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Player Model Editing

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ModelingMan
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#1

Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:38 PM Edited by ModelingMan, 05 July 2008 - 11:52 PM.

Character Editing Tutorial
Introduction
Here I am writing a tutorial on how to get your new characters ingame using Blender and Hollower's excellent import/export script. You can get the latest version of Blender from here, and get Hollower's script from this topic.

First of all I am going to explain the main parts of rigging your model, then run you through the steps on how to rig it.
Shortcut keys to use in Blender
A - Selects/Deselects everything that is currently on the screen.

B - Use this to select objects or vertices with the use of the mouse.

R - Rotates the current selected object(s)/vertice(s).

S - Use this to scale objects and vertices.

MouseWheel - Zoom.

CTRL + MouseWheel - Pans the view horizontally.

SHIFT + MouseWheel - Pans the view vertically.

NumPad Arrows(2, 4, 6 and 8) - Rotates the view.

NumPad 1 - Front view.

NumPad 3 - Side view.

NumPad 5 - Switching between orthographic and perspective views.

NumPad 7 - Top view.
Running Hollower's Script (GTA_IE_01c.py)
To run the script you need to change the current window view. You'll notice this little button on the screen:
user posted image
if you click on it a pop-up menu will appear, select "Text Editor". You should be looking at a blank grey screen. Now you can open the script by selecting it from the File->Open menu. Once the script is open you should see text on the screen, to run it either press ALT+P or select "Run Python Script" from the File menu.
The Import/Export Tool
After running the script you will see a new window, this window is, as you can see, where you import and export your model. Here is a quick explanation of everything you see on the screen:

FileName - Your DFF model filename. (On export your model will be named the current filename along with a number e.g. Cop.dff would be exported as Cop1.dff, if CopX.dff exists then it will be named with the next number)

Texture Path - Where the texture is found(NOTE: It's easier to have the texture in the same path as the DFF).

Import - Imports the selected model.

msplit - Material Split, press this button if you exported the model from Zmodeler.

bpatch - This is used to make a bone patch(*.bp) file, which is used in the exporting of a model. These bone patches are made by importing an original Vice City player or pedestrian model.

Export - Exports the selected mesh.

Presets(Pop-up Menu) - In this case you would select "VC Human".

uvtex, prelit, modulate and normals - No need to worry about these.

z-lock - This adds a Zmodeler-Lock to your model (Not recommeneded)
Different Modes in Blender
There are a few different modes in Blender that you will need to use, these include "Object Mode", "Edit Mode", "Weight Paint" and "Pose Mode". Here is some brief descriptions of each mode:

Object Mode - Similar to Zmodeler's object mode.

Edit Mode - This is where you edit the model, create vertex groups, etc. Similar to vertices mode in Zmodeler.

Weight Paint - This mode is for Bone weight, here you adjust the strength of vertices in each vertex group.

Pose Mode - When the skeleton(armature) is selected you can switch into Pose Mode and see how the model deform's when parts of the body move.
Opening The TommySkeleton
To open Hollower's TommySkeleton select "File->Append..." and select TommySkeleton.blend from the same folder as the script, once you click on the file you will see a list, select Object, then TommySkeleton and then load it by clicking "Load Library". You will now see a skeleton which is refered to as an armature, this is needed when exporting a custom model.
Parenting
Parenting is one of the important parts of rigging a model. Parenting is needed to make the main model the parent of the Root bone and TommySkeleton the parent of the main model. To parent an object first select the child(eg. Root bone) by right clicking on it, then, while holding down SHIFT, right click on the parent(e.g. main model). After that select "Object->Parent->Make Parent...". If you are parenting the main model with the Root bone then select "Make Parent..." from the pop up menu, but if you are parenting the TommySkeleton with the main model then select "Use Armture" then select either "Name Groups" or "Create From Closet Bones".
Vertex Groups
Vertex groups are a set of vertices assigned to a vertex group/bone, these vertex groups determine what parts of the model moves with the corresponding bone. If you selected "Create From Closet Bones" when parenting then Blender automatically creates the vertex groups, but you are not guaranteed a great result. Here is an example from the cop. The vertices that are selected are assigned to the "R Upperarm" vertex group:
user posted image
When an animation ingame moves the right upperarm these are the vertices that move.

