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ScreaminAbdabs

Problems exporting from Blender 2.79b to Cities Skylines

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Hi,

I am having problems exporting my 1st model from Blender 2.79b into city skylines. I have followed various you tube tutorials and have prepared the model as follows.

UV unwrapped.

Created a basic texture and saved as building_d (model is building.fbx)

Have set the model origin to the base of the object

Have set transform, Rotation and Scale with Location,Rotation and Scale all ticked.

On fbx export I have 2 options FBX 7.4 binary and FBX 6.1 Ascii, I select FBX 7.4 binary.

In main I have selected objects ticked and a scale of 800, apply scale is all local, forward is -Z forward and up is Y up.

However, in all the videos I have seen the Apply transform is ticked and just says 'Apply Transform' in 2.79b it is marked !Experimental! Apply Transform ...

In Geometry I have Apply Modifiers and Use Modifiers Render Setting ticked, smoothing is set to Normals Only, loose edges is unticked as is tangent space.

In armatures both only deform bones and add leaf bones are unticked. Primary Bone is Y  axis, Secondary is X axis and Armature is Null.

For Animation I have all options ticked and have no idea if this is needed or not.

My problem is that when I try and import the model into the Asset Editor in City Skylines I can see the file, but when I click on it there is no picture and I cannot import.

Clearly I have goofed somewhere, but I do not know where.

The UV map has separate non-overlapping islands.

The model is made up of quads and triangles only and had 225 tris (a bit over the recommendation, prob due to its curved roof). If I can get this thing into the game I will be adding a simplified lod.

I have uploaded the .blend file.

Have I goofed in the model, can City skylines accept quads or do all faces have to be triangles? The videos make no mention of this.

Have I goofed on the export? Or is there an issue with the fact that 2.79b has marked the Apply Transform as !Experimental!

Hope someone can suggest, thanks in advance

 

 

 

building.blend

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You have two objects in your scene the building and a large plane underneath that is a separate object.  Everything must be one object. I have deleted the plane and exported the model ok. If you want the ground plane with the building then in object mode select the building, hold shift and select the plane. Then hit Ctrl j to join them as one object. It should export ok now. See pictures. Remember that only one side of the face will display the texture that is why on the second picture your wall becomes see-through. To resolve this select the faces of the wall select shift d (to duplicate the faces then hit w and select "flip normals"

I have my scale set to 1 but that all depends on the set-up of your blender scene. 1 works for me 800 may work for you. try it and see. You'll soon know if 800 is too big. I'm sure there is a video about setting-up the units for Cities Skylines but I can't remember where.

 

Edit. just realized that you will be using the "mirror" modifier....duh..

 

bilding1.JPG.db54e5c449b088df745fdbba20abee39.JPG

 

building2.JPG.b9de3d0dcda708dfbe68e7c6ddd335e0.JPG

5aef4b5a74a90_setting1.JPG.9a2a05a225e8022425d26c8bc1275e9e.JPG

5aef4bb3688de_settings2.JPG.c337508a0b9c8ffa3266db59fa3f7108.JPG

 

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I'm still in 2.77 (keep forgetting to update), so my settings are a bit different. But I need to tick "Tangent Space" for things to work. I also tick "Apply Transform" which is labelled as !EXPERIMENTAL! for me as well. Could be "Tangent Space" missing for you.

Oh, and overlapping UVs are fine for Cities: Skylines if you have something using the exact same texture. I do it all the time as it lets me save some space so I can have a little sharper textures. It's even fine to have them stick out over the sides (if the texture repeats and it looks good ofc) - the only time that's an issue is with the LOD models. They can't have UVs outside the texture area, then they get all dark and reflective. :P

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56 minutes ago, Avanya said:

the only time that's an issue is with the LOD models. They can't have UVs outside the texture area, then they get all dark and reflective. :P

All LOD textures get combined into an atlas texture. (per prefab type) It gets generated on load.

What you saw was the texture of some other LOD, because it was beside it on the atlas.

Here's how it looks:

SOA4YNP.jpg

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  • Original Poster
  • Posted (edited)

    Many thanks for the replies. I can't believe what I have done, but I uploaded the wrong version of the file!  :???:

    This is the one I am having issues with. So sorry about that. I have just tried to import the .fbx back into blender and it just wont do it, so have attached that as well.

    building.blend

    building.fbx


      Edited by ScreaminAbdabs  

    added .fbx file

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  • Original Poster
  • Posted (edited)

    Hmm This is odd.

    Having realized that I posted the wrong file (really sorry about that) , but seeing that mntoes could import it I tried to do so with that file, result? It fails.  Sadly ticking Tangent space has no effect.

