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Getting Started in ZModeler

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Mark
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#1

Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:49 AM Edited by GTAuron, 10 January 2007 - 02:04 PM.

Update 10/01/2007 - NEW TOPIC ADDED!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW HOW TO ADD DIFFERENT MATERIALS (COLOURS ETC) AND HOW TO ADD GLASS TO YOUR MODELS!

WEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLL, HERE WE GO smile.gif lol, I kinda figured one of these would turn up one day, specifically for Zmod and GTA games, but I guess not...not a decent one with feedback for n00bs who can't read anyway. This is just to get you started. I may add stuff to this later, such as texturing, Normals etc, if I could be arsed, but for the moment? naaaah. What this tutorial covers:


1) - Choosing a good subject
2) - How to cut up your blueprints
3) - Starting your 1st polygon
4) - Extruding and aligning your blueprints
5) - Smoothing
6) - Good practices



As I said, I will add stuff later. Think of this as a 0.44 Alpha smile.gif lol



1) - Choosing a good subject

One thing I see many a new modeller do is decide to model their Mom's Fiat Multipla or Dad's 250 GTO....OK that's a bit silly, but it puts across a good point....THESE CARS ARE CURVY! NEWBIES DO NOT LIKE CURVES! NEWBIES CANNOT DO CURVES AT ALL WELL! HENCE DO NOT DO CURVES! This is stated by nearly every single tutorial out there, so whilst you may be a little bit cocky and think aha I can churn out a perfectly smooth excellent looking model of a Jaguar XKR within 10 minutes you are very much mistaken smile.gif . Just ask anyone smile.gif (Apart from maybe those damn posh Lightwave modellers.....lovely models, but they're masters at what they do (if its any good) and have spent a couple of grand on such a wonderful program (Warez users, I frown upon you smile.gif ) lol. Your best bet for a 1st car is something boxy, such as a Peugeot 205, Vauxhall Nova, Any old 80s Japs car (Within reason) and anything resembling a box on wheels. Whilst it may not be as fun and that you really want to make a Mclaren F1 or a Ferrari Enzo, the only way of being competant at those models is to start off nice and simple. For my example, I am going to build a Toyota 84C Lemans car....I know naughty naughty its not boxy as f*ck but I got a bit of experience under my belt to cope. It's also a good model to show off how to model well (I'll try anyway) and it has use (incase you wish to know I am going to make a rather low-ish poly cut down version for the Lemans mod on NFS:HS and a version for GTA:3, GTA:VC or even maybe GTA:SA lol.

First things first, here are the blueprints:

Here!

Bit too big to show here so click the link to see. Good textures, they show the Front, Back, Left side and Top. This is all that is needed to model a car (in fact you can decide to do with with less or in fact no blueprints at all! (Beware the last option)). Now that I have selected my blueprints it is time to move on to....

2) - How to cut up your blueprints

For some reason I have come across people with a lot of problems here....which I don't quite understand, so I will show my method of cutting up blueprints:

WARNING! MY METHOD USES XARA X! IF YOU DO NOT HAVE XARA X LOOK ELSEHWERE!

Now thats out the way, you can actually use the beginning of this section no problem, because without a doubt all of you have a program similar to Microsoft Paint kicking about. What you do is open the blueprint in this program, I'll use Microsoft paint as an example, and click the user posted image Icon and drag the cropping line around one of the surfaces, for example the left-side surface, as shown:

user posted image

Now press Ctrl+C to Copy. No I load up Xara X and press Ctrl+V. Now I select to paste as a bitmap. THe image now appears.

user posted image

As you can see, the image is 907 pixels wide by 219 pixels high. The important thing here is to round the width and height up to a binary number. Whilst it says make it a square image, it infact works as long as the dimension are binary, for example 128, 256, 512, 1024 and so on. In order to get a correct dimension for the image, I need to create a background for it with the dimensions being the original dimensions rounded up to the nearest binary number. For 907 this is 1024 and for 219 this is 256. Hence I need a rectangle of 1024x256. I then place the image in the center of this background. This is shwon below.

user posted image

This blueprint is now ready for Zmod. Repeat the stage with all the views until all the relevant ones are done (FOr example theres no need to make a left and a right if the car is symmetrical).

