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A question about GTA: San Andreas mapping

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XaviHernandez
  • XaviHernandez

    Big SA fan with the head full of ideas.

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#1

Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:06 PM

Hello, I'm planning to make map mod for GTA: San Andreas and I've read some documentaries about how the map system works and the objects placement on the map. However, I've got a few questions for you:

 

1. While creating terrain using Sandbox tool for Sketchup, how do I know if the plane will not be too big ingame? Does it need any collision file? If it's not a problem, I'd like to ask some advanced modellers to give me some advice how to create terrain for SA.
 

2. After making models (I will be using both 3ds Max and Sketchup), should I import them to gta3.img or should I make new file? (If I should make a new .img please tell me the archive limit so I don't get crashes or stuff)

 

3. What could be the symptom of my model that is not showing in game? There's a situation that it HAS the collision file (player can feel it, he collides to invinsible walls) and I can see it in the Map Editor, but not ingame...

 

That's all I would like to know (for now). If it's not a big problem, please answer these questions and... don't discourage me, because in my mind's eye I can see very good conversion and I have some big plans about it :p

 

That's it, thanks from advance :)


ZAZ
  • ZAZ

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#2

Posted 05 January 2014 - 08:08 AM

1.
a gta-sa coll model is limited to +/- 255.99 units per axis
the Collision File Editor II manage this...
..if you add a collmodel to a collarchiv, which is too big and klick save, then the Editor gives a message to decide if yes or no
and if you click yes, the editor change the collformat into Coll I but Coll III is required, so don't do that

the units are the same as in 3d max
Example:
you have a single flat, it have 4 vertices at the 4 corner
select "editable mesh" > vertex mode
select one vertex, then you can read the coords at the bottom (xyz display)

the left/upper vertex can have max x: -255.9, y: 255.9
the right/upper vertex can have max x: 255.9, y: 255.9
the left/lower vertex can have max x: -255.9, y: -255.9
the right/lower vertex can have max x: 255.9, y: -255.9
same for the z-coords

Making colfile:
When your model is ready and size is ok, then make shure that only that model is available in 3dmax and nothing else
then use 3dmax-export function, export it as *.3ds
Then open Colleditor and open an existing coll file or create a new
then choose "Edit" > "ADD" and add the *.3ds

Important:
The collmodel inside the coll file must have same name as the dff model
The coll file is an archiv and can have any name


2.
Can you do as you like, important is, that you run "Rebuild Archive"
the work is easier, if you have an extra img, must be done by adding load entry into gta.dat
the amount of img loads is limited to 4 but there exist a tool to increase it
excluding gta3.img, gta_int.img, player.img, these are loaded autom. as well as the cuts.img


3.
How doeas MapEditor 0.32 show it?
Could you post a screenshot of your model

wrong center position of colmodel to dff model, can you see in mapeditor or use DFF Viewer to view it
size of col model don't fits size of dff model (unvisible at certain view angle)
polygons are inverted, showing backface (ide entries have a parameter to make both sides of the faces visible)
Transparence value of material in 3dmax
make shure that all of the models material is: GTA-Material
check the materials sub sections and make shure that transparence have 255 the entry for transparence textur should change to "no image"

XaviHernandez
  • XaviHernandez

    Big SA fan with the head full of ideas.

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#3

Posted 05 January 2014 - 08:19 AM

3.
How doeas MapEditor 0.32 show it?
Could you post a screenshot of your model
 

 

Well, it looked like this (good thing that I've saved the screenshot of this issue):

 

http://postimg.org/image/wv7yihh05/


ZAZ
  • ZAZ

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#4

Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:59 PM Edited by ZAZ, 05 January 2014 - 04:00 PM.

unvisible if viewing from all sides?

Mapeditor shows a red border if object is selected, looks the border ok?

Look for the colmodel in Mapeditor, click in IDE window on col button, does it look ok?

please post the ide line


XaviHernandez
  • XaviHernandez

    Big SA fan with the head full of ideas.

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#5

Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:50 PM

Sorry, but after searching I've just now realised that I don't already have this model, since I've deleted this. I think I know the cause, and in further progress I will just  keep going with trail-end-error method :p

 

Now, here's my point:

I have downloaded GTA: Criminal Russia mod and I'm trying to pattern myself on the creators. I think I will do everything same way as CR creators did; learning the structure of models they've made and trying to use the knowledge. 

 

I have two questions:

 

1. how can I exactly start mapping terrain? Recently I saw an article on GTAForums about mapping in Sandbox tool in Sketchup, but I'd like to know if there's  better way to do it. 

2. I have an exact plan how would the final map look like. if I finally do some terrain models and try to put it in game, how do I know if there will be space for other models or will it be in the right place on map? Maybe I should work with coordinates? 

 

Thank you for advance for every support that you give to me, because I would be very happy if I managed to do my desired map for SA.


ZAZ
  • ZAZ

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#6

Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:32 AM Edited by ZAZ, 12 January 2014 - 07:38 AM.

