sabato 16 marzo 2019

Z_ETL_players_20190315.pk3 ready

I completed the ETL_players package and it seems valid for a first test phase.
There is some problem of the mdm/md3 models with dynamic light (and face normals) but I'm thinking that it is a engine problem (I read that someone in some forum talks about it).
For example in the limbo menu the player's head (top right) is illuminated by a dynamic light and it is seen that the effect is not optimal (the behavior is the same even with the original heads even if you notice less). Anyway the ETL engine looks much better then the ET engine.
Unfortunately I am not a skilled skinner and the textures need to be improved especially those of the faces because they are too equal to each other and have no personality. An excellent and quick solution would be to obtain copyleft photographs of heads (front, 3/4, left or rigt, back) and retouch them. Anyway in this initial phase the textures of the heads may be fine and for the moment I don't improving them (I hope that some skilled 2d / skinner graphics can improve the textures for me) because I would like to focus on the first-view arms and weapons and on third-view animations.
Facial animations, expressions and blood seem ok except for the idle animation of when the player is seriously injured.

I found these problems:
- wrong normals with md3/mdm models when the faces are mirrored (even if outside the uv space) that are to be taken into consideration for future models
- the original maps are out of scale respect to the original player's model (for example check the dimensions of the doors compared to the height of the player)
- many original weapons in the third person view are out of scale and should be redone.
- the rank on the helmet/cap looks too big.
- problems with heavy weapons MG / Mortar / MG tank mounted
- maybe tag_weapons & tag_weapons2 (hands) non perfectly aligned
- trouble when the player is prone with heavy weapons
- i forgot to make the model of the player without clothes
- in general the textures resolution degrade even the player's view is close (to work around I added nomipmaps & nopicmip in the shader)

You can check my last package Z_TCE_players_20190315.pk3 here -->

martedì 5 marzo 2019

ETL_players package

I'm working a bit on the ETL_players package to see if I can release in a short time something that can be evaluated. Thanks to the "classic" hud of ET/ETL that show the health of the player's head I discovered a big problem (but easy to fix) that involve the md3 of the heads.
In a nutshell I had not linked the tag_mouth to the head bone and therefore did not orient itself in agreement. The consequence is that objects tied to the tag tag_head/tag_mouth (for example helmets or other accessories) did not orient themselves with the head.
I have to correct the head meshes also in the TCE_players and CQB_players packages (although the problem is less noticeable because the head animation set is very limited).
I'm also have some progress with the animation of mp5/ump45 but I have to make more tuning since the handle is completely different from an AK47

lunedì 21 gennaio 2019

Z_TCE_Viewarms package - New arms models for True Combat Elite and CQB weapons integration

These are some in-game screenshots of the contents of the Z_TCE_Viewarms_ package I'm working on. As I said in other posts there is still a lot to do, such as the texture of the hands / weapon models optimizing / new weapons UV map/ new and better weapon models
Obviously the new features of CQB as the reflexsight parameter for the optics or the improvements of the vision through the scope can not be used.

giovedì 3 gennaio 2019

New True Combat Elite package released (Z_TCE_players_20190101.pk3)

The package Z_TCE_players_20190101.pk3 is ready to be tested and I'm confident that there will be no memory errors since I tried it for a long time on a dedicated server with 6 bots and it always worked regularly. It is only the first package that contains the third-person models and gradually will be added other packages wiht first-view arms and weapons. To maintain some coherence between the textures of the third-person models and the arms I made very rough textures for the arms that will be gradually replaced. For now I have decided to use jpg as texture format but it is possible that I switch to tga even if obviously the dimensions are very different.

