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[MD3] Import/Export scripts for Blender 2.42+/-

kat · 1 · 37261

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Offline kat

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The MD3 import and export *.py scripts and following information are for Blender 2.42 only.

Because the MD3 scripts are being used in an older version of Blender, to minimise issues and problems be sure to check the following have either been done, or should problems arise, that none of them are the cause.
  • Blender 2.42
  • Python 2.4.x
  • At least Windows XP Home/Pro (standard 32bit edition - scripts may not work using XP 64bit)
  • Default installation of Blender with "Specify User Data Location" set to "Use Installation Directory (i.e. location chosen to install blender.exe)".
Installation for 2.42+/-
Download the scripts from the link below and copy/paste/extract them into Blenders "scripts" folder. If there are any other MD3 scripts present it's best to remove or rename them. Unpack the "blender-md3.zip";
  • md3.py
  • md3_import.py
  • md3_export.py
  • q_math.py
  • q_shared.py
Copy/paste/extract/place all five files in Blenders "scripts" folder in the following location;
  • \.blender\scripts\
Assuming a standard installation, for Windows XP, Vista and Win7 Blender 2.42 scripts folder is typically located in;
  • C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\.blender\scripts
Linux and Mac installation will differ depending on OS version used.

Using the MD3 export script
MD3 Import: If the scripts are correctly placed as per above, the "Quake 3 (.md3)" options should appear in both the "Import" and "Export" menus. To import and MD3 file simply select "File » Import » Quake 3 (.md3)" to open the Browser. Find the file and click "Import". The view may change to display a message; click the dismiss. Scroll out to reveal the imported model (grid scale needs to be subsequently set).

Select mesh and 'export' from "File » Export » MD3"

Basic model as appears in Blender

MD3 Export: Prior to export make sure model is correctly prepped - folder and directory structures should be set up to reflect Quake 3, this typically means that map objects (both animated and static) need to be referenced for the following location;
  • \models\mapobjects\[custom folder]\
Which may translates to a real directory of;
  • [drive]:\models\mapobjects\[custom folder]
This ensures that material/shader paths are correctly set relative to the root "\baseq3\" folder.

Important note: the MD3 export script only outputs models with a single texture and material so assets with more will either need to have textures combined into one or individual segments need to be exported and put back together in-editor.

Setting the 'Shader Path' on export

Setting 'forced smoothing' before export (support varies)

Problems and Errors
There are a couple of basic script related issues you need to be aware of when exporting or importing meshes and models;
  • MD3 is a 'compiled' format so it's generally not possible to edit the file after export to correct file path/shader errors
  • Shaders and Materials should generally be applied using a "Relative" paths, i.e. files are relative to the folder they're in rather than the folders location on a hard drive
  • Although models are correctly imported, it's likely that they will appear in Blender untextured. All the should then be required is to reconnect/associated textures, images and materials to each other via the "Shader" buttons
  • When exporting a model previously imported check UVW maps
  • Mesh smoothing and/or smooth groups may only work on MD3 models when 'forced'
  • If scripts don't appear in the "File » Import/Export" menus check names and locations as per above
  • tag_ set-up using an "Empty" may require some work as it's not possible to parent that Object type directly to a bone through normal 'Parenting'. Instead, a combination of the "Copy Location" and "Track to" Modifiers may be necessary for proper movement/motion tracking relative to the parent bone