MS3D Problem... Still/Again

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MajorPayne
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Post by MajorPayne » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:43 am

Well looking over the model I see nothing wrong with it except the hardpoints on the wings would be "floating" above the hull. Have you tried exporting to A1 format and using the A1 SOD editor to view the hardpoints?? I don't have Armada 2 installed currently so can't check it in game test. Also as the texture doesn't carry any lightmap you can export to A1 and it'll still work fine.

As for the current no firing problem I've no idea. IIRC theres no limit to filename length but I would still check just in case. If its not the weapon filename, then I've no idea as everything looks fine. Special weapons aren't, if you pardon the pun, my speciality so I can't help on that.

Like I said before though, this would be far easier with 3dmax 5 running on your system.

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Post by jetnova16 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:54 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Well looking over the model I see nothing wrong with it except the hardpoints on the wings would be "floating" above the hull. Have you tried exporting to A1 format and using the A1 SOD editor to view the hardpoints?? I don't have Armada 2 installed currently so can't check it in game test. Also as the texture doesn't carry any lightmap you can export to A1 and it'll still work fine.

As for the current no firing problem I've no idea. IIRC theres no limit to filename length but I would still check just in case. If its not the weapon filename, then I've no idea as everything looks fine. Special weapons aren't, if you pardon the pun, my speciality so I can't help on that.

Like I said before though, this would be far easier with 3dmax 5 running on your system.
I notice that the hardpoints for one part of the ship in the third window (Front/back one) above the 3D view showed hardpoints that I placed off of the model but I placed them using the other two windows and thought that they were alright then. I haven't tried to export the model to A1, actually never thought about that. I'll attempt that though.

Also, I got my SOD Exporter/Importer back from the same person that gave me them before. I haven't attempted to use them, but there was at the time of getting it originally and again a hardpoint file as well. Is that something that can be used seperately? I have it added to the MS3D Program File as well.

I am still attempting to get 3D Max 5 working on Windows Vista. I was thinking about e-mailing the creators see if there is a way to do so.

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Post by jetnova16 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:39 pm

Now that I have the SOD Importer/Exporter that works for non-stock models, (got them again by e-mailing the person who origianally gave me them, but I made a backup of them this time) I have been able to open the SOD file that I made for the Klingon OnSlaught Class and here are the results.

1) The Hardpoints are gone as if they were never added.

2) h_scene_root in the SOD isn't under that name but h_root instead. When it was exported to SOD, it was renamed.

3) The h_engines designation also vanished, they weren't showing in the SOD, but the name was still showed in the model's heiarchy.

4) The same can be said for h_crew.

*****
I am now going to attempt to export the model to an A1 SOD.

Below are the results:

1) Nothing has vanished in the heiarchy for the A1 SOD.

2) The only thing visible of the model now though in MS3D is the Skeleton. No model shows up at all.

3) For an ingame test, the ship doesn't show up at all, as in is a ghost, but it does fire its weapons. It is just this SOD version of the ship doesn't appear in the game and isn't seen at all so I can't even tell if she is moving in the right direction.

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Post by MajorPayne » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:19 am

Right then jetnova. For your benefit and because you seem to still be having problems I'm going to ask you one question. You answer will depends on whether I continue with this. Simple put:

Do you know how to add hardpoints using MS3d and renaming them correctly??

The reason I ask this one simple question is because even though I wrote the tutorial back in 2003 I just tried it myself with a klingon K'Vort BOP that I downloaded and aside form the fact that I did nothing more than a couple of test runs the model itself shows up in the A1 SOD editor intact. All I did was specify the primary parent node and the mesh group nodes.

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Post by jetnova16 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:52 am

MajorPayne wrote:Right then jetnova. For your benefit and because you seem to still be having problems I'm going to ask you one question. You answer will depends on whether I continue with this. Simple put:

Do you know how to add hardpoints using MS3d and renaming them correctly??

The reason I ask this one simple question is because even though I wrote the tutorial back in 2003 I just tried it myself with a klingon K'Vort BOP that I downloaded and aside form the fact that I did nothing more than a couple of test runs the model itself shows up in the A1 SOD editor intact. All I did was specify the primary parent node and the mesh group nodes.
A hardpoint has to have the h_ prefix and then hp and a number after it (example h_hp01).
The hardpoints all have to be attached to a node (joint) called h_hardpoints, and each consecutive hardpoint is added by first double clicking and selecting the h_hardpoints node and then named h_hp (and the next available number, like continuing with the above example, h_hp02.

