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Old 12-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

I recently got a small enemy mod idea in my head, but I'm curious about how feasible it is to accomplish within the Serious Editor 3.5.

I've never been too clear on the details of getting mods to work successfully within any iteration of the Serious Editor. I can create the art just fine, but when it comes to to making it work in engine, I'm lost. So, I'm hoping somebody can give me a little insight into what can and can't be done within the context of my idea.

My goal is to remake my favorite enemy, the T-Mech, using the existing Biomechanoid animation/skeleton assets as a template, if possible.
http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110821040228/serious/images/b/b8/Tmech_2.png
I've been digging around the forums for a while but haven't found any straight-forward answers to the kinds of questions I have.

The Questions:

Is there a model or skeleton template that I can export from SED3.5 so that I can build the T-Mech essentially right over the old Biomech model?

Is it possible to modify an existing skeleton (in this case, the Biomechanoid's) and still preserve the animation data? For example, the T-Mech's head is further forward and his jaw is larger, so relocating some bones would be preferable. Also, because of the tail, adding some bones might be necessary.

Is there a way to export weighting from say, 3ds Max, and get it into SED3.5? Or is that something that needs to be done only in SED3.5?


I want to remake the T-Mech regardless of whether or not I can get it into the Serious Engine. But if I can build him to SS3 specifications and get him in game, that would be sweet.

Any help would be appreciated.

Hell, even if somebody knowledgeable of the process would be willing collaborate, that would be amazing. Again, I can make art just fine, it's just the technical side of the implementation that continually stumps me.

If this can be accomplished, I'd love to put together a nice tutorial to encourage easier creation of mods from other people looking to do something similar.

Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:53 PM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

I know this post is gonna be a cocktease, but when I'm awake tomorrow (it's 5am) I'll give you a hand in doing this if you want.

Feel free to add me on Steam if you'd like to do it there if not I'll try and make a nice indepth post for you.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:00 PM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Awesome. I sent you a friend invite.
Hit me up when you're around tomorrow.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:16 PM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aarian View Post
Is there a model or skeleton template that I can export from SED3.5 so that I can build the T-Mech essentially right over the old Biomech model?
You will soon learn that the most annoying thing with modding SS3 is that Croteam removed the "edit data" from all of their assets. What that means is that you can't modify or export any of their assets such as models, skeletons, animations, etc. You can replace those assets, but you can't, for example, tweak the vertices on one of their models. So to answer your question, you unfortunately can't export the Biomech model or its skeleton from SS3. What I would recommend is to just open the Biomech model in SED3.5 and take good side/front view screenshots and use those as references for building your model.


Quote:
Is it possible to modify an existing skeleton (in this case, the Biomechanoid's) and still preserve the animation data? For example, the T-Mech's head is further forward and his jaw is larger, so relocating some bones would be preferable. Also, because of the tail, adding some bones might be necessary.
That's again not possible because of the missing edit data. You can't edit the skeleton at all. The only thing you could do is make a new skeleton (and animations) from scratch. You could also leave the skeleton and animations as they are, and just try to make your model line up properly with the original Biomech's shape.

Quote:
Is there a way to export weighting from say, 3ds Max, and get it into SED3.5? Or is that something that needs to be done only in SED3.5?
I don't use 3dsMax, but it should be possible. SED3.5 can import models in FBX format. I guess the tricky part would be rigging your model to a skeleton you don't have (assuming you try to stick with SS3's default Biomech skeleton instead of making your own). I would guess that if you rigged it to a dummy skeleton in 3dsMax using all the same bone names as SS3's Biomech skeleton, it should work with SS3's skeleton when you import the model.

I know that doesn't give you specific directions, but that should set you down the right path. Pan's familiar with the process so he can probably tell you everything you need, but post back if you have any more questions.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:59 PM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper45 View Post
I don't use 3dsMax, but it should be possible. SED3.5 can import models in FBX format. I guess the tricky part would be rigging your model to a skeleton you don't have (assuming you try to stick with SS3's default Biomech skeleton instead of making your own). I would guess that if you rigged it to a dummy skeleton in 3dsMax using all the same bone names as SS3's Biomech skeleton, it should work with SS3's skeleton when you import the model.
Cool. Yeah, the skeleton is the biggest issue I'm worried about. Creating an identically named rig and skinning it is not so much of an issue, but preserving the animation is the crux of this idea working or not. Animating is just way too time-consuming for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper45 View Post
That's again not possible because of the missing edit data. You can't edit the skeleton at all. The only thing you could do is make a new skeleton (and animations) from scratch. You could also leave the skeleton and animations as they are, and just try to make your model line up properly with the original Biomech's shape.
It looks like the T-Mech model could mostly fit right over the SS3 Biomech. The head are tail are the only real outliers. I suppose in a worst-case-scenario I could sacrifice the animation on those two limbs just to prevent having to redo everything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper45 View Post
I know that doesn't give you specific directions, but that should set you down the right path. Pan's familiar with the process so he can probably tell you everything you need, but post back if you have any more questions.
It definitely helps me to start thinking in the SED3.5-mindset. I appreciate it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:10 PM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Just some preliminary tests, thanks to advice from Pan and Viper.
http://content.screencast.com/users/garystorkamp/folders/Jing/media/56b8de97-c385-4a18-84dc-067feb3d5e46/2012-12-19_1702.png

Even with the relocated jaw geometry and extra tail, he still animates fairly convincingly.

I'm going to continue moving forward with the T-Mech redesign, keeping it scoped for usage in SS3.
Would this current thread be a good place to post updates, or should I start another one in a more appropriate subforum?
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

looks good can you do the orcs for the cloned soldiers?
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Wow, that was quick! I know it's just a test model, but it's great that you already have something up and running in-game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aarian View Post
Would this current thread be a good place to post updates, or should I start another one in a more appropriate subforum?
This thread is fine if you want to keep it here. We also have a Showcase forum specifically made for people to show off their work. It's open to artwork of any kind, but most stuff you'll find there is related to modding Serious Sam games.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:53 PM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Looks pretty good so far.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Replacing an Enemy Model with an Original?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klastnic View Post
looks good can you do the orcs for the cloned soldiers?
Nope. I'm creating a new T-Mech from scratch. I have no interest in remaking the orcs, and I wouldn't even know where to begin ripping SS2 models.


Quote:
Originally Posted by viper45 View Post
This thread is fine if you want to keep it here. We also have a Showcase forum specifically made for people to show off their work. It's open to artwork of any kind, but most stuff you'll find there is related to modding Serious Sam games.
I think I'll keep this thread around for technical stuff and to document the process after I'm done for others to follow. I'll open up a new one in the showcase forum once I have some concepts done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomechanoid View Post
Looks pretty good so far.
Thanks.
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