To create vertex groups first select the vertices that you want to assign to a vertex group. Then find this, the red parts are important:
user posted image
Time for more explanation:

Weight - The level of bone weight for the selected vertices. This is used when the vertices are assigned to a group.(You are best not to use this, "Weight Paint" is better to use)

New - This is used to create a new group(not needed).

Delete - Deletes the current selected vertex group name(not needed).

Assign - Assigns the selected vertices to the selected vertex group.

Remove - Removes the selected vertices from the selected vertex group.

Select - Selects the vertices of the current selected vertex group.

Desel. - Deselects the vertices of the current selected vertex group.

After you have selected the vertices you want, "Assign" them to the correct vertex group.
Bone Weight
Bone weight determines how strong each vertice moves ingame. Bone weight ranges from 0.000(blue) to 1.000(red). Sometimes you can be lucky and not have to edit the bone weight, but it's recommended that you do to get the best result. Here is an example of what bone weight looks like in Blender:
user posted image

To adjust the bone weight you would enter "Weight Paint" mode. Once you switch to that mode you are able to select any vertex group to view/edit it's current bone weight. To paint the weight onto a model all you do is click on the part of the model you want to paint. To change the strength you would adjust this:
user posted image

Have a look at an original player or pedestrian model for help with bone weight.

You should take your time with bone weight and try to get it perfect for the best result.
Pose Mode
Pose mode is used for viewing the movement of your model, it can be of good use when you have created your vertex groups and edited the bone weight. Here's an example of what Pose Mode looks like:
user posted image

It's easy to use, just right click on the part you want to see move, then use rotate to move the selected body part, once you are finished viewing the movement right click to stop the rotation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Setting Up Your Model Before Importing
Before importing your model you should do the following:

1. Set your model in the same position as an original player/pedestrian model.

2. Make sure your model is one mesh/object.

3. Name the mesh Root.

4. Make sure your model has one texture.

5. Make sure your model and it's axis is centered (there is a chance of the model appearing sideways ingame if you don't).
2. Importing
First you should import an original model, preferebly Tommy, so that you can import the bones and make the bone patch file. After you import Tommy switch back into 3D View and delete Tommy's mesh (right click and press delete). Now go back into the Import/Export Tool and import your model, remember to use msplit.
3. Parenting
Before loading the TommySkeleton you should make the main model the parent of the Root bone (I have already explained how to do it). Once you have made the main model parent you can now open/append the TommySkeleton. Does your model match TommySkeleton? If not you should edit the model until it does. If it does match then you can continue. Right clcik on the model then hold down SHIFT and right click the TommySkeleton. Both the model and the skeleton should be selected, but the skeleton should be a lighter shade of pink. Now make the skeleton the parent of the model, you can select "Name Groups" or "Create From Closet Bones", I would recommend using "Name Groups" so you can get the best result.
3. Creating Vertex Groups
Now it's time for you to assign every vertice to the correct group. Easiest way to do this is to zoom right into the section of the body you are working on.

Remeber to use Pose Mode.

(Reminder - I have already explained how to create vertex groups).
4. Editing Bone Weight
After you have assigned every vertice to a group you can now work on the bone weight. This is the part where you MUST take your time so you get the best result. Remember to use less strength on the model's joints.
5. Making sure that the model is ready to export
At this point you should check to make sure that you have done everything correctly. The best way to see is to use Pose Mode, and move every part of the body to see if they rotate properly.
6. Exporting
Before you export your model copy the bone patch file, that was made when you imported an original model, to the same folder as your custom model. The bone patch file will be found in the same folder as the original model that you had imported earlier. Make sure you rename it to the same as your model filename (e.g. myplayer.dff, bone patch file would be named myplayer.bp). Again before you export make sure the filename is your custom model and you have "VC Human" selected in the presets. Now you can export your model. When you click export you should see this message(if it went successfully):

Loading bone patch: c:\example.bp
Exporting 1 meshes, 24 dummies
X bytes written to c:\example1.dff


If the message is different then you have a problem, check if you done everything correctly then try again. If you still have a problem then post here with the exact message so I (or anyone else) can help.
7. Import to GTA3.IMG
If everything went smoothly then you can import your model and test it out ingame. If the model has a problem ingame and your unable to fix it then post here with an image of the model ingame so I can see the problem. If the model works perfect then well done.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hope this is understandable. I know there isn't much images but I don't think they are needed.

If you have problems post them here and I'll try to help.

Good luck and enjoy.