Some completed models that I have in SOD format and have opened in MS3D have the whole heiarchy tree beginning with h_scene root (typo in my last post with this) or h_root.

I've noticed that some models also have h_geometry with nothing after it corresponding to it unless this is the whole model but that is what I have thought h_scene root (or h_root) was.

To add a hardpoint to a model, you double click on the h_hardpoints in the Joints tab in MS3D and then in the model tab you click on Joints and add the joint where you want the hardpoint to be located on the model. You go back to the Joints tab and rename the joint from "joint" to h_hp (with the number you want that hardpoint to be).

Question:
You did say adding hardpoints and renaming them correctly so do you want me to say the the steps from adding the first joint (h_scene root)?

I have the tutorial that you are mentioning and have been following it. By any chance have I missed anything in the saved MS3D files (I haven't been adding lights, emitters, and plasma streams for damage since I don't have textures for them, and really am not sure if the given textures for some models that I download that need hardpointing actually have them already.)

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Post by MajorPayne » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Okay then. Firstly, all the lights and plasma emitters are already part of the game, so all you need is the reference hardpoints placed in the correct positions. Unfortunately, I deleted the original email you sent me with that ship hardpointed. I wanted to recheck your hardpoints a bit closer but no matter.

Firstly make sure you have primary root node name as:

Code: Select all

h_scene root
I think it might be because you had it written as this:

Code: Select all

h_scene_root
The second "_" needs to be left out. You then need to have your mesh group nodes linked to the h_scene root. That might be why sometimes your mesh groupings might not be showing. If the mesh groupings aren't linked then you'll only have one appear. Also try to make sure that the mesh groupings are named in 8 CHARACTERS or less in length as I think this is somethign that can confuse the exporter.

Try that first and do a test export. If the model appears then all is good. If it doesn't then theres not much else I can do because this is the method that I would use myself. Oh and to make sure your model is facing the right way when you export do the following:

Look at the TOP VIEWING/EDITING window in ms3d. The front of the model should be facing DOWNWARDS.

Oh and one more thing The only real way to check that the hardpoints for lights and plasma vent emitters are in the correct positions is either in game testing or viewing with the A1 SOD editor.

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Post by jetnova16 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:02 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Okay then. Firstly, all the lights and plasma emitters are already part of the game, so all you need is the reference hardpoints placed in the correct positions. Unfortunately, I deleted the original email you sent me with that ship hardpointed. I wanted to recheck your hardpoints a bit closer but no matter.

Firstly make sure you have primary root node name as:

Code: Select all

h_scene root
I think it might be because you had it written as this:

Code: Select all

h_scene_root
The second "_" needs to be left out. You then need to have your mesh group nodes linked to the h_scene root. That might be why sometimes your mesh groupings might not be showing. If the mesh groupings aren't linked then you'll only have one appear. Also try to make sure that the mesh groupings are named in 8 CHARACTERS or less in length as I think this is somethign that can confuse the exporter.

Try that first and do a test export. If the model appears then all is good. If it doesn't then theres not much else I can do because this is the method that I would use myself. Oh and to make sure your model is facing the right way when you export do the following:

Look at the TOP VIEWING/EDITING window in ms3d. The front of the model should be facing DOWNWARDS.

Oh and one more thing The only real way to check that the hardpoints for lights and plasma vent emitters are in the correct positions is either in game testing or viewing with the A1 SOD editor.
For working on the Klingon OnSlaught Class, I had two MS3D windows open, one was the MS3D saved version of the model and the other was a SOD file for a stock Armada II Starship, ironically the Akira-class, had my reasons, but mostly one is the Sovereign-class and USS Enterprise NCC 1701-E had both been replaced by better non-stock versions which at the time I couldn't open because I had the stock SOD Exporter to work with.

