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August. 18, 2022
The Starport Forum Index > All Posts (Mini_Me)

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Re: ALE editor???
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this package has the ale editor and heaps of other useful stuff:
http://forge.discoveryfluk.com/forge/modding/flmt/

the XML Project also decodes ALEs into XML, and encodes back. it's here in the downloads section.

Posted on: 2011/7/3 11:02
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Re: My first ship
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If you post a couple renders using a Wire type texture, it's easier for us to offer suggestions / opinions on where to shave down on faces. Flat areas of course are perfect candidates. Small details can be simulated in texture, rather than geometry, same with certain structures like fencing or masts and towers (like the Eiffel Tower could be done as a near solid box, or basic boxes for each leg and flat polygons for everything in between).
Another good practice; if you smooth, follow with an optimize.
Curved surfaces tend to get out of control quickly, so you've got to weigh the importance of said curved area. As you thought with the texture area in the exhaust being covered by effects in normal usage. It's always nice to have a fully realized design, but performance must play a part in game design at all times. Especially with an engine which is perhaps not cutting edge, and geared towards computer specs in the same range. If all your models have dilly-bobs popping out at every opportunity, then when you have a small squadron of said models show up on your screen, mister computer soils itself. Plus think how things get exponentially worse on a Base design. Add all that together and you may get an unplayable experience, or entirely crash it.
As a player, I dig having a sweet ship design, but if an opponent is flying the same ship and it lags the hell outta me, I'd prefer a less sweet ship design that leaves debris more efficiently.

Most (including me) get a bit put off at the prospect of texturing the model after we've just finished making a sweet design. But planning the texture as you construct can really help cut down on face count big-time. It just doesn't look as super-sweeeet until the materials are applied. But there's so much fun to be had in the texturing; with glows, opacity, detail, and Bt.

Especially for a first run, that's a nice polished model, with a nice texture too.


ehm, sorry for rambling on a bit :-/

EDIT: tossed together a couple ideas for taking down the face count a bit. Every little bit helps and adds up:

Open in new window

Open in new window

Open in new window

Posted on: 2011/6/30 23:23
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Re: Problem: Engine hardpoints and num_exhaust_nozzles
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Adoxa said what shipname.sur is for -collision detection. If you don't have one for your ship model, nothing will be able to hit you- or whoever is flying the ship with that model.

For your second Q: I believe you're referring to a damage cap. You don't need one, unless you get into advanced building where parts of your ship are meant to be destroyed. Just about all the original ships in FL have them, but 90% of modders won't bother with them.

So all you'll need is shipname.cmp and shipname.sur for your model to work just fine.

Posted on: 2011/6/30 6:40
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Re: on the new Max CMP exporter plugin
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Thank you oh fishy one, looks like this'll be a great step forward in complex models. Just stumbled on the compiled versions in the downloads section today, pleasant surprise with x64 and 32 bit versions for max 2010 & 2011.

Lets hear it for Milkshape's exit from the pipeline

Posted on: 2011/6/30 4:42
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on the new Max CMP exporter plugin
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Just a quick question.. during export I get an 'Error exporting LOD' which says:
Quote:
"The node under your component must specify the lod"

Sooo... my meshes are already grouped as Root, and each part is named
"blah blee_bloo_lod1"
"blah blar_blur_lod1"

amimissingsomething? which node might this refer to?

Might be a good idear to include a sample / template file for easy reference.

Posted on: 2011/6/30 2:51
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Re: Problem: Custom weapon in-game don't show...
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[Edit: sry had to reboot router, connection was crap.]

All's well =) currently messing with making a home system for my mini-mod; using a series of maze tunnels through a huge asteroid, some intra-system jumpholes to connect them, with a mine field / asteroids outside for good measure. Going this route, I can make some destructible barriers in corridors to throw the players off a bit ;D Might try making the tunnels modular, with HPs for destructibles; but if I recall a thread with Bejay, SURs don't work properly for damage caps.

Then on to doing a starsphere (my first) using a huge swirling black hole texture animation -I hope- for the bottom. Should be nice and disorienting lol, hopefully not too much motion sickness involved.

