XNALara to SMD tutorial

XNALara to SMD tutorial

XNALara uses a .mesh and mesh.ascii model format. For the sake of this tutorial if your desired model uses .mesh extension then download this: http://www.mediafire.com/?pyuezgx59zbsu6p and put into said model’s folder. Once there you drag and drop the .mesh onto the GeMeshBinToAscii and you will get your mesh.ascii. You can download just about any model you like here: http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=151335

If you feel so inclined to check out Dusan’s XNALara posing program go here: http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=147100

If you wish to use Blender 2.57b (like I have) then please continue with tutorial listed below. However if you want the easy and smarter alternative you’ll download the import/export scripts for Blender 2.49b or 3ds Max. After that you’ll want to get a .smd import/export script. Install these, import mesh.ascii, see if it looks good, then export to .smd file format.

Blender 2.57b mesh.ascii to .smd

  1. Download FigureSculptor’s mesh.ascii import only script here: http://www.mediafire.com/?p5apyk6ys63zx4h

  2. Import model and get the wonderful surprise of no textures. It’s all white. Seeing as this is where I’m at in these model conversions I will suggest you go the KatBit’s
    Blender tutorials for how to fix the texture problem.
    Link: http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/blender/blender-basics-2.5-materials-textures-images.php

  3. Check out Facepunch’s own thread for .smd import/export for the Blender 2.5 series. http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1051217/7

That’s as far as it goes for now on this tutorial until I get time again to play around with model conversions. When I get the the problem fixed I will update this tutorial.

On a side note: The people at the tombraiderforums and XNALara community in general have a big thing about being credited for what they put up for download. Do yourself a favor and everyone else here too by putting down who they were if you decide to post it up on facepunch. Second, I wouldn’t bother asking for help on the forum for model conversions. Generally you will either be ignored or scoffed at. Other than that you shouldn’t have any problems.


You could always just use the maxscript that works on them as well.

That said, considering many of the XNA models are also rigged by the people that port them, I would strongly recommend to give them the courtesy of asking for a permission first and foremost. It’s better to do so and also makes sure that the two communities won’t end up being antognistic towards each other.

Of course. It just gets a little under my skin when they ask for credit and the only credit they give is GMod. I was always taught to treat others with the same respect you wish to be given so that’s probably why it bugs me so much.

Thanks for those tutorials, I’m gonna try to port my requests to Gmod. :smile:

Updated script for Blender 2.63 BMesh changes: http://www.mediafire.com/?63s546d223ed2c0

My question is it far easier to port to xnalara or do they just have a larger 3d modeling community?
Because they sure crank out the stuff everyone on facepunch runs into huge trouble with from tekken to street fighter, dragon age ff13 to soul calibur ive been trying to figure this out are their modelers just better? or is it the program that makes it easy to port to.

Not all of them dont give credit, but I know what you mean sometimes they straight up steal even our hacks (frank west) and dont give credit but some of their better members have lent us a hand occasionally

Its about the same on the difficulty level, they dont make collision meshes but they have to rig the face for expressions. As for variety wise they differ a bit on interests, they are more focused it seems with RE and lara of course but theres a lot of variety in between, Face punch has a lot of variety in models too, but id say our focus is more on military items
No side has better modders just different focuses.

Ya i would agree here its abit more military focused and your right their focus is abit more diverse i have noticed them go through projects that here are difficult they get threw it at alarming speeds thats why i was wondering if they had more modelers

a)They have about 3 major porters which provide the bear’s share of work.
b)Their porters are interested in those games
c)Very few of porters on Facepunch are interested in the games.

If you find something where we get more interested, you’ll usually a huge deal more content. Like mass effect.

But in general very few porters on here are interested in asian games. A sizeable swathe of the XNA community of porters is.


Also one more thing. People here tend to release models in packs. Whereas people in the XNA community tend to release single models more. Which makes it look like they’ve got more releases in a shorter timespan.

xnalara doesnt use physics or morph targets… or even animations for that matter

this means it is far more easier to bring something into xnalara… because it is NOT a sandbox, it is a model viewer.

A model viewer only requires the “import” or “Opening” of a piece of content. The only perk is that xnalara allows the manipulation of the bones that are present with the model.

There are also two other very popular model viewers out there, umodel, and noesis… which support ALOT of current gen games or game engines… for example games on xbox360 and Ps3…

So we have three model viewers… one lets you pose the model, the others more or less don’t… now combine that with a bunch of port happy russians with too much time on their hands lol

As a result xnalara is saturated in many umodel and noesis ripped model cross overs… and so we have the xnalara scene!!

In retrospect, the xnalara scene is alot dumber than your average FP porter. why? because if your porting to SOURCE, that means your competent enough to use a 3D editor, to setup additional model systems, such as Collisions, Bones, Skin, Materials, Morphs, Animations, Scripting… etc… all of which are absent from the xnalara scene, because all they do is simply open a model and save it under the xnalara name!

From my point of view, xnalara is a limitation (a tool for dummies), in comparison with other free applications such as Blender, which does what xnalara does AND MORE! (model viewing, model editing, and model rendering, etc…)

Anyway I see xnalara as a threat to the entire model ripping scene. Its generating way too much attention to ripped models. And that runs the risk of companies rethinking their policies on how to mange and deal with their content.

