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SADX Modding Guide: Model Editing - A Tutorial for Sonic Adventure DX

Finally, a tutorial on this!

Before seeing this tutorial, I advise you to check out the "Getting Started Guide" and the "Texture Editing Tutorial". If you already checked it out, this might spark your curiosity!

Hello everyone! 

After many years of waiting, we finally have a tutorial on how to edit Character Models! 
(NyonDX made the tutorial 3 weeks ago, and the community is thankful for that.)

Check out his video tutorial: 





1. Which Model should I choose?

The Models Resource is a great place to find models! 



For this tutorial, I will be using the model from Sonic Unleashed (WII/PS2)!

2. 1. Splitting the Game


Open Project Manager. If it's the first time using it, you have to configure it. You just have to select your SADX and/or your SA2 folder.

Create a New project:



After you select "Create", Project Manager will start splitting your game. This will take around a few minutes to split.

Once that's finished, we can go on to the next step!

3. 2. Opening and exporting models on SAMDL


Open SAMDL, and load the model (0.sa1mdl). Your model should be in your game folder (YourSADXFolder\Projects\YourProjectName\CHRMODELS\___SONIC_OBJECTS\).

Copy the textures of the original game model (All of the game textures are located on system folder. If you can't find the texture you want to edit, try looking for it on this list.) Copy it to your mod folder (mods\yourmodfolder\system). 

If you don't know how to rotate or move the character model here are the controls:

SAMDL default controls for the viewport: 
Hold Middle Mouse Button + Mouse motion: Move the viewport
Hold Middle Mouse Button + ALT + Mouse motion: Rotate the viewport
Hold Middle Mouse Button + CTRL + Mouse motion: Zoom the viewport
F: Zoom to selected object
X: Change Camera mode


Load the textures that are on your mod folder. Now your Model shows up normally on SAMDL!



Now we are going to export the mesh we want to edit. I am going to edit the Head on this tutorial!

Open the mesh on 3DS Max or Blender and edit your model. After you finish, export it as ".obj". 

Open the copy of the texture file and add the textures from the model that you imported. Load this Texture File on SAMDL. Now you are ready to import your model! 


3.1. 3. Importing the model


On SAMDL, right-click on the model you edited and select "Import OBJ". If you are getting an error, try exporting the mesh again on 3DS Max or Blender and import it again.



Your model is going to have its textures all messed up like this. We'll fix that in the next step.

4. 4. Adding the textures

Right-click on the model you imported and then click "Edit Textures". Assign the textures to each part of the model and use this config: 



Now the textures should be fixed! Now you can save your model, but don't close SAMDL!

5. 5. Morphs


Since SADX doesn't use the same model you have to copy your head model! Select the head model and click on "Copy Model". Just to be sure save your model again and open the "9.sa1mdl" file located in CHRMODELS\___SONIC_MODELS\. Click on that head model and select "Paste Model". This time, the textures are going to show up fine because we configured them earlier!



Save this model and close SAMDL.

6. 6. Build your mod


Open Project Manager and open your project. Then click "Auto Build" and wait for it to be finished!

Now your mod should show up on your Mod Loader. We still have to edit the mod.ini file so we can test our mod! Open the mod.ini file and paste the following to the top of your file!

CHRMODELSData=chrmodels_orig_data.ini

It should look like this:



7. 7. Test and play your mod


Open the mod loader and load your mod. Have fun with your mod!!



I hope this tutorial was helpful! 

If you have any questions, be sure to tell me!
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  • saniky12 avatar
    saniky12 Joined 1y ago
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    5mo
    i tried this and it just gives me this error on project manager: sonic.ini not found. Aborting. (side note: i cant use the blender method because my pc cant run blender)
    suck at modding guy avatar
    Mantra
    suck at modding guy
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  • Sonic&Mariofan avatar
    Sonic&Mariofan Joined 12mo ago
    getting zzzz's
    944 points Ranked 44,279th
    6mo 6mo
    Heya. I tried this tutorial to change atleast Tails head to Tails doll.After auto building, when i try to select Tails in game it crashes. What do i do? Is it different for Tails?
    Am I missing something?
    All the other mods work btw. I’ll try doing Sonic tomorrow, just to be closer to your tutorial example and see if it’ll work.
    What does work before crashing is the texture. Maybe it’s the extra line in mod ini you say to put? Since when I don’t put that extra line the game doesn’t crash when I select Tails.But then when i play as Tails his head isn’t different.,Just the texture.
    So I tried to turn Sonic into Shadow and it worked but the head model was distorted at some parts.
    Bananite
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  • Kell avatar
    Kell Joined 4y ago
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    8mo
    This is no longer the workflow people should be having. There is a Blender add-on by Justin113D that lets you open sa1mdl files directly in Blender. It makes the process much faster and prevents any loss of details when exporting in obj and importing in samdl. You can also edit animations with it, see here for a basic tutorial. ^^
    • Helpful x 2
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  • EnderElectrics avatar
    EnderElectrics Joined 2y ago
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    9mo
    Awesome! Is there any way to edit animations? 
    gu-huh avatar
    Mantra
    gu-huh
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  • Getmods avatar
    Getmods Joined 1y ago
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    9mo
    My version of SAMDL has "Import Selected" instead of "Import OBJ".
    Bananite
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  • Mickle Pickle avatar
    Mickle Pickle username pic Joined 1y ago
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    9mo
    my game crashed when i did it
    • Agree x 2
    Pickler avatar
    Mantra
    Pickler
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  • 1sonichedgehog avatar
    1sonichedgehog Joined 1y ago
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    10mo
    is there a something like Project Manager? i cant use it because it has to run with 

    .NET Framework 4.8  


    and my pc cant use that
    Bananite
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  • ToeiSonic61 avatar
    ToeiSonic61 Joined 1y ago
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    10mo
    i hate blender
    Bananite
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  • Mickle Pickle avatar
    Mickle Pickle username pic Joined 1y ago
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    10mo 10mo
    i cant find the project manager folder
    did they remove that in recent versions or am i just missing something?
    Edit: nvm found it
    but i do have one more question:
    have people been able to edit the cutscene head with custom models and have it work?
    like with he dreamcast characters pack?
    Pickler avatar
    Mantra
    Pickler
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  • Ophem avatar
    Ophem Joined 5y ago
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    11mo
    ProjectManager says it can't find sonic.exe, but it's not anywhere in my Sonic Adventure folder. I even tried renaming Sonic Adventure DX.exe to it and it would just give me an error...
    ready to go!
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