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Creating Vehicle Collision Data


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user posted image



Tools you will need:














Step 1 - Turn off Read Only


Whenever editing any GTA file, make sure Read Only is turned off. Otherwise you are not going to get anywhere!

To turn off read only:

  • Locate your GTA directory (Default is C:/Program Files/Rockstar Games/*GTA version*)
  • On the 'Rockstar Games' folder, right click and select properties.
  • Uncheck Read-Only
  • Click 'OK' or 'Apply'
  • On the next pop-up choose 'apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files'

Should resemble the screenshot below (both hidden and read-only un-checked):

user posted image

Then the next screen should resemble (bottom option checked):

user posted image



Step 2 - Make and Export Vehicles Vlo


Every GTA model should have a custom vlo mesh. All a Vlo is, is an extremely low poly version of the chassis with a bit of texturing. The vlo is what the game shows looking from a distance and then loads the full model when you get closer. The vlo is the essentail part to making a col file, and its also a great aspect of the perfectly completed model, before the col file obviously :rolleyes:


The vlo should no more than 600 pollies. Now 600 pollies is going to to be quite detailed. Its all down to what you have modeled and who your aiming to the please. But you want to aim for a low as possible. The example im using is 550 pollies.


The vlo does not effect the size of your col file. The vlo is what we are going to use as a guide to create the col. The col program allows us to import any 3D reference, so the vlo is perfect as it covers the shape of the chassis from top to bottom is as little detail as possible.


If you have already made the vlo for your car, just delete all the other objects so only the vlo is the only object. All you need to do then is export the vlo as a .3ds file. This is the format Col-IO imports with. To export from Zmod click on File/Export, choose a folder, create a name and then select the top format in the drop down menu which should be .3ds. Before saving your screen should like this:



user posted image


Step 3 - Import into Col-IO


Importing your 3d reference file into Col-IO is very easy. But to make things a lot smoother and dynamic, doing these these steps will provide an easier base in which to back-up and restore old col files just in case. Accidents do happen :rolleyes:


Right, first open Col-IO. You will be presented with an open window. Go find the [iData folder in your Vice City directory and then select the vehicles.col and click open.



user posted image


You will then be presented with the loaded colfile in the Col-IO interface. Should look like this:



user posted image


Now you need to select the car you are going to be replacing you model with. For this tutorial i am going to be replacing the Moonbeam col file. So on the left pane with the list of car names, scroll down to the car you want to replace. The right pane should then show a graphical representation of the original vice col file. Should look like this:



user posted image


Now you need to export this to its own single col file. To do that, above the right pane with the model showing there is a button called 'Export to new col file' with a red arrow and folder icon. Click that and you will be asked where to save the file. Keep the original models name and then save it to a folder of your choice. Should come up like this:



user posted image


Now, go to the folder where you saved the col file and create a copy with any name you like. Now click 'Open' at the top left above the left pane and select the colfile you have just copried and renamed and click open. The left pane will then just show the name of the col object and will have a new column called generator that displays an icon. Don't worry about that. Your screen should now look like this:



user posted image


Now your ready to do some editing biggrin.gif


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Step 4 - Creating Spheres


Yes, now its down the nitty gritty. There isn't much to the whole thing really. Just a bit of common sense and pateince and you will grasp the whole concept.


Right, as you will notice the col file has different size spheres and a simple blue mesh. The blue mesh is just like the reference .3ds file but stroed in the col. I see no reason why we need to bother with that so i will ignore that method. The spheres are the magic part. they make up the collision factor of your model. They can be overlapped, moved and resized in 3D. A similar style to Zmodeler really.


First things first you need to be made familiar with the controlls inside the 3D view of the col.

  1. To move objects, hold and drag the left mouse button.
  2. To move objects vertically, hold the shift key then hold and drag the left mouse button.
  3. To rotate the view, hold and drag the right mouse button.
  4. To zoom you can use the middle mouse wheel.
Now you can navigate the 3D view its time to edit something for real.

First first thing you need to do is import your 3D reference file. Above the 3D view is a button in the middle called '3ds reference model...', click that and then select the vlo 3ds model you exported from Zmod. Your screen should now look like this:



user posted image


Now as you can see the old col file is a lot different! to waht im replacing it with. This means we need to delete the old col objects, but you might find the reference file is in the way. To get rid of it just go to View and select reference model. Like this:



user posted image


Now you need to delete everything. To do this just click on an object and hit the delete key. Simple. To delete the blue mesh click on the cubes and again hit the delete key. Now go to View and select reference model again so it is shown in the 3D view.


Now to create the spheres and size and align them. This is fairly simple but takes a little patience to get used to the controls.


