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Aquila-CM

Custom 3D Models and Mods Compilation

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Holy cow! I'm impressed. Anyone who plays around in the editor a bit realises the more tools you have to craft more 'lived in' maps allowing you to tell stories to more power you have. :)

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Posted (edited)

Yes as one of the last models I want to design out of initiative  is a WW2 Landing Craft as it often comes up and the described trick here with placing a bridge or terrain beneath a ship makes this even more interesting.

Beside this I try to get a simple civillian truck into the game like this one:

 DSC_9846-tyoboxtruck1_large.jpg?v=151172

I am pretty sure this would be an great flavor addition for many scenarios and situations aswell.But I´m having troubles to find something easy to import.

I took a look and you are right the kiosk/shelter are probably the biggest flavour objects in game, there is unfortunately nothing very wide, but using a (invisible) shelter instead of the box as an primer in Blender will perhaps help with FOV. I have the feeling there is a better solution to be found by someone else.

Like already mentioned I want to step back a bit and if just take priority jobs from scenario designers, especially campaign designers as one who checked out my channel knows that I love campaigns and can´t get enough of them. My list:

1st) A Black Hawk Down-like scenario/campaign (historical/fictional)

2nd) Modern War on Drugs/Cartels, fictional US campaign in the mood of movies such as "Sicario"

3rd) Road to Bagdhad, Invasion of Iraq 2003 (Battle of Najaf, Karbala, Basra, Karbala-Gap etc.)

4rd) Anything in the African Theathre (historical/fictional)

5rd) Battle of Takur Ghar, Afghanistan - I would design a CH-47 Chinook for it, snow terrain check, special forces skins check, dramatized in players interest like it was done with the NEPTUNE SPEAR scenario, good scenario start would be when the Rangers QRF arrive after the initial engagement of the SEALs, I would design a CH-47 Chinook for it.

6th) Battle of Qala-i-Jangi, Afghanistan - a really controversial story but would give an interesting battle - I always was interested in the Taliban´s POV on that but for gaming purposes playing Dostum´s North Alliance alongside with the CIA Special Activities Division, UK Special Boat Service, and US Army Special Forces in an semi historical dramatized scenario would be likely more interesting for gaming purposes

7th) Operation Red Wings Battle of Abbas Ghar, Afghanistan

8th) 1st/2nd Fallujah, Anything from any modern conflict, anyhing about ISIS uprise and downfall no matter if historical/semi/fictional or what factions involved. Seeing the Russian Forces conversion would be nice, you can design a Red vs Red with Russian Forces fighting Syrian UNCON, however unfortunately the UNCON will also speak Russian.

For these I would extra extra help design whatever scen guys need. However I advice everyone with the slightest interest in doing own 3D objects in CM to get a hang of the tools. On the recent creations I´ve attached the blender project files for you for reverse engineering.

And yes it was brought up that you can also model the gear of soldiers in CM2 as it is stored in .mdr format. This opens also alot of opportunities like replacing helmets with new ones or something else. Weapons modelling is also very functional as done by the plugin author in his tutorial video.

Last one important thing: I personally installed "Anaconda" Python 3.x and Blender. I do not know much about this stuff but there are different Pyhton versions and something on the CM2 tools requirements page prompted me to go for this Anaconda special python version because it includes something that the normal one doesn´t have. Perhaps this a fix for the people that contacting me having issues setting up CM2 tools plugin in Blender. I also offering to have a chat, talk, or even a teamview if required on Discord for people with serious interest in getting this done. For this private messaging here is too inefficient. 

Free models repositories I´ve found:

http://www.cadnav.com/ (IMHO best)

http://open3dmodel.com/

https://archive3d.net/

Alot use the max format which can´t be imported into Blender. But there seems to be an free educational version of Max for access. One could then with it convert the .max work into .obj for Blender use. But with Google efforts and digging its almost always possible to find something free in one of Blender´s import formats.

