A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

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Shadowtech
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A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by Shadowtech » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:09 pm

Okay this is driving me nuts. In the Dark Alliances Mod for Armada 1 available for download on this site when you play as the Borg you can form an alliance with Species 9471 - a species that makes organic ships. The ships when built have a glowing globe around them with lightening flashes. HOW IS THIS DONE? I'm guessing it's a sprite but I can find no reference to it in a file. I've checked every file I can think of - odf, sod, texture, and several sprite files. If you know or can provide a clue please help!

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by MrVulcan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:50 pm

Have you opened the model in storm3d? You can get the utility here.

Press F2 for advanced mode. Press n or o, can't recall. Then pgup or pgdown to cycle through all available nodes. Mesh objects will flash between normal and wireframe view when selected via pgup/down. Sprite nodes are shown as tri-color tripods. You just might be able to trace the sprite name with this tool.

Press F1 for instructions and complete key map.

In a few days, I'll have access to my modding computer and can import the model into 3dsmax: this will definitively show how the glow was done.

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by Shadowtech » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:39 am

I use 3d converter for a quick viewer of sods and storm3d for changing textures, etc. I had just done a quick view - I hadn't tried storm3d yet. In 3d converter the sod appears as a normal sod with a normal texture, but in storm3d the sod appears completely differently as a light source and shows no texture or much of anything. I'm guessing it is a normal sod with a light source superimposed but I really don't know or how to do that if that's the case. Neither program shows it as it appears in the game. Now I'm totally confused!

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by Shadowtech » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:04 am

I apologize,I was mistaken in the last post.

I had placed storm3d in the wrong directory and opened the wrong sod by mistake. (The last post was correct in regards that the mistaken sod had a similar effect and it appears differently in the two programs)

The sod in question does indeed appear as it does in the game but I'm still unsure how it was done (the sod appears normally in 3d converter - with no glow). There is only one texture for the sod. I will explore further.

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by MrVulcan » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:15 pm

I'm still not sure which model it is exactly. Can you tell me which SOD it is?

storm3d tells you the texture for the currently selected mesh (some models have more than one mesh, and more than one texture).

There are two possibilities for the glow part.
1. It is a separate mesh with a different lighting material (and possibly texture). Cycle through all nodes in storm3d and see if you can identify the part you're interested in.
2. It is a sprite node. If you can identify that it is a sprite node, the name will appear in one of the .spr files.

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by CABAL » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:56 pm

I'd be able to tell if it was a mesh or sprite by looking at it, too, if you can take a screenshot.
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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by Shadowtech » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:33 pm

Sorry been busy - life creeps in - lol

The sod in question is "94ship00.sod" in the dark alliances mod. I haven't had a chance yet to explore it in storm3d. Enclosed is a screen shot.

[img]
Image4.jpg
Image4.jpg (30.62 KiB) Viewed 1454 times
[/img]

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by CABAL » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:17 pm

That's definitely a sprite. It has fuzzy edges and is rendered as a plane perpendicular to the camera's line of sight that cuts through the ship.
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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by MrVulcan » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:26 pm

I agree with that analysis :-P

As for what kind of sprite, and if there are several; I'll import the sod into 3dsmax and let you know.

My guess is that it's using the red nebula lighting flashes, and the dilithium moon back glow. The effect is overlayed.

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by Shadowtech » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:19 pm

Cool thanks for the help! I'll poke around in the file. If you find out something let me know - I had looked in the sprites folder but hadn't found anything.

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Re: A1 - Dark Alliances Mod - Glow

Post by MrVulcan » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:09 pm

Ok, so I finally got a close look at this ship. It uses "oreglow" sprite for the background glow. This sprite entry is in "lights.spr"

Code: Select all

#Dilithium Moon Glow Sprites
@sprite_node oreglow dmoonglow moonpulse (40,40) (0,0,0) billboard
The lightning flashes are odd because they are numbered up to lightning17, but there are only 5 lightning sprites in the game lightning1-5 in "nebula.spr". I'm guessing the others simply don't work in this SOD (possibly a bug from when the model was exported/saved).

Code: Select all

#ion storm lightning
@sprite_node lightning1 lightning1 flash1 (32,16) (1,.8,1) 
@sprite_node lightning2 lightning2 flash2 (24,12) (1,1,1) 
@sprite_node lightning3 lightning3 flash3 (36,18) (.8,.8,1) 
@sprite_node lightning4 lightning4 flash2 (48,24) (.6,.5,1) 
@sprite_node lightning5 lightning5 flash1 (18,9) (1,1,1)
The textures for these are defined above in their respective .spr files. For example:

Code: Select all

@reference=128
lightning1	Xlightning	0	0	32	64	
lightning2	Xlightning	96	0	32	64	
lightning3	Xlightning	64	0	32	64	
lightning4	Xlightning	32	64	32	64	
lightning5	Xlightning	64	64	32	64
The actual file name is Xlightning.tga in this case

For the oreglow sprite, it's Mdmoonglo4.tga.

Lastly, the animation is specified in a via the 4th parameter in the sprite node lines, such as "flash1". The sprite animations are defined in "animation.spr". Although neither of these textures are animated, texture animations are defined in "tex_anim.spr".

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