3D Asset Pipeline

Anyone know of some good examples on how to go from Blender to Heaps? I’ve played around with the samples some and can get a model loaded and all that but there just seems to be so much missing.

Especialy when it comes to Material/Textures. I really don’t understand at all how to work with this. I worked with Unreal for a while. I could pretty easily import the model, apply a material and assign albedo, occlusion, and emission maps. It would more or less look how it did in Blender. I can of course load the 3 textures in and assign the albedo as the model’s texture but other than that I’m pretty lost.

Also, is there a Blender exporter for the hmd format? It would really be nice to be able to bypass fbx and go straight from Blender to Heaps. It would be even more awesome to export materials so they’re ready to load as well but I suspect that would be near impossible.

If anyone has any tips, examples, etc… on how to make the Blender to Heaps pipeline as smooth as possible, that would be greatly appreciated.

i have no clue about anything of this… but i wonder if Armory3D intrigues you?..

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Pewsplosions — their last post was 2 years ago.

:open_mouth: since the start of the pandemic, haha

:sweat_smile: 2 years ago was a while. Not sure where that was shown. Haha.

I did play around with Armory3D for a while. Really liked the concept but I ended up abandoning it because I ran into some bugs that didn’t seem likely to get fixed anytime soon. I really liked the Armory Blender material node. I was kind of thinking if I got into the heaps ecosystem I may try to re-create that material node in Blender but in a way that would translate to heaps with an exporter. Or maybe find someone more knowledgeable to do it for me that would be willing to do it for a small amount of money.

At this point though… may just go 2D. Been trying to build a 3D game for over a year now, went from Heaps to Armory to Unreal. Did get a bunch done in Unreal but my motivation has waned. For some reason I always come back to wanting to use Heaps. I like the minimalist feel of it.

:frowning: i have no experience with it, but that sucks to hear… This is surely the main problem of any engine without enough devs, or paid devs

this seems cool! :open_mouth: Blender integration!?!? something like this?:

only thing that shows up in github when you search “heaps blender” is this:

:sob: game dev is HARD, especially 3D. And yeah, i think everyone who’s come to Haxe has suffered from the fatal disease multiple engine indecision disorder. On one side, its important. We should be happy. The tools should feel good to use, even a joy to use! On the other side, we should all just suck it up and use Unity and make the damn game!, lol.

If it were me personally, Unity is the only choice for 3D. That’s actually an easy decision for me! :slight_smile: Unreal sounds scary :scream:. In the case of 2D, however, even I’ve personally suffered from MEID. :cry: I’ll prolly stick to Heaps ‘n Luxe (for beta testing fun, game jams). But I also think it’s healthy to play with Unity, for like learning purposes, and to remind myself why I use Heaps, and why it feels so much better to have my own little game template in my own style on top of plain ol’ vanilla Heaps. :smiley: …although MonoGame is there too… :thinking: no… no!.. stop it! get out of my mind!! ahhhh!!!

The monogame and blender thing seems similar to what Heaps already does, only Heaps does it automatically. If I read it right, you have to export FBX, then use the pipeline tool to make it readable by monogame. The blog post doesn’t really mention materials so I’m not sure what it does with those. In Heaps you put the FBX in the resource folder and it automatically converts it to HMD (the Heaps format.)

I have looked at the BlenderToHmd thing before, seems like it was abandoned before it was usable.

My thought was more like the SendToUnreal plugin for Blender. You basically put stuff in collections in Blender, set some configuration values, then you hit a button and the plugin (along with Unreal’s importer) pulls all the stuff out of those collections and creates Unreal objects out of everything, ready to be dragged into scenes. It isn’t perfect, especially with materials. But it is pretty cool.

Simply exporting FBX and putting it in the resources folder for Heaps actually works pretty well. The model and animations for the most part come over nicely. It is the materials that are always troublesome. And as far as I can tell the Heaps PBR and regular Materials don’t have the setup that Armory or Unreal has, with the standard game textures like AO, Albedo, Emissions, Normals, etc… I’m guessing it CAN do these things, I just get confused trying to set up a Material in Heaps.

So my thought was a Blender material node that had the same inputs as Armory’s. Then an exporter that would convert this Blender material node into the proper custom material code in Heaps. Could also go ahead and have the exporter convert the model/animations to HMD as well. Making it a one click Blender to Heaps solution. So you’d just need to code the model loading and attach the generated material along with the textures for each slot. Something like that anyway.

