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kohlenklau's CM Modding Blender adventure


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8 hours ago, kohlenklau said:

my Blender Coach kindly pointed me towards the "node editor"

Yikes ūüė¨ Which bit are we looking at?

The model does look a bit larey but isn’t that the point? The FSJ had to find them quickly ... the box art is one colour way, whilst the photo shows a dark version with bright stripes, either way it’ll stand out from a distance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

BLENDER TEST IDIOT'S LOG:

(5/7/2021)

I always wanted to make this. I think the movie was an Italian war movie "El Alamein: Linea del Fuoco" and there was a fuel drum used with a sign .

Import both mdr's. Also bring in their texture bmp's. Adjust as necessary. Then do parent-child. select hierarchy and export as an mdr with a new name. It still refers to and uses the original textures from before.

AtSSdGM.png

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BLENDER TEST IDIOT'S LOG:

(5/10/2021)

As a benchmark I randomly selected to import and take a look at the lovely Schwimmwagen MDR in Blender and it has 5,297 vertices, 10.356 edges and 5,450 triangles(faces).

My DFS230 glider only has V 1,181, E 3,471 and T(F) 2,314.

But it seems the best strategy is to break the object into sub-components. This seems to allow the texturing to be better controlled. The Schwimmwagen had many sub-components...

1 big recurring lesson is that it can look all awesome in Blender but then in CM it gets distorted. Using sub-components in Blender (parent-child) and multiple uv unwrappings to the textures (bmp files) is the key apparently. 

@JM Stuff Try to study in Blender how to take that hat and divide it into groups. The badge is a group. The hat itself, divide at a natural seam, where the material would have an edge from the sewing process. Make one half of the hat a group and the other half another group. One group is the parent and the others are children of that parent. You can still use ONE bmp texture. In Blender you try to point each group to its own part of the texture bmp. GIve it a try! Good luck JM.

See in the Schwimmwagen bmp, the many sub-components share the same texture bmp. Each uv unwrapping is handled separate so as to avoid the distortion.

JzTuDpA.png

Edited by kohlenklau
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1 hour ago, kohlenklau said:

No idea

I think that the .mdr files are a kind of zipped files collecting all the information necessary for a 3d model defined in a code appropriate to CM.  

This using a unique file decompiler decompresses and analyzes the files for export into the game itself, and if one or more files are missing this affects the totality or limits the possibilities of data transfer.  
 
And I think maybe it was fortunate that we had someone who could create a script for Python and let us unpack the .mdr files, something almost unthinkable 10 to 15 years ago ... 
 
I hope someone skilled enough with Python  can re-script and unpack in the same time the .mds files. 
 
At the moment I don't despair...
 
JM
Edited by JM Stuff
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3 hours ago, kohlenklau said:

No idea

A pity. So we got to remain with guessworks or simply transfering data from very similar objects. Flavor ones seem least of an issue if one remains with similarly sized objects and put into correct categories. Some flavor characteristics seem hardcoded anyway and not referencing to any the meta data included with MDR files. Any the vehicle and non flavor type objects I¬īd not touch personally. From my own meddling in Blender I found some the meta data seems related to collision geometry and other not quite so obvious data. I.e pillboxes contain data related to aperture areas. That from my past ingame testing with edited MDR files.

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@RockinHarry

I don't think I need to mess with any meta data. I am just EXPERIMENTING for introducing some new and hopefully interesting/exciting flavor objects into the game. Also, I hope to finally modify a building mdr file and get the small domed mosque into CMFI Afrika Mod. Eye candy to be honest. Like good looking girls in bikinis hanging around down at the beach. 

I do also dream to modify a bunker to look totally different..kind of aiming for a  sandbagged and concrete look. The apertures can be whatever were coded before. I will not plan to change them.