Also as for the FP scene being sparse on new content, I actually believe other causes are to blame for that. Basically FP may be hittings its life cycle, as old trends die and new ones begin…

my 2 cents anyways;

well thanks mario for your 2cents your explaination of the situation hit he nail right on the head, i downloaded xna to see what all the hype was about and you are indeed correct it has limitations to what it can do compared to other software, and thanks for going into detail about the technical reasons that made it easy to port to because it operates much like umodel and noesis i had a lingering feeling it was easier to port to cause it wasnt a game engine and thanks for proving it

I’m not really sure why xnalara is such a threat to the model ripping scene. I mean they get their tools from people competent enough to create model ripping tools then openly shared online, shouldn’t they also share the credit (or blame)? I use the same tools myself for xnalara (I converted models not shared openly at the moment and probably wouldn’t ever be) and well as for generalizing the scene as full of dummies can’t really say I blame you for thinking that considering the average xnalara user’s age is probably around their teens. Heck I’d try porting for gmod if I had the time to sit down and learn it all (curve’s way too steep for old foggies like me).

Yeah, I think the mistake they did, was saturate the uploaded models on deviantart. Made them somewhat too visible.

Also I doubt FP is hitting it’s lifecycle. It’s the typical lull and pull of forums. But if you look 2-4 years back, you’ll see people decrying the lack of models and how gmod is dieing back then.

The situation is pretty much the same. I’d actually say, we have more people that can port now.

Also mario - I think the skillset of some of their better porters is similar to ours. Since I know a lot of them rig their stuff from scratch. And they have to deal with the completely broken format .mesh is. I still refuse to understand why they did those rendergroups.

I wouldn’t call it a threat per see. But the problem seems to be with a few people in the community actively going to game companies and asking them if they can do this or that - at least on a first basis. And the second problem, like I’ve said was using deviantart for much of their lifecycle.

I dont think game companies will do much because just like the pirating scene somebody will find away around whatever encryption and port the models, but unlike pirating extracting models from a game isnt going to cost them any money attempting to make it harder for people to extract things from the games will just make them spend more money and loose more time on the games production. That said i dont see the game developers changing anything in fact they may actually see the scenes people do with their models and that could direct inspiration as to which way their next game should be about.

Wow…“happy Russians with too much time on their hands”,“tool for dummies”,“a treath to the entire model ripping scene”,and mimimimi…
Question: If you think all that why did you get involved yourself? Not only porting some models for this “limited soft” but also,spare the precious time you have on your hands to create the Max script so more people can overrsaturate the scene with ripped models?
XNALara is what it is(says on the main page too):“a realtime posing program”…simple as that. You can’t compare it with Blender,those are 2 completely different things,created for different things( though they can work “together”)
And FYI,just cause you can make a crappy xnalara port really quick doesn’t mean everyone works like that,a quality port needs some work…because trust me everyone,it’s not a “change name=works in xnalara” thing like mister Mario here is babbling.

Now,moving on…to clear up the confusion about the “render groups”,cause someone that doesn’t even know how they work can’t really answer to that. ^
The render groups are used like this: You have the simple ones that requires 1 or 2 textures(for people with little time on their hands,like Mario) and also render groups that requires up to 7 textures (for people with more time on their hands,who usually have to create those additional maps themselves… thus resulting in a better quality model/port)

  •                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Signed: A happy but not Russian,XNALara porter.*

If you enjoy xnalara I think you should continue using it, without letting my opinions influence what you enjoy.

I’ve been a long time 3dsmax users, and also a long time 3D model whore.
So to get xnalara to work with my work flow I needed to write my own 3dsmax tools…

That is why I was involved with the xnalara scene
That is also where and how my opinions of that scene were formed.

But I found it way more beneficial to just support active members of the xnalara scene rather then try to become king of the hill.
That is why the tools were released, as you said I don’t have alot of time anymore… I’m busy… real life lol

Besides, Like you said it takes alot of work to make a good port. I’m no different when it comes to porting myself…
I’ve done them for a long time, and its made me more meticulous then you may think…
Theres more to it then just adding textures, doesn’t take a genius to download crazy bump after all <_<

Oh but it didn’t even crossed my mind to let your “2 cents” influence me in any way or shape related to what I enjoy using…I don’t know why it crossed yours to say that.
Besides some misleading and false informations you provided there, you were also being disrespectful. That’s what it was all about. Disrespectful to the XNALara comunity-to the users,to the porters and to the creator of the program himself and I don’t think it was needed since no one there was being disrespectful to your contribution. Being there you talk about GMod like “it’s full of silly props and soldiers in a billion cameo colors” and when you’re here XNALara is a threat,full of Russian porters with “no life”…
But good thing you finally got one,you lucky fella…enjoy it at its fullest! and hold on,with your teeth,to it so it won’t slip again…not a lot of people have one these days cough oh excuse me,I may be a little alergic to something. -_-

It would be much easier to call them formalised materials than anything else to be honest. Because that’s pretty much exactly what they are.

To be honest I honestly don’t fully understand why the guy who implemented the model format did it like this when it would be far easier to give full control over them to the people.

Dusan the creator gave up the xnalara project because of the stupidity that was happening with the software.

The odysseys such as render groups can be blamed on 3rd party contributors.
As xnalara at its core was a 3D model view for TombRaider Underworlds, until other people got their nose into the source code…