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Clarian
12-22-2004, 11:28 AM
(Just to warn you, this is pretty long-winded...)

This is kind of a sequel to my last question about glow effects. T7nowhere clued me in as to how those were working, and now that I've dug into it, I can see why that effect was pretty much used only on masks. From what I could tell, the self-illumination modifier of the Aurora trimesh is a solid color for any given object in the model, that is, it doesn't allow the use of an alpha channel to define which parts are self-illuminated. (The native gmax format allows this, but from what I could tell, the Auroroa self-illumination modifier was totally separate from that, and the gmax self-illumination information is ignored when you export it to mdl.)

So, for example, you couldn't really use that to make the irises of a character's eyes glow - because if you make the eye self-illuminating, you'd make the eye whites self-illuminating too, not just the iris. You can only be selective down to the object level.

(WHY you would want to make a characters irises glow is, perhaps, another question...heh heh.)

So, anyway...I guess the easier way (for me, at least) to make a glow effect is to just to use an alpha channel and 'envmaptexture CM_Bright'. That way you can be more selective about what's glowing and what isn't.

Which is all well and good...but ideally, I'd like to have different glow colors for different items, not just the same color of the CM_Bright image all the time.

So, for example, I also want a purple glow color - in addition to, not instead of, the pale blue color of CM_Bright. I saved a purple version of CM_Bright named CM_BrightP to my Override folder, and referenced that image in the txi file for my character's head. (The alpha channel of the head texture was set up to make the eyes glow.)

The results of this were...mixed. The irises do end up glowing the desired purple color...but most of the head ends up being transparent. The eyeballs, eyelids, teeth, and parts of the hair are visible, but everything else is gone.

So I guess my question is: Did I do something wrong, or is it just impossible to add new image files rather than just overriding the ones that are already there? For example, I noticed that svösh's Revan Redemption Robes include a custom environment map, but it overrides a pre-existing one (the space/underwater suit shader) rather than being a totally new file. I guess that's a pretty good clue that that's how it has to be done...but, I thought I'd ask, just in case. Thanks!

- Steve

Xavier2
12-22-2004, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Clarian
(Just to warn you, this is pretty long-winded...)

Edited to save space
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So I guess my question is: Did I do something wrong, or is it just impossible to add new image files rather than just overriding the ones that are already there? For example, I noticed that svösh's Revan Redemption Robes include a custom environment map, but it overrides a pre-existing one (the space/underwater suit shader) rather than being a totally new file. I guess that's a pretty good clue that that's how it has to be done...but, I thought I'd ask, just in case. Thanks!

- Steve
Two possibilities i can think of:

1. If you have edited the head.mdl even if it was only converting with Mdlops you should know that some complex anim models can't be converted properly by the program. Heads unfortunatelly are one of them. Take a look in my post in the thread referenced bellow.
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=134510

2. Remember that character appearence is managed by appearance.2da file. This file has a columm named envmaptex that contains the env map for any given character appearence. Most of them use DEFAULT, which means they will use the default envmap of the model or texture. This envmap is applied to the overall appearence, including head (the columm normalhead) and body (many columms named model_). If you look in my WIP thread you will see a horned Darth Maul with some sort of shine in his black face tatoos. The only way i managed it to work and not becoming invisible was to put something other than DEFAULT in this envmap columm.

Hope you can find it usefull...:)

Clarian
12-22-2004, 03:17 PM
Xavier2 - Thanks for the reply! In this case, no, I didn't convert the model at all. (But if mdlops doesn't convert heads, then I guess it's just as well that I abandoned the self-illumination route, at least as far as glowing eyes are concerned...)

As for appearance.2da - I should have thought of that! But unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be the fix for this; when I enter my custom file name, "CM_BrightP", in the envmap field, the transparent head problem persists - and the character's whole body disappears, on top of that! (If I put "****" in the envmap field, the effect is the same as with "DEFAULT.")

I can get exactly the effect I want with "DEFAULT" in the envmap field of appearance.2da - IF I override CM_Bright rather than trying to refer to an image file that doesn't exist in the game (like CM_BrightP). (I aso tried using the kotor tool to make a new erf that contained my image and put it in the TexturePacks folder, but that didn't fly either.)

Also, the game seems to be pretty picky about which files you can successfully override to use as shaders. I can override CM_asith or CM_ManUn, but if I try to override one of the dozens of armor textures that I never use anyway, I get the same result as with "CM_BrightP" - floating eyes and teeth, invisible head. It seems like only files which are already supposed to be used as shaders can be overridden as shaders. I'm not sure why that would be...but it would be nice to find some way around it, because I want more environment maps to play with!

But anyway, thanks for your help...and that's a sweet Maul mod! The shine on the tattoos really is a great touch.

- Steve