1st off you will need a few programs to make and transfer the meshes.
They are; User.Interface.Xm.tool, Deep Exploration, 3D Studio Max, and WinXip.
Note : These aren't the ONLY tools you have to use to do each step.
To start off with you should know the basics about meshing. This is not a tutorial on how to make a pretty mesh.
Personally I don't like 3DSMax at all. So I use Lightwave 3D to make my models. If you use a different program to mesh the object you will want to save it as an .obj file with the faces pointed towards the camera. (IE if you're making a cellwall then all of the faces would be pointed in.)
Editing the Mesh in 3DS Max
With you're mesh near completion there are a few final steps you need to do in 3DS Max before converting with Deep Exploration. The first would be to make sure the pollygon faces are pointed in the right dirrection (or wrong if you're trying something cool
Once the faces are alligned right you'll need to apply a map (UVW mapping in max). This tells the dashboard how to tile the texture. Something like the Cellwall.xm or the main menu tabs will have an xbx and if the mapping is set wrong it will look ass.
Hit the M key to bring up Material editor. In Blinn Basic Paramiters there should be a gray box (not rectangle) by the word diffuse. Click it and another box should pop up. It has a red X through it in the pic below. The box that pops up is the map browser. At the top of it there should be an option for Bitmap. Click it and navagate to any pic you'd like.
Note : The pic used in 3DS does not have to be the pic used in the dash although they will need to be same size in pixels if ya dont want to distort the nice mapping you just made.Material EditorMap Browser
In order to see your Map displayed on the mesh you need to do a couple more things. the first one will be done in the material editor box. After you selected the bitmap you wanted it should be displayed on the top left box. You will need to click the "show map in veiw point" button. (it has a red circle around it in the material editor pic) Once that's checked drag and drop the box with the bitmap onto the mesh (or hit the apply to selected in material editor). The mesh should change colors. This means you've hit your mark. The mesh turns grey for me and untill I hit UVW map it wont display the actual pic I selected. You can close the material editor box.
To get to the UVW mapping you'll need to click the modify tab (the blue arc thing) and scrolll down modifier list to select it.
Once UVW Mapping is selected you should see the mesh change from gray to the picture. Now you'll need to find out wich way you want the pic tiled. 3DS Max allows you to tile the pic by Face, Box, Cylindrical, Spherical, XYZ to UVW, Planar, and Shrink Wrap. Look at the pic below to see what does what or just try it out in 3DS. You can controll how many times the image is tiled. In the pic I've show what Planar with a tile of 5 whould look like. Test it out, mess around and see what looks the best for your mesh. Planar, Spherical and Box should be all you need (mesh shape dependant).
Now that the material is taken care of it's time to export the mesh to an .ase file. Hit File, Export, and hit the drop down tab and select .ase. Put in the name of the mesh and hit save. Another box will pop up.
Make it look like that then and hit OK.
You're done with 3DS for now!!
Open up Deep Exploration and select the .ase you just made. You should see it in the display window with the texture just how you made it in 3DS Max. If it's a solid color then you didn't do a step correctly and the mesh wont work in the dash, go back and recheck mapping in max.
Hit File, Save as and select Dirrect X *.x from the drop down box. Put the name in and hit save. A pop up box of the .x files options will appear.
Make it look like this..... hit OK.
Now you can check the .x file with Deep Exploration to see if it has saved right. It should look a little more reflective then the .ase version of the mesh.
It's finally User.Interface.Xm.Tool's turn.
Open it up and select the .x file you just made.
Depending on the mesh and it's location you should be able to see it. If not use the Mouse to move it into the camera's view. (Mouse scroll button left to right moves it on the Z axis, Left mouse button controlls X and Y axis and right mouse button rotates the mesh) Make sure it still has the texture and hit File, Save.Mesh.File Make sure Dash.Xm.Mesh.File is selected and hit Open to save it. (don't ask me)
HOLY JIHAD YOU'RE DONE WITH THE MESH!!!
Now open up WinXip and insert the mesh. Save the .xip file and transfer it over to the dash. This post has been edited by PID: Aug 3 2005, 09:16 AM