Now open up ZMod and select the necessary views. A top view and a side view are usually common, as is the front but if you wish to start your model at the back then choose a back view. Now click the little icon in the Top-left corner of the view and choose Background>Image>Load image. Now Browse for the files you need, select the releavant one from the list and click OK. It will now appear in the window as the background. Repeat until all views have a background. The last window should be reserved fot he 3D view, so that you can see what you're doing in the 3D environment.

user posted image

Now we can move onto section 3!

3) - Starting your 1st polygon

A long time agao when I was a newbie (ah ok about 20 months ago at the time of typing) This actually got me, so like a n00b I posted in the Edition dicussion for help, thankfully there were many kind people about and got me on my way. FOr you lot all you need to do is come and seen my topic and tadaa smile.gif You already know more than I did 20 months ago lol smile.gif .

Well lets get started!

To draw your 1st polygon (well, actually you have to draw at a minimum in order to get started), click Create>Surfaces>Flat. Now pick any view you want (completely up to you and click on an area you would like to start, then drag. You will draw a rectangle, which more than likely (unless you really did pick the brickmobile) not fit onto the edges of your blueprint. NO PROBLEM! (a bit like microsoft paint for the start of it actually). When you let go, a menu will come up, looking like this:

user posted image

Name it whatever you want (I leave mine as they are cause I run out of creativity with names later on and usually call them "f*ck", "wanker", and "POLYGON!!!" etc smile.gif . The next step is a little more serious. Horizontal Steps Will mean the amount of lines going sideways there are whereas Vertical Step will mean the amount of lines going down there are (easy to remember, HOrizontal lines are all about the horizon, which unless for example you're about to die in an airliner, will be horizontal (I have great humour don't I? tounge.gif ). FOr my model, I will pick 2 Horizontal lines and 0 vertical lines, giving me one column of polygons with 3 rows, like so:

user posted image

Look at the bottom edge of those 6 polygons. It is not in line with the front of the car according to top view, which will not do. To move this, I use Modify>Move, then click the "vertices" button, which looks like this: user posted image. Now highlighting the object (Turns blue, I click once, which then allows you to choose the vertices (Red dots on every corner). Using this tool, simply drag a vertex into position, as shown:

user posted image

To make life easier for myself, and not to worry about the vertex moving from side to side, which i do not wish it to do when moving it down, I de-select the user posted image button. This de-select that option, which means that the vertex will no longer move in a Horizontal plane until I re-select it. Other buttons nearby are the Vertcical plane button, which will stop it moving up and down, and the Depth plane button, which when selected will de-select the Horizontal and Vertical plane options immediately, and allow you to move a vertex forword and backward in that view (rarely used, only when you cannot select a vertex in a more preferable view). Note that selecting Horizontal or Vertical plane buttons when the Depth plane button is selected will deselect the Depth plane button and choose whatever button you pressed.

Mark
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#2

Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:42 PM Edited by GTAuron, 17 September 2006 - 10:14 PM.

Now to take a look in 3D view at that we have so far. Note if you cannot see what you have modelled in 3D view, simply rotate the camera a little and you should see it. If not, zoom out using the + and - keys on your number pad, or your trackerball on your mouse or keyboard (lucky me has 2 trackerballs!). If you still can't see it you're blind or you've chosen black as your default colour (If you've never played about with the materials menu, which looks like this, then its not this problem.

user posted image

IF you have played with this and don't know how to get back to it, press the user posted image button and change the RGB values back to normal using that sliders next to the R:, G: and B: text.

When you do find it, and it doesn't seem to be central into your view, then use the cursor arrows to move the camera in 3D view until it is central (not the wordls easiest thing to do when you are new, but practice and you'll be able to do it in seconds. THe cursor trick also works in the 2D views, allowing you to choose specific parts of the car close up in these views. Note you can also do this (sort of) using the zoom function using a trackerball on a mouse and moving the mouse cursor about.

