••• Right-click with mouse on any place of your model. This marks the clicked mesh as "active mesh object" for Blender, otherwise the texture merging script can't work (it displays an error message "Error, no active mesh object, aborting.").
••• The bottom part of the window changes. This indicates that the Right-click was successful.
••• There's an icon with a bold "i" mark in upper left corner. Click on it and a menu opens. Select "Scripts Window" at the bottom of it.
••• The bold "i" mark is replaced with a snake picture (yes, a snake picture). The menus of "File", "Add", etc. are replaced by a single menu "Scripts". Click on the "Scripts" menu and select "Image", then select "Consolidate into one image".
•••• A popup with options appears.
•••• Click the top field and enter a name for the new single texture file, without extension (the part after the ".") because Blender will make it a .png anyway.
•••• After entering the filename, click on an empty part of the popup to get out of the field.
•••• Click the "Pixel Size" fields and enter the size of the new single texture file. For Re-Volt, this would be 256, resulting in a square texture of 256 x 256 pixels. Just what we need, huh?
•••• Click on an empty part of the popup to get out of the field.
•••• Let the "Pixel Margin" be 6 as it is. Blender likes it, so it gives good results, so don't change it here. You can always move the texture patches around later, in your usual 3D modelling program, like any repainter does.
•••• "Keep Aspect" button: if pressed, it keeps the proportions of the texture patches in the new texture image. If not pressed, they will be stretched to fill the entire new texture image. Choose what you prefer.
•••• But the button "All Sel Objects" must be pressed, so all textures of your model are taken along.
•••• Click "OK".
••••• Blender visibly places the texture images into the new consolidated, i.e. merged texture file and then closes the options popup and the texture popup.
•••••• The mapping of the model should still look okay. If not (it seems to happen rarely and randomly), then undo the consolidation (Ctrl-Z on your keyboard), Shift-right-click another part of your model and consolidate again. If the mapping still messes up, then try reloading the model (delete this version with the Del key on your keyboard). But don't worry (too much), I had to do this for just 2 times out of nearly 100 consolidations.
•• Now your model has new mapping info (UV coordinates), using the single-file texture.
•• Export the model again, so you can work with it where you want and so that Blender copies the single-file texture to a reasonable place (otherwise it is inside some subfolders of Blender).
••• Click again the icon with the snake picture in upper left corner. A menu opens. Select "User Preferences" somewhere in the middle.
••• The snake picture is replaced again with the bold "i" mark and the menus of "File", "Add", etc. appear again. Click on the "File" menu and select "Export", then select "Wavefront (.obj)...". This format is proven to take along the single-file texture.
••• Again, navigate to your working folder (".." means up one folder) and then click the "Export Wavefront OBJ" button.
•••• An option popup appears.
•••• Leave everything as it is (Blender is intelligent enough), only click on two things:
••••• "Rotate X90" must be not pressed in. Blender uses a different "up" direction than other 3D modelling programs, proudly tells so, and by default rotates the exported models accordingly. In our case this option is not needed, because you didn't rotate your model inside Blender, so it comes out facing the same way it went in.
••••• "Copy Images" must be pressed in, so that Blender copies the new single texture file into the same place where it saves the exported model. Otherwise you have to go look for it in Blender's own folder, subfolder ".blender".
• And that's it for merging the texture. If you already know how to merge meshes in your favourite modelling program, then you don’t need the rest of this tutorial. Otherwise let’s continue with merging the meshes.
•• If you just need to have the entire model as a single mesh:
••• Right-click any part of the model, press the “A” key twice to select it all, open the “Object” menu at the bottom and select “Join objects”. A small popup appears, asking for confirmation. Simply click it.
••• Then export the merged model in your favourite format (for example .3ds), so you can work with it in your favourite modelling program.
•• If the model has separate parts that you need as separate parts, like the body and wheels of a converted car:
••• Right-click the part that you need (for example, a front wheel). If it also consists of several meshes, Shift+right-click all its other meshes too.
••• Then merge them into a single wheel (or whatever the part is) and export it in your favourite format (for example .3ds).
••• Note: sometimes it is simpler to delete the wheels, so that you get the multi-mesh body alone. Right-click the wheel, press the “Del” key, confirm, repeat for other wheels. After you have merged and exported the main body, you can undo it all (by pressing Ctrl+Z repeatedly) so you get it all back if you forgot to merge and export a wheel or a spinner before.
• As a final result, you'll have in your working folder the "what-you-named-it.png" file as the single-file texture, and the "what-you-named-it.3ds" files as single-mesh, single-file textured models, all ready for final conversion into Re-Volt .prm files. Move them wherever you like to keep them, and clean out the rest of the working folder (you might need it for future mergings ;)).

