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Editing the police station graphics...


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#1 brandon_montoya

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:31 PM

Okay, so some of the props that have Moviestorm on them are "cute" in that they are small plugs, it's subtle in most cases and it's cool like that.

I picked up the Law & Order pack.

NOT COOL.

The badges on the glass doors are over the top, but only tolerable because you have the basic shield. There should be a non-MS version of that. But when I loaded the complete police building and had "MovieStorm Police Protecting and serving the Machinima community" written on it?

In cartoon strips there's something called "Breaking the fourth wall." That's when characters go out of their way to break the trance the viewer has, and remind them that they're fictional. Typically it's something you avoid like the plague. I'm sorry but having that at the top of the police station in gigantic letters is breaking the fourth panel big time. BIG TIME. That sign should at least be replaceable....

I'm cool with some plugging of MS, it's natural, but don't force it on us like that! NOT COOL.
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#2 luxaeternam

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:53 PM

Well, they certainly can't use other brands without authorisation.

However, if you don't like the MS things then get yourself a modder's license, and you can edit the objects to your own specifications. It doesn't take an enormous amount of technical knowledge, and you can get loads of help here if you run into problems.
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#3 brandon_montoya

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:00 PM

Well I'm not expecting them to do anything illegal. I'm okay with some plugs, but the police station was waaaaay over the top. I'd love to use it, I bought it, but I can't with that ugly text on it.
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#4 lucindamc123

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:05 PM

You can change the images of these props to images of your own, for instance the sign on the police station building, etc.

#5 Chris Ollis

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE (brandon_montoya @ Oct 10 2010, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well I'm not expecting them to do anything illegal. I'm okay with some plugs, but the police station was waaaaay over the top. I'd love to use it, I bought it, but I can't with that ugly text on it.


We often use the Moviestorm name as a way of giving users the idea of what a surface is for. If we leave things blank people may not realise they are customisable. If we put a big "this is customisable" sign on it it gets in the way of unmodded film making. If we put a photo texture of an actual police station sign on it, we could get in to trouble for misuse of imagery.

The texture if memory serves is deliberately flat mapped so it should be very straight forward for a user to customise with or without a modders license.

We're not intentionally "plugging" Moviestorm, just trying to be helpful.

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#6 brandon_montoya

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:53 PM

Not trying to sound like a hungry bear here, lol.

Well I notice a lot of props have the easy click to change it. I don't see this here. I know I won't "escape" from being able to make a serial episode show out of MovieStorm without making use of 3rd party add ons, already grabbed some. But seeing as I've done game modding before (Railroad Tycoon 3) I know it can be a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge pain in the butt. I am determined to avoid that like the plague. I have more than enough other work to deal with than to chomp code to change a single image.

I know you guys can't use an actual image of a cop shop, why not just "police" in a nice font?

Maybe I sounded harsher than I intended, well I guess all caps "NOT COOL" doesn't help. I do appreciate this software / what you guys are doing with it completely! It just seemed like over the top plugging to me so that's what I called it. Sorry if I sound like I'm completely jumping on your case. (lack of sleep doesn't help either).

Anyway, that's my opinion for all it's worth ^^;;
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#7 Chris Ollis

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE (brandon_montoya @ Oct 10 2010, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But seeing as I've done game modding before (Railroad Tycoon 3) I know it can be a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge pain in the butt.


Open the file "BuildingSign_01_Diff.dds" that is in Law and Order/Data/Props/Public Buildings/Public Building/Textures - either Photoshop or The Gimp or whatever you have that opens DDS files.

Now save that under a different name so you have a backup.

Now draw whatever you want on the BuildingSign_01_Diff.dds file, save it and it's there in Moviestorm.



Not really a pain in the butt, granted it could be easier with the User Image tag, but the Law and Order pack pre-dates that code and we don't have a big enough team to review every asset every time we make a code update!
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#8 brandon_montoya

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Oct 10 2010, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Open the file "BuildingSign_01_Diff.dds" that is in Law and Order/Data/Props/Public Buildings/Public Building/Textures - either Photoshop or The Gimp or whatever you have that opens DDS files.

Now save that under a different name so you have a backup.

