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There are currently 47 users playing Freelancer on 39 servers.
September. 21, 2017

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Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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I know probably 1000 mods have been made for Freelancer
by now, but what I would be more interested in, would be to
take the standard game and redo the textures / uvw mapping
with larger size, nothing too outlandish but just to make the game
look a bit more crisp.

Other than that, I'd rather just play Vanilla, because actually,
I haven't played the game in years so am quite enjoying it.

If nobody has bothered to do this yet, can I ask is there some way
for me to bring the models, such as cityscapes and the like, into
3D Studio Max, then re-do the textures so for instance if the texture
size is 512x512 then maybe bring that up in scale and then re-do the textures so they remain in the perfect likeness of the original, but
just cleaner?

Thanks.


Posted on: 2016/10/3 19:27
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Could anyone even give me a rip of the starting ship in .3ds / .obj / .dxf
and the texture for it so I can try to remake it in a way that looks roughly the same but on closer inspection is actually more detailed than before?

Posted on: 2016/10/3 20:57
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?
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There's tools for going from 3ds to FL, but the other way around is a lot trickier. You might have to dig up the old Milkshape importers (they should be in the downloads section), then export from Milkshape into another format.

No idea if the plugins will work with whatever version of Milkshape is current, assuming Milkshape even is being actively developed.

Posted on: 2016/10/3 23:12
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
-Peggy Noonan
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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One thing I know, is that Milkshape is a payed product, it would be frustrating to find out after paying for it, that nothing works anymore.

I would like to see Freelancer refreshed in HD though otherwise left unmolested. Though this might sound like a reasonably straight forward thing, it's actually on par with re-doing all the game assets so could prove a mighty project. I'll assume I'm not the first person to think of it and I'll also assume that there's no real support for it, otherwise it probably would have been done already.

Maybe it's also too simple an idea for many.

Re-doing the models with about 20% extra poly's and re-doing the skins with 20% higher resolution probably isnt fun enough.

I'll stick to playing the original for now.

Posted on: 2016/10/4 6:18
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?
Just can't stay away
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I don't know what your experience is with modelling / texturing, but I actually would really appreciate if someone could rework the models and textures. I am currently working on getting the graphics to a modern api (minimum OpenGl 2, the upper version is not limited so you could in theory use all features of a dx11 graphics card). You can see my work here:
http://the-starport.net/freelancer/fo ... t_id=61949#forumpost61949

An example image from the forum topic is:
Open in new window
There are also videos in the topic.

I need good height and normal maps for the textures.

I also plan to write a better model converter to make conversion easier. Probably from collada to cmp and back.

Since I don't work full time on it this will still need some time until it is ready, though.

Posted on: 2016/10/4 9:48
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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If you can hand me the model and the texture, that is, on a platter, ie, in .obj or .dxf or .3ds then I'll rework it for you. I might even build the station from scratch because there's just certain things you can do with a model that ya cant do with a texture.

send me an email to [email protected]

I'll rework it and you can check it out


Posted on: 2016/10/4 13:41
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Also, if you can send me all related station textures, because I might need to remake them from scratch.but at a higher res.

Posted on: 2016/10/4 13:42
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?
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That is a really nice offer! There is a 3dsmax exporter, but importing them with animations etc. is another problem. Give me some time to write a converter and I will get back to you!

Posted on: 2016/10/4 22:46
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Obviously. I don't have extracted models right now so was just
playing around, figuring out how the original models were made.

So obviously, system limitations back then forced the devs
to use 2d drop shadows to give things some depth. It was
ok for it's day I guess.

Open in new window

So what I did was remake part of a station and give it
true depth, by physically altering the model, providing this
is done carefully and with a degree of restraint, the game
should run just as smooth as before, but models will look
more detailed.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 1:18
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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and I know the bottom struts should be flipped but you get the general idea, would be easier to modify the existing model rather than make a new one from scratch like this.

That kind of thing + a slight increase to resolution on the existing textures would make the game look a few years newer than it actually is.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 1:36
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?
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Yeah, I get what you mean. Can you also generate detailed height and normal maps? I use a modified version of Valve's SSBumps + parallax mapping. I have tried more complex techniques like parallax occlusion mapping, but this does not work well with the old models. The only thing which looks good on them is using tesselation, but this has other drawbacks.

Since the model has no hierarchy or animations I could export it using milkshape. Attached is a zip file also including the used textures. You should see a textured model if it loads correctly.

Attach file:


zip space_industrial.zip Size: 154.55 KB; Hits: 52

Posted on: 2016/10/5 9:38
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Ah, excellent, so this is the model you sent me (I gather the stations are lumped together using several models) Included are the minor adjustments done to the mesh.

Open in new window


Next, I'm going to re-do the textures, then do the various mapping and we'll see what comes of it.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 10:45
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?
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Looking forward to it!

Since you could load the model, here are the other two variations of it. I've only included the new textures, so you need to extract it to the folder containing the others.

Forgot to mention: The first one contained also the hardpoint positions. You can see it based on the group names starting with "Hp...". I thought it might help you. You can delete them if you don't need them. They can easily be added again. The models I attached now don't have any. Also all of them are LOD level 0 (they only have one more less detailed level).

Attach file:


zip space_industrials.zip Size: 50.24 KB; Hits: 52

Posted on: 2016/10/5 11:40

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2016/10/5 11:45:58
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Examining textures a bit more this morning, had a look at texture stadtls2, which is a 128x128 pixel texture, so I remade that texture to 256x256 pixel's. It's the same colour as the original, same kind of pattern but it's quite a bit more crisp and features a bump map.

Open in new window


Obviously, life likes to get in the way of progress, but
even by doing that one, relatively simple exercise
it's quite clear how much more lovely things may
look at the end.


Posted on: 2016/10/5 12:33
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Re: Anyone done a Vanilla Refresh?

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Now what I need is an army of young enthusiastic photoshop geeks to redo like um, every station texture at double the resolution, without making it look non-freelancer.

I won't be keeping my hopes up for that however.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 12:46
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