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Modding Guide by Susi

Susi

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 31, 2008
457
295
0
Finland
Oki, so i have got PMs and also saw some questions
about modding in this forum. It absolutly awsome
to see some new faces in here who want to start modding.
As we have get use to see only those familiar faces,
which have made things to CC, DH or MN and now
to RS, ICV or IE.

Introduction

And now im not gonna lie to you, about what modding is
as i many times see people who find out that modding
would be cool, but who will left the scene after they
need to work longer than week.

Modding, or even getting one object ingame isnt
something you learn in week or even month.

If we example speak about getting one well made
weapon ingame and working, and you havent done
anything before. You can forget most of your free time
next half year. (Xen can we get your 3 AM face in here
from Mare Nostrum times :D)

But if you believe that you are devoted enough, and
you love more doing things than playing things,
then wellcome to RO-modding family.

But still i recommand you more likely to join some of
existing teams, Why?
-You dont need to do all by yourself, you can
first learn modelling, or mapping and somebody
else can do codeing and animating etc.

-They have time to help you, and teach you on
allkind of things.

-You can share your feel of frustration, when
things doesnt work out.
So juts take and PM Case from ICV, Nestor Makhno from RS,
Crazy Thumbs i believe from IE or Tim270 from FF.
And tell about your self and what you would like to do,
and what they have to offer.


Planning

Think

Mod is a much more than list of weapons, It have it own concept, gameplay and
list of weapons. Also anyone will not do it for you. So posting ideas to forum
is just waste of time. As a founder and leader you need to show people that you
work hard. First you need to think answeres at least to next questions.

Name of the mod? -Historical documents got years on name, you need to think
something more "movie/book like" (Heroes Of Stalingrad, First to Fight, Iron Europe etc.)

Where does it take place? -And NO, France or Soviet Union isnt answer. On small villages
in France or in huge ruined space stations in deep space is answer. If you can sketch
it your answer is detailed enough.

Does the place change gameplay and will it have other gameplay changes? -If you move
from endless steppe to deep forest it will change gameplay even without any other
changes. However new features make players allways more interested.

Why people will play it? -If you do something that have been done before, you need to
be better than earlier one. If you do something new you need to know if people are
even interested about that war/place/setup. If you do mod about Winter War, finnish
will surely play it, but thats not enough. You need to get others play it too.

What your first Beta will include? -And that is most important question. You need to
think what is smallest amount of things which make your mod playable. Example
2 sides, 2 weapons per side, 3 maps.

Manage

When working on mod you will have deadlines, other modders, publications, brain storms.
How to manage all that out.

Well you need own closed forum to inform, discuss and brainstorm with your members.
Just use google and you will found some tools to setting it up.

Also here is list of project managment softwares, which make it easier to follow
who is doing what, when it will be done.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_project_management_software

Get it started

Contact some friends who can help you and try to gather a core team of 3 to 5 members.
With them play with your idea, it easier to change plans in this point than later.
Also be ready for compromise, because it will be allways compromising when doing
things with other people.

First announcement is allways for reqruiting. Example Rising Storm came out from
closet to give announcement, that they can recruit people. After that they havent relased
any news.

So with your core team, do some concept art, feature list, 3d-models, wep-pages or
anything else which is possible with few guy. Then go to forums, moddb etc. and
give your first announcement at your mod. How many modders more you will
gather with that, depends on how seriously people will take you based on things you have
done.

Publications

Well that is complicated one. Professional mod teams use to do like companies
they give out rarely, carfully planned publications about their work which make
their product look polished. How ever without a positive feedback often enough its
hard to remember why you are spending your free time to project. With publications,
your hard working modders get feedback and also that will increase population
in your public irc-channel/forum. Which allways boost everybodys working morale.

Otherway is to give publications often and show even unfinished work. Overgrowth
is good example from that. http://blog.wolfire.com/ as sometimes the process itself
with unfinished models/maps is more interesting than end result, because it let
you see how things are getting done.


3D-Modelling

Software?
When modelling weapons, charachters or detailed objects to map
you allways use separate 3d-modelling software. So which software i
should use.

Well first there is Blender, which is free and will allways be
and thats why great software to use, because you will save a lot of money
if you will be professional someday. How ever i found Blender heck of complicated
to use, because its built that way that you need shortcut keys to allmost everything
(Correct me if i'm wrong). And learning curve of the software isnt easiest.

