NME developed by David Eaton, interface by Jonny Goodman.

With the release of the test version of Quake2, two publicly available MD2 editors/viewers were released. The first, MeDLe, allowed the user to view MD2 files (Quake2 models) and their accompanying animations, but lacked certain key-features, like the ability to view the models textured, instead the user only had flat-shaded models to look at. It also didn't have a mesh-readout, hence people like me who always like to know how many faces a mesh has, had to use trust their observation and guess the possible poly-count. Then came MD2VIEW, which was basically the opposite of MedDLe. It viewed the models textured, and best of all, in native 3dfx. Besides these great features, it had no real interface, no mesh-readout etc. It was basically a down&dirty MD2 viewer. If only you could combine the features of both the above programs into one ...

I welcome your ass to NME. NME is a wonderful piece of software, actually, it's quite superb. I was given the opportunity to test out NME (thanks NPherno!) and ever since i was given the first copy of NME, i was quite stunned, i only hope it was available for public download for all you folks to drool at :)

First off, the interface. The current interface that ships with NME is only temporary but it sure as hell doesn't seem like it. The program's main features are easy to access via icons or pull-down menus. All the animations sequences are displayed in text on the left side of the screen and can alternatively be accessed with a simple pull-down menu. The standard play/stop/replay buttons are available on the top-left side of the screen, with a nice addition being the interpolate on/off button, which allows you to toggle interpolation on/off. This handy feature seems to work for not only for MD2's (Quake2 models), but for MDL's (Quake models) as well. Here's a screenshot of the current interface.

Jonny Goodman is currently designing the new interface for NME, here's an exclusive screenshot. Go ahead and email him to complain that his system font is waaaaay too big :)

Currently, NME supports file formats for Hexen2, Quake and Quake2, more than enough to keep a man happy. At this point in time, it does not support exporting of frames, however, NPherno promises this feature will be implemented with a wide range of supported file formats, including .3DS and .DXF being a few of which i can remember on the top of my head. NME also has a must-have feature, that being a mesh readout. Current readout consists of : Vertices, Mapped Vertices, Triangles, Animations, Frames, Skins, and Skin measurements.

One feature that i really like about NME is the speed it accomplishes to play back animations of the models. I was very disappointed with the frame rate that qME achieved when playing quake models, always having to switch back to a 8-bit color depth in order to get anything over 5 fps. Luckily, NME is optimized for a 16-bit desktop and has the ability to play back animations _very_ smoothly, even when the textured window is set to maximum.

Not only does NME allow you to view and export quake/quake2/hexen2 models, it also allows you to manipulate them. By switching on the Scroll Lock key, you can select the vertices making up a model, and hopefully be able to deform the shit out of them (this feature is only partly implemented). You can also create your own models from scratch if you like, making up the frames of animation as you go along.

Judging by the new interface, there are allot of features in the works. Actually, NME looks like a mini-version of 3DSMAX, with an animate button, key-framing, morph targets ... everything an animator could wish for (i even saw the mention of bones in the interface documentation!).

Bottom line, NME is _the_ Quake2 model editor. Even at this early stage (NPherno doesn't regard the current versions even as Alpha's!) it has more features than an any other Quake2 editor. I personally can't wait for future versions of this great editor, i'll be sure to keep you unfortunate folks up-to date with any major new features that NPherno implements into the next release of NME.

Visit the NME homepage.

Email me Email NPherno Email 'the_interface_gutu' :)