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Author Topic: New non replacement plane automata  (Read 32720 times)

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Offline xannepan

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New non replacement plane automata
« on: November 15, 2012, 05:39:00 AM »
Hello AC Team,

During the past few weeks I have been working on making an editor for the effect dir (in maltab, so unfortunately it is not something easy to use). I can however now fairly easy create new effects, or edit existing effects. One of the things I think is possible now is to add new airplane automata, perhaps even edit the take off and landing properties...

Is this something that would be of interest to you? If so, I am going to need some help. A good starting point for me would be full 3d models of airplanes (s3d) and skins to be included. Additionally, maybe some of you have thought about editing landing or take off motion properties. I am not sure the current airplanes have sounds attached to them, but that would be another possibilities I could explore.

Let me know what you think...

Offline Girafe

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 06:01:26 AM »
Stupid question, we have always been limited with train skins, is this method work for adding new ones???
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Offline Gugu3

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 06:25:13 AM »
Same question as Girafe!!that would be great!

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 07:38:12 AM »
I think it will also work for trains... But it is just my initial guess... I need to extend my matlab scripts for this... And I am not sure if I need to create an all new effect, or override the existing one. Anyway, at this moment I am optimistic.

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 08:52:19 AM »
A few strange findings. While studying the effect dir, I find pointers that link planes that take off the all kinds of different effects, sounds, but also a mild earthquake effect. I have never ever observed these during planes taking of in the game. So I am wondering... Has anybody ever seen these things in game?

Offline WC_EEND

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 09:25:58 AM »
Mild earthquake effects?? the only thing I can think of that might be for is the thud created when a plane touches down, other than that I can't really imagine what it might be for.
Also, best of luck with your effects.dir exploration.

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Offline noahclem

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 12:13:18 PM »
Very exciting project Alex! Good luck and I'll be following closely  :thumbsup:

Offline NCGAIO

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 01:30:00 PM »

For the trains according to what I know the real Automatos transit are not controlled by EFFdir with the exception of accidents, as well as the paths followed that are determined in the respective LUA scripts (Follow Road or Follow Rail).


The idea of new automata aereos could be executable but i think goes beyond to create a new ID with a new S3D as you will need also the edition of Effdir in more than one section.


As a more complicated example see the powered propeller that has more of a S3D animation beyond the shadow and the
Track condensation.


But I cheer for the continuing of work for  we can have more ease of editing EFFdir.

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 02:02:18 PM »
NCGAIO, you are correct, at least for the planes, that it is complicated. The problem is that the base runway effect points to other effects which point to other effects in the effdir. Overriding an effect turns out to be impossible (I tried).

So the only options is to copy all of those effects and give them new names and make sure all references to these new names are correct (effects are not identified by instance IDs but by string names instead :S) and it seems the game only looks for instnaces in a single effdir file, which makes this all the more challenging :(

I now have a script to also append two or more single effects that I isolated with my previous matlab script. What i need to do now is manually edit all strings so they are updated with the new names. Then hopefully i will have a completely new effdir that contains all effects of the large runway. If that turns out to work in the game, i,ll try to add planes.

For the trains, i am not sure yet. There is a section in the effect dir that takes care of random picks. Not sure however if that is used for the trains. So indeed i may have been a bit overenthusiastic as far as the trains are concerned...

Orher then that i keep finding references to sounds i have never heard during gameplay, perhaps these are conditional, and controled by the many parametrs is the effdir for which it is not clear what they mean. But there are also a bunchof references to sound IIDs that simply don't exist. Let's see what happens if i point them to existing sound files... Perhaps we get laughing planes  :D
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 11:56:11 PM by xannepan »

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 04:25:12 PM »
Eureka! It works.

Still much work needed. But I have created 3 all new planes and an entire new runway effect. Sofar only implemented the planes that are generated high in the sky (see picture), but this should just as well work for ascending and descending planes.

The files are a bit messy still.. but if you want to try I have attached the prelim version . Just unzip in the plugins folder and create a lot and put the effect on it (called jenxlargerunway). Plop the lot in  the game and zoom out.

Next thing to do is write a small script specifically for adding multiple planes to my all new effdir. What I can do is just add 50 similar s3d models or so, which can then be reskinned or remodelled afterwards, without having to edit the effdir anymore.

-alex

Offline figui

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 06:03:00 PM »
this is turning really interesting :thumbsup:

it'd be awesome to see planes landing with a more natural approach slope than maxis automata do..

keep up with your great job :thumbsup:

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Offline Terring7

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2012, 04:39:46 AM »
Awesome!! &dance :thumbsup:
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Offline Lowkee33

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 10:13:03 AM »
Awesome work Alex!

I'll have to start working on that program again.

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 10:27:34 AM »
Awesome work Alex!

I'll have to start working on that program again.

Lowkee! Good to see you back. I have made tremendous progress last week. My matlab scripts allow me to isolate effects from the main effdir. I have created new animals, new flashlights (for the eiffel tower) and last few days new planes. (I can share those scripts by the way... But they are messy, without comments and over the past days I have kept improving on them).

