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Creation of custom Pedestrians questions

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the303's picture
Fluffy Bunny
Posts: 7
Creation of custom Pedestrians questions
#1 Submitted: Sun, 18/01/2015 - 09:26

Hi, while I'm no stranger to 3D modelling or modding custom models (ive had experience with goldsrc/source engine stuff & 3d ripping/porting between games, I use 3Dsmax & milkshape3d) but ive run into multiple problems with just finding the required info on how to create Carma2 pedestrians.

While I did manage to get Plaything2 running on win7 in compatibility + 16milcolor monitor mode, some of its functionality seems to be lost on me as well as documentation as I spent hours navigating dead links or stuff that only described other things like cars. The best guide I found that still exists is missing a whole lot of info namley how to define pivot points and how to properly generate a pedname.txt file (the guide i saw didnt even tell how the bounding boxes or how the bounds work or what units.. the only info was "change to whatever hight your ped has" which does not help at all).

The furthest I got was getting a ported N64 model in 3dsmax, exporting as OBJ, import into milkshape just to save as ase with named parts as .DAT (since 3dsmax for some reason couldnt save ascii format that plaything2 needed, also seemed to rename all "."s with "_":

(I know one of the arms is bent wrong, but I was just focusing on getting model just to work)

Once imported into Plaything2 I noticed that it wasn't reading my .tiff texture file. I saved from photoshopCS6 without compression or alpha channel and I didn't see any other options that could have thrown it off. So I went ahead and just grabbed an existing texture just to test and it applied and showed up in the material editor fine while my TIFF still didnt.

Second problem is that I read about a hierarchy changes within Plaything2... but again no specific answer on how or where, just that the .ACT part has to be the top part in the list (or bottom?). Furthermore, does origin point of each body part matter from the 3Dmodelling program point, or is it defined in the ped.txt?

Third problem is that the "Carma2 tools ---> Generate Ped" txt gives me errors each time either with "cannot find default ped file" or "cannot write file".

Can someone who has experience help? Ive been chasing down broken links and whatnot for the past while and I cant seem to find any thing on these errors. I have plenty of content/ready models I want to put into Carma2 but this is frustrating.

Toshiba-3's picture
Velociraptor Fister
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Submitted: Sun, 18/01/2015 - 22:42

Hello, a quick reply.
For tutorials, infos, etc., try http://rr2000.toshiba-3.com/tutorials and searching through http://www.cwaboard.co.uk, probably what you already did though.
Ped making is not well documented because it isn't very difficult to grasp how it all works. It just requires the meshes in a .DAT file (no .ACT needed), and the mat+tiffs. Pivots are set in the text file and you set them at the joints between parts. Easiest way to understand is to open an existing ped in PT2 and compare the pivot coordinates with the viewport and were they point.
You can use Harmalarm's Carmatools to export from 3dsmax (2012 and up). By the way, Max is supposed to be able to export to ASE directly then you can use ASE2ASC to import in PT2. Old way to export from Max though. Actually if you use the Carmatools, you might not have to use PT2 at all. These tools also let you import a ped for reference if you want.
About the hierarchy, as I said, it doesn't matter with peds. You can try: delete the ACT file from all peeps in C2, it won't make a difference.
PT2 ped tool thing doesn't work.
About the textures, I guess you already made sure they were properly sized in powers of 2. You can compress in LZW, interlace, and format is IBM PC. True colors too by the way. No image pyramid. Alpha channel is not advised with peds. Flatten the image to avoid layers if possible (shouldn't be a problem though).

... and carmageddon add-ons at road reaction.

the303's picture
Fluffy Bunny
Posts: 7
Submitted: Mon, 19/01/2015 - 04:32

Alrighty, the 3dsmax export tools worked great; thanks, so I have directly exported from max to the dat & mat files. I still used plaything2 to get the co-ordinates to add to the text file. Though i still have the TIFF problem, for this I just used 2 existing gib texture tiffs. I tried a few variations of saving tiffs but nothing worked... perhaps photoshop deprecated 16bitcolor(5:6:5 "highcolor") saving? Would gimp work, or another suggestion?

