How to Export Your Farming Simulator Mod from Blender

By Jason van Gumster, Christian Ammann

Blender is a great 3D content creation program. It’s very powerful, lightweight, free, and open source. If you’re just getting started with Farming Simulator modding, Blender is a low-cost way to get your feet wet without being concerned that you’ll blow through a 30-day free trial period. GIANTS Software maintains an I3D exporter add-on for Blender.

Installing the I3D exporter add-on

An installer simplifies the process of getting the add-on to appear in Blender. You just run the installer executable, assuming you’re using Windows. You can find the installer in the sdk folder where Farming Simulator is installed on your computer (or your Downloads folder if you have the latest version from the GDN). The filename of the installer should be something like blender_i3d_export_6.0.0.exe.

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If the installer can find where you have Blender installed, it shows it as a checkbox option in the installer window. If you have multiple versions of Blender installed, you can even pick which ones you want to install the add-on. Click the Install button and when the installer finishes, it pops up a dialog to let you know installation was successful.

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To enable the add-on within Blender, start Blender and go to User Preferences (File→User Preferences or use the Ctrl+Alt+U hotkey combination). In the Addons section, go to the Game Engine category. You should see an add-on named GIANTS I3D Exporter Tools. Click the triangular icon to the left of the name to expand it and see more information about the add-on, including buttons for documentation and bug reporting.

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Enable the GIANTS I3D Exporter Tools add-on by clicking the checkbox to the far right of its name in User Preferences. For convenience, you may also want to click the Save User Settings button at the lower left of User Preferences. That way, the add-on is automatically enabled whenever you start Blender and you don’t have to manually enable the add-on every time you want to use it.

Exporting your mod

With the GIANTS I3D Exporter Tools add-on installed and enabled in Blender, you can finally get your scene ready for GIANTS Editor. The GIANTS exporter is very different from most exporters in Blender. It doesn’t appear in the File→Export menu.

Instead, look to the far right of the Info editor’s header (typically at the top of the Blender window) to see the text that reads GIANTS I3D. Click that text and click I3D Exporter from the menu that appears. In the 3D View’s Properties region, a GIANTS I3D Exporter panel appears. There are two subsections:

  • Export: The subpanels in the Export section contain options relevant to the overall export process, including the ability to choose the types of objects to export and your export filename.

  • Attributes: The Attributes section gives a series of options pertaining to the current active object, much like the Attributes panel in GIANTS Editor.

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For the most part, you should be fine with the default settings. At the bottom of the Export section are two buttons: Export All and Export Selected. The former exports your whole Blender scene into an I3D file, whereas the latter only exports the current selected objects. In either case, the default behavior exports to an I3D file that shares the same name as your .blend file.

The Blender exporter add-on doesn’t currently support all the features of the I3D format. Animations and vertex weighting, in particular, don’t currently work.