You can check my last package Z_TCE_players_20190101.pk3 here -->

This is the line that I use to run tce and it's working for me:
DriveName: \ PathToWET \ ET.exe + set fs_game cqbtest + set com_soundMegs 64 + set com_hunkMegs 256 + set com_zoneMegs 64 + set s_khz 44 + set r_maxpolyverts 16384 + set r_maxpolys 4096 + exec serverDEV.cfg

In the serverDEV.cfg file I also added this commands:

seta com_soundMegs "64"
seta com_hunkMegs "256"
seta com_zoneMegs "64"
seta s_khz "44"
seta r_maxpolyverts "16384"
seta r_maxpolys "4096"
set sv_pure 0
set sv_official 0
seta com_ignoreCrash 1 // Toggles Safe Mode After Crash

set bot_enable "1"
addbot 1 BLUE
addbot 1 BLUE
addbot 1 BLUE
addbot 1 RED
addbot 1 RED
addbot 1 RED

Maybe it is better to set up a clean installation of tce and make sure that the package is the last to be loaded (if you order the contents of the tcetest directory by name the Z_TCE_players_yyyymmdd.pk3 must be the last file).

Since the images are sometimes better than a thousand of words I have done some screenshots (not retouched by any painting software)

lunedì 10 dicembre 2018

TCE package progress

I'm still working to the animation of the arms and closisng the Z_TCE_players package.
The limit of the maximum number of frames for the md3 that I had previously discussed that is very serious and penalizing. The consequences are:
1) the animations need to be adaptable to more weapons, so are less precise and less realistic
2) the animations must be short as posssible to save memory (so for example no check of empty chamber before reload and so on ..)
3) the use of accessories via tags becomes very uncomfortable.

So I'm making animations that can be reused for multiple models of weapons and seems good in game but must be tuned for the number of frames per second (btw increasing the number of the fps mean more fast, but also mean less precision since miss some frame) and for the correct position of the sight respect to the point of impact. I can't really understand why the game only handle the last shot animation for pistol and not for rifle, this is inexplicable. 

As I have already written, seems that TCE/CQB can not manage the third-person arms models with short sleeves (without touching the code), so I have modified the sniper class models (specops and terror) and I added long sleeves. The short sleeves player models are moved in a "tropical" directory for future use. I'm also using only arms models with long sleeves in the first-view for the same reasons.

Currently I have ported from CQB to TCE these weapons models: AK47, AK47 + M68, SG552, SG552 + Reddot, Beretta92fs, Desert Eagle, P226, Glock, Usp40, Wilson1911
In my opinion, all the weapons need to be optimized and made it next-gen compliant by redoing a UV map of the models without overlap. Many weapons meshes are out of scale, need to be improved or completely replaced. The texture skins are generally all excellent.

Keep in mind that UV map and SmoothGroups heavily affect the number of vertices of the md3 model. For example, this is the result of the same cube exported to md3 but with different UV maps / SmoothGroups:

Mesh <Box01>: 12 Triangles, 8 Vertexes (+16 verts for SmoothGroups, +0 verts for UV map)
Geometry Total: 12 Triangles, 24 Vertexes

Mesh <Box01>: 12 Triangles, 8 Vertexes (+0 verts for SmoothGroups, +24 verts for UV map)
Geometry Total: 12 Triangles, 32 Vertexes

An interesting feature could be the management of other tags in addition to flash and brass in the model of weapons (probably in the code cg_weapons.c). This could allow you to better manage all the accessories that can be considered fixed (such as sight, suppressor, foregrip, ...) and save the amount of specific animations of the arms.

Unfortunately I also encountered other problems...
1) the texture management for the arms of the knife model seems to ignore the settings provided in the .skin files for each player (which instead work for all other weapons).
This problem seems to be already present in the official version of TCE / CQB
2) A incomprehensible lack of functionality of the transparencies for the new shaders I added. For example, transparency for new flashes or new reddot wan't work.

Soon I will release the Z_TCE_players package and I will be grateful if some user give me a feedback. If someone find models of weapons royalty free and/or want to make some contribution by tuning/modelling/skin/adding weapons let me know.

