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Thread: If only I could map...

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar

    If only I could map...

    Then I wouldn't be stuck sitting modeling stuff. I made this for The Opera but I present it none-the-less to the Cassandra Project community. It's a Sig P228, the first three shots being the "normal" version and the last being the "Stealth" version.

    A little over 1200 polygons and as of yet un-textured. A bit too detailed for the DX engine maybe, but if not I'd be willing to compile it for the engine once it was textured. Problem is is that I can't animate so I'd have to find some way of using the default DX animations like the original TCP Sig did.









    Enjoy and...


    PEACE

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    Wow. Such a lovely weapon, reminicent of the one seen in the HL2 trailer we all (bar Gillen, who betrayed the scripted_sequence for Vampires, burn his eyes) gawked at.

    For all your mapping needs, try http://www.planetdeusex.com/tack/, the greetest of all the ones I could be bothered to visit.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Liverpool. It's as bad as they say.
    Looks nice. Few things you might want to think about though.

    Original DX weapons are mostly less than 400 polys, and the TCP ones went up to about 500ish. I dunno how scalable this is, so modern hardware may or may not handle more polys gracefully. Remember that you can cut any polys that won't be visible once it's animated, which helps.

    The TCP weapons were all custom animated. DX doesn't use bones, so I don't know any way to recycle the existing animations. It's not hugely hard to do that kind of animation unless you want to do silly things (the nerve gas grenade, mainly). Bear in mind that 3ds2DE will mirror everything when you convert it, although you can get around that by mirroring your root bone and then flipping all the polys before you export.

    Make sure you don't have any vertexes touching unless they're welded together. It looks nice in Max, but it explodes DX.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    I'm deleting the backfaces to drop the poly-count some more, but I'm afraid it's still going to be around 1000-800 polys by the time I'm finished. And that doesn't include the hand model or the masking polygons (or do I even need to use those?) I've been reading up on Tack's site about how to import Max models into DX and I think it wouldn't be a problem save the animations. I can model and I can texture, but as of yet no animation skills lie within my grasp. I was hoping there would be an easy way to just plop this model in with the CP sig animations but the model extractor extracts all the frames of the animation frame by frame as individual files... ouch.

    So unless there's a better way that editing 80-something frames of animation individually to fit in my model, I'd better get cracking on learning how to animate myself. Or someone else could animate it and re-import it into TCP...

    Anyway, here's shots of the final textured model. Sorry for the crappy angles, but since I deleted faces it would look funny if I let the front and right sides show.






    PEACE

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Liverpool. It's as bad as they say.
    You need a hand model, because, again, it's impossible to reuse any DX content .

    You can export whole animation sequences to one file, what I did is to do all the animations as one long sequence, noting down which sequence used which frames, then select the mesh and use Snapshot (?) to make a copy of the mesh for every frame, select them all and export as 3ds. If you have a look at the .uc files for the weapons, you can see how the animation sequences are divided up.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    I know you have to chop up the animation for exporting into DX, but what I'm talking about is decompiling an already finished DX mesh (either the DX pistol or the CP Sig's) and then replacing the weapon used in those animations with the one above. The problem with that is that I would have to edit every frame of animation individually since the de-compiler creates a seperate .ms3d for each frame of animation. If I could do it (but I don't know how), it would be nice to take all those individual files each containing one frame of animation and putting them all together again into one file that just has the whole animation. That way replacing the weapon in the mesh with my own would be much simpler.

    Of course, the "easiest" option would just be to animate everything from scratch. I could get the CP arm model from one of the decompiled frames, create all the neccessary animations, and then export it all back to DX. Again, though, I don't really know how to animate. As far as editing .uc files is concerned, that doesn't look too tough. One thing that bothers me though is that I don't think 3DS Max 6 has the "snapshot" feature anymore like the older 3D Studio did. If not, I might be forced into using option 1.

    I'd like to ask though: Who was the modeler for TCP and what did they do? Because from the looks of it TCP uses the exact same animations for their Sig that DX used for its pistol. Maybe there's some option for doing this that I'm unaware of?


