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Thread: Strat Map Models Reloaded

  1. #1
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Strat Map Models Reloaded
    By: Alletun

    Introduction

    This tutorial will teach you how to turn a battle-map model from m2tw into a strategy-map model. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask.
    Software used:
    Grumpy Old Man's converter: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downl...o=file&id=1276
    Milkshape 1.8.1
    3ds Max 7 (i think you can use any version from 5 to 9?)
    Verc's Cas import/exporter for 3dsmax:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downl...do=file&id=141

    Rtw/Stratmap skeleton vs. M2tw/Battlemap skeleton:
    The major obstacle that we need to deal with is the difference in skeleton between the stratmap models and the battlemap models. The battlemap models use a skeleton with 20 standard bones (with unique bones such as bone_jaw and bone_clavicalL / R). The stratmap models use a different skeleton, where the most noticeable difference is that the skeleton enables cloaks (like in Rtw) through 3 bones. We will not be making any use of these bones in this tut, but feel free to experiment.

    Step 1. Importing a .mesh and exporting an Autodesk .3ds.
    Firstly you need to set up m2tw for modding if you have not already done so: http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=76289

    1.1: Make a folder called "model_strat" in your mod folder.

    1.2: Make a subfolder called "textures" in model_strat.

    1.3: For this tutorial were gonna use the Norman_king model, so go to data/unit_models/_generals_and_captains/early_generals/ and copy
    norman_king_lod0.mesh into your new model_strat folder.

    1.4:
    Using GoM's converter, convert the mesh to .ms3d, then open the ms3d file with milkshape.


    1.5: Export the model as an autodesk .3ds. Export to your model_strat folder.

    Note: Another way to do this step is to load the .ms3d model with LithUnwrap and from there export it as .obj to be opened with 3dsmax.

    Step 2. Merging model with skeleton
    Now that we have the model we want, we're now gonna get the skeleton.

    2.1: Download the script (see the introduction) and follow the install instructions in it's readme. Click the Hammer (1), then Max script (2), followed by Run Script (3), double click the script called "CAS_IE_b79.ms". then pull down the drop down menu and click the R:TW importer exporter.


    2.2: Go to m2tw/data/model_strat/ and copy "late_general_northern.cas" into your model_strat folder.

    2.3: In max, import the cas by clicking "Import Cas":


    you should now have something like this (remember to zoom in):


    2.4: Now select all parts of the model. Do NOT (!) select the bone helpers. Then delete the model:


    This is how it should now look like:


    2.5: Import the .3ds from step 1.5 by going to File>Import. It will ask you if it should replace the entire scene, take the top bullet and click ok (we want to keep the scene), if it asks about animation length, just say "yes".

    (now would be a good time to save. perhaps under the name "New_late_general_northern")

    Step 3. Finishing the merge:



    3.1: If your newly imported general is laying down, select him and rotate him up (remember to also select the crown and sword).

    Use the rotate tool and the angle snap tool to rotate:


    3.2: With everything still select (except the bone helpers), click the blue tube and then click the Skin modifier under animation:


    3.3: Click "add" to add new bones.


    3.4: Add all bones except Scene Root (or, all bones that has a Bone_ infront of them).


    Step 4. Assigning Vertices:
    What we're gonna do now is that we're gonna assign all vertices in the mesh to one bone (bone_torso) and then start assigning them to the correct bones afterwards. We thereby make bone_torso our check-up bone.

    4.1: Click the + (1) and then click Envelope (2). Then check "vertices" (3) and de-check envelopes and cross-sections. now only vertices will be selected. Then click on bone_torso:


    4.2: In your viewports select all vertices like so:


    4.3: We now assign the weight for all vertices to be 1,0 and "rigid". this means that only one bone can be assigned per vertice (else the game crashes) and that the weight is 1 (full weighted). all of the vertices are now assigned to the torso bone.



    4.4: Deselect your vertices (by just clicking somewhere in a viewport) and then click on a new bone, lets start with bone_head. You select all the vertices in the head and do as you did above, with giving them an abs. effect of 1,0.

    4.5: Repeat step 4.4 for all the bones untill every part of your model is assigned to the right bones. you can click on bone_torso to see if there are any vertices that you have forgotten to assign (eg: if a vertice on the arm is assigned to the torso, something is wrong since it should be assigned to an arm bone).

    Step 5. Finishing up the model:
    With the skeleton taken care of, lets finish up the model.

