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sbobovyc

Combat Mission: Modding tools

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While I applaud your initiative (and obvious skills) I don't understand the point of this. I can go into the mod tools folder, drop in files and pack or unpack brzs with one click. I don't have to DL any third party programs or have to learn a hundred different commands. It seems like you created a more complicated way to do what we already can, with the tools BFC has already provided us.

 

With that said, welcome aboard. I look forward to seeing what else you might come up with.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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I don't know. I know during CMSF's heyday Mac users couldn't do anything regarding brzs. I am not sure now, though. I was thinking about that when I was watching your video...wondering whether Mac users could use it but figured you'd made it for Windows 'cause you were using Windows. And I haven't heard any Mac guys complaining about not being able to unpack/pack brzs in the last couple years. But if that is the case (Mac users can't deal with brzs) then you definitely made something that will benefit them. Only way we'll know is if a Mac guy speaks up.

 

As far as Linux goes, I don't even know if CM runs on it.

 

 

Mord.

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This tool will work on any operating system that can run python. CM does not have any native Linux ports as far as I know. My point is that any tool that I release for this project will be open source and cross platform.

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Then there ya go. It wasn't wasted time. Kinda weird that after all these years Mac guys are still officially out of the loop. I can remember way back when they said Mac mod tools were forth coming (circa 2008). That was even before they had an actual Mac version of CMSF. For some reason the mod tools wouldn't work even when Mac users were using the Windows version.

 

I personally don't use the brz format when I make mods so that people can go right in and take what they want without having to explode the file. This will definitely make it easier for Mac guys to get at the base game files by being able to explode the brzs, seeing their only alternative would be to have a Windows user send them the files. The first step I always take when BFC releases a new title or module is to explode the brzs for easy access/research so I can see where this will be a godsend for Mac users.

 

LOL. OK I now withdraw my first post...I have seen the light/point.

 

 

 

Mord.

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I don't understand. What exactly are you doing here? making new models? editing models? If so, I didn't know that either was even possible! So, technically could you create completely new buildings for the game? Please explain, 'cause I am completely lost as to what is going on here.

 

 

Mord.

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I believe he has opened the base files so we can edit/see the models - the future of CM modding is in this direction.

 

What software can the models be opened in?

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I wrote a tool that can parse mdr files and extract the vertex indices, vertex positions and vertex UVs. This info gets dumped to Wavefront OBJ format so that I can view the models in a 3D editor (I use Blender).

Edited by sbobovyc

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With your skills you are gonna be a rich dude one day. So, by doing all that is there potential for actually applying it to the game? Like changing them or making completely new versions?

 

 

Mord.

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I wrote a tool that can parse mdr files and extract the vertex indices, vertex positions and vertex UVs. This info gets dumped to Wavefront OBJ format so that I can view the models in a 3D editor (I use Blender).

 

Ah Blender. Cool beans.

This tool does sound promising.

 

Id be careful friend. Some people will see this as an attempt to usurp their IP and shut you down.

Edited by Stagler

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A few things to enter into this discussion:

1. It's very likely that modifying extracted models, especially buildings, will not work reliably. We have enough problems with the details and we made the game and have worked with these things for 10 years.

2. There is no way to alter the game behavior associated with the models. You can put in Sherman model for an Abrams, for example, and it will behave exactly like an Abrams in game terms. It's even worse for Independent buildings because it will be harder to know what is a correctly functioning building by eyesight. They are also very tricky to deal with (see point #1 above).

3. Of course any new models are swapouts for existing ones. Meaning, if you put in a Sherman for an Abrams then every Abrams will look like a Sherman as long as you have the mod installed.

4. A reminder that the license for use of Combat Mission does not extend ownership to the artwork. Therefore, use of CM artwork, 2D or 3D, outside of a licensed copy of Combat Mission is illegal.

Steve

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I was thinking the hammer might come down on this one but didn't want to jinx it. I always figured we were pushing the boundaries with hex edits but I guess actual model manipulation would be a mod too far. Then again I was only assuming 'cause I still don't know exactly what sbob is doing to the models, if anything, other than looking at them.

 

 

Mord.

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For what I understood:

 

-the "3d modding" is not illegal as far as the extracted models are used to create free mods for the game

-the "3d modding" can cause more or less severe problems within the game engine, making such mods glitchy if not even game-breaking. 

 

Personally, I'd have a few ideas that could improve the game models without any kind of extreme change, for example: adding tree-branches to a vehicle as visible camouflage (a panzer IV or stug, to say a couple). Not a big impact on the game (maybe the branches could even be 2d doodads?), but a guaranteed aesthetic effect.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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Steve, thanks for your comments. It is true that increasing triangle count will hurt performance and at the moment we are limited to model swapping. Mod tool development is a hobby and I will only use my powers for good.

 

I am still figuring out the mdr format. Broadly speaking, an mdr file contains one or more objects. For example, an assault rifle will have a weapon, clip (should be magazine!), stock and some other objects. Each object has 3D data, texture and some meta data. Some of this meta data looks like 4x4 matrices. Being able to look at the 3D data is fairly straight forward while creating an mdr exporter plugin is much tougher. I have a few experiments I want to try over the weekend, so stay tuned.

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Well, if in the future we'll be able to edit the UV mapping of some models that already was enough for me. Quite a few vehicles have badly mapped parts and it'd be awesome to be able to correct that.

 

Not that I can use Blender, I'm a simple texture guy... ;)

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