Now draw whatever you want on the BuildingSign_01_Diff.dds file, save it and it's there in Moviestorm.



Not really a pain in the butt, granted it could be easier with the User Image tag, but the Law and Order pack pre-dates that code and we don't have a big enough team to review every asset every time we make a code update!


Okay, that's not tooooooo bad. I remember enough of that process. I just have to figure out which software I *was* using as that was on a previous machine about two years ago.

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#9 sfdex

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

I had the same issue using the police station for an educational video I did for the California Courts. This prompted me to get "Graphic Converter" for my Mac, which allows me to open .dds files and convert them to a format I can edit in Photoshop. A few steps, but not terribly hard. I changed the big sign as well as the badges (on the doors, the police cars and even the officers) to read "California City." Kind of laughably generic, but it worked for my project. It didn't take much time to create the new texture, and that didn't even involve firing up the modder's workshop.

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#10 brandon_montoya

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:11 PM

Is it really only just a graphic switch, no code at all?

I have an Acer Aspire (small desktop) with Windows XP on it, and an old copy of PaintShopPro 5.5 so I can edit the graphics. Is it a single file or several files? (Railroad Tycoon was six images of every building to aid the computer during zoom outs.

And can someone recommend something to open and close that DDS file up?

Are these TGA files or GIF files on the inside?
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#11 Ben_S

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:33 AM

dds files are a graphics format designed to be quickly loadable onto graphics cards as textuers.

Using the dds plugin with paintshop pro. Not sure if it works with your version, though.

Or you could try paint.net. That does support dds.
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#12 brandon_montoya

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 04:46 PM

http://code.google.c...-dds/#Downloads

Had to add that to open DDS.

But I'm there at least....

I see five files:

BuildingSign_01_Diff.dds
BuildingSign_01_Norm.dds
BuildingSign_01_Spec.dds
BuildingSign_Small_01_Diff.dds
BuildingSign_Small_Spec.dds

Now obviously I can see what's on them.

And then there's

Badge_Spec.dds
Badge_Norm.dds
Badge_Diff.dds

So how do these files work together?
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#13 gitsch

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:25 PM

Attached File  STATION.jpg   32.48KB   12 downloads

I just used PAINT to do a lil' cut and paste.

#14 brandon_montoya

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:53 AM

What's the difference between norm, spec and diff?
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#15 squirrelygirl

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:58 AM

In layman's terms...diff is what you see (the picture of mickey mouse on the t'shirt, the flower print of the hawiian shirt, etc.), norm tell the progam that it's a cotton shirt or silk or corded, etc, and spec (I believe) tells the program how the light lays on the model.

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#16 Ben_S

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 09:52 AM

diff
The diffuse map shows the colours for the material.

norm
The normal map shows a bump map, and allows different shading based on the material not being flat. It's a blue/purple/red sort of thing, with a sort of blue colour being flat, and other shades being above or below flat.

spec
The specular map shows how reflective the object is - areas of the material that are shiny need a bright specular, and areas of it that are matt need a dark (nearly black) specular. Normally the specular map is a greyscale, which means that the colour of the specular light is the same colour as the light source. You can use dots of coloured specular though, for glitter or other things that refract light.
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#17 luxaeternam

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:25 AM

For bonus points, who can tell me exactly what Ambient occlusion and DUDV are, and if they're of any bloomin' use in Moviestorm modder's workshop ?
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#18 Chris Ollis

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE (luxaeternam @ Oct 21 2010, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For bonus points, who can tell me exactly what Ambient occlusion and DUDV are, and if they're of any bloomin' use in Moviestorm modder's workshop ?


Ambient occlusion is the soft shadow you get from global illumination. The ambient shadow we used to put under a table is the resulting ambient occlusion from the geometry on the floor. It highlights creases and corners in textures nicely.

DU/DV are used for refraction - usually water faking, we don't use it so I won't bother describing it biggrin.gif
Basically you use a normal map to create the bump of water and the DU/DV to say how the refracted/reflecting surrounding geometry is displayed.
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#19 brandon_montoya

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:12 PM

Ah thank you! Now I understand what I have to do.
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