Modeling in Blender using m2mod


Description

This tutorial will, hopefully, teach you to perform the M2<->M2i convertion in order to edit WoW models in Blender. Big thanks to @Vellear for teaching me.

Introduction

Unfortunately, there are no tools yet that would allow you to edit an M2 directly (although @Skarn is working hard on that), so it has to be converted into an editable format and then converted back. That can be done with M2mod, and after you've read this tutorial, you will be able to perform this incredibly complicated algorithm on an expert level.

This method is confirmed to be working in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, and, possibly, in Warlords of Draenor. 

It has also been reported to not work in Legion, so I will soon edit this tutorial accordingly.

Tools and resources

The Technique

Installation

  1. Download everything listed in the "Tools and resources" section.
  2. Install Blender.
  3. Extract the archives of M2mod 4.6 and M2mod 4.5 (in different folders, obviously).
  4. In the extracted M2mod 4.6, there will be another archive inside called "M2Mod scripts 1.2 Blender 2.73.zip". Move/copy it's contents into your Blender folder\2.77\scripts\addons\ (the default installation path is C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.77\scripts\addons).
     
    Spoiler

    Xy9yqlYZgKs.jpg

     

  5. Proceed to Model Extraction.

Model Extraction

  1. Choose the model you want to edit. You can use WoW Model Viewer for that, but I can't make the tutorial that detailed.
    Let's say I want to edit Varian Wrynn's model to make his chin even more brutal.
  2. Open Ladik's MPQ Editor, select all the MPQs in your WoW\Data folder, tick "Merged mode" and press "Ok". Wait for the files to load.
     
    Spoiler

    39SjMipn5b8.jpg

     

  3. Find the location of the chosen model (in my case it is Creature\KingVarianWrynn). Extract the model and the .skin files related to it: select the files > press RMB > choose Extract > enter the desired directory > press "Ok" > wait for the files to extract.

  4. Proceed to M2->M2i Conversion.

M2->M2i Conversion

  1. Open the folder with M2mod 4.6 and launch M2ModRedux.exe.
  2. Choose the "Export" tab. In the InputM2 field browse the path to your extracted model and choose the .m2 file (in my case it's KingVarianWrynn.m2).
     
    Spoiler

    IFCSwvF6AU0.jpg

     

  3. Press "Go!". Wait for the Status to say "Export done".
  4. Proceed to Modeling.

Modeling

  1. Open your Blender folder and run blender.exe.
  2. Go to File > User Preferences > Add-ons tab > find "Import-Export: Import: WoW M2 Intermediate (.m2i)" and "Import-Export: Export: WoW M2 Intermediate (.m2i)" > tick both of them > press "Save User Settings" > close the Blender User Preferences window.
     
    Spoiler

    oFoV6Oi5wjc.jpg

     

  3. Go to File > Import > M2 Intermediate (.m2i) > find the converted model from M2->M2i Conversion, step 2 and press "Input M2i".
     

    Spoiler

    Zjmq2Fspk0Q.jpg
    3cypn_bAnsg.jpg

     

  4. Edit the model however you wish. 
    Through hard work and skill, I made Varian look even more brutal than before.
     

    Spoiler

    DK9uRgrxh9k.jpg

     

  5. Go to File > Export > M2 Intermediate (.m2i) > choose the path you want > press "Export M2I".
     

    Spoiler

    k4IagomGpJs.jpg

     

  6. Proceed to M2i->M2 Conversion.

M2i->M2 Conversion

  1. Open the folder with M2mod 4.5 and launch M2ModRedux.exe.
  2. In the InputM2 field browse the path to the original model (in my case it's KingVarianWrynn.m2).
  3. In the InputM2I field browse the path to your edited model (in my case it's KingVarianWrynn.m2i).
  4. In the OutputM2 files choose the path and name of the new model (I'll just replace the original KingVarianWrynn.m2).
     
    Spoiler

    eDtReAzPPb0.jpg

     

  5. Press "Go!". There is no Status, so just wait.
  6. Proceed to Patching.

Patching

I assume you know how to compile a patch using Ladik's MPQ Editor.

Enjoy your edited model!
 

Spoiler

WoWScrnShot_052916_040632.thumb.jpg.1493

 

Edit 17/05/18:

As per popular demand, I will add a section with Legion modeling instructions within the two upcoming weeks.

  • Like 1




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1 hour ago, Alastor Strix'Efuartus said:

Why exactly are you using 4.5 for M2 creating ? 

Vellear said that's what should be done :-/

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i'm glad, that this method is work for you Смердокрыл

10 hours ago, Alastor Strix'Efuartus said:

Why exactly are you using 4.5 for M2 creating ? 