A bit more about the airplanes. I can now add without much work as many planes as I want. There is a caveat though (which can be solved). It is no problem at all to add multiples of the same two 3ds models that are already in the game (707 and 767). I can also add new models a380 for example, but.... The difficulty would be the additions of theflashlights, smoke trails and shadows. The effect dir contains parameters (offset coordinates) to compose the plane model, smoke and light models.. These al have to be tined for a new model that has different dimenions. It can be done however. I need low poly skinned 3ds models though...

Additionally, i can now control the approach slope, and also how long the plane "rolls out" (don't know the appropriate english term here). This off course requires longer runways... So I really need some input from AC team members ;-) ... Anyone...

Once i have the a380, it may even be possible to differentiate in approach properties between planes... We all know the 380 needs longer runways in real life... So why not in sc4.

The one thing that has been unsuccesfull up to now, is to get the sound to work. The original maxis effdir for the runways and planes already contain indices pointing to TRK files. However, they don't play (only if I completely zoom out, i can here some faint airplane sounds from the TRK files, not at closer zoom levels though :( ....

Keep you posted, alex

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2012, 01:03:38 PM »
Pfff.. like i was saying I can edit the runway approach... but how is another thing. I cannot figure out the coordinate for the movement as defined in section 1 of the effect dir... 3 entries of x1,z1,y1,x2,z2,y2 coordinates and a seq_nr.... Lowkee/NCGAIO or anyone else.. any clue?

Offline Lowkee33

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2012, 01:37:00 PM »
I don't think I can help with any of the actual parameters of an effect.  The only thing I can think of in Section 1 would be to make a negative value for the z-force (or perhaps y, but I don't see any other effects with a y force).

I don't know how your planes are moving, is this just a behavior you copied from the existing planes?  Do other planes land?  It may be tough to get something to land, as I'm not sure how we would figure out when the plane "hits" the ground.  Is the act of the plane taking off a different effect as from when it is flying around?

Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2012, 02:53:21 PM »
Actually, the planes land and take off perfectly well if I just leave it at the copied parameters. However, no i got the hang of modding i was trying to tune the movement a bit. If if change the coord movement system coordinates the ascend and descending indeed changes... However, if have no idea how to get the changes to go the way i want. I don't understand why for each rep in the coordinate system there are 2 coordinates x1z1y1 and x2y2z2... And i don't understand the meaning of the sequence numbers in the coordinate system. I even plotted the coordinates... But it just doesn't make sence..
Ah.. Maybe leave if for a few days...


Lowkee, how about sounds.. Any ideas on that? I know if i include a reference to section 9 in section 12 the effect should have sounds.. Fr planes it doesn't seem to work however... Maybe i am missign something.

Smethng else (may have asked this before :P) are there any low poly s3d models with skins available for other types of planes... Airbus, a380, 747... Etc..


Offline Lowkee33

Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2012, 04:37:29 PM »
I have no idea about sounds.  Remember with those pigeons, at first the sound was very loud and everywhere.  I changed it back to the original value and then it was too quiet, but at least it could only be heard close to the plop site.

I've got no idea about any of it really.  I was focusing on making a program to compare/edit values to see what could be learned from them.

Changing a z-coordinate may raise the effect, but such a thing, "being raised", is hard to see from the game perspective.

Hmm, just realized this is in the AC thread...  There might be some free plane models on the internet that you could trim down the poly count?

Offline Girafe

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2012, 05:01:59 PM »
There might be some free plane models on the internet that you could trim down the poly count?

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/

& if I am right on the pri-lex there are planes 3D models  &Thk/(
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Offline xannepan

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Re: New non replacement plane automata
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2012, 12:50:45 PM »
Time for an update. I am making tremendous progres.. only held back my my fear to make mistakes and having to start all over again.

I have created new effect dirs for complete new runways that allow for a predefined number of new plane models to be included and for each model a predefined number of skins that are randomly selected by the game. Next to a runway for the large planes, I have created a seperate runway for jumbo planes, ie the A380 (and a placeholder for another jumbo plane), which requires an extra long runway. (BTW a 747 model will be included along the regular large planes). A third runway is a mixed one, where both large and jumbo planes can land and take off.

I might finish the runway 'controllers' sooner then expected and upload for testing. The biggest amount of work will be actually to created an tune the models. Currently I am using 4 same base models as 'placeholder' and very quick and dirty skins.  All 3ds plane models from the net have way to many polys for the game to handle. And texture unwrapping is not a fun thing to do. Anyway, this can be release already before all models and skins are ready. Models and skins can just be overriden as long as the override dat files are loader later.

The coordinate system is still driving me crazy though. I now the parameters I need to change to alter approach path etc, but the results are highly unpredictable... requiring re-starting the game each time after changing a parameter ...

By the way.. I am using ssome models from the stex/lex amongst other some by voltaire. I'll ask for permission and give full recognition before I will upload off course.

-Alex