4) - Extruding and aligning your blueprints

Next thing you'll notice is that it is flat in one plane or another. Now to get rid of this you'll need to extrude. If you look at the Zmodeler tutorial, it tells you to build one side of the car 1st before extruding. This is ok when the polycount of the vehicle is say about 300 polys, but when it is over 1000 (as it usually is these days) it is necessary to extrude all the time (well I think it is, as thats the way I model lol). Now to do this you will be needing the Modify>Move tool again. Choose a view where the vertices appears not to be in the correct place, and move then into position, like so:

Before:

user posted image

After:

user posted image

Note I did this extrusion in side view, by simply moving the vertices up or down until they were on the line. If you started on the side, side view and top view would be a good idea here.

After working on the car for a little while (well, 5 minutes) I can already start to see the model in top view and side view according to the blueprints, however I have noticed that the blueprints in front view are ever-so slightly too low! (OH NOES!). To sort out this problem, I click on the user posted image tool and then click and drag
the blueprint as shown. To get out of this mode simply click the button again.

From this:

user posted image

to this:

user posted image

This should mean my blueprints are aligned for the rest of this project. All thats left for the moment is hard work.

Mark
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#3

Posted 08 August 2004 - 10:10 PM Edited by GTAuron, 10 January 2007 - 02:04 PM.

5) - Smoothing

user posted image

After some work, as you can see, part of my model looks a bit bumpy (yeah ok so I deliberately created this bumpiness, but it still serves the same purpose).

TO get rid of this requires practice, otherwise you'll be a bit slow and it could get tiring and boring. The more you do this, the quicker you'll be and learn what postion the polygon needs to be in.

First off, turn on flat shading.

user posted image


This allows you to see what polygon is in line and which isn't. Select a vertex, and move it about until the polygon you're focusing on smoothing forms an almost identical shade to its corresponding polygon, the one that would, if combined, make a rectangle with.

user posted image

user posted image

This provides the best normals and so the rest reflection and general look. Make sure it is of similar shade at all angles by rotating the 3D view. Continue this until all of them are flat, like this:

user posted image

Do this on all bumpy parts and you'll have a smoother model smile.gif .

That really concludes the 1st part of the tutorial. I may at a future date add texturing and detaching and all that boring crap later, but I can't be arsed right now.

So for the moment, some good habits to get into when you start.

6) - Good practices...and advice

1) - Rectangular structure - Explained further up.

2) - Get used to switching between modes, and knowing what they are called, this will make you easier to help as you'll know what we're on about.

3) - Choose how you feel more comfortable to model. If you want to model a whole side and extrude, thats fine, but maybe the official zmod tutorial will help you more there, I on the other hand do each bit well before moving on. This requires less thought so i find it easier (cause I'm a spaz).

4) - Choose something easy, but also a little challenging. Don't go picking a Dodge Viper when you're not quite sure how to model curves well, Instead practice on say....A Ford Sierra or summin. This'll get you doing a few curves but not excess, meaning you should be ok doing it and you'll learn more of how to model like that so you can tackle that Dodge Viper another day.

5) - Don't hesitate to ask for help, Editing Discussion is a good place to drop a line if you need help, explain as well as you can what you need help on and I'm sure someone will.

6) - Don't lose faith. If you can't quite complete that car, or its too inaccurate for your liking, thats ok, keep trying. Model something else. Eventually you'll pick it up well enough to start making good accurate smooth shells, then you can work on interiors, engines and the like. Soon you'll be able to model anything!