    This suggests that I have something wrong with the export parameters rather than the building itself. I can import that half building .fbx back into blender, but cannot import it into City Skylines. I have attached my fbx for the half building.

    Can someone try and import it into City Skylines? If it works for you then I really am stuck.

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong when I try and import into City Skylines? I Start the asset ed, select new, select monument, select a monument - such as the observatory - this gives me the files to import and the click the required file, building2.fbx in this case.

    This causes loading to appear v briefly in the right window but nothing else.

    building2.fbx


      Edited by ScreaminAbdabs  

    missed tangent space info.

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    Your FBX contains a camera and a lamp. Make sure to delete them before export, or select the object you want and export only the selected object.

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  • Original Poster
  • 18 minutes ago, Ronyx69 said:

    Your FBX contains a camera and a lamp. Make sure to delete them before export, or select the object you want and export only the selected object.

    Thank you! That was the problem all along. I had assumed that these were not 'objects' , well I was wrong.

    I was also wrong about my buildings dimensions. Width wise its not bad, but its far too short.

    Can someone tell me/point me at where I can find the sizes of various items in City Skylines in Blender units? Better still is there a .blend file of a person available so I can check door heights etc.

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    @ScreaminAbdabs, You can change the units to meters in the Scene tab and you can then view the lengths of the boxes by hitting "n" to open options and selecting the lengths of your Edge Info when in Edit Mode (not Object Mode).

    Units.png

    Lengths.png

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    12 hours ago, Ronyx69 said:

    All LOD textures get combined into an atlas texture. (per prefab type) It gets generated on load.

    What you saw was the texture of some other LOD, because it was beside it on the atlas.

    I knew about the atlas, but I had somehow never realised that ofc being out of UV bounds means being on some other buildings UV. :P

    Doors on houses are usually around 2 m with tall ones being up around the 2.5 m. If you're making a residential building I suggest scaling it up a little bit at the end, because the game's scaling isn't consistent. A tile might be 8x8 m, but citizens and roads are oversized. When I did the houses for the European Suburbia I first made everything to scale, but they looked silly small when people walked into them or you placed a table or a bench next to them. So I scaled everything up a little (I exported at 1.1 instead of 1 - for some reason I've never needed to scale things up by 100 when exporting from Blender despites most guides saying that). That gave the buildings a better looking size compared to the citizens and props.

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    @Avanya, I think the newer versions of Blender must have changed how the exporter works as I found when I exported by first building at 100 I thought it didn't work until I realised that my camera was inside the house :-).  Any thoughts on why they modeled people and props larger than life?

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    @Avanya 

    Hi. I know that it is not exactly based on the threads subject, but what do you mean by "overlapping" UVs ? Does this mean that you put the UVs on top of each other or 

    that they hang over the "eges" in the UV editor space ? I always thought that you have to put all the UVs into the designated texture space (for example your 1024 x 1024 texture map).

    I am very new to blender and 3d creation at all... and overlapping the UVs makes no sense to me, because where does the texture then come from when the UVs are not on the texture map ?

    I hope that I did not misunderstood you and that the question isn t stupid at all... :(

     

    Thanks in advance 

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    @Clus,  Here's an example of a bus that I did.  Rather than use texture space for each wheel, I mapped each wheel over the same space.  I don't bake my textures onto a diffuse map, but make them in Photoshop and then use that.  That way if you have a lot of repetitive elements like you would on large buildings, you can have larger textures that look much better in the game.

    Daewoo_BC212MA_d.png

    Bus UV Map.png

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    @hemeac My guess is scale wasn't so important for them. The roads are wider than real life because they have to fit the tiles. Ofc they could have set the scale so that a tile is 5x5 m instead of 8x8 m, so all buildings and such would be larger. That would mean zoning had to be more than 4 tiles deep though. In the end that would mean we could fit less stuff on a map. It could also be something as simple as props and citizens were made by one person and buildings and roads by another (or a few people for each) and they never compared scale. :P I think sometimes they're a lot less fussy about things than we can be. Like how the lighting changed in After Dark so it was overly yellow - for many players that's considered an issue, but doesn't look like CO feel the same way. :P

    @Clus Like hemeac says it's something you can do to save texture space. Wheels on a vehicle are a great exampel as they're often the exact same. Windows on buildings is another thing that's typically overlapped (for a building with 15 windows you might have 4 spots on the texture to have a little variation). I have a few examples of overlapping I've done to save some texture space. Sometimes you can also have them overlap partly, so they aren't 100% identical, but still share some texture space. It isn't typically something professionel artists do, but for Cities: Skylines it's really handy as we all run out of RAM at some point with all the awesome workshop stuff. So some texture sharing means a better looking texture without needing more space.

