My daring model idea

AJE
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My daring model idea

Postby AJE » Fri 8 Apr 2016 00:25

This is an idea I've had for a while, and after some investigation it seems doable, but I still would like to see the forum's opinion on this.

All of us know by now that Act of Aggression uses the same engine as Wargame, and that we can't edit the models in Wargame directly with the modding suite. However, I do know where the models are stored in W:RD, and I suspect that it is the same in AoA. I was thinking that while the models themselves can't be edited, it might be possible to extract the .spk file where models are stored in AoA, add the entire file to a file in W:RD, and then use the meshes within that file for modding some of AoA's units into the game.

After some investigation, I think I've found a way for this to work. Since the .ase2ndfbin files are referenced by name and where they are in the game files, all I need to do is rename the overall folder where they reside (in this case, Assets, which I can do), and then I can reference the new meshes separately from the old models. The only problem is that I don't know how to add new files into .dat files. The new meshes and their textures would have to be added to an existing .dat file, or replace a file that isn't needed, and I don't know if that's doable yet.

So, I was wondering if anyone knew how to add a file to a .dat file, or if they knew which old files weren't needed in the game, so that maybe I could replace it with the new mesh and texture files from Act of Aggression, and use their new units in my mods.

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Narcissistic Black
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Re: My daring model idea

Postby Narcissistic Black » Fri 8 Apr 2016 00:45

AJE wrote:This is an idea I've had for a while, and after some investigation it seems doable, but I still would like to see the forum's opinion on this.

All of us know by now that Act of Aggression uses the same engine as Wargame, and that we can't edit the models in Wargame directly with the modding suite. However, I do know where the models are stored in W:RD, and I suspect that it is the same in AoA. I was thinking that while the models themselves can't be edited, it might be possible to extract the .spk file where models are stored in AoA, add the entire file to a file in W:RD, and then use the meshes within that file for modding some of AoA's units into the game.

After some investigation, I think I've found a way for this to work. Since the .ase2ndfbin files are referenced by name and where they are in the game files, all I need to do is rename the overall folder where they reside (in this case, Assets, which I can do), and then I can reference the new meshes separately from the old models. The only problem is that I don't know how to add new files into .dat files. The new meshes and their textures would have to be added to an existing .dat file, or replace a file that isn't needed, and I don't know if that's doable yet.

So, I was wondering if anyone knew how to add a file to a .dat file, or if they knew which old files weren't needed in the game, so that maybe I could replace it with the new mesh and texture files from Act of Aggression, and use their new units in my mods.



I thought about it also. I although I never looked into it so feel free to look into doing it I would love to know how.


Also I'm no lawyer or anything but I believe using AoA assists in your mod and giving those assists to players who don't have AoA would be otherwise considered piracy.

Best consult Eugen before giving anything out.
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The W:AB Noob
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Re: My daring model idea

Postby The W:AB Noob » Sat 9 Apr 2016 07:32

Hey AJE, long time no see!

I have thought about this too, but I have a lack of modeling experience, and though I also know that some model-related files are in ZZ_1, IDK if the links of models to textures and animations are hardcoded or possibly in the NDF_Win.dat. I just really have no idea if it will work, and never tried myself.

That being said, Vasto's Mod installer supposedly is able to add new files to Edata packages (.dat files) in it's newer versions. (Even if you already have the WMI, just download it from the link again because older .exe's will not support it. The command is AddContent, and you can read about it in the Manual (Page 20). Now I have never tried this myself nor have ever seen or even heard of someone doing this, so I am not certain that it works completely.

Now with all this in mind, Narc Black brings up a really good point. You can experiment with this for yourself, but unless you get permission from Eugen, you cannot publicly distribute it, even for reasons of non-profit.


I look forward to seeing your results!
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AJE
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Re: My daring model idea

Postby AJE » Sat 9 Apr 2016 10:00

The W:AB Noob wrote:Hey AJE, long time no see!


I never really left, I made a lot of posts on the War Thunder thread (since I was grinding up in that game), and I was working on my version of a WWI mod for Panzer Corps.

The W:AB Noob wrote:I have thought about this too, but I have a lack of modeling experience, and though I also know that some model-related files are in ZZ_1, IDK if the links of models to textures and animations are hardcoded or possibly in the NDF_Win.dat. I just really have no idea if it will work, and never tried myself.


The mesh files are located in ZZ_1.dat, in version 210 of the game files- pc\mesh\pack\gfxdescriptor\mesh_all.spk, and pc\mesh\pack\gfxdescriptor\skeleton_all.spk (both seem to have the exact same filenames in them, so I suspect they hold different parts of the same model files). I don't know where they are in AoA, but I hope it's file structure is similar, and besides, the large size of the files should make them easy to find (in Wargame they're easy to find by sorting the files by size).

As for animations, most of those seem to be coded within the NDF_Win.dat files, under the ApparenceModel modules, inside the TTimelyReceiverFactoryCarrier module, and then inside the TDepictionTemplate module. In there, there is a list called Operators, which seems to be the modules that control the animations of units (like how much the "track slack" is, or how much the suspension moves). For infantry however, animations and appearance appear to be deep within the GroupeCombat module, where the animations seem to be directly referenced from the game files.

The texture links are tied to the model files in a way that the modding suite can edit, but without knowing which unit you're editing (I think, i haven't tried it out yet), so some textures might have to be ported as well.

The W:AB Noob wrote:That being said, Vasto's Mod installer supposedly is able to add new files to Edata packages (.dat files) in it's newer versions. (Even if you already have the WMI, just download it from the link again because older .exe's will not support it. The command is AddContent, and you can read about it in the Manual (Page 20). Now I have never tried this myself nor have ever seen or even heard of someone doing this, so I am not certain that it works completely.


I don't know how to use Vasto's Mod Installer (yet), but that seems like it would be a big help. Thanks for the advice!

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The W:AB Noob
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Re: My daring model idea

Postby The W:AB Noob » Sat 9 Apr 2016 16:35

AJE wrote:
The W:AB Noob wrote:That being said, Vasto's Mod installer supposedly is able to add new files to Edata packages (.dat files) in it's newer versions. (Even if you already have the WMI, just download it from the link again because older .exe's will not support it. The command is AddContent, and you can read about it in the Manual (Page 20). Now I have never tried this myself nor have ever seen or even heard of someone doing this, so I am not certain that it works completely.


I don't know how to use Vasto's Mod Installer (yet), but that seems like it would be a big help. Thanks for the advice!

I can introduce it to you if you want. Once you learn the basics, the Manual is a huge help.
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jonas165
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Re: My daring model idea

Postby jonas165 » Sat 11 Mar 2017 17:43

Has anyone got this working yet?
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