Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

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  1. #1
    Over rock and under tree ScreamingFox is offline
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    Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Notes on Armors  (Armors 101)
    Here are some stuff i've learned so far about making armors =D

    To export the armor properly, you need to use the Sandurr Ase exporter (which supports physique).

    This exporter works only on 3dsmax 5, 6 and 7, but 3dsmax 5 dont have physique, and 3dsmax 6 don't run on Windows 7, so, i recommend the 3dsmax 7, just to export the armor ase's.

    In my case, even with the 3dsmax7, the exporter was giving me a hard time (was giving me a error message about the ase exporter). I could use the ase exporter only after installing the "MSVC++ 2005" and 'repairing' the 3dsmax7 (with the installation executable)..

    You can also download a 'dll dependency walker' to check which files are missing for the exporter to work, but this can be very tricky (for each missing file you download, it would require another 15 to work (EVERY TIME D= ) and if you eventually download them ALL, the 3ds just crash (wont even open XD).

    Well, here we go =D

    Char/TMABCD directory - On this folder are all 'clothes' the characters actually 'wear'.

    TM = Tempskron and Morion
    ABCD = Characters:
    A - Mechanician
    B - Fighter
    C - Pikeman
    D - Archer

    mA - Knight
    mB - Atalanta
    mC - Priestess
    mD - Magician

    *.inx - Coded filer for the armor (tells the game which files are the model (and, on these files, the exact name of the meshes) and animation files).
    *.smd - 3d model.
    *.smb - Animation coordinates for smd.
    *.ini - Human language inx.
    *.ase - Human language smd.
    *.bmp - Bitmap , Image file (texture)
    *.tga - Truevision Graphics Adapter , Image file (texture). Regarding pt, an alpha channel can be used on TGA's to apply selective opacity.

    Image/Sinimage/Items directory:

    DropItem and Defense subdirectories - On this folder are every item you would see dropped (on the ground, the DropItem, this includes armors and items you would only see on the ground or inventory (rings, etc..)) and the inventory images (shields, boots, bracelets, gauntlets and armors, on the Defense subdirectory). Bracelet's inventory images are on the Accessory subdirectory.

    Defense/DropItem folder item names:

    "IT" = "item"
    "D" = "Defense"
    "A" = "Armor"
    "B" = "Boots"
    "G" = "Gauntlets/Gloves"
    "S" = "Shield"
    "OA2"= "Bracelets (on 'Accessory' subdirectory)

    Armor files:

    (On char/TMABDC):
    ini/inx = Describing .ase name, its mesh names and the related smb (animation) file.
    ase = Your armor model.
    tga/bmp = Your armor texture (also called 'skin files').
    smb = Animation file (dont need to mess with it)

    (On Image/Sinimage/Items):
    ase = Drop ('on the ground') version of armor / boots / gauntlets and bracelets. (on DropItem folder).
    tga/bmp = Drop version texture files (on DropItem folder).
    BMP (66x88p) = Inventory image of the armor, boots and gauntlets (on Defense folder).
    BMP (44x44p) = Inventory image of bracelets (on Accessory folder).

    Making/editing the armor:

    The way i did it was editing some functional ase's found on my server. These are the ase's found for the characters:

    tmbA14_p.ase - Mechanician (A)
    tmbB14_p.ase - Fighter (B)
    TmbC14_p.ase - Pikeman (C)
    tfbD14_p.ase - Archer (D)

    MmbA16.ase - Knight (mA)
    MfbB18_p.ase - Atalanta (mB)
    MfbC11_p.ase - Priestess (mC)
    MmbD11_p.ase - Magician (mD)

    If you dont have these files, you can download them here

    On tmbA14 :
    t = Tempskron
    m = Male
    b = Body (there are some with 'h', for hair)
    A = Letter for mech/knight.

    On MfbB18 :
    M = Morion
    f = Female
    b = Body (there are some with 'h', for hair)
    B = Letter for Atalanta/Fighter.

    Personally i do not know how to add an new armor without replacing other, but here we worry about making the armor work, lets worry about adding it (on the client and server executables) afterwards =D (i suppose there are already some good guides on this particular subject)...

