Author Topic: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)  (Read 17976 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Warning massive thread below... About fours hours work so it may not always make sense LOL

Converting Max models into pof models and making modelling a bit faster by using templates.

In this tutorial we’re going to be converting a small capship into pcs2. The same methodology holds true for fighters and massive capital ships.  
We’re going to be converting this model, but a lot of the instructions are for all future models too.  I’m going to show you how to create “templates” which will help speed up modeling.



  • 1.   Setting up Max preferences
    • a.   Since the Collada importer uses generic units, you’ll want to change Max to use generic units if you’ve set it to something else (otherwise you’ll end up with very huge models)
    • b.   Customize->Unit Setup->Generic Units Ok.
  • 2.   Create the Commonly used Textures (Only need to do this once ever)
    • a.   Since the hull has to be in one object rather than small pieces (unlike when converting through truespace), the best way is to start using multi/sub-object textures.
    • b.   Create a new empty project.
    • c.   Activate the material editor “m” key.
    • d.   Select an empty slot, and then click on the “Standard” button.
    • e.   The “Material/Map Browser” window will appear, scroll down the list until you find “Multi/Sub-Object” and select it and ok the window. (Double click works too)
    • f.   You can discard the old material if it asks.
    • g.   You will now have the multimaterial now.
    • h.   The number 10 indicates how many sub-textures there are, “Set Number” lets you directly entry the number of sub-textures, “Add” and “Delete” will add/delete the last subtexture on the list.  “ID” is the ID for the texture (will explain latter).  “Name” can be a name for additional identification purposes. “Sub-Material” is the actual texture.  “On/Off” is just enabling/disabling the texure.
    • i.   To make this material usable on future models, we’re going to first add all the commonly used textures.
    • j.   Click on the first Material entry (In my case it’s Material #11 (Standard)”.
    • k.   You are now in the familiar standard textures.  Rename the material name to something more useful.  
    • l.   Load your diffuse texture as you would normally.  Do not load the glow/shine/normal/height maps.
    • m.   Once you’ve loaded it, use the “Go to Parent”.
    • n.   The master material will now look like this:
    • o.   You will notice the material preview sphere will just have a small checkerboard with the texture.  As you add textures this will slowly get filled up.
    • p.   Repeat the process until you’ve added all your commonly use textures.
    • q.   This is what my entry finally looked like:
    • r.   If you need more textures spaces, click the “Add”, however I would recommend attempting to collapse a few into one.  (The fewer materials the better)
    • s.   Next to clean up the material, delete (use “Delete”) the rest of the unused materials.
    • t.   Now create a simple box, it can be centered in the world if you wish.  Give it a descriptive name, probably the same as the multimaterial name.
    • u.   Apply the material to that box, you’ll get something like this:
    • v.   Now save this model with a descriptive name in a folder that you store commonly used things in.
  • 3.   The main model
    • a.   Now load the main textures for the model.
    • b.   Using File->Merge… now merge that box texture with your model.  If it asks about “Duplicate Material Name” just click “Auto-rename”.  Also it if asks about the object’s name, just have it rename it. The box will appear in the scene (it might be in the middle of the model, so just move it out of the way).
    • c.   Open up the material dialog, choose an empty slot, use the “Pick Material from Object” eyedropper
    • d.   Use the eyedropper on the box.  The multi-material you made earlier will now appear in the material list.  
    • e.   Delete the box now; it is no longer of any use in the model.
    • f.   If your model doesn’t use some of those common textures, don’t delete them; rather go into the standard texture, like you did earlier to add textures, but instead of selecting “Bitmap”, select “NONE”.  For my model neither #4 nor #5 was used so I blanked them.  I do use these on other models, but not this one.  Having empty spaces shouldn’t affect performance, as there’s nothing there and it’s never used.
    • g.   Now use the “Add” button to add additional submaterials and add all the main maps that this model uses (hull textures mostly).   Obviously all the commonly used textures are already included.
    • h.   This is what it finally looks like:
    • i.   Save your model in case you get too confused in the next section.
  • 4.   Applying textures
    • a.   Select your entire model.
      • i.   Optional but helpful: Turn the model into a group
