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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Could we make a basic model editor?
Thread: Could we make a basic model editor? This thread is 9 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 · «PREV / NEXT»
kohansey
kohansey

Tavern Dweller
posted January 20, 2010 08:59 AM
Edited by kohansey at 09:02, 20 Jan 2010.

editor

this editor looks great.  do you think you could post a tutorial on how to get the necessary file needed to use it, such as how to convert the animation binary to smd.  Great work, keep it up.

On a side note, I am also a programmer and would be willing to lend a hand.

I have been reading though the mod forum and it is still unclear if anyone was able to convert the animation and skeleton files into something that Maya can read.  Does anyone know if it is possible to load a HoMM 5 model into Maya and have it play the animations?
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Psatkha
Psatkha


Promising
Known Hero
H5 MODder
posted January 20, 2010 10:35 AM

@Pesmontis

Do you can edit animations (Granny) ?!

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TSoD
TSoD


Promising
Famous Hero
NCF Blacksmith
posted January 20, 2010 02:53 PM
Edited by TSoD at 15:24, 20 Jan 2010.

I think when you create a complete model in maya, with a skeleton and its animation, save it as .mb, then import it into the game with Psatkha's tutorial, the editor MAKES ITSELF the skeleton/mesh/animation dispatching. We only need to tell the editor how is named the skeleton object in maya binary scene, and it will extract it and create the animations and skeleton files. I made some screenshots about it a while ago. I'll try to re-find them.

See the post there :
http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=27275&pagenumber=40

For the image of granny importer/exporter for heroes V editor :

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kohansey
kohansey

Tavern Dweller
posted January 20, 2010 04:59 PM

models and animation

Thank you TSoD for your reply.  

The details of what can be done is murky, it is very unclear what exactly can be accomplished and how to accomplish it.  With that said, let me try to state clearly exactly what I want to do.  I don't care about converting back to HoMM V (at the moment).  

What I know I can do:

1.  Take a geometry from the data.pak archive and convert to WRL file format using the utility mesh2wrl.  (does anyone know if this is the same mesh format used in Ogre3D)
2.  Take the WRL file import into 3DS Max.
3.  Take the imported scene in 3DS Max and export to OBJ format.
4.  Take the OBJ file and import into Maya.

Following steps 1-4 I have a geometry mesh in Maya.  Now that I have the geometry loaded into Maya,

q1.   How to I take the skeleton out the data.pak archive and apply it to this geometry in Maya?  
I know I can get the granny viewer to load the skeleton.
q2.   Does this mean I need a granny importer for Maya that will import the skeleton?
q2a.  If this is the case, does the file need to be converted or can I take it straight out the the data.pak.  
q3.   Is there a tutorial on how to do this?



After I have the skeleton applied to the geometry,
q4.   How do I take the animation out of the data.pak archive and apply it to the geometry and skeleton in Maya?




I apologize if you have already answered my questions, but there is always talk of converting back to HoMM V but seem to skip the details of the Maya editing.

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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 20, 2010 06:26 PM
Edited by Pesmontis at 18:55, 20 Jan 2010.

more answers

Quote:
This editor looks great .. great work, keep it up.

Thanks, will do :-)

Quote:
.. post a tutorial on how to..

atm. I have this little manual, which I will use to expand on. Furthermore, I recommend reading-up on:

- the NWN2 expotron plugin ;

- Cannonfodders SMD plugins for 3DSmax ;

- Using the expotron plugin (with NWN2) ;

- Magos modeling tutorial .

The latter is for Warcraft III and gmax, but it's very easy to read, it's quite complete, and it can be applied to 3DSmax / HoMM.V as well.

Quote:
.. how to convert the animation binary to smd.

That's actually beyond the scope of 'Archangel', but I tested the gr2decode documentation, and I found that current (original) GR2 animation files can ONLY be imported, played, and edited with 3DSmax2008.

I guess this also answers Psatkha's question, however I did not test the conversion / export of original animations.
The only thing I used original animations for is to load them in GrannyViewer in order to test the proper connection and orientation of bones, exported with 'Archangel' (as 'SMD reference'), and exported again (as GR2 file without animations) with 3DSmax7.

Quote:
.. would be willing to lend a hand..

That's what I wanna hear !!! :-))))
I'll pm you.

This is gonna be a long post..
You guys are keeping me from programming!!
;-)

Quote:
.. still unclear..

Well, I've asked around quite a bit, and the only one who came near to importing all of a creature's skeleton into Maya was Crazypill. He has kindly sent me his source code and told me how far he'd got.
Before reading that thread which TSoD posted I thought that it wouldn't be possible to create GR2 animations and GR2 skeletons via Maya. But now I think there's TWO ways of providing two-way conversions.
atm. I think it would be useful if someone could finish Crazypill's Maya import-script generator for GR2 skeleton's (and eventually GR2 animations)..

I think this anwers Kohansey's other questions.
I'll pm you anyway, Kohansey.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

About 'Archangel', here's some images I created while testing:


The image shows that 'Archangel' now properly connects bones to a mesh.


The image shows a static model (the 'Fountain of Youth'), which also has bones.
'Archangel' now properly loads static models.
The bones of this model are probably used to spawn effects from.
The colors shown are the diffuse (?) vertex colors.


The image shows the hero 'Kujin' with her specular (?) vertex colors.


.. Also animated effects can now be loaded into 'Archangel'.
Shown here is the 'Rune' effect of the 'MatronChambers' model.


Trouble with Ornella: the bones won't load (maybe I just selected the wrong skeleton)..

Other difficulties I'm having with 'Archangel' are:
- positioning of (large) static models in the 3D view;
- difficulties manipulating the 3D view when large objects are loaded,
  or models with large offsets from the origin.

Besides posting images and answering questions, I also have some questions of my own:

About the numbered creatured of the NCF project:
Could anyone tell me where those numbers come from?

About effects:
I didn't yet encounter XDB links / references to a creature's effects,
how / where are the links to a creature's effects stored?

Cheers,
Pesmontis




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kohansey
kohansey

Tavern Dweller
posted January 20, 2010 07:14 PM
Edited by kohansey at 19:48, 20 Jan 2010.

animation

Thank you Pesmontis for getting back to me.  I also have 3DS Max so if it is possible to load the skeleton and animation in 3DS Max. I can go from there, I just need to know this can be accomplished.

Sorry, I should have read through the tutorial and links before posting.  I will run through the tutorial tonight and let you know what I come up with.  *fingers crossed* Hopefully something good.

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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 20, 2010 07:29 PM

repeat

I repeat: 3DSmax2008 ONLY (to this date).

Quote:
does anyone know if this is the same mesh format used in Ogre3D

Yes I know: an HoMM.V mesh file does not have the same format as an 'Ogre3D mesh'. I think an HoMM.V mesh file has a Nival proprietary format, because I also found this format in Nival's game 'Blitzkrieg' (but not in 'Blitzkrieg II', this game uses GR2 meshes).

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TSoD
TSoD


Promising
Famous Hero
NCF Blacksmith
posted January 20, 2010 11:43 PM

Quote:
About effects:
I didn't yet encounter XDB links / references to a creature's effects,
how / where are the links to a creature's effects stored?

Cheers,
Pesmontis



Well I have some good experience in all the effects system used by Heroes V.
To answer your question, I'll say that it's different according to the creature you are working on, because Nival didn't use the same methode for all creatures.
In fact, the main thing is the following :

First, you must look for the BasicSkelAnim of the creature/building XDB file. You can find where is the BasiSkelAnim of a creature in opening its AnimSet XDB file. And, you can find where is the AnimSet XDB file in its Character XDB file.
So in order :
1. Character XDB (mostly stocked in data.pak/Characters/) leading to 2
2. AnimSet XDB leading to 3
3. BasickSkelAnim leading to 4
4. In the BasiSkelAnim XDB, there is a <Effect href "..."> tag. It leads to the 5
5. Effect XDB itself (mostly located in data.pak/Effects/)

Then, the effect system :
".(Effect).xdb"
The main effect file. It combines the different parts of the effect. An effect is composed of Particle Instances (Smokes, water, splashes, glows,...) and/or Light Instances (Light effects, for spells mostly) and or Models Instances (Complete model with ONE and only ONE animation ; no effects can be applied on a BasicSkelAnim-animated model instance).

If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer you
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kohansey
kohansey

Tavern Dweller
posted January 21, 2010 05:41 AM
Edited by kohansey at 05:46, 21 Jan 2010.

Archangel

Since you have the source from CrazyPill's mesh2wrl utility, does Archangel read in HoMM5's model geometry directly, or do you use another format?  

Gnoll_Mage the link you posted at the beginning of this thread is dead, would it be possible for you to send me the source code that you sent Pesmontis, or could use post another active link where I can get that source.

Pesmontis sent me the source for CrazyPill's mesh2wrl utility, I am going through it now to see how he read in the data.  Anyone know how CrazyPill discovered Nival's file format for meshes?

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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 21, 2010 08:48 AM
Edited by Pesmontis at 09:20, 21 Jan 2010.

links

Thanks TSoD, I found such a link (for the Academy Genie).

Do you also know about those new creature numbers?

The reason I ask this is that in a HoMM.V mesh file, each submesh carries a kind of 'magic number', which makes me think of those creature numbers.

Ehm.. TSoD, since you're obviously using Maya, can you tell me anything about the vertex colors?
I mean, if you create a new creature's mesh, do you apply vertex colors explicitly or does Maya assign vertex colors arbitrarily?


To Kohansey:
Quote:
.. does Archangel read in HoMM5's model geometry directly..

Yes (I suspect another one of my messages got between your junk E-mail).

Quote:
.. how CrazyPill discovered Nival's file format..

It's a matter of pure reverse engineering I think.
On the forums.ag.ru there's some posts (posted in 2006) discussing this process.

Quote:
.. the source code that you sent Pesmontis..

I've asked Gnoll Mage whether I can forward it to you.

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TSoD
TSoD


Promising
Famous Hero
NCF Blacksmith
posted January 21, 2010 12:38 PM

Quote:
Thanks TSoD, I found such a link (for the Academy Genie).

Do you also know about those new creature numbers?

The reason I ask this is that in a HoMM.V mesh file, each submesh carries a kind of 'magic number', which makes me think of those creature numbers.


In fact these numbers represent for the .exe each creature ID. But if they are useful in the mesh file, I'm sceptic : Look at all the creatures we made, that have for example the ID 463 but the same mesh than the Cyclop ? So I don't think mesh files are linked to the numeric ID.

Quote:
Ehm.. TSoD, since you're obviously using Maya, can you tell me anything about the vertex colors?
I mean, if you create a new creature's mesh, do you apply vertex colors explicitly or does Maya assign vertex colors arbitrarily?


No sorry, I'm not using Maya, but Blender, a free 3D editor.
But normally, in any 3D editor, I think that since you assigned an armature/skeleton object to a group of vertex, the editor put itself a default "deformation amplitude colors set" on vertex.
For the specular colors, I wouldn't be surprised if Maya has an automatic tool that does the work. But, as for the deformation amplitude colors, there must be a pencil tool for specifying the specular colors manually, cause automatic tools aren't so perfect.
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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 21, 2010 03:58 PM
Edited by Pesmontis at 22:11, 21 Jan 2010.

Maya and colors

Quote:
So I don't think mesh files are linked to the numeric ID

Alright, would you mind if I take a look at one of your newly produced HoMM.V mesh files? Just to make sure (I don't need skeleton / animations).

Quote:
I'm not using Maya, but Blender

OK, two questions here:
(1) If you don't use Maya, then who or what converts your models? (in order to be able to follow the steps from Psatkha's / Crazypill's tutorial).
(2) I don't think that Blender can export Maya file formats, so this would mean you're using an intermediate file format. Are you?

Quote:
.. there must be a pencil tool for specifying..

That's what I think (I'm not using Maya either). You seem to know quite a lot about this :-)
With respect to 'deformation amplitude colors' I think it would be very strange if Maya would export them. In addition, I thought such colors are per bone, and not per mesh..

Furthermore, if you look at the specular colors for 'Kujin', I think it's obvious that the model was put together from various parts. Please also note that I only interpreted these colors as 'specular colors', because they appear as the third vertex color.

The second and fourth vertex color, which I interpreted as the diffuse and the emissive color, appear much more gradual, which seems quite intentional.

I would appreciate any thoughts about these colors.

[Edit]-Here's a pic. of today's (Jan. 21, 2010) progress:



The picture shows Biara and her skeleton in 3DSmax7.
A few days ago I found out that not all skeletons are in the same scale as their corresponding meshes. Quickly scanning through the Granny2 parameters led me to believe that a bone's 'Inverse World Transform' matrix actually only contains an identity matrix multiplied by an inverse scale factor. Further testing proved me wrong, so I had to build somit extra into my Granny2 interface to get all of these matrices' elements and apply the math to the principal bone axis.
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kohansey
kohansey

Tavern Dweller
posted January 22, 2010 12:00 AM

g2decode

After looking through the code for GR2 Decode, I think it might be possible to directly import the animation into ArchAngel, however, to be certain of this, I need to see how the mesh data is handled.  I would like to look at the display code to see how the bones are used.  

I probably don't need ArchAngels source, but the viewer code would be nice.  

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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 22, 2010 12:50 AM

Animations

Quote:
.. possible to directly import the animation into ArchAngel..


