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Author Topic: Vehicle 3d model setup walkthrough  (Read 4404 times)
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Posts: 460

« on: May 23, 2014, 10:34:24 AM »

Here i will go over a few things on how to setup your model and make it ready with the configs.
Its gonna be a long and slowly updated progress but i will write as i get time!

Discussion here:

And i will not support or talk 3d model making or something related to that in this thread. This is only about how to setup
your models to get it in the game!

Max vertex count is: 65500~
Max part count is: 64

Its important to know what you should name all parts. Its important to use what everybody else use to get a common naming system.
Specially if you are not going to make the configs for it to not confuse the scripter.
There are a few variaties anyway.

There are 3 types of parts:
d_ is for physical objects, that are visible
p_ is hitboxes
s_ is dummys

One more thing to mention, when there are more then one of the same object on the model, like the wheels, add an underscore and a number after the name.
Like this: d_wheel_01

When there is an object that is gonna be used by a crewmember you can add its work to the name, like the hatch for the driver can be like this:
and if more then one hatch, the first hatch:
and the second:

Now here is a list of most of the used objects needed:

we start with physical objects!
db_hull                    tank hull
db_head                  tank turret, on tank destroyers or similar vehicles without turret you can add s_rotation instead
db_gun                    gunbarrel, this is the object you put as a recoil fragment in your config
db_gunmask             gunmantle, where the barrel is attached to and the mantle is attached to db_head or db_hull
d_wheel                  tank wheels or vehicle wheels, remember to adjust pivot and also to center it correctly, rotate y-axis correct
d_light                     decoration mostly, to put your s_light on, for the headlights
d_caret                   russian word for wheel axle i suppose, attach to hull, rotate y-axis correct
d_door                    for bigger openable doors, rotate y-axis correct
d_cap                     used as small caps on for example visionblocks, rotate y-axis correct
d_hatch                  just an ordinary hatch, rotate y-axis correct
d_decoration           commonly used for all small non important decorative objects. Usually goes under notrace in your config
d_hole                   special object to put in all holes under hatches etc. More about this one later

You can add any other object aswel, for example if you add some spare tracks or some tools, put a d_ and then the imaginary name of the object like:
to name a few.

now to hitboxes, these names are more important and cant be made up. they all start with p_
and now a list:

p_ammo            self explained, big risk of fire
p_rothead         hitbox for turret mechanism, when hit turret stop to work, you cant traverse
p_rotgun          hitbox for gunmechanism
p_driver           all crewmembers got this, when hit, crewmember dies, rename accordingly for all members, driver, gunner, commander, loader, mgunner
p_accum          batterys, when hit you cant start engine when stalled
p_engine          engine stops
p_fuel              risk for fire
p_radio            unknown if works, but it says you wont be able to communicate with your allies
p_transm         gearbox, your transmission.

and as usual, if more then one of the same add underscore and the number like this:

and now the dummys or helpers as you can call them!

Size doesnt matter (heh) but i prefer small ones (heh oh uh) its easier to navigate and look around. But make
them big enough so you can see them easily. How they are rotated are not really important. Its their pivot that counts. But its
easier for you if you rotate them to where the pivot points! Dummys are used for the most important parts.
once again a short list:

s_light              lightsource for headlights come from this
s_driver            where your crewmember are stationed
s_driver_out      used for unbuttoned view, (when pressing P)
s_driver_exit      used on vehicle evacuation
s_gun               shell source and travel
s_mgun             shell source and travel from machinegun
s_smoke           your exhaust
s_fire               where flames come from
s_trace            source of threadmarks on the ground from tracks or wheels
s_camera         source for all views, important with y-axis once again

There must be a dummy for each crewmember, the same as on the hitboxes.

All these newly made stuff needs to go somewhere. You chain or parent them to eachother in a special order. Like this:

Its not as easy as that. All objects in the turret for example must be parented to the turret. The loader, turret hatches, gunner etc. In other words, all parts that should be attached and rotate with the turret must be parented to the turret.

A few tips along the way:

I have been talking about about dummys and their pivots. Now what is that?

