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Opening .mds files


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Hello,

I'm currently experimenting with making German tank crews wear parkas in the winter. A problem I've run into is that they don't have headsets anymore when they wear said parkas.

I can open .mdr files to edit weapons but I haven't found a way to open .mds files yet. In fact I'm not even sure that's possible. Can anyone give me some pointers as to how to fix that, if it actually is possible?

If anyone wants me to share what I've done, just ask.

Edited by Frenchy56
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  • 1 year later...
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kohlenklau said:

hey Frenchy, did you ever solve the missing headsets issue?

I have a similar issue with Soviets now in early war model M35 uniforms. No gear!

The headsets are linked to the uniform, as is the gear. Nothing much we can do against the headset issue, for the gear you need to use uniform models from the same faction for it to keep showing up.

I just chose to accept it and let them not wear headsets. The parkas look cool enough.

Edited by Frenchy56
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.mds files are Battlefront properietary files for the 3d human models in the CM games. So they are similar to the .mds. files and to open them would require to "decode" their file structure and make an import script for Blender or some other 3D program, where they could be opened. Something like this that was made for the .mds files: 

 

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3 minutes ago, SchnelleMeyer said:

.mds files are Battlefront properietary files for the 3d human models in the CM games. So they are similar to the .mds. files and to open them would require to "decode" their file structure and make an import script for Blender or some other 3D program, where they could be opened. Something like this that was made for the .mds files: 

 

I guess this code must be also linked with Python progrm cos to open mdr files, a Python code had be created...?  just asking !

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4 minutes ago, SchnelleMeyer said:

The tools was written in Python, yes.

for mdr files...  so we have to know somebody that know Python quite good  to have the same result for mds !!

 

Edited by JM Stuff
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Just now, SchnelleMeyer said:

Yes, but Python knowledge is not enough. - the decoding of the .mds format would be the most challenging. Writing the script in Python would be simple enough (for a programmer) when the format is known.

Good to know,.. I don t know why but peoples with a name  Meyer or Mayer...are always clever !

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  • 4 months later...

Bonjour Mr. Frenchy!

I figure this is a good thread to discuss what mds file shenanigans I have done...

In CMRT I am trying to make the early War look for the Red Army troops. This is the M35 uniform with a regular collar. A closed buttoned collar look is what I want. So I borrowed the German smock mds and renamed it as the M43 Soviet Gymanstikoya M43 uniform (mandarin collar with shoulderboards). 

I will use the terms shell and host. The "shell" mds title is the normal CMRT Soviet M43 uniform filename modded in GiMP to look like the older M35. It rides on the outside of the "host" of the German smock mds. The game engine only sees the host. The desire is for the player to of course see the modded shell. The file in the z folder says shell's title but inside is the host's hex data. Got it?

So, then you open the mds file in hexedit program and you look for the gear section of the file. I think it references like 15 or so gear items. All German of course. You can edit and rename these to the Soviet gear if you have a like number of characters. Some of them were right on the money. G-E-R-M-A-N is same as S-O-V-I-E-T. 6 letters each! 

german_radio = soviet_radio and the game engine knows who your radio operators are and plops a radio on the guys back. Similar to SMG armed guys get SMG ammo pouches, officers get "officery" stuff. It needs some position tweaking in Blender.

Sometimes you are stuck. The number of letters does not match. So nothing shows.

Then you go to Blender and you can make gear item A also have gear item B in its mdr file. Trial and error for proper body positioning in the game. 

In CMFI I just did the something similar with Free French at Bir Hakeim. The French nromally wear the US M41 uniforms and I put them in the British shorts. In progress but going well. american and british are not lucky perfect matches like I had in CMRT. In your host mds file you have to do a gear analysis of the number of letters as well as the target gear you WANT to see displayed.

28british_ammo-universal-right
27british_ammo-universal-left
24american_shovel-t-handle
23british_holster-officer
22american_shovel-e-tool
22american_pouch-compass
21british_pouch-compass
21american_ammo-carbine
20american_pouch-binoc
19british_pouch-binoc
19british_ammo-pistol
19american_ammo-rifle
18american_pouch_map
18american_pouch-aid
17american_ammo-smg
17american_ammo-lmg
17american_backpack
16british_backpack
16british_breadbag
16american_bayonet
16american_holster
16american_canteen
15british_holster
15british_canteen
15british_bayonet
15british_gasmask
14british_shovel
14american_knife
14american_radio
13british-radio

british_breadbag is in as american_bayonet
Now used Blender to add in both univ's.
Some soldiers are skipped for no breadbag.
Add canteen also later.

british_radio renamed as mdr for american_radio as british_shovel (only for radio operators). But needs position tweaked in Blender.

american_ammo-smg replaces british_canteen ***with a plan*** to paste over the shovels location data. add both univs later.
 

Of course you keep yourself sane by saving often and using a modtag for all these shenanigans.

Like the French Adrian helmet of the North African French Soldiers was mdr swapped for the kepi and then color changed to white.  modtagged! and the chin strap was alpha layered so it doesn't show. modtagged!

************

Both of the above mds shenanigan projects are in progress. PM me with any questions or offers to get involved and do cool stuff together.

 

Edited by kohlenklau
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A new report. I was able to successfully do something with the location text portion for a gear item in the mds file. Now for me, this is all foreign territory. I remember taking a college course to convert hex to decimal. I remember zilch. 

I opened the mds in HxD and copied the location portion of the gasmask gear entry. I have done some Soviet-era reverse engineering to find the similarity in the gear entry sections. I spotted the consistency in one section and what changed by the 3D location on the soldiers body. I think bip is "body insertion point" and spine 1 and spine 2 are different areas preset to be where the node of the gear mdr gets attached.

So, I just dragged and copied that part to the clipboard and then found the radio gear entry and dragged the same area AND PASTED OVER. Oh, I forgot to say I had done a lot of file analysis on this one and those 2 gear items HAPPENED to have gear entry text both with 74 characters. I took a set of 74 characters and pasted it over another different set of location info but ALSO 74 characters in length.

I fired up my test scenario with my z folder guinea pig mds file and radio went to the hip.

BINGO!

Edited by kohlenklau
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Another successful test inside the mds file.

Each gear item has a hexadecimal checksum in front of it. You can swap around gear as long as your net change in mds file length is zero.

I brought IN american canteen for british canteen 16 for a 15, that is +1

but balanced that with swapping OUT british ammo pistol 19 for american pouch map 18 , that is -1

so net zero change to file length and it worked.

The canteen is a big deal because that is "issued" to all your ground troops. (I am not discussing crews for vehicles.)

I can use Blender to put the universal ammo pouches to the canteen mdr and everybody looks good for having gear.

The officer map pouch I can blender add the compass pouch and whatever else, holster, pistol ammo pouch. I guess.

 

 

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