“More control... More action... More adrenaline”

Saturday April 28, 2003

Guide for skinning a HL Model

Introduction:
The difference between modeling and skinning is very big. Modeling is making your own model with his own morphs and bones etc. The skin is just the outside that you're seeing.
It's very easy to change only a skin. I'll try to explain how to do it in 6 steps.

Step1: Download HL MV

Download the Half-Life Model Viewer from this page:
http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/hlmv/index.html and install the program.

Step2: Open Model

Open the program and load the model, which needs a new skin (File -> Load Model)

Step3: Get DM_Base.bmp

Go to the tab Texture in the bottom of your screen. Then you see the flat skin of the model you just chose. Press Export and save the flat bmp-file (most of the time it's called DM_base) to a directory you wish.

Step4: Edit model + teamcolors

Edit the DM_base.bmp in a paint or photo edit program. I always use Jasc Paint Shop Pro for it, cause it also allows you add team colors (Top and bottom color). In JPSP you got a pallet where all the colors got a number; a pallet index. The colors with index 160 - 191 are the top colors and the color with index 192 - 223 are the bottomcolors. The pixels you draw with the colors in that range will be teamcolors.
(note: The teamcolors only work if the model you used, also got teamcolors. It is possible to make a model without teamcolors to a model with teamcolors, but that's a more difficult job and not easy to explain.)
To change the colors in the pallet go to: Colors -> Edit Pallet (or use Shift + P)
For the teamcolors Half-Life uses the HSB-colormodel (Hue, Saturation and Brightness). With the command topcolor or bottomcolor you will only change the Hue and not the Saturation or brightness! It doesn't matter if you use Blue (RGB: 0 0 255) or Red (RGB: 255 0 0), cause when you convert these colors to the HSB-model you got for Blue H:170, S:255, B:128 and for Red H:0, S:255, B:128. The only difference between these colors is the Hue, but that will be changed with the top- and bottomcolor command.

Step5: Preview new skin on model

When you changed the skin and maybe added some nice teamcolors then you can save the DM_base.bmp and go back to the Half-Life Model Viewer.
Go to the tab Textures again and choose import. Select the DM_base.bmp that you just edited. (note: some models contain more than one skin and if you wanna import an edited skin, be sure that you got the right skin selected or else you'll get an error that the size isn't the same).
To view the new skin select another tab then Texture.
If you're not happy with it, you can edit the DM_base again and repeat this step.

Step6: Save new Model

If you're satisfied with the result you can go back to the texture tab and press the "Save Model" button. Chose the right directory to save it and you can enjoy the game with your new skinned model.

You are done!

Download my CTF models: ctfmodels.zip

—   .[TT].Voodoo   —

Sunday September 2, 2001

EAX Guide

Alot of people claim A3D is much better for HL than EAX (besides the distance factor), and after asking why, the answer generally was that they tried eax once, and didnt think much of it. What came as a suprise though, was that did not even tweak their EAX settings and set it up right. Its not much of a suprise then that they didnt think it sounded all that great.

To let people give it a decent try though, and to allow current users to get the most out their card, heres a short guide to setting it up correctly.

First, download the latest Liveware from the Soundblaster site (3 is the current version) and install. Once this is done, fire up Audio HQ and your ready to being tweaking.


Next up, click Device Tools and set the max amount of waves playable to 32 as seen in the pic below.


Now back in audio hq, open up enviromental audio. Once there, select No Effects from the drop down menu.


Still in enviromental audio, click the source tab to bring up the screen below. Once there, select Wave/Direct sound from the drop down menu and then turn Reverb and and Chorus all the way down to 0% (leave original sound as it was at 100%).


Next, click the options tab in enviromental audio and click the boxes as shown below.


Once this is done, press close and you will be prompted to save your changes, do so as shown below.


The last change you need to make in windows, is to setup the mixer. Open it up from audiohq, and then tweak the settings similar to the picture below.