How ever, Autodesk offers free unlimited 3 years lisence of 3ds Max and Maya for
students. So if you are student head to http://students.autodesk.com/

Bymyself i use 3ds Max which is maybe best software when modelling
low poly models (game models). How ever Maya is totally superior what comes
to NURBS-modelling (detailed models for commercials/animations etc.).
Also it have bees said that Maya is also much more flexible. But still atleast in
Finland 3ds Max is most used software which means that you dont need to learn
new software if you get hired to industry someday.

So, when choosing software, you can allways check out which software
universities in your country use, that is usually most used software in
industry.

Poly Modelling

Im not gonna tell you how to learn that but i will search some good tutorials.

3ds-Max

Modelling simple melee weapon (2 Parts).

YouTube - 3dSMax A Tutorial for Beginners Part 1

YouTube - 3DsMax A tutorial for Beginners Part2

Becoming a game artist tutorials.
http://www.youtube.com/user/2Dplus1productions#p/u/10/2rAfOfTx7u0

From moddb you can also find some good tutorials
http://www.moddb.com/tutorials?filter=t&=Search&kw=Search+...&subtype=9&meta=def&game=def

When you have learned modelling, you maybe start to wonder how detailed
models you can make ingame.

Well if you use 3ds Max right click that + on the top corner of perspective view
then choose configure -> statics, and check triangle count and total and uncheck
rest. Now by pressing 7 in your keyboard you get your current triangle count of model.

First person model on UT are from 3 000 to 12 000 i believe.
So aim to 3000 when doing simple object like knifes or nades
5000-7000 when doing typical small arms (rifles, smgs etc).
12000 when doing really complicated objects like mounted MG's.

All weapons need allways also 3rd person model which you see ingame on hands
of everybody else. Those are much more simple and got only something like
1000 to 3000 triangles (correct me if im wrong).

If you are modelling static meshs to map, go and look allready made models same size
as you will be doing, and try to do as detailed as they are, but still keep triangle
count as low as possible.

Unwrapping

Is maybe most unknow part of art process, and basicly means makeing
2d image from your 3d-model by cutting it to pieces. After that
you can export it to any painting software and start working on texture
to your model.

So almost all softwares got allready tools for that, but there is also
separate softwares for that.

Example
Unfold 3D and UVlayout are good alternatives.

Here is the tutorial once again to those who use 3ds Max,
not best possible, but good enough to get the glue.

http://www.moddb.com/members/davethefreak/videos/unwrapping-in-3ds-max-for-beginners

Texture mapping

Texture is 2D-image rolled around your model based
on UV coordinates made in unwrapping process.
Without texture your model is just plain grey or red
or what ever. To getting your model look more metalic
or wooden it needs textures. Nowadays games
can use many different textures like diffuse, specular
and normal map. 2048x2048 is good size for charachter
and 1st person weapon models. How ever you can
allways do textures first in 4096x4096 resolution if you
got enough power in your pc and then scale them down.

With 3rd person weapons and objects in map, use your
eye. It depends quite much on how huge those objects
are.

Software?

Adobe Photo Shop is no doubt best software for that.
But it cost heck of lot and even student version is
overpriced. However there have been no new major
features you would need while making textures since
CS1. So if you can buy old version of it from somewhere,
that is allways best solution. (Sometimes even PC-stores
got old versions in their deepest corner of shop, so go
and ask)

Paint Shop Pro is much cheaper, but i havent used
it for loooong time so cant say how good it is.
(Can someone tell is it worth of your money?)

Paint.NET is free software which looks quite similar as
photo shop and have got lot of praises.

"Impressive."
- PC World,

Gimp is free software which have been around for
long time, mainly used by Linux nerds :D. How ever
its now available also for windows i believe.

Diffuce Texture


1. 3D-model -> 2. Result of unwrapping -> 3. Painting over in Photo Shop -> 4. Attaching texture to model

Thats how it basicly works. That you dont need to start
from scratch http://www.cgtextures.com/ is best
place to download some free metal or wood plates
which you can start working on.

Diffuce textures allways need some scratches and dirt
and that you dont need to draw every scratch by yourself
best way is to download some great brushes, which
make it much easier.

(When cheking brushes on DeviantArt, remeber to
choose Alltime from drop menu)

Photo Shop
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/applications/psbrushes/?order=9
http://qbrushes.net/

Paint Shop
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/applications/pspbrushes/

Here is good tutorial if you are patient enough,
there is lot of "Ummm, aaa, weelll" (4parts)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcpKPuBeKE8&feature=related


Will continue...
If there is any Maya/Blender users, would also be cool if they could find
some good tutorials.
 
Last edited:

cameron.

