SWBF MSH Viewer

View both SWBF 1&2 models instantly. Features include MSH debug, info, VRML export and VRML to MSH conversion so you can add new mod...

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File Description
View both SWBF 1&2 models instantly. Features include MSH debug, info, VRML export and VRML to MSH conversion so you can add new models to SWBF with ease. Models can be spun around or walked through with a simple and easy to use interface.

This is an upgraded version of Tipam's Mesh Viewer. As I said in the previous review, this is a fantastic tool, and it'ss only been made more fantastic with the integration of features like VRML->MSH conversion. This is quickly becoming a "must-have" tool for any SWBF/SWBF2 modder. Check it out!

-Mav

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Readme
Star Wars Battlefront Viewer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
18Sep2008, Version 0.03 BETA
By Tipam, Copyright (c) 2008
Website: http://sites.google.com/site/swbfmodding


Purpose
~~~~~~~
-Examine SWBF MSH (model) files from both BF1 & 2
-Create MSH files from VRML


Opening a MSH file
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. If you have either BF1 and/or BF2 Mod Tools installed, enable the Viewer to search these directories for fast access.  This only needs to be done once. These are the locations expected by the viewer for BF1 and BF2 Mod Tools;

ModTools BF1 ...  C:/LucasArts/BFBuilder
ModTools BF2 ...  C:/BF2_ModTools

Note: If the directories are not setup this way, the viewer will ask you to locate them.  I recommend downloading both ModTool kits, even if you only develop for one of them.

2. Once the lists are compiled (two list files are created), dbl-click on a directory in the quicklist to reveal the files.
3. Click on a file in the quicklist and it will load.
4. Alternatively, drag n drop a MSH file onto the viewer to load it or select Open from the file menu.


Importing a VRML file and exporting it as MSH
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A VRML file (Virtual Reality Markup Language) has been an industry standard for years and most 3D editing software (such as MAYA and 3DS Max) will export it.  You will find a ton of models on the internet in VRML. 

To import a VRML file, simply drag and drop the file into the viewer.  If the file is big, it may take some time to convert, so be patient!  Currently, conversion doesn't create triangle strips so you need to be careful about file size - it won't be as fast until I code triangle stripping.

The VRML file will appear in the view and this can be saved as a MSH file using the 'Save as' option in the file menu.  Debug for an imported VRML is disabled, although you can drop the saved MSH file back into the viewer which will show debug.

All textures associated with the VRML file will be imported but limited to 256x256 pixels in size.  Large textures look nice, but slow your game down (I may put an option for this in future releases). These textures will be exported as Targa files when you 'Save as'.  PNG files loaded with the VRML model, are the only image format that will translate into Targa files with alpha channel.  GIF is another common alpha image, although this is yet to be supported.

A number of VRML features are not supported like Inlines, animation and the like - only Shape with IndexedFaceSet is supported. Note that this viewer doubles up as a VRML viewer as well!


ODF files
~~~~~~~~~
For those of you who don't know, You will need to create an ODF file to include your converted model in a BF level. Do this by copying another ODF file that describes a static item (such as tree, rock or building) and change the names of the files within the ODF file.  Save the ODF file with the same name you gave your saved MSH file.


Save As
~~~~~~~
This option is used for saving converted VRML files although it can also be used to save a pre-loaded MSH with it's textures.  Saving textures means that you don't have to search for textures from several directories only to find some are still missing.  This cuts down munging time and level size.  Future MSH editing will also find this option useful.



Navigating in the viewer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Walk mode
  a. Select the icon with the small man in it
  b. Click and drag the left mouse button in the viewer window and push forward/left/right/back to walk around
  c. Move the Mousewheel to tilt the view up and down
2. Examine mode
  a. select the icon with the two circular arrows
  b. Click and drag the left mouse button to rotate the model in space
  c. Use the mouse wheel to push the model forward or back


Keys
~~~~
Arrows keys - walk forward/back/left/right
A - Elevation up
Z - Elevation down


Menu options
~~~~~~~~~~~~
File>Open - load MSH files
File>Save As - Save the current model as a MSH file (with TGA textures)
File>Screen capture - capture the current view and save it as JPEG
File>Export - save a MSH file as VRML (also exports PNG textures)
File>Exit - exit

Show>Debug Window - Displays the MSH keys and some detailed information
Show>SWBF file list - turn the list on/off

Help>About - Copyright and disclaimer info
Help>Update - Opens the web page for the latest Viewer and BF tool updates.


Credits
~~~~~~~
JC - always deserves the highest credit - only He is worth the worship!!
Riley-man ... for basic file format info



Disclaimer
~~~~~~~~~~

This software is provided "AS IS".  Absolutely no responsibility can be taken by the author of this software for any loss or damage.  Use this software entirely at your own risk.  The author does not provide any support for this software whatsoever although feedback is welcome.

This software is not made, distributed, or supported by LucasArts, a Division of LucasFilm Entertainment Company Ltd.  Elements TM & © LucasArts, a Division of LucasFilm Entertainment Company Ltd.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates

v.0.03 (15Sep2008)
> Added screen capture
> Improved debug now that the MSH format is better understood - there's still more to discover!
> Added VRML to MSH conversion
> 'Save As' added in file menu
> Exporting a VRML now works! ... PNG image files are exported with the file in the same target directory. PNG is a lossless compressed image format with alpha support.

v.0.02 (10Sep2008)
> Added quicklist file access
> Tilt up/down with mouse wheel in walk mode
> bug fix - reset points/triangles info upon model reload
> Updates link in Help menu

v.0.01 (8Sep2008) - Initial release BETA

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tipam


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Registered 8th September 2008

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