[Tutorial] Viewing Your Mesh on an Existing Vehicle's Jbeam

Discussion in 'Content Creation' started by EcoNadder77, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    In this tutorial, I will walk you through the process of putting a 3D model of a vehicle you created onto the jbeam of an existing vehicle in BeamNG.

    The tools I will be using include: Notepad for a text editor, and Blender for the 3D modeling program.
    I will be attaching my unfinished model of a 2014 Tesla Model-S onto the jbeam of the ETK K-Series.

    Important! This will not result in a completed mod. This is only to help you view your model in game. I strongly recommend creating a backup of your model before following this tutorial! You will be making some changes to the model that you may not want to keep.

    Note: Some of the official vehicles' drivetrain components (engine, transmission, suspension, and wheels) are stored in a separate location. If you put your mesh on one of these vehicles, the drivetrain components will not be replaced by your own.

    Step 1 | Picking a vehicle

    First things first, you need to pick a vehicle to act as a host for your model.

    Try to pick an official vehicle that's as similar (in size and shape) as possible to your model.

    I will be using the ETK K-Series as my host vehicle.

    Step 2 | Cloning the vehicle

    Now that you've chosen a vehicle to host your mesh, you need to clone it to avoid overwriting its original files.


    Navigate to the BeamNG mods folder on your computer located here:
    MyDocuments\BeamNG.drive\mods

    Create a new folder within the mods folder and name it: "unpacked".
    unpacked.jpg

    Create a new folder inside the "unpacked" folder. Give the folder a name that's relevant to your model. I will call mine "model_s".

    Note: From this point on, every time I refer to "your_model_name" or "model_s", I'm referring to the name of this folder.

    Inside the "model_s" folder, create a new folder named "vehicles". Finally, create a new folder within the "vehicles" folder named: "your_model_name". The resulting file structure should look like this:
    Documents\BeamNG.drive\mods\unpacked\your_model_name\vehicles\your_model_name
    tutorial2.jpg

    Next you need copy the files of your host vehicle into the folder you just created.

    Open your BeamNG.drive application folder (it's wherever you installed BeamNG). Inside the application folder, open the folder named: "content", then "vehicles". This folder contains the zip files of every official vehicle in the game.

    Find the zip file of the host vehicle you chose.
    The folder for the ETK K-Series I'm using is named: "etkc.zip".
    tutorial3.jpg

    Open the host vehicle folder > vehicles > host vehicle name. You should now see all of the vehicle's files.
    Copy all the files within this folder into the last "your_model_name" folder you created.

    Note: From this point on, I will only refer to the files within the "your_model_name" folder. Do not modify any of the files inside the BeamNG application folder.

    Find the main jbeam file among the files you just copied. Its name will exactly match the name of the host vehicle's folder it came from.
    Since the ETK K-Series folder was named "etkc.zip", I need to look for the jbeam file named "etkc.jbeam".
    tutorial4.jpg

    Open this jbeam file in a text editor. (I am using Notepad)
    At the top of the jbeam file, find this line of text:
    Code:
    "name":"name_of_host_vehicle",

    Replace "name_of_host_vehicle" with "your_model_name".
    Save and close the file.

    To test if the vehicle cloned correctly, start BeamNG and open the vehicle selector.
    You should see a duplicate of your host vehicle. Your clone is the one without the BeamNG logo next to its name.
    tutorial5.jpg

    Step 3 | Preparing your mesh

    Lets set up your mesh.

    Open Blender and create a new project. Delete the default cube, and go to File>Import>Collada (.dae)
    Navigate to the last "your_model_name" folder you created for your clone vehicle. You should see a file named: "name_of_host_vehicle.DAE". The file for the ETK K-Series is called "etkc.DAE".
    tutorial6.jpg tutorial7.jpg

    Import the .dae file, and you should see the 3d model of your host vehicle.
    tutorial8.jpg

    Click on each part of the model and take note of its name.
    example:
    - The left door is named: "etkc_door_L"
    - The hood is named: "etkc_hood"

    Switch over to your 3D model and rename each part to exactly match the name of its corresponding part on the host model.
    example:
    - I will name my Tesla's front bumper "etkc_bumper_F", and the left taillight "etkc_taillightglass_L".

    In order to view your model in game, you need to assign a material to your mesh. For now, you will assign a very simple material to each part of your model.

    Select a part of your model and open the materials tab on the right. Create a new material.

