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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Modding Discussions » Possible solution for new models.
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Topic Subject:Possible solution for new models.
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The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 01-07-09 05:29 PM EDT (US)         
Hi folks.

I think I have some good news for the modding community, after doing a google search, I found a Granny 3D export plugin for 3ds Max 6, 7 and 8 (the version I'm using.) I've installed it and I am currently testing it with a simple model, I did get an error dialog box when i started up Max, (I think it said something about a plugin module not loading) but the plugin seems to have loaded and is working. I'll try and upload some screenshots, as well as provide a link to where i found it.

Link: http://www.n1nj4.com/viewtopic.php?t=8550&sid=75eb631caeee0de225ad896ec17bc6de

and here's some screenshots:

Main export dialog box:

[JPEG, (358.87 KB)]

A shot of some of the specific options available.

[JPEG, (447.79 KB)]

I'll ad more screenshots when i figure out how to put the model into the game.

New Screenshot. The model seems to have been exported correctly.

[JPEG, (482.62 KB)]

[This message has been edited by The_Assimilator (edited 01-07-2009 @ 05:37 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
TwentyLemon
Skirmisher
posted 01-11-09 10:18 PM EDT (US)     26 / 44       
Tea_Pot.xml (Anim file, a copied, renmaed and edited Wood Crate anim file.)
Tea_Pot.xmb (A copied, and renamed Wood Crate .xmb file.)
Maybe you called Tea_Pot.xml.xmb wrong. Every other texture is .xml.xmb, yours is only .xmb. So maybe you have a .xml in a calling path where there shouldn't be? Since you're just essentially copy/pasting, it *might* be an issue.

I honestly hope it is the issue.
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 01-12-09 12:25 PM EDT (US)     27 / 44       
Maybe you called Tea_Pot.xml.xmb wrong. Every other texture is .xml.xmb, yours is only .xmb. So maybe you have a .xml in a calling path where there shouldn't be? Since you're just essentially copy/pasting, it *might* be an issue.

I honestly hope it is the issue.
I just double checked, and the file in that folder is an .xml.xmb, i wrote it down wrong in my earlier post. :-P I think the problem i'm having is just the texture, maybe i've not done the alpha right or something. Most of the alpha channel is black, with just two pieces of white, should it be the other way round?
BilboBeutlin
Skirmisher
posted 01-13-09 04:44 AM EDT (US)     28 / 44       
Little question beneath: if you examine the gr2 file with GrannyViewer - does it show up the right file/path to texture?

Another point (what people often forget): the Granny 3D SDK (=Source Development Kit) can be (and is mostly) adapted to user's (license owner's) requirements. That means there is no 'standard', each gr2 file from another user, even from same user but other version may have another structure.
Insofar I don't believe that any granny exporter could generate a file compatible to present AoE3 files. Perhaps a static model has a little chance - but hardly an animated one.
Alexastor
AoEO Seraph
(id: Kastor)
posted 01-13-09 09:18 AM EDT (US)     29 / 44       
No, no Bilo. I got an animated unit ingame already to work! But it's lacking textures still (because that didn't work) and I don't have the programs installed right now (anymore).
BilboBeutlin
Skirmisher
posted 01-13-09 08:34 PM EDT (US)     30 / 44       
Yeah - I remember ... wasn't it a catapult from Stronghold2 ?
At least it indicates that ES and Firefly are using similiar granny methods.
Nevertheless I'm still skeptical whether a full AoE3 compatibel output could be generated by a standard exporter.
But let's see .. "Nothing Is Impossible"
Sir_Hans
Scenario Expert
posted 01-15-09 07:41 AM EDT (US)     31 / 44       
Then is it possible to add a model of Civ City Rome?
Because Firefly made it with granny, too.
sziggi
Skirmisher
posted 01-25-09 01:18 AM EDT (US)     32 / 44       
@The_Assimilator Hi, just had an idea how you could help me with some modding I'm doing, would create a lot of modeling possiblities and save me loads of time.


I'm pretty excited about the teapot though the possiblities have me somewhat at a lose, not for things to create but the best way to do so. Very interested, hoping we could talk a bit.


Regards
peugeot407
Skirmisher
posted 02-02-09 07:41 AM EDT (US)     33 / 44       
As Bilbo said, even though you made a leap forward, the real problem is textures. As ES had Granny adjusted just for AoE3, so even AoM models don't work, there's no way of tracing how textures are defined in the gr2 models, unless some gentle ES employee tells us, after the completion of Halo Wars...


peugeot407

|> Robert Faber (aka peugeot407)
|> Humble Creator of: Knights and Barbarians, Danish Civ Mod, Several Tutorials and the Tutorial Database
|> November 2007 Modding Contest: 2nd place (me: 360 pts, Captain_Soanso: 365 pts!)
|> January 2008 Modding Contest: first place!

When in doubt, flat out! (Colin McRae)
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 02-02-09 11:16 AM EDT (US)     34 / 44       
Hi, just had an idea how you could help me with some modding I'm doing, would create a lot of modeling possiblities and save me loads of time.


I'm pretty excited about the teapot though the possiblities have me somewhat at a lose, not for things to create but the best way to do so. Very interested, hoping we could talk a bit.


Regards
Greetings.

Well, it all depends on what you want to create. 3D models? or Textures?

If it's models, your best bet is something like blender (free, open source), or Gmax (discontinued but still available, try googling it.)

