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"3d Trial Mods"

Discussion in 'Modding Help Quarter' started by Merrilkl Maddox, May 1, 2015.

  1. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Hey all,

    I am new to modding, and have found a few little bugs that ware going around.

    First, 3Ds max 2012 is no longer legally available, so the tools you have been using will not work. Tools such as Layout File Creator 3ds max plug-in, CitiesXL_ArtistToolSuite2012, and others.

    I understand that there is a new tool with XXL "Artist Tool Suite (Build 10.4.0.14)" that is a stand alone program. I also heard that it may or may not work with the older CXL builds.

    So, the reason for this thread, since I am new to modding, is to keep notes of everything I do, so people can fallow and may not have as much trouble as I have in the past few days.



    Here is what I have done so far.

    1. Thanks to Mr.X2, I have found, and downloaded the "Artist Tool Suite" (Build 10.4.0.14)" from http://focus-files.com/files/citiesxl/ArtistSuiteSetup.10.4.0.14.exe. I was told that this is a standalone program, and you can use it on any 3d software that can handle .fbx file format.

    2. I have accumulated a number of 3D programs such as 3ds Max 2014, 2015, Blender 2.73, Gmax, Maya, and Sketchup 2015. I found a copy of Sketchup 2008 that I will try as well.

    3. I have downloaded the fallowing tutorials that I will be using;
    1. Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part I - Modeling a basic LOD4 Model: http://xlnation.net/resources/lets-start-3d-moddeling-part-i-modeling-a-basic-lod4-model.1131/
    2. Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part II - Texturing: http://xlnation.city/resources/lets-start-3d-moddeling-part-ii-texturing.1137/
    3. Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part III - LOD1 & 2 + Adding 3D-Details: http://xlnation.city/resources/lets-start-3d-moddeling-part-iii-lod1-2-adding-3d-details.1156/
    4. Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part IV - Creating Maps, LOD4 and adding Furniture: http://xlnation.city/resources/lets...creating-maps-lod4-and-adding-furniture.1158/
    5. Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part V - Finishing our Mod: http://xlnation.city/resources/lets-start-3d-moddeling-part-v-finishing-our-mod.1174/
    6. Beginners Modding Guide Module1 Required Resources: http://xlnation.city/resources/beginners-modding-guide-module1-required-resources.681/
    7. Beginners Modding Guide Module2 Process Overview & Getting Started: http://xlnation.city/resources/beginners-modding-guide-module2-process-overview-getting-started.682/
    8. Making Buildings for CitiesXL using Sketchup: http://xlnation.city/resources/making-buildings-for-citiesxl-using-sketchup.567/
    9. Cities XL Complete Technical Guide: http://xlnation.city/resources/cities-xl-complete-technical-guide.388/



    The above tutorials 1 thru 5 are compliments of Mr.X², Tutorials 6 and 7 are compliments of PaulJChris, Tutorial 8 was done by aitortilla01, And number 9 was by the XL Nation Staff


    Most of these tutorial contain other tutorial on Blender or Sketchup. These are tutorials based on modeling in that 3D program itself.

    However, for 3D modeling I would suggest the fallowing sites based on your 3D Platform.
    1. 3ds Max: I would use http://www.linda.com , They have one of the largest libraries on the internet for 3dsMax tutorials. Only problem is, they do have a small monthly fee to use there tutorials.
    2. Blender : First, you will need to download Blender at http://www.blender.org Even though Blender is freeware, it is a very powerful program when it comes to 3D modeling and animation. The best sight I have found for tutorials on Blender is at http://www.cgcookie.com. They have a mix of free tutorials or a small fee to join there site.
    3. Sketchup: The best place to find tutorial for Sketchup is on YouTube.

    Now, you will see many links in these tutorials to download tools such as Nvidia Texture Plugin for Photoshop, CXL-Artist Suite Viewer plug in for 3ds Max 2012, etc. These no longer work.
    This is why I am creating this thread.

    Another thing you will need is some type of photo editing tool, such as Gimp, Photoshop, etc.

