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Topics - Roughbeak

Pages: [1] 2
1
Community Polls / Community Polls
« on: 22-12-2016, 18:12:17 »
In this subforum you will conduct mature polls regarding Forgotten Hope 2.

Happy polling!


Roughbeak

2
Hi,

Some of you are asking how to hide chat and kill messages that can block your view. This tutorial will help you do that. :) Please note, use to your own discretion. You may have a chance to be kicked.


1) First, navigate to "Battlefield 2\mods\fh2\" and open up the menu_server.zip (open .zip files with winrar or a similar tool)

2) Next, we go through it like this: "HUD\HudSetup\Communication" and open up HudElementsChat.con with Notepad or something similar.

3) Now, we should find a line of code in that .con file named "hudBuilder.setNodeShowVariable       ChatListShow".

4) Add a "NOT" behind "ChatListShow" and save it of course. Like so:

Quote
hudBuilder.setNodeShowVariable       NOT ChatListShow

Voila! Now you can play without fear of huge blocks of text creeping in.


Best regards,
Roughbeak

3
Off-Topic / Tank made of snow/ice
« on: 02-03-2016, 18:03:23 »
Toddel posted this today, I might as well spread the epicness... :)


4
Off-Topic / Picture of the Day (artwork photos)
« on: 12-01-2016, 21:01:48 »
Thought I might kickoff another interesting thread.

It's about artwork in either WW1, WW2, modern day etc..

Quote
The rules are:
- One picture per member per day.
- All artwork, no real life photos.
- Only posts with pictures and discussing the pictures are allowed.
- Posts in violation of these rules will be deleted without warning.

5
Developer Blogs / Zooming Intensifies!
« on: 12-11-2015, 20:11:13 »
Hey, in the next FH2 patch (2.50), spotting will become a bit more enjoyable.

Here is the current ingame representation (click on it):



~Roughbeak

6
Off-Topic / MOVED: BFMeshView tools
« on: 04-11-2015, 20:11:51 »

7
FH2 Help / Support / [Tutorial] Running FH2 in Windowed Mode
« on: 15-09-2015, 17:09:45 »
Some of you I have seen are having a difficulty of activating or not knowing where "windowed mode" is even located. Here, I provided a short and essential tutorial of how to get it going.

First of all, what does "windowed mode" do?

It simply runs FH2 in a custom set resolution and best of all, it locates problems and provides subtle solutions for crashes on the loading screen, launching FH2 etc..

How do I activate it?

To activate windowed mode, simply start up the FH2 Launcher, hit "options", select the "video" tab, and lastly, tick "windowed mode" at the bottom.


Hope this solves your issues of finding it, take care!

8
Modding / [Tutorial] BF2Engine Static Meshes
« on: 12-04-2015, 21:04:35 »
Hello everyone!

In this tutorial, you will hopefully gain knowledge of how to work with static meshes for BF2Engine, namely its uv texturing system, interesting tips, and some procedures to help you create them!

I trust, that you have at least some knowledge in the department of modeling, so what I will focus on here is uv texturing, lightmapping, lods, cols, proper exporting, and coding .staticmeshes in BF2Editor. There is a plentiful amount of tutorials of creating statics on the internet, so I will just cover what is not out there. Let's start, shall we?
 
In the Forgotten Hope 2 development team, we use 3ds Max 9 & the Poe Export tools to create our 3d models and exporting respectively, some of you may know that already.
Unfortunately, newer versions of 3ds Max do not work properly when we export them, so we have to make do. Also, getting the 3ds Max 9 "service pack 2" is a necessary patch, it is not required, but essential in the long run.

Another software that is highly recommended is "BfMeshview", this allows us to view our exported models with ease. You can view your meshes, generate samples/lightmaps, but more on that later.

Moving on here, we will examine the various types of tasks involving static meshes down below.


Uv Texturing


In static objects/meshes, we mostly work with re-usable textures, meaning that we can have a plentiful amount of textures in just one file. For an example, we have a single texture that has four brick ones stacked vertically, meaning we can have one single file to use for various uses. One thing to note, we use textures in the power of two - 256x512, 512x512, 1024x512px etc. We avoid using something like 1053x985 for instance, so using proper sizes is crucial here.

