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Community Projects => HL:S:HD => Topic started by: flynia on September 16, 2005, 05:12:05 PM

Title: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on September 16, 2005, 05:12:05 PM
I thought this might be usefull for people starting out at modding and for those who already do mod but cant remember links and forget to bookmark them... like myself LOL :) Now i know its not completely related to HL Source so just bear with me as im only trying to help everyone out ok :)

Cheers flynia

PROGRAMS

Milkshape 3D - Model Editing and Compile/Decompile.
http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/

GCF Scape - Allows you to open and extract from GCF files.
http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?c=76

Cannon Fodders Tools - Several useful tools, though not all designed for Source engine games.
http://www.chaosincarnate.net/cannonfodder/cftools.htm

GIMP - Free Image Manipulation Program.  Like Photoshop and Paintshop Pro but Open Source.
http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/

Normal Map Plugin For GIMP - Thanks Frraksurred :)
http://nifelheim.dyndns.org/%7ecocidius/normalmap/

Height2normal.exe - Valve's own normal map maker.  Found in your "C:\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\username\sourcesdk\bin" folder.
Submitted by JoshuaC.
Info here http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Height2Normal

VTF Plugin For Adobe Photoshop
http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?p=39

VTF Tool - Can convert .VTF to .TGA and back to .VTF, very usefull for skining.
Submitted by Baracuda.
http://www.wunderboy.org/download.php?file=VTFTool_0.5b.zip&s=1

VTF Explorer - Allows you to view and export to VTF.
Submitted by Romka.
http://www.hl2source.com/?content=projects&id=vtftool

NSIS - Nullsoft Scriptable Install System. Free open source installer. Very easy to use, very well supported.
Submitted by Frraksurred.
http://nsis.sourceforge.net/

NSIS Installer User Manual - Program comes with documentation, but this contains a lot more.
http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Docs/

Freeware Hex Editor XVI32
Submitted by flynia
http://www.chmaas.handshake.de/delphi/freeware/xvi32/xvi32.htm

Windows XP / 2000 VTF Shell Extensions - VTF Thumbnail & Info support
Submitted by flynia
http://www.wunderboy.org/download.php?file=vtf_shell_extensions_installer_v1.2.zip&s=1

TUTORIALS

Alpha Channels - Guide On Creating Alpha Channels in Adobe Photoshop
Submitted by flynia.
http://www.hl2world.com/wiki/index.php/Alpha_Channel_Textures

3D Buzz - While there are a ton of tutorials to be found on the Internet, this website is known for having one of the largest databases for all things 3D related.
Submitted by Frraksurred.
http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_home.php

Leak-Free: Game Modeling - This thread on the Leak-Free Forums contains a wealth of information and links.  Definitely worth checking out.
Submitted by Frraksurred.
http://forum.leak-free.org/viewtopic.php?t=65&sid=686e91022b7eca8a980c717102b7ad88

Normal Map enhancement. - This tutorial shows you how to edit textures so normal map generators will more accuratly reproduce the height map.
Submitted by Frraksurred.
http://www.quake3bits.com/htm/tutorials/creating_bumpmaps_from_images.htm


TIPS

VMT Commands

English
http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Shader_Types_and_Parameters - English Version
Submitted by j0nathanbs23

Russian
http://inside.hl2.ru/vmt - Russian Version
Submitted by flynia

V, W and P Models and what they do
v_model - This is the model players will see themselves holding in first person.
w_model - This is the model players will see on the ground that they can pick up.
p_model - This is the model you will see other players holding, or that the player will see themselves holding in third person.
Title: Re: Software For Beginners At Modding For Source
Post by: Barnz on September 16, 2005, 05:49:00 PM
I need a bump map creator. :)

Title: Re: Software For Beginners At Modding For Source
Post by: JoshuaC on September 16, 2005, 08:12:13 PM
I recently Found out that valves height2normal program makes some awesome normal maps way better than the Nvidia or ati normalmappers.

Info here http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Height2Normal

MOD: Added, thank you.
Title: Re: Software For Beginners At Modding For Source
Post by: Frraksurred on September 17, 2005, 12:40:20 AM
NSIS - Nullsoft Scriptable Install System.  Free open source installer.  Very easy to use, very well supported.
http://nsis.sourceforge.net/

NSIS Installer User Manual.  Program comes with documentation, but this contains a lot more.
http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Docs/

MOD: Added.
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: baracuda on September 18, 2005, 08:33:18 AM
VTF Tool, can convert .VTF to .TGA and back to .VTF,, very usefull for skining
http://www.wunderboy.org/download.php?file=VTFTool_0.5b.zip&s=1

MOD: Added, thank you.
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: Romka™ on September 18, 2005, 09:21:14 AM
VTF explorer (http://www.hl2source.com/?content=projects&id=vtftool) to view and export easily the VTFs ;)

EDIT: So you don't need the GCF scape, if you use this ;).


