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[WIP] IPL Editor

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tonywob
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#91

Posted 23 November 2005 - 05:10 PM

Not much in the way of updates this week as I have been busy with work, here are a couple of screen grabs of San Andreas map editting. This one is editing the Interior of Libery City and Saint Marks.
user posted imageuser posted image

I've added a couple of extra tools, such as TXD viewer and DFF Object viewer
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image

Also, it seems to work quite well with user mods such as the Liberty City mod for San Andreas

user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image

You can drag using the mouse, however it acts very strangely sometimes, and I need to find a better way of doing it. If any OpenGL programmers out there can offer any advice then please do. I haven't done much work on the image archiver, I will work on it after I have an alpha release out. I've got a couple of things to tidy up and troubleshoot, and then I will post a download link

aad
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#92

Posted 23 November 2005 - 05:17 PM

Nice work Men.
Hopefully the main thing works, adding a custom object to the game like moomapper used to do. and then placing it on the map. biggrin.gif

Kurropt Antagonist
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#93

Posted 23 November 2005 - 05:37 PM

Wow. This is what I miss when I decide not to check out the Editing Discussion section for a couple of months. Looks fantasic. Great work and good luck. biggrin.gif

wauzie
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#94

Posted 23 November 2005 - 08:11 PM

Great work man smile.gif . I can't wait to use your tool biggrin.gif .

BenMillard
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#95

Posted 23 November 2005 - 08:26 PM Edited by Cerbera, 06 December 2005 - 09:43 AM.

What are you talking about? You've made loads of changes! tounge.gif I'll scribble out a quick interface review but I'm by no means an expert.

The new toolbar and menu bar have neatened up the top of the program a lot. It will be a lot easier to discover the program functions when they are placed in the familiar structure of a menu bar. However, the order of the items is not particularly conventional. I'd suggest the unconventional "Items" menu be placed after the conventional sequence of "File, Edit, View" so they don't click the "Items" menu expecting to see an "Edit" menu.

I'd suggest using a larger gap between the dropdown for Time and the label for Distance. I would also suggest using text or using icons in the toolbar as it currently seems like the icons are a control and the text is a label, or some type of status message. Using native graphics and button styles will help users understand the interface faster. Flat buttons with custom icons are pretty but are not as practical as having 3D Windows buttons with Windows icons. Command buttons shouldn't really have icons, imho, since it confuses their design with the toolbar buttons.

You don't need to repeat the active tab bar title inside the tab bar area, imho. It just takes up space. Since it doesn't match the tab bar title and there are no other entitled sections in the tab area, it's a bit confusing. I would suggest using frames if controls need to be grouped up inside a tab area as that is the more conventional way to do it. Well, in Windows it is and that's what all but a few users will be running.

Your dialogue windows are very large, although they are resizable. I'd suggest setting up all the default sizes so the program is comfortable to use on an 800 x 600 desktop at the largest. That way people using smaller desktops won't have the windows falling off the edge of their screen. By saving any window size and position changes to a preferences file it prevent users of bigger desktops having to put up with resizing tiny windows. smile.gif


(EDIT) Oh, just noticed the XYZ position in the status bar. Amongst other GTA mapping programs, the XYZ position is usually aligned to the right of the window. It is normally written in a single panel using standard coordinate notation: (x,y,z) This is how common programs like MS Paint handle current position, so it seems like a pretty solid convention.

I would remove the colons from grid titles as they just waste space. Removing them allows the columns to be resized a little smaller without the title getting truncated. They also make the titles look a bit cleaner and it's one less character to worry about if you have any grids whose titles are set in the code.

Alizee
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#96

Posted 24 November 2005 - 01:49 PM

Good work !

tonywob
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#97

Posted 24 November 2005 - 05:04 PM

@ Cerbera
Thanks for all your input, it's much appreciated smile.gif (I've added an acknowledgement into the about dialog box along with a few others). I've taken your advice and altered the interface a little, as shown in the screenshots below.

user posted imageuser posted image

Again, as a matter of taste, I simply prefer to have icons in the standard dialog buttons, but I can see your point. Toolbar icons have labels by default, and I think it makes it easier to know what your clicking on. Saving Dialog box positions and sizes is definitely a good idea, and I will be adding this to the todo list. All buttons and toolbars have tooltips and status tips to make navigation easier.

