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Jedi Academy turned 20 this year! We celebrated in a ton of different ways: mod contest, server event, podcast, etc. Thank you to all who have been a part of this game for the last two decades. Check out the anniversary content!

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This game turned 20 years old this year, and it is still one of the greatest Star Wars games of all time. If you're new or returning from a long hiatus, here are the basics of getting started with Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy in 2023.

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Duncan's Vehicle tutorial


Original source :https://io.meskinaw.net/vehicle_importing_tutorial_for_ja.html (Dead link)

Vehicle Importing Tutorial for JA

Part 1: non animated vehicles
by Duncan_10158

A. Contents:

  • A. Contents
  • B. This tutorial is about
  • C. What we need
  • D. What could help
  • E. Where we start
  • F. The tutorial
  • G. How to name
  • H. Troubleshooting


B. This tutorial is about how to bring a model as vehicle into Jedi Knight Jedi Academy. In this part, I will explain that only on non- animated vehicles. The tutorial starts with a finished mash of a vehicle and shows what is to do to bring it in game. It will not treat: modeling, UV-maping, skining, shaders, editting .veh/.npc files or editting weapons. Its only about geting the mesh in game. basicly its very similar to bringing player models in game, you can take a look in those tutorials too for getting a better overview. I am using 3ds Max for modeling, but the meshes can be done where ever, importent are the last steps and they can only be done in 3ds Max. And thats what's this tutorial about.

C. What we need to bring a new vehicle model in game are following things: 3ds Max 4.x or 5, we need that program cause there is no other way to export a model in XSI format with all mashes weighted to bones. To say it right away, creating a model.glm using the MD3View tool, like for saber hilts, does not work. using this method the model has no bones nor is it attached to a .gla animation file. Then, to be able to export the model we need XSIImporter.dli plugin for 3ds Max from the first >JKEdittingToolsJKEdittingTools2JKEdittingTools
Here is the list:

  • 3ds Max 4.x or 5
  • XSIImporter.dli plugin for 3ds Max
  • vmdexp.dle plugin for 3ds Max
  • assimilate tool with carcass.exe
  • Notepad
  • WinZip or WinRAR or any other zipper

D. What could help is the >jedi academy model and animationAnother great help is to use the models and files in the >assets1.pk3swoop model and its .veh and .npc files.

E. Where we start, in this tutorial i will bring my STAP model in game, so every time I use the name >stap
F. The Tutorial (or 20 steps to enlightenment)

1. Open or import the model into 3ds Max, give every element an appropriat unique name. Rotate the model so that it correspond to the 3ds Max views, place it in the middle of the z axis above the origin. how high on the z axis isnt that importent yet, you will probably need to change it at step 8 anyway.


2. Add to every element a modifier Unwrap UVW, with this you can later change the UVmaps without adding a modifier above the skin modifier.


3. Now we need to add all the tag for the vehicle. There are two ways to do that, you can either create them as triangles or import them from an existing model. a tag is basicly an element of three vertecs with a
single sided face connecting it. every tag has the prefix >bolt_

  • bolt_driver ;tag for the placing the driver
  • bolt_muzzleX ;tag for the weapon, you can place multibles, X is the number vor everyone
  • bolt_exhaustX ;tag for the exhaust effect,you can place multibles, X is the number for eveyone

If you create a vehicle without driver, weapons or exhaust effects, you can leave that out or do it and deatived it in the .veh file. I place them and decide later, the other way that doesnt work, you know.


4. For this non-animated model we basicly need one bone, cause of the creating in 3ds Max, we will end up with two, thats ok, later we can use the second bone very good anyway. Under create/systems use the bone buttom and place them in the right view on the z axis. the name of the bone can be whatever. I am using the same bone names as in JO player modeling, there is the main bone >pelvisend<. so i have these two bones: pelvis to which everything will be weighted>pelvisend ;the end chain bone


5. Last thing to add are the Dummys. These are small green cubes only importent for the correct hirarchy, we need four of them. Same as the tags you can import them or creat them on your own. Place them in the origin, they have the following names:






6. To create the hirarchy open the Schematic View. Use >Linkbodymesh_root<.>Skeleton_rootmesh_rootB:model_rootB:model_rootXSISceeneRoot<.>

7. To avoid an error when using assimilate to create a animation gla file
without any animations in our file, we do now a small animation. assimilate dont accept a file without this the way we will use it, so we do one that has no affect, only to have more then one frame in our file.

