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FiftyTifty

When to use M2 or WMOs?

I'm looking to get started with modelling for WoW 3.3.5a, and I haven't been able to find much coherent information about the limitations and usage of .M2 and .WMO. From what I can tell, .M2 files are individual objects that are small in size. .WMO Files are a combination of .M2 files.

But when should a .WMO be used, over a .M2? Is there an object bounds limit for .M2 files that .WMO doesn't have? For example, if I wanted to replace the entirety of Stormwind, is there a reason why I shouldn't just make a single large .M2 in 3DS Max, and instead split the model into sections as .M2 files, plonk them into a .WMO, and then place the .WMO into an .ADT?

If I can use a single .M2 for a city, that would be ideal, as I would then be able to save on a huge number of draw calls by just making the architecture one big model.

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5 hours ago, Gratural said:

See this (and all other from Amaroth) lesson

 

Aha! There we go. So a .WMO is essentially a collection of .M2 meshes, which you use to create the bulk of the scene. Is it possible to make the .WMO itself just one big mesh in 3DS Max? Or does it only take .M2 meshes as it's data?

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4 hours ago, wungasaurus said:

WMOs has both, own geometry and M2 based doodads.

That's fortunate, just wanted to be sure. Seeing how they're all split by default into groups based on their texture, I'm thinking that I should just use a texture atlas, and make the WMO as just one big mesh to keep the draw calls way down. But how would that work with the culling system? I imagine that it's done per object group, so I would have to make each building's interior their own object group, but still have the exterior as one big mesh.

But then again, I don't know how the culling functions.

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