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Author Topic: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI  (Read 11153 times)

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« on: March 23, 2012, 03:04:41 pm »
Hi, first of all, amazing work with this game. It's the "X-Com" game I have always wanted, really makes justice to the original.

As I sayed, I'm enjoying the game awfully lot, it's amazing, and I got spark to do some own modifications to the game. In modding, I'm mostly modeller/skinner/2d-artist, but I'm not familiar how modding this game/engine works.

I tryed reskinning already included textures and it was fairly easy to do, but I tought ask couple other things from forum directly.

1.) Models. Is it possible to use Milkshape for modelling in this game? If not, which program is the right way to go?

2.) Uv-mapping. Anyone knows if Lithunwrap works with U:AI?

3.) Also, Is it big process to add for example new alien race or civilian variations in the game?

Thanks in beforehand if someone finds time to answer  ;)

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 06:02:47 pm »
Hi, welcome to the forums!

Check out this page in the wiki which talks about modelling for UFO:AI.

1. It looks like Milkshape 3D has built-in support for exporting to MD2 and MD3, two of the model formats we support.

2. I'm not familiar with Lithunwrap, but I'm guessing you can get an unwrapped model from Lithunwrap into Milkshape 3D. The UV mapping is a part of the MD2/3 file, so my guess is that if Milkshape 3D can export the model format, it can properly export the UVs as well.

3. No, both are easy to add (provided you have the right animations) and contributions like this are very welcome. Check out our alien bestiary for a list of aliens we're planning to include in the future.

Please feel free to ask questions, but unfortunately we don't have any competent modellers dedicated to the project at the moment to give you good advice. We have had some really great contributors in the past, but they aren't around on a regular basis to help out and answer questions.

Myself, mattn and MCR1 have all worked to get existing models in game, though, so we should be able to help you with that.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 12:23:24 am »
I found a skeleton file for Milkshape 3D in our data_source repository. If you download this file it might give you a skeleton already animated with all the animations we need, but I don't know how complete it is. When you get to the animation stage, try it out and let us know.

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 02:11:08 am »
H-Hour, thanks for reply, exactly what I was looking for. Sounds good, I'll take a look for this this weekend.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 08:09:57 am »
... I tryed reskinning already included textures and it was fairly easy to do ...

Would you mind giving us a look at the results of this work ?

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 02:55:14 pm »
I was just testing the ice to the moddability of this game, I just made couple textures a bit sharper and bigger for the player characters. I was playing the stable 2.3.1, and now I tryed out 2.5 dev one, and noticed they have been improved already. I have to say, 2.5 is huge improvement to 2.3, specially in visuals department, I simply love the light-effects and sounds, awesome job.

About modelling, the anim file works great, and skeleton and all bones are intact. MS can open MD2-files too, but few things troubles me. I opened basic soldiers MD2 file, and I noticed it didn't have skeleton, groups, or bone assignments at all, how does this engine work with them?

Are they suposed to be in MD2 file with the model, are they assigned some other way, or maybe they disappear when opening the file in MS? I checked the link H-HOUR provided, but couldn't find details on this matter, or maybe I just missed the info?


Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 03:45:24 pm »
Our game engine does not support skeletel animations. All animations must be rendered out in the MD2/3 file. The frames of the MD2/3 file are then matched to particular animations through a text .anm file. The skeleton is only useful in that you can apply it in Milkshape 3D and, once rigged, generate the animations.

The important thing to check is that the skeleton file for Milkshape 3D includes animations for all of this under List of needed animations for a character. If there are any missing, you will need to add them to the skeleton.

I hope we will have proper support for skeletons in the future, but I don't think it will happen soon.

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 06:33:09 pm »
That explains it, thanks for clarification. I'll see what I can come up with.

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 03:43:17 pm »
Ok, I think I have figured most things out, there is just one thing I can't seem to figure out.

When I try to export ms3d file (with animations, and such intact) to md2 one, I get error "no md2.qc file found.". This is where all the anims and skins info is stored, right? But I have no idea how that should look like, and where to add that in the model before extracting it to md2, in model's comment, or..?

Thanks again if you can help with this.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 03:57:40 pm »
I found this which might be a way to avoid the error, but I'm not sure if it will solve the problem. We don't use .qc files and our anims are stored in the .md2 file. We use a .anm file to specify which frames match which animations.

I'm hoping mattn or someone who knows more about the tech side can shed some light on this.

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 06:41:28 pm »
Hmmm, thanks for reply. I found that same post, but I'm not sure what it means. I'll look if I can find a workaround for this.

Offline Mattn

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 08:01:10 pm »
i'm sorry, i only know qc as quakec - but i have no idea what it should be terms of milkshape3d

Offline bayo

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 08:50:56 pm »
IMO milkshape3d expect to have a quakec file to know how to export the model (kind of model, version of the game...)

Offline Kahvipannu84

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 12:28:08 pm »
Hmmm, I can convert MS3d to MD2 now by using blank qc file, and I figured how to do it without it, but when I try to implement them in-game by replacing original one (head in this case), I get crash to desktop during the first loading screen without error message.

Not sure what I'm missing here;
1.) I opened the animations file in MS
2.) Exported original MD2 head
3.) Merged with my own head model
4.) Edited the model
5.) Merged all in to one group, and assigned material for textures
6.) Rigged the group to head-bone (MS requires it)
7.) Exported as MD2
8.) Copied the file to pk3 file and overwrited original one one
9.) CTD when loading the game..

It's propably something obvious, but something I have missed since working with MD2 files or engine like this is totally new for me.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 01:26:03 pm by Kahvipannu84 »

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hi, few questions about modding Ufo:AI
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 04:38:56 pm »
All of our MD2 files also require a .anm file which defines the animations. Not sure if missing this would cause a crash though.

Can you provide your ufoconsole.log? It is regenerated each time you load the game so send it after getting the crash.

Feel free to share the files here as well. I'll take a look and see if I can open it in 3DSM and export it, etc. Then we can know if the file is corrupted or just not being read properly by our game.