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Character Importing for Smash 3DS for Dummies - A Tutorial for Super Smash Bros. (3DS)

Updates

Quick Update: 10mo
  • Overhaul High Poly Code download link has changed due to server shut down
Update #1: 1y Addition2
This is an updated version of the one that you found on Google Search. I private/trashed that guide because it's obsolete(meaning, it's old or outdated). So not recommended to follow the old guide. This guide requires to download Autodesk 3D Studio Max because I don't do Blender. It might be on a separate guide by someone who have full knowledge on Blender.

Just to be sure, you have to follow this guide and not dependent on video tutorials anymore as these videos will end up being outdated and I don't want to make another video for 2 hours long.

Guide isn't 100% accurate and will be updated after my break. Let me gimmie a rest on making this 4+ hour guide will ya?

This tutorial will help you make Smash 3DS Character Model Imports. Great! This is not a guide on making custom bones for some sort of custom character modding or porting Brawl moveset mods to the 3DS. Please, don't ask me that.

Before you started, this guide will only focus on Autodesk 3D Studio Max and not Blender, Cinema 4D, or Maya.
This tutorial requires you to have good knowledge on rigging and stuff. I won't help you how to rig. There are videos on Youtube on rigging. If you are that incompetent, well best not to move on and your incompetent mind.

1. Requirements


This is optional for those who don't have a Nintendo 3DS:
  • Citra 3DS Emulator(follow the tutorial on modding the game with Citra here)
  • A dumped ROM
  • A computer
  • NO PIRACY

2. Pre-Start

Things you need to do before starting model importing:
  1. Install 3DSMax 3 years Student Free Trial(takes at least 4GB of space or more)
  2. Install Blender and Blender Source Tools
  3. Download the apps from Requirement
  4. Install Python 2.7
  5. Download the scripts
  6. Extract the game's data

3. Grabbing Models and Textures

There are two options, Ohana 3DS Rebirth and Spica. There are some DISCLAIMERS when exporting the models. For one, Ohana will have broken or corrupted models after exporting while Spica don't but mesh orders aren't correct.

3.1. Ohana

1. Open Ohana 3DS Rebirth
2. Go to model/fighter/<your prefered character>/body/c00 or h00/ and drag normal.mbn onto Ohana 3DS Rebirth
3. Go to Models and export as DAE. Make sure you check Export all models(with their internal names) only. You also have to export textures too and check Export all textures(with their internal names)
4. Open Noesis and drag the .dae model there
5. Go to File and then Export from Preview, change Main output type as .fbx - Autodesk FBX and check Flip UV's
6. Press Export

3.2. Spica

1. Open Spica
2. Go to File and click Batch export...
3. Locate where the normal.bch and normal.mbn are and output it elsewhere. Make sure you only check Export models and Export textures
4. Open Noesis and drag the .dae model there
5. Go to File and then Export from Preview, change Main output type as .fbx - Autodesk FBX and check Flip UV's
6. Press Export

4. Getting ready for Model Importing

Now that you got the .fbx of the character, it's time for you to ready for 3DSMax.
1. Open 3DS Max
2. Go to Customize, Unit Setup..., System Unit Setup, and change from inches to centimeters and then hit OK
3. Go to File, Import, Import... and locate your Smash 4 fighter .fbx and hit OK
4. You have to add textures. You can disable meshes by using the eye icon on the side one by one
5. Save it for backups

5. Pre-Model Importing(Note)

Would like to point out that this tutorial is similar to other Smash titles from Brawl onwards and the way of rigging is the same. But unlike these games, Smash 3DS is very limited. You have to always check both normal.bch and normal.mbn that they won't go over 1MB or else it won't be playable. For c00-c07, the file is limited to at least 100kb or less or it'll softlock or gives you a crash error. So be wary.

Back to Grabbing Models, I mentioned that Ohana and Spica models are different. Here's a comparison:

Ohana:


Spica:


If you are using Spica, you notice that some characters have submesh. What that means is that the main mesh have the max limit of rigged bones. The maximum bones for you to rig for a mesh is 20, minimum is 1. So for those models with submesh, they have extra rigged bones.

Rigged bones - bones that are in use to parent vertices

Would like to take note that in Smash 3DS, the maximum rigged bones are two per vertex. You can't have BustN, LShoulderN, and NeckN rig in one vertex.

Next is poly count. Since some of you wanted to use high poly models, keep that in mind that if the model is too high poly, the game might crash or experience some lag. So try to reduce some polygons with Blender's Decimate or 3DSMax's ProOptimizer or MultiRes.

