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**Tutorial** CMPs, SURs and Destructible Components

Here you find the different tutorials on editing and MODing Freelancer

Post Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:23 pm

I tried a small experiment this afternoon (GMT), I used the "AWING" from a mod (first one I laid my hands on), imported the model into milkshape and built a very primitive SUR model around it, an 8 sided 1 stack cylinder for the front half of the ship, pushed and pulled to match the shape of the ship, a box for the rear of the ship, two 12 sided single stacked cylinders for the engines, two narrow boxes rotated to fit the tail fins and half of an 8 sided 4 stacked cylinder for the cockpit. I changed the name of Group 1 to match the name in the CMP, in this case "awhullL", exported the SUR as 1 group with the "Disable DX" box "ticked", and checked it in HardCMP and everything looked fine. Quick bit of coding and I'm flying it in cruise (no shields) straight at "Newark", it bounced, I then checked it properly, bounced it front, rear, left, right, top & bottom and off of several ships, collisions seem to work well. Then it was weapon testing time , every single weapon blast passed clean through the SUR without registering, even missiles, the only damage was down to "splash" damage when the missiles exploded. As collisions are working I know that the SUR isn't all bad as neither weapons nor collisions would have worked if it was, just have to find the cause, it might even be the CMP as it's old, I think it was done with the first CMP exporter.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:08 pm

Bejay, Cold_Void:

Bejaymac sais: "some who are trying to keep up with us..."

Well, that's me for one!

OK - my difficulty?

Too many words on the screen!

My interest? Single-part huge ships, no break-offs, but I want shrink-wrapped surs, no big bubble shields on my already-giant ships. I want to see my shots going through the gaps where there are no body parts of the ship!

Needed? Dunno! Help to find out where I'm going wrong, and a push here and there to help me understand and get me running with them.

Timescale? Next week latest?

But Bejay - please please please continue and finish your tut, I will follow it to the letter so I can then compare with my own difficulties and successes with the other 2 methods.



Roleplay: - the art of self-deceipt!

Post Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:07 pm

k i just got ms3d installed again so i will do that sometime this week at the latest Bejay. recently i've been working on my mods major INI tweaking scripts and problem issues a lot more than modeling lately. i have fallen behind on sur work unfortunately - its true, my method requires more work but once you get into the swing of it it's really easy, if somewhat repetitive, and its extra steps also give you a little more room for backtracking, ex you can delete part of the sur and re-export a replacement that can then be used in a re-compile of the older elements, which seems much more scientific-method like to me anyhoo... more modular i guess, i just have a module fetish really pftt - truthfully the most dreaded work i do on multipart ships is the break-down to parts and creating damage caps for ships i had no source files for, ie imported from single mesh ships (big mess of meshes extracts into ms3d with no readable labels)

absolutely i understand how you feel about tutes StarTrader - i tried to keep my instructions very short and explicit..... i had a bad time trying to explain how my 'cvfc' selector script suceeds in enabling the more advanced features of MP character creation. people want step by step instructions to follow along with, not explanations of things they're not sure they can use yet, eh?

Dev's tutorial was not very good, but it was what gave me my first sucessful sur that didn't crash or work 1/2 the time and it is after the same result you are StarTrader (complete hulls for big non-blob shaped hulls w/ projecting parts), and that pushed me to take it to the next step with actually making destructible parts and when i got that down it seemed so simple that to not share it with everyone seemed a crime

thanks for the wishes of luck; i'll need more than just will power of course, like a rational and conscientious approach to how i think of cigs.

P.S. all the best tutorials are in linked to in my tutorial compilation (of course if you disagree with this assertion you're free to point out the comp's shortcomings hehe)

Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:06 am

Good on ya pals.

Waiting for your guidance and a bit of time once I'm clear of recreating my infocards and system paths - awful job for a significantly increased universe.



Roleplay: - the art of self-deceipt!

Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:34 pm


As far as the Exporter is concerned, close fitting SURs for single mesh CMPs is a no go, the first one I did is the only one that registered anything, the rest just got worse, they either were that bad FL couldn't use them, or they were causing CTDs. If your CMP is a single mesh then you don't have many choices for doing a SUR, resize a vanilla SUR, make a SUR from a primitive or use Argh's tutorial.

@ StarTrader, it sounds like you've got a deadline for your mod that's not to far away, so the big question is how many ships do you have that you want custom SURs for. A reasonable time scale is one CMP & SUR a day depending on the model, the bigger the model the longer it will take to make the SUR, if your mod is like most of the others then you'll have 50-60 custom ships, that could take until Xmas, and that's assuming you have permission from the original model makers to alter them.

In my experience the shrink wrap doesn't work very good, I've had strange results when I've used it.
The shield bubble in the SURs are only (IMO) a backup, it's the shield_link SUR that gets hit all of the time, therefore if the ship doesn't have shields the bubbles are ignored.

@ Cold_Void, What do you mean "just reinstalled ms3d" , I haven't had it off my harddrive since the mid 1.6's, even when I'm doing coding I still use it, there's something theraputic(sp) about doodling away with it for 20 minutes.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Edited by - Bejaymac on 10/22/2007 7:48:31 PM

Post Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:25 pm

Hi Bejay.

Well I'm not going to go to town on the mod, the Enterprise 1701 works by fluke, its a tight-fitting sur shrinkwrapped. I cant see where I made the simtake , it was one I made while following the sur-splice method and it didn't show all bright white if you remember - but all surfaces register hits everywhere, BUT - the saucer passes through other ships and stations but the rest of it bounces off. Hmmm.

Anyway I'm hoping to do 5-6 more big ships only, that's all - Enterprise D, Enterprise-E and probably Klingon Dreadnought, Brakiri Avioki and Centauri Primus. They are the odd shaped ones that don't work well in the enlarged vanilla surs they have now. All of them have multiple shields.

Roleplay: - the art of self-deceipt!

Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:49 pm

Working on surs now Bejay. Trying your way to the letter. Enterprise D, full scale (1km scale long!).

I found out that scaling doesn't work in msCMPExporterv03beta unless I saved settings or loaded the settings. It was shrinking my cmp model to 1/92 no matter what I set it to! Grrrrrrr!!

Is there another version anywhere that is any good?

Nayway -

My new finished Sur is completely dull grey in HardCMP, but registers hits on engines & hull & pylon & wing & 2/3rds of the saucer - but the front 1/3rd of the saucer doesnt register hits and the reticule doesn't change to target (green cross) when aiming at it, stays cyan roundel.

And no collision damage until the saucer is halfway through another ship or object. I passed right through it in several different places using another smaller ship (fighter), but collided in different places on all components, like there are big invisible holes everywhere and I just happened to find them by luck now and then!!

What the !! is going on

Cheers pal. Wish you'd stuck with the TIE fighter!!

PS - is there a faster way to reduce poly count in MS3D than selecting faces/vertexes manually? I'm trying to convert some high-count models from 3ds format. Thanks in advance.

Edited by - StarTrader on 11/7/2007 5:52:42 PM

Post Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:24 am

Okay, I'm back, now where was I?

*rummage, rummage*"where is it?", Damn can't find that Dunce's hat anywhere , I did happen to mention about the scale problem in both the CMP & 3DB exporters UI sections, if you'd been reading you would have realised that bud.

I can't really say what's wrong with your SUR, it could be any number of things from sheer size or incorrectly exported, but at least you can test it which rules out corrupted, as that's a CTD every time. The problem of the saucer passing into other SURs could be similar to a problem I found with narrow pointy parts of a SUR, they tend to act like a knife and cut through other SURs, vanilla SURs are blocky with more square ended parts to prevent this.

Mail the CMP, MAT, SUR and your MS3Ds and CES files to the address in my profile so I can have a look at it for you.

As I wrote in the SUR section the "tie fighter" did as a SUR on its own, and was of no use as a means of teaching people how to build a SUR for their model.

It depends on just how high a poly count they are, Capships can be 15,000 without a problem, but not if there's a lot of them on screen at once as that's LAG central in SP & MP. Open the model in milkshape and head to the "tools" drop down menu, you'll see a tool called "DirectX Mesh Tools...”, this will open a small window that has a main area that's black with a white wireframe of your model. The tools along the top of the window are - open, save (closes the window and adds the changes to the model in milkshape), undo, the next four increase the poly count by 2, 3, 5 and 7, the W/S I can't use (CTD) so I have no idea what it does. Under them is a slider and a box with a number in it, it's the slider you want, drag it to the left and the number in the box will change to show the poly count. Be warned if you’re trying to take off more than a couple of hundred, the model will start to look horrible and any UVMapping will start to become distorted. If the models are over 20,000 then I wouldn't bother with them, you'll just be wasting your time trying to convert them.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

JJK

Post Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:21 pm

i have a very smiler problem to StarTrader. my enterprise (A) .sur works for most the ship. but parts of it wont work and shots or other objects pass through it. so i though i'd test it out and found the same problem with my B-wing .sur.

on the b-wing it would not resistor hits most the time on anywhere expect the area that i made the root. i confirmed this when i remade the .sur and changed it so the root covered from the cockpit to the bottom weapons pod. as a result that new roopt area would always registor the hit but the wings did not always.

Edited by - JJK on 11/11/2007 9:22:05 PM
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