What the name says :p . Have fun with it!
===================== ===================== Storm3D Tool v1.0 ===================== ===================== Author : Steve Williams. ======== Overview ======== Storm3D Tool has several functions :- 1. Artwork preview - Allows existing or newly exported .SOD files to be inspected for errors, compared, etc. 2. File format updating - Load old format .SODs & resave in the latest format (which is public). 3. SOD hierarchy inspection - Examine the organisation of existing .SOD files. 3. Simple editing - Node positions & orientations can be modified, vertices can be repositioned. Limited functionality due to time constraints, but may be useful. Modified .SODs can be saved. 4. Technology demonstration - Illustrates the capabilities of the Storm3D rendering engine. 5. Entertainment - Play around ST: Armada 3D models for no particular reason. Note: For more complex editing, you'll need to either use the Storm3D SoftImage Exporter, or develop exporters/importers for other art packages, using the "Storm3D Object Definition (SOD) File Format" documentation for reference. When developing new artwork, pay attention to the hierarchy of existing models. Organizing your hierarchy correctly is the key to getting new art to function correctly within Armada. Inspect a few existing object hierarchies in Storm3D Tool for reference. ============ Requirements ============ Windows 95/98/2000 & *primary display* 3D accelerator card with at least the functionality of an nVidia TNT1 & at least 8Mb video memory. DirectX7 or higher, Star Trek: Armada, with patch 1.1 or later installed. As always, ensure you have the latest recommended drivers installed for all your hardware. NB: A primary display graphics card is the one which is used to render the Windows desktop.Passthrough cards such as 3Dfx Voodoo1/Voodoo2 are not supported at this time (because they cannot run in a window). IMPORTANT: Make sure your windows desktop is set to a resolution supported by the 3D hardware of your graphics card. I.e. either 16 or 32 bit. Note that 32 bit (for 3D) is not supported by some voodoo cards. I recommend setting your desktop to 16 bit mode initially. ============ Installation ============ Storm3D Tool package consists of two files : Storm3D Tool.exe (the application) Storm3D Tool.txt (this file) 1. Ensure Armada is correctly installed on the machine that you wish to install Storm3D Tool on. 2. Copy Storm3D Tool.exe to the same directory as you have installed Armada. I.e. The directory containing the file Armada.exe 3. Run the tool, just double click on the Storm3D Tool.exe icon. If you make a shortcut, ensure the starting directory is correct - ie. the Armada root directory. 4. Help is available within the tool by pressing the F1 key. ============== Quick Tutorial ============== 1. Getting started Install & run the program as described above. If all goes well, you should see a window on your desktop showing the ST: Armada logo. The blue box around the logo indicates this is the selected object. Press the F1 key at any time for help. Storm3D Tool has two main modes, preview mode & advanced mode. Preview mode is used for simple object inspection, advanced mode is used for inspecting and editing object hierarchies. ============ Preview mode ============ Movement -------- The selected object can be rotated/moved using left & right mouse button drags. The rotation uses a method called 'rolling ball', when you hold down & drag the mouse, try to imagine dragging a point around an imaginary ball surrounding the object. It's a bit tricky at first, but shouldn't take too much getting used to ... Zoom in & out using the a & z keys. Lighting -------- Hit PG/UP to select the next object (in this case, a light). You can change the light's direction (left mouse drag) or colour (hit the 'c' key). You can place additional lights by hitting the 'l' key. Note that the more lights, the slower the application will run. I'd recommend a maximum of 3. Deleting objects/lights ----------------------- Hit the DEL key. (it's a little over the top, but I like it ...) Selection --------- You can select the next/previous object using the Pgup/PgDown keys. Alternatively, shift left click can be used to select the closest object to the mouse cursor. Placing objects --------------- Press F8, then select the appropriate file. Use the space bar to place the selected SOD at the current mouse pointer location. Note that new objects appear with a random team colour. You can change the object's team colour by pressing the 'c' key whilst the object is selected. Saving objects -------------- Save the currently selected object (the one with the blue box around it) by pressing the F9 key. Spinning objects ---------------- Press the 's' key to toggle spin mode on a particular object. When