For those who are using Neos' High Poly Code, always put a sign if a mod is High Poly Only on the title. There are some who can't get the code to work for some reason. Consider making low poly for them.

Also, if you are making a low poly model import, please consider having c0x in it. It's awkward to have a high poly mod that have about 3000+ polygons or less than 100kb normal.mbn published on Gamebanana. You'll only use the high poly code if importing a high poly model.

6. Model Import

Now you're ready! Assuming you have downloaded a model for this guide.

1. Go to File, Import, Import... and locate your prefered imported model and hit OK
2. If it's on A-pose and have bones, try to make it T-pose by using Rotation(E) and Press A to get the exact angle. After that, select the imported model, right click Skin Modifier, Select Collapse All to make it t-pose and delete the imported bones.
3. If the model is too big or small, scale it to fit over the character's bones
4. Add Skin Modifier and add bones. Add all or some bones.

Note: If you download or rip a model without a bone, you're best luck is try to t-pose it yourself. I cannot help you how to make OBJ models on A-pose go T-pose. If you to figure out yourself. I'm only making this guide to model import, not model edit.

7. Rigging

Well. This is the part where many tried but manage to have broken rigging in one way or another. I cannot explain to you how to rig because it's really that complicated. But if you're importing a basic character with small amount of vertices and polygons, then it'll be easier for you to rig. But for alot of vertices and polygons, expect the worst. There are ways to rig, selecting the vertices, use the Paint Weight tool, or lazily port them by removing and renaming bones and save rigging but not keeping the bones support(hard to explain). So I'll give you links on how to rig. Videos and tutorials will take about 1-3 hours to understand.

Basic Rigging Guide for Smash 4 by Kalomaze


SSB4 Model Importing + Rigging Tutorial by VirtualTurtle


DISCLAIMER:
Whatever you do, do not rig TransN, RotN, ThrowN, and HaveN. Remember to have the maximum rigged bones up to 20. If the model has submesh, you split the model.

8. Texture and UV Mapping

Okay! Now that you're done rigging, next thing you do is UV Mapping. But before we're going to use Unwrap UVW, you better edit the character's textures. Since you export the character's texture from Grabbing Models and Textures, you use these to edit textures. So here's a list of popular photo editor(from what I know):
  • Photoshop
  • Paint.NET
  • GIMP

You basically replace the current textures with the imported ones. If it have many pieces, try to be creative with it. I cannot explain you how these works as it's pretty much self-explanatory. Let's say it's a Patrick model from a Spongebob game, you replace <insert Smash fighter name>'s texture with Patrick.
But be reminded that it has to be the same size as the original. If it's 128x256, your texture has to be 128x256. If it's small or big, you can scale it to fit in.

9. SMDOut

Hoo boy. Here we are! Now that we're done with Rigging and UV Mapping, next is SMDOut. But before that, make sure that you installed what I said in Pre-Start.
Install Blender and Blender Source Tools

Once you're done, please follow this video. Here are two options depending on what Blender you are using.

9.1. 2.7:



9.2. 2.8:



10. Finalizing

Now that you're done with everything, it's time to finalize your work.
Be sure to check the things before finishing your mod:
  • Model fully replace with another
  • Textures and UV are edited
  • normal.bch have edited textures
  • successfully convert SMD to CSV and have everything in dump.csv

Once you're done with all, all you have to do is put your dump.csv, your normal.bch, and mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py in one folder (As shown in the video).
Next is you open Command Prompt in the file directory by typing cmd.
Input the command: mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py dump.csv -n
The file will automatically sorted the mesh order and you're complete!

But before you put it in your 3DS/Citra, be sure that the size is not too big to load.
Recap:
  • c00 is limited to 100KB - 150KB (Required 1kb edge.mbn if size is over 100KB)
  • h00 is limited on any size depending if it handles the game or not (May lag the game if use a very high poly model)
  • normal.bch is ALWAYS limit to 1MB. Anything over 1MB will lead to crash

Now that's out of the way, go ahead and test it out. If there's no issues, congratulations! You've finally made a character import! If there are some texture issues, try to check back everything.

11. FAQ

Q: I have this error when trying to export dope.csv:
"Unable to convert: undefined to type: Integer"

A: As M-1 said, this is vertices out of range. All you have to do is go to Editable Mesh, select Vertices, and if you see some vertices outside the model, select those and hit delete.


