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Author Topic:   .LUV mod tool
Lithium
Member
posted February 06, 2001 08:15 PM         
I've update my LUV mod tool:
http://www.geocities.com/uvmapper

I improved the moving of uv coordinates. You no longer have to click in a
vertex box to move things, you can click anywhere in the rect now and drag it.

I also improved the handling of groups. You can select them by name now.
And I added the saving of preferences if you didn't see that one yet.

And the best improvement yet, I added an undo feature. You can have up to
8 levels of undo because everyone makes mistakes.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 09, 2001 01:32 PM         
hey, thanks again for making this for us, Lithium! it's very much appeciated!

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peeeto
Member
posted February 09, 2001 01:56 PM         
wow! i just tried it out! you did a fantastic job!!!

what powerful editing capabilities you gave the program... thanks again!

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Lithium
Member
posted February 09, 2001 08:03 PM         
Thanks, I'll try to put a short tutorial showing how to use it, when I get
the time. It only takes about 5 minutes or so to map a model with no
texture coordinates. Pretty easy stuff.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 15, 2001 01:09 PM         
again - awesome tool, Lithium, thanks!

if you're inclined to update it, here are some things that i think might be helpful:

1) allow user to type in scale factors (x and y independently)

2) by default, have each side be placed on the map in their original proportions, and/or have the option to fix the texture map window with equal width & height (since it generates a 512x512 bitmap).
the complication i've had was that i'm trying to texture a circle shape with a circle painted on a bitmap, and it's kind of hard to scale the circle shape so that it ends up being a circle on the template bitmap.
another thing i'd like to be able to do is, for example, render a model in POV-Ray to generate interesting textures for the 6 views (so that if i do a camoflage or leopard-like texture, the texture transitions will line up correctly in each view). if the width to height ratio of the shapes on the template do not match the ratio of the model, it will be harder to "paint" the template with the rendered views. i suppose that the template could be "painted" first and loaded into the backgroun, then the polys could be fitted, but it would be nice to not have to play around with scaling...

3)have "hidden" or partially covered polys displayed in a diferent color: for example, if on the top view, a polygon outline is placed over any part of another polygon, the covered polygons would be displayed in a different color. this would make it easier to get those covered polys out from under others.
i don't know if this would then be possible or easy to implement, but if the covered polys are moved to where they aren't covered anymore, then they would revert to the default color of the other uncovered polys, but any polys that are still covered would remain marked as covered. does that make sense?

OK - i'm done for now... thanks again for the great program!

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Lithium
Member
posted February 15, 2001 03:34 PM         
1,2) Are you saying you want to change the dimensions of the bitmap template?
By default, they are set at 512x512, but you can change the size to whatever
you want. The option is listed under the Preferences pulldown menu. If you
do change them, just remember that most 3D cards require that your texture's
dimensions be in powers of 2 (64x64, 128x128, 256x256 ...etc). And also some
cards have limits on how large they can be. Some cards don't support textures
larger than 512x512.

Also, I don't know, but it sounds to me like you are trying to use the mapping
tool in a backwards manner. You should not be trying to create a perfect circle
with the mapping tool because proportions or uniform scaling do not matter. If
you want a perfect circle on your texture, you should create it in your graphics
program, not with the mapping tool.

There are two basic ways you can use the mapping tool:

1. Create the texture from the mapping. First load the model into the mapping
tool and separate all the faces. Then save the bitmap template to file. Load
the bitmap template into your graphics program, and texture the template.

2. Create the mapping from the texture. First prepare you texture in a graphics
program. Then load your model (and your texture as the background) into the
mapping tool, and map your faces to the texture. With this method, you do not
need a bitmap template, since you already created it.


Using method 1 is the recommended way, because you get near perfect mapping
all the time. I have a tutorial on my webpage showing this method.
http://www.geocities.com/uvmapper/tutorial.html

Using method 2 is ok, but you need to do more work, since you have to move
and scale all coordinates to match your texture. One tip I can give you is
that if you want to maintain some kind of relative proportions, do not move
individual vertices. Instead, scale entire faces or groups. This way, you
keep everything together.