Texturing our static objects to make it work properly, we need to set up the correct materials. To do this, we press "M" on the keyboard in 3ds Max 9 and select one of the unused slots. By default, your material should have "Standard" setting on the right. Click on that and there should be a variety buttons in that panel, but what we want specifically is "Bf2StaticMesh 2". Like this:



If this material does not appear, make sure you installed Poe Tools export plugin correctly, but just ask if you have any trouble. We then rename this material to whatever you like, such as "brick", "roof", "wood", but it does not matter, just so you know to keep organized.

As we see, there are four different texture slots with two additional normal/bump maps:



What do these mean? Let us go into a bit more depth:


Base (_c)

This is basically a color overlay, it modifies your existing detail map's color appearance.

Detail (_de)

The detail slot is going to be your main "background" shall we say. It is going to be your solid foundation of the four textures, the others will overlay on this.

Dirt (_di)

This layer makes the detail come to life and reduces some of the tiling. This is great for walls or roofs, but it can be used pretty much anywhere. This gives each individual object character! 

Crack (_cr)

This layer provides "decals" and will hide some tiling and possible seams in your detail layer. For an example, the crack layer is great for adding "broken" parts around a blasted hole in a house, this is essential because it will make things more believable and much more spicy. The opacity in the alpha channel is how this works.

Normal/bump (_deb)

The normal/bump layer is for your detail and crack layer. Normal/bump maps make these layers more realistic as in providing "fake lighting" or shadows without using more polygons. Think of brick, the normal/bump map creates shadows or extra details onto the surface, making it an appearance as if the bricks are separating from the middle mortar.


As you see on the right of these layer slots, there are buttons with numbers labeled on them. What are they? They are channels for operating the four fundamental textures and viewing each layer.
This is where BfMeshview is really nice, because when you export it, you can see all the layers blend on top of each other. In 3ds Max 9, you just see the layers individually with no alpha blend on them.

To operate it, drag the material onto your polygon surface (also click "view in viewport"), by a default setting the button "1" (base) will appear: (note: you have to drag these materials on a specific polygon spot to make it work properly)



Once this is done, we begin texturing by the either "Uv mapping" or "Unwrap UVW" modifiers, I prefer the latter because it is easier to work with and quite frankly, much more stylish. Lastly, just make sure your object is in one object, if this is the case, just select your object and "attach" your various objects. Below, are some examples of accomplishing uv texturing:


Unwrap UVW


Pre-setup:

Once this modifier is added, we select the channel we want either 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, and hit the "Edit" button:





Here, I did a quick planar map on the y axis, on the front of it:



Now scaling it proper:



Done:



Now the "base" is all unwrapped, select all of the polygons, and copy it. Collapse your modifier and start again, we then paste these polys into the dirt channel (3):



… and again, map them out properly:




When we come to channel 2 (detail), we do this:





Collapse that, and start on the windows/doors:





Collapse that modifier again, and start again by mapping out the stairs:




Lightmapping


This task is one of the most important in static meshes, it defines clean light being displaying onto your object or shadows being projected onto your surfaces.
The goal in lightmapping is nicely mapping out your polygons manually and trying to make it as clean as possible with no overlapped faces.

All of this is done in channel 5 of Unwrap UVW modifier. Lightmapping does take time, but it is a time worth spent because it will make the static overall better. Matter of fact, it will “make or break” your mesh.

Before you start, we have to be sure what kind of pixel map we going to use, a 32, 64, 128, 156, 256, 512, 1024px (notice the power of two) etc. A cottage house with no interior, it would look great in 256px. To do this, we have to make sure we have one or two more commas in 3ds Max 9, you can do this in the preferences\general\ tab.
Why do we need to do this? It is essential because our Unwrap UVW grid has to match up with our pixel size accordingly.