I copied the named joints as I placed them on my MS3D version of the OnSlaught Class right from the open MS3D SOD file for the Akira-class so it really is in that model written as "h_Scene Root", I only typed it wrong in the post where it was written as h_Scene_root. It was right in the MS3D file but renamed in the SOD file that I re-opened yesterday to h_root. (I even just rechecked the MS3D file, there isn't a h_Scene_Root listed anywhere in the Joints Tab)

Here is their order (not counting the # hardpoints) (All of the following were copied and pasted from the Stock Akira-class SOD after I placed the joint on the OnSlaught Class, the placed Joint was renamed in this order:

Code: Select all

h_Scene Root
h_Damage
h_Shield
h_Sensors
h_Target
h_Life
h_Engines
h_Crew
s_crew5
s_crew4
s_crew3
s_crew2
s_crew1
s_crew6 (added this one out of place because the Akira-class didn't have this one but I felt I wanted the Klingon OnSlaught Class to have it)
e_plasmalrg
(and after all that is):
h_hardpoints (followed by hardpoints h_hp01 - h_hp50)
Everything above was linked to the h_Scene Root joint except for e_plasmalrg because according to the Akira-class SOD, that was to be linked to the h_Engines joint. (I checked the Akira-class' placement of this joint/node three times before I was totally sure it was connected to that joint/node.)

When I created the A1 SOD file for the ship like you suggested, I opened up the MS3D version of the model that was saved (thus the same mapping structure as above) and just exported it to the A1 SOD format instead, then the ship used its weapons but just didn't show up in the game, it in a way was the opposite of the A2 SOD (the A2 SOD didn't use its weapons but the ship showed up, the A1 SOD used the weapons, but the ship didn't show up.)

Of course, this model didn't have any lights and the only thing that didn't show up in game on a damaged version of the ship that didn't appear (A1 SOD) after I attacked it with another ship was the plasma venting from the damaged ship.

I can send you just the MS3D file again if you want me to.

Additon:

I just noticed and also remembered that the Akira-class SOD file had a h_geomtery with a few other things connected to it, since these weren't present with the Klingon OnSlaught Class, I ommited them in creating the joints/nodes, mostly because in the chart/table that I got from the tutorial that I downloaded sometime ago, the extra parts weren't mentioned.
Last edited by jetnova16 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MajorPayne
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Post by MajorPayne » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:48 pm

Right then. The reason the klink ship didn't show up was because your missing two critical joints which must be linked to the "h_scene root" joint:

Code: Select all

m_glowy

Code: Select all

m_mesh01
Whenever your exporting a model to SOD from milkshape you must specify the mesh group joints, and the names MUST be exactly the same as the actually mesh groups. Without these the model is simply invisible. With them this should be the result in the A1 SOD editor:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/m ... ODtest.jpg

Yes. I know the plasma venting node is out of place but this is how it looks with just the addition I made.

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Post by jetnova16 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:26 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Right then. The reason the klink ship didn't show up was because your missing two critical joints which must be linked to the "h_scene root" joint:

Code: Select all

m_glowy

Code: Select all

m_mesh01
Whenever your exporting a model to SOD from milkshape you must specify the mesh group joints, and the names MUST be exactly the same as the actually mesh groups. Without these the model is simply invisible. With them this should be the result in the A1 SOD editor:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/m ... ODtest.jpg

Yes. I know the plasma venting node is out of place but this is how it looks with just the addition I made.

Knowing that the things missing prevented the A1 SOD file from showing the ship in the game, how come that wasn't the case with the A2 SOD file? I don't understand how one could be seen and the other couldn't.

Will adding the missing information affect the A2 SOD file? And where does the

Code: Select all

m_glowy
and

Code: Select all

m_mesh01
go on the model? Is about the center an ok place?

Can I just add them into the MS3D file for that ship and re-export the model to SOD? Or do I have to redo everything with the ship?

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Post by MajorPayne » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:34 pm

Yep. All I did was find a spot inside the hull. I never used the exporter to export to A2 SOD file format as I never use lightmaps in my models. Its possible that exporting to A2 format might force the exporter to try to read the mesh groups themselves, but this is just my guess.

