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Discussion in 'Ship Modeling' started by Armada, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Ahoy modelling team,

    As some of you might be aware, the spankers in both PotC and CoAS seem to point in the wrong direction, relative the the wind direction.
    They should, as in reality, be roughly perpendicular to the wind in most cases, so as to catch it in the sail.
    This screenshot of pgargon's HMS Speedy illustrates this:

    http://www.moddb.com...speedy#imagebox

    Essentially, to get the correct behaviour, the locator on the mast to which the spanker is attached should have the 'XX' value set to '-1'.
    That inverts the spanker model in the X-axis, and corrects its behaviour in-game.
    However, this inversion literally turns the model inside-out and introduces reverse lighting.

    Therefore, the only way to avoid this in future models is to model the spanker inside-out (tick 'Opposite' in 'Render Stats' in Maya).

    That cancels out the effects of the inversion, and makes the model look normal in-game.
    The example for HMS Speedy features pgargon's spanker model before he fixed the reverse lighting on the ship.
    It was already inside-out and reverse lit before, so the 'fixed' model is not used (but the rest of the ship is fine). The same applies to his HMS Sophie.

    This effectively presents a problem: ALL current spankers need to be re-exported as inverted, reverse lit models, and then the XX value can be changed with no adverse effects.
    New models, however, can have this done before release, to save the trouble later on. :cheeky

    So, we're appealing to anyone who knows how to do this re-exporting process to lend a hand. All efforts help to make the Build Mod and GoF more realistic! :dance
    Thank you for your attention, and I hope we can resolve this issue in the near future.

    Regards,

    Armada :cheers
     
  2. smallsword8

    smallsword8 Landlubber

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    Late reply but, who cares xD: ? OK firstly, I'm glad you noticed that the spanker should behave in tht maner. Still, as highlighted in the 'Speedy' photo, the Spanker should NOT, repeat NOT, achieve a 70 to close-90 degree vectoring. If you've seen a ship like the Lady Washington, Ol' Ironsides (yes, the Constitution), and Victory, there are ropes at the port and starboard side of the quarterdeck's stern that attach to the Spanker's lower boom. This restricts the vectoring of the spanker to a max of 50, or in special cases, 60 degrees AT MOST! Attached is a pic of a spanker with the restrainers (dunno if that's what it's called :shrug ). If you tried it with your arms, or you build a working example and try it yourself, you will notice that the spanker CAN vector left and right to a CERTAIN extent.

    All that I can think of posting now. Any clarifications, feel free to ask :dance
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    We have to work within the game's engine, and that is what it gives us. While the spanker may move a bit farther than it should, it is still facing in the proper direction to give forward thrust instead of working as a brake. And spankers do swing quite a bit. Do you remember Will Turner hanging off one while talking to Captain Jack in the first PotC movie?
     
  4. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    While you're absolutely right Toni, and we do have ropes attached to either side of most spankers, I have no idea how we could limit it's vector angle. :facepalm
    They can be modelled at an angle, but then they won't swap sides when the ship crosses the wind, and will be mostly inclined to one side.
    I think, for the moment, it's still better to have them at ridiculous angles working correctly, than at normal angles working incorrectly.
     
  5. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    It's breakthrough time, again: I've found a way to make spankers work correctly WITHOUT reverse lighting! :dance

    Basically, in my usual workaround style, this involves using two models:
    • One, invisible, is the actual spanker, flipped with XX -1. All X-coordinates must also be flipped individually.
    • The other, visible, is attached to the invisible model via a locator, and is ALSO flipped with XX -1. All locators are removed, except one (this can be any rope locator, as long as it is removed from the invisible model; this is because TOOL seems to have a problem with removing all locators from some models.)
    This means that the visible model is effectively flipped twice, rendering it correctly in-game, while the invisible one is what causes the correct behaviour with the wind.
    See for yourself:

    Spanker_fix.jpg
     
  6. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Wow; clever! It does make much more sense if they behave properly and it does bother me when I see it acting up. Nice one! :onya
     
  7. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Cheers, Pieter! Now we just have to apply this to every spanker in the game... :shock
    I can do a few, and maybe Hylie Pistoff could have a go at fixing some of them in his rigging work...
     
