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The Doctor
08-04-2006, 09:44 PM
What are these file types? What do they do? What programs do I need to install in order to do anything with them? I know that I need all three to start a lightsaber mod, but I don't know which ones to extract, or what to do with them so I don't overwrite a saber that already exists in the game. Could someone explain this stuff to me? There's no Lightsaber Tutorial here that I could find.

Princess Artemis
08-04-2006, 09:53 PM
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=143456 has a download with Achilles' lightsaber tutorial, and T7nowhere's Lightsaber Upgrade tutorial is available here: http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=143991

Those will tell you how to make a custom lightsaber and what tools you'll need for it.

If you want to model a new lightsaber, check these tutorials: http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=143296 and http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=143805

Very shortly, .mdl is the actual model of the lightsaber (armor, head, body, everything) in the game. .mdx is, IIRC, instructions needed by the .mdl...you need them both to do anything with a model. .txi is instructions to the game on how to do certain things with a texture, such as make it shiny or to make parts invible and blend in (in the case of lightsabers, it makes them not look like weird featherdusters). You can change a .txi to a .txt to see what it says. Any time you find text in a .tpc you look at with Kotor Tool, it's a good idea to extract it at the same time if you decide to extract the .tga by clicking the ticky box and highlighting the text.

To make a basic custom lightsaber you'll need Kotor Tool, a Gff editor (K-GFF works well), and MDLOps, as well as a graphics program that can handle .tga formats if you want to change any colors. To make a new model, you'll need a modeling program like GMax. The links for these tools is available here: http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=143421

Edit: Mav and EW explained the files better than me and caught me in the act of editing. Curses! ;)

Mav
08-04-2006, 10:02 PM
to cover your questions on what those individual files are, I'll try to explain them the best I can.

.mdl - basic model file, mdlops will take this file, accompanied by the .mdx file to make a ascii-mdl file which can be imported into gmax/3dsmax with the NWN plug-in, you'll also export from gmax/3dsmax into a ascii-mdl file and you'll need to use mdlops to put it back into its binary form.

.mdx - I've never actually edited this file, other than the file name, I don't acutally know what this file does, so I don't mess with it.

.txi - this file usually goes along with texture files, such as the saber blade colors, hilt textures and such, it defines things liek what shaders the texture will be using.

This is all from my limited knowledge of these files, perhaps someone can explain them in more detail if need be. And as posted above there are several lightsaber tutorials on the forums, jsut do some digging ;)

EnderWiggin
08-04-2006, 10:06 PM
What are these file types? What do they do? What programs do I need to install in order to do anything with them?

Artemis covered the rest, so I will aim to answer these questions.

MDL - a model file. This and the mdx file are used to show the game the shape of everything. Weapons, Characters, Placeables, everything.

MDX - a model extension file. Look up.

TXI - a file that has to do with textures... this adds different effects to the texture. It's not always necessary, but most of the time there's a blending additive or something like that.

And the programs?

Notepad can cover *.txi files.

I've never opened a *.mdx , but if you ever need to, probably a hex editor.

For *.mdl files you'll need an editing program such as GMax or 3dsMax.... you'll also need Chuck's tool... MDLops.

Oh, and you'll need the NWMax plugin to handle the KotOR / TSL Models in Max.

Hope this helps!

_EW_

EDIT: Niice Mav. ;) You typed faster.

The Doctor
08-04-2006, 10:55 PM
After reading the links posted, I understand that Fred's Tool has a GFF Editor, and MDLOps works for editing mdl files? Or do I need MDLOps and GMax? and what is this NWMMax? If MDLOps can edit the mdl file, why do I need NWMMax? Is NWMax a plug-in/patch of some kind that lets MDLOps open KotOR and TSL files?

Sorry if I'm annoying... I know absolutely nothing about this stuff... I must sound like a complete n00b...

