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Overview

Getting art assets from your Digital Content Creation Tool (DCC), like Photoshop, 3dsMax, Maya or Cinema 4D into CRYENGINE is very straightforward.

You can either export 3D assets as .fbx files and import them via the build in fbx Importer, or you export them directly to the proprietary .cgf format from 3ds Max and Maya via a special CryExporter plugin. 
Inside the DCC Tool, you can set up geometry, materials, physics, hierarchies, animations and many more things, which will be taken into account during the export procedure and will be transferred into CRYENGINE's format (.cgf, .chr, .cga,...).

2D assets are stored in .tif format inside your image processing tool and can then be converted by the Resource Compiler (RC) into en engine specific 3D Format (.dds). Specifics for the Resource compiler are stored in annotations, which are an extension of the standard .tiff format.

Below you can find more information about the pipelines and the future changes.

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Further topics

High Level Art Pipeline

On a High Level, 2D and 3D assets will be compiled with the Resource Compiler into an engine specific format which can be understood by CRYENGINE (.cgf). 
These files can than be further optimized for better performance or as a preparation for a specific platform:

Static 3D Asset Pipeline - Legacy

Currently, you need to set up all the information defining an object, within a 3D Digital Content Creation Tool (DCC Tool), like Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya. This additional info is being exported via an exporter, specifically written for these tools. In the future, this setup is moved over to CRYENGINE Sandbox, to open the pipeline to more modeling packages. Below you can see an overview of the settings for static assets, which you control within the DCC Tool. 

3D Assets - Setup in DCC Tool
  • Asset structure
  • 3D rendering mesh
  • Pivot position
  • Scaling information
  • Vertex colors
  • Material setup
  • Hierarchical structures
  • Helper nodes
  • Level Of Detail (LOD)
  • Occlusion properties
  • Physical Properties
  • Collision Mesh
  • Breakability setup
  • Bending properties for vegetation
  • Skeletons
  • Weighting to skeletons

All the information above, except the material setup, is currently done exclusively in the DCC tool. 
The material setup within the DCC Tool contains, associating polygons with material names, shader & physical info (as they are stored in the .cgf).
Final tweaking of materials (Textures, Shaders, Material Type) happens in the Material Editor.

In the future, the .fbx pipeline will allow to move the setup to into Sandbox and enables you to use the DCC Tool of your choice.

Static 3D Asset Pipeline - Future Development

In the future, it is planned to simplify the pipeline for static assets even further by supporting .fbx as an intermediate format for the Resource Compiler.
This will enable you to export directly from the DCC Tool of your choice, as long as it exports into the .fbx format.
The resulting .cgf files can then again be put through the Resource Compiler for an additional (optional) optimization pass:

Animated 3D Asset Pipeline

Skeletons, hierarchies are animated in the DCC tool and written to intermediate files. They are compressed and optimized before they go into the engine. There are two existing file formats for animations: .anm and .i_caf/.caf. ANM is for hierarchical animations like on vehicles, and I_CAF/CAF is for skeleton animations, with a weighted polygonal skin.

2D Asset Pipeline

CRYENGINE can handle the .dds and .tif (with annotations) texture formats for the ingame materials.
You can either choose to directly assign a .dds file or use a special version of the TIFF format that is written with the CryTIF plugin. The Resource Compiler uses the metadata in the .tif file to convert the texture into the correct target format. This is especially useful if you need to output to several platforms, with different target file formats.

You can use any 2D image processing tool to create your textures for CRYENGINE as long as it can export .tif format with annotations. If you are using Adobe Photoshop, you can use the CRYTIF Plugin to add these annotations to your .tif file.  (click HERE for learn how to to add annotations without Photoshop). 

The RC will use the annotations to convert your .tif files into an engine specific format (.dds), which then can be used directly in CRYENGINE.
If you assign a .tif file to a material inside the Material Editor, CRYENGINE will automatically convert the .tif into a .dds.

The .dds files can be optimized with the RC further to improve performance on various platforms or prior to release:

1 Comment

  1. needs info about point caches: high level description, usage, file format