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Old 04-07-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
magna mandaloe
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How To change/ Reskin units

(Credit given to atomic clash)

Hello and welcome

Here is a guide to all of you out there who want to make a specialized unit with an overall different paint job. This is way more complicated than the line:

<no_colorization_color> X, X, X, X </no_colorization_color>

This can still be used by changing the overall color, though.

How to Change the Color of a Single Unit

First here is a list of all that you need:

a photo editing program (Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, ect...}

.DDS format reading/writing capabilities (usually requires a plugin)
here is a link for how to install the plugin: Link
Note on link: go to the part, DDS Plugin Installation

.DDS Utilities

Hack (a hex editor)
Found Here
(You need hack because it is the only editor that Iíve used that works for changing the data required. Reason why explained later)

a .MEG Extractor


Ok now that that you have all the programs required we will start with what you have to do.

STEP 1: .MEG extrator and gathering files

Ok if you've read any other tutorials on editing units, you already know that you have to extract the data from the .MEG files so that you can reach the .xml files that you can mod. This mod is no different

First you go to my documents and add three folders (2 if you donít have the xml files yet)

Name the first one: Empire At War Extracted Data

And the second one: EaWEDm

And the third one : EaWEDt

The second step in this process is to open the .MEG extractor

Then open C:\Program Files\LucasArts\Star Wars Empire at War\GameData\Data with the extractor

The first .MEG you have to extract is config.MEG
Extract it to: C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\My Documents\Empire at War Extracted Data

The second .MEG file is Models.MEG
Extract that to: C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\My Documents\EaWEDm

The last .MEG file you extract is Textures.MEG
Extract that to: C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\My Documents\EaWEDt


**NOTE** it is required for you to backup your models and textures because this process will overwrite the old ones.
We'll learn how to put the originals back in later.


Step 2: Modifying the .DDS file

The first part of this step is to know what files we need to access. To find that out you have to pick a unit that you will be editing the color on. I am going to use a custom star destroyer named the devastator.(very original name huh?)

Ok now that you know what unit you are going to edit now you need to find the .DDS file that goes with it. The .dds files are located in textures, which is in the art folder.

Notice that there are 2 files under the .DDS format for Star Destroyer:

The first one is: Ev_stardestroyer.DDS

The second one is: Ev_stardestroyer_bc.DDS

We only need one of them so to find out which one we need, we need to open them up in Paint Shop Pro (or Photoshop).

**NOTE** I used paint shop pro and I find it easier to edit the .dds file, but you can use either one if you have the plugins required.

Ok so letís open up Ev_stardestroyer.DDS

When you select open, it will say something about MIP maps. Answer no to this question.

Once you get it open you notice that it looks like the outside of a star destroyer

Open up Ev_stardestroyer_bc.DDS

Notice how it is blue and doesn't look that much like the outside of a star destroyer

The first one is the one we need

After you exit out of EV_stardestroyer_bc.DDS you're left with the one that looks like the outside of a star destroyer.

We are going to change it black (using paint shop pro)

The first thing we have to do is change the colors to the ones we want. So click on the adjust column on the top and go down to color balance. In the color balance options, go to the last one, Red/Green/Blue...

A screen should come up

In this screen there are three values. Mess around with them until you get the color you need. For me Iím going for black.

NOTE** you can't have 100 percent black or else the skin won't show very well.

So since it canít show black, Iíll use a dark grey.

Ok so my 3 values are, -75, -75, and -75. You can have them any way you want to have them.

The next thing to do is go under adjust again, but this time go to the brightness and contrast option. Click on the first option, brightness/contrast.

Again the exact values for this vary to what color your using. For the black use a brightness of -10 and a contrast of 10.

Now your .DDS should look dark grey (if you did it the way I did.)

Now itís time to save in the .DDS format. Make sure you have the NIVIDA .DDS utilities installed.

Go to file, the go to save as. Save it as the same texture you modified with. For the star destroyer that should be EV_Stardestroyer. Now click under the save as type part and save it under a .DDS format. It should ask you if you really want to overwrite the file say yes.