      • ii.   Clone it and move it to the side (either rightclick->Clone or Shift-Move).
      • iii.   Finally ungroup the original model.  This will give you a side by side view of what it originally looked like
    • b.    And now apply this new texture.
    • c.   Your more than likely going to get an ugly mess like this:
    • d.   Now comes the difficult process. Renumbering the poly’s materials.  There’s two ways of doing this and you can mix and match as needed.
      • i.   Modifiers:
        • 1.   Apply the mesh/poly select modifier to the model and find all the polygons that belonged to what is now your second sub-material (The first should be already done for you)
        • 2.   Once done, add a “Material” modifier and change the value from 1 to 2.
        • 3.   You will notice that the selected areas will now have the correct textures.
        • 4.   Repeat the process until everything’s modified.  Use material number Whatever that matches your material ID.  In my case the third one, "Debris" is #3...
      • ii.   Mesh/Poly Edit:
        • 1.   Apply the mesh edit or Poly Edit to the object (Unless it’s already the top most one).
        • 2.   Do the same as in i.1 above, but instead of apply modifiers go down to Polygon Properties, change “Material:” “Set ID” to 2
        • 3.   You will notice that the selected areas will now have the correct textures.
        • 4.   Repeat the process until everything’s modified.
    • e.   If you’ve made a clone copy you can delete it now.
    • f.   Resave your model (preferably use max’s built-in number system).
    • g.   If you’ve found you’ve either forgotten a piece or got the number wrong, then simply poly-/mesh-select those and apply the material modifier on it.
  • 5.   Unifying the model
    • a.   Now we need to collapse the model into one object.
    • b.   Hide all turrets, turret arms, modeled subsystems, and other lods.
    • c.   Collapse one piece of the model into an editable poly/mesh.  Use the”Attach” to attach all the pieces together (if you use edit poly, you can use attach list to make it faster).  Do not attach turrets and other subobjects that you want as subsystems!
    • d.   If you get this message:
    • e.   Cancel it, whatever object(s) you selected did not have the multimaterial texture applied to it.  Apply the texture to the missed object and retry.  Do not hit ok otherwise it may mess up the numbering.
    • f.   Once done, rename it to detail0 for lod 0, detail1 for lod 1….
    • g.   Save the model NOW.
    • h.   Make sure it’s stack is collapsed, then go into Utilities (the hammer), then select “Reset XForm” (you may need to click the “More…” button or reconfigure the buttons to include it).
    • i.   Hit “Reset selected”.  If it looks like nothing happened, that’s good.  If the model when supersized or super-small or totally messed up, reload it, collapse it and try again.
    • j.   The object’s modifier stack should look like this:
    • k.   Collapse it again to lock the xform in place.
    • l.   Note: whenever you deal with Reset-XForm, it’s highly recommended you save first, as you cannot undo it, even if it when bonkers.  Also do not have any subobjects linked with the object being reset, otherwise they’ll can get messed up.  Also if you do not collapse the object first, Reset can also get messed up and basically destroy the object Also once you’ve reset it, you cannot move, scale, rotate the main model, nor adjust the pivot point, unless you do another reset, otherwise PCS2 will complain.
    • n.   Unhide everything.
    • o.   If you have additional lods repeat this process.
    • p.   Make sure the model (detail0) is centered at (0,0,0), move and reset xform if necessary.
    • q.   Save the model.
  • 6.   Turrets (Do once per turret type)
    • a.   I first create a “template” turret (in this case, laser turret)
    • b.   Create a new scene.
    • c.   Create the mesh model of it.  I recommend making it at the center (0,0,0).  (Base, arms(optional), and destroyed (optional)).  Note: arms are actually one object.
    • d.     Like before with the main model, merge that commonly used texture box into the turret, grab the boxes texture and use that for the turret (It should contain only the commonly used textures and not any specific to only one ship)
    • f.   Next we need to set the pivot point
      • i.   First select the base
        • 1.   select the hierarchy button and click “Affect Pivot Only”
        • 2.   The base’s arrow will change to this
        • 3.   Move the arrow until it sits where the base should pivot on. (Imagine this is the pin/peg that the base is attached to)
    • ii.   Repeat the process for the arms and destroyed (if any).  The ”Affect Pivot Point“ should still be active for those.  
    • iii.   Once done, click “Affect Pivot Only” to deactivate it.
    • iv.   Save the model, use a rememberable name.   I used "Kilrathi Laser Turret"
    • v.   Since we modified the turret’s pivot (alone with probably moving and resizing) we need to apply a reset x-form again.  Apply the reset and then collapse it.  
