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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » Custom Models
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Topic Subject:Custom Models
jcikal
Skirmisher
posted 08-23-05 10:59 PM EDT (US)         
Will we be able to make custom models using a 3d program (3ds max) or are we relegated to only using the models provided in the game?
AuthorReplies:
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 08-24-05 03:29 AM EDT (US)     1 / 14       
I'm sure we're able to edit the existing models. But I don't know if we need them for new ones too (like attaching a new one to the old one blablabla). We can't do anything other then wait...

|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
jcikal
Skirmisher
posted 08-25-05 01:35 PM EDT (US)     2 / 14       
Does anyone know what kind of files they use? Or at least if they'll release some sort of SDK for us mere mortals to tinker with. Just changing the textures is not enough, we should be able to also make new models and get them in there, like the Civilization guys can. Any game gets stale pretty quick if you can't add content to it, or if the content is just restricted to textures. Any way of contacting the developers to make our voices heard on this issue?
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 08-25-05 01:47 PM EDT (US)     3 / 14       
ES said that they shipped some tools with the game, we don't know what tools, though. But also in AoM we could change more than the texture... it took some time but eventually we got pretty far, we just needed the old ones to get the new models in the game but the really only annoying thing are the hotspots, we can't add/control them.

And I think we made our voices heard already...


|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
jcikal
Skirmisher
posted 08-25-05 02:02 PM EDT (US)     4 / 14       
Pardon my ignorance, but what are Hotspots?
EE Talon
Skirmisher
posted 08-25-05 02:04 PM EDT (US)     5 / 14       
Well Ao3 is built on the AoM engine; it even goes as far as having minor gods (called politicians). Maybe the current AoM modding programs will work, or they'll only have to be changed somewhat to work... We'll find out when the demo is released

Talanos | AoM + AoE3H's former Unofficial Angel
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
FPH MSNIT talon@transalt.com
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 06:10 AM EDT (US)     6 / 14       

Quote:

Pardon my ignorance, but what are Hotspots?


Those are the spots where weapons etc. are added to a unit.

Quote:

Maybe the current AoM modding programs will work, or they'll only have to be changed somewhat to work...


I asked Elpea about that and he said they didn't work.

|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 07:02 AM EDT (US)     7 / 14       
That means that were going to have to make another AOMed package, this time for AOE3, unless ES can give us something to use, that will save us alot of programming trouble.
Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 07:37 AM EDT (US)     8 / 14       
AOMEd can be quickly extended to new file formats - it already does SWGB/AoK DRS and FF7 LGP and ROTT WAD, and it can easily be made to understand any AoE3 formats that haven't changed much since AoM.
It sounds like the graphics system has been mostly rewritten, so those files (DDS/BRG) will likely be new or more complex than before, but the basic engine/editor (which includes BAR/XMB/SCN) seems to be mostly the same. So, the latter files shouldn't be any trouble.
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 08:18 AM EDT (US)     9 / 14       
Oh, ok. I just hope the game DOESN'T USE DDT FILES THIS TIME! I really HATED THOSE!
Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 08:46 AM EDT (US)     10 / 14       

Quote:

I just hope the game DOESN'T USE DDT FILES THIS TIME! I really HATED THOSE!


Quoted from me in another thread:

What is wrong with them? Or, more interestingly, what is wrong with the tools that are available to edit them, and how could those tools be made more user-friendly?


(Is the alpha-channel splitting stuff a problem? (For textures with player-colour data, I can't think of any nicer methods that don't require fairly complex configuration of paint programs in order to see and edit the colour as well the [non-transparency] alpha. And some people probably still want to edit the textures in Paint.)
Or is it just that the DDT converter was horrendously slow and low quality and occasionally buggy? (I've written much nicer DXTC compression code since then, which seems to be similar quality to NVIDIA's programs (and it also does fairly efficient lossless recompression, which is quite handy since we don't have access to ES's original full-quality art data; but I don't know how that compares to nvDXT), and hopefully they don't still use three thousand different varieties of paletted textures...))
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 09:21 AM EDT (US)     11 / 14       
No Ykkrosh, it was the fact that DDTs used so many sub-formats for textures, if you got it off by one level the texture didn't work or AOMED didnt convert it right. Why carnt ES just stick with EDITABLE formats like TGA, formats that we don't need to convert to edit, write down a rediculous ammount of format listings and remember all those formats (DDT!!).

But what was werse in AOM were the BTI textures, we couldn't edit those, i hope ES has got rid of those, or will suply a tool for converting them.

Ykkrosh
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 09:47 AM EDT (US)     12 / 14       
Aha, okay - I suppose the converter should have added the format details into the filename, so it would automatically know what to do when converting back. I'm not sure why I didn't do that...

BTI seem to be text files (e.g. "alpha=4"), but there were BTX (terrain?) and BT8 (8-bit terrain?) and BDT (bump map or something?) textures. I looked at those briefly, and AOMEd could sort of convert them into a series of bitmaps, but it appears I never bothered making two-way conversion work nicely, probably since I was never aware that they were particularly useful

The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 10:29 AM EDT (US)     13 / 14       
I'm also glad the ,BRGs are gone. What annoyed me was having to convert the model from Gmax to 3dx, then to brg, it would have been so much easier (and quicker) to have AOMED convert the .Gmax files directly into .brg, or what ever file format AOE3 uses. I know it uses GRNs for the cinimatic models so we won't be able to edit those. (i saw that on the main website of the company that made Granny 3D, it listed the games that used Granny, AOE3 was listed along side AOM).

I also didn't like the fact that with the last version of AOMED you had to base any new models on pre-existing models. This ment that you couldn't make an entirely new unique model because you wouldn't have any pre-existing models to base it on.

Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 08-26-05 11:53 AM EDT (US)     14 / 14       

Quote:

(bump map or something?)


As far as I know AoM didn't use bump maps... AoE 3 will though, well, normal maps that is.

@The_Assimilator: You can't always convert a file to a different file because they are all coded very differently. Of course you could convert it, but it would be so complex that it would take ages to convert and would probably have faults in it too. Also I don't think we (read Ykkrosh ) are allowed to make a free tool that converts GRN files, because the company that makes them holds the rights.


|| argalius.elpea.net
|| Cherub at AoE3H
|| In honor of FlipBizcut
|| Mod: The Age of Crusades
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