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doci7
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Post by doci7 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:53 pm

Hi. Two days ago (at least, I think it was two days ago) I downloaded Gmax and Milkshape, and all necessary converters between the two. I've made two models since then that are completely compatible with Armada, after having poured over extensive instructional material on this and other websites. The only problem is (well, not the ONLY problem, but the biggest one), they won't appear visible ingame unless I zoom in really far. I'd really like to see them, if anyone can help me to do that. Here's an (untextured) picture of each; the first one is a quick Ori warship model and the second is an original based on a Lego model my cousin made a few years ago. (No texture because I haven't made textures I want to keep yet (that work))

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Post by Atlantis » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:20 am

Have you tried scaling it up/making it bigger in Milkshape? If you do that, then export it again, it should be bigger ingame...

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Post by doci7 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:22 am

Actually, I had to scale them down in milkshape when I imported them, and they're still abnormally large in the game. I really didn't detail my problem very well- they're invisible unless I zoom in, at which point they suddenly 'pop' into visibility. Still, I appreciate the input!

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Post by Atlantis » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:30 pm

So it's big, but doesn't appear at all unless really close/zoomed in. That is odd.

Hmm, sounds like a "lod" issue... Though I've never heard of this happen before.

Have you tried just exporting the model, without any nodes or hardpoints?

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Post by doci7 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:13 pm

Actually yes, I did export just the model with the Aktular (before I knew ANYTHING about the hardpoint stuff), and it did show up then! You're probably right about the lod thing; I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with those- the explanation on that seemed unclear. If it helps, I modified the hardpoints for the Sovereign-Class for the Aktular and the Klingon Scout for the Ori ship (a random choice). But to make things more complicated (maybe),I forgot to mention that I kept two groups for the Aktular (hull and engine) and the engine one actually shows up at any distance! But at any rate, I'd greatly appreciate an explanation on what to do with lods so I can at least see if that is the problem (I won't be offended at all if you put it in really simple terms!)

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Post by Atlantis » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:41 am

To be honest... I'd ignore lods completely, don't even bother with them. I've been modelling for years and I don't use them, lol. Hardly anyone else does anyway.

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Post by doci7 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:22 am

Do you mean the h_lod0, h_lod1, h_lod2? I didn't mess with those, and that was the only lod thing I've seen. I'm not supposed to delete those am I? I thought I was supposed to rename them or something, but I didn't fully understand their explanation. Those are what I thought you were talking about before.

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Post by Phantom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:42 pm

Whats a LOD?


In milkshape the basics node wise are:


ROOT
- M_(Mesh Name)
- h_hp** (where ** is a number)


If its too big, ensure all the parts are visable (if u are unsure in your groups area theres a button marked "hide", press Control and A. The mesh should turn from white to red. Next press scale but instead of dragging the mouse to scale it, tryin in a value in X Y Z. Anything under 1 will make it smaller, anything over will enlarge by how many times the number. EG 10.0 will scale the model 10 times its original size, whereas 0.5 will shrink the model by half the size it is currently at.

You can in Armada specify how big the model is also.

Use the

" scaleSOD = "

then input a value, again for example 10.0 or 0.5


:)


Note. Stprm3D doesnt access ODFs so they'll appear exported size



Hope that helps ya


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Post by Phantom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:46 pm

doci7 wrote:Actually yes, I did export just the model with the Aktular (before I knew ANYTHING about the hardpoint stuff), and it did show up then! You're probably right about the lod thing; I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with those- the explanation on that seemed unclear. If it helps, I modified the hardpoints for the Sovereign-Class for the Aktular and the Klingon Scout for the Ori ship (a random choice). But to make things more complicated (maybe),I forgot to mention that I kept two groups for the Aktular (hull and engine) and the engine one actually shows up at any distance! But at any rate, I'd greatly appreciate an explanation on what to do with lods so I can at least see if that is the problem (I won't be offended at all if you put it in really simple terms!)