    • vi.   (Hint: there is a Utility called “collapse”, you can use this to speed things up a bit, just remember if you use it on everything at once, to select “Collapse To:” “Multiple Objects”, otherwise you’ll have one big object in the end.)
    • g.   Rename the turret parts as:
      • 1.   The base should be as: turret0X
      • 2.   The Arm: turret0X-arm
      • 3.   Destroyed: turret0X-destroyed
    • h.   Next we need to create a few dummy objects
    • i.   Move back into Create tab, under “Helpers”, click “Dummy”
    • ii.   When you create it, it’ll create a centered box, the size of the box isn’t important, although I like to keep it small.  (Also the box may not be always be visible when not in wireframe mode.  This is probably a video driver issue)
    • iii.   Name this dummy,  “helper”
    • iv.   Do a quick-align (Alt-A by default) and align it to the turret base, i.e. the base and dummy should be centered at the same point.
    • v.   Duplicate this helper dummy and rename it to “firepoints”, don't move it
    • vi.   Next make a helper dummy (or just clone the last one) and move it to where the bolt(s) should actually appear.  Name this point “firepoint”.  If you have more than one, duplicate this one and move it to where it to belongs too.
    • i.   Next we need to link everything into a hierarchy
    • i.   Click on the “Schematic View (Open)”
    • ii.   You’ll get a window looking something like this:
    • iii.   Purple/blue boxes are objects, green are helpers.
    • iv.   The toolbar buttons are:
      • 1.   Display Floater – shows the floater button, I usually keep it off
      • 2.   Select – same as the object selector
      • 3.   Connect – this is where we connect objects (this links objects to other objects)
      • 4.   Unlink Selected – breaks the hierarchy connection with the selected object and it’s parent
      • 5.   Delete Object
      • 6.   Hierarchy Mode – Boxes are aligned vertically (My preferred method)
      • 7.   References mode – boxes are aligned horizontally (sort of like ancestor trees)
      • 8.   Always Align – will automatically align (I generally turn this on to keep things neat)
      • 9.   Arrange children, arrange selected  - aligns children/selected nodes
      • 10.   Free all/Free children, never used – never used these
      • 11.   Expand / Collapse Selected – Show/Hide branches of the tree (useful in hiding things)
      • 12.   Rest I don’t use
    • v.   Click on the Select button, when you move the mouse over a node, it turns into a fancy “Z”.
    • vi.   Click on the turret0X-arm, then click and drag it over turret0X (a line will be drawn as you move the mouse).  When you release the mouse the hierarchy will be made.  Now the turret0X-arm is linked with turret0X, when you move, rotate, size turret0X, turret0X-arm also comes along for the ride.
    • vii.   Now link the “firepoint” node(s) to “firepoints” and link “Firepoints” to “helper”.  Finally link “helper” to “turret0x”.  Note: you can select multiple nodes just like regular objects, also you can do rectangle area select too.
    • viii.   Note turret0X0-destroyed doesn’t get linked to turret0X.
    • j.   If the turret doesn’t face straight up (for example a torpedo tube) then you will need to rotate the “firepoint” node(s) to face the right direction.  When you actually convert the model to pcs2 you will if they are or not.  You can fix it in the models and/or in pcs2.  I recommend fixing in the model so you don't have to do it again and again....
    • k.   Resave the model again
    • l.   Repeat for any other turret types.
  • Attaching turrets
    • a.   Reload the model you were converting.
    • b.   Now merge the turret you just created and move it to where it needs to belong.  (Note you do not have to do a reset-xform here!)
    • c.     Apply the update multimaterial texture to the turret (The material that contains not only the common textures but those that are for the ship too).  If the turret textures get messed up, then you did someting wrong, The turret probably didn't use the same settings.  Actually the material isn't important, it's the ID number thats important.  Thats why I have the common textures first.  For example, MultiMaterial AA's first material is called "detail" and Multimateril's BB first material is also the same "detail" you can swap them back and forth.  If BB's first material was different then it wouldn't work out right
    • d.   Now link the turret0X and turret0X-destroyed to detail0 (the actual link order isn’t important, although it looks tidier if done in order)
    • e.     Clone this turret to all the locations where it belongs
    • f.      Repeat this for other turret types
    • g.   After we’ve linked the turrets, we can link all the other subsystems, including engines which will be detailed latter.  Also if you have common subsystems or just subobjects you can save those to seperate max files and merge them in (just remember to use the common texture routine.