Now it should bring you to the NIVIDA screen. You should save it under DXT3 in the save format. The next thing you have to make sure of is the MIP maps settings. If you did as I asked and said no to the MIP maps before say generate MIP maps and make sure it says all right next to it. The last thing is to make sure on the bottom right is has 2D texture selected.

Now we have a new .DDS file that makes all star destroyers black instead of just the Devastator.

**NOTE** Here is the trickiest part of the process. Hang in there its not as hard as it sounds.


STEP 3: Editing the Models with Hack

The first step here is to rename the .DDS file you just created. Make sure it has the same number of letters after your done naming it. For my Star Destroyer, I changed it from EV_stardestroyer[b] to [b]ED_stardestroyer.

Here is the tricky part, using hack, a hex editor, to change the name of the texture used by the model file to the renamed file you just created.

OK now we need to find the name of the model the ship uses.
For my star destroyer it is:


<SpaceUnit Name="The_Devastator">
<Text_ID>TEXT_UNIT_DEVASTATOR</Text_ID>
<Encyclopedia_Good_Against> Corellian_Corvette Corellian_Gunboat Nebulon_B_Frigate </Encyclopedia_Good_Against>
<Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To> Y-wing Calamari_Cruiser </Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To>
<GUI_Row> 1 </GUI_Row>
<Space_Model_Name>EV_STARDESTROYER.ALO</Space_Model_Name>

Notice the part in bold? Well that where you can find the name of the model.

The models are located in the models folder, inside the art folder.

Ok before we open up the models we have to start hack

**NOTE** Hack crashes after you exit from all the screens on it. When you use it you will know what I mean. Donít worry about it, it doesn't really affect anything.

Now in hack, open up the model file. For me it would be EV_stardestroyer.ALO

Notice there is more than one file for the star destroyer (or whatever unit youíre using). If you want the color to affect the unit all the time, we have to do this for each file that it uses during animation.

Once itís open you will notice a bar on the bottom of the open file. There will be tabs on this bar. Click on the second one, ASCII.

Now you see a whole bunch of boxes and a few words here and there. We need to find the words base texture followed by XX
_XXXXX.tga . Donít worry; itís always near the beginning. If it isn't near the beggining, its always in the first model file so keep looking. Keep clicking the arrow down on the bottom left (itís the easiest way) until you see a line of words that say Emissive and a few spaces away Diffuse, ect. About a line down from that is the texture the game uses. You have to modify the first one, the BaseTexture one. This is the reason why you have to have the same number of letters.

If youíre doing the star destroyer, it should say Base Texture EV_stardestroyer.tga. The ending might seem confusing, but just change the name of the .tga file to the name of the .dds file your renamed. I changed it to ED_stardestroyer.tga.

Now click on the other box that popped up when you open it. One of the option should say save as one of the option. Click it.
**NOTE** it might now seem like it save because it happened so fast, but it did.

Now exit and go back to the open menu. Change the name of the one you just edited the same way you changed the .DDS file. I changed it from EV_stardestroyer.ALO to ED_stardestroyer.alo. Now you have to edit the other files for the unit the same way you edited the original model file. Make sure to change the names.

**NOTE** not all of the files that are associated with the unit in the model folder have the base texture line in there. Only the ones that have to do with the skin, such as hard points have it. You should still check every one to make sure.

**TIP** If you go down the part where in the tutorial in Step 4 about the hard points of a unit, It will tell you exactly what files you need to change besides the main model. That only works with ships.

When youíre done with that all thatís left to do is modify the xml files and restore the old texture and models.

Step 4 Editing the Unit

The first thing to do is to open up the data folder where the folder XML is located. Once you have that go to the xml file that contains the unit that you are changing the color of.

Mine is under Spaceunitscapitial

Now to back to the place where you found your model


<SpaceUnit Name="The_Devastator">
<Text_ID>TEXT_UNIT_DEVASTATOR</Text_ID>
<Encyclopedia_Good_Against> Corellian_Corvette Corellian_Gunboat Nebulon_B_Frigate </Encyclopedia_Good_Against>
<Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To> Y-wing Calamari_Cruiser </Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To>
<GUI_Row> 1 </GUI_Row>
<Space_Model_Name>EV_STARDESTROYER.ALO</Space_Model_Name>


I changed EV_STARDESTROYER.ALO to ED_STARDESTROYER.ALO so it looks like this

<SpaceUnit Name="The_Devastator">
<Text_ID>TEXT_UNIT_DEVASTATOR</Text_ID>
<Encyclopedia_Good_Against> Corellian_Corvette Corellian_Gunboat Nebulon_B_Frigate </Encyclopedia_Good_Against>
<Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To> Y-wing Calamari_Cruiser </Encyclopedia_Vulnerable_To>
<GUI_Row> 1 </GUI_Row>
<Space_Model_Name>ED_STARDESTROYER.ALO</Space_Model_Name>


Now we have to modify the breakable hard points so that they are the same color.