Item selection is working a little bit better now, as long as you always select the bottom of the object and drag it, example in Ocean Drive (Vice City), you should always drag the lighthouse from the bottom as opposed to the top. I am sure there is some mathematical work around for this, but I am yet to discover it. I've tried all sorts of different techniques and this one seems to work best.

I am no longer developing this on a Mac, as it was getting too much of a pain in the arse converting endian, adjusting dialogs ,etc. Although it still compiles and runs, some dialogs are a funny size.

I'm nearly there, a couple of minor things need adding and then I will post it.

P.S. Anyone know a good place to host this!!

GT-1
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#98

Posted 24 November 2005 - 05:40 PM

You could host it up on GTAGarage.com in the Misc --> Other section of the website. Tools were going to be hosted elsewhere but its fine by me to upload it there, Spookie's IMG Tool is up there anywho. I'll accept it and all should be fine.

Maybe a small piece of news for the network wouldn't go amiss, as it would be nice to finally see a map editor released for San An etc. smile.gif

Alizee
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#99

Posted 25 November 2005 - 07:20 AM Edited by Alizee, 25 November 2005 - 10:57 AM.

Mailing this tool me =) It's best host =)) realy =)
cool.gif
www.webfile.ru - best place for this
or gtagarage.com

BenMillard
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#100

Posted 25 November 2005 - 01:18 PM Edited by Cerbera, 25 November 2005 - 01:25 PM.

GTAGarage is definitely the first choice for hosting GTA stuff. It's the only website I know of which actively tries to protect the rights of original authors. It is reliable and fast, too. When you release it, I'll add an entry into my GTASA Important Editors table. That table is going to be re-organised so it starts with the tool, lists the files it can edit, then describes the tool.

The interface tweaks are looking good; making the dialogue buttons use 3D button styles makes them look a lot more clickable. I'd suggest changing the location of the buttons for editing the Control Panel lists, though. It is conventional to place edit buttons for lists to the right of the list, so they are next to the data they are editing. In that sidebar there isn't space for this but placing them below the list would mean they are next to the data. Placing them above the list makes them seem somewhat unrelated to the list - particularly the set of buttons below the first list but above the tabs of the second list.

I would also suggest giving those elements a bit more spacing. Filling all the space with controls makes the interface feel crowded and prevents controls from seeming to be associated with other controls. Your dialogue windows use clear space nicely, although they are perhaps a bit too generous with it vertically? 120 twips is the standard spacing for Windows controls.

Another minor point is the alternate shading of the sidebar lists. In such narrow lists, shading does not make much difference. In some themes, that shading will make it seem like a multiple selection of every other item has been made, which could cause confusion. In very wide grids (full screen width) with narrow columns it is useful, but in normal lists it might not be.

These tweaks could wait until after the first release, as they are pretty minor. smile.gif BTW, don't stress too much over item dragging. MooMapper and KEd had pretty dodgy item dragging but people managed fine with it. It's extremely complicated to calculate 3D movement from a 2D input and people don't mind a little innaccuracy.


(EDIT) Have you thought of a name for it? How about "Tony's IPL Editor" or "TIPLE" for short. tounge.gif

Fireman
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#101

Posted 26 November 2005 - 09:22 AM

Man, this is great! I can't wait to try it out makes things a lot easier -Slurp Slurp, Hmmm... Sprunk!

Alizee
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#102

Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:30 AM

Man ?! Where are you ???
Posting this in russian journal this cite
www.igromania.ru

JostVice
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#103

Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:31 PM

oh!! it's fantastyc! I can't wait biggrin.gif

You have thought a windows version? notify.gif

GT.Killer
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#104

Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:55 PM

lol.. only version is windows version..

tonywob
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#105

Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:31 PM

Yep only version is for Windows, if it runs GTA then it will run this smile.gif

Just creating an installer, expect v0.1 in the next few days, I'll try and post it on gtagarage.com.


Knife
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#106

Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:40 PM

You should submit it now (if you haven't allready) and then upload the program when its ready.

paul gilbert
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#107

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:56 AM

i have never created any mods (i just install them), so will this editor be easy to use for a guy like me ,i mean will it be like using the warcraft 3 editor for ex?

tonywob
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#108

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (paul gilbert @ Nov 30 2005, 09:56)
i have never created any mods (i just install them), so will this editor be easy to use for a guy like me ,i mean will it be like using the warcraft 3 editor for ex?

For a newbie, short answer is No. Especially in this release, because you will need to know how to add objects to an image archive, convert models into DFF format, create your own TXD, and COL files. There are some excellent tutorials throughout this forum.

