Chapter 5. Creating 3-D Objects

Table of Contents

Modeling with Blender

Each object in a scene has an associated .ARO model file. This file describes the 3-D geometry of the object. In this version of the platform, one .ARO model is supplied - primitives://plane.aro.

A tool is provided that allows content developers to create object models in the 3-D modeling tool Blender and export them as .ARO files for use in scenes. Blender is also able to import a number of other 3-D model formats (with varying success).

Modeling with Blender

Blender is a free and powerful 3-D modeling tool.

Getting Blender

Blender can be downloaded from the Blender website. The plugin has been verified to work correctly with the lastest stable version of Blender - version 2.49b at time of writing. The installation of Blender may warn that a separate installation of Python is required for some plugins - it is not necessary for the ARO Exporter plugin.

Installing the .ARO Plugin

The .ARO plugin must be installed in order to export .ARO files from Blender.

  1. Download the Popcode Developer Kit if you don't already have it.

  2. Follow the instructions in "ARO Exporter\Readme.txt".

Exporting .ARO Files

To export a Blender scene:

  1. From Blender, click File -> Export -> ARO Exporter.

  2. Choose a folder and filename (e.g. myobject.aro).

Limitations of the Exporter

There are a number of limitations to the ARO Exporter plugin. We intend to introduce support for more featureful object formats in the future to address these.

  • Animation is not supported within objects exported from Blender. Use the transition node in scene files to animate models as a whole for the moment.

  • Blender's material framework is not supported. Use UV texturing of models instead.

  • Curves and surfaces are not available. Convert such objects to meshes in Blender before export.