Edited by Aquila-CM

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as flavor objects, I'd like to see civilian cars and livestock. Right now the urban areas seem rather depopulated, but some cars parked on the right of the road could provide some realism and put some life into an otherwise seemingly dead city. Even if the inhabitants cannot be seen (either fleeing or hiding), the presence of their cars in the streets may may hint they are there, somewhere. Oh, and the livestock...I'd love to see sheepfolds over the rolling hills...😄

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Aquila-CM's excellent work motivated me to release the metadata update. The infantry file format is different than static objects, and though I made some progress reverse engineering it I would like to finish up mdr first. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Aquila-CM said:

Beside this I try to get a simple civillian truck into the game

On the recent creations I´ve attached the blender project files for you for reverse engineering.

you can also model the gear of soldiers in CM2 as it is stored in .mdr format. This opens also alot of opportunities like replacing helmets with new ones or something else. Weapons modelling is also very functional as done by the plugin author in his tutorial video.  

+1  More civilian vehicles are always welcome.  In the modern titles in urban terrain civilian vehicle flavor objects are very useful. 

Interesting stuff.  Thanks for sharing. 

5 hours ago, Aquila-CM said:

my channel knows that I love campaigns and can´t get enough of them.

Where is your channel? 

 

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Posted (edited)

This is my "way and method" how I got to the finish. Perhaps there are steps that aren´t required or not best.

 

CUSTOM FLAVOR OBJECTS FOR WW2 AND MODERN AQUILA METHOD:

1) Install Anaconda Python 3.X (Google)

2) Install Blender Software (Google)

3) Install a Photoshop Software. Free good Tool: GIMP2 (Google)

3) Check CM2Tools Plugin Authors Github page https://github.com/sbobovyc/CM2Tools for info and plugin download. Also his BFForums thread (1st post) Watch Plugin Author´s Import/Export Tutorial (1st Post)

4) Install Plugin like shown in these Videos

5) Take the original .brz files in data of your WW2 or Modern CM2 game and put it into "Input" of Combat Mission X/ModTools/Rezexplode and unpack them

6) Go and find a custom 3D Model of your liking in one of the Blender formats (advanced users may convert them). You can check comptatible formats in Blender under File/Import. Free 3D Databases in 1st Post and recent big post of me. Check that it comes with textures. 

7) Start Blender, delete the placeholder cube you don´t need it, with add/lamp/hemisphere in the lower interface you can make everything brighter. It is sometimes very dark.

8 ) I start with importing an original "primer" Cm2 flavor object. Without this step no custom models show up in CM2 (there is likely some essential info stored into them). They are located in your unpacked CM2 game files. Often under terrain/flavor objects/models. Import for example "shelter1.mdr" into blender with file/import/mdr. Check "import metadata" and "transform", I have 4 checkmarks there. May not be required for flavors but for standarization I always do this. For smaller projects you can use smaller stuff like crate1.mdr.

9) You see a CM2 shelter, there is a small ball dropdown in the lower interface, you can change to "materials" or "textures" so see it with textures

10) Now again file/import/ choose the format of your custom model download and import it aswell. Check if textures are shown, I am no 3d artists some models are riddles and I dismiss them because I can´t handle them. Easy model to start training was the fire truck and ambulance https://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/432872

11) You see it, it may be extremely gigantic, extremly small, you need to resize it and move it with these three colored arrows, some objects have multiple entities, use usual windows shift commands for multi selection to move all at once to keep them in cohesion. The original CM2 shelter is your orientation. Where the CM2 shelter is, is the center, where its fundament is, is the ground. Delete stuff you don´t want with right  click "delete hierarchy" in the right interface (I call it Order of Battle, first time is like a battle but don´t give up 😂) . You can move stuff into the space of the original Shelter, no problem but AVOID moving,modifying the box, its your center of the world. Use undo/redo under lower interface/object if you mess up. You can perhaps modify it but I don´t know how and it often leads to problems when exporting with flying models in the sky etc.

12) When you are done, move every custom entitity into the shelter´s folder in the right interface (pros call it make it parent), you can do that by simple drag and drop the symbol of the entitiy. (Author´s Tutorial shows this).

13) Textures of custom models most time come with wrong format. Start GIMP2, load textures into it, go to export, choose file extension "BMP", check 24bit and "do not write info bla" and export it. This is the required format for CM2. 