3) If you want good mapping, you should separate all faces so that no other
polygons are on top of it. There are two basic ways to do this:

1. Move and separate the faces and groups on your own.

2. When applying a box mapping, check the "Separate by Group" option. This
will separate the model accordingly to assigned groups, so the polygons
don't overlap each other. However, you should first assign groups to
different parts of your model using your 3D modeler. This is good a
habit, because you can work with your model easier and it makes selecting
and texturing easier as well. For example, if you were creating a tank,
you would assign all the faces that make up the turret as one group, all
the faces that make up the body as one group, etc...
Then when you load the model into the mapping tool, it does not matter if
some faces overlap each other, because you can now select them by group.
This is so much easier.

Hope that helps.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 15, 2001 04:16 PM         
thanks for the quick reply, Lithium.

if i can try to clarify #'s 1 & 2, i know that the bitmap's l&w have to be in equal powers of 2, so i wasn't thinking about changing that ratio, just keeping the model's l,w&h ratios the same when the polys are drawn on the bitmap.
another example would be a cube-shaped mesh, and so the 512x512 bitmap would contain 6 boxes, and each would have equal l&w's.
i understand that proportions and uniform scaling don't matter, but i was thnking that if the user wanted to spread & stretch the polys out to make better use of the real-estate, they could do it manually.

the reason that i suggested fixing the program's window would be so that the user could better "make a circle a circle" by hand, if the program didn't place the polys in the same proportions as in the model.

and yes, i suppose i am going about it backward... but i would like to render some of my models in other packages to get some cool textures first (and i suck at texturing free-hand). POV-Ray has some great texture options that are continuous in all 3 dimensions (kind of like carving your model from granite - the veins would "line up" at the edges).

also, if one wanted to apply a "decal" such as a clan logo or text on the side of a tank, it probably will be stretched on the final product.

ooh! i think one way for me to do what i'm trying to do is to render my images, then place them over the template shapes, and scale them as-needed... PaintShopPro allows one to non-uniformly scale selections!
i'll just have to make sure that my rendered images have higher resolutions, so details aren't lost when they're stretched...

for #3, that's a good tip, to use grouping in a model! i'll play around with that one...
i really ran into this problem when i opened one of LDA's models (the gatling gun) in your mapper. alot of polys ended on top of one another, and i couldn't easily tell which was which.
i thought it might be easy for your program to automatically check for and mark polys that lie beneath others.

thanks for the discussion - i have much to play with!

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Lithium
Member
posted February 18, 2001 02:19 AM         
Hey, check this out. It's a sneak peek of Lithium UnWrapper 1.1 (coming soon):
http://www.geocities.com/uvmapper/peek.jpg

It's a shot of one of the tanks in Tread Marks.

I added a preview mode so you can see the texture being applied in 3D.
I switched over to 3D hardware support and I am rendering everything
with DX 8.0 now. It's pretty cool because you can go back and forth
from preview mode to editor mode and see your changes quickly.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 20, 2001 08:53 AM         
now that's cool! you're the MAN!!!
i can't wait to try it out!

BTW, ever since i installed DX8.0, my comp's been a little messed up... if i go back to DX7.0, will your new version work?

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peeeto
Member
posted February 20, 2001 09:24 AM         
doh! RTFM, peeeto!
i just took another look at your download page

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Dreamer
Member
posted February 20, 2001 09:26 AM         
Lithium, being the egoist that I am, I want to ask you if you would consider a VRML 97 export mode - I would thus be able to show the tanks fully textured on my site...

If you're interested, we might discuss the specs.
I would do that myself, but I'm far too lazy to decipher the .luv format myself and way too inexperienced for that to take only a reasonable amount of time.