Demarest
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#2

Posted 29 June 2004 - 02:59 PM

Topic title and description modified to author's specifications.

The Mighty ModelingMan coming through with shining colors as per usual. smile.gif

BenMillard
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#3

Posted 29 June 2004 - 03:32 PM Edited by Impact, 29 June 2004 - 07:01 PM.

Why must people mess up thier good tutorials by throwing tables all over them? If you took it out of the tables there would be more horizontal width for the text to be displayed in, plus your specific choice of message font would be applied to the whole tutorial rather than just those bits outside of the table. Furthermore, you could use the underlined SIZE=5 titles and have a bit of consistancy with the other great tutorials.

This has killer subject matter but confusing it amongst a barrage of needless borders and backgrounds just makes it even harder to follow than the complex ideas and methods it deals with would be anyway. IMHO, of course.

(EDIT) Here's how I would present it:
QUOTE
Original Author, ModelingMan, Requested Removal


Simply quote this post to get all the code. There are some typos that I havn't fixed, lots of clumsy grammar I havn't fixed and some rather dodgy punctuation. Just needs to be forced through the CerbFilter6000® before you can really call it totally complete.

ModelingMan
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#4

Posted 29 June 2004 - 04:35 PM

Why are you wasting your time on fixing this? I am not going to use your modified version, I'll present the way I want. I still appreciate your attempt to make it look better.

Only reason why there is grammer and punctuations mistakes is because I didn't read over it after I finished typing it out, plus I kind of rushed it.

I would never consider this completed, I will eventually update it with all mistakes corrected.

Andrew
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#5

Posted 29 June 2004 - 05:17 PM

May I just say, you are da man. I've been waiting for something like this. Thank you.

BenMillard
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#6

Posted 29 June 2004 - 06:30 PM Edited by Cerbera, 29 June 2004 - 06:35 PM.

QUOTE (ModelingMan @ Jun 29 2004, 16:35)
Why are you wasting your time on fixing this? I am not going to use your modified version, I'll present the way I want. I still appreciate your attempt to make it look better.

Only reason why there is grammer and punctuations mistakes is because I didn't read over it after I finished typing it out, plus I kind of rushed it.

I would never consider this completed, I will eventually update it with all mistakes corrected.

The way you presented it isn't good. As you've confessed, you rushed it and you apparently didn't even read it through. As it isn't complete, you should be more open to suggestions about ways it could be improved. My alterations display the information much more clearly, which is paramount when writing tutorials. Even says so in the pinned guidelines thread...or words to that effect. smile.gif

The big section of numbered points inside numbered points is thoroughly impallatable, my system of splitting the major numbers into large headings and lesser numbers into smaller ones makes it clearer. You actually have a numbered list within this layered list as well, which I've altered to be a lettered list because three layers of integers really isn't people-friendly!

92F
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#7

Posted 01 July 2004 - 12:16 AM Edited by 92F, 01 July 2004 - 12:55 AM.

Excellent work MM smile.gif

Thanks to you i'll be able to get a biker player made(bike helmet etc)

*offtopic* I just found out yer from bonnie Scotland, where bouts are you? im south 13miles from Dundee in a small town called Montrose*offtopic*

BenMillard
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#8

Posted 01 July 2004 - 05:16 PM

I demand the contents of my post be re-instated. I was the author of that post, not modellingman and the plainer formatting I used was better than the cluttered formatting he has used. I demand that the content be replaced immediatly as there was no right for all that error-fixing work by me to be removed without so much as a PM containing the material being sent to me. Since when was helping fellow members of the modifier community a crime?! notify.gif

ModelingMan
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#9

Posted 01 July 2004 - 08:55 PM

QUOTE (By gansta killa Posted on Jun 29 2004 @ 18:17)
May I just say, you are da man. I've been waiting for something like this. Thank you.

QUOTE (By 92F Posted on Jul 1 2004 @ 01:16)
Excellent work MM smile.gif

Thanks to you i'll be able to get a biker player made(bike helmet etc)

I'm glad you appreciate my work, I should have written this sooner as I have had a few requests asking me to rig other members models.

QUOTE (By 92F Posted on Jul 1 2004 @ 01:16)
*offtopic* I just found out yer from bonnie Scotland, where bouts are you? im south 13miles from Dundee in a small town called Montrose*offtopic*

I live in Glasgow. I've never heard of Montrose, I don't really know the upper parts of Scotland.