Also, as a general rule of thumb, we make sure our uv polygons have 1 pixel spacing on the perimeter of the box, and 3px spacing between the other uv chunks. As you see on our lightmap here:



Also, make sure our polygons do not have any overlap! You can check this by "select\select overlapped". If you notice these green seams, what are they? They are going to define where the light is going to be cut off and start from new - meaning that if you have a green seam moving across in the middle of a face, there is going to be a seam there my friend.

Indeed, it is a tough and time consuming process at first, but believe me, it will get much better once you keep practicing! When lightmapping is complete, check to see if there are no overlapped faces again, and collapse the modifier. Make sure to test these in BF2Editor (generate lightmaps etc.) to find any lightmap seams because the lod0 (most detailed) will be carried onto the other lods, hence making it only easier if you complete lod0 to its best.

On our “panel_house”, its complete lightmap:




Collision meshes (cols)


Collision meshes are sub-objects designed for decals when you fire at it, its sound, and prevents you from moving through it. Let's examine them!

Col0 (projectiles/decals and sound)

The col0 is for decals/projectile, should be used as an exact copy of the lod0, except clean up the static in terms of unneeded edges/cuts and vertices added for textures.

Col1 (vehicle) 

Col1 is vehicle prevention. Like FH2-Dev Toddel said, “vehicles will never enter houses or planes would not care if they hit a detailed cylinder with many polys”. This mesh is the less detailed of the bunch, modeling with boxes are very useful, but make it in a way that it is clean and proper.

Col2 (soldier/players)

The col2 is what soldiers move on or prevent movement (i.e. from walking on floors, prevents moving through walls, moving up the stairs etc.). For steps or stairs, they require special “stairs_” material (there is a few, just select the one that fit’s the footstep sound accordingly – wood, metal etc. in BF2Editor, more on this later). This nice material adds a feature which allows you to climb higher slopes or such easier.

Also, things such as: if some windows are small - just close them to save polygons, if you have rubble stuff on your ground floor just remove these – keeping player movement nice and easy with no sticking, and some other stuff such as removing unneeded polys. 

Col3 (ai/bot)

Col3 is the ai/bot mesh, it helps them navigate better. Some tips: it needs to be one piece or element, from extruded faces mainly. When you create it, keep in mind that bots do not climb ladders and never dance for joy on roofs of a house – delete unneeded polygons beyond them, do not totally delete the roof, just make it very simple.


Some procedures/tips on cols:


Always name your collision meshes with col0, col1, col2, col3 in Max 9 accordingly, because when you clone, 3ds Max 9 will often name it automatically col02 or something.

Your col0 has to be cloned from your lod0 (Ctrl+v and with “copy” instead of “instance”!), except it has to have a Standard material named “col_wood” or whatever is needed & logical (i.e. it would not make much sense to put a metal material on a wood fence). These can be later coded in BF2Editor.

Just drag the slot onto your object (plus "view in viewport selected); to keep in mind, you could be ending up with more than one material - metal, paper, brick etc. As said before, if you have any stairs or steps, make sure the top of the slope is fitted with a “stair” material on col2!

When working with these you often have to select your object you want to work with and “right click\hide unselected” to get a better view of your objects with less clutter.

Pressing “h” on your keyboard will view your hierarchy set up, you might have to “right click\unhide all” to view the hidden objects.

Our collision meshes (“panel house”):

Col0



Col1



Col2



Col3



Also, please note that col3 should be closed!




Level of detail (lods)


Lods are what video games use to lessen the detail of your main object (lod0). To keep it short - as you move farther away from the object, it gets less detailed, and yet keeping performance on your PC nice. It would be performance heavy and a waist of polygons if you just had a lod0 on a complex mesh.

Like cols, lods are sub objects to the original mesh; we label them LOD1_objectname, LOD2_objectname etc. We usually do work with three lods, but sometimes even just one lod (lod0) is necessary – it only depends on what poly count you desire to lessen.

