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Modelling trouble

Not the modelling as such...............more what comes after

By on May 8, 2013 5:19:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

AUSDoug

Join Date 05/2013
0

So I've created a model and then rigged and exported it from 3ds Max9 as-per this guide:

http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/341022/page/1/

I end up with 'Stardestroyer.mesh' and 'Stardestroyer_debug.txt', but when I go to convert the mesh into something editable via Notepad++, using either the 'Sins Data Converter' or by using the 'Convertdata_rebellion.exe' via a batch file, I get told that  'Convertdata_rebellion.exe' has encountered a problem and needs to close.

At first I thought there might have been an issue with my 'Convertdata' file, but it still converts entity files without issue.

So does the problem lie with my mesh, the 3ds exporter I used, or is there something I'm missing?

If will help at all, I can post the contents of the 'Stardestroyer_debug.txt', or upload the 'Stardestroyer.mesh' somehwere.

Thanks in advance,

AUS_Doug.

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May 8, 2013 6:25:49 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

have you tried the diplomacy convertdata?, from what I remember about the instructions/converters from back in pre rebellion (when your instructions/exporter are from) there is a difference of ONE added line in text mode in the rebellion versions of a mesh, and I assume the convertdata for rebellion actually NEEDS the extra line during the convert, but I also remember during the beta that the diplomacy mesh versions can work in rebellion (but this might have changed since the beta)

hope this helps

harpo

 

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May 8, 2013 9:13:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Where can I get the Diplomacy Convertdata from, as I never bought the game? (I dived straight into Rebellion)

Is it in the Reference Files that you have put together?

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May 8, 2013 9:23:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

http://xsi.soase.x90x.net/Reference_Files/Reference_Files_Dip_v1.37/Mesh/!ConvertMesh.7z

or see what is inluded in the 7z extracted folder

http://xsi.soase.x90x.net/Reference_Files/Reference_Files_Dip_v1.37/Mesh/ConvertMesh/

put the mesh/s in that folder and double click which .bat file you want. 

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May 9, 2013 12:12:36 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,

http://xsi.soase.x90x.net/Reference_Files/Reference_Files_Dip_v1.37/Mesh/!ConvertMesh.7z

or see what is inluded in the 7z extracted folder

http://xsi.soase.x90x.net/Reference_Files/Reference_Files_Dip_v1.37/Mesh/ConvertMesh/

put the mesh in that folder and double click which .bat file you want. 

Cheers mate, worked like a charm.

Now another quick question:

Do I need what the rigging tutorial calls a 'Data' map?

Will the mesh function in game without it?

Thanks again for your help guys,

AUS_Doug

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May 9, 2013 12:29:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Have to wait for someone that does this with max, most max users import their model to XSI for finalizing.

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May 9, 2013 12:55:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

"data" maps, you mean the texture, right? Then yes, this is independent of modeling programs and you should make it. It provides specular, cubemapping, lighting, and bloom mapping for the meshes. You can just use a black texture if you want, though.

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May 9, 2013 1:10:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thanks for all your help guys; I'll look into getting XSI (I reckon I saw a free version on ModDb a while back) see if that makes things less complicated.

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May 9, 2013 1:14:24 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAra8yHozNU

This is a video I made covering my 3ds max to sins conversion progress using XSI 2010. I don't cover making the textures though, because I am not an artist.

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May 9, 2013 2:12:07 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting IskatuMesk,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAra8yHozNU

Haha, good video, just a couple issues.

From what I have found, Max is the royal pain in the ass, so I guess it is just what you're used to.

Glossiness in the mesh is for Sins Lighting, imagine holding a light bulb next to the model very close and then moving it away from the model. As I do all my work in XSI I set this in the material property. You can see it easiest maybe with planets, in DEV mode zoom in on a planet and set the glossiness in the mesh, it will change on the fly.

To make the ship glossy is Sins is done with the -da texture red chanel I think, more white more gloss, black is flat or no gloss, See advent for High gloss ships. See TEC for very little.

No five sided polys, those you fixed looked like 5 sides or more. They often will be 'bent'. I tend to keep all my polys tris to avoid bending polys.

In XSI script editor I can type in the coordinates of the bad vertex and zoom to its location.

Yes, XSI does have smoothing but values are not exported to mesh. I would have to see your model in XSI but in XSI the hardest edge you can get is an unwelded edge,tangents will simulate smoothing with lighting, you can also make edges look harder with tangents but not nearly as hard as a double edge.

I should have been pausing and writing, I already forget some other stuff I wanted to mention. Other than that, super video.

[e digicons]k1[/e] [e digicons][/e]

 

 

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May 9, 2013 2:28:39 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The data channel is specular. I don't get the same kind of relationships of glossiness in sins as I do in max, and I did screw around with it quite a lot. I think you might be able to get the effect with an extremely busy normal map though.

 

Like I said, ngons get triangulated, but you want to make sure they get triangulated favorably. Basically what you are saying.

 

I have plenty of hard edges in sins now, you'll see. :3

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May 9, 2013 2:34:21 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Can I see the scene of your ship in the video, I will keep private.