you next perform a left mouse drag on that object, it will spin. This may take a little getting used to. Press the 's' key again to stop the selected object from spinning. Note that you can set lights spinning for some nice effects. ============= Advanced Mode ============= Press the F2 key to toggle to advanced mode (you can press it again to return to preview mode). Advanced mode has three sub modes, which can be activated by pressing the appropriate key - [o]bject, [n]ode and [m]esh/vertex. Object mode - As preview mode, with on screen information. Node mode - Used for editing node position/orientation. Mesh/vertex - Used for editing mesh vertex positions. The currently selected mesh is indicated by flashing wireframe/solid. The currently selected node is indicated by red/green/yellow axis. Object mode ----------- See preview mode details, the controls are identical. Node mode --------- PG/UP, PG/DOWN can be used to select the next/previous node. Shift left click can be used to select the closest node to the cursor, this node is indicated by magenta axis. Nodes can be positioned & rotated using the same controls as object or preview mode. Sometimes you want to synchronize the current node & current mesh (i.e. to move the current mesh). This can be done by pressing the F7 key. Mesh/vertex mode ---------------- PG/UP, PG/DOWN can be used to select the next/previous mesh. Shift left click can be used to select the closest mesh to the cursor. The currently selected mesh should flash to show it is selected. An oval cyan 'brush' around the cursor is used for selecting vertices, the brush size can be modified using the F5 and F6 keys. When the brush is moved over vertices on the selected mesh, they are highlighted. To select these vertices, perform a shift left click operation. Selected vertices are highlighted in magenta. To deselect vertices, move the mouse over them and perform a shift right click. Selected vertices can be moved using a right mouse drag. A left mouse drag can be used to rotate the current object. Changing Texture ---------------- You can change the texture on the current mesh by pressing the 't' key & selecting the texture you want. Note that just selecting a random alternative texture will probably result in strange patterns on the object, this is because the texture coordinates are not set up for that texture. Texture coordinate editing is unfortunatly not available at this time, so you will need to make a copy of the original texture & modify it using the original as a guide. On screen information --------------------- Object info ----------- In the top left corner of the screen, the currently selected object's filename is displayed. The number in square brackets is the object radius. This is followed by the number of objects loaded, initially two - the logo & the light. LOD info -------- Under the selected object info is the LOD mode. The LOD mode is initially auto, this means Storm3D selects the appropriate LOD based on object size/distance from the camera. LODs can be forced using the numpad +/- keys. Note the logo only has one LOD, so changing the LOD has no effect. Other objects however do contain LODS. Frame rate ---------- Displayed in the top right. Sub mode -------- Displayed in the bottom right - object, node or mesh/vertex as described above. Node info --------- Displayed under the LOD info. Information available :- 1. The currently selected node. 2. Closest node to the cursor (highlighted by magenta axis) - this node can be selected using a shift left mouse click in node mode. 3. The selected node's hierarchy to the root. By studying the hierarchy of several existing models, one can become familiar with the hierarchy requirements for a model to work correctly within Armada. Additional Features ------------------- See online help by pressing the F1 key for further details. FAQ --- 1. The program will not start what can I do ? Storm3D Tool runs best in a window. To ensure this is possible, ensure your Windows desktop is set to a resolution supported by the 3D functionality of your graphics card. I.e. 16 or 32 bit. Your primary graphics card must support 3D functionality. Avoid 24 bit desktop modes - these are rarely supported by 3D hardware. 2.The program runs out of video memory. What can I do ? Users of older video cards with less than 8Mb of VRAM should ensure ensure their desktops are running in a low resolution (640x480x16 or 800x600x16) to avoid running out of video memory. Also, if you resize the window & the app exits, you have probably run out of video memory. 3. I can't run the program on my Voodoo3. What's the problem ? Voodoo3 owners - make sure your desktop is in 16 bit mode. The Voodoo3 chipset cannot render to 32 bit displays in 3D mode.
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