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 2, 2011
46
8
0
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Prohttp://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro is pretty good

http://www.blenderguru.com/http://www.blenderguru.com/ also has some neat tutorials but i find is more for scene renders not in game stuff so it can sometimes need a fair bit of adapting so as to be runnable

The main thing I am currently having issues with in blender is importing into UDK (i'm assuming it will be similar to ROHOS's editor) I can do so by exporting an ASE file from blender and then importing but i always seem to lose textures/normal maps, I would appreciate anyone who has gotten this working explaining what they'd done.

--edit

also the new blender 2.5**(in beta or something now) i find has a lower need for shortcuts and looks a bit nicer, though it does tend to lack documentation
 
Last edited:

verbii

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 13, 2011
81
4
0
oh almost forgot, does anyone know how the cover system will work (or DOES WORK to anyone who already has the SDK access).

Do you have to use volumes or select walls/bsp's/sm's you can use cover mode on or...

Is there a set UU height or slight range for the crouch cover?

Thanks.
 

TrampledUnderFoot

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 23, 2010
119
1
0
US
scottkeeley.cghub.com
Poly's are not triangles. You're program of choice should have a setting somewhere that enables you to list triangles in the counting 'area', and I suggest you always have that on. Poly's are going to be anything above 3 sided faces (for our purposes), and the triangle count is what we are most concerned with. Well...that and vertex count, but that's an entirely different story.

Game engines render everything in triangles, which is why they are so important. Before you export to a game engine, you can either triangulate the mesh yourself, or have the engine do it upon import. Doing it yourself provides some benefits, though UDK seems to get it right most of the time for me. Doing it yourself before importing it into an engine helps when you have smoothing groups that are a bit tricky. Having the ability to control the flow of the triangles allows you to fine tune things and get rid of any errors in the smoothing groups on the mesh.
 

Susi

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 31, 2008
457
295
0
Finland
Specular Map

And thats kind of easiest part on makeing textures. Specular map
affect how much the surface of your model will shine.

So basicly you make copy of your diffuce texture turn it to grey color
(monochrome).
White means shiney and black means matte. So if you want some
part of your texture shine more, make it more white. You can also highlight
scratches little bit more to make them more visible.

Normal Map

And thats most complicated part. Normal map is a texture which creates
3 dimensional details in your model surface by useing shadows and highlights.
How ever normal map is usually generated from other more detailed model.

So you have made your first person model and unwrapped it. Now you need
to make even more detailed model (200'000 to 1'000'000 tris). Then you place it to same
scene with your first person model and generate normal map.

If you didnt understood at all check this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_mapping

And once again some tutorials:
3dsMax:
‪Normal Map Workflow in 3dsMax‬‏ - YouTube
Other good one.
http://www.game-artist.net/forums/spotlight-articles/43-tutorial-introduction-normal-mapping.html


Maya:
‪Normal Mapping inside of Maya‬‏ - YouTube
not sure if its good as i dont use Maya.

Also you can later make some details in Photo Shop
by useing Nvidia plugin
http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

‪Creating Normal Maps In Photoshop‬‏ - YouTube


Oki thats about textures, i havent done any animations or level creation to UT3 engine yet,
so cant help on those.

How ever if somebody wants to continue this tutorial, feel free.

Could forum admin lift this post under first one?
 
Last edited:
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Arquiteto

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 2, 2011
23
2
0
USA
@Susi Thank You so much for taking the time and putting this together. Being new to the modding scene I can tell you that a post like this is exactly what I was looking for.
 

DarkHunt3r

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 24, 2011
124
93
0
Is anyone able to point me in the right direction on tutorials on ways to edit the game type and create new ones?

I don't need to alter maps or create models as such (that will come later) for now I just need to learn how to create new game types and implement them, and need to find some good information, all the stuff I have seen so far is about level design or model creation

Thanks in advance if anyone can help
 

Roska

FNG / Fresh Meat
Aug 14, 2006
12
0
0
This is extremely basic guide... great to have, but a modding guide when it really is just introduction to modding..?

You could expand this with more indepth knowledge of the processes of UDK/RO2 modding and development with more useful tools needed for the actual process.
 

zeep

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
434
147
0
What would be the best place to start if i want to:
- Design a gamemode
- Design a new way to spawn players into an existing map
- Display begin- and endround messages on Hud (least important for now)

The gamemode and the spawning mode already exist in an earlier iteration of the Unreal engine.

I believe can learn anything when it is explained and taught right. I need to learn how to code if i want to see things happen that nobody else does . ;)
 
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zeep

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
434
147
0
Still would love some more info here, so i can find answers to my above questions.
Susi? Anyone?