Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length


Happy 20th Birthday, Freedom Force !!!

Author Topic: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn  (Read 6201 times)

Offline Vertex

  • Texan Mesher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 773
  • I mesh therefore I am
Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« on: December 23, 2008, 12:31:04 AM »
Okay kicking this back off since because I definitely wanna encourage any and all potential meshers out there.


Here's the link to the original thread now located in the Archive forum...

Meshing Tips 'N Tricks

« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 08:17:02 AM by MJB »
A wise man knows, he knows nothing
I must be the wisest man on Earth,
cause I don't know squat

Offline Vertex

  • Texan Mesher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 773
  • I mesh therefore I am
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 12:31:43 AM »
The following is taken from Jik's old meshing tutorial.

Freedom Force Home Hero Creation Info
Disclaimers and stuff….
This document has been created for my own use, and therefore may ‘sound’ odd in places. The
information listed here contains mainly things I have tried and seen work(or cause problems). Feel free to
distribute this to anyone meshing for FF or other games/software that uses the MaxImmerse exporter for
3D Max.
Max and The Character Tool
I am currently using Max 4.2 and it would seem that for the exporter to work, you need MaxImmerse 4.0.1.
Unseen Objects/Helpers
I find it easiest (even when started you own mesh from scratch) to start with one of generic meshes. This
will keep important info such as TRACK NOTES and hidden objects. There are also some objects that can
be created to add other effects.
1. WEAPON : marks the point where a ranged attack comes from. The range attack appears from the
track note leave_hand. It is also used at the contact point of melee attacks.
2. Some aspects of the game are tied to specific object names. The engine seems to be designed to use
the BIPEDs (character studio) for character animation. In the case where you create a mesh not using a
BIPED, insure to name control objects for the hands BIP01 L Hand and BIP01 R Hand. Picking up of
objects ties to these names, and with out them, things will not always work.
2. WEILD_BASE_RIGHT or WEILD_BASE_LEFT : This is an helper object (that you must create)
used when a hero will be holding poles with one hand. This object simulates a second hold point on
the pole overriding the the poles link to the other hand. Make sure to position the helper in a manner
that will hold the pole properly.
3. PICKUP_BASE : This object is used for 1-handed lifting of objects. Position it parallel to the hand
holding up the object, leveling with the hand.
4. When using multiple contacts or shots(leave_hand) in a sequence, the following contact/leave_hand
keys need a numbered sequence. Ie. contact, contact2, contact3 or leave_hand, leave_hand2,
Modeling/Animating Info
1. Size has been asked about a lot. Characters more than 2x the size of the average character will run into
clipping problems with buildings and other objects. The game engine is not designed to handle heroes
of a large scale.
2. Morphing cannot be done in the traditional sense.
3. To make an object ‘disapear’ the best way is to scale at 100% in one frame, then down to 0.2% on the
next. I have found that it is a good idea to double up the scale markers - Frame 9 mark at 100%, frame
10 mark at 100%, frame 11 mark at 0.2%, frame 12 mark at 0.2%. This will make the object disappear
at frame 11. NOTE: do not scale down to 0%.
4. Try not to have spining objects rotate more than 90 degrees per frame. Too much rotation will not
show. I have found that for objects not part of the biped, to get a good rotation, you must set a rotate
key for each frame.
5. When creating ALPHAs make sure you turn on the alpha testing for the material, as well as in the
bitmap settings in the material. The best way to make sure your material is set right, is to save a copy
of the male_basic_alpha’ s material to your material library, then load it into your mesh.
6. I have found that when you start rotating objects (other than biped objects) sequences in which there is
no rotation may start to scale and rotate funny. This will only show in the KF and NIF files. To avoid
this, set rotation keys at the beginning and end of each sequence on objects that may rotate later/prior
to those sections.
Fighting ‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s
1. Charging attacks are not allowed. The only way to simulate a charging attack is to have the character
jump back, then charge forward to the contact point.
2. There is no grappling in FF.
3. An attack cannot do both melee and range damage. It must be chosen as one or the other. You are
still allowed to set both contact and leave_hand markers, but when the player sets the power, it will be
either melee or ranged.
4. You may have multiple shots with projectile range attacks, but only single shots of beam and direct
5. The WEAPON object should not stray more than a little bit longer than arms length from the origin for
any melee attack. If so, the attacker, in game, will run up to the opponent, swing, but the effect will be
where the WEAPON object is. Melee is set for close (to the origin) combat only.
TRACK NOTES, what you may not know…
When creating a mesh, Track notes are added to let the game engine know what to do when. I’ ve broken it
down in this table. The first table is the needed tracks for the character to function properly in the game.
The order I give is the order I use for ‘from scratch’ meshes. It seems to flow the easiest that way for me,
though the order is not important.
Needed track notes:
(the main Key begins with start –name Main Key . These can be checked on any basic mesh. Mid keys are
for contact point markers in the game. The duration is ruffly how long certain sequences should be. Again
just an estimate to make the character move properly. All tracks close with the end key, so I have left that
out since it’ s always the same)
Main Key mid keys Ruff duration/notes
Idle –loop (not needed) Should be more than 40 but it can
be as short as you want
Jump_stand Leave_ground Any length
Land_from_jump Hit_ground (also see EXTRAS) Any length
Fall (not needed, but see EXTRAS
Any length
Walk –loop (not needed, but see EXTRAS
About 36 frames for standard
walking time for one complete
Run –loop (not needed, but see EXTRAS
About 22 frames for standard
walking time for one complete
Jump_run Leave_ground Any length
Climb –loop (not needed) About 30 frames
Melee_idle –loop (not needed) About 40 is good
Dodge_left (not needed) About 40 frames
Dodge_right (not needed) About 40 frames
Active_defense (not needed) Seems to be about 115 frames for
stationary active defense.
Pain (not needed) About 5 frames. Too many
frames causes it not to work
Hit_and_stunned (not needed) Any length
Stunned (not needed) Any length
Recover_from_stun (not needed) Any length
(n being any word/number)
Contact, contact_2, contact_3, etc The longer it is, the less it costs.
More contact keys brings up the
Range_n or area_n or direct_n Leave_hand, leave_hand, etc. The longer it is the less it costs.
Longer pause before leave hands
decreases the cost more. Multiple
leave_hand keys only works for
projectile attacks.
Pick_up_object Join_hands Any length
Walk_with_object (not needed, but see EXTRAS
Same as walk
Stand_with_object (not needed) About 40 frames
Throw_object Leave_hand Any length
Pick_up_pole Join_hands Any length
Stand_with_pole (not needed) Any length
Walk_with_pole (not needed, but see EXTRAS
Same as walk
Run_with_pole (not needed, but see EXTRAS
Same as run
Swing_pole Contact_start, contact_end Any length
Drop_pole Leave_hand Any length
Take_flight Leave_ground Any length
Fly (not needed) Any length
Hover (not needed) Any length
Hover_pain (not needed) About 5 frames
Hover_range_n or hover_area_n
or hover_direct_n
Leave_hand, leave_hand, etc. Should be in same order as the
ground versions of the attack for
it to look right.
Land_from_flight Hit_ground Any length
Power (not needed) Any length
Flailing_back –loop (not needed) Any length
Land_back Hit_ground Any length
Get_up_back (not needed) Any length
Flailing_forward (not needed) Any length
Land_forward Hit_ground Any length
Get_up_forward (not needed) Any length
EXTRAS –mid keys and more:
There are other mid keys used in some of the pre-made heroes. As I have not done any programming mod
work, I can only speculate as to how they are used. Often you will find lf and rf indicating when the left or
right foot hits the ground. These keys tie to markers in the scripting for foot sounds. There have been
others like swipe and bash. The name of the mid key may not matter (except that the scripter needs to
know what it is) but keeping a standard makes life easier for everyone.
Other main tracks can be added for use in cut scenes. I have found a few, like defuse and idle_b for
minuteman, that have no active purpose in the game, but are used in cutscenes. I guess these would be
most useful for those creating characters for specific mods.
FX Tutorial
To create an FX goto particle systems under the “Create” tab. Next click on “Super Spray” button (some of
the other particle systems will work too) and place onto the screen. Select the particle you created and
rotate 90 degrees in the X coordinate. Move to 0,0,0. Right click and goto “Propeties...”. A new dialog
will appear click on the “User Defined” tab and in the space below add “zMode10” use this for particles.
Close and click the “Animate” button goto “Motion” tab. Click the “Postion” button under “PRS
Parameters” do the same for the last frame in the animation. Click “Animate” button to exit animations.
Now goto “Track View” and add a note track under the object name “SuperSpray01” click on the “Add
Key” and add it to the note. Right click on the note key and in the space add “core_start” and for the time
change to 0. To change the look of the particle and timing goto “Modify” tab and change some settings
under “Basic Parameters” and “Particle Generation” typically. I won’ t go into full detail on all of these try
to keep the Particle Quantity as low as possible. The Timing goes with the keyframes so you could add
other particle systems and have different bursts if you wanted. Particle Motion use a lower speed for fx
like fire. Goto “Material Editor” and change to “NetImerse Shader” check the 2-Sided. Change the
Ambient to 128,128,128 RGB and Diffuse to 255,255,255 RGB. Check Specular (not needed for all FX)
and check “Vertex Colors” On. Change Src Mode to “EMMISIVE” and Light Mode to “E”. Change
Tranparentcy Modes Dest: to “ONE” (Other modes work too just have to play around and see which one
fits your FX) . Add a Base Map and drag the new map to the particle and release. Save as “..._start.max”
and for the core change the track view note to “end_start” and save as “..._core.max”. For the end change
the track view note to “damage” and save as “..._end.max”. To export save the same way as a character
except change the “Extract to one KF file” to “Include in NIF”. You can add FX the same way to a
Effects Tutorial
To add reflective and glow effects to a character goto “Material Editor” and add a gloss and glow map.
Next click on an empty material window and click the “Get Material” button first on the left. Double-click
“Bitmap” and choose your lightmap. Now change the “Coordinates” from “Texture” to “Environ” with
“Spherical Environment” mapping, close dialog. Goto “Create” tab and click the “Lights” button. Then
click the “Omni Light” and place on the scene. Move to 0,-1,1 for the X,Y,Z this is mainly so you can see
the model you may have to move the Y and Z to a different position. Now goto “Modify” tab (this step can
be done before moving the light without selecting the modify tab) and under “General Parameters” click
the “Exclude” button a new dialog will appear change from “Exclude” to “Include”. The listbox to the left
you can select an object if you want it to have a metallic look and click the “>>” button. Do the same to
remove but from the right listbox and click the “<<” button. Close dialog and scroll down to “Shadow
Parameters” Make sure “Lights Affect Shadow Color” is checked click the “None” button and add the
“Bitmap” this will be the same bitmap as the lightmap under the “Material Editor”. To export just make
sure the “Lights” is checked and thats it.
Alpha Tutorial
Before adding alpha’ s to your model make sure you have alpha’ s enabled on the tga file. Alpha’ s don’ t
seem to work on all systems :(. First goto “Material Editor” and check “On” and “NoSort” under “Alpha
Testing” , change Test Ref to 200 (you can change this depending on your model). I use “GREATER” in
Test Mode but other settings may be used. Now click the Base map button for ex. Map #4
(male_basic.tga). Scroll down to “Bitmap Parameters” change the “Mono Channel Output” to “Alpha” and
“Alpha Source” to “ Image Alpha” uncheck “ PreMultiplied Alpha” .
UV Mapping Tutorial
First make sure the character is in figure mode to do this select the “Bip01” diamond in the center of the
character and goto “Motion” tab. Under “General” click the “ Figure Mode” button. Now select the
character and goto the “Modify” tab. Select “ Edittable Mesh” under the stack and choose the “ Polygon”
button. Select the polygon area you want to modify or change (tip: hold Ctrl down to add to the selection
and Alt to remove) and then select “UVW Map” under the “Modifier List” combo box. Normally I use
Planar or Cylindrical. Change the “Alignment to be facing you you will notice the orange rectangle on the
screen will change as you select X,Y or Z click “ Fit” button. Now choose “Unwrap UVW” under the
“Modifier List” click the edit button and select all vertices (they will turn red) and move off the bleck
rectangle. In the stack right click on the “Unwrap UVW” and choose “Collaspe To” (be sure the “Unwrap
UVW” is under the physique to save time from having to re-phyisque). Now select the “ Editable Mesh”
and choose “Unwrap UVW” under the “Modifier List” once again and click the “ Edit” button and select the
previous uv vertices and scale it to a size that will fit in an empty spot on of the rectangle close window.
Collaspe and repeat if needed. You may have to move some of the vertices around on the uv editor
window for better results this can be a long process.
What’s Left? (or Right?!?)
This at this point is an incomplete document, as is (at least till I get rid of this section) and will be updated
as info rolls in. If you know something that I have missed, feel free to Email me at
and I will add your info and credit.
Who’s on the Team? (or Credits if you must)
Jason DaSilva general stuff…
The Beyonder for Tutorials
But thanks to Ben (don’ t any of you hooligans go bugging him for info… I already did that!) at Irrational
for helping me through the tuff times before game release. (Ben, I pulled off Spiderman and Captain
A wise man knows, he knows nothing
I must be the wisest man on Earth,
cause I don't know squat

Offline Vertex

  • Texan Mesher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 773
  • I mesh therefore I am
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 12:35:48 AM »
The following were all notes I could find on animated textures.

1.  Goto the utilities panel.
2.  Click on More... button.
3.  Select IFL Manager.
4.  Scroll down to the new rollup click on the Select.. button.
5.  Select the first sequence of the tga in this example the male_basic_01.tga
6.  Click open.
7.  For Start: leave it at 0     
End: is the end of the tgas you want in the animation     
Every nth: this allows you to skip frames     
so if you had 5 tgas in the animated material and you change the nth from 1 to 2     
then you would see male_basic_01.tga, male_basic_03.tga     and male_basic_05.tga     
Multiplier: this number will skip as many frames you have input.       
ex. if you have 10 then every 10 frames the tga will change to the next tga in sequence.
8.  Click on create and give it a name.  male_basic.ifl for this

here is another way it was explained..
Animated Textures in 3dMAX

Seeing as beyonder's original post is missing now...I'll repost what he had posted (mainly so Volsung can find it now...).  Also included are Valander's comments...mainly becasue they seem important.

Beyonder: I'm posting this tutorial from memory so I may of left a step out.  Also this was done using max 4.2 so it maybe different

with later versions.  I have made screenshots to go with the tutorial I made at home last night but my internet died last night on me  .

1.  First create the tgas you want as the animated sequence.

2.  Next open up max and goto the utilities tab.

3.  Click on \"More...\" button.

4.  Select IFL Manager from the list.

5.  Click on the \"Select...\" button.

6.  From the open dialog choose the first tga in the sequence (male_basic_01.tga) and click open.

7.  Change Start: to 0 if its not already.
    For this example change End: to 2 (this basically means 2 more tgas in the sequence)
    nth:  the frames it will skip in the sequence.  Lets say you had this set to 2 then it would skip every
    2 tgas in the sequence.  For this tutorial leave it at 1.
    Multiplier: is how many frames before it will goto the next tga in the sequence.  Leave at 1 for now.

    You can click on the \"Edit...\" button to change the tgas you want in the list if you wanted to.

8.  Click on the \"Create...\" button.  Give the file a name in this tutorial name it male_basic.ifl.

9.  Now goto the material editor (Click \"M\" on the keyboard).

10. Create a new material and select the NetImmerse shader.

11. Scroll down and click on the \"None\" button across from Base.

12. In the open dialog change the file type to ifl and select the male_basic.ifl file.  Click open.

13. Drag the material to your mesh, particle, or object and export code.  This should also work on meshes with multiple materials. 

Valander: I should note two things here, after some experimentation:

1 ) The IFL file at the time of exporting is PERMANENT. No changes after the fact will change the number of frames, their duration, or their order.

2 ) The mesh will only accept one set of skins - \"Standard\". No others will show up.

 recent experiment showed me something new about animated skin meshes and alternate skins for them:

1 ) Any part of the mesh actively using an animated skin will always use the Standard skin for the animated parts.

2 ) HOWEVER, any part of the mesh using 'ordinary' skins CAN use alternate skins.

For example, I recently released a Helicopter mesh. The rotors and side rotor use an animated skin so that they constantly rotate.

However, the body of the helicopter uses a 'normal' skin setup.

Say I decide to make a news chopper skin for it. The body of the helicopter and all of its details will use the news chopper skin, but if I try to change the rotor skins,
say to a two-rotor setup, the rotors will still use the three rotor default in the Standard folder.

IOW, as long as that part of the skin isn't animated, it will function normally and accept alternate skins normally. 
A wise man knows, he knows nothing
I must be the wisest man on Earth,
cause I don't know squat

Offline Zivon23

  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 1049
    • Zivon's Skopes
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 02:40:25 AM »
Sticky this?

Offline Vertex

  • Texan Mesher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 773
  • I mesh therefore I am
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2008, 02:48:46 AM »
Apparently no need, Randy has said he'll be bringing back some of the posts and I'd assume that will include the tips and tricks sticky. Just put this up in case before he said that.
A wise man knows, he knows nothing
I must be the wisest man on Earth,
cause I don't know squat

Offline Zivon23

  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 1049
    • Zivon's Skopes
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2008, 02:51:58 AM »
Apparently no need, Randy has said he'll be bringing back some of the posts and I'd assume that will include the tips and tricks sticky. Just put this up in case before he said that.


Offline Blkcasanova247

  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 1873
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2008, 03:37:46 AM »
Thanks a lot Vertex. This'll help me out a great deal. ;)
I can't help it that I look so good baby! I'm just a love machine!

Offline miguelyanke

  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 382
    • YankeLove
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 12:41:37 PM »

Offline MJB

  • aka: Meejub, Emjaybee, Frosty...
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 8154
  • I Draw Stuff Sometimes!
    • My DeviantArt Page
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 07:37:42 AM »
Quote from: Vertex
Quote from: Zivon23
Sticky this?
Apparently no need, Randy has said he'll be bringing back some of the posts and I'd assume that will include the tips and tricks sticky. Just put this up in case before he said that.

Actually it would be best to sticky this new thread and just link to the one in the archive. I've stickied this thread and modified the original post to include the link to the original post.


Offline Vertex

  • Texan Mesher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 773
  • I mesh therefore I am
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2009, 07:13:14 PM »
The following is a list of animation calls from FFX very generously provided by TaskmasterX for all mesher to use as a guideline in what anims might be needed to add to any future animations for meshes you might make.

Animations Used By FFX              01/06/2009         ( C )=Customizable       ( H )=Hard-Coded   
Attributes   Action/Event   Dummy Power   Animation   Notes
Weapon Master   Dropping or Switching a weapon      drop_pole ( H )   Weapon Master doesn't seem to be fully functional.
Weapon Master   Picking up a weapong      pick_up_pole ( H )   
Explosive   Exploding      area_2 ( C )   
Summoner   Summoning   ffx_greenbeam_dummy   ranged ( C )   
Astral   Release Astral Form      ranged ( C )   
Kamikaze   KO   evil male Annihilate   area ( C )   
Active Absorption   Absorbing      area ( H )   
Clumsy Jumper, Jump Travel, Limited Jumping   Jumping      jump_stand ( H )   
Fastball   Thrower Picking Up Fastball      pickup_object ( H )   
Fastball   Fastball Being Picked Up      jump_stand ( H )   
Fastball   Thrower Throwing Fastball      throw_object ( H )   
Reality Manipulation   Using Chaos Reality Manipulation      area ( C )   
Reality Manipulation   Using Order Reality Manipulation      hover ( C )   The animation is currently disabled in FFX 3.3.03
Spellcaster   Cast Spell      ???   No customization list found in
Amplifier   Amplifying      ranged ( H )   
Free Spirit   Releasing Spirit      ranged ( C )   
Phasing   Phase Out      ranged ( C )   
Phasing   Disrupt Electronics      ranged ( C )   Actually uses same animation as Phase Out. Would need an update to use it's own seperate animation.
Absorb Material, Energy, or Powers   Absorbing   ffx_absorb   ranged ( C )   
Environmental Control (Globall)   Using Power   ffx_earth_control2   throw_object ( C )   
Environmental Control (Local)   Using Power   ffx_earth_control2   throw_object ( C )   
Shapeshifter and Temp Form   Shapeshifting      power ( C )   Temp Form has a separate customization, so Temps can use a different animation than the original Form when Shapeshifting
Living Laser   Using Power   ffx_living_laser   ranged ( C )   
Mimic   Using Power      power ( C )   
Dispersed Form   Reforming      recover_from_stun ( C )   
Peace Field   Using Power      ranged ( C )   
Depressed   Becoming depressed   angst_attack   stunned ( C )   
Enhanced Senses   Using Power      ranged_4 ( C )   
Energy Shield   Activate Shield      area ( C )   
Telekinetic and Super Telekinetic   Lifting Objects   ffx_tk_lift   ranged ( C )   
Telekinetic and Super Telekinetic   Throwing Objects   ffx_tk_throw   throw_object ( C )
Telekinetic and Super Telekinetic   Moving Objects   ffx_tk_move   drop_pole ( C )
Magnetic and Magnetic (Weak)   Lifting Objects   ffx_magnetic_lift   ranged ( C )
Magnetic and Magnetic (Weak)   Throwing Objects   ffx_magnetic_throw   throw_object ( C )
Magnetic and Magnetic (Weak)   Moving Objects   ffx_magnetic_move   drop_pole ( C )
Magnetic and Magnetic (Weak)   Using Special Magnetic Power   ffx_magnetic_shove   drop_pole ( C )
Earth Control and Earth Control (Weak)   Lifting Objects   ffx_earth_lift   ranged ( C )
Earth Control and Earth Control (Weak)   Throwing Objects   ffx_earth_throw   throw_object ( C )
Earth Control and Earth Control (Weak)   Moving Objects   ffx_earth_move   drop_pole ( C )
Earth Control and Earth Control (Weak)   Using Special Earth Control Power   ffx_earth_control   throw_object ( C )
Puppet Master (Nature)   Use Power   ffx_animate_nature   throw_object ( C )
Puppet Master (Urban)   Use Power   ffx_animate_urban   throw_object ( C )
Plasma Sculptor   Using Powers   ffx_greenbeam_dummy   ranged ( C )
Fire Control   Using Powers   ffx_earth_control2   throw_object ( C )
Ice Control   Creating Ice Wall   ffx_tk_lift   ranged ( C )
Ice Control   Creating Ice Patch   ffx_tk_throw   throw_object ( C )
Acrobatic   Landing from Knockback      land_from_jump ( C )
Weather Control   Using Powers      throw_object ( C )
Inner Being   Release Inner Being      ranged ( C )
Transmutator   Use Power   ffx_transmute   ranged ( C )
Light Control   Using Powers      throw_object ( C )
Last Resort   Use a Power when KOed   ffx_raygun   ranged ( C )
Megablast   Use Power   timemaster Energy X Beam   ranged ( C )
Angelic Ally   Summon Ally   ffx_tk_lift   ranged ( C )
Cannonball   Activate Shield   ffx_physicalshield   fly ( C )
Temporary Invulnerability   Activate Invulnerability      area ( C )
Precognitive   Using Power      stunned ( C )
Illusionist   Using Power   ffx_tk_lift2   ranged ( C )
Absorber (Original)   Absorbing   ffx_absorb   ranged ( C )
Bulk Teleporter   Teleport Object   ffx_bulk_teleport   ranged ( C )
Enchanter   Use Power   ffx_blank ( H )   ranged ( H )
FF Original Active Defense   Activate Defense   ff_active_defence   no_animation ( C )
Amalgam   Splitting Amalgam      power ( C )   There doesn't seem to be any code that actually uses the animation?
Kinetic Absorber   Using Increased Strength Punch   minute Patriot Smash extra   melee_2 ( C )   
Power Analysis   Use Power   ffx_power_scan   ranged ( C )   
Power Reserve   Boost Power   ffx_power_scan   ranged ( C )   
Web-Slinger   Use Power   ffx_web_pull   ranged ( C )   
Battle Computer, Energy Redirector   Use Powers         These Attributes have no default Powers and therefore no default animations. These Attributes use a variable number of Customizable Powers that the Player must create when giving one of these Attributes to their character.