Hope this has helped and if you have any questions you can get me on MSN at [email protected]

By the way heres the model in full view (incomplete like most my things, just needs texturing and it'll go into the LM Mod fine....):

user posted image

CLICK HERE TO VIEW HOW TO ADD DIFFERENT MATERIALS (COLOURS ETC) AND HOW TO ADD GLASS TO YOUR MODELS!

kimoman
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#4

Posted 15 August 2005 - 06:02 PM

is this owesome car able 4 download4 vice city ... please???? inlove.gif

Big-Bear
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#5

Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:24 PM

Nice, tutorial, always looked 4 that but where do I get XaraX

YeTi
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#6

Posted 06 September 2005 - 04:10 PM

QUOTE (Big-Bear @ Sep 5 2005, 19:24)
Nice, tutorial, always looked 4 that but where do I get XaraX

To the best of my knowledge you have to buy it.

Oh yeah nice tutorial GTAuron

vicecity45
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#7

Posted 22 September 2005 - 07:21 PM

how much does it cost??

Mark
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#8

Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:48 AM

indeed you have to buy it, I got a copy off some guy who works for some company, but you can get a 30 day trial version to see if you like it enough to buy it. It's an image editor, but its completely different to PSP and Photoshop lol.

I dunno the price, cause I didn't buy it tounge.gif
- GTAuron

Black-hawk
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#9

Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:30 PM

I love you.

Teh block thing! All thanks to you Auron. tounge.gif
My first ever modelled car too.
Even comes with a 3d engine.

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image



Though I'd kiss you if you'd explain normals and detaching a bit more. Since my sh*tbucket looks funky when normals are calculated.

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#10

Posted 08 November 2005 - 03:02 AM

Hi I have a little problem... How do you make the car... "solid?" Because in 3d view you can see all the polygons, how do I make it shaded?

Thanks a bunch.

Daalyman05
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#11

Posted 08 November 2005 - 03:05 AM

In zmod1 click in the viewport of where the 3d button is upper left corner.
Go down to settings/shade fill/solid.

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#12

Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:38 AM

I have a little problem...

So I make my car in Side View. How do I start it on the top? It seems to ocme out the middle when I place polygons. Please PM me and I'll explain my problem in full detail with pics.

Mark
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#13

Posted 10 November 2005 - 09:19 PM

Follow the tut and it will become clear. I'm not gonna help people who refuse to read smile.gif ....oh wait you're busted lol tounge.gif .

@BH: I love you too inlove.gif lol. Sure thing, I'll add detaching guide in the future, gimme a week and it make be here lol smile.gif . f*cking nice mate, good job biggrin.gif
- GTAuron

Blackfuse
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#14

Posted 12 November 2005 - 10:51 AM Edited by Blackfuse, 12 November 2005 - 11:00 AM.

Is it also possible to do the same technique with weapons, or do you need to do something else?

edit:

Tnx, now to find any blueprints tounge.gif .

Mark
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#15

Posted 12 November 2005 - 10:55 AM

Yeah works with modelling of weapons. The only difference is is when you have to put the damn things in game. - GTAuron

enth12345
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#16

Posted 02 December 2005 - 04:50 PM

how do u put things in the gta vice city? ><

chowness21
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#17

Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:45 AM

i edited a haircut model but when i go to export it to a san andreas dff it dosnt show up why?

LT.Diablo
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#18

Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:44 PM

Sorry for this big bump,but seeing as the tut is quiet old none of the pics/links work so the tut is a little hard to follow without them. Just thought i'd let you know smile.gif

Mark
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#19

Posted 17 September 2006 - 10:02 PM Edited by GTAuron, 17 September 2006 - 10:20 PM.

Ah yeah, cheers i'll get onto it smile.gif

EDIT: Done.

spiffiez
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#20

Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:43 PM

helo...

erm... i clicked create>surface den theres no flat der onli grid, loft and revolved wad now? pls help >.< thx.... whatsthat.gif

Mark
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#21

Posted 02 November 2006 - 03:17 PM

Your problem is is that this is a tutorial for Zmod 1.0x, for example Zmod 1.07b, which is available from the Zmod2 website, whereas you have downloaded a copy of Zmod 2. This tutorial does not quite cover Zmod 2, and thus really you should use Zmod1 to follow this tutorial, plus you have to pay for Zmod 2 to use some of its features, like the export tool.