With this, my part of the mission is complete. Whatever modelling program you use to get those .3ds models into Re-Volt, you know it better than I do, so my tutorial ends here. If I made the rest of the work easier for you, then I'm glad and satisfied.


And more:


I found something that should be interesting for some (many?) of you:

An easy way to reduce polys. :star:

We can get any model from hi-poly to low-poly, regardless of its format, by using the good old Blender 2.49b in the above tutorial.

Open the Scripts menu the same way as in the tutorial:
• Go from there: "• Process your model with Blender 2.49b:"
• To there: "••• There's an icon with a bold "i" mark in upper left corner. Click on it and a menu opens. Select "Scripts Window" at the bottom of it."
(and don't forget to right-click a part of the model and then to select it entirely by pressing "A" two times.)
• Now, instead of "Image", open "Mesh" submenu, and there's a choice of "Poly Reducer" (NOT "Poly Reduce Selection"). Click on it and you get a popup window.
•• In the popup window, leave everything as-is except the "Other Selected" option which should be pressed in.
•• Click "OK". (Duh :) )

This halves the polys of the model. But beware that the first halving may take a few minutes, depending on the model and your computer.

Well, and then repeat the halving until you're satisfied with the result.

P.S. There's an option to see the model as wireframe, to get a better sense of how hi-poly or low-poly it currently is.
Below the main view of the model, there's a drop-down list "Object Mode", and next to it, to the right, is another drop-down list where you can select "Wireframe" or later "Textured" again.

Just to prove the case, here is a public model, poly-reduced 5 times.
The original is included, for credit and copyright purposes.

Also, this is what kikizana said:

Quote:
 
If you run the latest version (should be 2.69)

Try, in edit mode, select all (press A) and go to the left panel menu and click on remove doubles. You will spot down a value of "0.0001" in the "Merge Distance" sub-menu, increase that value and you will merge vertices. It's the fastest way to reduce polys while keeping the UVMapping. However, the more you merge, the more deformed the texture of the faces.

Thanks, kikizana.

Citywalker out.
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
-----
CW
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Pranav
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aww, this thread has got no attention. :(

*clap, clap*

Wonderful tutorial CityWalker, I would really try that out once i am comfortable with Blender. :)
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zipperrulez
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Thanks for the contribution CW. While I won't find a use for this, I'm sure someone else will. It's very detailed.
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Tom.K
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For this, I think you might you want to try to make video tutorial. This is very very explained tutorial, but maybe way too much.
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Citywalker
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@ Pranav:
You don’t have to get comfortable with Blender. The tutorial describes every mouse click and every key press that you need. I’m not comfortable with Blender myself, I just learned the few steps that I needed for this texture joining, and those few steps are explained step-by-step for you.

@ Tom.K:
Do you want to use a video tutorial that you have to run in an extra player and keep pausing, unpausing and scrolling it as you follow the tutorial, or can you use more easily a text tutorial that you can keep open here in browser, that lists separately all mouse clicks and key presses, has warnings and explanations that you need, waits for you to come back after next step, doesn’t run ahead of you, and where you can simply double-click a word to leave a mark of where you are in the tutorial?
Bottom line: the text tutorial is maximally detailed _because_ this way I can give you all necessary warnings and explanations, and this way everyone can follow it at their own speed, even if they have never seen Blender or Flux Studio before. It’s a hands-on tutorial that holds your hand at _every_ step.
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
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CW
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Dave-o-rama
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Citywalker,Oct 1 2011
11:49 PM
@ Tom.K:
Do you want to use a video tutorial that you have to run in an extra player and keep pausing, unpausing and scrolling it as you follow the tutorial, or can you use more easily a text tutorial that you can keep open here in browser, that lists separately all mouse clicks and key presses, has warnings and explanations that you need, waits for you to come back after next step, doesn’t run ahead of you, and where you can simply double-click a word to leave a mark of where you are in the tutorial?
Bottom line: the text tutorial is maximally detailed _because_ this way I can give you all necessary warnings and explanations, and this way everyone can follow it at their own speed, even if they have never seen Blender or Flux Studio before. It’s a hands-on tutorial that holds your hand at _every_ step.

