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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: [Tutorial] creature's apperance changes - basics.
Thread: [Tutorial] creature's apperance changes - basics. This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
radar
radar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Castle/Haven player
posted December 29, 2007 04:44 PM bonus applied.
Edited by radar at 17:52, 29 Dec 2007.

[Tutorial] creature's apperance changes - basics.

edit: mod uploaded! http://www.speedyshare.com/928150432.html

Tutorial contains basic knowlege (so for beginners) needed to switching creature's model, icons, and animations.

While writing it I will consider things that affect creature's apperance, only. I made it because bigjocker asked me.

There are two avaible ways of modding: by editor or by unpacking text files from data.pak. I'll describe the second method, as I'm more familiar to it, though I think modding with the map editor is little faster and more simple.

By modding, we mean unpacking files from game package and changing them for own purposes. I pressure you to do it directly into
Game Directory Folder/data/.



I installed ToE on my E:\ disk, but default path begins with C:\Program Files.

Why there? Files put in this place (with correct folder construction) work instantly, they don't need to be zipped, so it means we can change them when we want without unpacking it, zipping it again, renaming into .h5u etc.

Before modifying any file remove it "Read only" property by righ-clicking on it and selecting Properties.

Let's assume we want to change Wrath to look like Death Knight with texture change.

If we consider changes like texture editing, we must create new files. Doing this we can avoid apperance changes to existing creatures.

1. We need to find Wrath's .xdb file.

We can find it here:
GameMechanics\Creature\Creatures\Necropolis\Wraith.xdb

Unpack it.

What it contains:



<MonsterShared href line: specifies the file that is responsible for how creature looks on adventure map.

<CombatSize> tags: between them there's a value which decides how much tiles creature takes on battlefield.

1 - one square, 2 - 4 squares, so it makes creature Large.

<Visual href= line, specifies the file which contains main visual data. This file is the most important.

Now, take the creature you want Wrath to look like. We chose Death Knight. Find .xdb file of Death Knight,

GameMechanics\Creature\Creatures\Neutrals\Death_Knight.xdb

copy whole <Visual href= line to Wrath's .xdb. We won't use exaclty the same file that Death Knight uses, because we don't wanna change his appearance also, but only Wrath's! That's why we need to rename it. I sugguest to add 2 at the end.

Save changes, that's all for this file.

Now Wrath.xdb looks like this:


Following <Visual href= line, find and unpack Death Knight's Visual File.

GameMechanics\CreatureVisual\Creatures\Neutrals\Death_Knight.xdb

Rename it to Death_Knight2.xdb, because we specified such file earlier.

2. Modifying new CreatureVisual file

What it contains:



'<CreatureNameFileRef href=', '<CreatureAbilitiesFileRef href=', '<DescriptionFileRef href=': in order of apperance:

- first link specifiles simple .txt file with creature's name inside it,

- second link specifiles similiar file, but with listed abilties. It doesn't affect game since ToE in any way, because ToE adds abilities' names by itself, you can close this line,

- third file stands for creature's description.

<IconXXX href=: where XXX is a size. These lines specifiles files with creature's icons. ToE may use the biggest (128) only, the rest is automaticly resized,

<AnimCharacter href=: links to file which is responsible for pathes for Model and Animations files.

We wanna creature to be still called Wrath and to own Wrath's description, so we need to return him right file paths
(marked blue). To do so, find "old" Wrath's Visual File in data.pak:

GameMechanics\CreatureVisual\Creatures\Necropolis\Wraith.xdb

Now copy blue lines to earlier created and unpacked

GameMechanics\CreatureVisual\Creatures\Neutrals\Death_Knight2.xdb.

About icons (green area) we can leave the 128 one, the rest will get deleted.
Now we will create new Character File, doing it in the same way as we did with new Creature Visual file.

Add 2 at the end of the name, and save changes.

Our "Death_Knight2.xdb" Visual File should look like this now:


3. Modifying new Character file

Following <AnimCharacter href= line, find and unpack Death Knight's Character File, and then rename it to DeathKnight2.(Character).xdb. We specified file "2", now it needs to be created.

You can find original file here:

/Characters/Creatures/Necropolis/DeathKnight.(Character).xdb.

What it contains?



<Model href=: specifies file which contains links to Geometry and Texture files.

There are two types of Model files:

a) the file has all required data for textures and geometry detalis itself (old ones, little messy), this one is used for Death Knight,

b) the file has links to several files - each other contains separate data (new ones, in use since HoF).

<ArenaAnimSet href=: specifies file with creature animations.

And now again, to prevent using original Death Knight's files, add at the end of the line <Model href= "2" and save changes.

It should look like this now:


Following <Model href= line, find and unpack the Model file from:

/_(Model)/Creatures/Necropolis/DeathKnight.(Model).xdb

Rename it to DeathKnight2.(Model).xdb.

4. Modifying new Model file - texture changes

Find in your new Model File all <Texture href= tags:


These tags contain links to Texture files:

1. Horse and his armor texture,

2. Rider's body,

3. Rider's coat.

Be sure to rename them and add 2 at the end:


Now follow the links and unpack Texture Files and files named the same but with dds extension, which can be found in the same directory:

Example: unpack both of them.


The dds files are textures you can recolour for your own purposes.

If you unpacked all .xdb files with their .dds files, add 2 at the end of each one, according to names you just specified in Model File.

Now open all your .xdb files you just renamed, so:

/Textures/Creatures/Necropolis/BlackKnight/BlackKnight2_horse.tga.xdb

/Textures/Creatures/Necropolis/DeathKnight/DeathKnight2.tga.xdb

"/Textures/Creatures/Necropolis/DeathKnight/DeathKnight2_coat.tga.xdb

and find inside such lines:

<DestName href=...

Value inside must contain the name of dds file which was with texture's .xdb file:


That's all, your mod is done. If you want, you can zip the folders from Game directory/data/ you were working on, change archive extension to .h5u and put it inside UserMODs folder.

What did we exactly do?

We changed Wraith's apperance to look like retextured Death Knight, while leaving Death Knight as it is originally.



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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted December 29, 2007 04:55 PM

Excellent!

Unfortunately some of the images are a bit small, makes it difficult to see the text in them.
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What will happen now?

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radar
radar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Castle/Haven player
posted December 29, 2007 04:58 PM

Thank you. I'm bit suprised about images, will reupload them on Imageshack.

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bigjocker
bigjocker


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Forgotten but not Forsaken
posted December 29, 2007 05:02 PM

Now that's pretty complicated, but I'll try. And thanx a lot for this.
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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted December 29, 2007 05:15 PM

I love my Pony?  ROTFL!

Also, when uploading make sure you are set to not reduce anything unless it is over 1 Megabyte.  

Awesome guide.  I kinda knew most of it but still pretty cool.  And in Vista too!
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How exactly is luck a skill?

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bigjocker
bigjocker


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Forgotten but not Forsaken
posted December 29, 2007 05:45 PM

This should be a sticky one and worth a QP for sure.
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radar
radar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Castle/Haven player
posted December 29, 2007 05:53 PM

lol bj

Images reuploaded, training mod is avaible to download.

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bigjocker
bigjocker


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Forgotten but not Forsaken
posted December 29, 2007 06:23 PM
Edited by bigjocker at 18:30, 29 Dec 2007.

Radar, I'm serious. No one helped me at this. Look at my MOD's thread to see what you helped me to do. (Oh and did you get my IM?)

EDIT:I still get Wight on the map. What to do?
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HoMM3Lite

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radar
radar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Castle/Haven player
posted December 29, 2007 08:14 PM

It is written on the very beggining, you need to change monstershared file in basic creature's .xdb file.

You can do it the same way as other things, by linking there Death Knight's file, unpacking it, changing it's name, etc.

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted December 29, 2007 09:05 PM

Quote:
lol bj

Images reuploaded, training mod is avaible to download.


Perfect.
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What will happen now?

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sfidanza
sfidanza


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted December 29, 2007 09:30 PM

Good tutorial. QP-worthy indeed!

Quote:
It is written on the very beggining, you need to change monstershared file in basic creature's .xdb file.


No, not exactly. The AdvMapMonsterShared file is linked back to the creature ID.
What you should do is edit the Wraith AdvMapMonsterShared file:
/MapObjects/Necropolis/Wraith.(AdvMapMonsterShared).xdb
and point its <Model> and <AnimSet> nodes to the new ones.

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bigjocker
bigjocker


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Forgotten but not Forsaken
posted December 29, 2007 09:47 PM
Edited by bigjocker at 21:48, 29 Dec 2007.

Quote:
It is written on the very beggining, you need to change monstershared file in basic creature's .xdb file.

You can do it the same way as other things, by linking there Death Knight's file, unpacking it, changing it's name, etc.


At last I've managed to do it. Here you can see my Dark Knight and compare it with Death Knight.(In map editor)


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Wulfstan8182
Wulfstan8182


Famous Hero
, eh?
posted December 30, 2007 02:34 AM

thx radar. there's one on the modding wiki but yours actually tells all the steps so if you put it in your UserMODS folder it's gonna work, and it's gonna work right!
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Sunjah
Sunjah


Hired Hero
posted December 30, 2007 04:52 AM

If I had a zombie model/texture (3rd one actually) and wanted it to have pink eyes (like all other 3rds, not green), would I need to do more than change the *.dds files for the zombie itslef (DeseaseZombie-zombieUP.(Texture).dds) and the icon file (Disease_Zombie.(Texture).dds)?

You won't believe why I asked, but I tried to do this and in-game it came up with a zombie that had pink in the middle, but green all around it.  Is there an "effect" happening to cause the green.  The skeleton (3rd) has pink eyes, so I tried to see if I could find a difference between the zombie and skeleton.  If so, I was going to switch the 'green zombie effect' to the 'pink skeleton effect' for the zombie model itself.

I recolored the bottome of the Archlich's gown to green to match others of 2nd upgrade, worked like a charm.  I don't get what is going wrong with this dumb 3rd zombie.

"Any help would be, um, well appreciated" (and who is that a quote from?).
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kmp123
kmp123


Hired Hero
posted December 30, 2007 05:33 AM

great one ! it helps me alot

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Cleave
Cleave


Promising
Famous Hero
Raging Blood
posted December 30, 2007 05:35 PM

It's really helpful. There are a few modifications I wanted to make and never could. I will give it a try now!

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Wulfstan8182
Wulfstan8182


Famous Hero
, eh?
posted December 30, 2007 08:40 PM
Edited by Wulfstan8182 at 23:54, 30 Dec 2007.

Maybe add on how to make things transparent, radar. so sort of like how to remove things.
EDIT: STICKY THIS!!!
EDIT2(since no one posted): So i work on a copy of the file, then zip all the things that i changed, rename the extension to .h5u, and then put it in my UserMODS folder. and it should work. Right?
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Wulfstan8182
Wulfstan8182


Famous Hero
, eh?
posted December 31, 2007 07:59 PM
Edited by Wulfstan8182 at 21:00, 31 Dec 2007.

ok, i'm sorry for making a second reply in this topic but people just won't notice what i edited in the last one. STICKY THIS TOPIC
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Orfinn
Orfinn


Supreme Hero
Werewolf Duke
posted December 31, 2007 09:17 PM
Edited by Orfinn at 21:18, 31 Dec 2007.

Great tutorial! Many nice mods will pour forth now, no doubt

Ya and STICK IT, its a very useful thread!
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Wulfstan8182
Wulfstan8182


Famous Hero
, eh?
posted December 31, 2007 09:27 PM
Edited by Wulfstan8182 at 08:20, 01 Jan 2008.

sorry, it is now in the FAQ thread. sorry again for being so bad by posting this in a wrong thread
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