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Mod Making Documentation
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just_some_guy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Mod Making Documentation Reply with quote

Mod Making Documentation

What you will need –

• 3D Modelling Software (AC3D, 3DS Max etc.)
• Notepad
• Patience

Overview -

A mod consists of two main files – the .veh and the model file. The model file can be either: 3D Studio (.3ds), Autodesk Collada (.dae), Virtools (.nmo) or Direct X (.x).
To start off with we will use the NHTG Example Mod’s veh file – 52eng.veh; just leave it where it is as it not required right now.

The 3D file –

Before you dive in to making your model there are a few things you must know –
• It can only contain 10 objects
• It must be a suitable scale
• Correct object names.

Now, let’s expand on the above. The model can only contain 10 objects (not "groups") this means that you can’t have separate objects for different details, such as, 1 object for each wing mirror etc. The model is divided into 10 parts.

These are as follows –
1. Cab, Chassis and Bonnet - md052Corps
2. back left wheel - md052RARG
3. back right wheel - md052RARD
4. front right wheel - md052RAVD
5. front left wheel - md052RAVG
6. front right mud guard - md052RoD
7. front left mud guard - md052RoG
8. front wheel axle - md052P
9. Floor – md052
10. Front Pivot Reference – md052PS

You will notice that all of the above have something in common – the identifiers for each object all contain “md052” this is the ID for the machine. By looking in the machines directory of SimTractor you will see that the veh, model and jpg files for each model all share the same number. As we are using the NHTG Mod as our example not how the ID is md052 and the file ID is 52. This is set in the veh file. Pretty straight forward, ay?



This is the Mod I made, It is hard to see that this is separated into 10 different objects. So let’s break it down –



Above you can see what each part is. Notice how md052Corps is the whole body of the vehicle. Also, make sure that you correctly line the wheel connectors together and place the PS object directly under the front two wheels (see the mod example to see how this is done) . So that’s it for the model, just export it into a supported format of your choice and overwrite (backup first) the 52.3DS and load into the game and enter the machine. If the loading bar gets “stuck” at about 25% it means there is an error in the model file or the veh or the model file is not there. Remember to scale the model correctly – SimTractor’s scale is 1 unit = 1 meter in game. However, I noticed a very strange thing when exporting to 3DS; although the model looks perfectly scaled in your modelling software in SimTractor it appears about 25 times that size, and when I exported the Mod to Collada file format the Mod was invisible! So I would go for the Direct X format as that works great. Your mod will not look right when you drive it because there are some settings to be made in the veh.

The veh file -

This file holds all the configuration information about the model such as: camera position, spawn point, exhaust position etc. In a way this is the easiest part of the process, but the most confusing. You can refer to the “Readme.txt” file in the “Machines” directory to see how the veh file is set out and what each part is for. But basically, it is a file consisting of 20 columns, each column contain a piece of configuration information. I feel not much has to be explained about what each column is for as it is all explained in the readme.
For configuration elements that require a feature to “positioned” the structure of the element will be as follows –
X-coordinate,y-coordinate,z-coordinate
By looking at this diagram of the x, y and z axis you can see how it is set out –



The X coordinate is how far horizontally across the map the element should be positioned, the y how vertically and the z how far into the distance.
If you are using AC3D for making your model it makes this process so much easier as wherever you move your mouse you current coordinates are shown, so it a simple process of just copying them into the veh file. Other modelling software may also have this feature. If you don’t have this feature then it may just be a case of trial and error.

Also you must remember to change the Vehicle ID of the file to suit your files and the object id you are using in the 3D file.
There is a configuration element with form - [0.998195,0,-0.0600513,0][0,1,0,0][0.0600513,0,0.998195,0][-1.4963,0,-24.8047,1] Its called “Machine Position”, very confusing I know. So far I have found that this number does not need to be altered apart from the last block which is the “Default Spawn Point” ie where the machine is positioned when you click GO. You may just need key in digits until you find a good spot. A thing to remember is to restart your game for a change to take effect.

The are other elements to change in the veh such as the machine name, description, price, fuel consumption etc. But the above is an overview of the most difficult ones as the others are relatively simple.

Although a lot of the above may be a bit baffling you should look at the example mods' files to gain an understanding of what I am talking about (particularly in the 3D files), also read the Readme.txt in the machinery folder.

Possible problems you may encounter –

Problem - The loading bar gets “stuck” at 25%.
Solution – There is a mistake in the veh, or the model does not have the objects correctly named or the model is not correctly scaled.

Problem – SimTractor appears to have some form of cache where it is remembering a previous model.
Solution – Edit “yoursave.veh.sav” and remove the line referring to your model. And/or If you are using Windows Vista the file may be put into Vista’s “Virtual Store” and it appears in the Windows Explorer that your most recent model is in the machines directory but actually SimTractor is reading from the “Virtual Store”. To resolve this – click “Compatibility Files” and delete it from there, Hit back and copy your model into the machines directory.

Don't forget to share your mod at mysimtractor.com when you are finished!
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Last edited by just_some_guy on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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supercally4
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done just_some_guy that must of taken you ages, look forward to see some peoples mods in the game Very Happy
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DanC



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Location: lincolnshire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Ye well done just some guy you have done a grand job. I have almost completed a fendt trisix on ac3d and was thinking about trying to put it in simtractor.One thing though...

I need help on wheels, because I want to try and make them look like the Xerion 3300.

If you have any idea's msn me! dan.cade@hotmail.co.uk

Wink
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One question Wink
How do you make the whole cab chassis and bonnet as one object when workin with AC3D?
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DanC



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

merge them together and then they r one object...so you can have as many objects as you want,but you will have to have at least 10 objects on there own merged or not merged for it to work.
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just_some_guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use AC3D for the modeling (its good for texturing though), I will add you on MSN. Most software will have a "merge"/"add" method where you select the objects you want and they will become one. Remember you can't count a "group" of objects as the Corps so you cant have 3 objects and group them as "id+Corps" as that wont work.
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok thanks
yes msn is
guitar-hero-george@hotmail.co.uk Wink
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for double post but DanC when i click merge it just says merge an AC3D file then it says the files then open.
What do i do?
and when do i know it has merged them?
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DanC



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

I will make you a tutorial and show it you on msn when you come online.
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When in C:\Program Files\SimTractor 4.0\Machines the .nmo files, what program do you use to open them and what is in them?
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just_some_guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't open them, they are Virtools model files .
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--tractorman--
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is the model. i dont think you can edit them
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok
where do i put all the files when i have made them in AC3D?
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just_some_guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Machines directory, textures go in the root directory.
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georgeb



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i export the model i made it a direct x file.
then which files do i put in the machines directory?
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