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> Some questions...
post Jul 16 2010, 00:30
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What do I need to make new cars to A:AA? I've been using Google Sketchup when I have made mods to the 911 first respoder, can I use it here ?

And again what do I need to make a new Map or Island?

This post has been edited by evenandreas: Jul 16 2010, 12:05

I am aware that I am a noob at this, so please leave your comments about how bad I am.

-evenandreas :)
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post Jul 16 2010, 12:39
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Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.
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I don't know what format's sketchup can export in. If you can export to 3ds, you can load it into oxygen.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves! You'll need this:
Editing Tools

Which contains all the tools you'll need to create addons for ArmA, the ones you'll want to familiarize yourself most with for this project are oxygen (p3d editor), texview (texture converter) and BinMake/BinPBO (addon packer).

Some important nomenclature:
.p3d - The model format used by the engine
MLOD - An unbinarized p3d
ODOL - A binarized p3d
Config.cpp - A text files which tells the engine how new objects work
Model.cfg - A text file which tells the engine how models are supposed to be animated.
pbo - A packed folder containing an addon, try to think of it kinda like a .zip archive.

Once you've installed the tools, you'll find a new "P:\ drive" on your PC (it doesn't actually exist, but several tools need to be installed to a root drive, so an old DOS trick is used to make a dummy HDD), the actual directory for this drive is going to be "My Documents>ArmAWork", if the P Drive disappears for any reason. Any folder you wish to pack into a pbo should be keep in this directory, otherwise your addon won't function correctly.

You could write books on the functions of oxygen, but the basic functionality is pretty simple. On the top you have your toolbar, where you can find shortcuts to most of the tools you'll need. On the left is the directory list, which shows textures and materials used, and allows them to be easily changed, and on the right you've got 3 boxes, the top box shows LODs (I'll go into LODs later), the middle one shows selections (I'll go into selections later) and the bottom shows your history, if you make a mistake, you can use this to undo it (or just press ctrl-Z).

Before trying to create a new model, I'd suggest you have a look at some of the sample models, you can find them here: (they'll appear untextured in buldozer, unless you unpack the original data pbos)
Sample Models

I'd suggest looking at the Skoda (wheeled\Skodova), as it's similar to what you'll be trying to put ingame. There are about 19 LODs. Each of these are a single model, though you won't necessarily need this many. A quick run down of what each does:
LODs 1.000 - 7.000: (Resolution LODs) Determine the physical appearance of the vehicle. The lower the number, the higher the detail.
View - Pilot: Determines how the vehicle appears to the pilot (or driver, in this case), two similar LODs also exist, View - Cargo and View - Gunner, these are what you'd expect. In the event one of these isn't present, the engine will use one of the others, or the 1.000 LOD (note, that trying to start inside a vehicle without a View - pilot LOD will result a CTD)
ShadowVolume 1.000 - 10.000: Determines the appearance of the vehicles shadow, if this LOD isn't present, the vehicle won't have a shadow. Note that any primitive in the shadowvolume LOD must be concave, otherwise it won't displace correctly.
Geometry: Defines the physics of the object. Note that each primitive needs to be part of it's own selection named componentXX (where XX is any number or character)
Memory: Contains a series of points, for animation purposes. The most complex part of the model, instead of creating one of these from scratch, I suggest you copy one over from another vehicle, then move the points to the relevant place on your own vehicle.
LandContact: Points which define where your vehicle touches the ground.
Hitpoints: Similar to memory, again, I'd suggest copying these from one of the sample vehicles and re-purposing them.
View Geometry - Determines where the vehicle is opaque, so stuff behind it isn't rendered, saving processor time. (If you've got stuff behind your vehicle flickering in and out of view, this LOD is usually to blame)
Fire Geometry: Like Geometry, but used for ballistics calculations. You'll notice the windows aren't included in this LOD, so bullets will pass through them.
View - Cargo - Geometry: I really don't know what this one is for. I believe it's only used in VBS2.

Once you've got your model set up, you'll need to create a model.cfg file. This isn't my speciality, the only thing I can suggest is to look at the model.cfg files included the sample model pack and see what you can observe from them.

Finally, you'll need to create a config. Let me know if you get this far, and I'll explain this tongue.gif

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