MOD: Added, thank you.
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: flynia on September 18, 2005, 12:59:09 PM
While browsing www.svencoop.com i found the following on replacing models

http://www.svencoop.com/modelreplace.php

I also found descriptions of how v,w and p models work :)

v_model - This is the model players will see themselves holding in first person.
w_model - This is the model players will see on the ground that they can pick up.
p_model - This is the model other players will see the player holding or that the player will see themselves holding in third person.

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: Romka™ on September 18, 2005, 01:02:33 PM
Not necessarily related to the topic but this explains what each model is usefull for:

v_model - This is the model players will see themselves holding in first person.
w_model - This is the model players will see on the ground that they can pick up.
p_model - This is the model other players will see the player holding or that the player will see themselves holding in third person.

Cheers flynia
We all know it since latest 2000, L0L ::).
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: flynia on September 18, 2005, 01:04:26 PM
Not me bud... only figured it out recently... besides this area is for people who know very little about modding and wanna start to learn :)

It's more a library for information and documentation relating to modding for HL and Source. I know all this info probably seems "old news" to us but we have to bear in mind that their are people out their just starting out with modding.

This section aims for them :)... not uber modding gods lol

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Source
Post by: Sephiroth on September 18, 2005, 03:04:33 PM
Not me bud... only figured it out recently... besides this area is for people who know very little about modding and wanna start to learn :)

It's more a library for information and documentation relating to modding for HL and Source. I know all this info probably seems "old news" to us but we have to bear in mind that their are people out their just starting out with modding.

This section aims for them :)... not uber modding gods lol

Cheers flynia

I dont mod and I know what a v_, p_, and w_ model are for. How does that apply to modding?
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: James on September 18, 2005, 03:26:18 PM
So you know which models you're making and what they'll be used for?
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Sephiroth on September 18, 2005, 03:59:49 PM
So you know which models you're making and what they'll be used for?

Well you have a point, especially if the mod has new weapons, I guess that would be useful knowledge  :P
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on September 18, 2005, 08:02:00 PM
In a thread aimed at helping the less experienced, I'd say any constructive information is useful.  Let's not critisize an attempt to be informative, just because it may be old info to us.  There was a point and time when I didn't know what the difference between a "v_weapon" and a "p_weapon" was, but learned it from a helpful thread like this one.

Let's stay on topic so I don't have to "offend" people by pruning their posts.  Thank you.  ;D


Btw, first post has been updated with the added links.  Thanks for contributing!
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on September 18, 2005, 09:28:37 PM
will you guys be explaining the actual steps editing for Source models in another thread  ??? (I can easily do stuff with regular halflife, but with source it leaves me all in fetal position  :'( ......except sounds of course  :D )
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on September 19, 2005, 04:42:22 AM
will you guys be explaining the actual steps editing for Source models in another thread  ??? (I can easily do stuff with regular halflife, but with source it leaves me all in fetal position  :'( ......except sounds of course  :D )

After the official release of 2.0 I had planned on releasing a video tutorial on converting to Source based on all I've learned through out this experience.  I'm sure I will not be the only one.

As far as others, we had thought about linking related tutorials to some of the programs listed above.  Does that answer your question?
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on September 19, 2005, 04:51:34 AM
After the official release of 2.0 I had planned on releasing a video tutorial on converting to Source based on all I've learned through out this experience.  I'm sure I will not be the only one.

As far as others, we had thought about linking related tutorials to some of the programs listed above.  Does that answer your question?
yea that answers  :D thx  :)
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Nelo Angelo on September 22, 2005, 10:29:10 PM
What do you use to convert models?
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on September 22, 2005, 11:15:26 PM
What do you use to convert models?

A mixture of programs, most of which are listed in the first post.  Milkshape3D for editing, creating ragdoll, decompiling and compiling models.  GCFScape to extract the original HL:S models from the game files for comparison.  Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or GIMP to edit, resize, normal map and batch convert textures.  Lastly a few good tutorials to tell you how to code Source files to make all the above work correctly.  ;D
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on September 29, 2005, 11:01:56 AM
Here is a nice page on Alpha Channels

http://www.hl2world.com/wiki/index.php/Alpha_Channel_Textures

Added it to the 1st post :)

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on September 30, 2005, 05:10:30 AM
This link helped me improve several of my normal maps.

http://www.quake3bits.com/htm/tutorials/creating_bumpmaps_from_images.htm

Here are a couple of examples:

(http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/4099/mapcomp5th.jpg)

(http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/1018/mapcomp25ov.jpg)
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Android on October 08, 2005, 02:43:44 AM
agh what the hell! the vtf tools are all missing "tier0.dll" so i cant use the vtf converter or explorer...
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 08, 2005, 06:24:43 AM
If this is part of Valves SDK i find removing the following folder helps:

You should probably rename the folder first :)

C:\xxx\Steam\SteamApps\<username>\sourcesdk

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on October 09, 2005, 12:47:42 AM
um, what do I use to make vmts and how the hell do vmts work (since apparently they are why my new textures aren't working)
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on October 09, 2005, 01:11:13 AM
um, what do I use to make vmts and how the hell do vmts work (since apparently they are why my new textures aren't working)

In the "C:\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\username\sourcesdk\bin" folder there is a program called "vtex.exe".  You can get the basics of it here (http://www.hl2world.com/wiki/index.php/Texture_Introduction).  You can use it or Cannonfodder's Studiocompiler (http://www.hl-improvement.com/forums/index.php?topic=2220.new#new).  Either way, as you have mentioned, the .vmt file tells the Source engine how to handle the .vtf file it represents.  I have not found any really good guide on all the different commands yet, though I would be interested in one myself.  Most of what I know I have picked up from Romka and by examining other working vmt's and comparing differences.

I wish I could be of more help then that.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 09, 2005, 07:22:36 AM
You can also use Notepad to create/edit VMT's.

Just create a blank *.txt document...

Then rename the extension to *.vmt and all should be good.

The basic VMT file looks like this

"VertexLitGeneric"
{
"$basetexture" "directoryoftexture/texturename"
}


Hope that helps

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on October 09, 2005, 06:50:57 PM
 :o
thx man, I'll give it a go ASAP  ;D
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Android on October 10, 2005, 02:29:45 AM
If this is part of Valves SDK i find removing the following folder helps:

You should probably rename the folder first :)

C:\xxx\Steam\SteamApps\<username>\sourcesdk

Cheers flynia

Umm, if this has anything to do with the VTF tool, i don't see what renaming a folder what to do compensate for a missing .dll....
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 10, 2005, 03:46:41 AM
Renaming its a precaution... an alternative to deleting the folder.

Nothing more

PS - Here is a site with VMT commands... its in russian though :(

http://inside.hl2.ru/vmt

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: j0nathanbs23 on October 11, 2005, 10:22:42 PM
It looks like this tells the same thing, but in english.

http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Shader_Types_and_Parameters

I wish there was better documentation on this type of thing.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 11, 2005, 10:29:42 PM
Nice work mate :) :) :)

Thanks Very Much ill update first post :)

Cheers flynia

It looks like this tells the same thing, but in english.

http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Shader_Types_and_Parameters

I wish there was better documentation on this type of thing.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 14, 2005, 12:11:40 PM
I've added the link to a freeware HEX editor for those more advanced users.

http://www.chmaas.handshake.de/delphi/freeware/xvi32/xvi32.htm

Always make a backup of the file before you adjust any paremeters within :)

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Marphy Black on October 16, 2005, 05:18:40 AM
I have a question about decompiling the Source models. After you've decompiled them, what changes did you have to make to the qc file to make them work properly again when you recompile it? For example, I tried decompiling the Source Barney and made a few changes and then recompiled it. However, when I test it ingame, the mouth controller doesn't work, he no longer walks or runs, and when he shoots, he aims upward as it seems the blending between the two fire animations is not working. There may be even more problems I haven't yet identified, and that's why I ask since it seems you've got everything working.

There's also the issue of of qc events not playing sound files when they're supposed to, but I think I've figured out how to fix that on my own from what I've read earilier.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 16, 2005, 08:27:53 AM
Let me guess

Cannfodders Studio Decompiler right...

I've had that very same issue :( I'm fairly positive its got something to do with that program being fairly new.

I have a working barney QC done by barneyinblue if you would like that... team approving of course.

Cheers flynia

I have a question about decompiling the Source models. After you've decompiled them, what changes did you have to make to the qc file to make them work properly again when you recompile it? For example, I tried decompiling the Source Barney and made a few changes and then recompiled it. However, when I test it ingame, the mouth controller doesn't work, he no longer walks or runs, and when he shoots, he aims upward as it seems the blending between the two fire animations is not working. There may be even more problems I haven't yet identified, and that's why I ask since it seems you've got everything working.