As for textures, you need two things: a graphics package like Gimp (free), Paint Shop Pro, Not free, but not terribly expensive, or perhaps Photoshop

You will also need the AoE3ed package that can be downloaded from this site, it contains the .bar archive extractor and the file onverter you'll need to change .DDTs to .BMP/.TGAs and back and .XMBs to .XMLs and back, i'm not exactly sure where it is in the Downloads section, as for adding new units (by editing the XMLs) there are tuts here taht deal with that, as well as texturing. Modeling tuts you can find all over the net, but i will try to help you if i can.

And on the Teapot front, i haven't looked at it in the Granny Viewer yet (i think i lost the viewer ) i'll have a look some time today.
Tilanus Commodor
Skirmisher
posted 02-03-09 10:00 AM EDT (US)     35 / 44       
Hey guys, I've tried to get the teapot experiment working on my computer, however, it's simply not working cause the programm doesn't accept the plugin. I'm using 3ds Max 2009.

Most probably a problem with a version, couldn't this be fixed easily?

The Ancient Age | Napoleonic Era

Modding is art!
sziggi
Skirmisher
posted 02-03-09 06:33 PM EDT (US)     36 / 44       
Hey thanks for the links- do use the blender and is surprizingly a good program to model with. Accually was looking for a armature rig to mount some guns on the warwagon- thing has no good attachments- downloaded the max trail yet havn't installed as I'm pretty sure the exporter may be version short? thanks
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 02-04-09 10:30 AM EDT (US)     37 / 44       
To answer both questions:

Yes. Unfortunately, the Granny3d exporter plugin I uploaded was compiled using the SDK from MAX 6 through 8, and, since its a binary plugin, it is regretably version specific, it certainly won't work with Max 2009, it might have worked with max 9 though.

That's one of the few things I don't like about max, it's not backwards-compatible.

If the plugin had been made entirely in Maxzcript, then yes, it would (probably) work in any version, since a maxscript file is basically a text file, and can be edited/writen with notepad (like the same way you'd write a random map script)

So, to that effect, Tilanus Commodor, the ONLY way for you to get that plugin to work for Max 2009 would be to EITHER write it from scratch in Maxscript, OR somehow get hold of the Granny 3d exporter source code, and recompile it using the Max 2009 SDK, i'm sure the source code is online somewhere, or you might have to by a licence for it, but it's really expensive.

My advice to you mate, is try putting something together with Maxscript, there are tutorials for using that all over the net.

==EDIT==

http://gr2decode.altervista.org/download.html

Someone posted that link on the first page of the thread, it links to a page with several GR2 tools, (including a converter) and, I belive, the source code for a GR2 Max exporter, i think it's for Never Winter Nights though, but you could change it.

[This message has been edited by The_Assimilator (edited 02-04-2009 @ 10:36 AM).]

Tilanus Commodor
Skirmisher
posted 02-04-09 06:02 PM EDT (US)     38 / 44       
Meeh, I'm really green when it comes to programming/scripting. Never really got into that and now I'm supposed to write it own my own. *ugh* There's really no one who could do it easily? =D *looking like a cute dog*

The Ancient Age | Napoleonic Era

Modding is art!
The_Assimilator
Skirmisher
posted 02-04-09 08:55 PM EDT (US)     39 / 44       
It would be very difficult to write it in Maxscript anyway, I can't really code .ms all that well, so, I can't help you there, I think your best bet would be to try out the converters on that site I linked to in my above post.
Tilanus Commodor
Skirmisher
posted 03-03-09 04:36 PM EDT (US)     40 / 44       
Well, I didn't try further with all the converters, it seems hopeless. I have another 3ds Max and the converters are not compatible. But my idea was the following. As fair as I know it's possible to colour all the 3d shapes of a whole model. Just a rough example: You're modelling a house with a box and a pyramid as roof, colour it ... grey and red. Would the game adopt it? Did anyone check that?

If this doesn't work I've another question. I'm new to 3d modelling and missing some basic knowledge yet. In general it's possible to give models a texture, how does that work and at which step appears the problem with the granny format?

The Ancient Age | Napoleonic Era

Modding is art!

[This message has been edited by Tilanus Commodor (edited 03-03-2009 @ 04:37 PM).]

hughbado
Skirmisher
posted 03-05-09 12:17 PM EDT (US)     41 / 44       
i think that the problem seems to be that 3ds max doesnt support the .ddt format,who ever it was that coded the aoe3ed converter might beable to help you. I am not sure, i don't really do any modding for aoe3. (i would do if custom models would work)
Sir_Hans
Scenario Expert
posted 03-05-09 01:36 PM EDT (US)     42 / 44       
I think I spend more time to modding if custom models work...
But which program could ES use that they have gr2 and ddt files?
BilboBeutlin
Skirmisher
posted 03-05-09 01:43 PM EDT (US)     43 / 44       
The .ddt files are merely something like 'pre-compiled' .tga files - I assume to simplify the handling graphics -> DirectDraw/Direct3D -> GPU.
An exporter doesn't need ddt support. Output in tga format can be transformed to ddt by AoE3Ed's FileConverter. However some rules for tga dimensions and file notation have to be regarded - see what the author of AoE3Ed (Ykkrosh) wrote to this theme.


@Sir_Hans
ES has used mainly the development kits of RAD Gametools.
hughbado
Skirmisher
posted 03-05-09 03:50 PM EDT (US)     44 / 44       
oh ye i saw this post before, possibly to do with the texture coord data that the .gr2 file stores then?
i guess there are endless possibilities that will never be solved..
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