    • h.   Unhide everything.  Rename the remaining lods to detail1, detail2…..
    • i.   Subsystems can be named whatever you wish, however, if they have lods themselves, they need to be named as such:  RadarA, RadarB, RadarC….
    • j.   For destroyed subsystems, the name must match the intact name, i.e. Intake01 and intake01-destroyed works, but intake1 and intake01-destroyed doesn’t.
    • k.   The yellow node is a skybox, the first 3 blue nodes are lods, the node with children is lod 0 and the rest are other subobjects (subsystems).  Simply link the
      other subsystems with the appropriate lod  (In this case all the intakes are connected to LOD 0 [they don’t have lods themselves], so simply link those to detail0).
  • 15.   Engine thrusters:
    • a.   Thrusters are similar to turret setups.
    • b.   If your thruster is a physical subobject:
      • i.   The subobject must be named “engine0X” (engine0X-destroyed)
      • ii.   Dummy node named “Helper” should be centered at the subobjects center
        • iii.   Dummy node “thrusters” at the same spot.
        • iv.   “Thruster” should be where the flame starts
        • v.   “Thruster” is linked to “Thrusters”, which in turn is linked to “helper” which in turn is linked to “engine0X”
        • vi.   Personally I then select all of these, and then File->Save Selected save those to a separate max file, where I can latter merge them back into other models (Just like turrets).
        • vii.   Finally link engine0X and engine0X-destroyed to detail0  (if the engine has other lod levels, link those appropriately)
      • c.   If your thruster doesn’t have a physical subobject (like on fighters)
        • i.   Follow the same rules as above, but “helper” doesn’t exist  and “thrusters” are is centered on detail0’s center, but isn't linked to it
  • 16.   Gunbanks and missile banks
    • a.   Guns start with a dummy node “gunbank0X”  which is centered on detail0, and have a dummy “gunbank0X-0Y” positioned where the guns are and linked to “gunbank0X”.  (Actually I don’t think the numbers are used, but to make things easier to understand I use them)
    • b.   Missiles are similar except instead of “gunbank” it’s “missilebank”
    • c.   Also the rotation of the “*bank0X-0Y” is important, by default (rotation: 0,0,0) the weapons will fire straight up, rotation the dummy (90,0,0) usually fixes this (You can see if it’s aiming right in PCS2)
  • 17.   Shields
    • a.   A simple mesh, must also be centered at (0,0,0).  Remember to reset x-form too.  It’s not linked to anything
  • 18.   Eyepoint
    • a.   A simple dummy node named “eyepoint” is placed where the eye should be (same thing with the direction of the eye faces)
  • 19.   Dock and paths
    • a.   I don’t know how those get converted, I simply import and modify them from existing pof’s in pcs2
  • 20.   Glowpoints
    • a.   Glowpoints are setup as dummy node “glowbank0X-0Y”, located where the glowpoint(s) should be.  One node for each glow spot.
    • b.   “glowbank”  center of lod. “Glowbank0X-0Y” are linked to this one.  You can have multiple “glowbank”s
    • c.   “helper”center of lod, and linked to the lod (usually just detail0).  “Glowbank” (s) are linked to this one
  • 21.   Lods
    • a.   Lods are named: detail0, detail1….
    • b.   They aren’t linked to anything
      • c.   They must be at (0,0,0) otherwise they’ll look right in pcs2, but misplaced once in game (guns won’t fire at the right places, eye is off, glowpoints are off…etc)
    • .22   Turret & Engine renumbering
      • a.   Since I used one turret and cloned it, the numbering got messed up (same with engines)
      • b.   Hide everything but turrets, turrets-destroyed, arms, engines and engine destroyed (if available)
      • c.   Select the first turret, turretarm and turret destroyed.  Run my turret renumberer on it (Instructions listed separately) or renumber by hand
      • d.     Next select the next turret and repeat…etc
      • e.   Do the same with engines with the engine renumberer or by hand
      • f.   Now select just the engines and turret bases and use the apply properties script (instructions listed sperately)
      • g.   Unhide everything.
    • 23.   Save your model
    • 24.   Final lookover
      • a.   This is how a capship may look:
      • b.   And a fighter:
    • 25.     Export your model as DAE format
    • 26.   Load the dae file into your favorite text editor (Personally I use notepad++)
    • 27.   Do a search and replace
      • a.   Search for:   -node”   (include the quote)
      • b.   Replace with:   “ (just the quote)
      • c.   This gets rid of any “detail1-node” and replaces with with “detail1”
      • d.   Save
    • 28.   Load into pcs2
      • i.   If you get an error about unable to find something,
        • 1.   Remember the name of the object it complained about
        • 2.   Find the object in your model.  If it’s got object linked to it, detach those and do a reset x-form, then relink. Don't reset x-form while their linked!


      I'll post those scripts latter tonight and how to use them.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 04:08:07 pm by Scooby_Doo »
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline JGZinv

  • 211
  • The Last Dual! Guardian
    • The FringeSpace Conversion Mod
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
All I can say is wow. Massive amount of work there Scooby.

There's a few items that I'm still sketchy on after reading it, but I'll
at least be honorable enough to go though the process before pointing
them out.

Is it just me, but now that both methods have been described... isn't the
Blender method a lot simpler?
True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination.
Max to PCS2 to FS2 SCP Guide
The FringeSpace Conversion Mod

 
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Well this is more than just converting, I've also thrown in some simlification too (mostly about making templates and the common texture material).  Those need only be one once and afterwards just merge and place.
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline Vasudan Admiral

  • Member
  • 211
    • Twisted Infinities
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Well done Scooby! I hope this helps the max users of HLP - it's about time they got a nice guide. :D
Get the 2014 Media VPs and report any bugs you find in them to the FSU Mantis so that we may squish them. || Blender to POF model conversion guide
Twisted Infinities

  
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Thanks  :)

I'll probably be going through it and seeing horribly bad grammar mistakes or total mistakes LOL




Here's the max scripts:
http://scoobydoo.freespacemods.net/Completed/Misc/FreespaceMaxScripts.rar

  • Download and extract to (in Vista/7): C:\users\your account\App data\local\Autodesk\3dsmax\9 -32bit (or whatever version you have)\enu\UI\usermacros
  • Launch Max.
  • Customize->Custimize User Interface->Toolbar->New...->Name: Freespace
  • A new empty floating toolbar will appear.
  • Click on the combo dropdown list "Category" , there should be one called "Freespace".  There's three actions so far, "EngineNumber", "GiveThemProperties" and "TurretNumber"
  • Drag and drop each one of those to the new floating toolbar.
  • Right click on each of them and Edit Button Appearance (Use Image Button), pick something you like.
  • Drag the floating toolbar up to the tooltray and place it where-ever you like.



