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Tutorial Storm Engine Moddeling Basics

Discussion in 'Ship Modeling' started by superdurnius, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    Alright. I desired to write this, because I want more model-maker in the forum, so I'll write everything I know and founded while making all kind of models in Storm Engine. Afcourse I don't know everything (Characters, Ships). But when I'll finish writing what I know, I hope I'll fill what I don't know with help of other modders...

    Moderators, plz do-not delete all empty posts by me, they'll be filled in time, But I'll need much time to write everything in good English with some sense and screenshots...

    Tutorials:
    1. Tools, installation, Preparation ](Last Update 2009-10-19)
    2. Conversion Processes (Last Update 2009-10-19)
    3. Prop Creation (Last Update 2009-10-24)
    4. Weapon Creation(Last Update 2010-02-20)
    5. Location Creation
    6. Character Creation
    7. Ship Creation
    8. Island Creation
    9. Misc things
     
  2. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    1. Tools, installation, Preparation
    Last update: 2009-10-17

    Tools you'll mostly need for workng on 3d with Storm Engine:
    • Maya 5.0 (or 5.1) — The most important program. This one is used for converting any Maya 5.0 supporting 3d format into Storm Engine's *.gm format. Without this program you won't be able to do anything.
    • ConvertorTX — Also is really important tool. This is used for converting *.bmp or *.tga texture files into Storm Engine supportable *.tga.tx or *.bmp.tx texture format. You also must have this program.
    • Inez Dias TOOL — This one Modder-Made program, made by Inez Dias. It have lot's of options, but I mostly use it to add locators.
    • GM Viewer — This is also one of Must-use programs. Main function of this tool is to view already converted Storm Engine models, there aren't any other way to do this. Second, and probably most important function of this tool is OBJExport function, which let's you export converted *.gm models into *.obj, so they could be edited (note: OBJExport function doesn't work on 100%, because ~60% of *.gm models converts to *.obj completely screwed, but it still IS worth a try).
    • Your 3D editing program — I'm not one of those MAYA modelers, because I don't know much on Maya, only what I need to know to make conversion to *.gm. For 3d modeling I use SoftImage XSI, but in this point can be used any other tool, as 3dsMax. The most important thing, that here you can't use any Maya version except 5.0 (5.1), because conversion plug-ins doesn't work on any other version of maya, and (at least on my machine) there aren't possibility to install two different version of Maya in the same computer, so with no (illegal) hacking knowledge you won't be able to do that.

    Maya 5.0 (5.1), Maya Plug-ins
    • Downloads
      • Maya 5.0 (5.1)
        1. Go to this post.Note: You'll need to be "modder" to read that post, talk with moderators about that...
        2. Search for text "Maya 5.0 Modeling Program".
        3. Search for text "PotC Files FTP Login Details".
        4. Archive can be found on FilesFTP/Maya 5.0/Maya5.0.zip
      • Maya 5.0 Plug-Ins
        1. Go to this post.Note: You'll need to be "modder" to read that post, talk with moderators about that...
        2. Search for text "Maya Plugin, Tools and Sample Files".
    • Installation
      • Maya 5.0 (5.1)
        1. Extract archive.
        2. Run Maya/Setup.exe
        3. Run Crack.exe
      • Maya 5.0 Plug-Ins
        1. You already need to be installed Maya 5.0
        2. Extract archive you've downloaded
        3. In ...Maya\Maya5.0 directory of extracted archive there should be 2 folders, copy them to Maya folder (default C:\Program Files\AliasWavefront\Maya5.0). Thay should overwrite something.
        4. Rum Maya5.0
        5. Got to Window --> Settings/Preferences --> plug-in manager
          01-Maya-01.jpg
        6. Find SD2AniExport.mll and SD2GeoExport.mll, check all boxed to those two
          01-Maya-02.jpg
        7. Click Close
    • Plug-ins explanation
      01-Maya-03.jpg 01-Maya-04.jpg
      • Default File Extensions — This forces saved file to have default *.gm extension... Better left it checked...
      • 0.01 Scale (cm->m) — Akella worked on large scaled models and then auto-scaled them with this option to fit game sizes... If you work with already exported games model, you should uncheck this option... I have always unchecked this, because I more prefer manually scale object...
      • ExportCharacterPatch — Don't know... Really... Never used this...
      • animation — never used, always unchecked
      • Build BSP — used for location models. Makes camera not-to-fly-behind-the-walls.
     
