One of the great new features of STK 11.5 is the ability to enhance models with glTF textures that provide higher resolution graphics and reflective surface mapping. With this cool new capability now available, it begs the question of how to create and update models to this new standard? This article is meant to provide all of the necessary materials required to get started in this process; however, this is not meant to be a full-fledged tutorial on the subject. If you follow the steps below, you will be on your way to creating your own custom models with astounding graphics.
- Download Blender 2.79b and Visual Studio Code (Not Visual Studio). Blender can be downloaded here and VS Code can be downloaded here. Install both applications on your machine and make sure they are working properly. If a newer version of Blender is available it is still recommended to use version 2.79b, as the interface is expected to completely change for version 2.80 and the required plugins have not been tested with the new version.
- Open Blender and install the Blender glTF Exporter. To do this you will need to go to File -> User Preferences and then go to the Add-ons tab. There is an “Install Add-on from File” options at the bottom. These steps are also shown in the images below.
When you choose the install from file option it will ask you to choose a file. You want to navigate to the glTF Exporter folder (that you already downloaded) and load the file from the following path: glTF-Blender-IO-master\glTF-Blender-IO-master\addons\io_scene_gltf2/_init_.py
Once installed, you will see new exporting options for .glb and .glTF formats, which can found from the File- > Export menu as shown below.
- To get started in Blender it is recommended to load in the default model, Default_GLTF_2.0_for_STK-11.5.blend, which came with the glTF Exporter download. When you open the file, you will notice shading controls located in the bottom middle of the screen, as shown below. These are the controls required to make very basic textures that reflect light.