14) Now difficult part you need to replace the texture connections in BLENDER with new BMP. Its in the Right Interface looks like a chessboard ball and square. There you need to remove (x symbol) and to add the bmp. This is somewhat complicated and I to this day don´t know what I am doing. With Trial and Error you get everything show up with your texture.BMPs

15) (optional) you can turn models or model parts invisible with a blank texture (post attachment) in CM2. Also your primer shelter if it is outside the custom model for example.

15a) IMPORTANT: There is something I forget, some models need to be "triangulated". Sounds super complicated but what you just need to do is select the custom model entity, press TAB, and then SHIFT+T, done. If you ever see a "perforated" custom model in your CM game its this step you´ve missed.

16) When everything is textured you are now ready to export. In the right interface select the root entry (your shelter.mdr entitiy with all bells and whistles in it), right click, select hierarchy, everything gets an yellow outline. Check that you are on OBJECT MODE (lower interface) Go to file/export/mdr and do it, make sure that "export metadata" is OFF and do it.

17) create a folder with your new .mdr file and put all textures in it you´ve used. For reverse engineering and helping others I suggest you save an additional blender file (file/save) and put it into it so others can learn from this.

18) rename the untitled.mdr to an flavor object of your liking. Draw Distance is dependant on what you replace. Do not make a cargo ship and call it crate1.mdr, very bad idea it will pop out after 100m distance. Better draw distance comes from big stuff like shelter1,2,3.mdr and best likely are street trafic light or Black Sea monument or big WW2 shelter.

19) throw your ready folder into the Z mod folder

20) go into editor, map, flavor objects place the flavor object you just´ve replaced and check, first time errors will happen you WILL see nothing, you WILL see black models, process of learning but you will prevail.

 

CUSTOM VEHICLES FOR WW2 AND MODERN AQUILA METHOD (just different step):

16) Turn "EXPORT METADATA ON", do not forget otherwise all tire and track wheels will look like you´re watching a Transformers movie. This on the other hand means there are difficulties replacing vehicles or vehicle parts with custom models as custom models require "EXPORT METADATA OFF" so if you want a custom ride with wheels or track wheels with current CM2 tools this seems not possible AFAIK but you can do surely do boats as these naturally don´t require wheels.

HOWEVER: You can mix/match several CM2 vehicles by importing them all and switching their parts. Its a bit like playing Car Mechanic simulator, no joke 😂. NEVER FORGET when importing set "IMPORT METADATA" and "TRANSFORM" and always "EXPORT METADATA" when working with vehicles, do alot of backups, if you once miss this and save info is lost, I lost an hour work because I forgot as you don´t notice that you forgot to import/export metadata. Since this I always stop breathing for a moment when I give my custom CM rides the first move command. 

You can also sculpt and cut parts by moving the vertices or selecting specific model parts in EDIT MODE (Tab) with Wireframe Model (Z) and deselecting (A) (pixels that connect everything) in edit mode. I always USE DELETE FACES not delete vertices as otherwise I got export errors afterwards. Check my Humvee V2 creation video, no commentary for doing this live. But sculpting completely new vehicles out of existing ones requires 3D Artist maestros and is alot of work. 

I had 5-10 lines of text in mind before writing this, very naive. Honestly now after writing this I see that a written tutorial wasn´t the best idea and I don´t know if this will make any sense but perhaps it helps one and somebody can come up with a decent video tutorial. Don´t get scared by Blender´s interface, for Combat Mission stuff you do not need 99,9% of it.

blank.bmp

Edited by Aquila-CM

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Aquila-CM said:

This is my "way and method" how I got to the finish. Perhaps there are steps that aren´t required or not best.

I had 5-10 lines of text in mind before writing this, very naive. Honestly now after writing this I see that a written tutorial wasn´t the best idea and I don´t know if this will make any sense but perhaps it helps one and somebody can come up with a decent video tutorial. Don´t get scared by Blender´s interface, for Combat Mission stuff you do not need 99,9% of it.

blank.bmp 128.05 kB · 1 download

Thanks for taking the time to type all that out.  Interesting stuff.  I was wondering what I could do with the blank bmp file attachment.  I've been wanting to get rid of some ammo pouches on my Chiraq police officers.  So I took the blank bmp and tried to disappeared them.  It WORKED!!! :)

 GnAVgmGh.jpg

pYFRPd6h.jpg

Now I just have to mod tag it and drop it in the police folder.  And paint over that gray bib looking thing. :) 

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Posted (edited)

Yes the blank.bmp is an handy tool in many CM modding efforts. With Blender CM2 tools you can go a step farer and blank out specific model parts.

