Author Topic: [Tutorial] PSEditor!  (Read 173 times)

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Offline WNG

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[Tutorial] PSEditor!
« on: 13 March 2019, 02:20:29 »
↜ PSEditor! by WNG ↝

Introduction

Hello! This guide will show you how to use the PSEditor tool, wich allows you to create and edit special effects to use them in the game. It is very flexible and opens a lot of possibilities!

I may assume you have some basic knowledge and overlook some manipulations. Feel free to tell me if anything is unclear.

Without further ado, let's get this started.

I. Create the effect

I. Launch PSEditor:

This tool is located at the root of TQ's installation folder. Assuming you use Steam's AE version, it should normally be in there.

Code: [Select]
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Titan Quest Anniversary Edition
Double-click on it to open it. The interface will be a gray screen. To proceed, simply go to File > New. A smaller interface should appear. The dark-blue screen is your scene where you will be able to visualize your effect. Right now, your scene is empty. To get started, click on Create New, on the left of the screen, to add a particle emitter to your scene.

!!!Before we go any further...!!!

Many parameters in PSEditor are adjusted with curves (like seen in this spoiler below.) The curves represent the evolution of a parameter over the lifespan of the emitter, the left part being the start of its life and the right part, the end. You can adjust the values using the handles at the extremities of the curve. Also, if you desire, you can add new breakpoints by right-clicking where you want one. They can be removed at anytime, by right-clicking on them a second time.

Also, note that you can adjust the value range of your curves in the field of the same name.

Spoiler for Hiden:

II. Overview of Effect Options:

Create New: Add a new particle emitter to the scene.
Clone: Duplicates the selected emitter and adds it to the scene.
Delete: Deletes the selected emitter.

III. Overview of Global Options:

Debug Lines: Displays the X, Y and Z axis, along with the size of your emitters in the editing screen.
Simulate Flight: Runs a simulation of your effect following a looping, circular movement.
Pause: Freezes the particles in place.
Reset Camera: Resets the camera to its default position.
Run System: Restarts the particle system.

IV. Overview of Emitter Options:

Name: Name of your particle emitter in the scene. No effect in-game.
Pick Texture: Selects the texture of your particle effect. You may browse in a huge amount of directories, but the best place to look is here: "Effects\textures\...". The file must be of the type ".tex". Note that if you use an incompatible file type or a texture that the editor doesn't recognize, it will be replaced by a yellow-blue checkerboard.
Pick Shader: Selects a shader for the particles from this emitter. The file selected must be of the type ".ssh". Here are the two principal shaders that are used for effects :
Shaders\particle\particleadditive.ssh (Black is transparent)
Shaders\particle\particlecombine.ssh (Black is opaque)
Frames Per Second: ???
Type: Shape of your emitter.
Emitter Life Span: The lifespan of your emitter is the duration, in seconds, during which it will emit particles.
Looping: If checked, the emitter will start playing again when the lifespan is up.
Flatten Motion: Requires the Velocity parameter to have a value greater than zero. If checked, it repulses the particles away from the center of the emitter.
Render: If checked, the effect is visible in the editor screen. When too many particles are on the screen, it can be useful to toggle other emitters off and focus your attention on a single emitter.
Implode: Requires the Velocity parameter to have a value greater than zero. If checked, it attracts the particles in the center of the emitter.
Emit Locally: If checked, it makes the particles stick to the emitter despite movement. You can only see the difference with Simulate Flight activated.
Velocity: Speed given to your particles.
Emitter Size: Size of the area inside which your particles can appear.
Emit Angle: Angle of the emitter.
Emit Rate: Emission rate of the emitter. The higher it is, the more particles will be created at once.
X Offset: Offset of your emitter on the X axis.
Y Offset: Offset of your emitter on the Y axis.
Z Offset:Offset of your emitter on the Z axis.
X Rotation: Rotation speed of your emitter on the X axis.
Y Rotation: Rotation speed of your emitter on the Y axis.
Z Rotation:Rotation speed of your emitter on the Z axis.
Initial Rotation: Initial rotation angle of your emitter on the X, Y and Z axis respectively.