I'm using a C++ dll as a wrapper for Granny2.dll (also to export STDcalls).
If you want to draw animation data out of a GR2 file, I'd like to suggest you could extend my wrapper..

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TSoD
TSoD


Promising
Famous Hero
NCF Blacksmith
posted January 22, 2010 02:16 PM

Quote:
Alright, would you mind if I take a look at one of your newly produced HoMM.V mesh files? Just to make sure (I don't need skeleton / animations).

My only mesh files were test versions of static buildings made in Blender and exported. I'll upload one or two when I can, here I'm not home but I'll do it

Quote:
Quote:
I'm not using Maya, but Blender

OK, two questions here:
(1) If you don't use Maya, then who or what converts your models? (in order to be able to follow the steps from Psatkha's / Crazypill's tutorial).
(2) I don't think that Blender can export Maya file formats, so this would mean you're using an intermediate file format. Are you?

In fact, I do this :
1) mesh2wrl.exe convert a HoMM.V mesh into a wrl file.
2) I import it in Blender using the default import function of the application.
3) I modify the model and so on
(now two ways possible
4a) I export it as a .wrl
5a) I use wrl2ma.exe to convert in maya ascii format
6a) I open it in may then save it as an .mb
4b) I export it as a .obj
5b) I import it in Maya
6b) I save it as an .mb

Finally I use Crazypill's tutorial to import the .mb into HoMM. editor as a mesh file. That's all

Quote:
Quote:
.. there must be a pencil tool for specifying..

That's what I think (I'm not using Maya either). You seem to know quite a lot about this :-)
With respect to 'deformation amplitude colors' I think it would be very strange if Maya would export them. In addition, I thought such colors are per bone, and not per mesh..

The deformation amplitude colors that are indeed per bone are very important, so I'm almost sure that for complex models like used in HoMM.V they should be encoded somewhere. If you leave the default deformation for vertex groups, the deformation could be very strange and not natural. Look for example the difference between these two pictures :

At the left, the model won't be well deformed cause it is deformed everywhere with the same amplitude, even at the boundaries of the bone deformation. On the other hand, at the right, the model is animated progressively so where it is red it is fully deformed, and at the boundaries it is less and less deformed to have a smooth deformation.
So it is very important, the models of Heores should have that too.

Quote:
Furthermore, if you look at the specular colors for 'Kujin', I think it's obvious that the model was put together from various parts.

In fact, yes they are assembled to make a more complex mesh, and we see very well that there are parts. In fact I think the models wasn't made of parts at the beginning, Nival only "cut" it for the MATERIALS. The materials system of Heroes V doesn't seem to support multi-material types on a single mesh part. So they needed to cut it, and arrange in parts : the metallic parts haven't the same specular colors than the body parts for example.

Quote:
The second and fourth vertex color, which I interpreted as the diffuse and the emissive color, appear much more gradual, which seems quite intentional.

Here I can't help you, but it should be the same explication. :S

[Edit]-Here's a pic. of today's (Jan. 21, 2010) progress:



The picture shows Biara and her skeleton in 3DSmax7.
A few days ago I found out that not all skeletons are in the same scale as their corresponding meshes. Quickly scanning through the Granny2 parameters led me to believe that a bone's 'Inverse World Transform' matrix actually only contains an identity matrix multiplied by an inverse scale factor. Further testing proved me wrong, so I had to build somit extra into my Granny2 interface to get all of these matrices' elements and apply the math to the principal bone axis.


Still totally awesome, keep the great work !!
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the complete and homogen NCF
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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 22, 2010 10:24 PM
Edited by Pesmontis at 13:56, 24 Jan 2010.

deformation amplitude colors

Quote:
.. here I'm not home..

Don't tell me you're spending time in some luxurious ski resort ;-)

Quote:
.. the models of Heroes should have that too..

Deformation amplitude colors are actually translated into 'vertex weights', which are stored in an HoMM.V mesh file, but not as a vertex color.

Quote:
.. Nival only "cut" it for the MATERIALS..

Could be, but then Kujin's legs should have the same specular color as the rest of her body, don't you think?

Quote:
.. the great work..

.. is progressing, though I've got nothing to show today. I've merely been testing, for instance the trouble I'm having with Ornella's skeleton. It seems the skeleton I loaded is actually only supports her horse, and the rest seems to refer to the Isabella model.

I've also compiled a little list of strange, incomplete or simply bad meshes for TotE:
0217BE7F-A778-4204-B235-A1095E8EEE78 ("archers_tower" dev object)
0991B743-14EC-4628-8090-B4A212D1664A
1A321847-04F2-4E3D-A9BF-1D172EB408DA
959D661B-8F5D-4441-9171-3DB22BB6ABC4
9D0AB2F3-5B94-4224-A52D-CAD4411C3009
B2448D7C-D845-4E36-B3EA-37CFD50C39F3
B4AB5ACA-7069-43E2-B107-4802C99FEA01

I've used these files to make 'Archangel' more robust.

[Edit]- These past days I've been very busy reworking Archangel's 3D display. The way I programmed it previously was only suitable for models which used roughly the same size (HoMMV models vary greatly in size).
Consequently I have to reprogram all mouse manipulation functions (rot., pan, zoom).

When I finish this work to my satisfaction I'll release another Alpha version (v0.2a).




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Psatkha
Psatkha


Promising
Known Hero
H5 MODder
posted January 25, 2010 06:53 AM
Edited by Psatkha at 06:57, 25 Jan 2010.

Quote:
When I finish this work to my satisfaction I'll release another Alpha version (v0.2a).


Where is the link for downloading last (current) version of Archangel ?!

I don't find it at http://tatooinebase.star-fleet.org

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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 25, 2010 08:54 PM
Edited by Pesmontis at 20:56, 25 Jan 2010.

Quote:
Where is the link.. ?!

Archangel v0.1 Alpha

Please note that Archangel v0.2 Alpha has not yet been released. I have overcome the difficulties I had with the 3D display of large objects (and objects which have a large offset from the origin).

The new release is almost ready, the only thing I need to do is double-checking the in-file pointers of a new HoMM.V mesh file.

Version 0.2 Alpha will have additional features compared to version 0.1 Alpha:
- HoMM.V mesh writing;
- SMD reference file writing (including skeleton);
- GR2 skeleton import;
- import and display of heroes;
- import and display of (large) static objects.

Things which still need to be addressed are:
- SMD reference file import;
- OBJ file import;
- localization issues;
- changing (editing) of bone local parameters;
- create all kinds of program options.
I have most of the code for this, but it needs thorough reviewing.

Please note that the upcoming release is still an Alpha release, which means that it is only meant for testing purposes and demonstration of (some) intended features.

Cheers,
Pesmontis

ps. In case I haven't clarified this, my suggestion for an HoMM.V modeling pipeline for modders is:
- Create a 'rigged' model with animations in 3DSmax7;
- Export the mesh as an SMD reference file;
- Export the skeleton as a GR2 file;
- Export each separate animation as a separate GR2 file;
- Use 'Archangel' to import the SMD reference file, and to convert it to an HoMM.V mesh file.

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TSoD
TSoD


Promising
Famous Hero
NCF Blacksmith
posted January 26, 2010 01:18 PM

Sorry but here I've lost all my data because of a Linux installation (and by the way a piece of advice : if you can avoid linux, avoid it, never seen such an unprofessional OS !!).
I'll post something as soon as I can, sorry :/
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the complete and homogen NCF
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Pesmontis
Pesmontis


Adventuring Hero
status revoked
posted January 26, 2010 05:02 PM
Edited by Pesmontis at 22:06, 31 Jan 2010.

Archangel v0.2 Alpha released

Quote:
.. if you can avoid Linux..

Hm.. I'd say it's useful to have a separate harddisk for Linux.
And then: don't expect to get anywhere with Linux,
unless you're ready for a deep dive into the OS.

But that's actually not quite what I wanted to post,
what I want to post is:

Quote:
Archangel v0.2 Alpha has been released !

(Thank God..).

Get it here: Archangel v0.2 Alpha

While the installation almost runs by itself, you have to do ONE thing manually:
copy the library file granny2.dll from the directory where you unpacked the package to the directory where 'Archangel.v0.2a.exe' resides.

Speaking of OS's, I've tried this installation on Win98se and it runs heroically ;-)
It also runs much faster: I'm considering switching back (from XP).. ;-)

Some of the new features are:
- HoMM.V mesh writing;
- SMD reference file writing (including skeleton);
- GR2 skeleton import;
- import and display of heroes;
- import and display of (large) static objects;
- import of effect-meshes

The next version will address features like:
- SMD reference file import;
- OBJ file import;
- localization;
- changing (editing) of bone local parameters;
- program options.
These are basically ready but couldn't be be finalized for this version 0.2 Alpha. Further reading is available in the enclosed 'readme.txt'.

Cheers, have fun :-)
Pesmontis


[Edit]-With the help of TSoD, a french-language version of 'Archangel' will be available soon.




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