Note though, that one or two of these are based on my speaker setup, they may sound different on your system (Try to set bass and treble the same as in the picture though, as this will make the sound much clearer and easier to pinpoint). The main one you should test is the front/rear balance. To do this, set it in the middle, the go into a server and then test by standing still and thowing a grenade in front of you and listen to the volume of the explosion. Now do the same again, except as soon as you have thrown the grenade, do a quick 180 degree spin so that you back is facing the the coming explosion. Now if the sound is excatly the same volume as the previous one, then your surround sound is setup right. If is not, go back and try a different setting.

The last thing you need to do, is to edit the settings in your config. Here are the ones i have in mine, although you might want to tweak these so it sounds better for your system (should be fine as they are though):

// SOUND SETTINGS
s_rolloff "1.0"
s_doppler "0.0"
s_distance "60"
s_automin_distance "2.0"
s_automax_distance "30.0"
s_min_distance "8.0"
s_max_distance "1000.0"
s_leafnum "0"
s_refgain "0.4"
s_refdelay "4"
s_polykeep "1000000000"
s_polysize "10000000"
s_numpolys "200"
s_reverb "0"
s_occlude "0"
s_usepvs "0"
s_bloat "2"
s_eax "1"
room_off 1
hisound "1.000000"
bgmvolume "0.000000"
hisound "1"
ambient_level 0

—   CHiNX   —

Friday March 9, 2001

Bunnyjumping

First Things
Bunnyhopping in HL is alot harder than in say QW (quakeworld, enhanced netcode version of quake1) where it has become an artform that most the top players use that speeds up the game and also adds a bit more skill to the game. Not only that but its great fun doing it. The reason its harder in HL is because of a bug in the HL engine which causes the player to stick to the floor sometimes when jumping (wether its an actual bug is debateable as Saturn pointed out to me, as its someting todo with the skelatal model system, but either way, it hinders jumping well unlike other games). You can still bunnyhop ok, but nowhere near as good as you could in qw.

Well, i finally found a fix for that thanks to Capcop. The fix is a small alias that replaces your normal jump button, and hammers +jump a few times making it so you no longer stick to the floor.

bind "MOUSE3" "+decentjump"
alias +decentjump "+jump; wait; -jump; wait; +jump; wait; -jump; wait; +jump; wait; -jump; wait; +jump; wait; -jump"
alias -decentjump "-jump"
Ive edited a little from his though, as it was causing problems with gauss jumping, but it still works just as well.

Now dont start thinking that just because you have this your automatically going to be able to bunnyhop perfectly. Like i said, all this does is fix the bug in the hl engine to stop you sticking, and thats all. You still need to spend alot of time and practice on mastering the technique, so lets take a look at that.

The Technique
One of the hardest parts of bunnyhopping is getting the initial speed up and getting some momentum going. To do this you need to learn how to accel jump.

The first thing you do is to start strafing to the left a little, and at the same time, turn your mouse left about 30 degrees. Do this for about 2 seconds (count it while practicing). Next, hit jump, release forward, strafe right and start to turn right ALL at the same time. To get it working best, move your mouse up a bit while turning right,a nd then down a bit as you get to end of your turning, as its better to make a semi circle/arc with your mouse whilst doing doing this.

As you land again, do excatly the same as described above, expect to the left. If your doing it right, you should be making a figure 8 shape with your mouse.

To make learning it a little easier, if have made a small demo which you can watch so that you can easier understand the technique. In it, you will see that i press fire a few times, this is to show you when you need to make the switch (jump, changing strafes, turning etc)

Starting Jump

For the best way to study it, watch it in slow motion by using this: playdemo bunnystart.dem 0.5 which wil play it at half speed.

Some Pointers
Theres a few things you should pay attention to when practicing, such as the fundamental rule that should always release forward on the first jump and never press it again during the rest of your jumps. This may seem wierd, but it is the strafes that give you the speed in the air, holding down forward will just slow you down to the server max speed again.