Good point. Maybe the occassional picture is in order, maybe to explain some of the more difficult parts? [doHTML]<s>and break up the monotony that tends to come with reading a wall of text?</s>[/doHTML]
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kay
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Citywalker,Oct 2 2011
04:49 AM
@ Tom.K:
Do you want to use a video tutorial that you have to run in an extra player and keep pausing, unpausing and scrolling it as you follow the tutorial, or can you use more easily a text tutorial that you can keep open here in browser, that lists separately all mouse clicks and key presses, has warnings and explanations that you need, waits for you to come back after next step, doesn’t run ahead of you, and where you can simply double-click a word to leave a mark of where you are in the tutorial?

[offtopic]I wish I got sometime to make a such program and would dedicate it for you[/offtopic]

well, sorry, I don't have enough time to read all the text, but as far as I read, you were aiming at getting "generated UV coordinates for re-volt" which is a very nice idea :)

Thanks for the tutorial, I'll make sure that I read it once I get free time and comment on it properly, until then, I'd like to felicitate your hardwork :)

best regards
KDL
It wouldn't hurt visiting my blog or Re-Volt frontend's :)
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Citywalker
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Quote:
 
Sorry CityWalker
But your tutorial is very hard to understand for me


Ballistics, so tell me what part is difficult to understand and I'll explain.
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
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CW
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Pranav
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I am getting some problems.
Whenever i click "Consolidate into one image" and fill the required fields, after clicking OK, i get an error:- "No image found in meshes".
I don't understand what to do.
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Citywalker
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Maybe one of these reasons:
http://robynhuffaker.com/sculptblend/troub...getobaketo.html
(Error message is different, but problem may be the same.)

Edit:
And give me the model and textures, I'll try it here too.
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
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CW
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Pranav
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Lol, i forgot to move everything in one folder, that's why it lead to me this error. :D

-----

My car looks ok in flux studio but when i export it to 3ds and open it in zmodeler, it shows me an empty viewport. :(
But if i open the same 3ds file in blender, it works perfectly.
[ximg]http://i43.tinypic.com/2n0t0jt.jpg[/ximg]
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burner94
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Import in Blender, re-export as OBJ.
Import in any OBJ importer and re-export as 3DS.
Then it should work.

^ my method. Works for HWTR, so it does for others as well IMO.
LiveVolt supporter :)
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Pranav
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burner94,Thursday, Nov 10 2011
01:13
Import in Blender, re-export as OBJ.
Import in any OBJ importer and re-export as 3DS.
Then it should work.

^ my method. Works for HWTR, so it does for others as well IMO.

Thanks burner94 but i have figured it out.
I imported the 3ds files in zmodeler 2.2.5 and it worked perfectly and then re-exported as old .z3d file and then finally to prm. :)
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Skarma
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I tried this myself, I imported a .OBJ file and got as far as consolidation into one image but I get an error message that says "No images found in mesh(es), Aborting!" What can I do?

EDIT - I tried again with a completely different car and format. When I import into Flux I get the following error.

"ERROR Reading C:\Windows\system32\Untitled_import.wrl
Unkown field: NULL:textureTransform
Line Number 99088"

[offtopic]I cant win at anything...[/offtopic]
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MythicMonkey
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This is just a shot in the dark, but did you try moving everything into one folder as Pranav mentioned?
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Pranav
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Skarma,Tuesday, Jan 17 2012
13:08
"ERROR Reading C:\Windows\system32\Untitled_import.wrl
Unkown field: NULL:textureTransform
Line Number 99088"

I myself has received this error in past.
I don't exactly remeber what i did to fix it. Maybe try uninstalling the Flux studio. Delete the "Untitled_import.wrl" and ""Untitled_export.wrl" from the system32 folder and also delete any texture files you used before this. I mean if you used "car.bmp" as a texture file in the flux studio, flux studio creates a copy of it in the system32 folder, delete that too.

Also, make sure you keep everything in one folder.
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MythicMonkey
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Pranav,Tuesday, Jan 17 2012
02:29
I mean if you used "car.bmp" as a texture file in the flux studio, flux studio creates a copy of it in the system32 folder...

Why on earth would a program clutter up a system folder like that, I wonder? Seems like a very bad practice to me.
"The Truth SHALL Set You ALL Free. If You Only Allow YourSelves To See The Beauty That I, Myself Have Seen. So Shall It Be." ~ Excerpt from Mythic's Journal

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Pranav
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MythicMonkey,Tuesday, Jan 17 2012
16:24
Pranav,Tuesday, Jan 17 2012
02:29
I mean if you used "car.bmp" as a texture file in the flux studio, flux studio creates a copy of it in the system32 folder...