While keeping the xml where your unit is located still up, open up the hard points xml.

Go find the hard points of your units.

The star destroyer's are the first one on the page.

Since you donít want all the star destroyers in the game to have colored hard points, you have to copy and paste the hard points to another spot inside the unitís hard point area.
For example,

<HardPoint Name="HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FL">
<Type> HARD_POINT_WEAPON_LASER </Type>
<Is_Targetable>Yes</Is_Targetable>
<Is_Destroyable>Yes</Is_Destroyable>
<Tooltip_Text>TEXT_WEAPON_TURBOLASER</Tooltip_Text& gt;
<Health>325.0</Health> <!-- Was 250 -->

<Death_Explosion_Particles> Large_Explosion_Space_Empire </Death_Explosion_Particles>
<Death_Explosion_SFXEvent>Unit_Hardpoint_Turbo_Las er_D eath</Death_Explosion_SFXEvent>

<Damage_Type> Damage_Star_Destroyer </Damage_Type>
<Model_To_Attach>EV_StarDestroyer_HP00_L-F.alo</Model_To_Attach>
<Attachment_Bone>HP_F-L_BONE</Attachment_Bone>
<Collision_Mesh>HP_F-L_COLL</Collision_Mesh>
<Damage_Decal>HP_F-L_BLAST</Damage_Decal>
<Damage_Particles>HP_F-L_EMITDAMAGE</Damage_Particl es>

<Death_Breakoff_Prop> Hardpoint_Breakoff_Star_Dest_Weapon_FL </Death_Breakoff_Prop>

<Fire_Bone_A>FP_F-L_00</Fire_Bone_A>
<Fire_Bone_B>FP_F-L_01</Fire_Bone_B>
<Fire_Cone_Width>160</Fire_Cone_Width>
<Fire_Cone_Height>130.0</Fire_Cone_Height>
<Fire_Projectile_Type>Proj_Ship_Turbolaser_Green </F ire_Projectile_Type>
<Fire_Min_Recharge_Seconds>3.0</Fire_Min_Recharge_Seconds>
<Fire_Max_Recharge_Seconds>4.0</Fire_Max_Recharge_Seconds>
<Fire_Pulse_Count>7</Fire_Pulse_Count>
<Fire_Pulse_Delay_Seconds>0.2</Fire_Pulse_Delay_Seconds>
<Fire_Range_Distance>2000.0</Fire_Range_Distance>
<Fire_SFXEvent>Unit_Turbo_Fire</Fire_SFXEvent>

<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Fighter, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Bomber, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Transport, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Corvette, 7.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Frigate, 1.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Capital, 10.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Super, 1.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>


</HardPoint>

The bold parts are the ones you have to change. First change the name. I added a 2 to the end of the name. Now go back to your unit's xml file, and go to the hard points area. Change the name of the hard point you just edited in hard points to the name of the new hard point.

Like So:
<HardPoints>
HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FL2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FR, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_BL, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_BR,
HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_ML, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_MR, HP_Star_Destroyer_Shield_Generator, HP_Star_Destroyer_Engines,
HP_Star_Destroyer_Tractor_Beam, HP_Star_Destroyer_Fighter_Bay
</HardPoints>


The second thing you have to do is edit the model the hard point uses. Check to see if you modified the texture to that model. If the model was textured then add in the renamed one. Mine would be changed to ED_stardestroyer_HP00_L-F.alo.
Here is what the hard point looks like when itís done