    TheFlyingDutchman1234 likes this.
  3. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    2. Conversion Processes
    Entire conversion process I'm writing as model is completed with another program. Those who modeled with Maya can skip any step if they know what they are doing.
    • Model conversion from any Maya5.0 supportable format into *.gm format
      1. Import your model into maya5.0 File --> Import...
        02-Maya-01.jpg
      2. Texture:
        1. Select one of imported model meshes and while holding mouse-2 Materials --> Material Attributes... This cind of window should show-up on the side of the screen
          02-Maya-02.jpg
        2. Press White-Black square near slider called "Color" and select option "file"
          02-Maya-03.jpg 02-Maya-04.jpg
        3. Navigate to the texture file, that MUST be on *.tga format
          02-Maya-05.jpg
        4. To this with every model, that needs to be converted with that mesh...
      3. Normals:
        1. While model is selected find Render Stats --> Double Sided ... Uncheck this, because Storm Engine doesn't support double sided models, they'll convert completely screwed.
          02-Maya-10.jpg
        2. In the same place there should be Opposite option (screenshot)... This might need to be checked if your model will have texture attached from inside... This always happens when exporting model with OBJExport option with GMViewer.
      4. Positioning:
        1. Create Locator, call it "BaseLocator" (His name doesn't matter, but later I'll call this locator by this name)
          02-Maya-07.jpg
        2. Place model(s) in right position using move tools
          02-Maya-06.jpg
        3. This step will be explained more detailed I'll explain specific work little later...
      5. Exporting:
        1. Select all models while holding [Ctrl], then still holding [Ctrl] select "BaseLocator" and press "Parent" Button
          02-Maya-08.jpg
        2. Deselect everything, select "BaseLocator" and then File --> Export Selection...
          02-Maya-09.jpg
        3. Select type SD2GeoExport and then in Options chose settings and press button export.
    • Texture conversion from *.tga into *.tga.tx
      1. Navigate left side of the ConvertorTX to your texture in *.tga format
      2. Navigate right side of the ConvertorTX to folder, where should be converted *.tga.tx placed
      3. Press "Convert"
      4. Set conversion settings in shown pop-up (In screenshot is best of my opinion settings)
        02-ConvertorTX-01.jpg
    • Locator Adding

      1. Will Write Little Later
     
  4. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    3. Prop Creation
    Props are 3d models, that can be placed or removed ingame via the code, they are mostly used as quest things...
    Note: Where I'll write <...> , this meens, that this is already written inside 2. Conversion process
    • Model conversion
      1. Import your model into maya5.0 File --> Import...
      2. Texture:
        1. <...>
      3. Normals:
        1. <...>
      4. Positioning:
        1. Create Locator, call it "BaseLocator" <...>
        2. Don't change anything with "BaseLocator"... His coordinates should be 0,0,0 (If you haven't moved it you shouldn't bother with this locator yet)
        3. Prop-Model should be placed at the center of the BaseLocator, but should not be lower it, unless it's the Idea of the model, because right now BaseLocator represents floor/ground level.
        4. The front side of the prop (side which should be front in-game) should face -x side, that means props back should face the way X-arrow shows
          03-Maya-01.jpg
      5. Exporting:
        1. <...>
        2. <...>
        3. Select type SD2GeoExport and then in Options chose settings (Build BSP - Product) and press button export.
          03-Maya-02.jpg
    • Texture conversion from *.tga into *.tga.tx
      1. <...>
      2. Navigate right side of the ConvertorTX to folder: POTC/RESOURCE/TEXTURES/AMMO
      3. <...>
    • Locator Adding

      1. There is 2 ways, both are with tool, becouse I don't know how export locators with maya. 1 way is "manual", second is with my help ("automatic"??)
        • Manual
          1. Run Tool
          2. Press "Open Gm" and navigate to your gm file
          3. Chose: View --> Locators
            03-Tool-01.jpg
          4. Locator table should show-up. I don't really know what value means what, but on prop there is no need of any values... There is only importance of locators existence, so simply add these values
            03-Tool-03.jpg
          5. Apply Changes
          6. Press "Save Gm". There will be created separate file called whateverisyourmodelsname_x.gm, this for backup sake. Check size values... New gm should have litlle more size. But if it is smaller, then check them both via the GMViewer... If you see no problems on new file, delete old and rename new of the name of old. You have completed the Prop file...
        • Automatic
          1. Run Tool
          2. Press "Open Gm" and navigate to your gm file
          3. Chose: Locators --> Read from file
            03-Tool-04.jpg
          4. Navigate to this file
            View attachment prop_locators.txt
          5. Press "Save Gm". There will be created separate file called whateverisyourmodelsname_x.gm, this for backup sake. Check size values... New gm should have litlle more size. But if it is smaller, then check them both via the GMViewer... If you see no problems on new file, delete old and rename new of the name of old. You have completed the Prop file...
     