I also dream eventually to TRY to modify a few vehicles. I am hoping to have as much of a game-code apples to apples change. In other words, just some cosmetic changes to a vehicle of a certain type. Not a Schwimmwagen with 5 inch armor. Maybe a T-34 Model 1941 in place of the T-34 Model 1942. All the wheels turn. The hatch opens. The gun fires the same rounds at the same rate. But it looks a little different.

If anyone wants to collaborate on Blender projects, please PM me. 

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Simple and eye candy things should be no problem I think. When I started with Blender import I had the same intentions. But also investigated some the fortification objects, like pillboxes and foxoles. When I messed with what I suspected beeing aperture size data, I got some weird results when it came to shooting out of and into pillboxes. But at least then knew some that data is buried in MDR files. Same for windows and doors in modular buildings. They apparently have their own aperture sizes, not coinciding with actual (visible) window and door geometies. When playing the game one notices this fact anyway. But interesting to find out, though with no practical use. Anyway, modding with Blender is fun enough. ūüėé

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  • 4 weeks later...

BLENDER TEST IDIOT'S LOG

(06/03/2021)

I kept at it and achieved success up to this point after a few failures (wheels disappeared). Still some work to do and then the GiMP art to make it look gorgeous.

 

ZVB6McU.png

As he said at the all women's college dorm..."THE SKIRTS MUST BE REMOVED!"

8wd3XbL.jpg

But the turret box CAN stay. Hull mount MG needs modded. A few other things if we get really picky.

And we need that funky metal angle iron thing under the barrel.

AND we need a row of jerry cans with white crosses up on the turret (wasser, wasser...)

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The above is going to be the mdr shenanigan that I think we can all live with.

A MacIntosh Apple modded to look like a Golden Delicious Apple.

A modded PzIV riding the PzIIIN mdr host. 

short barrel 75 = short barrel 75.

crew of five = crew of five.

Axis = axis.

relative armor/speed ~ relative armor/speed.

WE MUST SEEK OUT ALL OPPORTUNITIES TO FIND SIMILAR APPLE-APPLE vehicle mdr mods.

T-34/76 Model 1941 modded from early T-34/76 Model 1942 is on my plate. 

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@benpark How do I get rid of the shadows from the turret skirt frame if I want to eliminate the turret skirt frame? 

Here is EARLIER video before I fixed the missing wheels and short barrel polygons but HAD deleted the turret skirt element in the hierarchy....

 

 

Edited by kohlenklau
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2 hours ago, kohlenklau said:

How do I get rid of the shadows from the turret skirt frame if I want to eliminate the turret skirt frame? 

Is that an Alpha Channel knockout? If so, the light tracing will still be stopped at the "invisible" model and cast a game-shadow.

Probably best way to do it without any unwanted lighting would be to remove the offending part on the actual model.

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7 minutes ago, benpark said:

Probably best way to do it without any unwanted lighting would be to remove the offending part on the actual model.

Not an alpha channeled knockout. Well, for that video with the missing wheels I THOUGHT I HAD deleted the turret skirt in the Blender model and was surprised to still see the shadows . But in Blender there are many ways to "delete" and maybe I picked the wrong one.

I am not lazy and will experiment with a variety of methods...

Should I flat out delete it from the hierarchy? Should I select the faces in edit mode and...what is the dang word, not delete them but vanish them or something else? Or the vertices or the edges too. UGGGGH!

EDIT: DISSOLVE THEM! THAT IS THE WORD...

When I import the mdr should I check the box for bring in shadeless?

I am thinking out loud but I appreciate any words of wisdom.

 

Edited by kohlenklau
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@Aquila-SmartWargames

FYI, I found this on a Blender forum...maybe it is the answer to that one hassling problem. hull ---> hull.001

Quote

 

QUESTION: My problem is that whenever I delete all objects (selecting all objects and pressing 'Delete' then selecting 'Delete' from the drop-down menu) and import them back, the objects' names get an "index suffix", e.g. ".001".