    All highlightes faces share the same spot on the texture. This white part is the majority of the building, but isntead of having large faces I did a bunch of small. There's a dirt pattern on there, and by having several smaller faces I could create a little variation, so all of it wasn't the same. Saves space but gives the illusion of not a ton of repetition. This one has lots of overlapping as it's a very large building and I wanted as small a texture as possible.
    0GD0e3R.png


    These areas again all share the same space. You can see I have 3 different spaces for all those large vertical faces. You see a little repetition on this one, but it isn't too bad. You can also see that all the windows share 6 spots on the texture. The roof is a large surface that you'll see a lot while playing, so I gave it a lot of space on the texture with less sharing.
    FyOZZja.png


    This one has shared spaces, but it's offset to not look the same all over. The roof faces share about half the texture space with each other, but because there's bits which are their own, you don't really notice. The walls also share a bunch of space. This one has a large area of wasted space though, which should be avoided as much as possible. Here it would have been a good idea to split some of the larger faces into smaller ones and then use that space. One little trick this one has is take advantage of empty space in a surface. In the top left corner you see a dark square area on the white wall. That's the ambient occlusion for the little electricity box that's on the front of the building. Ofc that should only sho up where the box is. So the area with the large doors overlaps in such a way that the dark square isn't shown,  because there's a hole for the door.
    wLpSdxl.png


    I hope that gives some idea of what I mean and how you can do it yourself to save some space. :)

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    @Avanya    Thank you very much for that good explanation !! :) That is exactly what I did with my assets. I was just a little bit confused when I read "overlapping" as I thought that the UVs were leaving  the designated texture space. I am just beginning with creating assets and using blender ... Anyway ... thanks again ! :)

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  • Original Poster
  • Hi,

    Me again (the confused OP). Very useful tip on overlapping UVs thanks.

    Right now I am having two problems. The first is that my texture is not going into the game, the UV is unmapped and it is saved as model_name_d however I am wondering what format this file has to be (tiff, jpg, png etc). I thought .png would work, but its not going into the game. Is there any info on this?

    I'm also struggling to figure out the different types of texture map. My building will have a copper roof, copper being a metal is somewhat shiny - but not overly so (see the 'Copper Box' in London, UK), I have no idea how to get this into a texture. How would I shade a file so that the result is a semi shiny surface?? Equally I want the walls to be a rough-ish concrete, so will need a bump map but cannot remember what the _thingy is. I don't think its _b (?).

    I stumbled over a link to a Pardox page on this but for the life of me cannot find the thing now.

    I'm also having a stupid problem using Blender, which is I cannot figure out how to align the x/y or z centre of one object to the corresponding centre of another. I want to add a sign above the door, which will be an extruded rectangle. The easiest way I can figure on doing this is to produce a plain, size it and then join the two surfaces. Problem is I cannot work out how to centre the plain.

    Any help appreciated as always.

     

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    17 minutes ago, ScreaminAbdabs said:

    Right now I am having two problems. The first is that my texture is not going into the game, the UV is unmapped and it is saved as model_name_d however I am wondering what format this file has to be (tiff, jpg, png etc). I thought .png would work, but its not going into the game. Is there any info on this?

    I'm also struggling to figure out the different types of texture map. My building will have a copper roof, copper being a metal is somewhat shiny - but not overly so (see the 'Copper Box' in London, UK), I have no idea how to get this into a texture. How would I shade a file so that the result is a semi shiny surface?? Equally I want the walls to be a rough-ish concrete, so will need a bump map but cannot remember what the _thingy is. I don't think its _b (?).

    I stumbled over a link to a Pardox page on this but for the life of me cannot find the thing now.

    I guess this is the best time to test the article I just finished: https://ronyx69.github.io/cslmodding/asset/building/

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    I use .png, but I think more or less any format works. It could be the color mode isn't right - I remember something about someone having issues with that. Could also be more UV maps on the model.  Is the model white when it comes into the game or is it colored in some way?

    Bump maps use _n (for normal map, which they're also called). As for the roof you'll want to add a specular map (_s), which is greyscale. The game is super shiny, so go for a dark grey color. A tip to have it not look like it's covered in some sort of shiny plastic is to add darker patches on top. Adding a grunge texture like this on top and setting it to multiply will give it a better look.

    To center the plane there's a few different things you can do. One way is to grab the 2 top corners of your door, hit shift + S, pick Cursor to Selected, then select your plane and hit shift + S again and this time pick Selection to Cursor (Offset). This also works on the UV maps for a really easy way to place things on top of each other. You could also grab the top edge of the door and dublicate it (shift + D, then esc), then extrude it upwards and make it wider or smaller or adjust vertical position as you'd like.