Why on earth would a program clutter up a system folder like that, I wonder? Seems like a very bad practice to me.

Yep, that's annoying. There should be an option somewhere to change this but i haven't yet explored Flux studio a lot.
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Skarma
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I tried what you said and got the same result again. There was none of those files in my system32 folder and everything is in one folder.

EDIT - Nevermind, forget it. I've given up on this.
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Citywalker
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I don't know what you guys are doing with Flux, but I checked and I have _no_ files from Flux in the System32 folder...

Anyway, Skarma, if you still have the files, gimme-gimme and I'll try looking at them sometime...
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CW
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Pranav
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Or else you could give me too.

Up to you though. ;)
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Citywalker
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Hey, I found something that should be interesting for some (many?) of you:

An easy way to reduce polys. :star:

We can get any model from hi-poly to low-poly, regardless of its format, by using the good old Blender 2.49b in the above tutorial.

Open the Scripts menu the same way as in the tutorial:
• Go from there: "• Process your model with Blender 2.49b:"
• To there: "••• There's an icon with a bold "i" mark in upper left corner. Click on it and a menu opens. Select "Scripts Window" at the bottom of it."
(and don't forget to right-click a part of the model and then to select it entirely by pressing "A" two times.)
• Now, instead of "Image", open "Mesh" submenu, and there's a choice of "Poly Reducer" (NOT "Poly Reduce Selection"). Click on it and you get a popup window.
•• In the popup window, leave everything as-is except the "Other Selected" option which should be pressed in.
•• Click "OK". (Duh :) )

This halves the polys of the model. But beware that the first halving may take a few minutes, depending on the model and your computer.

Well, and then repeat the halving until you're satisfied with the result.

P.S. There's an option to see the model as wireframe, to get a better sense of how hi-poly or low-poly it currently is.
Below the main view of the model, there's a drop-down list "Object Mode", and next to it, to the right, is another drop-down list where you can select "Wireframe" or later "Textured" again.

Just to prove the case, here's a public model, poly-reduced 5 times:
https://www.yousendit.com/download/M3BtYnU0QTZQb0tGa2RVag
The original is included, for credit and copyright purposes.

Oh, and someone please put it up in a more permanent place somewhere. The file is too large for me, I can only use YouSendit on it :(
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
-----
CW
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Dyspro50
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I juste began using this tutorial to convert some mesh. I'm stuck on the "No images found in mesh(es), Aborting!" error.

I've tried to put everything into one folder, doesn't work.

And the first link citywalker provided for this error is 404 page not found
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Citywalker
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At exactly what point did you get your error?

About Flux not available anymore -- I'll rethink the tutorial to not use it, when I get time.
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CW
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Citywalker
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Quote:
 
And the first link Citywalker provided for this error is 404 page not found

Eeh, okay, you can do this without Flux. Follow the tutorial until exporting the Wavefront .obj file, then import that file into your favourite (latest?) Blender that supports Jigebren’s Re-Volt IO Plugin (see at Our Re-Volt Pub forum), and work there. I’ll rewrite the tutorial to exclude Flux and include the later Blender, when I have more time.

Quote:
 
I juste began using this tutorial to convert some mesh. I'm stuck on the "No images found in mesh(es), Aborting!" error.

Maybe the model is not mapped? Maybe the mapping data was lost in conversion?
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CW
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Dyspro50
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The format of origin I want to import is a VRML 2.0 (.wrl), but Blender 2.49b (used in this tutorial) only support VRML 1.0, so I have to import in Blender 2.69 then export in another format that 2.49b supports. Like you just told me, maybe this conversion lost its UV mapping.

I just wanted to work in 2.69, but it doesn't have the Consolidate into one image script or equivalent.

About jigebren's plugin : I have to ask him to get it ?
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Citywalker
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So, try converting your VRML 2.0 into some other format for Blender 2.49b, maybe you used an unsuitable format.
Try Waveform (.obj), that has worked for me.

And yes, you have to ask Jigebren, in a PM.

Also, I updated the tutorial (as you can see :) ).

P.S. Another option, even simpler: after you import your VRML 2.0 into Blender 2.64, save it as a Blender file (.blend). Then you can simply open that in Blender 2.49b.
All my stuff is available here, and all my videos are available there.
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CW
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Dyspro50
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I know where's the prob. my wrl file doesn't have any UV coordinates. So I have to convert in another format from it's source.
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