It sounds like an invalid mesh entry


if you have 2 mesh groups


you need:


2 nodes "selfAssigned" to the root node (Have the root node selected for each node you place) and have it named:

M_Group1
M_Group2

If you are using a base from another file, ensure that it has no other Mesh locations or stuff you aren't using as it'll slow the engine as it tries to figure out where the missing meshes are. It may also explain why you can only see one of them.



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Post by doci7 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:01 pm

Alright, but if my groups are named "engine" and "hull", I name the meshes "m_engine" and "m_hull" right?...?...? As for deleting the other meshes, I did delete them all (except the ones I renamed "m_engine" and "m_hull"); those are the only two m_ nodes I have (not even any borg ones [maybe that's a problem?]). As for the earlier post, there were h_lod nodes already in the models I used to get my hp's. In Westworld's big book of modding, it says this:

"In A1 the Geometry node is connected directly to the Root node and then the meshes are connected to that (unless you are using LODs, in that case the LODs would be connected to the Geometry node and the different meshes for each LOD would be connected to the LOD nodes) Most of my meshes do not use LODs because they are low enough in poly count that they do not really need them."

That pretty much confirms what you guys have been saying (as if you guys really needed anything to validate what you say). Nevertheless, since there were h_lods already attached, I don't know what to do with them! Deleting them just makes the models disappear even when zoomed into. (It's really beginning to sound like I should just break down and make the hp's from scratch (although with me, the results will probably be twice as disasterous!!!)). Still, I'm quite flattered that you guys are going through the trouble to help little old me! Please keep it up!

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Post by Phantom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:45 pm

K heres a quick run through, a check list if you like:


1)
All Meshes have a "M_...." node which is assigned to the root node

2)
Mesh and Texture name are the same

3)
Textures are squared values (EG: 128x128, 512x512, 1024x1024)

4)
Root Node is at the center of the model along with the parent nodes (EG M_Mesh, H_Hardpoints, etc)

5)
Check ODFs for SOD references and scale ingame accordingly, eg ScaleSod, BaseName, etc etc


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Post by doci7 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:52 pm

I got it to WORK!!!...!!!...!!! I finally figured out what the deal was. It was a lod issue, as you suspected, but I took your advice a step too far when I deleted all of the h_lod's. I needed to keep one of them (specifically h_lod1) for the model to show up. And since there is only one Level Of Detail to reference, the ship shows up at all distances!!! It may still be all black, but oh well!!! Let me reiterate how much I appreciate the help (you didn't get to tell me EXACTLY what to do, but you did make me able to come to the right conclusion!) I have at least a ma-zillion other questions, but for now, I am content. I would like to know, though, if there is a specific place I can go to to download the ships I keep seeing on you guys' posts. They're sweet! I'm particularly curious about the dark gray ships Atlantis has, because I've never seen their like before. Are they original designs? Let me know, if you will.

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Post by doci7 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:00 pm

To Phantom: I think I was writing my last message while you posted the last one you put up. The checklist has already helped me with my next problem: texturing. I didn't know the mesh and texture needed the same name too. So thanks again!

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Post by doci7 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:11 pm

I don't mean to carry on a one-person conversation here, but I thought it was worth mentioning, just in case anyone else ever has my problem, that destroying all of the h_lods other than h_lod1 is not a guaranteed fix. It fixed the Aktular model, but I later discovered that didn't work for the Ori ship. That one needed h_lod2 to be left. So, I guess it's just a matter of guess-n'-check, or something. Whatever.

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Post by Phantom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:57 pm

No probs :)


If you want a basic SOD node in Milkshape


ADD:


"ROOT"

Then assign:

"M_mesh name" for every mesh name/group on your model

Then assign:

"H_hp**"
Where ** is a number, these are your hardpoints :) these are unlimited you dont need h_hardpoints or what not, just assign everything to the root node and its all good :)


Copying another units heirarcy as you found out causes issues when inprinting it onto a new model. If you follow that, you'll have a viewable sod with hardpoints to fire phasers or whatever.

Adding damage and rotating nodes is a much more complicated process though and recommended for intermediate - advanced. Continue to learn basics first :)


Any other questions just ask


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