  5. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    4. Weapon Creation

    Weapons are models, that are used by characters inside Storm Engine. They are parted (for now) into 2 types: Blade and Gun.
    Here I write ewerything, what have to be done to import completely a blade-type and gun-type weapons into Storm Engine.
    Note: After conversion you will be able to see this weapon inside GMview and ingame with no bugs...
    Note2: Where I'll write <...> , this means, that this is already written inside 2. Conversion process

    • Model conversion from any Maya5.0 supportable format into *.gm format
      1. Import your model into maya5.0 File --> Import...
      2. Texture:
        1. <...>
        2. <...>
        3. <...>
        4. (For Blade)Select one of imported model meshes and while holding mouse-2 Materials --> Material Attributes... In window, which you used to apply "color" (texture), lower there should be "Bump Mapping".
        5. (For Blade)Do the same as with textures, only this time apply EnvAmmo.tga file. If you don't have it already, you can find it in PotC\RESOURCE\Textures\Ammo
        6. (For Blade)Do this with every model, that needs to be converted with that mesh...
      3. Normals:
        1. <...>
      4. Positioning:
        1. Create Locator, call it "BaseLocator" <...>
        2. Don't change anything with "BaseLocator"... His coordinates should be 0,0,0 (If you haven't moved it you shouldn't bother with this locator yet)
        3. blade-type Model should be placed, so the BaseLocator will in the middle of the handle. In this case, BaseLocator shows the center of the "fist" that is holding this weapon. Blades should be pointing into Z axis.
          The same with gun-type Model.
          04-Maya-01.jpg
      5. Exporting:
        1. Ewerything the same as with Props
    • Texture conversion from *.tga into *.tga.tx
      1. Ewerything the same as with Props
    • Locator Adding
      1. Run Tool
      2. Press "Open Gm" and navigate to your gm file
      3. Chose: Locators --> Read from file
      4. Navigate to one of these files
        View attachment locators_blade.txt
        View attachment locators_pistol.txt
      5. Press "Save Gm". There will be created separate file called whateverisyourmodelsname_x.gm, this for backup sake. Check size values... New gm should have litlle more size. But if it is smaller, then check them both via the GMViewer... If you see no problems on new file, delete old and rename new of the name of old. You have completed the Prop file...
     
  6. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    5. Location Creation
     
  7. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    6. Character Creation
     
  8. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    7. Ship Creation
     
  9. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    8. Island Creation
     
  10. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    9. Misc things
     
  11. Captain Maggee

    Captain Maggee Aussie Pirate

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    Sure thing SD, I will be sure not to delete any of the posts and once you have done a bit on some of the tutorials I think this will deserve to be sticked! :cheeky
     
  12. Pieter Boelen

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

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    Thanks a LOT for working on this, SuperDurnius!
    And I like how you're making a thread index, like the ones I put in the Build Mod threads. :onya

    Can you add links in your thread to the correct Maya download from the FTP, as well as the Akella Tools?
    I reckon we would also welcome information from other members.
    Maybe ZarethPL can write up something on ships, for example?

    BTW: Personally I'd prefer not to use bmp.tx files.
    I think they do work, but the original game uses tga.tx, so I'd prefer all textures to use that.
    Every time I've seen bmp.tx files I have been converting them to tga.tx.
     
  13. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    No problem...
    What is link to files ftp? To build FTP direct link is http://www.pyratesahoy.net/build , but http://www.pyratesahoy.net/files doesn't work to me... what is it?
    Later, read my first post... I want first to write down my knowledge... Then with theyr help I'd like to learn how to make other things and then update this...

    That's simply explanation about tools... On conversion process I'll explain everything...
     
  14. Captain Maggee

    Captain Maggee Aussie Pirate

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    The files one is actually: http://www.pyratesahoy.net/potc ;)
     
  15. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    Enough? Or you'll wait till tomorow?
     
  16. Jack Rackham

    Jack Rackham HoO Team Member Quest Writer Storm Modder

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    Yes great idea SuperDurnius, I like the set-up (being a teacher). :onya
    And Pieter, about bmp.TX: I have a lot of them - do they really cause any problems? :|
     
  17. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    Not realy...
    Tga is compressed, program then decompress tga and compress to tga.tx ... While bmp doesn't have any compression and doesn't support any additional features (as alpha channels).

    Only problems are caused if texture is attached in maya is in tga format, and you hex it to be bmp... But still, it won't cause any problems on most models...
     
  18. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    When you mentioned, Yes, I re-read my tutor and it does look like I'm a teacher... That's good from one side, I'm trying to make those as detailed as possible, and making them as informative and bright as I'd like to read If i were a "student" :D
     
  19. SuperChango

    SuperChango Common folk 3D Artist Storm Modeller Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Thanks a lot SD ! this is exactly what i was looking for !
    Fool-proof so far... i should be ok xD:
     
  20. superdurnius

    superdurnius Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller

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    What?
     

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