    -Log in the game with an admin account and press F9 to see the inx your character is wearing:

    -Open this ini (inx) on Notepad or other text editor (like MadEdit), and write down the mesh names, it will be something like this (different on inx, but with the same information):

    // 캐릭터 주인공 설정값

    *모양파일----- tmbA14_p.ASE

    *정밀모양----- "TAHA19" -arms (Probably 'Gauntlets/Gloves' in Vormav's Mod)
    *정밀모양----- "TBHA19" -body (Probably 'Armor' in Vormav's Mod)
    *정밀모양----- "TLHA19" -legs (Probably 'Boots' in Vormav's Mod)
    *정밀모양----- "TSHA19" -shoulder pads (Probably 'bracelets' in Vormav's Mod)

    *보통모양----- "TAHA19" (could be TAMA19 in some cases (medium res))
    *보통모양----- "TBHA19"
    *보통모양----- "TLHA19"
    *보통모양----- "TSHA19"

    *저질모양----- "TAHA19" (could be TALA19 in some cases (low res))
    *저질모양----- "TBHA19"
    *저질모양----- "TLHA19"
    *저질모양----- "TSHA19"

    *파일연결----- (the in* for bones and animation)

    (Babylon translation):

    캐릭터 주인공 설정값 - "The hero character set"
    모양파일 - "File appearance" (the model filename)
    정밀모양 - "Aspect/precision/exactness" (probably the high res meshes)
    보통모양 - "Usually, generally, regularly" (probably the medium res meshes)
    저질모양 "Potter's clay, book wrapper, quality" (probably the low res meshes)
    (or "to lose, yield, bear, fall, set, sink
    come off, shade, become, lose out, droop, take")
    파일연결 - "File connection"

    The meshes on the armor you would make shall have the same name of the meshes described on the in* file. Here is some explanation on how you should name the meshes:

    On TAHA19 (example):

    T = Tempskron (would be M if it were an morion mesh).
    A = Arms, it could be "B" for body, "S" for shoulder(pads), "L" for legs (and boots).
    H = High resolution, most armors have just meshes for high res (it could be 'L' for low and 'M' for medium res).
    A = Letter for Mechanician (would be B for fighter, C for pike, or D for archer).
    19 = Because it is the 19th armor (armor parts set).

    For an example, if i would make an shoulder pad for the wyvern armor on Atalanta, the name of its mesh should be MSHB19 (Morion-Shoulder-High.Res-"B"Atalanta-On armor no.19)

    -Open the 3dsmax (i recommend 3dsmax 7, just for exporting the ase with the Sandurr exporter)
    -Obviously, make the armor (part(s)) you want your character to wear (tip "Think low-poly" XD)
    -Save this armor (or armor part) or export it to 3ds (you can also make the parts on a higher version of 3dsMax, and export them (on .3ds) to the 3dsMax7, in this case, save the UVW's).
    -Import one of the mentioned character ase's , and 'fix' your armor part(s) on the char body (re-position and scale the part(s))
    -Rig it with the Physique, on this stage, all armor parts i've made i actually exported each one ("Export Selected") to an individual ase (one ase just for arms, one just for shoulder pads..), i thought it would be easier or better organized.
    -Physique is a 3dsMax modifier featured on 3dsmax 6 or above. To rig an mesh with Physique, access the modifiers, scroll down the list and click on Physique, then, click on the "Attach to node" button ().
    -Use these parameters (Pt does not support blending between links):

    -It would look like this:

    -Go to the modifiers list - Physique - Vertex:

    -Check 'No Blending' and click "Select" (you will select the vertexes).

    -And then click "Assign to Link" (these yellow lines are the links...) in this case, i will assign it to the forearm (some characters have specific bones for shoulder pads...)

    -These shoulder pads are the easiest (and the arms are a bit more difficult) to rig. Basically you would select and assign the vertexes to the proper links. (you wouldn't link an leg vertex to a head link, correct? XD)
    -All vertexes need to be properly linked, or some bizarre stretching can occur (ex: Atalanta's official Frenzy armor, with the stretched arm backside (on the offense(weapon) arm).
    -Test the rig (conection between vertexes and links) by rotating the rigged bone (in this particular case, the forearm..).
    -Now select just the part you made, and export it (export selected).

    -You can close the 3ds if you want now (save individual rigged parts XD)
    -Open one of those (functional) character ase's i've mentioned on MadEdit or Notepad (notepad will be extremely laggy)
    -And open your armor (or armor piece) ase on another tab/window.
    -You will need the information on the in* (ini or inx) file too, to know the exact proper name of the meshes.
    -Find the armor part you want to replace for yours (in this case, its the MSHB, so i searched for it). In the case of a full new armor, obviously you would replace all xd..

    -On the 'ase language' , the geometric objets are called "GEOMOBJECT".. In this particular case, i need to find the MSHB mesh.