[/offtopic]

QUOTE (By Cerbera Posted on Jul 1 2004 @ 18:16)
I demand the contents of my post be re-instated.

Why? So it can clog up this thread. Seems pretty pointless to me, as I would never use your so called "better" version.

QUOTE (By Cerbera Posted on Jul 1 2004 @ 18:16)
I was the author of that post

Yes but I am the author of the tutorial so I can request that MY tutorial be removed from your post.

BenMillard
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#10

Posted 03 July 2004 - 09:25 AM

QUOTE (ModelingMan @ Jul 1 2004, 20:55)
QUOTE (By Cerbera Posted on Jul 1 2004 @  18:16)
I demand the contents of my post be re-instated.
Why? So it can clog up this thread. Seems pretty pointless to me, as I would never use your so called "better" version.

QUOTE (By Cerbera Posted on Jul 1 2004 @ 18:16)
I was the author of that post
Yes but I am the author of the tutorial so I can request that MY tutorial be removed from your post.
If you were adamant that you didn't want your tutorial to be legible then you only need to explain your reasoning. If you reasons are sound I'll be able to recognise that and will remove it myself. I spent quarter of an hour re-formatting and correcting your tutorial to make it better on your behalf. That was not your quarter of an hour to erase and neither was it the administrators' so my objection stands. I visit the boards far more regularly than the majority of registered users and there is no urgency to this thread so the removal is yet futher unjustified.

The removal of helpful material by staff on the advice of a member who didn't write it is totally unjustifiable. There is no clause in the rules which states that if a member reports the helpful contribution of another member then the helpful contribution will be removed without informing that helpful member, nor supplying them with the work which gets erased.

As that quarter of an hour of my life is likely to have been erased permanently by the careless actions of the anonymously created "Impact" account (which refuses to respond to private messages) I can only hope that the staff review this matter seriously and alter their practises to prevent such a catastrophe in the future. I hope to be informed of what changes they will be making on this sorry matter.

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#11

Posted 03 July 2004 - 06:09 PM

Cerb what the heck are you on about? The original post looks fine, I can't really imagine how you'd improve it other than, *maybe*, a bit of extra vertical space at the end of each section.

And I'd hardly call your post being removed a "catastrophe", and I can't see there being any changes made. You needlessly reposted something that didn't need changing.

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#12

Posted 03 July 2004 - 06:24 PM

Cerb, go lay off the coffee notify.gif this isnt your topic, and neither was Dup's. knock it off.

Thunda
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#13

Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:15 PM

@MM: Great tutorial and very easy to read (contrary to what Cerb says).

@Cerb: Both Dup's and MM's tutorials both looked fine before you wasted your time rewriting them. I'm not going to say either were perfect because they did have minor gramatical errors but come on Cerb. Yet, we all know you had good intentions.

All people who make tutorials and don't want people to rewrite their tutorials should put a little note at the bottom saying so.

CODE
[b][i][color=red]Cerb and others this tutorial is fine and readable so please do not waste your time by rewriting this because I'm not going to use it.[/color][/i][/b]


Yet, if you want Cerb or others to rewrite yout tut to make it look better than you should write:

CODE
[b][i][color=red]Cerb and others please rewrite this tutorial and make it look spiffy and clean.[/color][/i][/b]


Sorry for taking up space in your topic Mm but we should really put these little notes at the bottom to stop people of wasting precious time on rewriting our tutorials.

-Payce OuT- BrIaN}

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#14

Posted 09 July 2004 - 03:44 AM

i think it reads fine.
a few q's though when doing ones own model in zmod would i export as dff still or something else?
also if i wanted the model like say for example tommy to retexture some of the face's to go with differant parts of the texture would i do that in zmode then export as dff and go with how you say to set it up in blender?
cause the retextureing in blender has it go back to the original place they where first assigned too.
thanks for any help and like i said it reads fine.

ModelingMan
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#15

Posted 09 July 2004 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE (By DAALYMAN Posted on Jul 9 2004 @ 04:44)
when doing ones own model in zmod would i export as dff still or something else?

Yes, export to DFF.

QUOTE (By DAALYMAN Posted on Jul 9 2004 @ 04:44)
if i wanted the model like say for example tommy to retexture some of the face's to go with differant parts of the texture would i do that in zmode then export as dff and go with how you say to set it up in blender?

