Model Placement

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Level editor topics
This article is about Models for use only in the Level Editor. For other uses see: Model

A Level Layout has to be filled by Models, the basic building block available aside ordinary Terrain. Most walls and objects visible in game are placed here with the main exception being NPC's and interactive objects which are added afterwards.

Models in the Level Editor

Models are used to create any other objects that may be used as part of the level art - walls, floors, ceilings, non-interactive furnishings, visual effects, etc.

Model palette IconModel.png

The model palette contains all the basic building blocks that you'll have available to build a level layout with. At disposal are any model that have been made available to the Toolset, even those that are animatable although in Level layout cant be animated and would merely remain static.

Models are grouped into "tilesets" and styles with pieces that share common structural themes. For example, there might be a "dwarven fortress" tileset that contains a variety of structural pieces and furniture of dwarven manufacture, and a "Tevinter" tileset that contains a variety of pieces with Tevinter architectural motifs.

Since the names of these models can often be a bit inscrutable, a list of Models with Screenshots mainly for this purpose is available.

See Model list

Unlike the database resource palette, the model palette doesn't have a heirarchy of folders and subfolders. Since there are usually a vast number of models available this can make the palette cluttered and difficult to work with. To make it more manageable you should set the toolset's configuration to "fake" a folder structure. The toolset will divide models up based on their names, using underscores as dividers; for example the models dwe_face and dwe_orzent would both be placed inside a "dwe" folder. The option for setting this can be found under the palette options menu and is in fact the default setting.

Use fake model folders

Model Placement

Moving and placing objects

To place them click on the IconModelPlacement.png icon in the toolbar to go into model placement mode.

A model is placed by selecting it from the palette, and then not dragging but clicking in the 3D Viewport to place them. The mousepointer will become a cross, if a model is selected. Move or Rotate afterwards with the tools from the toolbar.

A "snap to" option can be activated via the "snap options" button IconSnapOptions.png on the toolbar:

Level editor snap options.png

  • "snap to grid" causes the position of objects you place or move to be constrained to specific points in an imaginary three-dimensional grid. This is very useful when placing things such as floor tiles, which must be arranged in a precise grid in order for their edges to match up correctly.
  • "Snap Z Size Independent" is only available when the Enable Snap To Grid is checked. It allows for the user to specify a different snap setting solely for use in the z-axis.
  • "snap rotation" similarly constrains the rotation of objects to specific angles.
  • "snap to surface" This is only used in terrain levels, and will snap all objects when they are placed AND moved to the surface of the terrain. is useful when placing furniture and other objects on an existing surface (terrain, floor, etc.).

Trees are added using the "scatter object" mode (IconScatterObject.png).

Selecting objects

When clicking on models in the layout there will often be other foreground objects that are in the way, preventing the immediate selection of the object you wanted. Simply keep clicking on the same spot to cycle through all of the objects that are underneath the mouse pointer.

Quick Access to common Models

Since the names of these models can often be a bit inscrutable, a more convenient way of working with models that you're frequently using on a level (such as wall segments) is to bring them into the level's "scratch space" and copy them as needed. The scratch space is a separate object list to the lower left of the viewport, and clicking on it then placing a Model will add it to the scratch space as well, and there will be quicker accessible than from the model palette.

Objects in the scratch space can be positioned within the level just like ordinary objects but will not be exported when the level is exported for use as an area layout.

These three fence pieces are in the scratch space, and so will not be exported with the rest of the objects in this level.

Model file format

Models are stored in the MMH and MSH formats. MSH ("mesh") files consist of fairly simple lists of vertexes and triangles, the "raw data" that describes physical shapes. MMH stands for "model mesh hierarchy" and contains information on how to make a usable model out of meshes. MMH files contain a variety of other information in addition to the meshes, such as visual effects.

See Main Article: Model

Model properties (Level editor)

When selected, the following common properties are shown for models in the object inspector.

Model Instance ID
Name This is the user-friendly name that shows up in the hierarchy window. There is no restriction on the name.
Selection Lock This controls whether this object is selectable or not. This could prevent someone or the artist him/herself from moving or selecting something accidentally.
Visible Sets the visibility of the model. Hidden models are displayed with a grayed-out box in the hierarchy window.
Export to Game Flag to export this model to the game. Default is true. This can be used in conjunction with the Lightmap Export flag to create objects that cast baked light shadows but not display.
Lightmap Flag to send this model to the lightmapper. Default is true. This can be used in conjunction with the Export to Game flag to create objects that cast baked light shadows but not display. You can also set both to false in order to create guide-geometry.
Cut Away Override This allows you to prevent ceiling and upper wall models from disappearing when the camera is zoomed out in-game. If you want to use a model that normally disappears to give the player a cutaway view, but don't want that model to disappear in a particular instance, this is what you need.
High-LOD This displays the full model file name that will be used for high LOD.
Low-LOD This displays the full model file name that will be used for low LOD.
ModelFile This is the base name of the model file (mmh) that the user specifies. For LODed models, only the root is needed.
Show High LOD Controls the viewport display. If set to true, the high LOD version is displayed if available.
Texture Size Multiplier This multiplies the base texture size of the original model. Default value is 1.0.
Location This is the location of the model in world coordinates.
Location Relative
Location Relative This is the location of the model in its parent coordinates.
Normal This property is no longer required
Overlapped This property is no longer required
GPU Memory The number of bytes this model’s meshes and textures take up in memory. (This feature is no longer supported)
Part Count The number of parts this model is comprised of.
System Memory The number of bytes this model takes in memory, including animation blend trees, physics objects, animation controllers, and triggers. Does not include textures and materials.