How to import, pose and export spore creatures with MAYA

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Corporal

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How to import, pose and export spore creatures with MAYA

Unread postby paranoid_modder » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:26 pm

Hello everybody. In this tutorial, i will show you guys how to import, export, pose, and apply bumpmaps to your spore creature using Autodesk Maya.


But why maya? Well, because in my experience i found this method to be semi-faster and more efficient way to export and import spore creatures, and this program also KEEPS the morphs for your creature parts, so your creatures will be imported 90% in tact. (Only bug is the textures, but i will get to that. I have only seen 2 parts that did not export correctly, but those were modded parts.)

"But maya costs a lot of money! Why not use X and Y"
first off, you can get maya student version for free for 3 years. After those years are gone, you can just re-download the program again and get another 3 years. See, Autodesk doesn't actually check if you are a student, nor does it ask you for a student ID. My 3D teachers with years of experience told me this trick, and it's true. I assure you that you will be fine if you just download the student version without actually being a student, everybody else does. Second off, maya provides you with so much more you can do with your creature, as well as keeping your creatures edited parts. No broken morphs, and no floating eyes.
"But thats illegal!"
perhaps, but again, Autodesk doesnt care enough to check you, so downloading the program in order to pose and mess around with a bunch of spore models isn't going to get the NSA or Atodesk on your door. HOWEVER,If you plan on using the student version of the program professionally, then that's where your'e going to have a problem. Maya student version has a built in feature that lets people know your stuff was made using a student version, so be weary of that. Theres a window that pops up when you open your projects that says it's the student version. I will not be responsible for any damage or legal action that you will (probably not) face should you not understand this.

Now onto the tutorial itself.


For this tutorial, i'm going to use this creature as an example. His name is pear.
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STEP 1: Open your creature in spore via the creature editor and go to the skin paints mode. Once there, open the cheat console by pressing CTRL+C. In the console, type "colladaexport" without the quotation marks, and press enter. Make sure your game language is set to english, as the feature does not support other languages. A prompt comes up asking you to agree to a license or something, so do that. The command window will show you where your creature is exported.
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STEP 2: Go to the folder that has your creature. In there, you should be able to find 4 files. Image
The model itself is the .dae file, while the textures for your creature is the diffuse, normals and specular files. I usually put these files in one separate folder so i can find them again easily.

STEP 3: Open maya, and import your creature. In the upper right corner go to file>import and select the .dae file with your creatures name. Your creature should load into your scene just fine. There might be a window showing up with some warnings, Just ignore that.
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"OH GOD WHAT IS THIS??" Dont worry, those are just the joints of the creatures skeleton that are scaled, aka HUGE. since the creature model is so small, the joins will engulf it. To fix this, go back to the upper right and choose select>all by type>joints to select all of them at once. Then go to the channel box in the upper left of the program. Where it says "radius" type in the numbers 0.03 and press enter. You can put in the numbers you want and choose the size of the joints yourself, but i prefer 0.03 as it fits the best IMO.
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STEP 4: Your model should now look like this.
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(For some reason this creature imported with its mouth open, but thats the mouth itself thats like this. other parts wont do this.) If you click on this icon, you activate x ray joints, and you can see your creatures skeleton. Click the same icon again to hide them inside the creature again.
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You can now move and rotate the joints of your creature, and pose him however you want by clicking the little "joint" balls on your creatures skeleton.
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"B-but wait, my creature has no texture! It doesn't show up!" Dont worry, were getting to that. Now, SPOREs colladaexporter is not perfect. 50% of the time, your creatures textures will not export properly on your model, so therefore you need to put them on yourself. Fortunatly this is not too hard to do.

If you were lucky and your creature retained its textures while you imported the model, then you are pretty much done. You can start posing him, adding decorations and lights around it, render some cool images, or even animate it! You can click the little checkered ball like in the images under to view your creatures texture.
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OBS: make sure the little ball thats half blank and half checkerboard is not selected.

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Aaaand...thats it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial :) Keep in mind that i am not THAT good with maya, so if you have any questions.....well, i cant gaurantee i will be of much help, but i can try.

If your creatures however show no texture when you click the ball, then it means it bugged out. Lets go ahead to step 5 to fix this issue, inside the spoiler.


Spoiler: show
STEP 5:(Open the images in a new tab to enlarge them.)
Select your creatures mesh. (make sure you have selected the creature, not the joints. You can tell you selected the model if it turns green like in the gif above.) Open the attribute editor
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and click on the small arrow pointing to the right until you come across a tab that says "asset material" click that tab,
and you will see this window.
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Where it says "color" click the little icon next to the slider.
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Click it, and you will see another window like this.
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Click the yellow folder icon, and find your creatures diffuse file.
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Apply it, and now your creature should be textured and ready to go.


OPTIONAL STEP 6: Applying specular and bumpmaps to your creature.


Spoiler: show
(open images in a new tab to enlarge them)
"Wait, my creatures textures look kinda flat..." This is true, but fortunatly the exporter has thought of this. If you want to, you can add specular maps to your creature, which makes those with shiny parts such as armor stand out.
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If your creature exported correctly, and the textures are already applied to it, then it already has a specular map, and you don't need to add it again.

Now if you are putting the textures back yourself, then in order to get that shiny effect, click the creature again and go back to the attribute editor and this time, select the "specular" option.
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Now do the same thing as you did last time with the diffuse file, but this time you choose the specular file. Now your creature should have different amount of shine on its body, depending on its parts.

STEP 7: The last step to make your creature really pop out, is to apply the normal maps to him. This will give him a bumpmap, aka make your creature have a proper skin texture and give him depht. Again, go back to the attribute editor, but now select "Bump Mapping"
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Click on the checkerboard, and then click on "file"
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Click the black arrow square besides "bump value" and then click the yellow folder icon again, just like last time. Now you select the "normal" file, and it should show up on your creature.
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"god damn paranoid, this looks terrible!" It does, but thats because you need to turn the intensity of the bump map down. Open Hypershade by clicking the blue ball.
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Then, click "utilities"
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Click "bump2d" and then close the hypershade window.
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Now, on the attribute editor to the right you will see 2 sliders. in the "bump depht" slider, i put the numbers 0.040 as you can see here.
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Now your creature will look MUCH better. You can put any number you want, or slide the slider left or right to see what looks best for you. i usually put it around 0.020-0.050 but its up to you what you like the most.
Congrats! Your creature now has depht and looks much better!
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