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First attempt

Here you can discuss building custom ships, texturing and 3D modeling in Freelancer

Post Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:04 am

First attempt

Hi people!
I'm pretty new to freelancer modding, i've played around a little, giving a ship 100k hp etc, but when I noticed several guides on this forums I decided to give it a try.
So I grabbed a spaceship model I had made on a previous occation, followed instructions to get it from 3dsmax to milkshape, adding hardpoints, making the appropriate texture and model files, and editing the .ini files.
So I finally got it working in game, all looking nice, exept for:
The model is upside-down
The model is flying backwards
The ship is all black
and I have no shield, even tho I have a correct shield onboard and installed.

I guess I could invert and flip the model to get it flying the right way, but why it is black I have no idea. any help would be much appriciated!

Post Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:02 pm

You need to re-do the cmp & mat file on that baby.
Reorient your ship in Milkshape where the backside is what you're looking at when you select the "front view" . Flip it 180 on the X then 180 on the Z.
WHen you're ready to export it, select "back to front" in the cmp exporter.
Check the mat files you used and make sure they are compatable formats.
(.dds or .tga) also, make sure your ship faces are facing the right direction.
If the ship is black... if you mucked around with your texture in the utf editor, chances are you messed it up. I did that once and my texture dissappeared!
IF so, you'll need to retexture your ship and then re-export everything again.
Use the CMP editor to adjust your hardpoints.
Save it.
Open the Mat file and just check to make sure the hardpoints are the same.
Then: save that as a 3db file. You'll end up with 3 files. CMP, Mat & 3db.
Go to your FL Ships folder and trash the old ship in its folder (save the cockpit.ini & .sur files though) Then take your new exported model and move it to the folder where the old model was.
Re Script your ship (unless you're hardcoding it but that's a different matter)

Thing to remember is, whenever you make a new adjustment to a model..always go and delete the particular model folder in the game Ships\Custom folder so you won't have a conflict of not seeing what your changes were. (it' will just reload the previous one used)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:46 am

The CMP exporter use 2 orientations, upside down & back to front, load your model into milkshape then look at the 3D window. If your ship is the right way up and has it's nose pointing at you then it's in the wrong orientation, press "Ctrl+A" to select everything, then select "rotate" and rotate it through 180 degrees on the Z-axis for upside down or Y-axis for back to front.

Textures in Freelancer have to be 24 bit (32 with an alpha channel) and either .DDS or .TGA formats. Why your ship is black is a mystery as a duff MAT means your ship would be invisible or in the case of incompatable graphics drivers off white.

I have a standing offer to any one with model problems, if they send me the files (address is in the profile) I'll fix them and send them back, with a readme explaining where you went wrong and how to avoid/fix it in the future, in your case that would be the ms3d, MAT(so I can check it), textures and the CMP exporters .CES file (so I know what scale your using).

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:17 am

Right, thanks for the tips, I'll look into it. The textures are .tga, not sure about the bits tho, i'll check. I'll be back to ya with your offer if I don't get it to work ;-)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:51 am

awright, fixed the orientation thingy, and the textures, partly at least.
The orientation was straightforward, just flipping the ship. The textures; I had used a .tif format instead of .tga ... silly me.
the textures are visible, but warped. It looks like they are oriented wrong relative to the model, but they all look good in milkshape.
also, the turrets. They work, but don't have a complete 180 degree field of fire... this is a capital-ish ship, with only turrets, no guns. they fire forward and to the sides, but not in the rearmost 60 degrees.
in addition I am unable to sort out why it has no shield. Is it possible that I screwed up the powerplant settings etc? maybe too low recharge rate... I dunno.
finally, the camera is a bit too close to the ship for my liking. Where do I fix that?

Thanks for the help so far guys

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:47 am

hey master_k
could it be that we know each other from ... lets say: long time ago?

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:07 am

know eachother? I can't say I remember you. where would that be from?

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:17 am

My Bad, sorry, forgot to mention that TGA's need to be flipped vertically ie. a mirror image of the original.

Use HARDCMP (check the d/l's) to alter your turret hardpoints, load your CMP into it then scroll thought the hardpoints that are in the CMP until you get to the one you want. Click on EDIT and change the "Angle Max" to 359 & the "Angle Min" to -359, click VALIDATE then APPLY to lock it. Then it's just a case of rinse & repeat with all of your Turret Hp's, then save your CMP.

The camera is set in the shiparch.ini entry:-

camera_offset = 13, 42 which means camera_offset = height, distance.

In the shiparch.ini you have to assign a shield link:- shield_link = cv_fighter6_shield01, HpMount, HpShield01

If you've used a vanilla link then you should have a blue shield bar, if you've used a custom link that doesn't exist in the data\equipment\select_equip.ini then you won't. Please bear in mind that in FL capships don't have shields, therefore none of the shield links are big enough to cover a capship. I'm currently working on a way to make bigger shield bubbles for the shield links, as it is resizing them with FlModeltool just shinks the damned things.

Your ship will also need a SUR file for damage & collision detection, there are now one or two tutorials on how to do this.

**EDIT** I use the older version of HARDCMP as the new version still crashes on me, so my instructions might be off if your using the new version.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Edited by - Bejaymac on 4/18/2007 8:19:32 AM

Post Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:58 am

I just had some1 with the same nickname in 2 of my clans about 2-3 years ago

Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:42 am


it all works! sweeet! thanks so much for the help guys, this is awsome!
I can't understand about the .sur file tho... I didn't make any but still damage and collition detection seems to work just fine without it.
EDIT: Figures the shields have their own damage mesh. I'll check the tutorials you mentioned.
This was pretty cool, maybe i'll do some other ships too.

Swat, i c, i'm not your old clanmate sry =P

Bejaymac, i'll get you some pills for that headache sometime XD

thanks so much for the help!

Edited by - master_k on 4/19/2007 1:03:29 PM

Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:07 pm

for your turrets, you have to set the minimum and Maximum angles.
which would be:
minimum 359
maximum -359

On some of my capital ships, this angle is impractical for the location of some of the turrets...since I don't want to shoot through parts of the ship superstructure.
If you don't have a shield, recheck your typing for a typo.
before you export the cmp you have to make sure it's named correctly.
i.e. Hp/Fixed/HpShield01 (the number is important 'cause if you don't have that, you won't have a shield mount.
BUT, if you make it while using the cmp should show up fine.

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