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Argh

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261

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 4:09am

Lastly... and this is directed at Cold_Void... I´ve been spending a <i><b>lot of time </i> </b> with FL´s Parts recently, as part of assigning Glowmaps. What I can tell you is this: FL´s designers were ... ah... well, they were trying to be <i>frugal </i> and re-use Parts and Materials over and over again. Hence, the same darn texture is re-used for Engine Grills over and over again... engine_grill01 is everywhere. Problem is... they duplicated that (and many other) textures in the MATs everywhere. Methinks they were just plain sloppy- there wasn´t any need to duplicate that data... FL doesn´t really care where a texture resides, so long as the MAT refers to its name correctly. They could´ve saved themselves (and us) a ton of trouble by just lumping all the textures into one big MAT file, honestly. But nooooo... they had different art teams working on different things at different times, and probably ended up with some poor, downtrodden soul making it all <i>work </i> as they got near the end of production. What has happened as a result of this ... is constant name collisions. You cannot, for example, just replace engine_grill01 in one MAT and have it work right. Just try it, if you want to. What´ll happen is the same thing that happens when modders build stuff with name collisions: if you load up the very specific object that refers to this &quot;new&quot; MAT... everything else in the entire game that also refers to that MAT name... will also use that texture! Kind´ve... inconvenient. Worse yet... if you, say, buy another ship, that refers to another MAT (which has a different file associated with engine_grill01)... then everything will change to THAT... including whatever ship you thought you´d changed! The only way to avoid this, I eventually determined, was to go into every darn model in FL that makes use of these textures... and use FL Model Cloner to re-define their MAT references, giving them unique names. This totally fixes the problem, but it´s obviously rather time-consuming and annoying- you can´t make any mistakes. Having done so for just about all of the &quot;collections&quot; of like-textured ships in FL... I can tell ya, with dead certainty, that naming conventions are one of the least-understood and yet most-important areas of building working models in FL. If you´re really after your goal of totally destructable, multiple-LOD ships (that somehow don´t have all of the very real problems I´ve described and documented)... you need to be aware that the only way for you to achieve your goal is by very, very carefully naming everything. Those Part names will come back to haunt you, if you give them generic names, like &quot;broken_wing&quot;. Please, just trust me on this- while I disagree with your goals for what I think are legitimate technical/gameplay reasons, I wish you success in realizing your dream of matching DA´s work, and you really need to pay very close attention to naming conventions or you´ll put a lot´ve work down the toilet <img src=smilies/icon_smile_tongue.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle>
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262

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 5:12am

I know what Argh says is totally true. The mod I´m working on has three race track systems in it. I ran into trouble after creating the first one which is an entire system full of mines like in Zone 21 of the New York system. I made all the exclution zones and placed all the bouy markers to show the course then tried to put my ship into it. I built a small car looking ship that had a horrable linear drag so that it had a slide effect. I planned on making 5 of the same ship but with different colors to add variety. Because I wasn´t carefull in naming everything unique, the ships all ended up being the same color. It was a lot of wasted work and it´s harder to go back and fix it than it is to start all over again. Now that I know that I had no problems with the stingray I made recently. I wanted to make it into a series. I used the exact same ship, made a few changes to the body and changed the MAT color just a bit. Then I renamed everything from Stingray(whatever the group name) to Mantaray(whatever the group name). I also renamed the Materials in the same way. After exporting I ended up puting them side by side on the Manhattan showroom floor. There they were, two completely different ships with slightly different colors. And all it took was welding a few verticles and using the texture coordinator editor to fix the texture where I welded. Heres a pic. <A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Stingray/StingMantaRay.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Stingray/th_StingMantaRay.jpg ´></a> By the way here is the Delorian completed and in the game. <A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/Front2.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/th_Front2.jpg ´></a><A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/Back2.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/th_Back2.jpg ´></a><A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/Bottom3.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/th_Bottom3.jpg ´></a> <A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/Tradelane.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/th_Tradelane.jpg ´></a><A href=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/Bottom2.jpg´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://photobucket.com/albums/a342/jsncalif11/Delorian/th_Bottom2.jpg ´></a>

Argh

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263

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 5:40am

&lt;drools&gt; Micheal J. Fox never deserved a car that cool... Gotta get those glowmaps working, that´s the only critique I´ve got for that model. I really like how the engines came out- very nice.
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harrier

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264

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 7:00am

Hi all, Well I must also agree with Argh.. naming conventions are CRITICAL to ensure that part ´a´ on ship ´a´ is not NAMED the same as part ´a´ on ship ´b´....<img src=smilies/icon_smile_tongue.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> all the way thru.. Use a prefix... on the first group (largest) like: ugly1 on the second.. (second largest) use a suffix of numbers like: fuse_908 I use a numbering system.. that way I got heaps of numbers to choose from.. and I can name ´fuse´ with a number suffix and vary this .. and funny thing since I have been doing this I no longer get ships that id as ´a´ but look like ´b´ or ´c´ depending what ships are visible.. (if you follow) <img src=smilies/icon_smile_big.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Believe me its worth the EFFORT.. Anyhow.. Something I just did The Demon: View - 1 <A href=´http://members.optusnet.com.au/~audioele/mypic127.jpg´ Target=_Blank> Here </a> View - 2 <A href=´http://members.optusnet.com.au/~audioele/mypic128.jpg´ Target=_Blank> Here </a> View - 3 <A href=´http://members.optusnet.com.au/~audioele/mypic129.JPG´ Target=_Blank> Here </a> This model is the Max tutorial ship somewhat modified.. its my first exersize into max 5.1 so I took the &quot;starfighter´ tutorial - completed it -then modified the result in Max then imported it into Milkshape for Hardpointing.. after using Lithium Unwrap and PS7 for the texture..I made the texture from scratch.. using a tutorial I found <A href=´http://www.psionic3d.co.uk/tutorials/skinningbasics1.html´ Target=_Blank> Here </a> Hope you like it.. Harrier Edited by - harrier on 10/23/2005 6:48:26 AM
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Argh

