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 Skinning and Modeling Info, Beast I Need Help Please!

<GAMBIT>
post Feb 6 2004, 04:10 PM
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Dear Beast,
This is JohnWalker84 and i was wondering if you could point me in the correct direction here. Ok, i have never skinned before in my life. just skimming through tutoriuls to get a basic understanding. im still hazy about it all. don't have a program to skin or to model... whats the difference?. now i just read that i need a program to look at what im doing. its all weird. So, i read that you use Paint Shop 7.Should i Purchase this? what else do i need? where do i purchase what i need? i need to pool information cause my B-day is the 16th and i told my mother this is the one thing i need and want very much. Though this is adressed to Beast, anyone with input, pplease write cause im like a 3 year old trying to play chess in the dark and without touching the pieces.

Thankyou in advance,
JohnWalker84 blink.gif


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Deacon
post Feb 6 2004, 04:15 PM
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Beast probably has more info, but you might want to check out the topics in our forums... The Jedi Runway

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TheBeast
post Feb 6 2004, 05:00 PM
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Hehe... I think I,m gonna make this topic a 'sticky' for future references about skinning and Modeling smile.gif

So here it goes... again biggrin.gif

Basic Lexicon

Model: This is the 3D object that the Jedi Kinght game animates through the use of a skeleton (animation are performed by moving the bones of a skeleton, and the 'epidermus' is linked to the proper bones).

Modeling: Is the art of altering or creating a new 3D object that will be animated by JK2. Note taht modeling is about changing the model and not the animation (which are all the same for each model in the game).

Skin: The skin of a model is a group of image that are outputed by the modeling program, and these images (usually in jpg or tga format) are 'stretched' on the 'epidermus' of the model to make up his skin.

Skinning: Is the art of altering or creating a new skin for an already existing model. But if you want to create a new skin, you should always use the 'original' images included with the model because, in the model.glm file is stored coordinate information to tell JK2 how to apply the skin to the body. So if you create new images and they are not the same size, you could end up with problems in the long run.

Skinning

What you need:

- Image editor
- ModView
- WinZip
- The understanding of the structure of a pk3 file


Image Editor

The image editor is related to how serious you want to be regarding you skinning career smile.gif If you wanted you could always use Paint (the one that come with Windows) as long as it handle jpg (which I,m not sure though). But if you are really serious and want to create something cool... you will need a software that will be able to handle 'hardcore' stuff... like layers, transparency, effect (Blurs, Lights, Alterations, etc.)... A guy like Rugg could add something to this... because he may know a bit more about this kind of software that I do.

But in my personnal idea (like you've read), I like PaintShop Pro 7... it's easy, kind of user-friendly, and take just a little bitty time to laod up (which is always nice when you are like me and always close your software because those little things in the task bar annoys you biggrin.gif)

But I think, that most skinner will use a software like Photoshop... because I think it has cooler function, is a bit more user-friendly with the offered tools, and does a bunch of other things... but it may be more expensive than Paintshop Pro)... btw I wouldn,t know... I got my paintshop pro from a friend who received it with some computer part of some sort... I forgot, it was a long time ago... but still works for me

Mod View

Mod view is a little software included in the JK2 & JK3 editiong tools... that can be found on jk2files.com

This software will enables you to look at a 3D reprensentation of your model while your skinning him... so you may look at what your skin looks like without having to make a pk3, load JK2, and look at you model. BUt again, be advise that in game, there are always 'shaders' and such that modview will not show you... so it's always a bit different to look at a model in game and in Modview.

WinZip

Thi little utility program is used to access and create pk3 files... because pk3 file are just zip files that were renamed...smile.gif

It's not that hard to make a pk3 file... when you understand the structure... but what is important... is to 'include sub-folders' into the zip archive, and do NOT store the 'full path' of the archived file.

Structure of a pk3 file

This one is kind of hard to explain... and I think that you have to pick it up as you go... if you need help understanding it all... just post here... and everyone that knows will be glad to help


How to skin...

Ca't be explain either... it is all an 'artistic' something... I don't know how I come up with the skin I make... I just play with the image... add something... delete something else... play with what I can play with (colors, brightness, etc.) and here it is... tricks can be thought... but not skinning I think... well that's it



Modeling

Modeling is another story... it involves expensive software and also a whole lot of tiem to go through every thing you have to do.

I could write something up, but maybe another time, if someone wants to know... but here is what I would start up with

What you need :

- Assimilate & Carcass
- 3D modeling software
- Modeling trick
- A whole lot of time (and patience)

Assimilate & Carcass

These two software are included in the JK2 editing tools 2 found here... and they are used to take a XSI file (exported from 3D Studio Max) and turn it into a model.glm file that can be use within a pk3 file (read by JK2 or JK3). They are a bit complicated to explain... well The software are not complicated... but the errors you get when using them are not explained anywhere... so you have to kind of figure out anything on your own... btw I,ve done my time in the 'figuring out' stage and can help almost anyone on almost any error you can get out of Assimilate

3D modeling Software

These are expensive software (and I mean EXPENSIVE) but it's always depending on what you want to do.

If you want to do people (like the one that we play)... you will NEED 3D studio Max (I use 4.2, yeah a bit outdated, but I like it), because it's the only one that is able to 'weight' something (weighting = Linking the epidermus of a model to his bones) and I think it's the only one able to export in XSI format (which is the only format accepted by assimilate). This software cost a bunch of money (we are talking in the thousands)... I got mine from a friend... and with no question asked... smile.gif

But if you want to do saber or weapons... or just to try your hand at all that... you can get MilkShape (found here)... This 3D modeling software is able to handle a lot of thing... but you won't be able to weight a model so, you can't animate it... but you use Milkshape to alter a model... just to see if you like it... and if you want to enter this 'grand' adventure... you could get 3D Studio Max. Again... with Milkshape I think (not sure) you could model vehicule for JK3 (would have to check)

Another thing... there is also GMax, which is the 'free' version of 3D studio Max... but I didn't use it, didn't get any info on it... So I don't really know what it can do... Mainly used to make maps... I think it can handle modeling... but I don't think it's all the way. (would have to check)



For the rest... I could always give you modeling trick if you want to... but I don,t give hem litely... if you are motivated and working on a project... I'm whilling to pass as much time with you trying to figure out what should be done next and how to do it... but you have to know and understand what modeling is asking for (the 4th item) and not get discourage by the sheer size of the work at hand.


well... that's all for now... I may be adding something about this if needed in the near future.

- Beast


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- Red, That's 70's Show :)
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<GAMBIT>
post Feb 6 2004, 05:26 PM
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Beast,

Thank you very much. This is a much better start for me than before. A lot of it seems learn as you go but i dont mind that cause i want to slowely progress and learn all the ins and outs to become an excellent skinner and modeler. i figure well if im such a crummy saberer lol id might as well do something cool individualistic with the game. im going to see what i can do with this and what to purchase and such. ill write you back on what i dig up.


The drunken Walker

JohnWalker84 blink.gif


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<GAMBIT>
post Feb 6 2004, 05:38 PM
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i do have a stock version of Jasc Paint Shop Pro on my comp? must i order it and update it?


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<GAMBIT>
post Feb 6 2004, 06:00 PM
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where do i start?


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JayBaen
post Feb 6 2004, 07:07 PM
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Fantastic accumulation of knowledge, Mr. Beast. Thanks for the "Skinning Primer."


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"There's nothing in this universe that can't be explained. Eventually." -- House, M.D.
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TheBeast
post Feb 6 2004, 07:41 PM
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Jay: No prob... at least now I know I can get it out of my head and make some space for new things smile.gif (like saber techniques smile.gif)


John: I recommend by beginning with skinning... by doing this you'll see the basic stuff about 'managing' models and skin in the JK series (not much diference between JK2 and JK3)

I don't really know what a stock version has that other version wouldn't have (or vice versa)... but it's always a great place to start.

Like you said... a great part of all this you will pick up along the way... so to begin skinning... you have to know what you can do with the software you decided to use (being PaintShop Pro or Photoshop of another). SO playing around with the software you have... testing effects, patern, etc.... is a real good way to get a hold of what you understand and what you don't. And a great way to do this is by starting what I like to call a 'project'.

So you want to skin... choose an existing model... and think of a way you could make his skin better (or more to your liking, for example: if you like armor, try to get an armor on a Jedi Trainer model, if you like patern, try to get some patern on a Jan model, etc.)

That wll give you the motivation you need to get this thing going and learn the ropes.

And one last thing... it is not all about software... but about the thing you WANT to do to this model. If you really want to do something... you'll be able to do it with every decent software... other software (like photoshop just makes it easier) smile.gif

So if you're birthday is on the 16... try out the stock version of PaintShop Pro you have... and see if you like it... if you do... consider buying (or updating) the new one.

My 0,02$

- Beast


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- Red, That's 70's Show :)
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<GAMBIT>
post Feb 13 2004, 12:05 PM
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Beast,
Sorry but i don't understand one thing. huh.gif i dont understand how im supposed to open the assets.pk3 file with winzip. the files are currently not zipped so how would i go about doing this??? everytime i select "open with" then i select "Winzip", the file ends up zipping itself within winzip. you also told me will "in-game" to remane the assets file. what does that do? i don't understand that point. its funny, i read all these tutorials, have a basic understanding of how to skin, yet i cant start it cause i don't know how to transfer what i need from the .pk3 file. wacko.gif this is driving me nuts. lol if you could please write down some steps to do this, i would be greatly appreciative.

Thank you in advance,
JohnWalker84 blink.gif


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TheBeast
post Feb 13 2004, 12:31 PM
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John,

We'll start with something a bit more easy.

Find a custom skin (like the rjmace_v2.pk3)... rename the pk3 to customskinname.zip (in the example your would rename my skin to rjmace_v2.zip)... now winzip will recognize it as one of it's file and will open it... or be able to decompress it.

Try to decompress this file with 'keeping the file paths' ON... so you will be able to understand how a pk3 is structured... And you will be able to find the skin at the end of the following path /model/players/rjmace_v2/

To use ModView you will have to open the asset.pk3 file to get the file _humanoid.glm... to do that rename it to asset.zip and open it with winzip.

Don't forget to rename it to asset.pk3... if you don't do that... you won't be able to open JK2.

- Beast


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- Red, That's 70's Show :)
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<GAMBIT>
post Feb 14 2004, 12:30 AM
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i still need help. file paths open?? where do i find this? tell this to me like im computer illiterate.


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InfiniteWarrior
post Feb 16 2004, 01:39 AM
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WinZip will open a pk3 just fine. Just "associate" the .pk3 extension with it. If it's easier, start with a custom skin file that uses the model you want to work with. Once you've associated pk3s with WinZip (or use PakScape, which was made for pk3s), just open the skin file and extract everything in it to "Game Data\base" in your JKII directory.

You will then have "Game Data\base\models\players\Skin_Name". That directory will contain all the files you need to work with. As Beast said, you must get the _humanoid.glm and animation.cfg files from assets3.pk3 or you will be unable to open the file in ModView. Just copy (or extract) those to the "models\players" directory and you should be good to go.

Follow the ModView instructions to get it installed and working. Hope this helps.
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