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**Tutorial** CMPs, SURs and Destructible Components

Here you find the different tutorials on editing and MODing Freelancer

Post Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:11 am

LMAO

ye git lmfao xD

Post Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:08 pm

uhm no, the sur exporter has a bad reputation because it generates crashes and the single piece surs do not work unless constructed perfectly. multipart surs cannot work at all unless they are all just 'root', because the conventions are -f'ed- up and FL does not know what part you are asking a sur chunk to match with. if, if, you go in an fix this, the multipart exported surs will detect all hits - and not collisions.

sooo, DEV came up with sursplicer....see he has these huge ships up to 10km long and he didn't want people flying through them so he patched the SURs together from primitives (the ONLY reliable collision mesh we have, and believe you me it's got to be reliable when it's that big heh) and fixed them up with exagerated surface padding numbers that give a good result. now there was some confusion initially, because MOST MODELERS DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CMP FORMAT- this includes Bejaymac. 's true!

its no surprise, that some people who have never experienced the teeth-pulling joy of redeye's meshconv, our -old- method for making multi-component models particularly weapons have NO IDEA how important it is for a few apparently unimportant strings to relate to each other, because they've never really had to deal with the internals - much easier to rely on plugins to do EVERYTHING isn't it?

star trader: my best advice, i'll admit don't know why it works in the interests of honesty, is you need to follow the -original- freelancer CMP internals conventions to the hilt. open up an
original ship and browse around at the object names, the .3db file names etc and note the difference between that and the exported CMPs. now you know whats wrong, basically, with your multipart ship (surs made from primitives are almost foolproof, so i would not bother re'suring too hastily)

#1 rule is original FL ships component parts have plain object names, but the INTERNAL 3DB FILENAMES have a long string of random numbers attached to the end. EG, THERE IS MORE DIFFERENCE THAN A .3DB STUCK ON THE END, BUT THAT'S HOW THE CMP EXPORTER DOES IT (WRONG). and if they aren't *significantly* different your collisions won't register. so it's no surprise, people building surs with the sursplicer cannot get them to collide, because *without* editing the CMP to conform to this simple rule the sur-components cannot be matched to the part.3db that is supposed to be taking the damage. Dev's tutorial is CONFUSING to apply to a multipart model because it does not deal with the existing parts in a CMP, it adds new 'bogus' parts to fool the engine into mounting all the SUR parts. true i don't know exactly why this rule of thumb works (i didn't design the game after all so you can hardly expect me to be an expert on how they avoided naming conflicts in CRCs.) I'll gladly send you or anybody else who is interested in confirming with their own two eyes that Dev's method works, and near flawlessly i might add, a fully working finished model with the source files for examination on request. This is the fully monty: damage caps, full sur breakdown including engine nozzles just like stock FL ships, and wireframes-(something else Bejay hasn't figured out yet... hehe)

"The primitive SURs I get from the exporter have weapon & collision detection on the components, and the complex SURs I make look just like any of DA's, but thanks to a small flaw in the exporter they don't work properly where destructibles are concerned." your method is what's flawed. and did you just call my tutorial bollocks?, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET THE SAME RESULT? my ships take collisions on the parts, take damage, blow off, and they have wireframes. and yes Bejay I'm much more concerned about results than a microscopic increase in FILESIZE.

please try to ignore this BLOWHARD SMEGHEAD - Dev's tool works fine for what it does, which is give you -complex- surs that work, and the only spotty results are with multipart ships colliding on original solar surs (planets don't use surs fyi) / hand constructed surs like Bejay mentioned. - and remember NOBODY IS IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY HERE, modding is not a science.... or even an 'ology' it's an art, with little smatterings of scientific method here and there. so try, try again, try something else, but believe me - this way is NOT a dead end. the multi-part sur construction method that won't work with destructibles Bejay speaks of seems pretty dumb to me...no wait, that actually sounds just like Dev's method, except he claims to do it with the exporter. crude, but works to make your ship hit stuff i guess. as to your questions, yes those are all up a wrong tree, pretty much.

P.S. Don't be so quick to project your own limitations on others Bejay, it's an ugly character flaw. and I am very grateful to Colin, and Argh (speaking of whom, that is his exporter build you are using Bejay... unless you have compiled one yourself???????) and Dev - I have worked with all of them to some degree in the past, and they are very helpful conscientious people that do not go around giving out BAD ADVICE unlike you. *cough* yes it would seem i'm a little miffed at Bejay- who is too stupid and lazy to figure out how to use what now, now, guy who can't figure out sursplicer or wireframes or destructibles?

Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/16/2007 2:26:05 PM

Post Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:55 pm

Ouch!

Sorry for starting a storm, guys!

It's a bit late (04:50 am!!) to read your posts carefully now, I'll get back when I can, seems a lot of tips in there...

Well, as for experimenting, yep I've done that at length, but as you all realise, when you make no progress after 5-6 days continuous effort, and that's what I did, time's time.

But I wont give up, just giving time to other mod requirements to catch up.

Bear with me pals, and pls keep yer kools!!

Roleplay: - the art of self-deceipt!

Post Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:43 pm

Well it looks like I hit a nerve with that one


P.S. Don't be so quick to project your own limitations on others Bejay, it's an ugly character flaw. and I am very grateful to Colin, and Argh
I know my limitations CV, I've lived with them for 41 years, and I wouldn't be so cruel as to project them onto others, believe me you don't want them. As for gratidued head over to the EOA forums you'll find a couple of posts by me in which I tell Colin what I think of his work, without the work he's done this community would have died a long time ago. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Dev and his coding abilities, I can hack like the rest but I'm clueless at C++, VB etc. Argh is both inspiring and infuriating, but genius types are always like that, and believe me GW has hit me with both sides in my time here.

yes it would seem i'm a little miffed at Bejay- who is too stupid and lazy to figure out how to use what now, now, guy who can't figure out sursplicer or wireframes or destructibles?
As I mentioned in my earlier post I used the splicer when it first came out, the SUR it made was alright and it allowed my destructibles to work, but the method required to make the SUR is what really put me off it, especially as I'd been making good SURs with the exporter before Dev release the splicer. Check my post in the wireframe thread, you will see that I've said that I've made wireframes using Dev's method, and I still am but only on low poly models that don't need extra LODs. Now for the Destructibles, I've been making them since before Argh released the SUR Exporter, I had them working just fine with a resized vanilla SUR, they even work with a complex SUR from the exporter but thanks to the flaw I mentioned, you have to set their hitpoints to 1 or 2 to get them to work before you die (not ideal). As for my primitive SURs working with destructibles, maybe you should check out my freebie that I posted in the model and texture exchange back in August, Gibbon's the only person to comment on it, and I haven't had any complaints from the other 12 downloaders, no wireframes or LODs I'm afraid as it was just a quick put together to see what interest it would draw.

Now for the technical stuff

My definition of a complex Ship SUR(stations work differently for some reason)
At least one "ROOT" (can be more but the exporter only does one), two bubbles or one shrinkwrap, one mesh for each non Root component and a duplicate mesh for each component to give you both weapon and collision detection on all your components. A large number of hardpoint hitboxes, most of which will have duplicates for the damage detection, and finally the "collateral components", these encompass their assigned components and hardpoint hitboxes, they spread the damage received between the ROOT, component and equipment on the ship. These "collateral components" are where the exporter has a flaw, rather than spread the damage they send virtually all of it to the ROOT, now do you see why I've had problems getting destructibles to work with a complex SUR, remove the collaterals and they work beautifully.
I also make primitive SURs with the Exporter (which is why I started this tutorial in the first place), the only difference between the two SURs are the hardpoint hitboxes and the "collateral components", the primitives don't have them.

Paragraph one reguarding the multipart SURs. WTF are you on about, all off my SURs are multipart and work just fine thank you very much, as long as the component names match in both of the CMP and SUR MS3Ds you won't have a problem. Bang a wing off of something or get it shot, then land and the only damage to be repaired is the wing that got damaged, this alone tells me FL knows what parts my SURs are assigned to. Are you by any chance using the V1.2 exporter, LD has been meaning to pull that from the EOA downloads for some time, it makes a right mess of the SUR and shouldn't be used. Colin's doing 1.3 and basing it on the 1.1 code, but he's got other projects on the go atm, so I'm not expecting 1.3 anytime soon.


because MOST MODELERS DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CMP FORMAT- this includes Bejaymac. 's true!
Quite true, as I've already said I'm no coder so when it comes to the format for the VMESHDATA etc I'm as lost as most folk, doesn't stop me from understanding the mechanics of them though.
Never been a fan of Capships but I can understand why Dev made the splicer, 10km long, I hope it's not player flyable, how the F do you turn something that big. I don't know about a SUR that big but the exporter did me a primitive SUR for a Borg Cube I did for a bit of fun, it's almost the same size as Newark, it registers weapons fire and collisions from being rammed and from ramming, bit hard to test the ramming though as it looks like a brick and flys like one.


#1 rule is original FL ships component parts have plain object names, but the INTERNAL 3DB FILENAMES have a long string of random numbers attached to the end. EG, THERE IS MORE DIFFERENCE THAN A .3DB STUCK ON THE END, BUT THAT'S HOW THE CMP EXPORTER DOES IT (WRONG)
Like I've said before, it must be something in the splicer as I don't add a #code to the names of the internal 3DBs, mine come straight out of the exporters and go straight into the game, with only a quick stop for minor hardpoint orientation in HardCMP.

Oh and Cold_Void name calling is something I'd expect from children and not from someone like you.

@StarTrader, as I said over on the EOA forums, this tutorial was going to upset a few people, ego's are easily bruised and people start throwing insults about because of it. Thank F for my problems as I lost my ego a long time ago, twenty years of insomnia and depression will kill off an ego every time, you get to a stage where you just don't care, if people don't like me then that's their problem.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:02 am

hmm well i didn't start by throwing haymakers; i just thought I saw one directed at me and I won't tolerate it. You wanna talk $^$@ about my tutorial come out and say it, or don't say anything - don't say "there is another SUR tutorial not by dev/argh or me, and it's bollocks" - WTF, you think i don't know all the tutorials on here? I believe thats my tute you're smearing!

now for the promised crow pie, served piping hot...
wow! sursplicer works - and quite well. and yes, obviously those star wars destroyers are not pilotable

i'll agree to disagree with you there until i've had a chance to test your ship; but I can't be convinced that the exporter can be used very fruitfully as is without seeing dozens of ships working perfectly and produced in a very short time frame. too many crashes, too many dead end SUR edits, not anywhere near reliable enough on collisions. does any of this stuff get adressed in your tutorial? and whats the difference from Arghs? are what's wrong with your destructibles that you've got to set them to 1 point? (i already told you actually, but you've got cheese in your ears - personally I have seen this symptom - it's a result of not following the rule.)

on my rule of thumb about the FL internal conventions: I've tested this, and I'm convinced its just that simple. its a pretty simple experiment: set it your way, and all of my sur chunks stop detecting collisions except ROOT because ROOT is the only part that does conform to the object name/filename different rule on export. i set it my way, and they start taking collision as well as FULL projectile damage. (big SURs are different beasts... )

I don't call other people's work bollocks and expect them to lay back and take it - do you? if your problem is with the method than say THAT - don't say that it doesn't work because that is just perpetuating ignorance about a really good little app. have i been a little unfair to the sur exporter? yeah, but i think greg would agree with me here...building a sur -that- way is not for most people; results are too damn hard to get. most people need to stick to regular stock surs, because they simply won't have the patience to find the way that works for them.

Post Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:25 pm

This would work better if you two explained your reasons for why certain methods are better than others, in detail. Between the two of you establish the facts of how SUR files work and how CMP files work. The best method is only revealed when all the facts are in place.

Post Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:38 pm

well that would be nice but we can't even agree on facts sadly but i would like to list why i think the sur-splicer route is the way to go until dev's fixes are incorporated in the next sur exporter, and the CMP exporter is updated to fully emulate FL's cmp standards(my opinion).

the methods also have to be given consideration based on end-goals... two main, and different ends...

A. A very accurately fitting sur for a single-mesh ship w/o the fancies
B. A full 'vanilla' style ship & sur with wireframes and optionally destructible parts

A.
Sur splice
Pros:much greater flexibility than using a single integrated mesh and more redundant hit detection, does not require a degree in 3d geometry
Cons:requires brain requires exporting all parts individually and adding them to an INI for processing. Requires using UTF editor
Multi-Sur Export
Pros: gets everything assembled in one shot, avoids repetitive export of parts
Cons: does not work well. unreliable, collision results on parts subjective depending on modelers skill.

B.
Sur splice
Pros: modeled Sur chunks can be exported twice, once as SUR once as .3db/cmp wireframe sources (two birds one stone). other pros see A.
Cons: same as A, just diminished by an additional Pro
Multi-Sur Export
Pros: same as A
Cons:Same as A


Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/18/2007 5:56:21 PM

Post Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:00 pm

Hey Cold_Void,
I like that 88WASP Fighter you got there. I still have the entire file you sent to me on that...nicely tucked away for future reference.

Post Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:03 pm

*rolls eyes*

"88 Wasp" By DM-Rankor in the pic, -converted- to multipart by me, guys

good enuf, or shall i get some salad tongs to pull the dead animal out?

Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/18/2007 9:03:15 PM

Post Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:51 pm

jeeesh....I didn't know I smelled that bad.