Always get distracted though, I should be re-doing the textures for the rest of the ships *sigh*
Oh ... and new ALEs :-/
So much to do QQ

What's on your plate, m8?

Posted on: 2011/6/29 17:56
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Re: Problem: Custom weapon in-game don't show...
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As Davis said, it's probably a scaling issue. Kind of an annoying bug in the cmp exporter: when setting scale options, you need to save the options (set scale to 1.0), then click load and use the option file you just saved, then export.

Use this download for scaling references.

It's always helpful to just keep all those models in a folder in your MilkShape directory. Then you can just merge scenes / import whatever model you need to use as a reference scale to the one you're working on.

Also handy, is using the SUR importer to see how certain models are hit-boxed.

Posted on: 2011/6/29 17:08
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Re: Flashing billboards
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Just thought I'd toss a vid up to show how this method looks in-game, and clarify to some of those wondering if this is a "sliding" type of animation. As you can see, it is not
Again, sorry for the crap texture re-do. Just wanted to give a semi-accurate implementation.

Posted on: 2011/6/24 23:05
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Re: Random Thoughts
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Raytheon's HULC systems are looking interesting too. It's not much of a stretch to imagine the progression towards Robotech's Cyclone outfits. If mobility is retained, as well as good tactile feedback, this could all start getting very interesting.

I'd like to see more use of that memory metal stuff in these designs, should be lighter weight and less obtrusive.
Thanks for the share, that's a pretty interesting site.

Posted on: 2011/6/22 20:57
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Re: Connection Issues with a personal server
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Have you set up Port Forwarding on your router? If not, you'll need to go into its setup (usually can just open a web browser and type http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.1.254 ). Then you can map Freelancer's port to the server's local address. Otherwise your router has no clue what to do with an incoming connection on that port, so it does nothing / rejects it.

The first two variations are most common, but my pop's is the last one -which consequently wasted about an hour of my time figuring out.

Posted on: 2011/6/9 23:15
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Re: Flashing billboards
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Ah yes, thus far in my trials Et doesn't work with Dt when doing animations. Something about trying to animate 2 textures at once if I recall the discussion here a while back. I think if you have a texture with alpha chan specifying where to apply glow you can use EcEtOcOt. Haven't tried it yet, but by the looks using that in-game, some near combination should work.

What I am staring at right now, which works:
On the Bill10_Glow_Glass_Anim material try DcDtEcOcOt
Set Dc to 1,1,1
Set Ec to 1,1,1

Nodes are: Dc, Dt_name, Dt_flags, Ec, Oc, Type

That's what I just tried and it doesn't look like any shadows. A little earlier I was messing around with ... um some other combination and saw the shadows you were talking about.

Posted on: 2011/6/2 13:18
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Re: Flashing billboards
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Sorry to hear that, I haven't run across it before. Are you using the dx9 hook with bloom and all that jazz?
I tried moving around my directional light to check the shadowing out but didn't notice a difference with vanilla graphics.

Posted on: 2011/6/2 8:29
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Re: UTF Editor
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A Couple other things I've found:

Most times when you type a value into the right window directly, hit enter, and then click "Apply", it does nothing to the actual data, only the displayed data in that window.

Ot_flags and Ot_Name are not handled properly. They should use the same method as Dt_flags and Dt_name, but as it stands now are only editable via importing / copying old data.

But other than that, it's pure "winning". The features to change color, opacity, shading, and visibility are all kinds of handy. Plus being able to display multiple levels of LOD. <3 <3
The "recent files" is always welcome too.