It is the real orientation of dummys (all other objects aswell) and it must be rotated
the correct way. For me with my settings (should be for you also) it is the Y-axis all objects will use and rotate after.
Objects will rotate around this axis, all tracers and shoots will come from this axis, recoil, lights etc is all using this axis.

Wrong rotation on the Y-axis. Its pointing right from the s_gun dummy. Now when i shoot the shell will travel to the right!

Correct rotation of Y-axis. Now it will travel correctly

and another example but now with a hatch!
Y-axis pointing wrong if we want the hatch to open sideways like on the Tiger.
Now it will just flip.

Now its rotated 90 degrees and now it opens as we want!

So remember, everything rotates/moves along its Y-axis!

Armor misscalculation:

One important thing when adding items that are not going to be attached, but be another item not attached directly to the hull. Like in
this example its the left fender, or wing (whatever you call it) must have a tiny space between them, They can not touch another
part with a different armor thickness (fender 5mm, hull 80mm)
Look here at the first picture:

Here at the second one its moved a tiny bit away from the hull!

The reason for this is because when a projectile hit the fender its going to use the thickness of the fender and therefore only need to penetrate 5mm armor.
If touching the hull so the fender is "inside" on any part it will not calculate the hull armor!

Another thing to be very cautious with is open edges. This for many reasons but mostly because its an open spot that a shell can penetrate!
The odds for a shell to hit at exactly the edge is small, but there still is a chance, we dont want to take it Cheesy

And here i will show and explain in more detail what it is and how to fix it!

Models consist of polygons and vertexes. So a box will have one vertex or "dot" in each corner, so a rectangular box have 8 vertexes. And the "walls" or polygons are made
between each vertex. and they are always connected to 3 vertexes. So a polygon are also called triangles. So a box is made of: 8 vertexes and 12 polys. Let me show it with
a picture!

All vertexes selected

All polygons selected

All edges selected.

And now i can explain what an open edge is. Two polys or triangles is forming a rectangle or a side of the box.
Both triangles are using the same vertexes in each corner. And the diagonal edge is closed and connected to both triangles aswell. An open edge is when those two triangles
are not connected to eachother. There is a minimal space between them that is not visible, but it still exist! A shell can go past this even if the armor is 200mm thick
on the armor map.

In 3dsmax there is two easy ways to find open edges. You can either do an stl check in your dropdown menu or by go to Border selection and select all. I will show the later variant now.

This is a correctly modelled box. No open edges, I select Border selection, Ctrl+A to select all! No edges selected

And this is a faulty one. 4 Edges are selected, this means that the box is not solid and shells can come throu that side of the armor!

To fix this you can do it two ways! I will show just one, once again. Go to vertex selection. Select all vertexes and choose weld settings. Take the smallest number possible. (should be 0.01mm) and weld.
For uncomplex models it should work to select all. If it is made of many vertexes that are close together you need to manually select those vertexes and press weld. Or the model will be a complete mess!

I also need to mention that holes for hatches for example. Those open edges are oki. They must be there. But open edges on your armor plates must not exist!
I will show an example of the Panther G hull!

One more tip is to use reset xform if using 3dsmax, when scaling, cloning or mirroring you MUST use reset xform. Otherwise you get very unexpected results. Its same
on your dummys/helpers, use xform! But dummys are not so important when cloning. As long as you dont get problem with it.
And it is a good idea to unlink all objects before you reset them. If you dont do it all objects linked to the object you reset is going to be scaled/mirrored at the same way your selected object is (if reset xform changes it). That can do lots of damages to your model!

Also worth mentioning and what is different from the first tutorial (this one: is i found out
that by checking "make y up" in your exporter. There is no need to rotate your vehicle 90 degrees up. One easy way to see if everything works is to actually export
a test. When exported and opened in the object editor you should see your vehicles left side, and it should be pointing forward to the left.

This is how it should look like in the object editor:

And like this in 3dsmax:
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 07:57:07 AM by Donken » Logged

The real heroes are those that never came back.
Posts: 460

« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 10:34:39 AM »


The real heroes are those that never came back.
Posts: 460

« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 10:34:54 AM »


The real heroes are those that never came back.
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