Maya ----> UT2003 Character Model Tutorial
By Sundeep Dass
Written March 2, 2003

Ok, so if you successfully finished the Ragdoll tutorial, you'll have three files related to your character: Your .ukx animations file, your .utx textures file, and your .ka ragdoll file. If you haven't done so already, place your .ka file into your UT2003\KarmaData directory.

There's one more file we have to make, and it's the UPL file.

UPL Explained:
The UPL is essentially a script file, located in your UT2003\System directory, that tells UT2003 where to find your character's animations, textures, ragdoll, player info, and other stuff. To make a UPL:
1. Go into your UT2003\System directory and find the file called XPlayers.UPL.
2. Copy and paste that file into the System directory and rename the copy to whatever your character's name is. Right click on the file and go to Properties. In the Properties menu, uncheck "read only" and click apply.
3. Open up "your_character".upl and you'll see a bunch of Info for all the default UT2003 character models. Each UPL entry begins with the line "Player=(" and ends with a ")"
4. Delete all the entries except for one, which you will edit with your own character data. (also, make sure you don't delete the [public] line at the top of the UPL file. That line tells UT2003, when it loads up, to load up your character model as well).
5. Ok, so this is what the data in the UPL means:
DefaultName="you_character's_name" As it appears in the interface, menus, etc.
Mesh=Your_UKXPackageName.YourMeshName, <---This tells UT2003 where to find your mesh data.
species=xGame.SPECIES_Egypt, <---This tells UT2003 which voice pack your character will use. Your choices are: Egypt, Jugg, Merc, Alien, Bot, Night. Choose one that best fits your model. Apparently, you can also make custom voicepacks too, but I don't know how make those (yet). If I ever do it, I'll update this section of the tutorial.
Text=XPlayers.YourCharacterName, <----This is for a character bio, if you wish to include one. This involves opening up the XPlayers.INT (not UPL) file and adding in a character bio, following the same template laid out by the other characters in the file. It's worth doing, for that extra flava.
Sex=Male, <-----Choose either Male or Female. This will then tell UT2003 to use the Male or Female voicepack for the species you chose earlier.
Menu="SP", <----uh....I'm not sure what this means, but leave it in.
Aggressiveness=+0.25,Tactics=+0.4,Accuracy=-0.1) <----These are some extra lines you can use to give your character heightened (or weakened) stats, if you want. Don't go crazy with these. Look at what's written in the XPlayers.UPL as a reference.

In addition to the stuff listed above, we're going to add a few more lines into the UPL, because we're importing custom models, therefore, our models are special, and deserve more UPL love (I'll shut up now...)
1. At the end of the UPL line, but within the ")" add:
Where "blank" is the name of your karma ASSET, not your .ka file (unless you named them both the same thing). If you are confused, open your .ka file up in KAT again and look for the name you gave your ragdoll, below the .ka file. That's your asset name.
2. You may have noticed, when playing UT2003, that when the default characters fall into lava, the model gets swapped out with a charred, skeletal version of that character. If you really want to, you can go back into Maya, model a skeleton based on your character, assign it some bone textures, export a PSK, add that to your UKX file, and flag it in your UPL. Or, you can just add this line in your UPL:
That means that UT2003 will swap in your regular mesh when you fall into lava. So nothing really gets swapped, I guess....anyways:
If you are going to make a charred skeleton model, just replace YourMeshName with YourSkeletonMeshName. Got it? By, the way, if you leave this line out, you'll crash the game whenever your character falls into lava. So don't piss off the people who downloaded your model; include the line.

OK, so this is what my UPL looks like for my character, Freak:

(broken up to preserve page width. Your UPL should be one long string)




OK, the moment you've been waiting for. It's time to test the model out in-game. Make sure all your files are where they need to be, and load up UT2003.....

Tweaking and Tuning:
First of all, check to see of you character shows up in the player select screen. If it isn't, you probably screwed up somewhere in the UPL. Check your syntax, and make sure you didn't leave out any commas or periods.
Now run a botmatch and configure custom bots, where you add your new character into the match. View the match as a spectator and check your character's scale, position relative to the grtound, weapon placement, animation, etc. If any of this needs tweaking, go back into UED, make your tweaks, then re-save your UKX. Start up UT2003 again, check your character again, and repeat as many times as you need to. Make sure you also check your character's reaction to falling into lava, taking the flag in CTF, having the ball in BR, etc, etc. Be comprehensive in your testing, or get your friends to do a little QA for you...

All Done?
If you are happy with your work, write up a README and send the model off to your favorite model site(s). If you've never written a README before, you should include this info:
Your character's name.
Your name (or online alias), email, and website (if you got one).
Installation instructions (basically document where each file goes in the UT2003 directory).
Model technical info (polycount, software used, etc)
Character story/background
Political Propaganda (actually, no)
Rerences used/Inspiration
A "thank you" section (where you thank me, of course)
And your copyright, legal info. Basically, if the character is your original creation, say "this character is copyright (insert year) me"

ALL characters distributed online should come with a README. Write up a good one. It's like icing on the cake...

EXTRA POLISH (literally):

If your character has any metal/shiny parts to his/her outfit, you may want to add some specularity to those pieces of the model. How do you add specularity, you say? Well, you gotta check out Milla's awesome specular shader tutorial! She does a good job walking you through shader creation. So check it out, because every bit of shinyness helps...


Ouch, so that was pretty long. But I hope it was useful. If there's any bad information, bad grammar, bad jokes, please let me know so I can fix 'em. I hope you had fun getting your character into UT2003 and I look forward to seeing your work.

By the way, my Freak character is actually called the Mechanatrix. And you can download her at your favorite UT2003 model site...

-Sundeep "FunkaDelic" Dass

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