Your first edit should be to add an Item Placement to *.ipl file of map folder

The ipl and ide files (Lae.ide, Lae.ipl) are just plain text files and editable with notepad.exe
An advanced texteditor is better and more comfortable, for example sannybuilder or notepad++ can you get for free
A "must have tool" for mapmodding is the MapEditor
read Item_Definition and IPL Definitions

Open GTA SA\data\maps\LA\LAe2.IPL with texteditor
The ipl file beginns with "inst" and as follwing the normal item placements till the list ends with "end", to close the "inst" section

inst
17582, stadtplaza_lae2, 0, 2739.21875, -1770.085938, 17.5546875, 0, 0, -0.999048233, 0.04361938313, -1
end

 
The LAe2.IPL have a lot item placements in the "inst" section,so it's a long list
scroll down to the end of "inst" section
there should you find these lines:

710, vgs_palm01, 0, 2730.046875, -1191.328125, 83.5859375, 0, 0, -0.9762960076, -0.2164396197, -1
end

add there a line for placement of the explosive Barrel4
 

710, vgs_palm01, 0, 2730.046875, -1191.328125, 83.5859375, 0, 0, -0.9762960076, -0.2164396197, -1
1225, barrel4, 0, 2486.3, -1678.5, 12.8, 0, 0, 0, 1, -1
end

add placements always to the end of the "inst" section
the explosive barrel is placed in Grovestreet, beside of CJ's house
now test it ingame
 

Basic informations:
Every model (actor, car, weapons, object (Buildings, Landscapes, tuningparts are also objects) must be defined and have an ID number
actors in data\peds.ide
cars in data\vehicles.ide
weapons in data\default.ide
tuningparts in data\ maps\veh_mods\veh_mods.ide

Buildings, Landscapes and other objects in a lot of files separated in different folders of data\ maps folder

data\maps\generic contains ide and ipl files for small objects for the gameplay like doors, hydrant, shark ect...
data\maps\interior contains ide and ipl files for interior rooms and their accessory
data\maps\country contains ide and ipl files for Buildings and Landscapes of the country as well of area51
data\maps\LA contains ide and ipl files for Buildings and Landscapes of Los Santos
data\maps\SF contains ide and ipl files for Buildings and Landscapes of San fierro
data\maps\Vagas contains ide and ipl files for Buildings and Landscapes of Las Venturas
data\maps\leveldes contains ide and ipl files for the seabeds and for the Liberty City interior world

 

GTA San Andreas Root Directory
|_anim
|_audio
|
|__data |
. . |__Decision
. . |__Icons
. . |__maps
. . . |
. . . |_country (country ide and ipl)
. . . |_generic (dynamic and gameplay objects ide)
. . . |_interior (interior and interior properties ide and ipl)
. . . |_LA (Los Santos ide and ipl)
. . . |_leveldes (Seabed and LC world and special objects ide and ipl)
. . . |_SF (San Fierro ide and ipl)
. . . |_vegas (Las Venturas ide and ipl)
. . . |_veh_mods (vehicle Tuningparts ide)
. .
. .
. .
. . gta.dat ("Master file" in txt format: List to load IMG, IDE and IPL files)
. . default.ide (weapon ide)
. . peds.ide (pedestrians, charackter ide)
. . vehicles.ide (vehicles ide)
. . timecyc.dat (Weather, Game Colouring)
. . object.dat (dynamic, script and special object settings)
. . water.dat (water cube coordinates)
. . weapon.dat (weapon settings)
.
.
.
.
|__models
.
.. gta3.img
.. gta_int.img
.. cutscene.img
.. player.img

The ide and ipl files need to be loaded and requires to insert their filepath (relativ to game root directory) into data\gta.dat
Same for img archivs
Exceptions:
gta3.img, gta_int.img, player.img, peds.ide, vehicles.ide, default.ide are loaded automatcal and don't need to add the path in gta.dat

The most important content of ide lines are
Model ID number/Model name/Texture name
these 3 entries, separeted by comma define the model and allocates the dff file with txd file to an ID number

the ide line contains also more entries, which can be different, each if it is a ped, weapon, vehicle or map object

the meaning of the entries for map objects is:

ID number, modelname, Texturepack, viewdistance, flag
example: 

1211, fire_hydrant, dynhydrent, 40, 128

The models itself must be placed in an img archiv and each model must have a *.dff file(3d model), a *.txd file(textures) and a *.col file(collisions model)
A *.col file is an archiv which can contain one more collisions models
the name of the collisions model must be the same as the name of the *.dff file but the *.col file archiv can have any name



The ide files have sections
the normal object definitions are placed between
objs and end
example:

objs
1211, fire_hydrant, dynhydrent, 40, 128
end

-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
The ipl files have sections
the normal object placements are placed between
inst and end
example:

inst
17582, stadtplaza_lae2, 0, 2739.21875, -1770.085938, 17.5546875, 0, 0, -0.999048233, 0.04361938313, -1
end

there're additional sections, mostly empty or the sections for garages or enex have entries
garage entry to define garage area in grovestreet:

grge
2502.31, -1699.36, 12.4323, 2508.61, -1699.36, 2502.31, -1691.01, 16.5666, 1, 16, cjsafe
end

enex entry to place enex (yellow triangle for teleport into interior)

enex
2309.62, -1643.63, 13.8385, 0, 1.6, 1.6, 8, 2308.12, -1643.63, 13.8385, 93, 0, 260, "BAR2", 0, 2, 0, 24
end

Stream.ipl
 
The most part of the item placements are inside of the "stream.ipl" files
These files are placed in gta3.img as well in gta_int.img
These files are assigned by the filename to the ipl files of maps folder
Example:
data\maps\LA\LAe2.IPL is the base ipl
and the assigned "stream.ipl" files are:
lae2_stream0.ipl
lae2_stream1.ipl
lae2_stream2.ipl
lae2_stream3.ipl
lae2_stream4.ipl
lae2_stream5.ipl
lae2_stream6.ipl

the "stream.ipl" files are in binary format, not plaintext
it needs first to extract these files from gta3.img with img tool
then use Binary IPL (De)Compiler to convert the "stream.ipl" into text format as well as back into binary format


Frank.s
  • Frank.s

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#7

Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:35 PM

Quick tip: Don't use Sketchup. Model it exclusively in 3dsmax (and cityscape if you wanna be lazy about it). :p





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