For future reference I would suggest you add the joints in the following order:

- h_scene root
- mesh grouping joints
- parent node joints
- damage node joints
- venting emitter joints
- running light sprite node joints
- hardpoint joints

Oh and if you need to rotate a joint just link whats known as a "null" joint to it and use the viewing/editing windows to move it. The joint its linked to will rotate as need but not move. Then once your done rotating just delete the null joint and the rotated one will stay in position and orientation.


With regards to the ship. You might have to find out why you have a venting node in the incorrect position. I didn't see a second one and the first is nowhere near where the one you place on the model is supposed to be.

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Post by jetnova16 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:41 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Yep. All I did was find a spot inside the hull. I never used the exporter to export to A2 SOD file format as I never use lightmaps in my models. Its possible that exporting to A2 format might force the exporter to try to read the mesh groups themselves, but this is just my guess.

For future reference I would suggest you add the joints in the following order:

- h_scene root
- mesh grouping joints
- parent node joints
- damage node joints
- venting emitter joints
- running light sprite node joints
- hardpoint joints

Oh and if you need to rotate a joint just link whats known as a "null" joint to it and use the viewing/editing windows to move it. The joint its linked to will rotate as need but not move. Then once your done rotating just delete the null joint and the rotated one will stay in position and orientation.


With regards to the ship. You might have to find out why you have a venting node in the incorrect position. I didn't see a second one and the first is nowhere near where the one you place on the model is supposed to be.

I added the two missing joints and the ship appears in the game for the A1 SOD. I have an A2 SOD with these joints added as well.

Still though, the ship is moving backwards in game. The front part is always in back, and I have tried to change this in MS3D but the ship is already facing in the right direction in the MS3D program, just not in the game after exported to SOD. Does this have something to do with the joint that is set to be the engines or something else?

Edit:
Ok, this is the first time I have tried to use or link to a picture in my Photobucket Account. I hope this image shows up.
This is the Screen Shot from MS3D showing the Klingon OnSlaught Class and the direction it is facing. Its been appearing in these directions since I first got it as a 3D Max 5 file opened through importing it to MS3D.

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Post by MajorPayne » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:06 pm

Okay then. Simple fix for this one. The TOP LEFT viewing/editing window is where your problem lies. The ship model is facing upwards and it needs to be facing downwards so its front is towards the bottom of your screen:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/m ... mage63.jpg

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Post by jetnova16 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:15 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Okay then. Simple fix for this one. The TOP LEFT viewing/editing window is where your problem lies. The ship model is facing upwards and it needs to be facing downwards so its front is towards the bottom of your screen:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/m ... mage63.jpg
Ok, how can I do that, I know how to switch views (top, front, back, right, left, bottom). What do I do to switch that part to face the right way without any changes to the others or the hardpoints?

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Post by MajorPayne » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:19 pm

Try this:

- Click EDIT drop down menu
- Click on SELECT ALL option
- Click VERTEX drop down menu
- Click on MIRROR FRONT <--> BACK option

Everything will be reversed. If the ship is still flying backwards then its the h_scene root primary joint thats causing the ship to fly backwards. The only fix for this is to select ALL the joint. Mirror them front to back and then carefully reposition the hardpoints where you need them.


I find it strange you've set up the viewing/editing windows as TOP, FRONT, and BOTTOM when its default is either left or right side.

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Post by jetnova16 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:38 pm

MajorPayne wrote:Try this:

- Click EDIT drop down menu
- Click on SELECT ALL option
- Click VERTEX drop down menu
- Click on MIRROR FRONT <--> BACK option

Everything will be reversed. If the ship is still flying backwards then its the h_scene root primary joint thats causing the ship to fly backwards. The only fix for this is to select ALL the joint. Mirror them front to back and then carefully reposition the hardpoints where you need them.


I find it strange you've set up the viewing/editing windows as TOP, FRONT, and BOTTOM when its default is either left or right side.
*The first time I ever used MS3D the windows appeared in this direction, and I never changed them since I installed the program.*

I followed these directions:
- Click EDIT drop down menu
- Click on SELECT ALL option
- Click VERTEX drop down menu
- Click on MIRROR FRONT <--> BACK option
and now some of the hardpoints aren't showing up in the right direction and are off the model, was that supposed to happen? Apparently, the Joints got selected and were reversed (see the green selected). (Note: I saved a version 2 of the MS3D file with this change so I have the original and this one now).



Is that right?

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