 

Should maybe upload that video here, let's get lots of modding tools and tutorials on there.

http://www.moddb.com/company/soase-m0dders/videos 

or you can create a NEWS post there and embed the video like this

 

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May 9, 2013 2:39:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Editing a misture of the red and blue give me any desired glossiness effect I am looking for

 

The "-da.dds"

This is where things get very interesting. The "da" file means "data". As in your luminosity, or light map, "bloom" ,and reflective surfaces. This is an RGB+ alpha image (red, green, blue, and alpha channels) Each channel represents a certain aspect of the model. You will need to view, and edit each color channel individually, because each color channel has a different effect. 

 

The Red Channel now represents the "Specular Map" of the model. It is how the ship gets that shiny metallic look to it. This is a greyscale image. The lighter areas are more shiny with white being the shiniest while dark is dull areas with black as being no shine at all.

Note: Previous to patch 1.12, and Entrenchment the Red channel was the "Team Colors" map of the model.

 

The Green Channel is your luminosity or light map. This is what areas of your model that should be "lit up" or, illuminating. 

 

The Blue Channel is your "Reflective" channel. As in "chrome", or mirror like surfaces that will reflect the space around them just like a mirror. 

 

Finally the Alpha Channel. This is identical to a light, or luminosity map. However the lit surfaces will cast a "bloom", or aura effect around it. As with other images the whiter the surface the brighter with white being the brightest. Darker has a dimming effect with black being no effects at all.

 
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May 9, 2013 2:59:25 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I don't want to have anything to do with moddb and I definitely do not want any of my videos or other content on it.


What do you want the scene for? I could show you one one of my internal videos if you want to see my newer ships. I'd rather not hand out any meshes though.

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May 9, 2013 5:07:49 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

No worries, good models are understandably kept private.  [e digicons]*_*[/e]

Just wanted to actually see what effect this smoothing you were doing in max does in XSI, As I can get models to look just like that without ever touching smoothing, also wanted a peak at your tangent map, most don't now how important this is to Sins. Videos will not cut it though, but keep posting them, you have a very enthusiastic voice and a flair for doing them. 

 

Quoting IskatuMesk,
I don't want to have anything to do with moddb and I definitely do not want any of my videos or other content on it.

Anything I should know about?  [e digicons]8C[/e]

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May 9, 2013 8:46:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have no idea how XSI even handles smoothing, but the smoothing groups from max somehow translate over (likely as a result of the fbx plugin). As a result I have never needed to touch tangent maps, not even once. However, the tangent maps are sometimes not 100% perfect, so they could probably be improved with manual work if I cared to figure out how to do that. For this, though, it's not worth the effort to me when I have so much else to do. I don't even save my XSI scenes to begin with since the conversion process is so fast.

I can perhaps send you an FBX to import into XSI if you're interested.

As for moddb, I just don't really like those kinds of websites. I'd prefer to keep the content close to my audience, so to speak. That video, and others once I figure out subjects to talk about, are part of the Retribution developer series. They'll be hosted/posted at Campaign Creations, with the Retribution thread on this forum serving as a gateway to that. I don't want any further exposure or distribution of the material.


Even Retribution itself won't be publicized other than a post on this forum.

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May 9, 2013 10:14:48 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If you wish to share the fbx with me that great, I just want to see some of the effects you are talking about and test, I can also do a good tangent map for you if you like and even custom texture the odd area like gun barrels or some lit windows. And I promise to never share or use, learning purposes only.

I need to get at my tangent video but I suck and speaking with any flow and I am always learning as well, I just like to make sure we all have the best info possible to work from.

I also have a Converter Script that checks for n-sided polys, freezes everything, deletes unused clips and materials, converts and moves the mesh to the mod of your choice. For SOA2 the script runs both Dip and Reb converters, runs the text to Bin converter and moves to each version of our mod, all with one click. Great for checking models in game on the fly.

I am finalizing it for sharing and people just need to edit values at the top.

My_Mod_Name = "Sacrifice of Angels 2"
Covert_Mesh_to_BIN = TRUE

Move_To_Rebellion = TRUE
Rebellion_Version = 1.1
Move_To_Diplomacy = TRUE
Diplomacy_Version = 1.37
Move_To_Entrenchment = FALSE
Entrenchment_Version = 1.055
Move_To_Original_Sins = FALSE
Original_Sins_Version = 1.195

Delete_Unused_Materials = TRUE
Save_Scene_On_Completion = TRUE

 

 

If you do decide to share

myfist0 at hotmail dot com

or PM a link

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May 9, 2013 11:16:48 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I can understand Iskatumesks point of view about ModDB. When SoA 2 was in its early days ModDB posted a scathing video review of it. With some pretty insulting comments. At the time, and it somewhat still is a Half Life 2 elitist website. And from their point of view your mods are total crap if you don't know how to program in all programming languages. Gee, If i could do that don't you think i would have just made my own game?

Just as you Myfist0 have grievances with Steam. Some have grievances with ModDB. I only tolerate it because it does host the mod for free.