    -Since i exported all the parts individually, its easy to find the mesh on the export (its just one XD).. So i copy and paste these parts (REPLACING ON THE ORIGINAL), one by one, and respecting the original (functional) ase syntax (there are small differences on the syntax):

    *MESH_VERTEX_LIST { ... }
    (XYZ vertex coordinates)

    *MESH_FACE_LIST { ... }
    (Facial boundaries, smoothing and Material ID)

    (Texture coordinates)

    *PHYSIQUE {...}
    (Bone to vertex linking)

    -The "*MATERIAL_REF" is the material (on the beggining of the ase file) of this particular mesh, if it uses an specific sub-material, you need to change the '*MESH_MTL ID' on the '*MESH_FACE_LIST'.

    -For the texture and effecting, change the '*Material_List'. Add a new material (or change the original to your texture). This part (texture (MATERIAL)) is very simple to understand =D

    -Check again the in* file (and your new/altered ase), to see if you wrote the mesh names correctly (wrongly named meshes will just be invisible, improper bones will crash the game ("will give a game.exe")). Check the correct ase name as well (ase/smd which the in* will request) .
    -If you edit (for the first time) with this method (with the mentioned ase's), you can (should indeed) delete the parts you will not use.
    -Test it :

    (just the shoulder pads, with "reflex" effect (..its another model..), as noticed on this image, you can have multiple meshes for armor parts, you need only to give both meshes the same name (in this case, MSHBXX)

    (the actual arm and shoulder pad from the example images)

    -Basically you would replace the original meshes (on the functional ase's) to your own armor parts :)

    Well, for now, thats it :)

    Hope it helps somebody, thanks a lot of people especially Vormav, Bobsobol and Sungam3d =D

    And SheenBr for empowering my will of doing this 'guide' and for telling me about the MadEdit.
    Last edited by ScreamingFox; 25-10-11 at 01:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Account Inactive Vormav is offline
    Jan 2009 Join Date

    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Excellent guide clear and full of details at the same time.

    Here are my two cents:

    You might be missing .smb to open knight armors.
    In tmABCD folder you will find:

    tmbA01.smb -> bones for MS, FS
    tmbC01.smb -> bones for PS
    tfbD01.smb -> bones for AS, ATA
    MfBC01.smb -> bones for PRS
    MmBD01.smb -> bones for MGS
    But you will not find one that can open knight, this one is compiled by me:

    MmbA01.smb -> bones for KS
    You can DL them here.

    You should know what those names mean now from reading ScreamingFox guide.
    Only thing that I need to explain is that some classes share bones, in other word you can use use AS skills in ATA body and same thing goes for MS and FS.

    Another problem someone might run into are hands, 3ds plugin imports you physique with broken biped system so you will be missing fingers physique!

    To do quick fix for that make yourself real biped next to your model with
    Fingers: 3
    Finger Links: 3

    PT models have only 2 finger links but 3rd one we will fake 2nd link that is not working.

    So on PT biped (not on one we created) copy/make your fingers a little below so they will look like real fingers (same as they look on real biped) and "Select and link" to original fingers, name them same way biped system did (be sure you use Bip01).

    And you have working fingers for gloves when you apply physique.

    I added picture so my bumbling is more clear.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Vormav; 24-10-11 at 10:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Over rock and under tree ScreamingFox is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Thats great (about the SMB's). But i think, maybe a struck of luck of some sort, with these ase's (that i mentioned) you wouldn't even need to convert them.
    (or someone intentionally left those working ase's , if thats the case, its a very good person XD)

    But then there's this strange thing, if i use the actual bones (export with the biped) of these files, the biped sort of become useless XD, or, something bugs when i import them (it may very well be it, since the (imported ase) rigs are all messed up/disabled), xd.. Thats why i couldn't export in my very first attempts, and later (when i replicated the bones) i messed the mapping coordinates (unintentionally XDDD) and this was giving me game.exe XD..

    So i thought of this (i replaced one armor smd by of those ase's (atalanta) and it actually worked XD, but, if i would import it to 3ds and then export the very same thing, it wouldn't work...), to edit a working ase without importing it to the 3dsmax.

    So (if i delete the meshes (on the ase text) i probably wouldn't need to make the replicate biped (it is GREAT (the only way i know so far) indeed to export the full armor at once, like, 'click export'(to the char folder) and run the game XD, but its a very tricky job to get the very same exact positioning/size/names of bones)..

    Maybe tomorrow i will extract the bipeds from these files (to make a collection of biped's ase's, to ease a bit XD).