First go to New and select collision sphere. This will then create a new collision sphere in the 3D view. You might need to rotate round a bit to find it and they usually show up pretty large. The last two steps should look like this:



user posted image


user posted image


Now you need to resize the sphere. First select the sphere (turns a white shade) and then move it next to the reference, make it next to the longest part in height, which is usually from the roof to the bottom. Now to change the size, make sure the sphere is highlighted again and then click in the radius field on the bottom right under the 3D view. The default radius for a new sphere is 2. Change the value to one more or less depending if the sphere is bigger or smaller and then click the apply icon to the right with the green tick (Pressing the enter will not work). Now your sphere should be closer to the size you want.You need to make the size so it will stick out the bottom and top of the reference model slightly, you can drag the sphere inside the reference to check. If the size is not quite right the radius will take decimals. Take it in sequence then. Say a radius of one is too small. Make it 1.5. If that is too large, make it 1.4 and so on.



user posted image


Now you have successfully made and resized a sphere. Nothing needs to be 100% accurate but there is some technicality to how many spheres you create and where you put them. I will talk about this in the next step.


Step 5 - Positioning and Sphere properties


Making spheres and making them fit the reference isn't 100% the finsihed product. In GTA3 and Vice when you hit a certain part of the car, that part becomes damaged and or breaks off. The col file also controls these factors.


It also controls what sound is made when this happens.

So as a result, each of these objects needs to be assigned a sphere and that sphere needs to be positioned in the correct place in relation to where it is on the model. Not as hard as it may sound.


Firstly you need to finish off making all your spheres.

Keep these rules in mind:

  • You need to make spheres stick out slightly, usually at the top, bottom and underside.
  • You don't need to make it 100% perfect.
  • When a sphere is highlighted, you can duplicate it using the Insert key. (It will directly overlap the old sphere so just click and drag on it to reveal it).
  • Using the duplicate you will only really need to do one side and then duplicate each sphere over to the other side.
Now use the reference images below and adjust the style to suit your model.



user posted image



user posted image



user posted image



user posted image


Now there you go, all the spheres a correctly positioned. On the front and rear i would suggest making the middle spheres stick out slightly as if they are too close together, the smaller may not be detected unless hit perfecly ingame making it heard to break the object.


Now, next to the apply and reset buttons you will notice two drop down menus. The top one is for the sound assigned to the sphere, and the bottom one is for the car part assigned to the sphere. In the above images you will notice i have labeled some spheres. This is to aid you in assigning the sphere properties.

You will be wondering why the windscreen sphere is at the front. This is becasue if you put it where the windscreen is, your gonna have to flip the car to break the windscreen, now thats not going to be really effective so sticking it at the front makes more sense. This works for the bonnet and boot spheres too. Then the bumper spheres make make up the rest.


To assign these properties, click the sphere and then in the top drop down menu select the sound. Car metal for everything apart from the windscreen, which is glass. Then in the bottom drom down menu select the approppriate car object. Then click apply (The enter key will not work).


If you have a sphere that does not need an object property, you can select the Chassis option in the second drop down menu.


There you go, thats the spheres setup.


Step 6 - Setting up the Bounding Cube


The bounding cube is a box that fits the size of the car. What this does is tell the game what spheres need to be solid. Anything out the bounding box will not collide. Setting up the bounding box is easy enough.


First go to View and then select bounding cube. You will see the wire frame of a box/cube. All you need to do is align the cube with the spheres and then adjust the size using the values at the bottom next to the radius, just how you treated the spheres, but you need to adjust all 3 dimentions. The same applies where you select the cube so the values appear at the bottom, change them and hit the apply button. Again, pressing enter will not work. It should look like the picture below:



user posted image


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Step 7 - Exporting and Re-Importing the col


Now thats it, you have completed the col file. All you need to do is export it and then re-import it into the vehicles.col file. Pretty easy.


To export it go to the Export to new col file button above the 3D view and then save it over the copied file you made. Easy:


To import it back into the vehciles.col. Open the vehicles.col file and then in the left pane select the col file you want to replace. The under the left pane there is a button which says replace. Select that and then find the col file you have made and click open. There you have it, you have imported the file. Just go down to the model you have replced and check it has worked. You should get a little icon next to the name and your col will be in the 3D view, like this:



user posted image


Now click the export to new col file... above the 3D view and overwrite the vehicles.col.


That is all! Go test ingame and make any revisions if necessary.




I would just like to give big props to ashdexx for showing me how to do this. Big props to him for the inspiration to make the tutorial too.


I would also like to thank Delfi for his excellent tools. Without them id be lost!

Be sure to go to his site to see his range of GTA1, GTA2, GTA3 and Vice tools:

DNK Development


Also, a big shout to Dal for the vlo. Its for my Nissan Cube that his is doing a great job of finishing.


The car in the title image is Suction Testicle Man's Metro. Great model. Get it here.




This tutorial was created by a GTA Lover for GTA lovers alike. Ripping off this tutorial is ripping off a fellow GTA mate and i do not appreciate that in any way. I spent a long time writing this so please have some respect. If you do wish to post or copy this tutorial on another site/forum, please contact me for consent and i expect full credit.


If there is anything i have missed, any typos or something blatantly wrong with this tutorial. Please contact me or post in this thread.


Happy Modding!


Edited by Dup
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