I have started to make some videos for various relatively specific portions of porting ships to Star Trek Legacy.
Topics I'm looking at are listed here: Topics: 1) Ship icons, quick easy guide to making ship icons with Milkshape and Photoshop. (Done) 2) Lights, guide to placing lights. Guide to include "comment" information for strobe patterns. List off the various standard lights. (Done) 3) Breaknodes, how to setup a breaknode and how to setup plasma emitters on it. Setting up damage mesh fall away bits, as well as fall away lights and fall away hardpoints. (Done) 4) Damage Mesh. Basics on doing a damage mesh. Show the basics of various techniques as there are at least 3 methods I use depending on what works best. (Done) 5) Registries (Logo Mesh). Show how to setup the Logo mesh. Show how to make the logo texture. Show how to make the mesh. Show naming it properly and hardpointing it. Show proper "fall away logo meshes" for Nacelles for example. (Done) 6) Hardpointing. Basic hardpoint structure and guide and working with hardpoints. 7) LMTools Hardpoint/Joint Tree Tool basics. Show how to use it instead of Milkshape for making the bulk of the hardpoint tree for a ship. (Done) 8)l LMTools 2on2 Ship Testing modes usage. Use to show how to test ships for visual checks, hardpoint placement for weapons, "balance" for damage output and damage mitigation (shield strength, hull strength). Flight test. Light Test, Damage mesh test, breaknode testing, logo mesh testing.
Some will likely be supplemented with forum posts and possibly other guide parts such as images or pdfs for reference use. Such as the Lights for the various "types" that are valid and some basic strobe patterns and maybe some intensity/color comment info.
I will work to make the videos as easy to follow as I can, but some are going to be covering quite a bit of information very quickly on what I like to fondly call of as the more Arcane bits of the porting process. Basically this is stuff that isn't covered basic porting guides, or is only touched on quickly. These video guides are not intended to be a "start to finish" of porting guide for ships, just to get you through the "fuzzy parts".
I may make more videos than listed, or I might drop some of them, depending on what seems to be most helpful and what time I find to make them.
The videos are based on having some basic understanding of porting ships. Either by prior Armada modding or using one of the Legacy Porting guides by Gdata or Acidfluxx. Both of those guides are very similar. The videos may at times conflict with what the printed guides show, I will leave it to you which method you prefer in the end. These videos are how I port ships, that doesn't mean it's the only way. I learned the basics of porting by following both Gdata and Acid's guides and built on them with help from various modeler and porters in Legacy, such as Fares (Sorry spelled it wrong I'm sure.), StarKnight aka Grunt, Nix and Moonraker.
AcidFluxx's guide to porting: http://legacy.filefront.com/file/Guide_To_Modding_Volume_4_Porting;91290
Gdata's Guide to porting: http://legacy.filefront.com/file/Porting_Tutorial_by_gdata;80071
------- All videos should be viewable at up to 720p HD Quality so should work well for full screen viewing.
The first video is showing a method of making a ship icons with Milkshape and Photoshop.
Ship Icons: Star Trek Legacy Modding Guide: Ship Icons
Adding Sprite based Lights: Star Trek Legacy Modding Guide: Light Sprites
Adding Breaknodes including Plasma Emitters: Star Trek Legacy Modding Guide: Breaknodes with Plasma Emitters
Damage Mesh Techniques: Star Trek Legacy Modding Guide: Damage Mesh Techniques
It shows 3 methods. The first is the one you used, the duplicate then reverse vertex order. I don't use that first method, it leaves the ship looking hollow when a hole is punched in it. The second is duplicate and scale and move parts method, that one is more like what the original ships that came with legacy use, it's the method that most ships in UU use. The third method is to make a low or lower poly mesh that fits inside the real mesh. That last method is the best as far as performance for the game, as the first two double the poly count of the ship. Because you only see the damage mesh when a hole is punched in the ship you can get away with a much lower poly count on the damage mesh than the actual model. The damage mesh can have a gap between it and the outer model, because what you see when a hole is punched in the ship, is the interior of the ship and there can be a bit of a gap and not look weird. When using either the second or third damage mesh method I use the "show colored groups" in the 3d view in milkshape to make sure the damage mesh isn't sticking out somewhere. If the damage mesh sticks out it will show up in those places in game and look weird.
There are some models I end up using all 3 methods for. When a part is very thin I use the first method. When the part is hard for me to duplicate and save a reasonable amount of polygons I will use the second method. When I can easily make the low poly part I will do that.
Whatever method you choose to use, the final result should be a model that doesn't have the internal damage mesh showing above the outer hull surface. One of my tasks for the next release of UU is to get the ships that have damage meshes sticking out fixed.