On winows 10, if you trying to extract m2>m2i via 4.5, blender(2.7 and 2.6) can not load these m2i correctly, only skeleton\attachments, but without mesh + python error

 

4,6 redux on win10(and maybe 8?) can not import m2i to m2, even if you do this with clear like

extract m2 human male from MPQ > m2>m2i>m2 = simillar error:

aedaec8756.png

probably this method is not required for windows 7, should be cheked and added to the tutorial as "update"

 

 

this way is confirmed for:

Cataclysm

Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of draenor

 

For legion:

44 minutes ago, Alastor Strix'Efuartus said:

Legion models are working without problem all im doing is always deleting MD21 prefix and changing version from 12 01 00 00 to 10 01 00 00 othervise model is in incorrect format

 

 

Not supported for:

    *but still can be used in some cases

Wrath of the lich king(for this you can use 4.0.6 cata models with Downgrade after the editing)

Burning crusade(you can convert downgraded wotlk model to BC via Koward's converter)

Vanilla - I do not know any ways to build a custom model for 1.X, Koward can knows more.

-------------

for warlods of draenor in theory can be used only 4.6 redux (import and export) - but this is not checked yet, i can not do this.

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Yeah i am using M2redux still on Win7 and i have no similiar problem
Sometimes when i screw something in model i can get error while converting but M2 and frist 2 ( of 4 ) skins are oftenly good and models works at all 

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Legion models are working without problem all im doing is always deleting MD21 prefix and changing version from 12 01 00 00 to 10 01 00 00 othervise model is in incorrect format

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On 29. 5. 2016 at 3:10 PM, Vellear said:

Wrath of the lich king(for this you can use 4.0.6 cata models with Downgrade after the editing

About this once there was somewhere around 010 Script for upconverting M2s from LK to WOD when you use such script you are able to open Upconverted Lk models in 4.6.1 again 

Some ppl had problems with it but when its done carefully its working well

Pick Up WoD Model --> Do M2redux edits --> downport to LK --> UpConvert model to Wod --> "and we can start all over again"
 

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I know this is a 'bit old, but all of my Legion M2 files are said to be corrupted when I use M2Mod.

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10 minutes ago, Valtorei said:

I know this is a 'bit old, but all of my Legion M2 files are said to be corrupted when I use M2Mod.

At what stage are they "said to be corrupted"? When you import to Blender?

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2 minutes ago, Смердокрыл said:

At what stage are they "said to be corrupted"? When you import to Blender?

No, it usually happens when I use M2Mod. It'll create an m2i, but the m2i is screwed up and is just a cube.

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Just now, Valtorei said:

No, it usually happens when I use M2Mod. It'll create an m2i, but the m2i is screwed up and is just a cube.

So you get a legion M2, convert it via M2Mod, import it in Blender, and it looks like a cube there?

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Just now, Смердокрыл said:

So you get a legion M2, convert it via M2Mod, import it in Blender, and it looks like a cube there?

Yeah, but the issue is the conversion from m2 to m2i.

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Just now, Valtorei said:

Yeah, but the issue is the conversion from m2 to m2i.

Yes, I get it. Did you try converting the m2 to some pre-legion version (using Adspartan's converter or jm2)?

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7 hours ago, Смердокрыл said:

Yes, I get it. Did you try converting the m2 to some pre-legion version (using Adspartan's converter or jm2)?

Here, this may be a better explanation of my issue. 

 

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Why? I did everything correctly, good on you - your program doesn't work :0

C++ Error.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Lifty said:

Why? I did everything correctly, good on you - your program doesn't work :0

C++ Error.jpg

I suspect you used m2mod 4.6.1 for m2i->m2 conversion, while you should've used 4.5 for that.

Also, it's not my program

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"

  1. Open the folder with M2mod 4.6 and launch M2ModRedux.exe.

"
I don't get you man, first you say 4.6 now 4.5
Will try

Update: Woops, same error

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1 minute ago, Lifty said:
  1. Open the folder with M2mod 4.6 and launch M2ModRedux.exe.
 

As you can see, that line is under the "M2->M2i Conversion" category, while under "M2i->M2 Conversion" it says

  1. Open the folder with M2mod 4.5 and launch M2ModRedux.exe.

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No worries, I am still at the .m2 -> .m2i part

EDIT: By the way, nice instant messaging plugin on this site

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1 minute ago, Lifty said:

No worries, I am still at the .m2 -> .m2i part

Which expansion is the original m2 from? And which model exactly is it?

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