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Can Blender be programmed to output BF2 Objects?
post May 11 2017, 08:42 AM
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I, personally, can not write the code to get Blender to export BF2 objects.
I'm asking if it can be done.

Originally DICE created the BF2 objects with a 3D software called MAYA. First using version 4.5 then upgrading to version 6.0.1. But, the objects in MAYA weren't quite ready for game use. Using utilities they wrote for MAYA everything DICE created was Exported to a proprietary file format. After an object was created using MAYA it was then brought in to BF2Editor and "adjusted" in the Object Editor function of BF2Editor. The output from BF2Editor was then ready for use in the game.
When you install BF2Editor you get a small set of tools to be used with MAYA. There are in the folder ../EA GAMES/ Battlefield 2/maya. These tools are add-ons or extensions for MAYA mostly written in mel (MAYA Embedded Language). There are a few other tools in there as well. But, for various reasons, MAYA didn't catch on with the BF2 modding community.

When BF2 was released there was another 3D software by Discreet called 3dsmax. A coder, going by the name Rexman, wrote a series of tools (mostly in maxscript) for 3dsmax that allowed the creation and export of BF2 objects. Now, Rexman's tools required a special utilitty to convert 3dsmax format into the proprietary BF2 file format but the utility was built into the tools. Rexman's tools worked with Discreet 3dsmax versions 5, 6, and 7. It helped that Discreet had a "Student Version" which was cheap enough for most people to afford. It had reduced function but enough capability for BF2 modding. This attracted people to BF2 modding. Autodesk took over from Discreet and made some changes. With the changes Autodesk 3ds MAX 8 no longer supported Rexman's tool kit. Luckily, some people were skilled enough they adapted Rexman's tools to Autodesk 3ds MAX 8 and 9.

These older versions of 3D software that support Rexman's tools (and derivatives) are no longer available. Even worse newer Operating Systems don't run the old software even if you have a working copy. And to make it really painful (as Dnamro pointed out to me) the latest hardware (circa 2017) doesn't have device drives for Windows XP. So you can't even build a system with new hardware that will run an old OS and old software.

Blender is a 3D software that is Open Source. And, based on what I have read, it can be programmed with Python code to do many things.


Can Blender be adapted to output BF2 objects?

The best choice-
Can Blender can be programmed to duplicate the entire structure that Rexman's tools require? And if this can be done can the "conversion utility" inside the tool kit change the object into the proprietary BF2 file format?
(Two major coding projects)

A poor second choice-
(If Rexman's tools can't be duplicated and/or his conversion utility can't be made to work.)
Can Blender be programmed to output MAYA 6 format? Then could the utility in the DICE MAYA tools be made to work on this file to create the BF2 format?
(Also two major coding projects.)
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post May 27 2017, 04:26 PM
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Update: Remdul confirmed that the PR plugin updates work with 64 bit version of MAX 2016:


They don't work as is for Max 2017. I found this info on the Autodesk website concerning what was new for 3ds max 2017:

First, 3ds Max 2017 is not binary compatible with previous versions. This means you must recompile your plugins using the Visual Studio 2015 RTM (or later) VC++14 compiler. See here for all the 2017 SDK changes: What's New: 3ds Max 2017 SDK.

So, it should just be a matter of recompiling the plugins, after all. This is good news for being able to update the plugins to work with newer versions of 3ds Max.

This also is a good indicator that it is possible to create BF2 tools for Blender or other 3D modelling software, but the lack of documentation in the scripts makes it very difficult and a lot of work for a 10 year old game.

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