    PEACE

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Liverpool. It's as bad as they say.
    You'd have to edit every single mesh/frame by hand, which would be something of a bastard, especially as you'd have to keep the vertex numbers the same for every frame (otherwise you end up with a model that looks like a pile of razorblades).

    "Who was the modeler for TCP "
    That would be me.

    Because from the looks of it TCP uses the exact same animations for their Sig that DX used for its pistol.
    No, I did them by hand. They look very similar because I tried to keep them the same length, and there are some restrictions on what you can do with things like the reload sequences (because DX uses skill points to affect reload times, you need a ReloadStart, Reload (a short loop) and ReloadEnd)

    I've put the animated max versions of the pistol and nerve gas grenade up at http://www.zen13807.zen.co.uk/TCPModels.rar . They're a bit of a mess, but you should get the idea. Not hard to animate using the bones and normal keyframed animation.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    Well slap me silly and call me Susan...

    Those Max files will come in handy, yes indeed! Now all I need to do is learn how to animate with bones. The only problem is that you didn't include the textures in with the models, which isn't an issue with the gun, but I don't have the textures for the hand.

    I'm not too familiar with bones, but should I be able to replace your Sig with my own and have the animations still work or will I need to animate it from scratch still? And even then, do you WANT me to use your animations? They are your intellectual property after all.

    Anyway, I'm going to be busy the next couple of days so this might get finished up until the weekend. But still, thank you so much for your help, FiveEight!

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Liverpool. It's as bad as they say.
    I don't really care what you do with the animations, it's not like they're valuable IP (or even particularly good). Use them, modify them, whatever you like.

    If you link the mesh to the bones properly (I think I used linked Xforms for the rigid parts) then you can probably use the existing animations as they are with maybe a little modification where the pistol models are different.

    The hand texture should be rippable from the TCP packages. The hand model's a bit shit, mind you.

    Can I ask why you're doing this? Just that I think TCP's pretty much dead, at least from an "adding new/revised weapons" point of view, and the DX engine is highly annoying to work with sometimes. By all means carry on working on it, but be aware that the work may not actually be used by anyone.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    Oh! Oh! Such beautiful models! Do you do requests?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    "Can I ask why you're doing this? Just that I think TCP's pretty much dead, at least from an "adding new/revised weapons" point of view, and the DX engine is highly annoying to work with sometimes. By all means carry on working on it, but be aware that the work may not actually be used by anyone."

    I'm doing this because:

    - I think modeling and texturing is fun if done in moderation. I used to be one of those kids that loved to play with Legos, so doing this kind of stuff sort of fills that old gap.

    - It's a challenge that I set for myself that I intend to overcome.

    - I intend on modeling for better engines in the future. I got in on this whole modeling thing a little late in the game so I'm learning how to model by moving up from one better engine to the next. I started with the Dark Engine (SS2/Thief), then Half-Life, now Unreal/Deus Ex. At each step I've done just a taste of work to see what the older engines are like. In this way, by the time I get to working on engines on par with Half-Life 2, Doom 3, Far Cry, STALKER, and so forth I will have some appreciation and knowledge on how game design has advanced over the years. I didn't start modeling until late April/ early May so I'm still a little new to all this. Eventually I'd like to work for the modification known as The Opera as a secondary modeler so I'm taking every opportunity to learn something new.

    - I found the themes and story of The Cassandra Project to be right up my alley as far as new and interesting things are concerned. And as much as I realize this mod is coming to a stand-still, I still feel that I should donate something to it before it closes its doors. And it's a shame, too, because with proper skills I know the DX1 engine is good enough to support something even as diverse and innovative as TCP. Hell, I still go back and play Deus Ex (although I'm playing through with Hejuka's (or what ever his name is... so complicated) mod this time) and I think it's still as entertaining as when it came out. In truth, I don't think the graphics of the engine are that dated. Sure, there's no normal mapping or other complex effects, but it still looks damn good.

    Anyway... Maybe I'm just delusional...


    "Do you do requests?"

    Nope, not yet. Sorry. Like I said I've got plans to complete certain weapons, especially for The Opera. Up next is a Mini Uzi in case you were curious.