    5.1: The .Cas exporter wants there to be a texture assigned to the model when it exports, so lets give it one. Go to data/unit_models/_generals_and_captains/early_generals/textures and copy "early_general_england.texture" into your model_strat/textures folder. then convert it with the dds converter.

    5.2: In Max go to the Material Editor (shortcut m). Click on one of the spheres and scroll down to the dropdown menu called "maps". At "Diffuse Color" where it says "none", click there and navigate to your newly converted dds texture.


    5.3: To assign the texture to your model, click and drag from the sphere to your model in the viewports. Make sure to also assign the texture to the crown and sword.

    Step 6. Exporting the .Cas and getting it into the game:

    6.1:
    You export pretty much the same way as you import. Export the cas as "late_general_northern.cas", and after that export it as "northern_general.cas"

    6.2: Open up the photoshop and load the DDS texture of the norman king you converted earlier. Save it as "late_general_order_strat.tga" to the model_strat/textures folder, where "order" is your factions name.

    6.3: Go to descr_model_strat.txt (in the data folder, if you havn't got it in your mod copy it over from the vanilla data folder). scroll down to

    Code:
    ;;;;;;;;;;;
    ; GENERAL ;
    ;;;;;;;;;;;
    
    type                northern_general
    skeleton            strat_named_with_army
    scale                0.7
    indiv_range            40
    texture                denmark, models_strat/textures/late_general_denmark_strat.tga
    texture                scotland, models_strat/textures/late_general_scotland_strat.tga
    texture                france, models_strat/textures/late_general_france_strat.tga
    texture                order, models_strat/textures/late_general_order_strat.tga
    texture                hre, models_strat/textures/late_general_hre_strat.tga
    texture                england, models_strat/textures/late_general_england_strat.tga
    texture                saxons, models_strat/textures/late_general_hre_strat.tga
    texture                poland, models_strat/textures/late_general_poland_strat.tga
    texture                hungary, models_strat/textures/late_general_hungary_strat.tga
    texture                russia, models_strat/textures/late_general_russia_strat.tga
    texture                slave, models_strat/textures/late_general_rebels_strat.tga
    model_flexi_m            models_strat/late_general_northern.CAS, max
    shadow_model_flexi        models_strat/shadow_sword.CAS, max
    
    6.4: Congratulations! you have a new stratmap model!


    This tutorial was based on Order Vs. Chaos mod, go check out the first preview:




    Gigantus to the rescue I saved this page locally - when I get the time I try to restore the pics. In the meantime I am uploading the webpage, simply extract somewhere and then double click the HTML shortcut - the page will then display in your web browser.

    StratMapModels reloaded
    Now also available in PDF format here at TWC

    Last edited by Gigantus; April 17, 2022 at 01:59 PM. Reason: added PDF version
    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
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  2. #2
    alpaca's Avatar Harbinger of saliva
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Great tutorial! Even I was able to understand it

    No thing is everything. Every thing is nothing.

  3. #3
    Indefinitely Banned
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Great job!

    Big thanks for doing this Alletun. You rock. I'll rep you when I can (just repped you yesterday )


    EDIT: I making promotionings = http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showp...&postcount=344
    Last edited by Miraj; August 21, 2007 at 12:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Rex Armeniae's Avatar King of Kings
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Wow, cool tutorial. This rly helps if you are into this.
    GJ!
    Հայաստան: Իմ սիրելի Հայաստան:
    The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.
    - Under the patronage of another Rex Armeniae Drtad | Տրտադ

  5. #5
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Glad you all like it and thanks for the advertisement mirage

    I've got an advice regarding texturing if your bringing in a battle map model:
    The textures for weapons are in the attachmentset folder, so the textures for a model are divided over two texture files (one for main-model and one for weapons). when doing your stratmap model place the weapon textures on the model textures (so your kinda merging the two texture files). Then change the UV map in max. Do this by using the UV Unwrap modifier, just remember that the Skin modifier must always be in the top of the modifier stack.

    Just thought i'd mention it
    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=90663&page=2
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  6. #6
    B. Ward's Avatar ★★★★ RockNRolla ★★★★
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    dopeness man +rep for being able to have great tutorials....i suck at explaining things.

  7. #7
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Added another picture, also from Order vs. Chaos:

    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=90663&page=2
    Third Age: Total war. Modeling and Skinning. Working on Isengard.

