3D Model Conversion Guide

Celestia Requirements

  1. The 3DS Model must be subdivided by material into separate objects.

    Most 3D models are naturally subdivided into separate objects, depending on the author, but not necessarily by material as Celestia requires. To divide by material you need to either:

    1. Anim8or>: Select by material for all materials in turn executing the Detach Faces function for each one.

    2. Accutrans>: Open the model and then save it.

  2. All Textures (pictures) used must be in either of the folowing formats: JPG, PNG, DDS and have dimensions (in pixels) which are a power of 2.

    Most models come with a set of texture maps in a variety of different formats including: JPG, PNG, TGA, IFF, BMP, PSD etc. I suggest you convert all maps you use to JPG as Anim8or only supports the JPG format out of the 3 types supported by Celestia. Also keep filename lengths to 8 characters or less. The width and height of each map must be resized to be a power of 2.

    E.G. 512x512 or 256x64 are OK but 512x63 or 1028x407 are not.

    If you resize to a dimension smaller than the original then some level of detail is lost. It is up to yourself to decide whether the loss is significant.

  3. Only Diffuse values and texture maps are supported by Celestia.

    Most models come with a set of texture maps for diffuse, Color, Specular, Bump etc. Celestia will only use the Diffuse Map. Often important texture information is contained within the other map types. E.G. The Diffuse map supplied may contain a general Panelling map and the Color map could contain some text, such as the name of the ship. The overall effect being of a panelled ship with the ship name superimposed on top of the panelling. In such a case you might consider blending the Diffuse and Color maps in some fashion to approximate the desired effect.

From the above it is apparent that you require a good graphic image editing package. I use Paint Shop Pro as it can do all of the above image manipulations. There are Freeware packages which should be able to do most, if not all, of the above.