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Saber Hilt Has too many Vert... ?

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Hello everybody !

Okay so i decided to create a hilt following the virtue tutorial with Gmax.


However i have a problem.

When i select my object it says that i have around 400 vertices wich should be okay.

but after export in md5-view it says i have over 1800...

needless to say the game cant handle it and gives me an error message.


I think i may have an overlapping problem but i have zero idea how to solve it.

Here are the md5 and the gmax file if you want to take a look.



IF you have any idea how to solve this i would be very glad =D



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There are two factors that increase Vertex count when exporting models for the game:

1. Non-smoothed/hard edges

2. UV Seams

Both cause the exporters to duplicate the vertices at those locations.

now onto Solutions:

1. Try tweaking the smoothing groups on your model to reduce the amount of hard edges

2. If you have not finalized your textures yet, try editing the UV Layout to reduce the number of seams (usually displayed as green edges in 3ds max and gmax too iirc)

3. Split the model into multiple sub-meshes that stay under 1000 verts each, this is usually the go-to solution but should be a last resort if you absolutely can not get below the threshhold on your mesh by following Solution 1 and 2 

Let me know if you have further questions 😉

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Thank for the advice but iam really a complete noob in modeling so ill need more explainations...

1- Non smoothered hard edges.

I really dont want my model to look more smooth or rounded, id like to keep it blocky, also i dont really see how smoothing the edges could reduce the vertices count...

2- UV Seam

Okay this could be a problem, for some faces i dont need to have 6 different squares, so i stacked them, but not perfectly, it basically looks like that


are you telling me that each of them will count as a vertice somehow ?

Should i correct them to be perfectly stacked ?

3- Divide the model into sub parts

I think my model isnt that complicated and could be patched so it fits the game witout that, but as im unexperimented i may be mistaken, here's a screen of my model, maybe you have a better idea about that ? 



Last note : im no expert but i really think this part (screenshot below) is the main problem, the "radiator-like" part was another object that i assembled with the main part of the hilt.

the parts crossed and merged in a wierd fashion.

I also added some buttons as you can also see here, they are crossing the main part too...

In both cases i end up with theses wierd glitches, and by looking on some other posts this could create hundreds of unwanted verteces in the exportation...


Do you know exactly how i could remove them ?


Sorry, there is a lot of questions but im really new to this =D

Thanks for your help !

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I dont think i can export as an .obj in gmax, but in my first post there is the .md3 and the gmax file...

if you really need the .obj do you have a way to convert them ?

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Your actual counts




Can we have a look at your uv map?


if youd like an easy solution though, without all the explanation, then split the model in 2 approximately equal parts. i.e. w_saber_base and w_saber_handle or something like that, and now your verts per surface will be under 1000

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yeah theres only 401 verts there, but, the way you split your uv map adds verts.

like this...






when you actually want something more like this




its a lame example, but you should get it. the more cuts, the more verts.

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Thanks for the info, but there is another problem, i really have no idea on how to stick the vertices together, there should be a way to do it but in gmax i have no idea how...

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There is a difference between smooth shading and smoothing by adding more geometry.

I'll try to explain it as simply as possible, without getting too technical.

We have two Cylinders here:

At a first glance it is obvious that the one on the right looks much smoother than the one on the left, yet they have the exact same amount of vertices and polygons in 3ds max.


The difference between the two is, that the one on the right uses so called smoothing groups to render the faces/polygons going around the cylinder smoothly and not as facets. Smoothing Groups are a relatively Easy way to change the vertex normals on a 3d model, simply by defining groups of polygons that should shade smoothly.

A 3d editing program like gmax or 3ds max can store multiple of these vertex normals per vertex, this is really cool as it means you can easily edit the models as you see fit and still get the perfect shading you want. When it comes to model formats for games, like the md3 and glm format Jedi Academy - things get a little less comfortable.

Both formats can only store a single vertex normal per vertex. Let's take a look at these vertex normals:

Each Line represents a vertex normal, as you can see - we have 2 lines per vertex on the right cylinder and 3 lines on each vert on the left cylinder.
When you export these models to md3, the exporter splits the vertices once per vertex normal, so the vertex count of the model on the right DOUBLES and the vertex count of the model on the left TRIPLES after export.

If we wanted the model to export without increasing the vertex count - we would need to do something like this:

While this gives us only one vertex normal per vertex, it comes at a horrible price - our cylinder now looks like a blob and no longer resembles what we want to have at all.

This is why you are getting so many additional vertices - your model looks like a disco ball, no edges are smoothed and so everything gets split up on export.

if you want to retain this look and still have the model usable ingame - you will need to seperate it into multiple submeshes.

It is worth noting that the same applies to UV coordinates. MD3 and GLM Models can only store one set of texture coordinates per vertex while gmax and other 3d modeling programs can store way, way more than that. So you will also get multiplied vertices on uv seams, as a UV Seam is nothing but a vertex with mroe than one set of texture coordinates. As you can see here:


Hope this helps you to understand the concept 😉

ooeJack likes this
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  • 2 weeks later...



Thanks a lot, to be honest i did not understood everything but hopefully i will learn more about that by watching different tutorials.

To solve my problem i separated my saber into 2 objects and its now working properly.


Also, i had another problem where some parts of my saber where invisible, but not in modview, only in-game. the cause was some inverted faces in the editor, i simply used a "flip normal" modifier.

I should also recommand getting rid of gmax, some old tutorial are explaining how to use it, but really it is not ideal, you are better getting the last version of blender with the GLM import/export plugin.

import a saber that is working properly and use the same proprieties to create your own.


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