V. Overview of Particle Options:

Particle Life Span: Lifespan of a single particle.
Size: Size of a single particle.
Rotation: Rotation speed of a single particle.
Color/Alpha: Manages the color/alpha  of a single particle. Unlike other parameters, this one has 4 curves to adjust. The colored curves adjusts the corresponding color value. The gray one controls the alpha.
Gravity: Effect of gravity on a single particle.
Stretch: Only works when either Gravity or Velocity has a value greater than zero. Stretches the texture of a single particle.
Friction: "Weight" of a particle. It diminishes the effect of Gravity or Velocity.
Orient Vertically: If checked, makes your particles face up.
Random Orientation: If checked, your particles are given a random orientation.
Motion Orient: ???

VI. Overview of Light Options:

**Thanks to Bumbleguppy for illuminating me.**

Adds a light effect to your particles.

Enabled: If checked, renders the light.
Shadows: If checked, allows the light to cast shadows.
Off During Day: If checked, the effect doesn't display during ingame daytime.
Simple: ???
Color: Color of the light effect. Unlike other parameters, this one has 4 curves to adjust. The colored curves adjusts the corresponding color value. The gray one controls the alpha.
Radius: Range of your light effect.

VII. Save your work:

Explore, experiment, and try new things! When you are satisfied of your work, go to File > Save As, and save it under the name you like. Add ".pfx" extension before saving!

II. Make your effect usable

I. Import your effect in your mod:

Launch the Art Manager and load your mod. Create a directory called "Effects" where you could store your future effects (or not, it's up to you, really.) Import your new effect by browsing in this directory.

Code: [Select]
C:\Users\xxxxxxxx\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\source
Spoiler for Hiden:

When imported, create its asset. Then, visit the Assets tab and build your effect here as well. Build your mod by pressing F7.

Spoiler for Hiden:

II. Create the .dbr of your effect:

It is time to create the database entry for your effect. Create a new record and set its template to "Effect.tpl". Rename the new record if you feel like it (you probably do.)

Open the new record. The file is very small, and only has one field worth editing for us: "effectFile". Browse for your custom effect use it to replace the placeholder. If your effect doesn't appear, make sure you have built it proprely in the previous step.

Spoiler for Hiden:

When your modification has been completed, save your work, build your record and build your mod. Your effect will now be usable in the game.

« Last Edit: 14 March 2019, 20:33:21 by WNG »

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Offline Bumbleguppy

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Re: [Tutorial] PSEditor!
« Reply #1 on: 14 March 2019, 20:20:19 »
Light options are how the lights placed in the map editor work. Torches and braziers for example.

Choose a radius for the in-game light effect adjust the color. The color also determines the brightness based on the value of the curves, so you could have a light fade-in by having the slope start at 0 and go up.

The time is controlled by the emitter lifespan just like any particle effect.

You can add lights to your particle effect as well, like a quickly expanding flash for lightning.

The problem of course is seeing the light effect in the PSEditor lol

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Offline WNG

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Re: [Tutorial] PSEditor!
« Reply #2 on: 14 March 2019, 20:23:30 »
Light options are how the lights placed in the map editor work. Torches and braziers for example.

Choose a radius for the in-game light effect adjust the color. The color also determines the brightness based on the value of the curves, so you could have a light fade-in by having the slope start at 0 and go up.

The time is controlled by the emitter lifespan just like any particle effect.

You can add lights to your particle effect as well, like a quickly expanding flash for lightning.

The problem of course is seeing the light effect in the PSEditor lol

Well, we never stop learning with you ^^

I will update the original post.

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Offline nargil66

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Re: [Tutorial] PSEditor!
« Reply #3 on: 15 March 2019, 01:12:14 »
About "simple" in the light options, I think it defines how a certain shader responds to it. You know the glitch with character becoming transparent in Hades? That's not a simple light. Only my guess tho.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2019, 01:15:09 by nargil66 »

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Offline Endymion

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Re: [Tutorial] PSEditor!
« Reply #4 on: 15 March 2019, 19:52:58 »
Simple in the light options is shadow related, e.g. simple light won't cast shadows.

Motion Orient:
Pretty much what it says, orients texture towards its emitting direction.

Regarding shaders, another commonly used one is ParticleDistort.ssh (as the name suggests used to create distortion effect).
Worth mentioning AE PS Editor saves to & loads from only specific directory, that is ...Working\CustomMaps\Art_TQA2\source. Also add Options tab overview (such as choosing background color/texture, inserting/removing entity).

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