Game dev is REALLY hard haha. I definitely suffer from MEID. :rofl:

I have used Unity for work before and did a little hobby project a long time ago. I really don’t like Unity. Haha. When I was doing the project at work the editor would completely crash on me on average once every 30 minutes. I also ran into some super strange issues with the 3D, like there was a screw driver in one scene. If I picked it up then set it down, it would roll a little, then suddenly start stretching infinitely! Have no idea what was causing that. It was just a plain static object.

Unreal is not without its own problems but after spending a week or so with it I got really comfortable really fast. Even though I’m a Software Engineer by trade (almost 10 years now) I actually enjoyed using Blueprints a lot. At first I was fully planning to just ignore it and go 100% C++ but within the first month of building my game I had done the opposite and switched to 100% blueprints. After about 7 months I got a little burnt out in general though. My game is still in the state of having a single stage, 3rd person character that can run around, double jump, fly, a few abilities, the main stage boss and a single minion… I got a little stuck in making the fighting feel right and that burnt me out.

Now… 5 or 6 months since then I want to get back at trying to make a game. So here I am haha. Super MEID. But also just ping ponging between a few ideas I’ve had for years. One minute I want to just go back to my Unreal game, it was actually looking really good and the movement felt awesome, but then I remember why I stopped and that changes my mind to doing something smaller scale and more feasible. So then I want to build a twin stick top down game, maybe 2d maybe 3d background with 2d characters. So that brought me back to Heaps. Built a little prototype to see if I could get the controls working, then started thinking about backgrounds. Don’t really want to do tiles so maybe a 3D background would be cool! Heaps can do that. Then I remember the troubles I have understanding Heaps materials. Wonder if maybe I should just use Unreal for this idea. Then I wonder if I should base it in the same world as my old game! Maybe tie it together and eventually finish that game too. Or another world I’ve had in mind for the last 10 years would work well here. Then I start thinking if I’m just going to use Unreal why don’t I figure out my old problem and resume the old game… Then I realize it is like 1 AM and I have to work the next day so I go to sleep. Only to repeat this process daily. :sweat_smile:

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sorry to leave ya hanging there! haha, but stop by the discord server some time, i’m sure someone can point yea in the right direction.

well, that sucks. :cry: unfortunately, the 3D module is a mystery i don’t want to open! so i can’t help you there

But yeah, the rest sounds good to me! Maybe don’t even need a fancy blender plugin, and just write a little script (if it’s just file manipulation)?

All great programs do this. :japanese_ogre: Monodevelop was the greatest. :japanese_ogre: :japanese_ogre:

hahahha, this is actually positive sign from the Unity gods. :joy: You’ve got to become one with the jankiness!..

mmmm, yeah, i’ve heard that before about Unreal’s blueprints. I never imagined one can do so much with a visual-scripting-system-thing! :open_mouth: That’s pretty awesome!

Game-making can be like that tho: the first “level” is the hardest, because all of the game systems are required to make it! You practically have to finish making 80% the game, then you get to level-design, 'n all the fun stuff. Games that have a game-dev cycle like that are not fun to make (imo) because it doesn’t satisfy the feedback loop. Hopefully can find a way to make more stuff, content, etc. the things that can be fulfilling or make one happy. :slight_smile:

Otherwise, yeah, if the project just isn’t satisfying, try another smaller project! Can always come back to the other one. Unreal isn’t going anywhere. I’m guessing the project will run fine in Unreal for like the next decade, or, forever.

and LOL at the indecisiveness :joy:. I can’t help there. Everyone has to just choose whatever they feel is right. Whether thats Unreal, Heaps, or something else, hopefully you’ll know soon :pray:. Trial and error. Can try Heaps, and if it sucks, can always go back to Unreal, and if that sucks… well… i personally don’t recommend making a game engine, because then you’ll never finish the game! (it’s just leads to a billion more decisions) :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

i will say though, Heaps being without an editor is a big difference from Unreal. I’m personally not even aware of anyone that actually uses HIDE (the modular editor),…

but yeah, the haxe discord. People answer pretty quickly. Much quicker than here at least. And they are way more experienced than me! :slight_smile:

I get on the discord sometimes. Haven’t asked anything in there for a while either though. :smiley:

Played around with HIDE a little. It is a bit confusing how to tie it into a project. Like all things Heaps it seems to have a lot of potential though. Just not enough documentation and falls short on intuitiveness for a normie like me.

Also tried to make my own engine at one point. Haha. Got through some Open GL and set up some input systems but yeah… I’ll probably never go back to that.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to make decisions and focus just long enough to finish something but… looking less and less likely as I grow older and older. Haha.