It is extremely easy to move objects around, or to add existing objects like a new tree. But inserting your own objects requires a fairly good understanding

At its most basic, all this program enables you to do is select an Item Definition and place it on the map. It also will allow you to create your own Item Definitions with files that are already in the image archive. It isn't very user friendly at the moment, and there are several things that sometimes just don't work.

I find it works best with Vice City, everything looks as it should and its fast. In San Andreas, you can move Binary IPL entries around, but they won't be saved. Also, the San Andreas engine does alot of its own effects like reflection and shadows, so the models look a bit plastic.

It took me around 5 minutes to add a house into the middle of Grove Street and surround it by lights and trees. It also took me around 10 minutes to add new roads to Ocean Drive in Vice City.

I also have a feeling that alot of people will complain about the way you move around the map. In MooMapper you dragged and rotated the map using the mouse, double-clicking on a object would focus on it. In MapEditor, you navigate the map like you navigate around the game, or Steve-M's mapViewer. You look at the position you want to go to and hold down W or S to move forward or back. It works really well when you get used to it, and allows you to get really close up to the objects you are editing and view them exactly as you would in the game. Also, inserting objects, and copy and paste work really well, simply right-click on the area or object and you get a context menu, allowing you to create new, copy, paste or delete objects at the current mouse position.

One or two problems with blending in San Andreas at the moment, so some objects may flicker. Sorry, I am fairly new to programming in OpenGL confused.gif





paul gilbert
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#109

Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:12 PM

well, i hope i finish reading the tutorials on the forum before the first release (already checked out a few) smile.gif

from people responses and from my understanding this looks like a great editing tool.

good job &goodluck cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif
biggrin.gif

tonywob
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#110

Posted 30 November 2005 - 07:30 PM

Okay, Mod has been approved and there is now a page on gtagarage.com for it under Maps -> Other with a couple of screenshots. I will upload it tomorrow, and add a download link to this thread smile.gif

bigrazzer
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#111

Posted 30 November 2005 - 07:35 PM

wwoooo.. cant wait.. love this mod.. who cares if its not user-friendly.. as long as it works tounge.gif lol.. well i will put the download as a favourites page.. defo download for me!!!!! inlove.gif

wiredwizardz
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#112

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:18 PM

First a big pat on the back for such hard work this tool will open a lot of new doors for the mod scene. I was wondering what other potential it could possibly have such as wiping out all of SA and then uploading say the Liberty City Islands or Vice City or combination of the 2 or even all 3. I am sure there would be other coding issues and or programing that would have to be done but still its a thought. Either way great job in making this tool and thank you as well for doing so.

Wiz

tonywob
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#113

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (wiredwizardz @ Nov 30 2005, 21:18)
First a big pat on the back for such hard work this tool will open a lot of new doors for the mod scene. I was wondering what other potential it could possibly have such as wiping out all of SA and then uploading say the Liberty City Islands or Vice City or combination of the 2 or even all 3. I am sure there would be other coding issues and or programing that would have to be done but still its a thought. Either way great job in making this tool and thank you as well for doing so.

Wiz

Thanks for your comments. It would require a hell of alot of programming to upload another city, since the 3D File formats are different. You could easily change the IPL and IDE file formats. What I would love to add is a 3DS file import, but I can see this being alot of work.

I hope this meets peoples expectations, it is not as stable and as feature rich as I would like it to be at the moment. But it's still early days

wiredwizardz
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#114

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:40 PM

Don't torture yourslef over it Tony you have made a highly anticipated tool that alone should put a perverbial feather in your cap. Be proud lord knows I couldn't achieve what you have done tounge.gif Also since you have gotten the major footwork out of theway anyfurther advancements you add will be that much better. Once again thanks for all your hard work in making this tool a reality.

Wiz

BenMillard
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#115

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:46 PM Edited by Cerbera, 06 December 2005 - 08:55 AM.

For people not familiar with the GTAGarage navigation, here is a link directly to Tony's Map Editor (MEd).

I'm very excited by the development of this tool. So many editors for GTA are created without much thought to the practicalities of real humans having to use them that it's refreshing to see folks like Tony creating professional quality programs with a great attention to detail.

Names which can be abbreviated are great for forums, since people will be more willing to mention them by name. I might start calling "MapEditor" just "MEd" because it's a bit longwinded otherwise. tounge.gif

tonywob
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#116

Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:55 PM Edited by tonywob, 30 November 2005 - 10:04 PM.