  8. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    just got back from the festiviteis. whaen i sober up I will try to figure out what you are talking about. :j3
     
  9. Officerpuppy

    Officerpuppy Buccaneer Staff Member

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    Time to spank those ships into shape ;)
     
  10. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    Been reading this and have some questions.

    How do you make something invisible? Also, do you mean the position x or all x locators like xy, xz, yx, zx etc.?
     
  11. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    To make a model invisible, you need to HEX edit it to use an alpha-mapped texture.
    What I did was replace deck.tga with blnk.tga (which I think was included in one of the patches, but I'm not sure)
    The important thing is that the new file name is the same length as the old one.

    When I said 'all X-coordinates must be flipped', I only meant the plain old 'X' by itself. Other than that, only 'XX' is set to -1.

    I hope that clears things up. Let me know if you manage to crack it yourself. :doff
     
  12. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    The only thing that cracked was GMViewer, TOOL, and POTC. After four hours of trying to get it to work I had to give up because everything wuz broken. :j3 Got them all working again. You're on your own lad. :rumgone
     
  13. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Damn. I was hoping things would work out better than that. :modding
    It's probably my fault for not being specific enough in explaining the process.
    If I post a better, step-by-step guide, would that help? I really don't want to have to do every bloody spanker all by me oneseys, savvy? :j3
     
  14. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    All 120 or so? What killed it was that I could not bind the visible spanker to the invisible one. It always had the reverse lighting bug. Repeated attempts varying this and that eventually introduced bugs that killed all of the programs. Only starting over with a copy from another install got them working again. It was the Brig3, which I just finished and is on the FTP btw.

    Better instructions? Yes, they are rather cryptic.
     
  15. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    If GM Viewer gives you trouble, sometimes it's just a matter of removing the viewer.ini file from the GM Viewer folder and it works again.
     
  16. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Sorry about that; I'll post better instructions tomorrow. :eek:ops2

    I only recently found that out myself, when GM Viewer refused to start and said "File not found". Sure had me stumped for a while. :modding
     
  17. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    GMViewer and TOOL are both troublesome. I just reinstall them.
     
  18. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Right, here's some better instructions for fixing those spanker models:

    1. Copy the original spanker model (usually [name]_rey_a4.gm on 4-masted ships), and rename it to [name]_spanker.gm.
    2. Open the same model (not the copy) in HEX editor, and find 'deck.tga' or 'desk.tga' (for single-material models, like on the stock ships). Replace this text with 'Blnk.tga' (if you don't have the texture, let me know), and SAVE the model.
    3. Now, open the original model in TOOL, and go to 'View' -> 'Locators'. Expand the list that appears, and find the first 'rope' locator. Make a note of its Locator Name, then replace it with 'spanker', and the Locator Group with 'geometry', and then set PositionX, Y and Z to '0', and XX to '-1'. Next, invert all PositionX values in the list (make positive values negative, and vice versa). Click 'Apply Changes', and in the main window click 'Save GM'.
    4. Now open the copy of the spanker model in TOOL, and again go to 'View' -> 'Locators'. This time, delete every locator on the list, EXCEPT for the rope which you replaced in the original model. Click 'Apply Changes', and in the main window click 'Save GM'.
    5. Finally, open the mast model, to which the spanker is attached, in TOOL (usually, mast# corresponds to rey_a#), and open the Locators screen as before. Find the locator 'rey_a4' (or whatever the spanker model is), and set XX to '-1'. Click 'Apply Changes', and in the main window click 'Save GM'.
    Hopefully that should make more sense. If not, or if by some chance TOOL decides to go on strike, then let me know. :doff
     
  19. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    OK. It looks like step 3 was where I went wrong.
     
  20. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    I finally got around to trying out your new instructions, and they worked perfectly! :bow My first victim is the barque1, the Oieseau. I hate French spelling..... :twisted: I intend to start with the small ships and work my way up.
     

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