The original Legacy.exe that came on the dvd doesn't show the damage mesh until the ship gets a hole punched in it. The Legacy 1.1 and 1.2 versions with the patches show the damage mesh all the time. I forget the internal version numbers anymore, I think Legacy 1.0 is 1.016, 1.1 is 1.024? and 1.2 is 1.032 when looking at the version number on the exe files properties. Also only the 1.0 exe lets breaknodes work, for 1.1 and 1.2 the breaknodes appear to "fly off" but then the parts remain behind afterward.
7th June 2008
Excelent work Muldrf! I believe you are the first to ever make a tutorial like this for legacy(for that matter probably for all the other star trek games as well)you should be proud :nodding: I can tell you off the back that if I had these tutorial videos back then it would've saved me hours upon hours of trial and errors of figuring out what and where I went wrong and what to do. This will definitely make legacy modding a breeze now. Thanks Muldrf.
Thanks for the compliments dEjavU'.
I haven't had the time to work on any other videos. I actually started the one for #7 my Joint/Hardpoint tool guide, but I found too many issues in the tool and went back to refining the tool first. Once I get the updated joint/hardpoint tool tested out that will be the next video most likely.
I might at some point do a full port video for the m3d side of it, then there might be a spec, bump, glow, registry/logo texture guide made after that. Anyways it's a long term goal, not a short term project if I do get to it. It's hard to find the time right now.
A new video for the Joint/Hardpoint tool that was added to the LMTools. You need the LMTools 2"d" Release for the properly working version. It's been submitted but not posted. I did submit a 2"c" version as well that has not been posted, they might post it as well, but it has some bugs that make it not work right. The 2d release is available at our site if you don't want to wait, but otherwise I figure it should get posted sometime fairly soon. I'm sure the staff is busy with the holidays and all.
Oh yea. I forgot to mention in the video the "Help" button in the tool has the example hardpoint tree structure in it for you to follow.
That video shows all the basics. I could be much more indepth. Such as covering the "Pattern" and "Intensity" modifiers for light nodes. Also be sure to copy the Milkshape Exporter that is included with the LMTools Suite to your Milkshape directory so you can do the Legacy Joint Ascii Exporter to get your Mesh Groups. I use the tool alot to make changes to existing trees as well as I did a little example how that's possible in the video. It makes adding more lights or more mesh groups or tweaking things easy. Also I didn't cover the "grid view", but it can be used to adjust the additional attributes manually, such as position and rotation. I'd only really use it for position and rotation changes to correct misplaced "m_" joints etc as they throw off the model mesh groups ingame. It can also be used to adjust the Intensity and Pattern settings for lights a bit easier than using Milkshape to handle it.
Breaknodes 102 porting guide. This is a more detailed guide showing setting up of breaknodes on a model. I show basically how to do it strait though more or less. How to rig the model, how to setup the joints/hardpoints in the LMtools, how to play test them with the LMtools, how to create chunks for them using the LMtools. Legacy Guide: Breaknodes 102
This video is a guide, showing feature additions to dEjavU's port for Star Trek Legacy of WileyCoyote's model based on Gabriel Koerner's design. This is not a CJG project, I'm setting it up for Dejavu and to help teach him how to add the features to ships on his own in the future.
As usual this is avaliable in 1080p HD Format if you bring it up on the youtube page and should be pretty crisp in full screen the whole way through. The program I use doesn't grab the ingame footage clear as fraps but for what what I'm trying to show it gets the job done.
Texture Animated Bussards Guide. Rotating type, creation of texture from single frame.
This again is showing adding of this feature to dEjavU's port for Star Trek Legacy of WileyCoyote's model based on Gabriel Koerner's design. This is not a CJG project, I'm setting it up for Dejavu and to help teach him how to add the features to ships on his own in the future.
I had an earlier Texture Animation guide, it did show how to do animated textures using 16frame torpedo textures. Not that you would ever do that likely, but it is the same doing it with bussards, as far as setup, you just need to make the texture and map it properly.
Logo Mesh & Registry Texture creation guide: I don't go over in detail how I matched up the fonts, but basically font size, character spacing, and minor character width adjustments. All of those settings are on the "Character" window/toolbox of Photoshop. I didn't cover how to create the text on path for the saucer either. I suggest watching WileyCoyote's Live Stream video for "Making Ship Registries in Photoshop CS5" to cover those things. WileyCoyote - live streaming video powered by Livestream I think he's better at it than me, certainly less "umms". His guide is for BC usage so he is applying it to the ship hull texture as a new layer, it also is for creating the registry from scratch, where for porting ships for Legacy your generally trying to recreate one that was made by someone else, but it's the same concept. He covers making TOS type registries, to making TMP and TNG registries as well so it's very useful.
The start of the video I didn't have the exact font as I note in the video. The proper font is used later in the video, from the point that I had all the logo mesh bits created for the ship on.
TOS Font I used for the final registry (not the one used early in the video) Charles Casimiro Design > Airborne True Type Fonts