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  • Original Poster
  • Many thanks for the replies and links.

    The building is coming into City Skylines white Avanya, not sure quite what that shows.

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    Post your .fbx file and texture file again for someone to look at. Are  they both in this format - building.fbx  and building_d.png ?

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    I use .png and make sure that it's 8 bit and not 16. Also make sure that the size is a multiple of 2 (e.g. 512X512, 1024X1024, 2048X2048, etc)

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  • Original Poster
  • Ahhh I think I might of found my mistake mntoes, does the texture have to have the .png/.jpg extention? I removed it so mine only has building_d - no extension as that is what was suggested in one of the videos I saw, but of course they could have had windows set so that it hides the dot3's

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    White means the texture isn't loading at all. If it was some color it would be an issue with the UV map.

    Extensions are shown/hidden depending on folder settings. You definitely shouldn't remove .png if the extension shows for you - then it's turned into an unknown file that no program knows how to read. That would explain why Cities doesn't load it.

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    Yes agreed it sounds like the missing .png.  Post us a picture of your asset soon we all want to see your success :ohyes:

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  • Original Poster
  • Many thanks for all the help, Yes the.png was missing and adding it back fixed the fact that the building was importing white.

    I'm almost there now. The last 2 things I want to do is add an extruded metal sign saying metro onto the sides of the building in an indented circle (see attached). I have added the circle and although this has pushed the tris count up, its not horrendous. Adding the text though has increased the count into the thousands. That's no good for the game and no player would thank me for doing so even when I add a simplified lod. I could I guess make the sign a flat with a transparent texture on it and the metro word in a colour, but this would be flat and look odd on rotation.

    Anyone any idea how I can cut the triangles count for text and still get a reasonable result? I have heard of a decimate modifier, but cannot find it in the Blender ui -and don't know if this would solve the problem.

    The other issue I am having is lighting this thing for night. I want the door, the 2 circles and a sign above the door to be lit.  I guess I need to give them an illumination texture (the _i file), is this just a grey scale mask? If so am I correct in assuming white 255 or whatever, is full illumination and 0 is none? What would folk suggest as a good value for a not overly bright fluorescent light? One final question do these illuminated textures affect those around them, in other words does the light spread, or do they just look like they glow?

    metro problem.jpg

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    @ScreaminAbdas, You can find the decimate modifier under the modifiers tab (ie. looks like a wrench).  I've also linked below to a YouTube video that demos the decimate feature and should help you.  However, you will probably want to put the Metro Sign into a new object while doing that so you don't decimate the remaining part of your building and then rejoin them when finished.  You can separate them by highlighting the Metro Sign and hitting "p" on your keyboard and then choosing "Selection".  You should then see a new object in the outliner like you see in my 3rd photo.  You'll need to rejoin them before importing into Blender by selecting both objects and then clicking on Ctrl J while in object mode.  In regards to the Illumination map, Ronyx69 has already provided you that information in the link he gave and you should also check out the link that mntoes gave, both will be very useful.

     

    Decimate Tutorial: 

     

    Decimate Modifier.png

    Separate.png

    Objects.png

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    The text is very rounded. Seeing as how most players will not be zooming in to see the text, make it more blocky. For example, the letters curve towards the wall they're on. Instead, just have them sort of extrude from the wall, so that the side of each letter is flat. 

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  • Original Poster
  • Hi,

    Many thanks for the replies. I am not sure but having an extruded metal sign might have been been kicked into the long grass, even when I use decimate on a fairly square simple font, say Arial, I have around 600 tris after decimate, cleaning and manual tidying (removing inside faces etc). My main building is just over 400 tris due to the circular depressions and curved roof, and while I could get this down a bit adding the signs gives around 1800 (total) for a fairly simple building which I have to add the doors to - prob pushing it into the 2100 area.

    Do folk think this is an OK count for such a simple building?

    I have yet to build the lod, but since this will have a flat/ simple curved roof with no overhang and no circles I expect it to be less than 20 tris, prob less than 10.

    Oh quick question, can city skylines handle non-connected faces? That is a face that passes over over vertexes without joining them? You can see that I have wrapped the roof quads around the back of the building. If I replace this back with a single quad, I'll save quite a few tris, but would cs be happy? See second pic.

    building1 back.jpg

    building1 back2.jpg

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    @ScreaminAbdabs, That may be a bit borderline depending on the size of the metro, but some may find it high if it is just a 1x1 building.  There could maybe be a couple of options if you still wanted an extruded font.  1) Use just a larger M to represent the metro or 2) Create the Metro logo and place it on the building as a prop.  That way, your subscribers could make the choice on whether they would want the extra detail for their city.  CS doesn't require faces to be connected.

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