For some specifications on static meshes, FH2-Dev Toddel gave us some nice examples on lods:

Lod0 100% (% = number of your polygons)
Lod1 75%
Lod2 50%
Lod3 25%


Before you begin, make sure your lod0 is finished to its best – meaning regenerating lightmaps on it in BF2Editor, finding obnoxious errors to fix etc. Testing the lightmaps on lod0 is time consuming, but worth it, since you do not want to re- uv lightmap it again and again on all lods.

For making the lod1 just select your original mesh, clone it (ctrl+v and “copy” instead of “instance”, and rename it to “LOD1_objectname.” For this one, just weld some vertices that are rounded corners and delete small details.

Lod2 uses the same method as the previous lod (clone and copy instead of instance etc.); this one is even lesser detailed – more welding and deleting more noticeable details (inside chimneys, maybe even first floor ceilings), and simplifying roofs if you have them.

The lod3 is very low in poly count, if you have an enterable building, delete the inside and close it off cleanly. You can simplify the steps into angles like you have in your col2. If you have a log house or something, make those logs into boxes by deleting edges + verts.

The lod1 (notice how I moved the windows/door farther out and welded the vertices, to cut polys down).




Exporting


For the exporting, if it is your first time, we need to do some small pre-setup in 3ds Max 9. I said this before, but just make sure you have installed POE tools export plugin.

After installing it or if you did already, open up 3ds Max 9, go to BF2 --> Exporter --> Run Setup. When you get here, you have to enter an “output files directory” path – meaning that you would have to select your fh2 (or whatever mod you like) modding folder. Also, there is a text box containing some important lines for proper exporting.

The lines “/rawData/” and “/mods/bf2/” are very important, if you leave them out, who knows what would happen. Then, you would need to enter your folder name you mod out of. Some examples down below:





Your export should be good to go!


Now close that run setup window and you should have the Bf2 Export window back.

Your “Objects sub-folder path:” defines where your mesh will export to. Be careful with this, since you do not want objects randomly exporting and you have no clue where they go.

The next line “Object Name” will exactly as it says, your final name for it.

Also, there is a “StaticMesh” category right in the middle, telling you the lightmap properties of it. We usually select “none” (because we generate the sample/lightmaps in Bfmeshview), and if you completed your lightmap(s) in channel 5, tick “Custom Lightmap UVs”. Before we export our object, we need to do some additional steps to set it up:


You need to review what is going on in the scene first and make sure you “unhide all” to see all of your object(s) in the scene by pressing “H”. Also, be sure again, your collision meshes are named something like “col0”, “col1” etc. and lods to LOD1_objectname etc. Like this:



Now this is where it gets fun, select all of the stuff in your scene, hit “BF2 --> Utilities --> StaticMesh”. Now your objects will be formatted to fit proper exporting. Also be sure that your object is fit with the proper dimensions or size, changing your units to meters or centimeters is what we work with or what BF2 Editor enjoys.

You should have something like this:



Last changes, rename lods to:




Now lastly go to your BF2 exporter panel and type in your desired output. If you have a custom lightmap, tick “custom lightmap UVs”, select “none”, and press “export object” in the drop selection like I said before:



When exported, your output folder should contain some files regarding of what you just made (i.e. .con, .staticmesh, .collisionmesh file etc.). You should have some files in here:




BfMeshview


Open up your .staticmesh file with BfMeshView, if it is your first time opening, you might have to configure your mod texture paths in it. To do this, hit “options/preferences”, click “add”, and select your same mod folder.

If this does not seem to work, restart it, and make sure the textures, samples, and .cons are check marked by clicking “options”.

Now select your exported .staticmesh again, select “tools\generate samples”, check to see if you will generate the correct lightmap resolution, and lastly generate it. To keep in mind, we usually half the resolution for each lod on down. These will be saved in the same folder. We lastly check everything that we did and begin opening up Bf2Editor!

Here is how it looks:



Coding


When we open up Bf2Editor, there should be a dialog of what mod you want to launch and pick your folder. This will take time loading all this, so be patient!

Assuming you loaded all the mod content and preparation stuff (might have to restart it again), go to “object editor”, find your mesh, and drag-drop it into the scene.