Next in queue:
- fisrt-view arms animation for all weapons
- moving all CQB weapons to TCE
- 1024 * 1024 hands texture
- find / remake weapons more detailed
- clean old weapons UV overlapping verticies
- make old weapons next-gen compliant
- make new third-view players animations

giovedì 4 ottobre 2018

Z_TCE_Viewarms_ Progress

Good and bad news as usual

the latest progress are:
- creation of a more detailed model of the ak47 magazine
- realization of the most detailed model of M26 grenade
- increase the resolution of the texture of the arms from 512*512 to 1024*1024 (made from scratch and now they are much better)
- realization of the pistol animation
- introduction of the weapons taken in the last CQB release in TCE as they are better implemented
- reuse of previous models of arms / hands (more detailed)

Unfortunately, there are also bad news. The main problem is that each weapon is bind to a specific model of arms/skins.
As you know the sniper class has models with short sleeves while the assault and recon classes have long sleeves.
In the limbo menu it is possible to make the appropriate distinctions in order to assign the specific weapons to the different classes.
The problem arises when a sniper take a weapon of  recon/assault class from the ground and vice versa.
If you're a short-sleeved sniper and pick up a weapon from the assault class, long-sleeved arms appear (in fact, it inherits the arms associated with that weapon).

So one solution is block the possibility of take weapon of other class or don't use use short sleeves models.
Maybe the short sleeves player models can be choosed based on the type of map as you do for skins. For example you could use the models of short-sleeved players exclusively for tropical maps instead of temperate maybe acting on the .gear file by adding a gm_playerModelGroup type entry like this:

Maybe we can choose the short sleeves models of the players based on the type of map as you do for the skins.
For example we can use the models of short-sleeved players exclusively for tropical maps instead of temperate maybe adding something as gm_playerModelGroup in the .gear file like this:

gm_playerModelGroup "tropical" // models \ players \ tropical \ ...
gm_playerSkinGroup "tropical" // models \ players \ tropical \ ...
gm_playerVoiceGroup "default" // scripts \ voice \ temperate \ ...
gm_playerIconGroup "default" // gfx \ limbo \ temperate \ ...

gm_custom_weaponGroup "default" // custom \ default \ weapons \ ...

... but i'm afraid that at the moment it is not possible...

giovedì 30 agosto 2018

TCE - arms progress

I did not write any posts because I did not have good news to give.
I maded some animations for weapons (some completely new compared to those present) and with good results.
For example, for AK47 I had added another type of reload and a onother one in which the player can see the accessories mounted on the weapon.
Unfortunately I immediately fight with the error "ERROR: VirtualAlloc commit failed." when the map is changing. The Z_CQB_players and Z_CQB_Viewarms package wan't work together! (both in ET and in ET Legacy)
Until now I practically i'll go step by step and by elimination, to understand what generated it.
In the end I won my battle but the war will probably is a draw.

I avoid to tell the list of all the attempts I made and get to the point: there is a maximum amount of memory dedicated to all the player models and their animations (.md3 files).
This means that all the models of the heads + animations of the heads + the models of the arms + all the animations of the arms should not exceed a certain amount.
Originally, the game has one head for all the models of players with 400 frames + one model of arms with about 100 frames for each weapon. Realy a poor thing.
I made 5 heads with 400 frame animations and three arms models with 180 frame animations and I immediately had the problem "ERROR: VirtualAlloc commit failed.".

As you can see this limit is very, very, very penalizing for those who want to use the engine and make an inprovement with a good graphic level.

Since I can not touch the code I am forced to the following workaround:

- Reduction the number of heads from 5 to 4 and the duration of animations from 400 to 180 frames (for the moment I removed HD_IDLE4, HD_DAMAGED_IDLE2, HD_DAMAGED_IDLE3, SMILE)
- Elimination of any accessory for the heads (even the hair will be added via tag in .skin file)

- Reduction of polygons and vertices for models of hands and arms
- Reduction of variations of the arms models from 3 to 2 (sleeves + elbow pads will be unused)
- Reduction of the animations of the arms to have maximum 60 frames (since some are managed by the code such as drop/raise)

I have requested the of coroner's authorization to distribute the new version of CQB but without success so I will dedicate myself to TCE.
In any case, without a proper modification to the engine code, I'm afraid a 3D artist will never do a good job to improve the graphic content related to the players' models and the game's animations.