Edited by Aquila-CM

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, sbobovyc said:

@Aquila-CM We are going to have to sit down one day on Teamviewer and get to the bottom of this problem you encounter with deleting faces.

Deleting faces works like a charm I had a problem with deleting vertices, however I didn´t test if its still present in your new CM2T version as deleting faces is a pretty fine method for me.

 

Okay additionally to the written tutorial here is some footage of me working on stuff, everything is without commentary as usual. You see me struggle there with alot and some steps I wouldn´t do as I´ve learned more in the meantime. Alot goes now alot quicker and easier. Also the tools got updated and there are slightly differences now there. Most important the EXPORT METADATA option upon exporting (check written tutorial above): The videos are in chronology of how I found my way but you don´t obligatory have to watch them all or in order. The Blackhawk Video is the most vital one when it comes to designing new flavor objects and should work well alongside the written tutorial.

1) Design of a Makeshift VBIED (complete process, working with existing CM2 vehicles, NO CUSTOM models)

 

2) Design of the Humvee Wreck (working with EXISTING models, the model gave me alot of headache because i was moving the original CM primer flavor object around, which also results in the Humvee being abit afloat (use rubble or holes to mask it), today I would not touch the CM flavor primer object and simply turn it invisible with a blank texture (see written tutorial).

 

3) Making the Humvee Wreck look more destroyed (CUTTING FACES, working with EXISTING models)

 

4) Updating my Battle M2 Humvee V1 to V2 (involves CUTTING & SCULPTING Techniques, EXISTING models)

 

5) Complete Design of a DIY Syrian Makeshift APC (EXISTING MODELS, TEXTURE DESIGN TECHNIQUES in GIMP2) Shows the issues that arise when working with complex multi-part items like gun turret mounts. I tried to replace the track with wheels but as you can see in the end they look strange when driving thus I put  the track back.

 

6) Design of the downed Blackhawk Flavor Object, (WORKING WITH NEW FLAVOR MODELS, CUTTING) As texture I simply used existing CMSF2´s "concrete-black.bmp" as I had no clue what to do else. The video ends with the an export error. This was a day before sbobovyc updated his tools with the "EXPORT METADATA" option. By turning this off, the major breakthrough was achieved. Today I would use a SHELTER as original flavor "primer" object as I believe it has less FOV issues when being close to the new custom model. I also would move the helicopter parts into the primer and not vice versa and do not change the primer´s height. I would also keep everything at center (green red line intersection).

 

Edited by Aquila-CM

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Hi, among these many wonderful CMSF2 mods , I would like to be able to add some additional gear to the soldiers. For example to add the the US backpack, hydration pack, or side pouches to the Syrian soldiers. Any instructions please?

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Posted (edited)
On 7/22/2019 at 1:53 AM, Aquila-CM said:

Makeshift APC   

+1  Now that is an interesting vehicle.  I probably could have used that in the scenario Coup d'etat. :D  :lol:

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Erwin said:

Any updates, or are these the same files as before?  Thanks for your amazing work, Aquila.

Everything the same just updated the link after it went down. If I update something there I´ll attach an "V2" or something to it or let you know.

 

MIG-21 Crashed + Parked. You can also turn it into a vehicle (example rename it to taxi-vehicle.mdr) to simulate taxiing aircraft that attempt to flee/takeoff which could be simulated by an extraction zone in the editor.

mI6I2Zw.png

However I can´t get the textures to show up and don´t know why. Converted them and did 24bit and "no not write (...)" but still doesn´t work. I am out of ideas but did upload everything including the blender project files as "MIG-21 Flavor Pack" to the Dropbox. Perhaps one can solve the riddle. As with my other stuff feel free to fix, modify, use it for whatever you need it.  

Edited by Aquila-CM

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