Another mistake a few make, is that you should never move your mouse while you are touching the ground. This is a sure fire way to lose speed.

Once you begin to get it right, you might notice your not picking up as much speed as you like. Well to this, make big sweeping corners/turns as this is where your speed is gained. When doing this though, dont switch strafes or turn the other way, continue turning and strafing the same way as you fly round the corner, only switching and turning the other way when your back on a straight.

Lastly, if your having trouble getting speed up, practice with the gauss and use that the fling you across the map at a decent speed, and then try to carrying on the jumping as you land. You may find this alot easier when trying to find the right technique.

In the end though, its all practice. Its quite a hard skil to learn, and if your serious about wanting todo it, then its going to take you quite a while to get it right. Just keep at it, practicing in an open server or on lan until you find the right feel for it (youll know when you do it right) and youll soon get it.

For futher study, check out this demo i recorded and watch the movement closely.

—   CHiNX   —

Unknown

Font Editing

After my post on AG forum, lot of guys ask me how i do to change fonts ? Then i deceide to do a collums about this topic.

1st Step, changing the color :

It s very easy to change console fonts color. Valve provide us since 1100 patch a cmd for that : con_color "RRR GGG BBB". RGB value ( 0 to 255 ) dertermine ur color.
Some example :
Red console : type con_color "255 0 0"
Green console : type con_color " 0 255 0"
Blue console : type con_color "0 0 255"
Yellow console : type con_color "255 255 0"
Pink console : type con_color "255 0 255"
Cyan console : type con_color "0 255 255"

If u wanna black fonts, set all value to 0, if White is needed, fix all value to 255.

2nd Step, changing the fonts :

In last version of HL, console font were bitmap, now valve changed it to True type fonts. The console fonts is also located in fonts.wad file in valve directory. To changing standard Arial fonts in HL u need a little program provided by Valve in the last SDK, called Makefont.exe

In a DOS console run it, u will have all parameter needed :

[-font "fontname"] : Here u need enter the real true type fonts name ( Arial, Tahoma, etc...)
[-italic] : Enter this Flag if u wanna Italic font
[-underline] : Enter this Flag if u wanna underlined font
[-bold] :
Enter this Flag if u wanna bold font
[-pointsizes sm med lg] :
Here u dertermine ur font size. (seem to be bugged )
outfile :
output filename ( is needed )

example : makefont -font "Times New roman" -underline -bold fonts.wad

Result :

Remember that is just an example and u can do what u want. Next time i will show u how edit ur HUD screen.

—   Saturn48   —

Unknown

Hud Editing

After changing style and color of fonts, i will explain how to edit HUD sprite of HL. This tutotial can also work with other mod.

1nd Step, Extracting, Viewing and building sprites:

The easy part of tutorials =). U just need 3 small programs to extract (Pak explorer), view (Sprview.exe) and build sprites (Sprwiz.exe). All can be found on http://www.planethalflife.com/wavelength/.

1. Run Pak explorer, then extract a sprite ( 640hud7.spr)
2. Run Sprview and save as 256 BMP file.


3. Edit ur BMP and save as 256 BMP format.
4. Run Sprwiz, keep all default setting and save ur sprite.

Congratulation, u edit ur first Sprite.

2. Color Sprites :

Unfortunetly, coloring sprites have some constraint. U can notice that standard sprite are in grey scale and in game are yellow. It s due to the coders that coded yellow color for sprites in client.dll. So i ve tried to make some HUD color, But only green and red sprites works because of the yellow coded in the client.dll. In other word, u can only do red or green HUD. Other color doesn't work. U can also download my HUD pak at


green640HUDpak.zip

Enjoy it.

