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Okay, so I was asked by my friend @resoiz to put 'The Oogachaka Baby' in GMod on a whim. I had nothing to do that night, so why not? I went to go find the model, and discovered through the meme's Wikipedia entry that it came with an add-on for 3DS Max in the 90s known as (2/11)
'Character Studio'. I also discovered the exact filename of the model used, 'SK_BABY.MAX'. Having 3DS Max already installed on my PC, I went to google 'SK_BABY' and found an link to what seemed to be the file. Sadly, I got it downloaded and (3/11)
it opened on 3DS Max 2019 after a few crashes, only to reveal that the uploader was mistaken, it was not the iconic model used in the meme. I kept searching all the terms I could think of for hours, about ready to give up, when I come across an obscured link to (4/11)
an ancient looking abandonware site named VETUSWARE.COM . The download was listed as 'charactere studio . zip', which combined with the site CSS or lack thereof, seemed very sketchy, so I skimmed it with MalwareBytes but it came up clean, so I (5/11)
unzipped the file, and to my utter shock, there it was, the entire 1996 Character Studio pack, released only on disc to paying customers, somehow finding its way onto the internet years after relevancy and the legal consequences of pirating it. I rummage around (6/11)
the file structure a bit, and eventually find it, 'SK_BABY.MAX'. At this point, it had been hours of searching, I was so excited to open it. It crashed Max a few times, as I expected, but then, not ONLY did it open, but I was delighted to find it came WITH the (7/11)
animation that the model is known for today! Immediately, I saved a backup .max file, and then also exported to FBX, I could finally put this in GMod AND I could do so much more knowing I had the animation too! So then, the usual GMod playermodel process was gone through (8/11)
over a day and a half, and eventually I got it as good as I could. But I wasn't satisfied, I had a chance to preserve and recreate cultural history here, so what did I do? I went into 3DS Max, took the SK_BABY backup, and interpolated the animation keyframes to a 60FPS (9/11)
timescale, rendering the whole thing at 1080p from a viewport angle similar to the one of the original videos. Since the whole model was vertex coloured, I didn't even need to re-map it, the model was EXACTLY as it was in 1996. The result? The video in the source (10/11)
tweet of this chain. I hope by re-rendering such a classic meme in HD and putting the model to new use, I have advanced the preservation efforts of the internet. If a download is wanted to SK_BABY, I can provide one publicly. (11/11)
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