<HardPoint Name="HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FL2">
<Type> HARD_POINT_WEAPON_LASER </Type>
<Is_Targetable>Yes</Is_Targetable>
<Is_Destroyable>Yes</Is_Destroyable>
<Tooltip_Text>TEXT_WEAPON_TURBOLASER</Tooltip_Text& gt;
<Health>325.0</Health> <!-- Was 250 -->

<Death_Explosion_Particles> Large_Explosion_Space_Empire </Death_Explosion_Particles>
<Death_Explosion_SFXEvent>Unit_Hardpoint_Turbo_Las er_D eath</Death_Explosion_SFXEvent>

<Damage_Type> Damage_Star_Destroyer </Damage_Type>
<Model_To_Attach>ED_StarDestroyer_HP00_L-F.alo</Model_To_Attach>
<Attachment_Bone>HP_F-L_BONE</Attachment_Bone>
<Collision_Mesh>HP_F-L_COLL</Collision_Mesh>
<Damage_Decal>HP_F-L_BLAST</Damage_Decal>
<Damage_Particles>HP_F-L_EMITDAMAGE</Damage_Particl es>

<Death_Breakoff_Prop> Hardpoint_Breakoff_Star_Dest_Weapon_FL </Death_Breakoff_Prop>

<Fire_Bone_A>FP_F-L_00</Fire_Bone_A>
<Fire_Bone_B>FP_F-L_01</Fire_Bone_B>
<Fire_Cone_Width>160</Fire_Cone_Width>
<Fire_Cone_Height>130.0</Fire_Cone_Height>
<Fire_Projectile_Type>Proj_Ship_Turbolaser_Green </F ire_Projectile_Type>
<Fire_Min_Recharge_Seconds>3.0</Fire_Min_Recharge_Seconds>
<Fire_Max_Recharge_Seconds>4.0</Fire_Max_Recharge_Seconds>
<Fire_Pulse_Count>7</Fire_Pulse_Count>
<Fire_Pulse_Delay_Seconds>0.2</Fire_Pulse_Delay_Seconds>
<Fire_Range_Distance>2000.0</Fire_Range_Distance>
<Fire_SFXEvent>Unit_Turbo_Fire</Fire_SFXEvent>

<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Fighter, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Bomber, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Transport, 70.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Corvette, 7.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Frigate, 1.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Capital, 10.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>
<Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance> Super, 1.0 </Fire_Inaccuracy_Distance>


</HardPoint>

Do this for the rest of the hard points. Make sure to change the names back in the unitís xml or else it won't do anything. After doing all the hard points for the star destroyer, the unitís hard points in the unit's xml should look like.

<HardPoints>
HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FL2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_FR2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_BL2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_BR2,
HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_ML2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Weapon_MR2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Shield_Generator2, HP_Star_Destroyer_Engines,
HP_Star_Destroyer_Tractor_Beam, HP_Star_Destroyer_Fighter_Bay
</HardPoints>

All thatís left to do is to restore the old models and textures.


Step 5: Restoring the old unit texture and models.

All you have to do for that is open up the art folder in the data folder. You should also open up my documents. The first thing we are going to do is restore the texture.
Go to my documents and open up EaWEDt. Go find the file that you modified. Copy it. Now in the Art folder in the data, open up textures and paste the old texture in. It should go in with out a problem. If it says something about overwriting, then you didn't rename the old file.

Once you do that, you do the same thing with the models, and replace all the files. Now all the other units that use the original colors don't have their colors back.

Congratulations!! You have made your unit have a unique color. The Devastor came out black, and with the <no_colorization_color> line I made it to red. It came out great.

Here is a picture next to a star destroyer


If you have any questions just ask me on this thread.


Links:

Hack:

http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...group_id=83719

DDS

http://forums.heavengames.com/redir/...9%2E1500%2Eexe

(Its plugins http://www.modsonline.com/Tutorials-read-100.html )


MEG Extractor

http://forums.heavengames.com/redir/...Ephp%3Fid%3D14





*Changed cause I did'nt like old much*
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:22 AM   #2
Orao
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Posts: 266
Thank you.



EaW: Total Realism
mod....
TR mod team status: TR Advisor, programmer, map maker, Multimedia developer
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #3
magna mandaloe
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Your welcome and I feel with this it would be possibe to make a Clone wars mod.





*Changed cause I did'nt like old much*
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