    Important! Make sure the name of the material is "Material". This is the default material name. For the purposes of this tutorial, don't change the name to anything else. This may cause the model not to show up properly.
    Note: You can also name the material "Glass". This will give the object a transparent glass-like texture.
    tutorial9.jpg tutorial10.jpg

    Assign this material to every component of your model.

    Next you need to apply the location, rotation, and scale of each part in the model. This ensures that every component appears in the correct location in BeamNG.

    Tap the "A" key to select all of the parts of your model. At the bottom of the screen select:
    Object > Apply > Location
    Object > Apply > Rotation & Scale
    tutorial11.jpg

    Step 4 | Attaching your model to the clone vehicle

    Your model is ready. Now you need to export it as a .dae file.

    Make sure all the parts of your mesh are still selected. At the top of the screen select:
    File > Export > Collada (.dae)
    tutorial12.jpg

    Select "Apply Modifiers" and "Selection Only" at the bottom left of the screen. At the top of the screen, change the name of your export to exactly match the name of the .DAE file you imported from the host vehicle.
    I will be exporting my model with the name: "etkc.dae".
    tutorial13.jpg

    Export it to a location that you can remember.
    I'm saving mine in a folder on my Desktop named tutorial.

    Take the .dae file you just created, and put it into the files of the clone vehicle's "your_model_name" folder replacing the "host_vehicle_name.dae" file already there. You should receive a prompt asking if you want to replace the existing file.

    Note: Some of the .dae files of the official vehicles have a .DAE (uppercase) extension. The .dae file you created with Blender will have a .dae (lowercase) extension. If this is the case, you will not receive a "do you want to replace" prompt. You will need to manually find and remove the .DAE (uppercase) file.

    Step 5 | Done!

    Now restart BeamNG, and spawn your clone from the vehicle selector. If everything worked, you should see your model!

    screenshot_00000.png screenshot_00001.png screenshot_00002.png

    Now I know that my model is a little too big. I will need to shrink it slightly.

    Please let me know if any part of this tutorial was unclear.
    Thanks for reading my tutorial, and I hope you find it useful!
    Good Luck!
     
    #1 EcoNadder77, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  2. djbutter

    djbutter
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    why is this happening everything is centered
     

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    • 2017-06-04.png
  3. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    Did you apply the location of every part?
    tutorial11.jpg
     
    #3 EcoNadder77, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  4. djbutter

    djbutter
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    i just centered the object in blender to location 0,0,0. how did you
     
  5. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    Would you mind posting a screenshot from blender that shows your mesh?
     
  6. djbutter

    djbutter
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    sure one sec
     

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  7. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    Did you apply the rotation and scale for every component?
     
  8. djbutter

    djbutter
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    nope should that be 0
     
  9. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    When you apply the rotation and scale, the rotation becomes 0° and the scale becomes 1.
     
  10. djbutter

    djbutter
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    ill give it a try right now thx. also you you know hoe to edit jbeams you should do a thread on it you explain things well
    --- Post updated ---
    um did i do it wrong
     

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  11. VeyronEB

    VeyronEB
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    Yes.

    Ctrl+A is how you apply scale, rotation etc.
     
  12. djbutter

    djbutter
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    um did i do it wrong
    thx
     
  13. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    I'm glad you found this tutorial helpful. I would love to write a tutorial about editing jbeams to match your mesh, but I want to become more familiar with the topic before doing so. I'm actively working on it, but it might take a little while for me to write a tutorial. Some things are easier to do than explain.
     
  14. djbutter

    djbutter
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    now just got to fiqure out the mesh
    agreed thx for the help
    --- Post updated ---
    thx for the help. you are mostly likely why the 4runner mod isnt going to die.
     

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  15. EcoNadder77

    EcoNadder77
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    Thanks, that really means a lot to me!
     
  16. Spiicy

    Spiicy
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    HUGE BUMP BUT THIS WILL HELP A LOT OF PEOPLE
     
  17. Spiicy

    Spiicy
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    Has anyone actually attempted using this in a while?
     
  18. Octothorp Obelus

    Octothorp Obelus
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    No, but it would be great to have a few 3DSMax tutorials out there since I actually know how to use that :rolleyes:
     
  19. GR00V3R97

    GR00V3R97
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    too good to be true...
     
  20. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ
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    When you mean Replace "rename "name_of_host_vehicle" with "your_model_name"." does it actually say that, or do you mean the car base name?
     
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