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Trenches are very difficult, probably in the Japanese sense.

There are a lot of situations in CM where two-dimensional images have to cover for lack of three dimensional modeling in the game, usually for small details.

There is, however, only so much illusion you can pack into two dimensions, no matter how good you are.

The problem with trenches is that game modeling is trying to make the bitmap do too much. The trench bmp should be stretched across a dent in the map, not a flat surface. It needs to have real depth, and units standing in it need to be visibly lower than the surface of the ground.

Apart from that, the trenches work differently depending on whether you're looking straight down on them (Close Combat style) or at a slant. Since they're usually viewed from a 45 degree angle, it is very tricky to make them look convincing from both angles. And some mods, because of their transparency, are designed only to work when viewed in three dimensions: simply borrowing the bitmap and reducing it in size misses the point and spoils the effect.

There is a certain type of courtesy that is supposed to go along with modding: courtesy to potential users, and courtesy to other modders.

A modder shouldn't publish a mod that isn't tested -- it's unfair, for example, to expect a general user to have the time and patience, or to even know how to find and eliminate pink spots. He should also include a readme file of some kind explaining what his mod does, what version it is, thanking any previous modders who gave him permission and suggestions for how to improve his mod, and any useful notes of historical insight that the modder might have come across in his research. When you look at all the files that were posted after the crash attributed to the anonymous modder, you'll understand what I mean. It's really frustrating to have three different versions of what may or may not be the same mod taking up space in your hard drive, and the only person who knows if they're different or not couldn't take the trouble to to write "Mod X Version 1.0 by Modder Y". Some people also maintain that out of courtesy to CMMODS one shouldn't post the same mod under one of the games, but I suppose that on a small mod it doesn't matter all that much.

Borrowing other people's work without contacting them, however, does matter. The onus of research is on the modder, and pleading ignorance to who made what mod or how to get in contact with them is not an excuse, especially when the mod that was borrowed from is well-known and clearly labeled, the modder is a member of the forum, and his e-mail address is listed in his profile. But mistakes do get made, and mindless appropriation is, I suppose, the sincerest form of flattery, even if done without courtesy. And if you ever want a good chuckle, try digging through the archives from a couple years back and look up Scipio discussing Maximus.

One other thing about the first trench mod (the one whose picture you didn't post). I think the gun emplacements are a neat idea, but the problem is that trenches are supposed to be in jagged parallel lines with communications trenches running between them. If you have too many firing pits I think it makes the communications trenches look a bit odd. So you might want to rethink how you handle the first trench that you did. If nothing else, be a little less hasty in releasing mods, and make sure that you include a few readme files, especially to that first one.

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Dear Philippe:

Firstly, you are right. I launched the first trench mod without a complete test in game. Yes, thats right. This was the first time I dealt with a bmp that changed the aspect according to the phase in play. When I discovered that, I tried to notice the CM community with posts in forum to avoid damage or whatever other inconvenience to anyone.

I was so satisfied with my not tested mod than I inserted this one in my CMBB and CMAK folders overwritting both 1228.bmp files. Later I was looking for trench mods in cmmods but I found only one and it wasnt what I was looking for. I have an old CD (back up) with bmp,s and I found a trench bmp there. My idea was to use this one working in it, improving it, and repairing my mistake and to solve whatever inconvenience caused to the few ppl who had downloaded and pasted in their bmp folder the wrong mod.

I didnt know that this old mod wasnt from Battlefront. I thought than it was the original CMBB 1228.bmp file.

Now, reading your post I have understood that this old file (in my CD back up) I used as base to work, was made by anyone in past.

Well, sorry again by this. You can be sure I would have asked permission to modify this one. Simply I couldnt find any other trench mod in cmmods database (try it) and I thought that it was the original (game CD).

For example. Last thursday I detected a mistake in one of lasts ARistoteles mods. I asked him permission to repair and to send the new mod to the community. I agree with you about this kind of courtesy in modding. Usually in my mods, in cmmos text box I include my authorization to modify and distribute. My only interest doing mods is to better the graphical aspect of CM games. Thats all. You know I dont get any other kind of benefit (economic for example). In this ocassion, I have to recognize I have made several mistakes. I can only say than there wasnt any evil intention. SORRY AGAIN GUYS. (And Philippe, thanks to show me my bad behaviour and conduct).

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