It should be fairly easy to do for you, as VRML only needs mapping coordinates (range: [0..1][0..1]) and correctly oriented (ccw) face indices, plus it would be a major breakthrough for my site - containing 3D models and previews of user-made addons for TM. Textures would help a lot there.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 20, 2001 12:08 PM         
neat idea, Dreamer!... whad'ya say, Lithium?
"will program for food"... i may be able to arrange for a little something to be sent your way if you're interested?

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Dreamer
Member
posted February 20, 2001 12:30 PM         
I thought some more about that idea of mine...

You'd have to import/export complete VRML models then.

Maybe not a good idea, after all.

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peeeto
Member
posted February 20, 2001 02:11 PM         
hoody-hoo! Dreamer! you can do it already, using Lithium's UVMapper & 3DExploration! (make sure you get the latest, 3DExpl ver 1.6)...

1) open a TM model, then save the model as .3ds using Lithium's UVMapper
2) open the .3ds file in 3DExploration & assign the texture bitmap in the materials dialog, then save the .3ds file as .wrl file

done! the model will not be rotated correctly, but we can figure that out, right?!

[edit]i just did the medium mesh of the dirtball weapon and have emailed it to you..!

------------------
Black Widow Lance all the way, baby!

[This message has been edited by peeeto (edited February 20, 2001).]

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Lithium
Member
posted February 20, 2001 04:48 PM         
Ok, gimme a couple of days to straighten things out a bit. And then I'll
look into the VRML format.

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Dreamer
Member
posted February 20, 2001 05:10 PM         
No need, Lithium.
It works fine the way it is now.

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Rex R
Member
posted February 21, 2001 01:38 AM            
heheh just used your prog to import a car into tm with its original mapping intact (no that one will not be released. sorry can't get permission) couple of small quibbles the prog maps every thing to 512 x 512, would be useful to be able to map to smaller t-pages(for weapons) (maybe you can, dunno) the view window stretches the background to fit the window regardless of size.

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Kaeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 08:39 AM            
Rex R - it shouldn't matter WHAT size you make the UV map, because texture coordinates actually work from 0 to 1, that is, a coordinate of 1,1 is the far corner of ANY texture map. So you can resize it down when you're done (But don't! TM has code to do that automatically if it's needed, I'd rather see the prettier weapons )

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Rex R
Member
posted February 21, 2001 01:07 PM            
this is true however it does tend to balloon the folder/archive size since the t-page uses some 700kb at 512 x 512

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Lithium
Member
posted February 21, 2001 02:28 PM         
Rex R,

If you want to change the bitmap template's dimensions when saving
it to file, then look under the Preferences... pull-down menu.
You can change the dimensions there.

Oh, and I added some more file formats. PRM and MD3. Only reading though.

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Kaeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 02:35 PM            
Rex R - but when you're finished with the bitmap, you can size it down to whatever size you want and distribute it that way, and it will still work fine...

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peeeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 02:45 PM         
any way to add simple model rotation, Lithium? (to get around things like Rex R's problem with the car pointing up)

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peeeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 03:25 PM         
Hardware version's ready!
i can't wait to get it home to try it out!

Lithium - this gets better & better! this is great that we won't have to map a model, then start up the game to check it out, then stop the game, edit the texture, restart the game, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

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Kaeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 03:37 PM            
Does this mean I might finally be getting some finished ATM models, Peeeto?

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peeeto
Member
posted February 21, 2001 04:04 PM         
believe em, Kaeto - i'm trying to work on them! one problem is that i can only sneak a 1/2 hour or an hour at a time, once per week - and most of that time is trying to remember where i left off! and then there are those nights where i finally have a little time, but i'm too tired to concentrate and too wired to sleep - i usually try to log on & play TM then

also, i think i'm trying to be too perfect... i'm making sure that all the vertices are connected so when the models get more damaged, no see-through gaps show.

argh! i'm getting fed up though, & i think i'll just try to concentrate on getting the basic models cleaned up & textured... to be "perfected" when and if i have time later!

Lithium's UVMapper is gonna be a great help!

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