  8. #8
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Alletun,

    Can you upload the strat model you created? (the one from vanilla if you still have it) thanks
    Last edited by Kinjo; August 30, 2007 at 07:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=90663&page=2
    Third Age: Total war. Modeling and Skinning. Working on Isengard.

  10. #10
    edders's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Out of curiosity, can this be done the other way round? For example, there's a strat map model+textures left over in the game files from an earlier stage of development (unspoken knight uses it for the custom campaign mod) but no battle map version. So, is it possible to take the strat model and turn it into a battle map model this way?

  11. #11
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    strat to battle is pretty much the same as battle to strat. Just load the cas in 3dsmax, export it as a wavefront .obj, then open it with milkshape and save it as a .ms3d file. then you take an already existing unit, delete everthing but the skeleton and save it as a ms3d. then you use Goms converter and merge the two ms3d files. only think left to do now is assign the different vertices to the new skeleton. and thats it
    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=90663&page=2
    Third Age: Total war. Modeling and Skinning. Working on Isengard.

  12. #12
    edders's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    I have no idea what you just said But I think it was a 'yes'. Being totally incompetant myself I'll mae a post in the skins/anims/models forum and see if anyone with the tools and expertise is up to the job.

    Thanks again

    +rep

  13. #13
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Quote Originally Posted by Alletun View Post
    Awesome! do you care if i use it in my mod http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=118953

  14. #14
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    your welcome to use it
    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=90663&page=2
    Third Age: Total war. Modeling and Skinning. Working on Isengard.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    hey Alletun,

    i use your modell but i have seen a small mistake with the arm - is this only by me??

    Look here

  16. #16
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Musculus Maximus
    How did you add the model in. I tried adding the CAS file (that is linked to earlier in the thread) into a mymod folder in the models_strat folder. The game starts to load but I keep getting a CTD with the error message

    Insufficient video memory to load requested texture set.

    As the CAS has the same name as an existing CAS but the other one shouldn't be being used I can't work out what I keep doing wrong. I'm expecting it to still be picked up but with an incorrectly placed TGA but I just seem to have problems with the CAS itself.

    Any clues?

  17. #17
    alpaca's Avatar Harbinger of saliva
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Quote Originally Posted by wilddog View Post
    Musculus Maximus
    How did you add the model in. I tried adding the CAS file (that is linked to earlier in the thread) into a mymod folder in the models_strat folder. The game starts to load but I keep getting a CTD with the error message

    Insufficient video memory to load requested texture set.

    As the CAS has the same name as an existing CAS but the other one shouldn't be being used I can't work out what I keep doing wrong. I'm expecting it to still be picked up but with an incorrectly placed TGA but I just seem to have problems with the CAS itself.

    Any clues?
    That error message usually means that you supplied an illegal path (i.e. the file didn't exist or was unreadable)

    No thing is everything. Every thing is nothing.

  18. #18
    Caesar Clivus's Avatar SS Forum Moderator
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Is it possible to do this without using 3DStudio Max, using just Milkshape instead?

    BftB2 UPDATED 22nd DECEMBER. Member of the Complete Byzantine Unit Roster team

  19. #19
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Quote Originally Posted by alpaca
    That error message usually means that you supplied an illegal path (i.e. the file didn't exist or was unreadable)
    Well the only thing that's changed here is the introduction of the supplied cas. Without it it doesn't crash (obviously) introduce this particular CAS and it crashes with the error mentioned. Copy and rename any of the other cas's in the same directory eg northern_generic_king.cas renamed to late_general_northern.cas and it loads but with a mangled TGA as I would expect.

    Copy the name from the renamed northern general cas (ie it was renamed as late_general_northern.cas back to the supplied cas and got the same error again).

    Copy the file to the higher level data directory to overwrite the existing named one and it crashes so to me its something with either the overall setup I have which this cas can't handle or I'm at a loss.

  20. #20
    Alletun's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Hi wilddog

    are you trying to open .cas file i provided in post #9? if yes then it's because something weird happened when i exported the cas (dunno what, maybe i should ask a rtw modder about that?). The cas works perfectly in game, but there's a problem when trying to reopen it in 3dsmax. So you can either go through my tutorial and create it yourself, or i could send you the .3ds file and you can export it.

    @Caesar Clivus
    no unfortunatly not. The cas import/export script only works with 3dsmax.
    Unit makers Tome of Knowledge:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127787
    Warhammer: Total war modeller. Orc & Goblins (GREENSKINS!) creator
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    Third Age: Total war. Modeling and Skinning. Working on Isengard.

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