    @edit: Oh you actually kind of did it XD =D huhu XD
    Last edited by ScreamingFox; 25-10-11 at 03:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Account Inactive Vormav is offline
    Jan 2009 Join Date

    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    I see, I did not noticed that "those ASE" have working biped.
    I will compare what smd reader produce with "them" later.
    However you still need bones (smb) to open existing armors or maybe you have some other method?
    So you copy those skeletons to ASE with armor you opened with smd reader and you get working biped, right? (imported physique is still broken but you have full biped) Interesting! I think I will copy those skeletons to my customization mod.

  5. #5
    Over rock and under tree ScreamingFox is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Mmm.. i actually replaced only the meshes on the 'working ase' (not the biped/bones)..

    But i thought that i may have misconceived some parts (but if someone uses the information in your post, that misconception wont really be relevant)..

    Maybe i did the arm and shoulder pads on my (replicated) biped, and then replaced the 'MESH' information on ase.. i fixed (repositioned/scaled) the new biped so many times that its almost the same XD.. So maybe the biped on these ase's are really useless if you import, but you can still replace parts (on these ase's, on text mode) if its mesh is rigged to a bone ('link') with the same name as the original bone.

    But since you posted the working counterparts of the SMD in the conversion process (the bones (not animated dummies) SMB's), we do not need to worry much about this =D. That is certainly a key information on this :)

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member bocadecao is offline
    May 2009 Join Date

    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    nice tutorial ...
    My friend said he could add a skin, have not tried it here ...
    Vormav you know something?

    His name is Aron, a "designer" of sandurr

  7. #7
    Custom title enabled bobsobol is offline
    May 2007 Join Date

    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    "Skinning" usually refers simply to replacing the texture (bitmap) file. It can go as far as replacing the entire mesh though. Essentially, this tutorial goes far beyond the usual use of that term.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member bocadecao is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    bobsobol not say as skin texture, it is in the proper 3D Max is like Physique, but distorts less and is easier to adjust with envelope

  9. #9
    Over rock and under tree ScreamingFox is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Ah, i thought of that initially too.. i had never used physique before, but used the skin deform techniques some times in the remote past..

    But its probably because of the article 'a'.. like in "my friend could add a skin", probably would be better as "my friend could add the skin ( the model...)" or even better as "my friend could apply skin (modifier...)".. but yes i think this 'physique' can be simpler than the skin deforms (and therefore probably better to games)..

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member bocadecao is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    Yes, an example of a game that uses "skin" is Mu Online ...

  11. #11
    Custom title enabled bobsobol is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    I tried checking that out, but it didn't help. In any case, every game every written can be skinned or moded with a greater, or lesser amount of effort.

    Here's the best example I could come up with:-

    Original left, "Skinned" Right.

    More extreme skin.

    Very minor mod, (re-modelled) but already far more altered than the most extreme "skin" can achieve.

    Following this guide you can achieve similar levels of change, and more. ^_^

    There is an animation technique known as "Onion Skinning" which is often abbreviated to "Skinning". And a diagrammatic plan of work known as a skin... but, that's spelled differently, and I can't find the correct spelling for it now. >.< It's pronounced the same. (Like "there's" and "theirs" or "plane" and "plain" or "four", "fore" and "for" )
    The Two Ronnies made the identical pronunciation of "four candles" and "fork handles" quite famous.
    --- EDIT ---
    I think it's spelled the same as a ball of wool, as in "skein". It's used in planning the potential sequences of events in story telling for books, films, TV series and particularly video games. (I guess you could well be said to be "spinning a yarn"... another term for "telling a story")
    Last edited by bobsobol; 11-11-11 at 02:47 AM.

  12. #12
    Account Inactive Vormav is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    You don't need skin modifier, many futures skin have PT physique is not supporting, PT does not even support blending. Just use physique modifier, PT have old and simple meshes, most of the time you will be using only few bones.

    It's not like you can apply skin and 3DS will do rest, whatever you use you need to fix it yourself. So for PT, skin or physique, it does not meter, you will be converting to physique anyway because that's what PT is using.

    Just do as ScreamingFox told you in guide, assign vertexes to link and you will be fine.


    BTW. I found this plugin for 3DS Max

    Skin to Physique and back.

    It supports MAX versions we use on PT 6 and 7.
    I did not tested it... yet.
    Last edited by Vormav; 11-11-11 at 12:49 PM.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member bocadecao is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    vormav yes yes, I know to add armor, just wanted to know even if the pt accepted "skin"

    @ Test the plugin here and now tell you =)

  14. #14
    Professional Aussie SunnyZ is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    This post is so helpful, should totally be stickied!

  15. #15
    Custom title enabled bobsobol is offline
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    Re: Notes on Armors (Armors 101)

    I concur, and comply. Request accepted.

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