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Offline nargil66

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[Tutorial] Making Randomizers, Illusions and Transformations
« on: 02 May 2021, 00:41:10 »
« Last Rated on: 02 May 2021, 02:40:26 »
In the following tutorials I'll show you some advanced methods with meshes, templates and animations and how to utilize them to achieve impressive results. Tutorials to come:

Tutorial I - In the first tutorial you will learn about "randomizer monsters", how to create invisible meshes, and how to make your character to spawn with random default hair.
Tutorial II - The second tutorial will teach you how to mimic Grim Dawn's transmogrify system in Titan Quest, giving random looks to equipment (which is controllable to some degree).
Tutorial III - The third tutorial will show how to make helmets with attached "illusions", changing a creature's looks to another similar creature.
Tutorial IV - The fourth tutorial is about hiding attached items via animations. It will show you how to make a flavor animation where the character plays lyre, while making the lyre itself invisible in all other animations.
Tutorial V - The fifth and final tutorial is about greater creature transformations. You will learn how to make a creature to transform into a completely different creature, using animations with attached props.

Without further delay, let's begin!


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TUTORIAL I - MAKING A SIMPLE RANDOMIZER

Tools and programs you will need for this tutorial:

Tamschi's ArcUnpack (to extract game resources):
https://mega.nz/file/wTwjUARL#7LKJUOgW3p3vb3mubp34ChV3uKVOQefyzyCTN1pOeew

Tamschi's MeshView (to edit meshes):
https://mega.nz/file/JfRiEKoY#ClnLQwMf-eO_Q7kHPvT7pOhe8WXOEGhHBlS8RoGKtck

ArtManager (to build your mod)


Step 1 - Extracting Creatures.ARC
Assuming you already have the mentioned programs, the first thing you need to do is extract the game's Creatures.arc, where the meshes you need are located.
To do that, copy or drag Creatures.arc and place it/paste it over the ArcUnpack.exe. It will be extracted automatically in the same location you copied it from. OR, if you don't want to do this every time: right click on the ARC file > choose "Open with...", tick "Always open with this program", then browse to ArcUnpack.exe and click on it. From now on all .ARC files will unpack automatically when you double click on them. I personally prefer this method.



Step 2 - Extracting OBJ Data from Mesh
Now, in the extracted archive, browse to the following directory "Creatures/PC/Male". Inside you will see the male character mesh - "malepc02.msh". To open it with MeshView, right-click on it, and in the dropdown menu pick "Open With..." and in the window that opens tick "Always open with this program". Then browse to MeshView.exe and click on it. From now on all .MSH files will automatically open with MeshView.



Inside the opened mesh, go to "Mesh/Mesh(v11)" and click on "Save Partial Data (.OBJ)":



Then save the model as object file in a desired location, picking a name for it:



In this case I just made a folder named "TutorialMeshes" on my desktop and saved it there:



Why did we extracted the male mesh as OBJ? Because we will use it to "corrupt" the female mesh, making it invisible. You'll see how in the next step.

Step 3 - Creating an Invisible Mesh

Ok, now close the male mesh and in the extracted Creatures folder browse to directory "Creatures/PC/Female". Inside is located the female mesh - "femalepc01.msh". Open it, and again go to "Mesh/Mesh(v11)", only this time click on "Replace Data (.OBJ)":



In the pop-up window that appears, browse to the malepc.obj you saved before and click on it:



This will replace the female model geometry with male one (while preserving the female bones), but since the two models are too different, the female model will just become corrupted - no shaders or textures will ever show on it. Now all that remains is to save the new invisible mesh you created:



Pick a name and location (I used the same folder from before):



Gratz, you created your first invisible mesh. You can do many cool shenanigans with invisible meshes, and they will be essential in almost all of the following tutorials. For now this mesh is all we need to make our hair randomizer.

Before we continue, I want to give you a brief introduction of how this system works.
A randomizer is basically a monster with no animation, which is attached to an invisible piece of armor (best option is to use a helmet, because you can link that helmet in DefaultHeadPiece of the base creature).

Why using a monster as a randomizer you may ask... for several reasons. Monster template allows the attachment to spawn with random meshes and textures, to have its own sounds and effects (possibly even skills), and to equip a loot tables of items... the possibilities are endless.

In the given example it goes like this:

1. Pick a base creature, in this case the female character
2. That creature wears an invisible helmet, in this case we choose the default female hair
3. In the invisible helmet mesh attach a link to a monster (also invisible and with no animation, so it follows the base creature's bones)
4. That invisible monster can equip a loot table of different hairs (visible), so it appears that the base creature is wearing them.

I hope this explanation is clear enough for start (at least for modders). If not, just follow the tutorial to see it in action.

Step 4 - Setting up the mod

Now that you have the mesh, open ArtManager and create a new mod in "Mod > New..."



I named mine "_MeshTutorial1" (the "_" in front will send it in the end of your mod list, so it won't mess up with your other mods:



After creating the new mod, right-click on Source folder to create new directory:



I named mine same as the mod for consistency:



Now, in the new created folder (inside ArtManager) right-click on an empty space and choose "Import":



Then in the pop-up window, browse to the invisible female mesh you made before and click on it to import to this folder:




Ok, you are set up. For this tutorial you will need two separate instances of the invisible mesh for the randomizer. Right-click on the invisible mesh to copy it:



Then right-click again on an empty space to paste as a copy:




Now, rename one of the meshes to "helmet_femalepc01_invisible.msh", the other to "monster_femalepc01_invisible.msh", to tell which is which later:



Now, in ArtManager switch to Database section and click on "Database > Import Record...":



Then browse to the following DBR directory - "Records/Item/EquipmentHelm/Default/FemalePC01HairHelmet.DBR":



After that, open the folders on the left and browse to the DBR you've just imported:



Make a copy of it and rename the copy to "FemalePC01HairHelmet_Original.DBR". You will need that for later.

(To be continued)
« Last Edit: 02 May 2021, 03:26:31 by nargil66 »
Deities Mastery Mod (WIP): https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=462.0
Enhanced Gameplay Mod: https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=30.0
My Models & Textures Thread: https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=32.0
If you like my mods, you can support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nargil66

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Offline icefreeze

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Re: [Tutorial] Making Randomizers, Illusions and Transformations
« Reply #1 on: 02 May 2021, 02:54:15 »
Great thanks to you!  :))
Very useful and detail guide!

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Offline nargil66

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Re: [Tutorial] Making Randomizers, Illusions and Transformations
« Reply #2 on: 02 May 2021, 03:19:04 »
Not even finished first tutorial... but thank you.

(I'm reserving this post for future use)
Deities Mastery Mod (WIP): https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=462.0
Enhanced Gameplay Mod: https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=30.0
My Models & Textures Thread: https://titanquestfans.net/index.php?topic=32.0
If you like my mods, you can support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nargil66

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