Matrix Games Forums

Deal of the Week - Pride of NationsA new update for Piercing Fortress EuropaNew screenshots for War in the West!Pike & Shot is now available!Server Maintenance Battle Academy 2 gets updated!Deal of the Week: Advanced Tactics Gold Ask Buzz Aldrin!Pike & Shot gets Release Date and Twitch Session!Deal of the Week Espana 1936
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Discontinued Games] >> Panzer Command: Kharkov >> Maps, Models and Mods >> Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 1:14:55 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
It is expected that the reader of this tutorial has read and understood the concepts in 3D modelling which were introduced in my map making tutorials. The first of which can be found here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1788093 Specifically some familiarity with the Milkshape 3D (MS3D) editor will be assumed.

As there has been some interest in making new buildings for PCK, I thought I would put together a little tutorial on how to do this.

Map placeable objects for PCK come in two different types. Objects which can't be mounted by infantry (eg trees, fences, bridges, wood piles, farm yard animals, etc) and those that can be mounted (eg houses, churches, foxholes, trenches, etc). The main difference between the two you need to know when modelling them in MS3D is that mountable structures require the definition of "mount" points within the model. Previously this could only be done with expensive professional grade modelling and export software. However a recent development has enabled users of MS3D to achieve the same end result. This tutorial will explain in some detail how to attach these mount points to your building model so they can be used by infantry within the game.

Before we get to that, let's consider how PCK sees buildings. In PCK any mesh can be a building. The map.bmp pixels underlying this mesh are normally painted pure red RGB(255,0,0). This signifies a map obstruction so buildings can obstruct LOS. In the scenedit program (see addendum pdf manual documentation which is nominally installed to C:\Matrix Games\Panzer Command Kharkov\Manuals\Map Editing Addendum.pdf) a mesh can be defined as a building via the buildingtype attribute. There are several different "types" of buildings available, so please take your time to examine the different types in the editor. The maximum number of squads which can deploy in a building is 2 and the minimum is 1. When you design your building in MS3D you will need to think about how many squads would be able to fit inside it appropriately. Remember that the average squad size ~ 10 men, but this will be abstracted to just 3 men / squad for modelling purposes.

What this means is that if you wanted to place two squads in your building you will need to define 6 mount points (3 / squad * 2 = 6), one squad only 3 points. Mount points can be placed anywhere you like including on different stories, so it is a good idea to also model some floors for upper story structures if you want to place squads up there, lest they will float in mid air when they come to mount the building in the game. Another point I should make at this stage is that squads mount in the order in which the mount points are defined. This is worth noteing. Consider a church with a bell tower from which excellent battlefield visibility can be achieved. If you want the player to mount his men from the bell tower down, then remember to order the mount points as such, otherwise you are setting the scene for some major player frustration! Also it is a good idea to place your mount points at logical places in the mesh (eg looking out windows, rather than hiding in attics) so that all appears sensible to the player. The game engine doesn't distinguish between a squad hidden away in the bowels of a building which would have no hope of firing outside said building, from one which is looking out the window. The player however, will.

Ok we will start with a small building. This is a little number I knocked up in Google Sketchup (SU) in just a few minutes and then imported into MS3D. The building itself is not too important however, it is just being used as a prop for further exposition. Notice how the little house is appropriately scaled for the game (recall 1 MS3D unit = 2.54 meters in game), its base sits flat on the Y plane and is pretty well centered on the origin.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Stridor -- 5/9/2008 4:42:03 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 1:32:30 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Now what we need to do is to define a base frame reference point. Don't worry too much about the technical jargon just do a I say and it will all be cool.

In the tools panel ensure the Model tab is selected and then press the Joint Button. Next left click roughly over the origin point in the top down view. You will notice a big red circle with cross appears. This is a "joint" (we call it a base frame).






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 2
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 1:41:30 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Next click on the "Joints" tab on the tools pane. Here you will see a list of the defined joints. At the moment there should only be the one you just made called "joint1". Double Click on this to select it then type the following name in the rename box "Frame_Mesh" (without the quotes). It is important to get this just right! Then click on the rename button and your joint will be called Frame_Mesh. Good our house mesh now has a root bone/joint/frame called Frame_Mesh.






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 3
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 1:57:06 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Now it is time to define our first infantry position. Because this little house will have only one squad inside it I will need to define three positions 1-3.

Lets start.

