Blender DTS Exporting Quick Start Guide

Last Updated: 5/29/08
Blender Version: 2.44
DTS Exporter Version: 0.95

This is a rough attempt at a quick start guide for generating Torque models in Blender. Both the DTS exporter and Blender are rapidly evolving and hence providing a step-by-step, detailed guide is an effort in futility... but I'll do my best. This assumes a basic proficiency with Blender. If you're just beginning then I'd highly recommend video tutorials and the Noob to Pro wiki. Assuming you have Blender set up, the first step is installing the exporter. Barring bugs and the like, this is terribly simple. Version 0.95 (released 8/10/07) can be found here and you can find newer versions on's Torque Exporter page. If you run into a snag or have questions the DTS exporter forum is the definitive source for support.

The DTS exporter comes with a terse readme and an example scene but I'd highly recommend watching Dingo_aus' video tutorials for a quick tutorial. Unfortunately the page is plagued with dead links, so here's a copy of the exporter videos in case the rest of the site goes down:

The video tutorials give an excellent demonstration of exporting your objects, but I'd feel lazy to omit my own explanation in a quick start guide. The exporter expects a specific object hierarchy to be followed in order to parse your models. Once you finish modeling your object you need to do the following:

  1. Give your model an empty parent called "DetailX".
    The 'X' is the detail level size, meaning the display height (in pixels) above which those details will be shown. For instance if your shape is 32 pixels tall on the screen (or taller), the Detail32 detail level will be drawn. If it goes above 50 pixels in height and a Detail50 detail level is present, then that detail level will be drawn instead.
  2. Create bounding meshes with a parent called "Collision".
    You can use multiple meshes of various shapes to better define your figure's bounds. To keep it simple I just add a cube here...
  3. Make a parent for the detail and collision objects called "Shape".

Now in the menu select "File > Export > Torque Shape (.dts)...". Hit "Export" and this will (hopefully) output a log and DTS file. An older guide for the exporter's settings can be found here.

Is Torque showing a gray mass where your masterpiece should be? Most of the fancy Blender materials aren't supported but UV image textures work given that some special conditions are met. Here's the things the exporter seems to require:

  1. The image's dimensions must be a power of two (such as 128x256).
  2. Keep the image with the DTS- it's not embedded by the exporter.
  3. The proper flags are set under the materials tab of the exporter (such as Translucent if an alpha channel's included).

Did I miss something? I just started using Blender and Torque a couple weeks ago so I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions you have. I'm not sure if anything here is novel, but feel free to copy any part you find helpful.

Home Page