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265

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 7:45am

Harrier, that´s gorgeous, as usual <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> I feel a bit of a stinker saying anything that´s not gushing about what´s an almost perfect ship... but... the cockpit glass ... just doesn´t feel right. How´s about a smoked-glass look with an DcDtOcOtTwo texture and some bars across the top of the glass? Just a thought... the rest of the model´s just so nicely realistic that I really feel like the cockpit glass should be perfect, but I´m probably just a minority of one there <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle>
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harrier

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266

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 8:06am

Argh, I set the opacity at 80%, sampled the colour and imported the Mips.. The idea is to provide some texture, while still providing some opacity.. (sun screen<img src=smilies/icon_smile_tongue.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle>).. I could play with it tho.. the screenies (had to shrink them) dont really do it justice.. however, I could change it a tad.. I´m curious about one thing.. why a two sided texture? You have gone into this way more than me.. and I mean no offence .. wont that increase the glass opacity? Harrier
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Argh

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267

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 8:15am

Basically... an OcOtTwo will still only be rendering one polygon side at render time... the difference is, it won´t automatically cull the backfaces. The reason for using OcOtTwo is that you can then use partially-transparent and opaque areas on the same texture, and have it look right from all angles. So, for example... instead of modeling some bars over the roof of that fighter´s cockpit... you could paint them on, and because it´s Two, you´ll see it through the glass on the other side. Check out the MAT used for the gridwork on FL´s Stations, etc... they´re using OcOtTwo textures there, instead of increaing the polycount, they used a small, tiled texture with alpha channel.
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Cold_Void

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268

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 8:34am

about duplicate materials...uh you can reference more than one mat so why not just strip the common ones and create a common mat file,then you´ll never have to replace the same texture 20 times <img src=smilies/icon_smile_approve.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> i realize now the subparts are only sharing names in their houses,ie every ge_fighter uses the same engine nozzle so these collisions can´t be seen - duh stupid me <img src=smilies/icon_smile_blush.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/23/2005 7:35:29 AM
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269

Sunday, October 23rd 2005, 9:11am

@ Harrier Nice ship! And you did really well on the textures. @ Argh Here is th Outlaw mini. I pretty much just used the reduced poly model of the outlaw and tried to get the shape of the mini I made before. I Want to complete the series but the Outl

Argh

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270

Monday, October 24th 2005, 12:36am

@Cold_Void: The reason why I´m not consolidating the MATs is that I <i>want </i> the different Houses to have different MATs, for reasons that will be pretty obvious when Toolkit is released <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 a
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Cold_Void

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271

Monday, October 24th 2005, 12:56am

well is my first impression that you´ve changed material names in nearly all the ships correct?that would be bad news for my extensive rehardpointing,although i did learn a few time savers that will make repeating the process much easier Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/24/2005 12:15:22 AM
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272

Monday, October 24th 2005, 2:14am

@Cold_Void: Erm... yes. Unfortunately, that would be correct. If you´d like me to send you the CMPs, I´d be amenable to letting you fix them up, so long as you´re not doing anything that would require redefining the vast majority of INIs. Please not
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Cold_Void

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273

Monday, October 24th 2005, 2:56am

that would be quite excellent thank you,do you need me to send you an email from my address or do you still have it? - i´m no big fan of the lights myself,never saw why anyone would want to buy them either ^_^ as long as the subgroups haven´t been renamed i don´t see any reason the INIs should need any adjustment except for lights - mainly what i´m doing is turning engine hardpoints to thruster(afterburner) and placing the engine points on root(destroying an engine and opening the NN = crashola) as well as enabling all the engine collisiongroups so these new afterburners can be destroyed my own implementation of missiles is using gun classes 5-6 for missile/gun mounts and 1-5 for purely guns,the idea being to reduce missile spam(which could be VERY bad with my multifire spread launcher)while still allowing gun nuts to equip every slot with guns
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Argh

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274

Monday, October 24th 2005, 3:11am

Please send me an email, if the address listed here on TLR isn´t correct. I´ll send the CMPs and a couple of the new MATs, so that you can get an idea of what´s been involved. I am... pretty positive that I renamed some Parts in the earliest ones I did, before I realized that I didn´t need to alter *everything*... so I´ll have to re-check that and see if I need to do some from scratch. No real big deal, honestly- the CMP alterations are pretty straightforward... it´s the MATs that are a big pain. With one important exception. The Kusari Elite (that´d be the Dragon that´s not the Blood Dragon version) was altered fairly extensively, in an effort to fix name collisions between it and its more illustrious cousin. This has worked, to some extent- now the Elite doesn´t turn into a Blood Dragon Dragon (lol) seemingly at random, like it used to, except at ShipDealers, where it has proven remarkably resistant to being fixed, and will only stay a Dragon if the Blood Dragon version is offered alongside it. Very strange problem there, haven´t quite figured out why it´s still colliding yet, but it´s probably a bad INI reference somewhere.
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Cold_Void

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275

Monday, October 24th 2005, 5:03am

i accidentally opened a second to/bcc tab and i couldn´t close it so i left it blank and smtp can be picky,so - all i want to know is; did - you - get- that-thing that-i sent you? <img src=smilies/icon_smile_big.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> edit: He got that thing i sent him!! (ok,i watch entirely too much cartoons heh) Edited by - Cold_Void on 10/25/2005 9:40:58 AM
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