There's also the issue of of qc events not playing sound files when they're supposed to, but I think I've figured out how to fix that on my own from what I've read earilier.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Marphy Black on October 16, 2005, 08:57:04 AM
I don't intend to release anything; I'm just messing around with some features, so I wouldn't you to release your work for no reason at all.

However, what would be helpful, instead of giving us the working qc file, would be to actually tell us what necessary changes you had to make to the qc file after decompiling it, so we can learn what needs to be done to make the model work after decompiling it rather than having all the work done for us.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 16, 2005, 10:32:55 AM
I'm looking at documenting the working QC files we have and uploading them as well as the decompiled models (textures, smds etc) sometime in the future.

Would that be something like what you are after?

It is a few days off yet though.

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on October 30, 2005, 08:06:07 PM
Hopefully you will forgive me for the bump  :P

but the normal map generator that comes with the Source SDK doesn't work for me  :'( , is there another normal map program I kind try  ???
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 31, 2005, 04:08:14 AM
I use this ATI one:

Attached to this post.

Cheers flynia

[File not found]
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on October 31, 2005, 04:13:46 AM
I suppose I will try that out, but I also found a plugin made by Nvidia for photoshop (you don't HAVE to have a nvidia card to use it) which is what I used for my new sig  ;D
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on October 31, 2005, 04:15:56 AM
Barneyinblue suggested the ATI one for me...

It does a pretty good job... Plus im a ATI Fanboy.

I guess you have to try it and see which one suits your needs more.

Do you have the VTF plugin for photoshop?

Cheers flynia
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Frraksurred on October 31, 2005, 05:59:31 AM
I have not heard good things about the nVidia generator, but I have not tried it personally.

I use the"Prewitt" setting of the GIMP plugin listed in the first post of this thread.  With a little preperation it works very well.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Barnz on October 31, 2005, 11:28:16 AM
I started to use a new style normal maps in these days:

First I am using heigt2normal to create a default normal map for my texture then I took %25 from Nvidia's Normal Map Generator, %25 from ATI's Normal Map Generator. In the last step, I am painting whole Normal map texture with purple brush.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: flynia on December 15, 2005, 05:53:47 AM
Here: Windows XP / 2000 VTF Shell Extensions - VTF Thumbnail & Info support

Allows you to preview VTF's using Windows... view the image for a example :) Note the preview in the details area :)

Thanks to Wunderboy.org

Homepage:- http://www.wunderboy.org/index.php
File:- http://www.wunderboy.org/download.php?file=vtf_shell_extensions_installer_v1.2.zip&s=1

(http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/5638/example6qf.jpg)
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: DeMoNIc*PSyChO on December 15, 2005, 09:07:45 AM
is there any form of HLMV for HL2?
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Pumpkin_Masher on December 16, 2005, 03:02:06 AM
Well there's the one in the SDK....
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: halflifedave on February 17, 2006, 05:16:21 AM
Is there any Source engine decompiler/compiler that DOESN'T depend on Source SDK? The current programs won't work for some reason and it's really pissin me off 
>:(
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Sgt Wilko on March 12, 2006, 10:26:27 AM
I don't intend to release anything; I'm just messing around with some features, so I wouldn't you to release your work for no reason at all.

However, what would be helpful, instead of giving us the working qc file, would be to actually tell us what necessary changes you had to make to the qc file after decompiling it, so we can learn what needs to be done to make the model work after decompiling it rather than having all the work done for us.

Marphy, I always suggest not using the decompiled QC file and layout. It seems to change aot of lines and does not understand the Submodels and controllers. For HLS, I stick to the standard Hl1 qc layout. Some of the animation details are changed in the Source version. To see what is different, you can extract the .mdl file from the source GCF (using GCFscape or whatever you want) and open it in notepad. Scroll down and you will see the animation names and the "ACT_whatever 1" for each one.

The Decompiler QC layout for Hl2 models seems to work, as I've decompiled and recompiled a few Hl2 models on it.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: tuomass on November 03, 2006, 12:33:15 PM
Ok, so why don't my reskins work in HL:S? :D
I use VTF Tool to convert the vtf's to tga and back. Everytime i try to modify, like say, headcrab_sheet.vtf, it shows in the game as pink and black stripes.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: Sgt Wilko on November 03, 2006, 04:47:12 PM
You need to edit the .vmts of your textures. When they are created with your .vtfs with that tool, it is just a blank file - you best open an existing .vmt to see whats wrong.
Title: Re: Modding For Beginners
Post by: tuomass on November 04, 2006, 05:24:19 PM
thanks, got it to work and made my first headcrab reskin (*cough* crappy *cough*).
thanksalot anyway. :)

Oh and another question, which files in HL:S are the HeadsUpDisplay-ones? I mean those healthbars and stuff.