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Thread: Strat Map Models Reloaded

  1. #1
    Warhammer: Total War Team Member Alletun's Avatar
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    Mar 2007

    Default Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Strat Map Models Reloaded
    By: Alletun


    This tutorial will teach you how to turn a battle-map model from m2tw into a strategy-map model. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask.
    Software used:
    Grumpy Old Man's converter:
    Milkshape 1.8.1
    3ds Max 7 (i think you can use any version from 5 to 9?)
    Verc's Cas import/exporter for 3dsmax:

    Rtw/Stratmap skeleton vs. M2tw/Battlemap skeleton:
    The major obstacle that we need to deal with is the difference in skeleton between the stratmap models and the battlemap models. The battlemap models use a skeleton with 20 standard bones (with unique bones such as bone_jaw and bone_clavicalL / R). The stratmap models use a different skeleton, where the most noticeable difference is that the skeleton enables cloaks (like in Rtw) through 3 bones. We will not be making any use of these bones in this tut, but feel free to experiment.

    Step 1. Importing a .mesh and exporting an Autodesk .3ds.
    Firstly you need to set up m2tw for modding if you have not already done so:

    1.1: Make a folder called "model_strat" in your mod folder.

    1.2: Make a subfolder called "textures" in model_strat.

    1.3: For this tutorial were gonna use the Norman_king model, so go to data/unit_models/_generals_and_captains/early_generals/ and copy
    norman_king_lod0.mesh into your new model_strat folder.

    Using GoM's converter, convert the mesh to .ms3d, then open the ms3d file with milkshape.

    1.5: Export the model as an autodesk .3ds. Export to your model_strat folder.

    Step 2. Merging model with skeleton
    Now that we have the model we want, we're now gonna get the skeleton.

    2.1: Download the script (see the introduction) and follow the install instructions in it's readme. Click the Hammer (1), then Max script (2), followed by Run Script (3), double click the script called "". then pull down the drop down menu and click the R:TW importer exporter.

    2.2: Go to m2tw/data/model_strat/ and copy "late_general_northern.cas" into your model_strat folder.

    2.3: In max, import the cas by clicking "Import Cas":

    you should now have something like this (remember to zoom in):

    2.4: Now select all parts of the model. Do NOT (!) select the bone helpers. Then delete the model:

    This is how it should now look like:

    2.5: Import the .3ds from step 1.5 by going to File>Import. It will ask you if it should replace the entire scene, take the top bullet and click ok (we want to keep the scene), if it asks about animation length, just say "yes".

    (now would be a good time to save. perhaps under the name "New_late_general_northern")

    Step 3. Finishing the merge:

    3.1: If your newly imported general is laying down, select him and rotate him up (remember to also select the crown and sword).

    Use the rotate tool and the angle snap tool to rotate:

    3.2: With everything still select (except the bone helpers), click the blue tube and then click the Skin modifier under animation:

    3.3: Click "add" to add new bones.

    3.4: Add all bones except Scene Root (or, all bones that has a Bone_ infront of them).

    Step 4. Assigning Vertices:
    What we're gonna do now is that we're gonna assign all vertices in the mesh to one bone (bone_torso) and then start assigning them to the correct bones afterwards. We thereby make bone_torso our check-up bone.

    4.1: Click the + (1) and then click Envelope (2). Then check "vertices" (3) and de-check envelopes and cross-sections. now only vertices will be selected. Then click on bone_torso:

    4.2: In your viewports select all vertices like so:

    4.3: We now assign the weight for all vertices to be 1,0 and "rigid". this means that only one bone can be assigned per vertice (else the game crashes) and that the weight is 1 (full weighted). all of the vertices are now assigned to the torso bone.

    4.4: Deselect your vertices (by just clicking somewhere in a viewport) and then click on a new bone, lets start with bone_head. You select all the vertices in the head and do as you did above, with giving them an abs. effect of 1,0.

    4.5: Repeat step 4.4 for all the bones untill every part of your model is assigned to the right bones. you can click on bone_torso to see if there are any vertices that you have forgotten to assign (eg: if a vertice on the arm is assigned to the torso, something is wrong since it should be assigned to an arm bone).

    Step 5. Finishing up the model:
    With the skeleton taken care of, lets finish up the model.

    5.1: The .Cas exporter wants there to be a texture assigned to the model when it exports, so lets give it one. Go to data/unit_models/_generals_and_captains/early_generals/textures and copy "early_general_england.texture" into your model_strat/textures folder. then convert it with the dds converter.

    5.2: In Max go to the Material Editor (shortcut m). Click on one of the spheres and scroll down to the dropdown menu called "maps". At "Diffuse Color" where it says "none", click there and navigate to your newly converted dds texture.

    5.3: To assign the texture to your model, click and drag from the sphere to your model in the viewports. Make sure to also assign the texture to the crown and sword.

    Step 6. Exporting the .Cas and getting it into the game:

    You export pretty much the same way as you import. Export the cas as "late_general_northern.cas", and after that export it as "northern_general.cas"

    6.2: Open up the photoshop and load the DDS texture of the norman king you converted earlier. Save it as "late_general_order_strat.tga" to the model_strat/textures folder, where "order" is your factions name.

    6.3: Go to descr_model_strat.txt (in the data folder, if you havn't got it in your mod copy it over from the vanilla data folder). scroll down to

    ; GENERAL ;
    type                northern_general
    skeleton            strat_named_with_army
    scale                0.7
    indiv_range            40
    texture                denmark, models_strat/textures/late_general_denmark_strat.tga
    texture                scotland, models_strat/textures/late_general_scotland_strat.tga
    texture                france, models_strat/textures/late_general_france_strat.tga
    texture                order, models_strat/textures/late_general_order_strat.tga
    texture                hre, models_strat/textures/late_general_hre_strat.tga
    texture                england, models_strat/textures/late_general_england_strat.tga
    texture                saxons, models_strat/textures/late_general_hre_strat.tga
    texture                poland, models_strat/textures/late_general_poland_strat.tga
    texture                hungary, models_strat/textures/late_general_hungary_strat.tga
    texture                russia, models_strat/textures/late_general_russia_strat.tga
    texture                slave, models_strat/textures/late_general_rebels_strat.tga
    model_flexi_m            models_strat/late_general_northern.CAS, max
    shadow_model_flexi        models_strat/shadow_sword.CAS, max
    6.4: Congratulations! you have a new stratmap model! :thumbsup2

    This tutorial was based on Order Vs. Chaos mod, go check out the first preview:

  2. #2
    Member Member ezekiel6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Has there been any look at this with Kingdoms? Is it possible to change the model for 1 faction only? I was thinking along the lines of converting captains to Highlanders and Generals to Noble Highlanders in the Britannia Campaign.

  3. #3
    Warhammer: Total War Team Member Alletun's Avatar
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    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    that should be do-able, with some text work. i'll have a look at it.

  4. #4
    Member Member ezekiel6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Well I took a shot at it, I only extracted the files that I needed, But I took the William Wallace model and simply duplicated it then re-named it highland general, I copied the texture too and altered it, saving it out as highland_general.tga. I then made new entries in descr_model_strat and descr_character and that worked. All generals use the William Wallace model, the captains use the standard model as does my King. The only odd thing was that my heir was wearing the English texture??

  5. #5
    Member Member ezekiel6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Strat Map Models Reloaded

    Thanks Alletun for your tutorial, it's really helped me to get what I was after. Apart from a texture error with my Heir I've had full success.


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