    Thanks again for your help, FiveEight.


    PEACE

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Liverpool. It's as bad as they say.
    I've never heard of a worse engine than DX for modelling and importing to, so don't get too frustrated with the tools.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Ill trade ya! You can have my MOHAA and DX mapping skills for your modelling and skinning ones!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    Okay, I've got this thing animated in Max and the polys have been cut as low as they can go. The arm model is in place as well but I can't get the texture for it. I tried extracting the texture from TCP .u files but Tack's mesh extractor doesn't seem to work right with none-default DX .u files and it won't extract TCP textures. I've already sent FiveEight an email about the textures, though. I need both the .tga or .jpg that you used in Max and I need the .pcx image that will be used for the DX engine for the arms/hands.

    Also, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to once this thing is compiled and has a .uc file in order to get it to replace the current TCP Sig pistols. Tack's DX Lab didn't really cover how over-write existing meshs for DX or a mod, only how to add new ones...


    PEACE

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Genn
    Also, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to once this thing is compiled and has a .uc file in order to get it to replace the current TCP Sig pistols. Tack's DX Lab didn't really cover how over-write existing meshs for DX or a mod, only how to add new ones...

    PEACE
    I don't know how to replace current classes with other ones on the fly, though as I understand it, there's a way to do that with mutators. I don't do much UnrealScript and I've never created a mutator myself. There are some projects out there to replace the original DX textures and meshes with more detailed ones by using that technique; those guys seems to post here if you want to ask them about it:
    http://forums.ionstorm.com/index.php?act=SC&c=2

    Of course, you could also manually replace every instance of the class in every map, but that might not be what you're looking for.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    Of course, you could also manually replace every instance of the class in every map, but that might not be what you're looking for.
    Nope, I think not! What I think might be an easier option would be to uncompile the models .u for TCP and then recompile it with the new Sig replacing the old. Of course, that would be a total pain in the ass too since I don't know of any tool that would take out all of the individual files in the .u and leave them in DX format (you know, with all the .uc files intact and so forth). I would think that the gentleman/men that compiled the .u files for TCP would have all that at hand anyway incase they needed to release a patch or something, but it might be too much to ask for them to release that data to a fan such as myself.

    It's too bad the Unreal/DX engine doesn't use more folder-based components... This whole unreal script/.u file business is a pain in the ass for those that want to change only a few things as compared to creating an entire mod/game.

    And as for mutators... I'm a modeler/texture artist. I wouldn't know the first thing about coding anything in Unreal Script.

    Oh, and I still can't get to TCP hand textures... Tack's mesh decompiler doesn't like the .u files for TCP and only exports the mesh with no textures. Until I get that hand texture I'm stuck in a rut. Although, I am considering making my own at this point!


    PEACE

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Sat at my desk.
    You might be better off doing that actuallly, the hand texture isn't all that.

    Don't forget we had to have Charlotte wear black gloves.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Genn
    Oh, and I still can't get to TCP hand textures... Tack's mesh decompiler doesn't like the .u files for TCP and only exports the mesh with no textures. Until I get that hand texture I'm stuck in a rut. Although, I am considering making my own at this point!

    PEACE
    Yeah, the mesh extractor thingy I wrote is designed more for the original game files, which generally include the mesh and its textures in the same package file (.u file). It won't search through all the .u files on your hard drive or anything. So if they put the textures you are looking for in a different package than where the meshes are, you'd have to manually export them.

    Or just make your own.

    I've only made two very basic weapons, and only one that included the player's arm/hand. I did it the hard way by taking every frame from the 1st person gas grenade mesh and replacing the gas grenade with my C4 model one frame at a time. Tedious!

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    I'm definitely going to make my own hand texture at this point, but just out of curiousity, how would I "manually" extract files from a .u file? I mean, it's like a .zip or a Fallout .dat, yes? But I can't just open the darn thing up and take a look inside, right? Any particular program that I can use or is there some other method I'm not seeing here?