Please go back to the model tab (Joint should still be selected). From the Menu select Edit->Select None (Ctrl+Shift+A) to deselect your "Frame_Mesh" joint, and then click on the top view where you would like your new joint (our first man position) to be located. It is very important that you deselect any selected joints before making a new one otherwise MS3D will attempt to link the joints together and we don't want that. When you place a joint which represents an infantry position within the mesh, it will correspond to the right foot of the soldier. So by placing the joint on the floor the solider will be standing *on* the floor. Now that you have placed the position of the first soldier you now need to place a facing direction joint. To do this once again deselect all joints (Ctrl+Shift+A) and then click in the direction you want your digital guy to face. Notice in the SS below I have placed my guy to be close to the left window and looking out. I have maximized the "Top View" for a closer inspection.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Stridor -- 5/9/2008 4:45:22 PM >

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 4
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 2:03:20 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Now I want you to go back into the Joint tab and rename (exactly as you did with the Frame_Mesh joint) the two new joints as follows:

Frame_bone_position01 (for the position joint which probably is called joint2 by MS3D at this point)
Frame_bone_position01_dir (for the direction joint)

Remember to double click on each joint in the joint list to select them prior to renaming them.

Note well: The naming must be exact, don't fool with this, this is what took me many hours to figure out!




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 5
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 2:11:21 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Now you just need to define where the other two guys will go in exactly the same way. I put my second guy near the other window and because there wasn't a third window, I just stuck the last guy down the back near the chimney I then went and renamed all the joints appropriately. If you wanted a second squad in the building you would have to go up to position 6.

It is also probably worth mentioning at this point that you can use the standard MS3D move tools to move joints around as you need too (ie. move them up to a second story level).

And that is it, you are done, all you need do now is export your work as a direct X file.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Stridor -- 5/9/2008 4:47:30 PM >

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 6
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 2:26:14 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
To export your work from the menu select File->Export->Direct X (JT)...

Select a place and filename to save. I selected "myhouse.x" and I placed it in my Colo_River directory. Ensure you fill out the export dialog exactly as is shown in the following screen shot. Be especially careful of "Position Scaling" as the exporter defaults this to 0.1 (and you want it to be 1.0). Press Ok and your new model is ready for insertion into a map. Remember that you will need to reference the house mesh and any house textures you used in the media.xml file (see http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1794377). Note you can call your Root Frame Name anything you like or just leave it as the recommended default which will incorporate the filename you entered.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Stridor -- 5/9/2008 2:27:27 PM >

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 7
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 2:32:40 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5078
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
If you did everything right it should look like this in the game ...

It is worthwhile checking your mount points by mounting infantry in the game to ensure they behave as you expect them too. Common problems are mount points too close to walls such that guns and feet clip through the walls. Mount points not set on floors, so infantry seem to float on air.

You will also note at this stage what a waste of time it was to define facing direction joints as you can set the squad facing as you choose at game time with the face squad command . However if you don't include the direction joints the whole thing will fail (either crash PCK or cause the squad to mount at map 0,0,0 - not pretty), so you best include them.

That brings us to the end of this tutorial.

Enjoy

S.




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 8
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 5/9/2008 3:51:03 PM   
SAF_Biffa


Posts: 131
Joined: 4/16/2008
From: Wiltshire
Status: offline
I know we're not suppose to reply to your tutorials but~


(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 9
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 6/22/2008 10:00:31 PM   
benpark


Posts: 3794
Joined: 8/12/2002
From: New Haven, CT
Status: offline
Stridor, how did you import the Sketchup model into MS3d?



< Message edited by benpark -- 6/23/2008 6:59:30 PM >


_____________________________

"Fear is a darkroom where the devil develops his negatives" Gary Busey


(in reply to SAF_Biffa)
Post #: 10
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 1/28/2009 9:17:48 PM   
RyanCrierie


Posts: 1076
Joined: 10/14/2005
Status: offline
Trying this in Milkshape for my Foxholes, BUT, I cannot see the joints at all on my screen

EDIT:

Stupid milkshake has joint size 0.0 as default.

< Message edited by RyanCrierie -- 1/28/2009 9:28:36 PM >


_____________________________

My Website with cool bits and pieces!

(in reply to benpark)
Post #: 11
RE: Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial - 1/28/2009 11:08:33 PM   
RyanCrierie


Posts: 1076
Joined: 10/14/2005
Status: offline
I'm sorry, but Milkshape is horribly unintuitive, and I can't get the joints to go where I want them. I click over the foxhole position, and the bone is created on 0,0,0 , NOT over the click point.

EDIT: Stupid Snap to Grid option, NOW it works.

< Message edited by RyanCrierie -- 1/28/2009 11:09:12 PM >


_____________________________

My Website with cool bits and pieces!

(in reply to RyanCrierie)
Post #: 12
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Discontinued Games] >> Panzer Command: Kharkov >> Maps, Models and Mods >> Stridor's Bones, Groans & Psychic Moans Tutorial Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.082