Q: HELP! I got this error on mbn tool:
Traceback (most recent call last):

  File "C:\Users\User\Desktop\bigermbn\mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py", line 303, in 

    writeSByte(f,int(float(vp)/0.007874))

  File "C:\Users\User\Desktop\bigermbn\mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py", line 44, in writeSByte

    file.write(struct.pack("b", val))

struct.error: byte format requires -128 <= number <= 127


A: That error is basically UV out of range. All you have to do it is move the polygon inside the box on UV Editor(Unwrap UVW). Make sure that you check every single mesh if they are inside the box or not.



However, there's this error:
Traceback (most recent call last):

  File "C:\Users\User\Desktop\bigermbn\mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py", line 345, in 

    
writeSByte(f,int(float(vp)*127))

  File "C:\Users\User\Desktop\bigermbn\mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py", line 51, in writeSByte

    file.write(struct.pack("b", val))

struct.error: byte format requires -128 <= number <= 127


which believes to be a normals issue. The solution is import the model through Noesis, export it as FBX, and go back to Blender or whatever.

Q: I got this error:
TransN is not in the table
Is is okay?
A: No. Make sure that you don't let other vertices rigged to TransN. If you ignore it, the game will froze.

Q: Game froze/crash on Stage Selection. What's the cause of the problem?
A: Your model might be corrupted or UI issue. If it's the UI, better delete that and open the game without it.

Q: Game froze/crash ingame. What's the cause of the problem?
There are many possible ways to make the game freeze/crash:
1. You use the wrong script
2. File is over 1MB. It has to be less than 1MB(You figure out yourself to make it lower)
3. Rig Limit for cXX.
4. Wrong files

Q: When I try to import a OBJ format, it doesn't show on 3DSMax. HELP!
A: Go to Noesis and then export as FBX.

Q: HELP!
Traceback (most recent call last):

  File "C:\Users\User\Desktop\bigermbn\mbnMaker20XX_Bone.py", line 310, in 

    for vp in p.boneIDs[v]:

IndexError: list index out of range

A: There's one or more vertices that you didn't rigged. Go back to 3DSMax and rig it.

Q: HELP! I GOT THIS ERROR!
--Runtime error: Skin need to be selected and in the modifier panel
Skin:Skin

A: Make sure that Skin should be at the top of the modifier list.

Q: Why some meshes are too blocky?
A: Messed up normals. Use Edit Normals or you could use Removed Doubles in Blender.

Q: When I use mbnMaker20xx_Bone.py dump.csv -n, it doesn't sorted out!
A: Again, make sure you name the rest of the meshes to #:0 if it's normal or #:1 if it's submesh. Look at the example here and understand(Those are Peach's meshes with a mix of Ohana and Spica).

Q: I cannot get 3DS Max. I don't want to use Student Trial. I don't want it to know my school and call it for this. Can you link me a pirated copy?
A: NO. You HAVE to get the 3 Years Student Trial Version if you want to do some model importing. If you don't want to, good luck doing Blender or find someone who user Blender for model importing.


Q: I don't have space. Any version that fits on my computer/laptop/tablet?
A: I'm afraid not. If you wanted to do this, you need to have a bigger space. I suggest you buy an External Hard Drive or install a bigger hard disk for your computer(by purchase it and install it with a technician). As for computer tablet, just use a PC.


Q: I'm sorry if I'm using Blender 2.8 but doing the SMDOut part is the same. But instead of getting other meshes, I only got Combined.smd. How can I export other meshes?
A: Here's a quick fix if you only get Combined.smd



There are plenty of questions. But I'll try to update it once there's more problems. Enjoy!
  • JoeFilms avatar
    JoeFilms Joined 2y ago
    Offline
    345 points Ranked 53,591st
    4mo
    Hey there,
    I'm a bit confused. I was following the tutorial pretty well until the very end. Where do the normal.mbn and edge.mbn come from? Are those suposed to come from the dump.csv?
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, haha.
    Bananite
    URL to post:
  • SariaOfTheKokiri avatar
    SariaOfTheKokiri Joined 2y ago
    Playing Ocarina
    1,283 points Ranked 24,032nd
    5mo
    Quick question! Does this support animated textures, such as those for the faces?
    The Sage of the Forest
    URL to post:
  • TuTiuTe avatar
    TuTiuTe Joined 12mo ago
    Offline
    10mo
    hello, I was wondering If it's possible to do edit the 3d model of trophies? they don't use mbn files just BCH files. Is there a BCH maker or something? I can only edit textures on ohana 3ds
    Bananite
    URL to post:
  • how do you get the 3 year free trial for 3ds max?
    Bananite
    URL to post: