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thenthornthing
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Amazing tutorial!
Well done for all your effort put into this Very Happy
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Post 08 May 2008 05:52 am
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ITN_Tuning
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Me agree, mighty good work on it! It's a big help for the beginners in
modeling.
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Post 08 May 2008 08:59 am
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Silent1Unknown
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LESSON 6: THE EXTRAS


Last time, we put the Cherokee in game and it looked very good. Now, we can make some improvements or enhancements.


The first thing you want to do the first time you put a car in game is to check whether its the correct size or not. Different vehicles have different lengths in terms of side view. You want to look at the width of the car and how much of the lane it takes up in game because most vehicles have very similar widths.

When I first put the Cherokee in game, I noticed its width was about a third (1/3) of lane width. Thats pretty small for a Jeep and compared to the default cars in game. Let's say we want to make the Cherokee bigger so that its width takes up two thirds (2/3) of a lane in game.

In ZM, select all objects (in objects level), go to Modify>Scale, have the H and V locks on and turn SEL on. Then scale the objects while holding down the Shift button (on your keyboard) so that all objects are scaled equally in all dimensions. Scale the objects until they are about twice their original size. You may want to take the front view blueprint and enlarge it first to help with the scaling. Make sure the objects are still sitting just above the gray center line (if not, move them). Export and repackage into .ar file.



How to Make Glossy Textures
Want to make your car glossy or shinier in game? You'll need reflection textures for that. You can find some reflection textures in the ZM directory or you can search on the forums or on Google.

Check in my RX-7's TEXTURE folder and you'll see a texture named "reflexion03_bis". Copy it and paste into your Cherokee's TEXTURE folder. To apply it, open up Material Editor and check the "Reflection Map" option which is right under the "Primary Texture" option. Load the reflection texture "reflexion03_bis" and click OK.

While we're on the topic of textures and folders, I'll add an important point made by an experienced modeler, Maxoff. He said, "I have just one small comment that may save hours of bug finding: use lowercase letters in names (materials in ZM, files and folders) because in some cases MM2 and ZM are case sensitive".



How to Make Transparent Windows
Suppose you decide to make the interior of the car and you want the windows to be somewhat transparent or translucent instead of the opaque black windows we made for the Cherokee. The fix is simple; in Material Editor, set the "Type" to "Glowing" and then change the opacity to your liking.

Remember that this applies to the texture and therefore, whichever faces that contain this texture will become transparent. For our Cherokee, we used the same black texture to color the windows and the bottom of the car (chassis). So if you change this black texture to glowing and transparent, both the windows and chassis will be affected. If you plan to have transparent windows, keep aside a separate texture just for windows and other glassy faces like headlight and tail-light covers.

Also, there's a rule about transparent faces and what you see behind them. When you make some faces appear transparent, you will only see those faces that were created before the transparent faces were created. Suppose you made the interior after the windows (we made the Cherokee windows way back in lesson 2), you wouldn't be able to see it even if you make the windows transparent. To fix this, you can delete the current windows and make them again (it won't take too long, they're just windows) or you can detach the windows (you may need to make a new copy) and reattach to the body.



How to Make Breakable and Fender Objects
Breakables are objects on the car that fall off when hit in game. They usually represent side mirrors, fins, doors and the like.

Note: Breakable objects do not appear shiny in game.

In ZM, model the parts you intend to be breakable as separate objects (or by detaching). You can have maximum of eight breakable objects on any car. Their names:

BREAK0_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on the front-left corner
BREAK1_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on the front-right corner
BREAK2_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on the rear-right corner
BREAK3_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on the rear-left corner
BREAK01_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on its front side
BREAK12_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on its right side
BREAK23_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on its rear side
BREAK03_H:m -----> breaks when the car is hit on its left side

When you export, there will be a .mtx file for every breakable object placed in the "geometry" folder. Remember to add a corresponding .dgbangerdata file in the "tune>banger" folder. See my RX-7's "banger" folder to see how to name the .dgbangerdata files.

You can adjust the sensitivity of the breakable object in the .dgbangerdata file by specifically changing the mass or impulse limit numbers. You can also find the center of mass and similar info about your breakable object in a text file in the "geometry" folder.



Fender objects rotate when the front wheels turn and to the same degree. They usually represent wheel covers (like in the Panoz default car) or brake discs and calipers. I used them to try to make spinner rims on my RX-7 but it didn't turn out too well. (You can get the RX-7 without spinner rims from www.mm2x.com).

You model fender objects separately or detach them from the main body later on just like for the breakables. As far as I know, you can have a maximum of two fender objects on a car. Their names:

FNDR0_M:m -----> placed near the front-left wheel....usually
FNDR1_M:m -----> placed near the front-right wheel

But these don't work by themselves for a reason unknown to me. So make duplicates and name them FNDR0_H:m and FNDR1_H:m and then export. Also add the necessary .dgbangerdata files (which you probably won't need to edit).

Sorry for the confusing information, but I just recently tried fender objects for the first time and hurriedly looked up some random posts for info. You can do some research on the forums to help you understand better how fender objects work.



Night Textures
These textures appear on the car only at night and are invisible during the day.

Suppose you want the car to appear black in daylight, but dark gray at night. Take that texture of the car that is black and duplicate it and rename it the same as the black texture, but this time add the suffix "_ni" (Example: cherokee_black -----> cherokee_black_ni). In this new duplicate texture, change the black color to dark gray.

You don't have to do night textures on the body only. This method can be applied to make night-time neons, neon underglows or anything else.



The Shadow
Instead of the boring old half-transparent shadows normal cars have, you can change the look of the shadow texture in Photoshop so that it appears the car has neon underglow. On top of the normally black texture (on a new layer), make some lines or thin rectangles filled with the color of your choice. Right-click on the layer, go Blending Options and add an Outer Glow. Play around with the numbers, something something, and you'll get some nice underglows on the shadow. Then texture the shadow object with this texture. See my RX-7 textures for examples.





Thats all the extras I know of at the moment. There's also a way of adding animated textures and extra wheels but I haven't learned those yet. In the next and hopefully final lesson, I'll go over some tips on how to improve your modeling and include some tips from the experts around MM2C.


JUMP TO ANOTHER LESSON:
LESSON 1: SOFTWARE & BLUEPRINTS - PAGE 1
LESSON 2 PART 1: MODELING THE SIDE - PAGE 2
LESSON 2 PART 2: MODELING THE REST OF THE BODY - PAGE 3
LESSON 3: TEXTURING - PAGE 3
LESSON 4 PART 1: FINISHING TOUCHES - PAGE 4
LESSON 4 PART 2: THE OBJECT LIST - PAGE 4
LESSON 5: PACKAGING TO .AR - PAGE 5
LESSON 6: THE EXTRAS - PAGE 6
LESSON 7: MODELING REFINED - PAGE 6
TUNING AND AUDIO FILES EXPLAINED - PAGE 7
HOW TO MAKE ANIMATED TEXTURES - PAGE 8
HOW TO MAKE A COP CAR & SIRENS - PAGE 11

DOWNLOADS:
PDF VERSION (LESSONS 1 - 7 ONLY) + JEEP.Z3D + JEEP.AR - MMARCHIVE - MM2X
LESSON 1 - VIDEO
LESSON 2 - VIDEO

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Last edited by Silent1Unknown on 08 Mar 2009 12:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post 08 May 2008 08:41 pm
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busboy99
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S1U, you are truly a legend, thank you sooo much.
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Post 08 May 2008 08:47 pm
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Franch88
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Good to have put the extras. Smile Now there are the HTML and off-line versions to upgrade.

Silent1Unknown wrote:
But these don't produce the .mtx files in the geometry folder. So make duplicates and name them FNDR0_H:m and FNDR1_H:m and then export. Also add the necessary .dgbangerdata files (which you probably won't need to edit).

This is wrong. The Fender objects creates the .mtx files, because there's the ":m" suffix at the end of their names.
The duplacetes must be done on FNDR objects, because the game will crash on car choosing if there's only the _H or the _M LOD object.
If the .dgbangerdata files there aren't, the FNDR objects won't be visible in the car in-game. Just copy and rename them from the same wheels files.
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Post 08 May 2008 09:31 pm
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Silent1Unknown
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When I first researched on the topic of fenders, I learned that they should have the "_M:m" suffix in their names. When I exported, the .mtx files didn't show up in the GEOMETRY folder.....actually, not sure. When I started MM2, the game would crash while loading. Then, I found another thread where I read that you need the .mtx files that come from the "_H:m" objects in order for them to work. When I made those objects, then the game worked. But I forgot to add the .dgbangerdata files so the game would crash whenever the car would break down.

Thats why I just assumed only the "_H:m" made .mtx files. But I will edit the tutorial. Thanks for that. Razz
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Post 08 May 2008 10:16 pm
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Riva
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Two little tips :
    • Always use a figure after the name of a material.
    e.g. <default material>, wheel0, wheel1, glow0, glow0_1 etc.