How To Use Engine Number and Turret Number:

  • Click on the button, this will bring up a floating window ("Turret/Enging Renumbering...")
  • Select the first engine section (engine and destroyed)or turret section (base, arm, and destroyed) and click "Renumber Turret"
  • Repeat for each additional one
  • Don't close it until you've gotten them all.  If you accidently do, the numbering will restart over again.  Simpliest solution, take the current turret to be renumber, start the script up again, and keep clicking the "renumber" until it comes to the right number

How to use the Give them Propertiees:
  • Select the object or objects in question (turret base or engine) and simply click the "GiveThemProperties" button



More info about these:
the Renumbering looks for "engine" or "turret" or "turret-arm" or "turret-destroyed" and rebuilds the name to include the number.  Very useful when you have 30+ turrets that need renumbering LOL

The GiveThemProperties simply adds some pcs2 properties right into the object.  You can view and edit these by simply right clicking on the object->Object Properties->User Defined.  It doesn't care what object(s) is select it adds the basic info needed for physical subsystems.



I was trying to build a script that handles turret normal vectors, but the way max handles arrays and rotations is way different from generic programming.  I have no clue there...

LOL call me old and lazy but the thought of having to do so much repetative work when it can be done with scripts is UGH.....

Edit: Here's a smarter version of give properties: http://scoobydoo.freespacemods.net/Completed/Misc/Freespace-GiveThemProperties.mcr



Two more scripts:
Remove all user properties from selected objects: http://scoobydoo.freespacemods.net/Completed/Misc/Freespace-RemoveAllProperties.mcr
This will delete all the properties from all the selected objects.



Renumbers intakes (if anyone uses intake subsystems): [urll]http://scoobydoo.freespacemods.net/Completed/Misc/Freespace-IntakeNumber.mcr[/url]
Just like renumbering thrusters/turrets.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 10:57:35 pm by Scooby_Doo »
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline JGZinv

  • 211
  • The Last Dual! Guardian
    • The FringeSpace Conversion Mod
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Do you want me to post what I've written up on how to set up your programs
in order to use collada support?

I've got the Max / PCS2 sections done anyway.
True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination.
Max to PCS2 to FS2 SCP Guide
The FringeSpace Conversion Mod

 
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline JGZinv

  • 211
  • The Last Dual! Guardian
    • The FringeSpace Conversion Mod
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Says you have to register to login....  try this instead.


1. Gathering the Necessary Programs.


(*Note that installation will be covered a another section below*)

For 3ds Max users:

3ds Max version 7 or later (a costly modeling suite, but industry standard)
from retail software vendors or online. For this tutorial we will be using
3ds Max 9.

ColladaMax OSS Plugin (an add on tool for 3ds Max)
from https://collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/ColladaMax_OSS

PCS2 (the main application for rigging models after export from
your modeling suite of choice) from:
http://sourceforge.net/project/downloading.php?group_id=26889&filename=PCS2_2.0.1_2008-02-11_Setup.exe&a=36916920

Alternatively - you can pick the file from the Sourceforge list of files here:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=26889&package_id=53033
Just make sure you get the 2.0.1 > “PCS2_2.0.1_2008-02-11_Setup.exe” file.

PCS2 Support Files
All of these must be installed for PCS2 can run properly.

PCS2 2.0.3 Updated EXE File:
http://scoobydoo.freespacemods.net/Completed/Misc/pcs2.exe

Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Runtimes Installer:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=A5C84275-3B97-4AB7-A40D-3802B2AF5FC2&displaylang=en

libColladaDOM.dll File:  (7zip files can be opened by WinRar or 7zip utilites)
http://the158th.hard-light.net/spicious/libcollada14dom21.7z


2. Installing the Programs

For 3ds Max users:

Max -

1. Begin by installing 3ds Max if you haven’t already got it installed. If you already
have Max, then just skip to the ColladaMax OSS section below.
If you own a legitimate copy of Max, then you should be able to put the disc in your
drive or otherwise start a “Setup” file to launch the installer.

2. Follow the prompts to install Max. (*Note that it is not recommended to install Max to an
external hard drive due to the lower data transfer speeds over USB and Firewire.*)

3. Once Max has been installed, launch the program by going to your
Start > Programs menu. Depending on which version of Max you installed, the launcher
may be under a “discreet” menu or a “Autodesk” menu.