3nd Step, the Hud.txt:

If u re curios, u have without doubt notice the file hud.txt in the Valve/sprites dir. Lemme show u the syntax :

here is an piece of this file :

d_egon 320 320hud1 96 240 32 16
d_hornet 320 320hud1 144 208 48 16
d_grenade 320 320hud1 144 224 32 16


number_0 640 640hud7 0 0 20 24
number_1 640 640hud7 24 0 20 24
number_2 640 640hud7 48 0 20 24
number_3 640 640hud7 72 0 20 24

item_healthkit 640 640hud2 176 48 44 44
item_longjump 640 640hud2 176 96 44 44

Description :

The 1st string is the name of the sprite/entities to display ( numbers, item, wepaons, ... )
The 2nd describe your screen resolution (320, for 320x240 -> 512x384, and 640 from 640x480 to higher ).
Next string, is the file name of the sprite located in sprites dir.
And the 4 numbers describe a box ( x1,y1,x2,y2) , containing the sprite.

In other word, if i get this line "number_0 640 640hud7 0 0 20 24", the sprite "number_0" for resolution 640x480+ is in the file 640hud7.spr contained in the box with this coordinate (0 ,0, 20, 24).

This hud.txt provide u the ability to make big and detailled sprite.

Conclusion :

With a bit imagination and patience, now can do hud like this :

Special thx to T-rex aka Teco from SSD for Digital counter sprite :p


—   Saturn48   —

Unknown

Demo2Avi

Half-Life has the capability to record it's video out to a custom file. You can then process it with a utility from the SDK that saves each frame to a separate .bmp file, and compile it into an .avi with programs like Adobe Premiere or Fast Movie Processor. This is a great way to include footage from the game into a promotional video for your mod. Unfortunately no sound is recorded at all during this. You could try running an audio-capture program while it records video, or plug your audio output into another computer's audio input or into a tape recorder. There really aren't too many options for this. Also, these files can get really big. It's around 70 meg for just 30 seconds of video, although you can make your final .avi reasonably small by compressing it.

1. Recording Movie

Run Half-Life in 320 x 240 and bring down the console. Type fps_max 15 or 12. Play your demo with a time scale of 0.1 (playdemo demo 0.1 ).Type startmovie movie. This tells it to start recording. I called it movie but you can name it whatever you'd like. Type endmovie to stop recording and quit out of Half-life. Whether you were playing Half-Life or a mod, the movie will always be saved to the Half-Life folder.

2. Extracting Movie

Drag-n-drop the movie file onto mkmovie.exe. It will create .bmp files for each frame. It will give them the same name as the movie file, so if you'd like to have a different name, run it with the command line: mkmovie [-basename <.bmp name>]

3. Building Movie

Ok, now you got all bitmap of the movie. Run Premiere or Fast Movie Processor ( or other editing/compositing stuff ) import bitmap sequence of your demo. Time strech, add effects, sound, music if needed then make movie ( CTRL + M in Adobe Premiere ). Choose your Video codec ( Cinepak, RLE, DIvX,.... ) and press OK. Don't forget to set frame rate to 15.

Ok, you can see the result : ag.avi

Update - By CHiNX

1. Find the sequence you want within a demo and note the time (use hud_timer 2 if its an AG demo)
2. Bind mouse1 to "startmovie moviename" and mouse2 to endmovie (most keys do not work during demo playback)
3. Change fps_max to 15 and then timedemo the demo.
4. As soon as you come to the action sequence, hit mouse1 and let it record the movie. Hit mouse2 as soon as its over (dont let it run too long or will take up loads of space).
5. Locate the movie file in your hl dir and move it an empty dir on your hdd.
6. Put mkmovie.exe in the same dir as the movie and then create a shortcut of the exe. In the properties, add the movies name after the url (e.g. D:/Movie/Moviemkmovie.exe bootjump) and then run the shortcut.
7. You should now have a load of bmps in your directory that you need to convert into an avi. Todo this, read Pho's tutorial here (for q3, so just replace tgas for bmps)
8. Once you have a few avis you can start pasting them togethor in Premier. Check this page out for more info on this.

—   Saturn48   —

 

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