I suggest you either find a different tutorial, or just check out using Zmod1 instead. I for one prefer using Zmod 1 over Zmod 2.

(Oh, and by the way, Surfaces>Grid does the same option to which you require lol).

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#22

Posted 03 November 2006 - 04:08 AM

Oh! tounge.gif ok i get it and thx.... rah.gif

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#23

Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:10 PM

Nae prob. I'm here to help if anyone needs help, hell i gotta find summin to do during lectures!

Jerre
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#24

Posted 29 November 2006 - 10:52 PM

I have a problem here. I edited the placement of the taillights and exhaust of an existing model (colours were mainly blue and yellow). I disabled some parts of the model in the display menu on zmodeler2 to be able to move the taillights and exhaust. Then after moving them to the right place i used enable in the display menu.

Then i exported the file to dff.

I added it in my gta3.img file and when I start the game the model apears totaly white.

Does anyone know what i do wrong or wath i forgot to do?

Edit: Even if I just import the file bus.dff and then export it into bus.dff in a different folder as gtasa.dff file for vice city (tga) it turns white!

Mark
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#25

Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:40 PM

Not really to do with this tutorial, but it's due to the fact the textures are not appearing on the model. If you import a model into Zmod, you need to make sure that the relevant .txd is extracted from the .img, the .tgas are then extracted from this, then applied to their respective materials in zmod. Sort out what you need to, then export the model as it is, then carry an as you have from there. There should be no need to edit the .txd at all, unless you have added more textures to the model.

Jerre
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#26

Posted 30 November 2006 - 09:03 PM

So i bus.txd and bus.dff have to be in the same folder?
Then i open the dff? and export it to the same folder?
Or do i have to import the txd too?

Srr for the posting in this tutorial but i thought you knew alot about this and since this would be a place you are watching. I have posted in another topic too http://www.gtaforums...howtopic=261887

Daalyman05
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#27

Posted 30 November 2006 - 10:13 PM

You have to export the textures that are in the txd into the same folder
as your dff.
For zmod1 you textures must be bmp, and flip horizontally.
Then when you import the dff the textures will show on the model.

Jerre
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#28

Posted 01 December 2006 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (Daalyman05 @ Nov 30 2006, 22:13)
For zmod1 you textures must be bmp, and flip horizontally.

So (please correct me if I'm wrong) this would be the things I have to do

Convert the txd file into a bmp
Place it in the same folder as the dff
Import the dff in Zmod
Add the lights
Export the dff

How do I convert a txd in a bmp?

Btw I'm using Zmodeler 2.0.8 (Build 897)

Daalyman05
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#29

Posted 02 December 2006 - 03:11 AM Edited by Daalyman05, 02 December 2006 - 08:56 PM.

Ok then no need to make them bmp or flip them if you are using zmod2.
Use a program named imgtool open your txd in this
program and choose the export all textures as tga format to your folder
that has the dff for that txd.
Then you would use another program named txdworkshop which you would use to make a new txd, with the textures you made.

Ok i'm going to ask this question, so dont get mad.
You do know that inside every txd there are textures in it right?
When i posted extract the textures from the txd, i meant use the
txdworkshop like you have done, sorry for the misunderstanding.
Your textures that you make must be the same name as what you used
to add to the bus.dff model.
Also when you add them back into the txd with txdworkshop, you have
to make sure the name is right, and that it doesnt use the alpha
texture, sometimes this will happen and just a small area is white
while the rest is black and it will be transparent, and will give you
that white texture you are seeing on the model in the game.

Jerre
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#30

Posted 02 December 2006 - 12:54 PM

I have the txd files so i think there was no need to extract them from gta3.img

I used txdworkshop to extract all textures from bus.txd to tga files in the same folder as the bus.dff

Then when I loaded bus.dff in Zmod most of the textures loaded on the model but when I export it and add it in the gta3.img with the img tool it still apears white and without textures in the game





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