The glossiness setting is kind of wierd. The lower the number the brighter the light is reflected off the model. For example looking at a mesh with the sun almost directly behind it. I stumbled on this when i tweaked the SoA 2 diplomacy meshes. I set most of the models with a glossiness of 10, and the effect worked very well. Especially on the ships with darker textures. This only works for the Trinity meshes, because the new shaders in Rebellion cancel this effect out.

In XSI smoothing is done while you are working with the tangents. You should weld your points, and fix any face issues first. There is a modifier in the Tangent Op where you can adjust the smoothing percentage. The default is 45%. I usually set it at 30%. It is similar to 3dsmax's smooth modifier, but its not a separate op., and it must be done before you freeze the op, or the mesh. Otherwise the setting is permanent.

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May 9, 2013 1:03:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If you want, I could cast for your video provided you give me a script. You'd have to do the video editing yourself, though. I have experience casting, I am an LP'er and I do various developer, review, and related stuff.

None of the ships in my worlds have any visible windows or anything, Anahn crew are under kilometers of reactive armor and any bridges on the exterior are entirely ornamental. So, don't worry about texturing them... the textures would need to be too specific, and every ship would need to be textured for it to fit, and I don't think this project will have the free ram for that when I am done. Textures aren't something I'll worry about for this project, except for the UDK stuff.

I have sent you the Knight FBX at your e-mail. For hard edges, check the turrets and those side sections. For the soft edges, those I mentioned in the video, many of the extruded panels did not come out well. The tangents at some part looked a bit off, namely the central forward upper plating and such. It is a mesh I'll probably return to in the future, so don't worry about fixing it, since I'll probably be updating it anyways.

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May 9, 2013 2:38:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Major Stress,
When SoA 2 was in its early days ModDB posted a scathing video review of it.

The actual website or its user base? Seems an odd thing for a site that makes money by hosting mods to insult any of them. [e digicons]o_O[/e]

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May 9, 2013 4:17:48 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Man, that is one detailed model. I will use it for the video I make on tangents and do the quick and dirty style as it would take an hour just to do the back end custom. If you didnt keep importing a new one it would be worth doing a good tangent map but just not worth the effort for every change. The vid will show the bad spots and how to fix.

 

Also, you must have some big ass muzzle effects, never seen weapon points that far from the barrel.

Send it to you and you can expand on your video part 2 if you like. 

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May 9, 2013 7:53:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,


Quoting Major Stress, reply 17When SoA 2 was in its early days ModDB posted a scathing video review of it.

The actual website or its user base? Seems an odd thing for a site that makes money by hosting mods to insult any of them.

It was the actual website in a mod of the year video review. This was back when the mod was first released for Original Sins back in 2008. They said it was just a "Star Trek skin over Sins", and it was "boring been there, done that". On top of wise cracks over me not being able to code (i was the only one working on the mod at the time in 2008). The first comment was true, because the mod was an early Work In Progress. However what pissed me off was the fools that did the review didn't seem to understand that concept. They wanted a "professional polished game". I said "If i could make a "professional polished game" don't you think i would have done so? Instead of skinning over another game???!" The whole point of ModDB is about MOD'S! Since most of the mods hosted there, and raved about are Half Life 2 mods. We see where the bias is. I voiced my opinion about the "elitist attitude problem", and damn near pulled SoA 2 from the site. I didn't want to punish fans over a disagreement over a review. So i just let it go, but i didn't do very much else related to ModDB afterwards.

Like i said they are free web hosting. Otherwise the mod would have been yanked long ago.

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May 10, 2013 2:06:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I find the very concept of mod reviews hilarious. Even if you were a programmer you still wouldn't have been able to make a new game with sins. There's a huge difference between making some new code and then reverse engineering something like this game. I know people who have been reverse engineering games, much simpler (2d) games, for over 5-6 years. The best of the best, and they still aren't near being done. Reversing sins could easily take a decade. Complaining about someone not doing that is basically just making a fool out of yourself. Exactly the kind of thing I expect out of moddb.

But then again, the key thing about my reviews for games is that I never use numbers.

Luckily for me I've never had to deal with sites like that, and I never plan to. My extensive connections and work in Blizzard games sets me up pretty solidly with any kind of website or hosting I could want.

Also, you must have some big ass muzzle effects, never seen weapon points that far from the barrel.

Yeah, the projectiles and effects are pretty large. I try to avoid the clipping of particles over meshes as much as possible.

Send it to you and you can expand on your video part 2 if you like.

Well, I've never even checked how you do tangents in sins (or anything, I've never needed to for other games), so I am not sure how you would propose I do that. Unless you mean sending me the video or something.

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May 10, 2013 2:21:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting IskatuMesk,
Unless you mean sending me the video or something.

Exactly, I send you video script with some notes, you can either use my video clips in a tutorial or just to practice and then make your own.

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May 10, 2013 5:11:20 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ah. Well, if you send me a video and a script, I can easily cast over it and just send you the audio. Or I could post it. Whichever works best for you.

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May 10, 2013 9:23:46 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Whoa............I'm gone for two days and look what happens to my thread!  [e digicons]:grin:[/e]

And thanks for that video you linked to IskatuMesk, that'll come in real handy now that XSI has FINALLY finished downloading.

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