First off, let’s set up our materials. There should be a “tweaker bar” that defines what the object can or cannot do; right now select “MapMaterials” under Default tab and this is where our col0 (decal) comes into play. Right, setup the materials nicely, reload geometry, and save it.

Here is what I did on the “panel_house”:



Next up comes our “CullRadiusScale”, this will determine when the object will stop showing or the max distance of showing. Keep in mind that you should let the static disappear at 650m - so trial and error is the thing here.

Before we start coding lods, check to see if they look nice and no issues with them. Okay, navigate to your geometry tab inside your object folder, and finally click on geom0. Next, we scroll down to the “Lod Distances” and place proper values:



We can see the lod1 will appear here:



I would go further, but I need to wrap up. PR-Dev Rhino has an excellent tutorial I would recommend seeing.


Last things to do is checking the mesh in one of the maps, generate lightmaps on it, check lods, and the rest.


Close


Hopefully this improved your knowledge of static meshes, I really hope for the best who wants learn this! Like I said before, shoot me a pm or post here if you need any help!


Take care
Roughbeak

9
Off-Topic / Interesting website on mainly WW2 pictures
« on: 29-03-2015, 23:03:14 »
It's definitely worth checking out!

http://jtrowbridge5.smugmug.com/

10
Developer Blogs / Becoming Ec-static!
« on: 15-02-2015, 16:02:14 »
Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 dev blog!

After finishing a challenging developer application for at least three solid months, I got accepted into the team! Excitement to the highest peak, I get to be on my favorite mod that I always dreamed of and work alongside talented developers! The ones who guided me were mainly Toddel & Kraetzer. Many thanks to them again!
My primary job is to create statics, namely buildings, props, and the like. Also, for today, you are going to get a flavor of the upcoming Eastern Front buildings that I made and a brief process of creating them!

To make our 3d models work properly in the BF2Engine, we use 3ds Max 9 (not 2009) & Poe export tools plugin for creating and exporting respectively. Also, gaining reference photos of what you will work on is essential, because we need to get those creative juices flowing; mainly for getting those details in or just simple motivation!

Going back to the Poe export tools plugin, it is very necessary for 3ds Max 9 and our developer work. It allows us to texture our models and export them properly to the BF2Engine. It also comes with two texture materials, “BF2 BundledMesh” material which allows us to place textures on a tank from Photoshop, for an example. Additionally, it includes just what we need for statics, the “BF2 StaticMesh2” material. It grants us to uv map our four principle texture layers:


-Base (color)

-Detail (main texture, brick for an example)

-Dirt (adds extra spice to our model, stains or such)

-Crack (slaps on nice detail, such as exposed brick overlaying on plaster)

-Normal/bump maps for Detail & Crack (a technique that is used to “fake” lighting of bumps or impressions into the surface without using more polygons)


At first, I only just used the modifier “Uv map” in 3ds Max 9 for texturing my models, but after a while, I am a changed man! “Unwrap UVW”, is seriously the best choice to use. For instance, I create a log house ruin, I had some difficulty uv texturing the layers just right with “Uv map” modifier. Once I tried “Unwrap UVW”, things started to look much better; planar mapping works like a charm for the walls or such.

After texturing our statics, I usually lightmap next. The word “lightmap” is to signify shadows or casting light onto our object. As a static artist, we attempt to make the UVs as clean as possible in Unwrap channel 5, as an added benefit for the mappers. After some time, lightmapping does get tedious at times, but it really does “make or break” your model.

Then the lods or “level or distance” come into our scene. Lods, are basically added objects, which involve decreasing the amount of polygons or complexity of your object. Long story short, as you move farther away from the 3d model ingame, its complexity gets lessened. Most of the times, we usually work with three of them, lod 0 as the most detailed and up to lod 3 being the less detailed.

Next up, we setup our cols or “collision meshes”; in the BF2Engine, we work with four of them. Col 0 being the decal mesh or what the projectile you fire onto it, the col 1 prevents vehicles from advancing (this is usually the less detailed of the bunch), col 2 is what soldiers walk on or moving into the static, and last but not least, we have our col 3 bot mesh, this is what helps the bots to navigate through maps.