For example, I import an .obj file, and there is an object in that file with the name "TableA". I delete it, import the same file, and now it has the name "TableA.001". I'm using a script afterwards which references the tables with their "original" name, so it's a little bit annoying I have to remove those indexes. Is there a way to circumvent this behavior?

Also, some sort of explanation would be nice - why does the program feel the urge to add that index though there is no existing object with the original name (because it has been deleted)?

 

 

Quote

 

ANSWER: 

When you delete an object, not all information about it will be deleted. Its mesh data will remain in the file. So if you want to delete the mesh data, open Outliner in Orphan data mode and click on Purge All - it will delete all mesh data that are not used in the scene, and free names.

Screen shot highlighting location of "purge all" button

Normally, object and mesh data can use different names, but the obj-import script makes these names the same. That's the reason why a new object gets the old name, but obj-import gets a new one.

 

Quote

REPLY:¬†I see, indeed there were bunch of meshes in the file, but "Purge All" seems like does the job. Thanks!¬†‚Äst

 

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This is why @Aquila-SmartWargames in his tests videos, was saying, to completly restarting a new blender, cos all elements are not always deleting, the others solution, if you dont want to restart your blender, is to rename directly your new imported file this is how I am doing, exemple:

I want to keep the new vehicles wih the name Opel I rename the new file with (hull Opel) that I know this is the hull that I will need it later, and let the original hull that I can delete when all transferts are done !

All vehicles are coming in a "folder" name hull, this include wheels turrets...so you cannot make mistakes !

if you dont delete it you could have a hull (Original) but also a hull001, hull002, hull003... depending how much vehicles you were already imported !

JM

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I am gonna close the tent on this thread. I have tried to spend some of my time to show the forum that even a numb nut like me can do a few Blender projects to meld CM into what he wants. Nobody decided to PM me about this effort. No worry. Maybe folks will tinker on their own? GO FOR IT GUYS! Meanwhile I am gonna be doing more projects for my own use. I think it is actually best to enjoy them on my own hard drive and not worry to upload them or even discuss them. Crazy stuff that most would not understand. Making a certain tank out of another tank if it was "similar enough" for playing a computer game and having fun. Thanks for reading and take care! :-)

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  • 5 months later...
On 4/4/2021 at 9:22 AM, kohlenklau said:

BLENDER TEST IDIOT'S LOG:

4/1/21:

A. Downloaded the older version of Blender that works with CM mdr files. Blender Version 2.79b. Get it from blender dot org under the "previous versions" tab...

B. Forumite Aquila has CM forum long thread on this overall New frontier stuff. It contained a video link to a youtube video by a smart guy and in the video description was the link to download a folder of stuff that a smart guy made so we can open mdr files. The smart guy is Stan and his forum name is sbobovyc

C. Followed his directions in the video like a monkey to zip an item from his folder and plug it into Blender.

It all worked. I can import CM mdr files

...more to come... 

@Commanderski

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

@CaptainTheDark Hey "coach", if you have time, can you please shoot me a PM or comment here? I have a small Blender issue to bounce off you. I imported a nice 3D Italian pith helmet and it was relatively large/gigantic to my CM needs so I scaled down and had to rotate. It did import and was looking so beautiful but was still about double or triple my needed size. Then when I finally scaled it to right about perfect, the beauty departed and it got all "shiny". I hope you can give me a tip on how to solve that... 

see below....

In Blender, working on the sun helmet...

First there was the XXXL size he was issued back at the supply depot in Naples. "Take it! Your head will swell in the heat and it will fit fine. NEXT!!!"

I had scaled and rotated numerous times but in game it didn't seem to take. The secret was (in Blender) to "apply" the transformations by Ctrl-A and this reset to 0,0,0 as it became an mdr.

YB0XcKg.png

Then he got this one off a dead guy. Maybe now it is too small. I will go back to Blender and tweak the position and scale and material shininess.

2rUbBFv.png

Edited by kohlenklau
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