4. Clear away any pop ups that may appear. Note that the Learning Movies (Max 9)
includes several tutorials that may be of use to beginners.

5. You can close Max down now. Just use the X button at the top right corner of each window.
This completes your install of Max.


ColladaMax OSS –

1.  Find your ColladaMax file that you downloaded earlier and double click on it.

2. The installer will come up and state which versions of Max you have installed, just
clear out the pop ups that appear.

3. Proceed through the license agreement and component setup by clicking yes and install
as needed.

4. The ColladaMax plugin is automatically be added to your plug-ins in Max.


PCS 2 –

1. Begin by installing the Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Runtimes.
This should have downloaded as a file titled vcredist_x86.exe (*Note if you
run a 64 bit operating system this file name may be slightly different*).


Launch the file and follow the prompts to get it installed, nothing special here.

2. Start by double clicking the PCS2_2.0.1_2008-02-11_Setup.exe file you
obtained earlier. Proceed through the install menus. (*Note that if your install
directory for Freespace 2 or your mod is not C:\Games\Freespace2, then you
need to adjust the path in the installer to match*)


3. Once the 2.0.1 installer is done and closed. You can locate the
pcs2.exe (PCS2 2.0.3 update) file and copy or move it to the main PCS2 directory that
was created when you installed the 2.0.1 version.

The directory should be located at C:\Program Files\POFCS2

Copying or moving the file will overwrite the existing (old 2.0.1) version of the pcs2.exe.
This is fine, so overwrite it.

4. Take the libcollada14dom21.7z file and unpack it using WinRar, 7-zip, or whatever
compression tool you have that accepts 7z files. If you don’t have a compression program,
search for one of the mentioned names on Google. Inside the archive you will find one libColladaDOM.dll file.

Take this file and move or copy it to the same C:\Program Files\POFCS2 folder as you just did with the pcs2.exe.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 10:31:36 pm by JGZinv »
True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination.
Max to PCS2 to FS2 SCP Guide
The FringeSpace Conversion Mod

 

Offline chief1983

  • Still lacks a custom title
  • 212
  • ⬇️⬆️⬅️⬅️🅰➡️⬇️
    • Minecraft
    • Skype
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • Fate of the Galaxy
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
You could also start with the PCS 2.0.3 installer instead of 2.0.1.  I'm not sure if just the exe changed or not between versions, if so it doesn't matter since you're overwriting it with the 2.0.3+DAE build anyway.
Fate of the Galaxy - Now Hiring!  Apply within | Diaspora | SCP Home | Collada Importer for PCS2
Karajorma's 'How to report bugs' | Mantis
#freespace | #scp-swc | #diaspora | #SCP | #hard-light on EsperNet

"You may not sell or otherwise commercially exploit the source or things you created based on the source." -- Excerpt from FSO license, for reference

Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline JGZinv

  • 211
  • The Last Dual! Guardian
    • The FringeSpace Conversion Mod
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
I read in one of the threads that Kazan said the 2.0.3 didn't have the dlls
such as the devIL.dll which keeps it from installing. So I went back to one that was known
working.

If he went back and updated it, that's fine, we can save some steps.
True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination.
Max to PCS2 to FS2 SCP Guide
The FringeSpace Conversion Mod

 

Offline Angelus

  • 210
  • The Angriest Angel
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
thx for the great tut, Scooby_Doo! :yes:

This thread should be stickified.
while ( !asleep)     |     Building a Warmachine for FreeSpace: Chronicles of a dark Age        |       My WIP's                                 
{Eights++}

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Had you written this a few months earlier it would have saved me a lot of work/figuring stuff out on my own  :nod:

Excellent tut still :yes:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline chief1983