Hopefully I will create another blog soon in the modding section about creating statics to their fullest, setting up all this stuff - main 3d object, lightmap, lods, cols, exporting, etc., but just keep in mind, all of us developers started out small. Most of you have a chance at getting to be a developer, just always keep trying to improve. If you take an interest in it, never quit at it! The starting out phases are always the toughest; if you have any questions, please ask, we are here to help!

Now, you are going to take at some of my statics in the Eastern Front that I promised you before. Take care and enjoy!







11
Modding / [Tutorial] Modelling and Texturing a Tiger Tank
« on: 01-10-2014, 19:10:21 »
Found this tutorial, on the Rise of Nations website, talking about modelling and texturing a Tiger tank. Even though video tutorials usually are better, but this one is worth checking out. :)

It is pretty basic of explaining, covers most things that beginners or intermediates would know, but it takes it to the next step. ;)

http://ron.heavengames.com/library/articles/modelingtutorial/tutorial1.shtml
http://ron.heavengames.com/library/articles/modelingtutorial/tutorial3.shtml

12
Modding / What have you modded recently?
« on: 16-09-2014, 01:09:19 »
Hey there, thought this might be a good thread for those things (models, maps etc.) you made, but weren't enough for its own thread.

Feel free to post anything you made regarding FH2 modding. :)

----------------

Alright, over the past few days I have been working on a French house (WW2 themed again) that has "BF2StaticMesh2" materials over it; the model is complete with a Base, Detail, Dirt, Crack, and even some normal map layers. I'm very satisfied with this model, because the layers blend with each other so well - thanks to the alpha channel!

FH2 dev "Nissi" helped me out a lot with this, mainly the BF2/FH2 materials, and I would like to say a huge thank you again to him! I wouldn't be where I am today without him.

In 3ds Max 9


The two below are in rendered in BfMeshView







13
Modding / [AT Mine] French Mle 1936
« on: 01-09-2014, 21:09:54 »
Hello there, lately I have been really getting into modeling and texturing. So I took a bunch of tutorials ranging from modeling to uvw unwrapping. Like some people, I never really took a serious look at poly + tri count. That will come later, right now I am just getting the main frame of it done.

I got started with the French anti tank mine, namely "Modele 1936 AT Mine". Hopefully in the future I can place some neat decals on this and get the model in FH2! :)

Here are some of the references I looked at.
http://www.lexpev.nl/minesandcharges/europe/france/minelegeremle19351936.html
http://www.jedsite.info/mines-mike/mike-modele/1936_series/1936/1936_003.jpg





The wireframe


In Bfmeshview


Render in 3ds Max, including specs and normals. Here's how it looks! :D



This is all very WIP (almost starting out with) and I hope to make it better. I am looking for feedback from the community and maybe some of the FH2 devs here. Hope you like it!


14
Modding / First Attempt at Static Modelling
« on: 14-05-2014, 04:05:47 »
Hello! I have had 3ds Max for a little while. Like many people here, I started with Toddel's simple open house, and I decided to start more complex static modeling! There have been past models I have made, but they definitely are not considered a "model", because they are just that bad.

Today I thought I would share one of my statics in 3ds Max. Some of the texture maps (rock, shingles)) are complete with Diffuse, Specular, and Normal maps. Also, I thought I cut down the poly count reasonably. Plus this one is fully enterable.

That being said, I tried to base this one off one of FH2's French houses. I hope it resembles to you.

Front: poly model


Back: poly model


Front:

The stone side below seems to be a bit lighter than the above one, perhaps Specular issues?


Some interior



This model is definitely far from over, everything is work in progress. Hope you give some feedback below, go easy though. :)

15
Off-Topic / Mikhail Kalashnikov dies at the age 94
« on: 23-12-2013, 18:12:03 »
I cannot believe it! He will be truly missed. Father of the Ak47 and all variants.

His early life he was in the T34 tank crew, but he got severely injured. After that he worked on the road to the AK47.

He died because of poor health.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25497013

12/23/2013

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