Princess Artemis
08-04-2006, 11:11 PM
Kotor Tool can use a GFF editor if you have one in the Kotor Tool folder (I prefer using a seperate editor). MDLOps, if you only want to make new textures and new blade colors for your lightsabers, is all you need for the .mdl files. If you want to make new models for the lightsabers, you need GMax and NWMax to make them. NWMax is used to import .mdl files into GMax that MDLOps has read/written into ascii format, because GMax by itself can't properly handle .mdl files from KotOR games.

So, to just make a custom lightsaber with a new colored blade, you need MDLOps (use the renamer function). MDLOps can't, by itself, remodel a .mdl file, but it can make it possible to remodel a .mdl. To alter a lightsaber model, you need MDLOps to make ascii .mdl files, NWMax to import the .mdl files into GMax. To create an entirely new lightsaber model, I believe you need NWMax and GMax. The tutorials explain what you need for that, that part's dark water for me.

And no worries about how you sound, you're asking legitimate questions, and everyone's a newbie to something :)

The Doctor
08-04-2006, 11:15 PM
I don't need to make a new model yet, so I think I got everything I need. :)

Only one problem. I downloaded Achilles' tutorials, but I can't open the Saber one. It just says it can't open the file.

Princess Artemis
08-04-2006, 11:27 PM
Huh. OK, send me a PM with your e-mail and I'll send it to you. Weird that only that file wouldn't open if the other three did. ::headscratch::

Mav
08-04-2006, 11:32 PM
MDLops transforms the .mdl/.mdx files you extract using Kotor tool into an ascii.mdl file, you need MDLops to convert it to this file, so that NWNmax can import that file into Gmax/3dsmax, in other words... gmax/3dsmax cannot import an ascii.mdl without NWNmax and NWNmax cannot import a binary .mdl file into gmax/3dsmax therefore MDLops is need to change the binary .mdl file into the ascii.mdl file. Hopefully the colors help, and don't worry, I was more lost than you when I started. As far as Achilles tutorials, the saber one works fine for me, so I'm not sure whats wrong there.

And to go a little deeper into MDLops, if you are just going to re-texture a lightsaber blade/hilt, you do not need to use the renamer function in MDLops, but it is considered easier by most people. However, I used to do blade and hilt retexturing before MDLops was made avaliable so I am used to hex-editing the .mdl file. Which is something you may or may not encounter in some tutorials. Personally it is my opinion that one should learn how to hex edit the .mdl file, because it is helpful in various areas, not just saber editing, but that is just my opinion.

Best of luck, Hope this helps,

Mav

The Doctor
08-05-2006, 12:58 AM
You don't need a hex editor, apprently. You can rename the .mdl file to a .txt, then edit the four occurrences that way.

Mav
08-05-2006, 01:19 AM
I've never tried it that way, if it works for you, sweet, guess I'm just more used to using a hex editor, don't let me stop you though :)

Edit: I'd just like to clarify, that I never said you need to use a hex editor, just that I prefered it, sorry for any confusion.

Princess Artemis
08-05-2006, 01:26 AM
No, you don't need a hex editor, but I've never heard of renaming the fields by changing a .mdl to a .txt. I see you can find the fields that way, but I don't think the model would still work after being saved as a .txt. Then again, sometimes saving a .gif file as a .txt will still retain all the graphic information...

Probably much safer to rename them with a hex editor or MDLOps. If renaming it as a .txt and editing it actually works in game though, let us know!

oldflash
08-05-2006, 02:29 AM
You don't need a hex editor, apprently. You can rename the .mdl file to a .txt, then edit the four occurrences that way.
Only -ascii.mdl
Not working to binary model.

The Doctor
08-05-2006, 07:49 PM
If renaming it as a .txt and editing it actually works in game though, let us know!
It works. Rename it to a .txt. edit the four lines you need, and undo the rename. Works just fine, for a simple lightsaber like this one.

T7nowhere
08-05-2006, 09:04 PM
I wouldn't rename a model to txt, you can easily kill the model when you save it as a txt and rename it back(I've seen many people in the past do that and kill thier model then blame the problem on something else), but If you absolutely have to edit the model that way just make sure that you turn off word wrap.

BTW, using the renamer function in mdlops would take only a minute as it finds all the texture references for you.