    I am now going to install the new CXXL on my system, start hitting the tutorials, and see what happens. I will fallow up every day with my progress, and hopefully those fallowing will soon have no trouble creating mods for your game.

    By the way, the system I am running;

    Windows 8.1
    3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 quad-core processor [3.4GHz, 8MB Shared Cache]
    3GB Nvidia GeForce GT640 [DVI, HDMI and VGA via adapter] with the 3.51 upgrade
    12GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs]

    1TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive

    It isn't much, but it should be an overkill for CXL


    I do have one plus, I am retired and spend about 14 hrs. a day on my PC. So, it shouldn't take too long to test all these programs, and find what is going to work the best.

    Thanks, see ya soon.
     
  2. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Well, I downloaded CXXL, It's a little different, but not much to brag about.

    I did notice that Steam has the links for all the tools needed for creating the mods. So the fallowing tools and there locations are needed for mods.
    1. Pac-Unpack Tool : http://www.generation-city.com/citiesxl/pakunpak/Download.php
    2. Artist Tool Suite : http://focus-files.com/files/citiesxl/ArtistSuiteSetup.10.4.0.14.exe This is available in CXXL but is build 10.4.0.15, Not sure the difference or if there is one.
    3. UCGC Manager : This also comes with CXXL and is used to upload your mods to steam.
    4. Blender, 3ds Max, Sketchup Pro : I was informed that .fbx files was the only file type that worked , I checked, and these are the only programs that allow you to export that file type. However, If you find a model in Sketchups 3D warehouse in Sketchup's free version that you like, or simply like the simplicity of building in Sketchup, as far as I know, you may be able to export it as .dae file, import it into 3ds Max, Convert to poly, texture, and export this as .fbx
    5. Gimp or Photoshop : I have used Gimp for years, and find that for the most part, it will do about anything Photoshop will. But Photoshop does have it's advantages. For Photoshop, I use the Adobe cloud membership. It is only 19.95 a month for students and allows you full access to all adobe programs, such as Dream weaver, Prelude, Photoshop CC, Illustrator and about 15 other programs.
    Here is the link to the Steam Workshop list of modding tools:
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=385947205


    With this, as far as I know, you can create mods. So now that I have everything, I am off to hit the tutorials.

    I will let you all know how it's going soon.
     
  3. Alex24

    Alex24 Moderator
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    good luck :)
     
  4. nicko2u

    nicko2u Governor

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    welcome and hope it goes well, the first one is always the hardest, i suggest start with a simple low poly object.
     
  5. veija2

    veija2 Mayor

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    Thanks for posting this info all in one place. Will be watching this thread for updates. Ta.
     
  6. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    First off, thanks for watching guys. Makes it all worth the time.

    5/1/15

    Well, I finished with Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part I last night. As I mentioned, I am already proficient in 3ds Max, but I want to fallow these tutorials to the letter.

    Mr.X² did a good job on this first tutorial. I only found one item that he may have needed to cover. When we began, he went over the settings with you for 3ds Max, I right away noticed that my model appeared much larger than his, since it his fit in the center of his grid and mine was about 10 times the size of my grid. The only thing I can figure is that the default settings for the grid spacing are 0.1m, and his must be set at 10.0m. After changing this, everything seemed to work out.

    If this is the case, and you create your model with these dimensions, your model will be about the size of a trash can.
    This may have been done purposely, since the ground shape / carpet in the game are all built in 10m increments, i.e.
    40m x 40m, 60m x 60m, etc.


    To change this, simply select the "tool" tab at the top left of the screen, go down to the bottom and mouse over the "Grids and Snaps" tab. In the fly out, select "Grid and Snap Settings". A dialog box will open with 4 tabs in it. Select the "Home Grid" tab and set "Grid Spacing" to 10m, and at the bottom, select "All Viewports". Leave everything else as is.

    Please let me know if this is incorrect, since the difference between 1.0m and .10m is a lot! ;)


    Well, time to begin "Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part II"

    Thanks again for watching, Be back soon.(y)
     
  7. Mr.X²

    Mr.X² Moderator

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    the grid size doesnt really matter. its the unit setup "meters" and "one unit = 1cm" and correct measures of objects that does the thing ;) btw. the grid size in my tutorial depends on the zoom level im currently on ;)
    you can enter measures on the right after creating an object. 40m x 40m base is standard t2 size.
     
  8. nicko2u

    nicko2u Governor

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    I agree with MrX, actually i prefer my grid to be 1m not 10m :)
     
  9. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    I agree, however if your using default settings, and building in perspective view, as I do, 60m will swallow your default grid regardless of your zoom level.

    I did have a question about your base. when you first laid out your model, 25m x 60m, this would be _t2 industry. Is this correct?

    If so, when you increased your base size, would that not effect the carpet size? I noticed in your second tutorial, you labeled your textures as _t3. Did you change the name of your mesh to accommodate the increased size of your base, or is this an error in the text on the tutorial?

    The reason I am asking this, I am using your exact model and fallowing your tutorial to the letter. Since I have no experience in modding at all, if there is a problem in the end I will not know how to resolve it, nor where to even start looking.

    Also, I would like to thank you for all the work you put into creating these tutorials. It says a lot about a person that puts this much effort into something simply for the benefit of others.

    Thanks :)
     
  10. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    I'm back again,

    Ran into another little problem. I have a membership in Adobe Creative Cloud and use 2014 Photoshop CC. It has the plugin for the NVidia Normal Map Filter. When I go to use the filer it crashes. I have tried to reload Photoshop, and am currently searching for a resolution. If anyone has any ideas it sure would help. I will post the resolution to this error the minute I find the answer.

    See ya soon :)
     
  11. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    I found out that the NVidia plug-in for Photoshop does not work in the new Photoshop CC, you must have an older version CS6 or less. I am downloading the older version CS6 right now. This should do the trick. If not, there is always crazyBunp. It's free, and you can download it here; http://www.crazybump.com/
    I'm just partial to Photoshop and Gimp.
     
  12. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    OK,
    I could not get NVidia Photoshop plug-ins to work at all. I get an error code when I try and download it. It may not be compatible to Win 8.1.

    So, There are 2 options I know of to create Normal Maps;
    1. Crazybump - There is a demo version, but to buy is $99.00us. Their link is: http://www.crazybump.com/
    2. The route I'm going is with Gimp. If you don't have Gimp, you can get it here: http://www.gimp.org/ Gimp is very close to Photoshop, with just a few less bells and whistles. You will also need a normal map plug-in for gimp, and it is located here: http://code.google.com/p/gimp-normalmap/
    Well, Back to the tutorials. :yawn:
     
  13. Mr.X²

    Mr.X² Moderator

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    yes thats correct, but i did change the carpet size during workflow and finally i decided to make it as a t3 building

    and not sure bout nvidia-plugin, i use win7 and cs2.. but also tried crazybump once and it did the job; but yes, gimp is always a good choice (y)
     
  14. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    I checked out some of your models, great job! (y) I seen the finished rail station and it looks good as well. Have you ever tried modding in "Trainz". There you can do simple building mods, not as nice as CXL, but when it comes to the modeling the trains themselves, you can really show your skills. It also allows you to use DEMs to generate your elevation, with map overlays to model your roads. But I think in here, maybe I should keep the conversation focused on CXL! :LOL:

    By the way, NVidia-plugin will not work on Win 8.1, their last update was back in 2013. I tried Crazybump, but I find the plug in for gimp is much closer to platform used in NVidia, and it makes it much easier to fallow the settings in your tutorial with it.
     
  15. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    One last question, prior to changing your carpet size, your front edge was at Y/12.5m. When you change to a larger type, did you move your model forward to center the model at x/0, y/0, and reset the pivot to center the world origin, or did you keep your model in the same position, front edge at Y/12.5m, and center your pivot on the model?

    Thanks again. :)
     
  16. Mr.X²

    Mr.X² Moderator

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    uff cant remember it that precise.
    but what i always do is centering the entire model at 0,0 in the end and moving z-pivot to zero
     
  17. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Sounds good, Thanks MrX
     
  18. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Ok, I am once again going to try and post some images. I am new at it, so it may take a moment to figure out.

    Below is a pic of the completion of MrX's "Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part I - Modeling a basic LOD4 Model".
    The tutorial was very easy to fallow, and believe me, I know nothing about moding in CXL.
    The image is of the first model created for LOD1 (l1), and then duplicated to use to create the model for LOD4 (l4).

    Tutorial_1_01.jpg

    At this point, The naming seemed a bit strange, since he was working on the l1 and then duplicated that and named it l4. Well, what happened to l2 and l3? Well, for the record, the reason for this is, while working on LOD1, as it reaches a level of detail equivalent to LOD3, you would simply duplicate that model, and rename it l3, same when you reach a level for l2, you would simply duplicate it and name it l2, then complete the final detail in your model for l1. I'm sure in the fallowing tutorials that he will use a projection, to texture the L4 model. I hope so, since I have limited skills in that area.


    We also covered a few other little issues earlier about what programs to use now, since most are out dated, or can't be downloaded. So just a recap; I am using 3ds Max for the modeling, as I was informed that the Autodesk file type ".FBX" will work with the CXL Tools. Also, I am using Gimp for the textures, since the NVidia-Photoshop Plug-in is not compatible to windows 8.1. And I don't feel like paying $99.00 for Crazybump to make something I can do for free. :sneaky: I did try the demo, it's was OK, but I think Ginp is much closer to Photoshop's tools.

    Be back soon.
     
  19. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Here we are in Let's start 3D-Moddeling - Part II - Texturing.

    Well, Mr.X² seems to cover this very well. He does everything step by step, and I had no problems.

    The one thing I did notice, is he covered many time saving ways to texture the flat square surfaces, however, he left out the triangular shapes on the roof. When laying out your textures for these type of shapes, I find it better to layout my squares first, and then come back to my odd shaped textures. Then while adjusting them, I can zoom in on my model, and simply match them up with the tiles on the completed sections of the roof. This has worked for me in the past, always watch your model as you maneuver your textures. One reason is, not only will you most likely be rotating the image 180 degrees, but in some cases, you may need to flip the texture horizontally as well, and you won't know this without checking the textures position on the model.

    Also, with roofs, you can adjust the tiles to fit perfect at the bottom and top of the section you are trying to texture, but the corner edges will hardly ever come out perfect, unless the texture is designed for that piece, and I only know of a few people that can create roof textures that not only tile right, left, top to bottom, but diagonally as well.

    Pics,

    Below are a few pics of the model during the second tutorial;

    This is the front of Mr.X²'s rail station after texturing the front face of the building.
    Again, this was very easy to fallow!
    Tutorial_2_01.jpg



    This shot shows the side wall texture. As I mentioned earlier, this texture is the same on the other side, but I wanted the door on the left side to be closer to the front of the building as it is on the right. So to do this, you simply right click on the section of the texture you are working on, and select flip horizontally.
    Tutorial_2_02.jpg

    In this image, you can see that I took the texture on the right back side, and used it to fill in the model on the left. There will be many times you will need to use parts of an image to form a texture for another piece of your model, such as the 2 little sections that face inward on the front of the building in the picture above.
    Tutorial_2_03.jpg


    Here is a close up pick of the roof. The most important thing here is to line the lower portion of you shingle to the lower edge of the roof, and line the top of the shingle to the top. If you are using 2 section tall as in the tutorial, you will find that this will also match up across the center pretty good.
    Tutorial_2_04.jpg
     
    Pamascus27 likes this.
  20. Merrilkl Maddox

    Merrilkl Maddox Executive

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    Continued from above.

    Last but not least, the corner edges of the roof (the ridge). As I mentioned, You will most likely not be able to match this up exactly. As for the end, or gable, you will need to flip one side horizontally, since the tiles seem to lean to the left a bit. Otherwise, all your tiles will appear to be pointing into the center of the gable.
    Tutorial_2_05.jpg
     

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