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 30 2005, 21:46)
For people not familiar with the GTAGarage navigation, here is a link directly to Tonywob's IPL Editor/MapEditor.  I'm very excited by the development of this professional standard tool.  So many editors for GTA are created without much thought to the practicalities of real humans having to use them that it's refreshing to see folks like Tony creating professional quality programs with a great attention to detail.

Names which can be abbreviated are great for forums, since people will be more willing to mention them by name.  I might start calling "MapEditor" just "MEd" because it's a bit longwinded otherwise. tounge.gif

Okay, file is uploaded. Hope you all enjoy it. Please post bug reports, questions and suggestions to this topic.

A couple of hints for using the program:

* Make sure you drag an object from the bottom as opposed to the top, e.g. Select the bottom of a tree rather than the top
* Save regularly and always backup your files.
* You will need to add your own files to the image archive. This should be fixed in the next few days. Try using imgtool available on the same site as this.
* Only work with one IPL visible at a time (including your own IPL file) to help keep the program running fast.
* In GTA III, if you add extra roads its seems to crash the game. Must be something to do with paths
* If you create a new object as an LOD, it will not visible until you switch your distance to LOD, same goes for Time Controlled Objects
* Disabling 2DFX will speed up rendering, but is useful to take screenshots. Wireframe mode is extremely slow
* Sorry, no binary IPL editing at this moment.
* You cannot edit LODFlags in IPL files yet, this will also be addressed pretty soon.




Tonywob's IPL Editor/MapEditor

BenMillard
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#117

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:29 PM Edited by Cerbera, 20 December 2005 - 08:25 PM.

Could you change the installer so the default install path is the installer's current location, or the current location of the ZIP file it comes in? That would save users having to click through several layers of a lengthy directory list just to tell it to install to where it already is. Users will tend to download editors to where they want to install them. If they don't want to install the program to where it already is, they can use the directory list to set where they do want it.

When you select the folder you want to use from the installer directory list, it appends "\MapEditor" onto the path you choose. If the user wanted to install it in a folder called that, they would have created that folder themselves.

The program filename is called ipleditor.exe but the actual name of the program given in the installer is "MapEditor". These are just some small points but you might look into them for a future release?


(EDIT) It doesn't seem to like my machine. I loaded up GTA3 and it displays objects as a sparse pattern faint grey dots:
user posted image
1600 x 1144, 169kB.

System specs:
AMD Athlon 1400
512 MB DDR RAM (2x 256MB)
64MB GeForce3 Ti 200
Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! (sound card)
Windows XP Service Pack 2

I found the mouse sensitivity much too strong. This mouse has quite a stiff middle button, which makes it doubly difficult to fly around accurately. The general idea of 1st person movement is fine, it's just a bit twitchy with this mouse. Could you add a slider for people to change their mouse sensitivity in this program? I tried holding down CTRL when flying around but it seemed to ignore the mouse input.

On the plus side, the loading bars are very accurate and the objects are actually getting loaded. It's amazing how much is already in place considering this is such an early release! smile.gif

tonywob
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#118

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:36 PM

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 30 2005, 22:29)
Could you change the installer so the default install path is the installer's current location, or the current location of the ZIP file it comes in? That would save users having to click through several layers of a lengthy directory list just to tell it to install to where it already is. Users will tend to download editors to where they want to install them. If they don't want to install the program to where it already is, they can use the directory list to set where they do want it.

When you select the folder you want to use from the installer directory list, it appends "\MapEditor" onto the path you choose. If the user wanted to install it in a folder called that, they would have created that folder themselves.

The program filename is called ipleditor.exe but the actual name of the program given in the installer is "MapEditor". These are just some small points but you might look into them for a future release?

I haven't actually chose a name for it yet confused.gif , so that filenames, etc will change. I will probably just create a zip archive containing the executable and it's DLL file as well as an installer, so people can choose either option.

demonj0e
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#119

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:45 PM

great news well done tony ill be following this topic seeing how the ends out
this certanly will open doors for new mods to appear

tonywob
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#120

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:52 PM Edited by tonywob, 30 November 2005 - 11:26 PM.

@cerbera, ahhh that will be the untested palette extension, I had no way of testing it, and looks like it doesn't work too well confused.gif . Unfortanetly I have no way of testing this at home. What happens in VC and San Andreas?

I forgot to change the instructions, it's actually the Alt key to rotate instead of Ctrl.

Good idea about the mouse sensitivity, I will add that in.




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