    • Lower the FNDR (0_H:m, 0_M:m, 1_H:m & 1_M:m) a little so that they are positioned perfectly in-game.

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Post 08 May 2008 11:59 pm
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Silent1Unknown
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LESSON 7: MODELING REFINED


There's not much to teach in this final lesson. I just introduce some ideas you can use to help you improve your modeling.


If you look back at the Cherokee I made for this tutorial, you should know that its not the best model in the world. It was a very quick model and its purpose was to show the basic methods and principles of modeling in ZM. Ofcourse, you don't want to stay at the basic level and make boxy cars forever. You want to improve with every model you make. You want to learn to make smoother, more efficient shapes.


So what makes a model smoother? Increasing polycount is only half of the answer. Poly-placement is a more important factor. A model with few but organized polygons will look much better than a high-poly model that has disorganization. Furthermore, when extruding (moving vertices to achieve 3D shape), move the vertices little by little to get smooth curves. You don't want to make large jumps or make sharp angles. Just keep it slow and gradual. And thats what smooth really means, gradual.


An example of good poly organization:



An example of poor poly organization:



How does adding more (organized) polys help? It allows more opportunity to make gradual changes and therefore smoother objects. Observe:



Exercise 1:
First, draw a triangle having all three sides equal in length. Then make a square (rectangle with equal sides). Then make a pentagon of equal sides. Then hexagon (6), heptagon (7), octagon ( 8 )........What shape do you think you'll eventually get if you could continue to infinity? (Answer: Circle)

We know that a circle has a very smooth curve. As you go backwards from the circle, decreasing the number of edges, you can see it as the circle losing its smooth curve (or the curve is getting bumpy) every step of the way until you recognize the common shapes.......hexagon, pentagon, square, triangle, angle, line.



Exercise 2:
Grab a picture of a car (from magazines, internet or wherever). I'll use this:



Imagine cutting the car in half and draw on the car where that cutting line would appear like so:



Make a few more cuts until you reach the edge of the car. You don't have to be perfect.



Now make some horizontal (XZ-planes) cuts along the flat parts of the car.



Finally, make some XY-planar cuts.



I added diagonals to all the rectangles in two strips that go along the length of the car. These would represent polygons in ZM. Thats the idea of organized polygon-placement, they are basically strips of rectangles (two polies each) that run along the length of the car. You can easily make such rectangles and move the vertices to their correct locations.



What about the non-rectangular components like the wierd curves? Fill them in with multiple triangles!



Make more polies around the details. Keep breaking down weird shapes into rectangles and then into triangles until you see nothing but triangles. Curved parts of the car will have more polies ofcourse.



Just like how you drew all those polies by hand, thats generally how you would make a car in modeling software such as in ZM. Except that ZM has shortcuts such as breaking, reorienting, creating strips and fans....etc.

Now, I think you can understand why you wouldn't start making polies like this:



So practice this exercise whenever you see a photo of a car in a magazine (or on the net). It'll only take a few minutes of your time, but will teach you a lot about space, geometry and poly organization. You can also do this right before you start modeling a car to sort of plan ahead and give yourself an idea of how you want to approach that specific car. For a low-poly car, make fewer cuts that are spread further apart. For a high-poly car, you would need more cuts that are very close to each other. Also, you don't strictly have to make cuts along those planes (XY, YZ or XZ) all the time, you can make cutting lines pass over nearby details if that's more efficient.



Thats all I can tell you about modeling. I'm pretty much a beginner myself. I've only made 4 cars so far. But if you look at my progress, you'll see that I improved from model to model. Note the changes in each wireframe.







What did I do to improve my modeling? I studied wireframes. I visited other forums and sites (SMCars, MM2C, NFScars, GTA, Google...etc), collected a lot of pictures of the wireframes of other people's best works and stared at them all day. I looked for patterns and noted how the experts placed their polys to make certain features of their models. I suggest you do the same. From now on, if you see a good wireframe picture on the net, save it to your desktop and refer to it often. Then try to repeat the patterns on your own models. The more you practice, the more improvement you'll see in your modeling.


And if you ever run into problems, have any questions or want some help with anything, sign up on the MM2C Forums and post your needs. There are some really brilliant people there who can help out. It'll also help to liven up the place.



Well, thats it for this tutorial. I hope you found it useful. Farewell and enjoy modeling!


-Silent1Unknown


JUMP TO ANOTHER LESSON:
LESSON 1: SOFTWARE & BLUEPRINTS - PAGE 1
LESSON 2 PART 1: MODELING THE SIDE - PAGE 2
LESSON 2 PART 2: MODELING THE REST OF THE BODY - PAGE 3
LESSON 3: TEXTURING - PAGE 3
LESSON 4 PART 1: FINISHING TOUCHES - PAGE 4
LESSON 4 PART 2: THE OBJECT LIST - PAGE 4
LESSON 5: PACKAGING TO .AR - PAGE 5
LESSON 6: THE EXTRAS - PAGE 6
LESSON 7: MODELING REFINED - PAGE 6
TUNING AND AUDIO FILES EXPLAINED - PAGE 7
HOW TO MAKE ANIMATED TEXTURES - PAGE 8
HOW TO MAKE A COP CAR & SIRENS - PAGE 11

DOWNLOADS:
PDF VERSION (LESSONS 1 - 7 ONLY) + JEEP.Z3D + JEEP.AR - MMARCHIVE - MM2X
LESSON 1 - VIDEO
LESSON 2 - VIDEO

_________________
2010 MM2C AWARDS
Most Helpful to the Community Award
Mr. Nice Guy Award
Helping Hand Award


Last edited by Silent1Unknown on 08 Mar 2009 12:47 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post 16 May 2008 07:52 am
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V-Thirteen
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Amazing! Isnt there rain textures aswell?
Post 16 May 2008 10:37 am
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john20bp
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V-Thirteen wrote:
Amazing! Isnt there rain textures aswell?


Yes, I think so. As HQTM Dashboards featured rain textures (Droplets and Mist effect etc.) on the windscreen, and obviously this just came on in rain. I think exterior windscreens had the same effect too.

Excellent tutorial, give yourself a pat on the back. Wink
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V-Thirteen wrote:
Amazing! Isnt there rain textures aswell?


There are rain textures and a lot of other things out there, but I haven't learned how to make them. I can't teach what I don't know, right? Razz

And besides, this was supposed to be a beginner's guide. Lesson 6 and 7 shouldn't even be here. Wink

Now, all we need is a "How to Make a Dash" tutorial. Apparently, Franch88 is the master of dashes these days, so he can write that up.

"How to make a City (with working traffic)" could also be made, maybe by ITN, Hummers and Toyzidro. I haven't found Maxoff's tutorial yet.

B12man can write up something about mods and stuff.

OH! Don't forget the "How to make a Bus" tutorial.

And then, this place will be rocking!


To Evo: I've updated some of the previous lessons. And I might add more later on. So you might want to check for updates for your site every once in a while. I would like it if you discontinued the zip file since I'll be making a cleaner PDF version. Then you can host that ...and anyone else.
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Post 16 May 2008 04:10 pm
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I have already done a track making tutorial and a video one. Sure, they could be better, but they are just to show you the basics. Not to be mean but, if my track making tutorial and maxoff's city tutorial isn't easy enough, then it's beyond me what is.

If you really want we can do another one, and I could do a better high quality video tutorial. I can make it high quality and bigger size then the current one and still keep it small file size. Too bad I don't have a microphone, that is way better then having to add in all the text and make sure it's on the screen long enough to read.
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Post 16 May 2008 04:16 pm
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HummersRock wrote:
I have already done a track making tutorial and a video one. Sure, they could be better, but they are just to show you the basics. Not to be mean but, if my track making tutorial and maxoff's city tutorial isn't easy enough, then it's beyond me what is.


Sorry! Embarassed I forgot you made those tutorials. Nevermind about the "city-making" tutorial then. Sorry. Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

I was wondering where I can find Maxoff's tutorial. I've heard of it, but I haven't really looked for it yet.
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Post 16 May 2008 04:55 pm
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Dashboards are very easy for me, like to drink a water glass. Smile
Won't be a problem for me to make a tutorial about how to make them; anyway is important to have some Photoshop and graphic edit skills to adjust the dashboard pictures.
I need only time and will to do it.

Silent1Unknown wrote:
I was wondering where I can find Maxoff's tutorial. I've heard of it, but I haven't really looked for it yet.

Here there's his tutorial at this website, and here there's the downloadable version. The sample city is here. Wink

HummersRock wrote:
Too bad I don't have a microphone, that is way better then having to add in all the text and make sure it's on the screen long enough to read.

That would be nice, but for me is too hard to understand spoken English. Razz
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Post 16 May 2008 05:36 pm
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Franch88 wrote:
HummersRock wrote:
Too bad I don't have a microphone, that is way better then having to add in all the text and make sure it's on the screen long enough to read.

That would be nice, but for me is too hard to understand spoken English. Razz


Lol. I would probably sound weird anyways. Last time I did it, I sounded completely different than in real life.
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Post 16 May 2008 05:48 pm
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