I can be silent no longer...

Discussion in 'Mod Discussions' started by Col_Jessep, May 30, 2013.

  1. Col_Jessep

    Col_Jessep Moderator Alumni

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    Have you guys looked at the game files, specifically the commanders folder?
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Planetary Annihilation\media\pa\units\commanders

    There are folders for:
    base_commander (obviously)
    Delta (the com we play with)
    Imperial (different headlights)
    Raptor (because dinosaurs)
    Spider (6 or 8 legs, be honest...)
    Beast (really hope this means big, mean cat...)

    And there is a file called <name>_anim_idle.papa. So, we could mod a commander and give it a couple of idle animations and randomize them?

    You guys can have a look at the unit folders to see which units will be added in the (hopefully near) future:

    Air:
    - nuke missile !?!
    - tactical missile
    - gunship

    Land:
    - megabot !?!
    - nuke
    - anti-nuke
    - tactical

    Sea:
    - metal extractor !!!
    - power plant !!!
    - mines
    - nuclear sub
    - fabber sub !!!

    Orbital: !!!
    orb. factory
    orb. launcher
    radar satellite
    gas mine

    All textures are png, I didn't even need to install the nVidia tools. Very convenient!
    someonewhoisnobody likes this.
  2. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    Yea I'd looked at that. I think Mike was very upset that he couldn't view the Polycount on the units as of yet. ;)

    I noticed the PNG format and skipped in glee though... Texturing will be so much easier to preview, save, send... I cut my teeth modding TES4: Oblivion so I'm familiar with DDS mostly. PNGs are just some lovely icing on the cake as far as user-friendliness go.

    Kudos Uber.
  3. bgolus

    bgolus Uber Alumni

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    So quick comment on the PNG format, or more specifically how Photoshop handles PNG files.

    Photoshop makes a lot of assumptions about how it saves PNG files to reduce the file sizes for Web use. These are perfectly valid assumptions for that use case. However for game content it can cause some problems.

    The specific issue is how Photoshop handles transparency.

    Often in games we'll use the alpha channel to store "data" that may not have any relation to the image in the color data. If you look at the diffuse textures currently up for most units you'll see they have a lot of partially transparent areas in the center of faces. If an area is 100% transparent in Photoshop, regardless of the method used (layer transparency, layer mask, alpha channel), when the PNG is saved it will fill those areas with a solid white in the color channels for better compression.

    As I mentioned before, this is the correct behavior for web usage.

    However if you have relevant image data there, like the diffuse color of a unit, it's now been deleted from the image. So this is the wrong behavior for using PNG for games.

    I've forced all the artists here who have to handle alpha channels in PNG files to use SuperPNG to work around this. It's free. It asks for a name and e-mail for download, but they're not required.

    Luckily Gimp gives options for if it should remove image information or not when exporting to PNG.

    edit: ok, so maybe that wasn't so quick.
    shootall and Pendaelose like this.
  4. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    GIMP all the way man! Save ALL the data. :p

    I never knew Photoshop was so picky about how it saved things. I'm glad I don't have to use it.
  5. Col_Jessep

    Col_Jessep Moderator Alumni

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    Thank you very much for the detailed info, Ben. Personally I use PaintShopPro which behaves like Photoshop quite often and can even use a lot of PS's plug-ins. However, it doesn't support editing the channels 'on the fly', you have to split a picture into its channels.

    PS: Oh well, that leads to some interesting results. I think I have it working right now but that will be a pain to work with... :p

    Is this what my channels are supposed to look like? (adv air factory)
    (the RGB channels are jpgs to save space - which didn't work at all, lol)

    Attached Files:

  6. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    The papa files are basically our resource files. We have a tool that converts fbx files into this format that we'll be releasing. I'm also going to release the format information for the papa file as well (basically the c++ headers). This will happen in the modding section once we start opening up more about that.
  7. bgolus

    bgolus Uber Alumni

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    Nope. Alpha is close, but still wrong. (Also, that's the advanced fabrication aircraft, not the factory.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The issue should hopefully be a moot one. These specific alpha values will hopefully be changed to be generated instead of baked in to the texture. Most of the other textures that use alpha use them more traditionally, ie: blanking out the data is a non-issue.
  8. Col_Jessep

    Col_Jessep Moderator Alumni

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    Oh, looks like I have to invert the alpha channel. Thanks!

    That would be great. I have done a couple of textures in the past and I know how much work the regular stuff is already. Things like using alpha channels for other things or the specular maps in SupCom, that's something new modders have to wrap their head around in hours of trial and error. Every bit that you can be generated automatically will be highly appreciated! I hope it will save you lots of time and work, too.

    Kudos to you guys. You found a great art style for modding!
  9. LennardF1989

    LennardF1989 Uber Contractor

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    Took a quick peek in the papa files and it doesn't seem like a hard file to figure out even if we wouldn't get the headers, nice and clean.
  10. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    Yeah nothing terribly complicated there. Just a simple resource format.
  11. LennardF1989

    LennardF1989 Uber Contractor

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    Spent a few hours going through the Papa-format (as a learning exercise) and successfully extracted all useful information, was only a matter of minutes adding the file-format to the engine I made for Medal of Honor.

    Attached Files:

  12. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    Very fast work there. Impressive.
  13. bgolus

    bgolus Uber Alumni

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    HAX!
  14. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    You're my hero.

    Mike
  15. Col_Jessep

    Col_Jessep Moderator Alumni

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    Well done Lennard. Don't give it to Mike or we will have 500 units on release in December. Actually, give it to Mike... :p
  16. ozonexo3

    ozonexo3 Active Member

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    Cool job! :D
  17. HD188753

    HD188753 New Member

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    or we will have 500 units on release in December
    Who doesn't love more units?
  18. Marnit

    Marnit Member

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    The balancing team?
  19. Raevn

    Raevn Moderator Alumni

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    Here are the models of some of the units that aren't yet in-game. I also tried to orbital units, but they crashed the game when I tried to use them.

    Attached Files:

  20. fellowplanet

    fellowplanet New Member

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    You were faster than me, congrats! :lol:

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