Edit: Attached preview with Ot_x working and multi-line edits for Int and Float array type data. The dataGridView is something I haven't done jack with yet so.. sumbudy else gets to fix that ^.^

Attach file:


zip UTFEditor.zip Size: 133.51 KB; Hits: 443

Posted on: 2011/5/31 23:57
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Re: Flashing billboards
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Ok here ya go. Quick n dirty

I modified the original texture a little to reflect how you might want to re-do the texture to simulate the lights going out and not reflecting off the noodle cup. But I used a pic I found on the web as close as I could get the shape and angle, so hopefully you have the original lying around. The texture's just a guide anyhow, as it's only 512x512. Also just dumped the whole mat file into the cmp itself, but looking at my TACC ship, it shouldn't *need* to be that way to animate. Wasn't entirely sure which mats were actually being used where, so just left the originals and added my own for the one which is now animated.

SIDENOTE: If you properly make a transparent TGA in photoshop, you won't need the Oc, Ot_name, Ot_flags nodes, and it can just be DcDtEc type. I figured you only wanted the letters to blink, so that's the part I darkened. You may wish to redo the entire thing though for a clean version with proper glow simulation in the tga itself.

As it stands in the file, DcDtEcOcOt works well.
Nodes are:
  1. Dc (1,1,1)

  2. Dt_name

  3. Dt_flags (64,0)

  4. Ec (1,1,1)

  5. Oc (0.8, 0)

  6. Type


You also might want to change texture orientation. I just matched the original, but that reads backwards unless flipped on vertical axis.
SIDENOTE 2: wasn't paying attention when I renamed the mat in MS, so it's Bill10 instead of 01 in the Milkshape file :p
You'll also see why I said the texture will move .5 with this. It depends on the way you map the faces in Milkshape; I remapped the face to cover the entire texture, then scaled the mapping down by .5 on Y so it covers the top half of the texture only, like a window (which moves on Y in the MaterialAnim by .5).

I'm including:
  • The MS3D file - so you can check the differences in grouping, and texture mapping (Hit "Ctrl + T" in Milksh!t)

  • PSD for Photoshop - erm I guess as a template / guide (done in CS5, let me know if you want a version compatible with older Photoshop vers

  • PotNoodle jpg - just in case yours went missing

  • sign_anim_temp.tga - easy access to check out the "finished" texture.


LAST NOTE: the attached file is 7zip format, but had to rename to Zip to upload.
I could also upload my dinky little test system flmm format with the Billboard placed near your spawn. Just let me know.

Attach file:


zip Billboard.7z.zip Size: 622.49 KB; Hits: 263

Posted on: 2011/5/31 23:42
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Re: adding fx to weapons/equipment
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Spinning Radars (or any add-on) can be done in any cmp. The model needs multiple parts though, it can't just be one solid mesh. It is accomplished by adding an animation script within the cmp -> via UTF editor. Crack open some Base cmps. There are a few threads on mesh animation, like this one in the tutorials forum. Once your model has a constantly running-type animation, it'll run whenever you undock, whether it's some mounted piece or your ship, or a base. You can get pretty creative mixing ale effects mounted on moving parts in some trippy docking jaloppy. It just takes a bit of planning, time, torn out various hair, and copious amounts of swearing. But way worth it in the end ^.^ Personally, I'd like to have pilots animated constantly giving the bird.

As for smoking guns, that's a tough one. There's no way to mount an effect on a gun, because they don't have anywhere for the declaration in the ini / they can't have loadouts. Only option I can think of is for built-in weapons, which means you're adding the fx to the ship itself instead.

I'd been thinking over something similar. And haven't tried this yet, as it will likely throw errors often and be tons of work implementing. You could try adding a unique HP type on the weapon model, specifically for say... flamethrower_smoking or whatever, then go through alllllll the ship packages and add the effect via addon = .
In theory it should work; nothing should show up when the unique HP is missing (gun not mounted).

In fact that was how I was going to attempt some half-arsed way to mount lights too. Unfortunately ship / docking lights are hidden within the engine itself [at least the few I was discussing this with didn't happen upon a standard ale effect which could be tweaked and mounted like normal]. But most of this was before people began tweaking the FL engine with external lighting additions. Recalling a couple Freeworlds videos, it seems they have multiple light sources, even on projectiles, so it could very well be possible now.
Sorry, I haven't done jack with the hooked d3d9 mods, so cannot be of more help there :-/

Posted on: 2011/5/30 9:54
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