Okay GameRevolt. You've tempted me enough. I'm going to have a rest from modelling and have a play with your exporter on a couple of my models. If all goes well I'll see if I can do a simple tutorial for this. I'll keep you posted!!!
My brother is modding for another game (HL) and chimed in with saying I need to import the original .sod file, use its bones (I'm assuming those are the joins in milkshape??) and put them in my own custom made ship, and move them to fit my ship design. He said the reason behind that is because of game engines, making your own model, and making your own bones, you'll have compatibility issues, for when the ship turns or something, it'll have a fit and mess up or not work at all etc.. Since I'm completely new to this, is that true for armada? If so... what a mess thats gonna be...
Right, this isn't entirely true. If there are no bones in the model, a default node hierachy will be used. If there are some bones, the hierachy must be a valid Armada hierachy. You can use the hardpoint import tool (tools menu) to import from an existing model :). You then need to add some additional nodes at key hierachy points that link the hierachy to milkshapes meshes. Looking at examples is an excellent way to learn, and there are some docs with my plugin pack (some very terse and unhelpful docs I confess).
Secondly, are the bones the joins in Milkshape? And those are used for hard points?
Yes and yes, sort of. The bones are used a what Armada calls 'nodes', and hardpoints are a special type of node. Use the importer on a stock model to see an example hierachy (use the tools->model information tool to see the hierachy). There is a lot of info on nodes in 'westworlds big book of modding'. By hierachy, I mean like a tree of nodes/bones. Starts at a root, then there are sections for the meshes to be inserted, sections for hardpoints, and other types of nodes.
I've been reading around and I've seen assimview is needed to work on hard points et al,
Not anymore. My recent changes changed this so that the Milkshape bones can be used as nodes. Assimview can edit the hierachy of an exported .sod file but its not fun and I no longer support the program
I've already read how to make a ship in milk shape... but That wasn't accurate enough for me.. Isn't there some sort of website/manual/something that'll say "you are noob, here, read this, and it'll show you from modeling, hard pointing, wireframing, assigning to the hard points, wire framing, build button making, putting it all together, load it in game and enjoy!"?
The Westworld BBOM as I mentioned isn't about milkshape but it has lots of tech info. We'll see if MP comes up with something good :). There is an Armada milkshape tutorial I've seen, but its nothing to do with my plugins. btw, I don't know how to model myself.
sidenote to any filer admins: My plugin pack and latest assimview should be up on armada2files/bcfiles/sfc3files please ;). Can be got from assimsoft.com download page.
GameRevolt. I know Voyager009 contacted you about this, but there is still a possible necessaity for Assimview. I've got a rudimentary tutorial about 50% complete, but people may have problems as I don't think its possible to rotate the bones with MS3d. Therefore some of the minor sprites, and also the more important plasma and steam venting nodes (they both produce a mist like object when the ship looses life support, engines, or both). I think its just a minor inconvenience which can be overcome if the model is exported to Armada 1 format and the Storm 3d SOD editor for Armada 1 is used to manually rotate and move the nodes to the correct position. All things considered though, this is definately one of the best things to come out for the community. I just think the bone rotation limitation is something thats MS3d itself (shame really :( )
ooh I didn't know s3d could do that to nodes. that is handy! its true, bone rotation in ms3d sucks. It stores bone rotations as a set of 3 angles whilst Armada uses a set of 3 vectors. I hate angles, and I expectially hate converting them