I meant "future reference" i.e. whenever I get around to tackling
those multipart workings. A reference for me to gawk at in my learning
process. I've got a lot of ships to do. One of them, is going to be
a monster to do.
That was/is a most excellent work you did.

Edited by - Rankor on 10/18/2007 9:56:02 PM

Post Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:28 pm

lol k sorry, thank you for the compliments on the conversion again, anyways I've been kinda edgy since I quit smoking on sunday, i mistakenly thought you were getting bunched undies over my omission

Post Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:37 am

I understand. I'd like to have that kind of will power.

Post Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:29 pm

First I didn’t know you had done a tutorial, I don’t read every tutorial posted here as most of the newer ones are just rehashes of existing knowledge, and as such don’t generally attract my attention. I only knew of three, Dev’s one on the splicer, which I used the first time I used the splicer and haven’t been near it in quite a while. Argh’s “wrap a bubble around your model and call it a SUR” tutorial, which if you’ve checked some of the newer mods, is what most people are doing, “plug and play” mentality I’m sorry to say. Then there’s the one that appeared about ten days before Argh’s, can’t remember who did it, it’s the one full of pictures, so “slaging” a tutorial I didn’t know existed wasn’t intentional.
Have a look at what StarTrader said in his first post in this tutorial, he’s tried them all (that probably includes yours) and gotten nowhere with any of them, I think you’ll find that most of this community are the same, it’s just to much like hard work for most of them and goes completely over the heads of the rest. My tutorial won’t be any easier for them, as you need a lot of patience for the first couple of times before you really understand what you’re doing, you also need some degree of modelling ability for a “skin tight” SUR.
As far as most of this community is concerned even my tutorial is UTTER BOLLOCKS, as it will be too much work for most of them.

I have a large number of mods (8 Gb worth), some of which are current beta’s, if it’s available to download and I find out about it I’ll d/l it to test it. Your mod (FLR420b6) is the only one I have that has SURs done with the splicer, the rest are either resized vanilla SURs or a single primitive (square or sphere usually) covering the whole model. You and I are part of a handful of people, who are trying to emulate DA with the tools we have, your method works for you and my method works for me, but apart from some who are trying to keep up with us, the rest really couldn’t care less.

A. A very accurately fitting sur for a single-mesh ship w/o the fancies
B. A full 'vanilla' style ship & sur with wireframes and optionally destructible parts
“A” might be possible with the exporter but to close a fit might cause problems, concavity in the Root of the SUR will stop it from working, this is what caused everyone’s problems when the exporter first came out, single mesh CMPs have never been of interest to me so I’ve never experimented with them.
“B”- Why do you think I posted in Dev’s wireframe thread, atm animations for baydoors and wireframes that use my multi-part LOD2 VMESH instead of a separate VMESH are all we need for the CMPs. The primitive SURs I’m making work beautifully but their not on a par with DA, if Colin can nail the problems with the complex SURs I do then they will be on a par with DA.

well that would be nice but we can't even agree on facts sadly but i would like to list why i think the sur-splicer route is the way to go until dev's fixes are incorporated in the next sur exporter, and the CMP exporter is updated to fully emulate FL's cmp standards(my opinion).
Give my files a try CV, even the ones that are supplied with this tutorial work well, a bit basic but they still work.
Use the “Ship_B.ms3d” and its CES file to get the CMP(equipment hardpoints are already done), do a MAT, then use “Sur_A.ms3d” and it’s CES file for the SUR, just remember to “tick” the “Disable DirectX Mesh Reduction” box, this “Mesh Reduction” is a feature I want removed from the next version, I’ve lost count of the number of SURs I’ve F*CKED because I forgot to “tick” the box, it doesn’t use all of the vertices of the export model meaning your SUR can look nothing like your model, add to it that sometimes it creates concavity in the Root and you’ll understand why I don’t like it.
You can use the “Sur_B.ms3d” as well if you want, this one is set up to create what I class as a complex SUR, hardpoints in the SUR model being the only real difference.

@ Louva-Deus, both of us are blinkered to our preferred applications I’m afraid to say, I’m quite happy to do a little extra modelling work in milkshape to get my results with the plug-ins and HardCMP. If Cold_Void is happy to do all of that extra work with several apps to achieve similar results, then that’s entirely up to him.

PS. Good luck with stopping smoking Cold_Void, it’s not easy to quit them, if your will power is strong then you’ll do it.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:01 pm

im using the sur splice and getting terrific results, ill be using your method when i get a spare moment B ^^

Post Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:45 pm

Bejaymac, why don't you try that part A with your method and see how it works out?
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