  • Still lacks a custom title
  • 212
  • ⬇️⬆️⬅️⬅️🅰➡️⬇️
    • Minecraft
    • Skype
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • Fate of the Galaxy
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Spoon, if you have any tips you can remember as you were just figuring this stuff out, it'd probably be helpful to many beginners if you pointed them out.
Fate of the Galaxy - Now Hiring!  Apply within | Diaspora | SCP Home | Collada Importer for PCS2
Karajorma's 'How to report bugs' | Mantis
#freespace | #scp-swc | #diaspora | #SCP | #hard-light on EsperNet

"You may not sell or otherwise commercially exploit the source or things you created based on the source." -- Excerpt from FSO license, for reference

Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Spoon, if you have any tips you can remember as you were just figuring this stuff out, it'd probably be helpful to many beginners if you pointed them out.
Yeah you are probably right. Might as well share some of my own experience and methods.

I do things a bit different from Scooby.
I'm using 3ds max 6 with the POF exporter plugin (http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,26260.0.html) which works like a charm for me (just be sure to save your export ready model before exporting). No messing around with scripts required. Just have to link and name your objects correctly.
I'm no expert in textures but I use the Unwrap UVW modifier (plenty of tutorials on the net about that) for putting on textures. It has the disadvantage however that you have to be pretty sure you are done editing the mesh.

One of the small tidbits I learned the hard way is that you have to place your model at coordinates 0,0,0 or stuff like thrusters and firing points will be off center once you put the model ingame (One of those small things that is never mentioned any where). An other thing is to recalculate the moment of Inertia in PCS2. I kept wondering why my ships were getting bounced around when getting hit by mere subachs-7's. 
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
The scripts aren't necessary, they're just timesavers.  They just make numbering systems easier  :)
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
The scripts aren't necessary, they're just timesavers.  They just make numbering systems easier  :)
I see
My head usually starts spinning when I read the words "Script" and "Math" and such. So I'll admit that I didn't really read what exactly the scripts are there for.  :p
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Actually I was attempting to make another script that automatically calculated the up and forward vectors... but like you said.. "Math" and "spinning head" LOL

All the ones I have made automate the numbering system a bit... Instead of having to retype turret01, turret01-arm, turret01-destroyed, turret02, turret02-arm, turret02-destroyed.... (imagine a ship with 30+ turrets), just select the entire turret and click a button  :)
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Actually I was attempting to make another script that automatically calculated the up and forward vectors... but like you said.. "Math" and "spinning head" LOL
  :lol:

All the ones I have made automate the numbering system a bit... Instead of having to retype turret01, turret01-arm, turret01-destroyed, turret02, turret02-arm, turret02-destroyed.... (imagine a ship with 30+ turrets), just select the entire turret and click a button  :)
mmmm
The way I do turrets: I model a turret, name it Turret01. Make the barrel, name it TurretBarrel01. Copy that turret&barrel (hold shift, move it. copy) and max automatically gives the copied turret and barrel the name: TurretBarrel02 and Turret02
No manual rename required
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
All the ones I have made automate the numbering system a bit... Instead of having to retype turret01, turret01-arm, turret01-destroyed, turret02, turret02-arm, turret02-destroyed.... (imagine a ship with 30+ turrets), just select the entire turret and click a button  :)
mmmm
The way I do turrets: I model a turret, name it Turret01. Make the barrel, name it TurretBarrel01. Copy that turret&barrel (hold shift, move it. copy) and max automatically gives the copied turret and barrel the name: TurretBarrel02 and Turret02
No manual rename required


Unforunately the pcs2 coversion requires turret0X, turret0X-arm, turret0X-destroyed.  If you copy and clone you'll get turret02, turret01-arm01, turret01-destoryed01.

Edit: Also I like to keep seperate copies of all my turrets, that way I can merge them into the current project (also hence the common materials).  I usually name the "template" turrets Turret0X.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 07:32:04 pm by Scooby_Doo »
That's cool and ....disturbing at the same time o_o  - Vasudan Admiral

"Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor. And you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

"Quick everyone out of the universe now!"

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Max to PCS2 tutorial (Plus ideas how to make work simplier)
Quote
Unforunately the pcs2 coversion requires turret0X, turret0X-arm, turret0X-destroyed.
-arm is for barrels? Cause I can name barrels whatever and they work
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them