Edited by: the303 on Mon, 19/01/2015 - 04:33
Toshiba-3's picture
Velociraptor Fister
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Submitted: Mon, 19/01/2015 - 12:16

Gimp should work as well as Photoshop!
Could you maybe share that uncooperative tiff file?

... and carmageddon add-ons at road reaction.

the303's picture
Fluffy Bunny
Posts: 7
Submitted: Tue, 20/01/2015 - 08:01

So, turns out that it wasn't photoshop at all causing the problem.. it was me saving in a duplicate backup dir that wasnt the working model dir I thought I had. Finally managed to get a fully functional model working, although there are some joint pivots I still need to iron out and some flipped geometry faces It seems.

So I guess I'm doing it right? You can download the model here if you wanna look over and use it. The only thing im kinda unusure of is setting the bounding box, I kinda guessed it. I take it its the hitbox/physics boundry? Need some technical critiques so I can start putting out some other stuff im planning.
Download link

Also, I take it 900polys is the hard limit for pedestrians? This model is 673.

Toshiba-3's picture
Velociraptor Fister
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Submitted: Tue, 20/01/2015 - 14:45

Good job there :)
Yes, the bounding box is what you think it is. You can take the max and min coords of each axis for that bbox directly within PT2 from the ped's .dat file.
I don't think there's really any polycount limit per ped besides the global BRender max triangle count per object limit (65535 tris IIRC). But it's obvious that ped polycount should be kept as low as possible as a lot of ped can appear onscreen ingame. 673 tris sounds good to me here.

... and carmageddon add-ons at road reaction.

Espyo's picture
Velociraptor Fister
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Submitted: Tue, 20/01/2015 - 20:25

That looks pretty amazing, 303! Good job. And yeah, 673 seems like a good number. Scorpion is smooth enough, and the polycount is low enough to be comfortable.

I'm Espyo from the Carmageddon Wiki!
I'm currently working on a fangame engine for Pikmin games.

the303's picture
Fluffy Bunny
Posts: 7
Submitted: Sun, 01/02/2015 - 05:49

So I have pretty much finished a new pedestrian modelled from scratch, everything is working but I noticed in-game that there were some hard edges that weren't there before export. I imported the model back from .dat to see what went wrong and to my surprise the geometry was severed along the UV texture boundaries:
Before and after:

Is this a bug with the 3dsmax carmatools exporter, or is it just the way carma2 .dat format is and something I have to deal with as-is?

Trent's picture
I was in the War!
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Posts: 2997
Submitted: Sun, 01/02/2015 - 11:29

In games each vertex can only have one location in the UV map, so the only way to handle UV splits is to have two vertices instead of one.

Toshiba-3's picture
Velociraptor Fister
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Submitted: Sun, 01/02/2015 - 13:12

Mmmh Trent, I'm not sure it's really the case with C1/C2. Harm and Errol talk about it here. This can be further verifid by opening a model in PT2 and moving a vertice from a map seam, it won't open the mesh.

IMO it's just the engine that can't let smoothing groups run across uvw map seams BUT on car SHELL models.
However I'm also pretty sure that once you import the dat into MAX via the script, these duplicated vertices aren't normal, I think it's a bug introduced since Beroc's version of the script. So never forget to weld all duplicated vertices as soon as you import a DAT.
By the way, be sure yo use Harm's latest Carmatools http://www.polygonengineer.com/wp-content/uploads/manual/tools/carmatools_20150129.zip as he updated the export code.

So yes, you'll have to deal with that problem and keep it in mind when you uvw-unwrap your model.

... and carmageddon add-ons at road reaction.

the303's picture
Fluffy Bunny
Posts: 7
Submitted: Mon, 02/02/2015 - 02:11

Oh cool, didn't know about the update. Also I found out that converting all pieces of the model into Editable Mesh before exporting appears to have fixed the splitting! (I left them in editable poly before).

Also just been fighting with Max for the past while lol, I first ran into broken normals, then forgetting reset Xform which caused everything to gibble on export. I should make a checklist.

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