Move the time slider to 5 and actived >AnimatepelvisendAnimate

8. We have to bring every tag and bone in the correct place. The bolt_muzzle and bolt_exhaust are easy, place them where you want to see those effects. The Dummys in the origin, as already mentioned. Place the pelvis (moving pelvis will move pelvisend too) somewhere above the origin in the middle of the vehicle. to place the bolt_diver is the difficult part in this step. It may, or better it will happen that you have to do this a few times until you find the correct place. the problem is, we want to have the driver in the right place, but the bolt_driver, the pelvis and the Dummys in the origin must have an exact distance relation (A to B, in the pic). You will see in game, if you dont place it right, the vehicle will have another rolling center point then the driver. you can take a look at the swoop for reference. In game you will see that the driver is not in the right place and/or is rolling wrong, then you have to come back to this step, correct it and do the rest ot the tutorial steps again. if the driver is not correct, you have to move the bolt_driver relativly to the vehicle. if the driver is wrong turning, you have to select the hole vehicle and all tags and move them vertical relativly to the bone (pelvis), this to keep the driver in the right place. Importent, if moving a vehicle part or a tag, it must not be weighted, you always have to delete the weigting befor moving and weight it again, or you get horrible problems!


9. Add to one vehicle part the skin modifier, so we can weight it. click on >Add BoneSelectEdit EnvelopesEdit Envelopes
Now we have done everything in 3ds Max, except to export it. Save your vehicle, so you can fix bugs from this point on.


10. To have the assimilate work properly, we need a correct folder structure and set it up right. the assimilate tool and carcass.exe have to be in a >basemodels/players/vehicle_youbasestap_dun<. that folder name is very importent its the same as in pk3 files and nearly more will be of animation file. to avoid compabilety problems give it a unique i use add suffix>_dun

11. Now the setup of assimilate.exe, start it. Open >Edit / Preferences.. Compilercarcass.exe<. everything else doesnt need to be changed.>OK

12. Back to 3ds Max, we have to export our model. >File / ExportSelect File to Exportrootbase/models/players/vehicle_you

13. We get to >XSI ExportOK

14. Back to assimilate again, we have to add the model file. Chose >File / Add Files...root.XSIvehicle_youOpen<. a message will pop up:>
>You're trying to add "root.xsi", which is inherent, you should only do this if you're making a model that has no seperate anim files Proceed?
Thats exactly what we want, so >Yes<. we get back to the main view there is now folder>vehicle_youvehicle_you
This window you will see many times before you find the right seting for your vehicle. first check >Make it's own skeleton<. the scale sizes your vehicle in game centre is where root dummys are.>Origin - Adjust
We also have to correct the >Pathd:/base/models/players/vehicle_you/vehicle_you<. this will be the animation file i suggest we dont change name.>OK

15. We come to the compile process, you can click >BEdit / Build Model>. Save the file as >model.car
A msdos window will pop up. You will get an error message if something went wrong (see Toubleshooting). Hit a key to close the window and if all went right there will be a message that >Everything seemed to go okclose assimilate.


16. There are six new files, but we need only three of them:

vehicle_you.gla (an empty animation file  :))

from now on everyone who modded vehicles shoud know how to finish it, so you can go on your own if you like. But read on the wise man would.


17. For editing files and packing it up i use an other folder structure. Copy the three files we created into the >models/players/vehicle_youmodel_default.skinshader

18. In the >ext_data/npcsvehicle_you.npcvehicle_you<. set>widthheight












width 24

height 32




19. In the >ext_data/vehiclesvehicle_you.veh<. open it with notepad edit three thing: tile>namemodelvehicle_you





name stap_dun


model stap_dun



20. We nearly done it, use WinZip to pack up >modelsext_datavehicle_you01.pk3Jedi Academy\GameData\Base
When the game is loaded, start a map in cheat mode (devmap mp/ffa5). As soon the map is loaded bring down the console (§ + shift) and typ in:

>/npc spawn vehicle vehicle_you
or whatever you used when i wrote >vehicle_you<. your vehicle should be in front of you. its game>
If the driver is in wrong place or rotating not correctly you have to go back to point 8 and try to correct it by moving the vehicle or the driver tag.

On any problems, see Troubleshooting.


G. How to name the file is very importent, in the tutorial i use >vehicle_youstap_newskin>vehicle type<_>three to four letters of your name<_>type of skin<.>
Keep an eye on the community about the names used. To have them unique is very importent or it will cause server crashes.

H. Troubleshooting
This is a beta version of the tutorial, troubleshooting will grow as you help me to find the "problems" of this tutorial, Thanks.

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