Power Swaps   Action/Event   Dummy Power   Animation   Notes
Gravity Increase   Target under effects      land_back   
Knockout Gas   Target under effects      fall   
Fire Cage   Target under effects      stunned   
Static Cage   Target under effects      stunned   
Possession With Powers   Use Powers         This Power Swap has no default Powers and therefore no default animations. This Power Swap uses a variable number of Customizable Powers that the Player must create when giving this Power Swap to their character.
Grapple (Melee)   Use Powers      Uses animation of the Power Swapped   Animations for physical grappling are badly needed. Any animation where the grappler is reaching out to grab the target in some kind of hold around the head, neck or torso should work with this swap. i.e. bear hugs, choke holds, clinch holds, etc. Even using legs or other body parts to grapple would be nice. As long as the animation looks like their grappling a standing target.

Misc. Functions/Events   Action/Event   Dummy Power   Animation   Notes
breakFree   Breaking Free of Movement Hindering Effects      swing_pole   Used when breaking free of Fire Cages, Static Cages, Tangle, and Grapple Swaps
Target is Tangled or Grappled         pain (looped)   Used when the target is under the effects of Tangle and Grapple Swaps
A wise man knows, he knows nothing
I must be the wisest man on Earth,
cause I don't know squat

Offline yell0w_lantern

  • Cut-rate Ringslinger
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2899
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 03:34:37 PM »
dynamic lighting for characters using Max 5.1 and the FFvT3R exporters:

   1.  Set the decay type to Inverse.  Inverse squared decay is not recognized in FF.
   2. Click "use" and "show" under Far Attenuation.  Set the start to 0.0.  Use the End variable to control the size of the light's radius.
   3. Click the "diffuse" checkbox under affected surfaces.
   4. If you would like a more pronounced effect from the light, use the "multiplier" value under the Intensity/Color/Attenuation section.  Be careful with this though because values higher than 5.0 can cause strange problems with objects that are near the edge of the light's radius.


You will notice that the light you have just created doesn't do anything to the visual representation of the object in Max. Now export your object to a NIF file (make sure lights checkbox is on) and check the final result in the game.
So make your light using the omni light option under the lighting tab then use the link command to link it to the biped at the center of mass (the white diamond shaped thingy usually in the mesh's pelvis).

see the colored rings around the mesh? Ignore the yellow one since that is just the 3d axis. The cyan (ugly light blue) one is the decay start. The brown one is your far attenuation End. The controls for your omni light are shown below.

Make sure you get the decay set well away from the body or the light will decay (i.e. disappear) before reaching the 3d environment. As you can see, I set mine at 6.092m - I just eyeballed it. I did the same thing with far attenuation but only the End value; I left the start value at zero.

Next we take a closer look at two very important controls:

The first one is the multiplier value. I set mine at 2 the first time I tried making a dynamic light and I've never changed it because I like the intensity and I'm afraid the light might not be visible at a value of 1 (never tried it, but you can).

The big purple arrow points to the second control - the color control. Click on the color swatch to change it. I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to assign a texture to that spot. If anyone figures it out please post it.

The method of color choice is pretty standard as you can see below:

Just export as usual and make sure that you've checked the export box for lights.

A word of caution regarding omni lights in Max 5.1: There is a box under General Parameters right below the shadow map dropdown. sometimes this box says "include" and sometimes it says "exclude". Open it up and make sure that the omni light is set to affect all parts of your mesh you want lighted whether you are exporting a dynamic light or just a plain old omni light for gloss maps to work.

The max file pictured is available for download from my second yahoo group as NoCapeMan_aura.max

Black does not show up in game. A darker value in the color selector is treated as less intense light so as you go from the green I chose toward black the light will get less intense.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 03:40:05 PM by yell0w_lantern »
Yellow Lantern smash!

Offline tommyboy

  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 3673
    • Tommyboysmeshes
Re: Meshing Tips and Tricks reborn
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2010, 01:51:35 PM »
Grenadier's Animation Notes Tutorial AKA How to copy animations in 3dsMax from one file to another: