BetaCell can be extended to use any
3D mesh format, but out of the box, it supports the bcm (beta cell
mesh) format. This is a new format and it's not supposed to replace or
even compete with the already popular formats out there, it's just that
the current formats have some undesired complications like:
free ones have no visible owner, this allowed different parties to
create extensions over the time to a point where writing an importer
for them is very difficult.
proprietary ones have a closed definition so writing an importer for
them requires reverse engineering from the mesh files which is
formats store information that's not commonly used in a BetaCell
program, this makes them complicated and writing an importer for them
is also very difficult.
The purpose of the BCM file
format is to be an intermediary between popular 3D content creation
tools and BetaCell, nothing more. In this tutorial you will load an oak
tree in blender, export it to a BCM mesh and finally load it in
BetaCell. If you want to skip the blender part of the tutorial, you can
just download the oakTree.bcm mesh file, the textures and skip to 3.2.5.
In the tutorials of
BetaCell we will
be using blender as a 3D content creation tool, you can visit the
bender home page from the links to learn about it's many usages.
figure shows the oak.blend loaded in blender, there are many tutorials
that can help you learn about blender in the web. The idea of this
tutorial is to export this tree mesh. First we must prepare blender to
be able to export BCM files.
can find the export_BetaCell.py file in the downloads section;
this file is a Blender exporter that has to be placed in the
For example, I pasted it in the following folder:
Because I installed blender in:
Once you paste the
exporter, restart blender. If you pasted the exporter in the right
location, when you select: file>export,
the BetaCell option appears.
to export the tree, you must select both the leaves mesh and the bark
mesh (you will notice they are selected because their border will turn
pink) and click file>export>BetaCell.
If you couldn't export the mesh, please investigate a little about
blender and custom exporters.
If everything went fine, the bcm file with the name you selected will
be created; for simplicity, choose the name oakTree.bcm.
Finally add the bcm mesh you just created in the gameAssets folder
along with the two textures it uses (the ones in 3.1.2).