Knowing how to texture in Blender would be alot easier, but if you don't know how to then yes you would export it to DFF from ZModeler then go through the rigging process.

wijiwang
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#16

Posted 09 July 2004 - 10:32 PM

any chance of a better looking (higher poly) version of tommy coming our way?

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#17

Posted 09 July 2004 - 11:44 PM

I get an error when loading the script into Blender. Its pretty annoying.

Im working on adding something to the Tommy model. I've already modeled it, just need to add it. Could you tell me how to import tommy into Zmod and then i can take it from there. When i try importing 'player.dff', zmod crashes. And i can't load it into Blender becasue the script doesen't want to work.

Great work on the tutorial though! Im eagar to make my own player model!

ModelingMan
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#18

Posted 10 July 2004 - 01:00 AM

Well here is a Tommy model that will import to Zmodeler:

user posted image

But the thing is, you would need to go through the rigging process in Blender before it will work ingame.

QUOTE
I get an error when loading the script into Blender. Its pretty annoying.

Maybe post that error message and I'll see if I can help you out.

commando
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#19

Posted 10 July 2004 - 01:09 AM Edited by commando, 10 July 2004 - 01:20 AM.

Dup to load the dff in zmod you need to open the dff first with rw analizer and then look for the HAnim PLG sections and delete them all then save and open in zmod.

Like you see here:
user posted image

EDIT:MM more faster.Well i think this can be usefull.

ModelingMan
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#20

Posted 10 July 2004 - 07:51 AM

He won't have to, I already provided a link to the one I did, but yes it's more useful to know that.

@Dup: This will delete the bone structure, in Zmodeler the bones will be normal dummies, but to get it back ingame you would need to go through Blender.

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#21

Posted 10 July 2004 - 03:44 PM

Thanks a lot Modelingman! Thats great! Give the man some gold stars!

I know i need to get to Blender at the end, but i want to get my model up and sorted first.

I figured out how to load the script now. Thanks very much for this great tutorial.

mcarthursmydaddy
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#22

Posted 21 July 2004 - 03:32 AM

im getting the error when i try and load the script also, what did u do wront dup

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#23

Posted 21 July 2004 - 07:55 PM

Most of the time people report a problem loading the script to me it is because they are going to File->Open of the main window. That's wrong. You must change to a Text Editor window, which has its own seperate File menu.

Understanding the interface:
http://www.blender.o...htmlI/c631.html

Python scripting:
http://www.blender.o...mlI/c10616.html

...not all of that second link applies to my script. You don't need to do the full installation of Python to use it.

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#24

Posted 25 July 2004 - 11:50 AM

OK; so I've imported a GTA3 model for converting it into VC, and I start moving the pieces so they fit. When I select the 'Slowerarmr' piece (Right arm, lower part), If I try to move/rotate/scale it, the entire human figure moves instead. Any solutions? May I have to start again?

ModelingMan
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#25

Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:24 PM

Remove the player dummy before importing the model.

VGF
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#26

Posted 26 July 2004 - 09:40 AM

QUOTE (ModelingMan)
Remove the player dummy before importing the model.

You mean that big box?

ModelingMan
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#27

Posted 26 July 2004 - 01:53 PM

Not the box, the player dummy, you can delete it in both Blender and Zmodeler, it's the object called "player". You'll find it on layer 5 in Blender or you can find it easily in Zmodeler.

jazza26
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#28

Posted 28 July 2004 - 10:22 AM

modeling i have a question.

great tutorial by the way. wow.gif)

i try exporting my model over to dff but the dummy stays like this Dummy 0

ive followed your intructions but still nothing there is there somthing im missing.


cheers

jazza26

ModelingMan
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#29

Posted 28 July 2004 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE (By jazza26 Posted on Jul 28 2004 @ 11:22)
but the dummy stays like this Dummy 0

I don't quite understand what you mean...

QUOTE (By jazza26 Posted on Jul 28 2004 @ 11:22)
ive followed your intructions but still nothing there is there somthing im missing.

Well I explained everything. If you read every part of the tutorial you should have no problem.

I would like to know if anyone has successfully rigged a player/ped model by using my tutorial and Hollower's script...

secochicken
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#30

Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:40 AM

does anyone know how to change the player model in the mission cutscenes?

whenever i try to do it it freezes. the skin works okay, but it is on the original tommy model, and doesn't "fit" properly. i'm just trying to use the same player.dff as the "in game" one.

i've looked everywhere, but cant find an answer.




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