    And even once I get the mesh converted to DX and the .uc files in order, I really don't know how I could get the mesh into TCP. But if there's a way to extract EVERYTHING (including .uc files) from the TCP_models.u I could then over-right the Sig meshes and then recompile the .u somehow. Again, I have no idea what programs I could use to do this so any help would be appreciated.

    Also, I've been playing through DX: Zodiac Parts 1 and 2. Just finished Langley last night and left off on the Buenos Aires dock. So far I'm VERY impressed, even if Langley almost killed my PC when I tried to view all of it from atop the buildings. Can't wait to see how Parts 3 and 4 turn out. Great stuff!


    PEACE

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    Try WOTgrealExporter. I think it just does what is available in the tools in the SDK, but it's a much more convenient download.

  21. #21
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Genn
    I'm definitely going to make my own hand texture at this point, but just out of curiousity, how would I "manually" extract files from a .u file? I mean, it's like a .zip or a Fallout .dat, yes? But I can't just open the darn thing up and take a look inside, right? Any particular program that I can use or is there some other method I'm not seeing here?

    And even once I get the mesh converted to DX and the .uc files in order, I really don't know how I could get the mesh into TCP. But if there's a way to extract EVERYTHING (including .uc files) from the TCP_models.u I could then over-right the Sig meshes and then recompile the .u somehow. Again, I have no idea what programs I could use to do this so any help would be appreciated.

    Also, I've been playing through DX: Zodiac Parts 1 and 2. Just finished Langley last night and left off on the Buenos Aires dock. So far I'm VERY impressed, even if Langley almost killed my PC when I tried to view all of it from atop the buildings. Can't wait to see how Parts 3 and 4 turn out. Great stuff!

    PEACE
    You can use UnrealEd to export the textures. What you may not realize is that a .u file is an Unreal package in the same format as a .utx file or whatever. So if you know which package has the textures you are looking for, you can load the .u or .utx file into the texture browser in UnrealEd, select it, and hit Export. (you may need to type *.u in the file selector and browse to the System folder or the TCP folder or whatever to find what you're looking for)

    Extracting/importing files and all that is kind of a large topic; you might want to check out DXEditing.com or something.

    Hehe, thanks for the feedback. The CIA mission was my first attempt at modding of any kind, and yeah, there are some areas that probably could have been optimized better. At least I didn't put any combat in those areas. The BA mission was mapped by someone named Nick (he posts on this board - I can't remember which nickname he uses here, hehe). BTW, there won't be a Part 4; Part 3 will be the conclusion.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: In the Land of Sugar
    UUHHGGG!!!

    I'm spent the past 6 hours desperately trying to get this all to work out. The process of extracting EVERYTHING from TCPModels.u and then replacing the two Sigs with my own and then recompiling the entire .u from scratch has proven to be nearly impossible. I was able to get all the textures and .uc files out of the TCPModels.u but the actually meshes themselves only work about 50% of the time. Stuff like custom ammo and furniture seems to do okay in the export/import process but things like weapons don't do well at all. Also, I can't seem to get the alignment straight on my own models as no matter which way I orient them, they always end up facing every direction BUT the direction they're supposed to.

    I don't know how you guys in TCP did it, but I'm about to give this whole thing up and go back to high-poly HL2 modeling! It seems to me that Unreal/DeusEx was definitely NOT designed to be stripped apart and put back together again!

    All I can say at this point is this: If the CP team wants the model in .max format with textures so that they can use it in the next episode of TCP (whenever that's coming out) they can have it. The low-poly version is fully texture-mapped and animated with Five-Eight's animations. I had to slightly alter the animations in order for them to look good on the slightly different contours of my model. If you guys can somehow get it working I have no doubt it would look great in-game.

    Best of luck!


    PEACE

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Sat at my desk.
    WEAK!

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: The North, UK
    Welcome to our world Genn. Now you have some idea why it took 2 years to put out a demo.

    Fiveight has the patience of a saint luckily.

    I must admit, I'm a bit confused though. I thought the handgun we had already in TCP was sig P228.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: namedrocalypse

    Unrealed ?s

    I'm trying to create new NPC classes, but every time I create one and test, the character ends up w/ its legs sunken into the floor ! What am I doing wrong? What causes this??

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