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#81 herbert3000

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:25 AM

Are you doing this on a windows machine? If so, which OpenJDK and does it also work with ABIConverter?

Yes, I'm using Win10 + openjdk-1.8.0.141.

 

Just tested it, works fine with AbiConverter.
Download AbiConverter1.4_scr.zip from here https://sites.google...e/belcommandos/ and extract the content of the src folder into the openjdk bin folder.

Open command prompt, go to the bin directory, compile the source code with:
javac com/commandos/abiconverter/AbiConverter.java

Runt AbiConverter with:
java com.commandos.abiconverter.AbiConverter

The ABI files you want to convert/extract also have to be in the bin folder.

 

If you add openjdk to the system environment variable PATH, the javac and java commands should run from any directory.



#82 Maurice1976

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:21 PM

Finished a VOL file parser in Excel. What will follow is some macro code that will process that data, two-fold. In a more general sense, I want to use it to generate an asset library, which links polygon information to each graphics file as well as shadows and the like. In a specific sense, I want to use that parser to read VOL files for processing, enabling a user to use some macro code to access the asset library and have the code automatically add the polygon POINT information as well as shadows for the objects it finds.



#83 Salvadorc17

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 08:32 PM

Seems useful that kind of macro, still dont get what you mean with objects shadows..



#84 Maurice1976

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 09:20 PM



Seems useful that kind of macro, still dont get what you mean with objects shadows..

 

Houses, barracks, rocks, etc ... all have shadows defined for them. However, in the VOL files, those shadows are independent entities. There's no explicit connection between them. Hence, when designing a map, you have to manually insert shadows for all objects you place and match it up correctly with that object too; a mismatch by a single pixel is visible if you mismatch it in the wrong direction. So not only is this a manual excercise, it's also one that requires concentration and attention.

 

What I want to do, is to just add objects (no shadows, no polygon points) to a map and then run the resulting VOL file through the macro code I am designing. I intend the macro code to then add the shadows and all the required polygon points for me, without any manual actions from my side, other than to tell the macro to start running. That should save truckloads of time when building maps.

 

Of course, this requires having an asset library, which explicitely lists the polygon points and attached shadow files for any object you want to place on the map.

 

Edit: Once it's finished, I intend to release it to the public (with open access to the macro code), along with instructions on how you can create a folder with the proper assets. Of course, besides the default stuff, people can easily expand the asset listing in Excel by adding their own, so the macro code will also recognize those custom graphics subsequently.


Edited by Maurice1976, 30 September 2017 - 09:24 PM.


#85 dialog

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 03:38 PM

Houses, barracks, rocks, etc ... all have shadows defined for them. However, in the VOL files, those shadows are independent entities. There's no explicit connection between them. Hence, when designing a map, you have to manually insert shadows for all objects you place and match it up correctly with that object too; a mismatch by a single pixel is visible if you mismatch it in the wrong direction. So not only is this a manual excercise, it's also one that requires concentration and attention.
 
What I want to do, is to just add objects (no shadows, no polygon points) to a map and then run the resulting VOL file through the macro code I am designing. I intend the macro code to then add the shadows and all the required polygon points for me, without any manual actions from my side, other than to tell the macro to start running. That should save truckloads of time when building maps.
 
Of course, this requires having an asset library, which explicitely lists the polygon points and attached shadow files for any object you want to place on the map.
 
Edit: Once it's finished, I intend to release it to the public (with open access to the macro code), along with instructions on how you can create a folder with the proper assets. Of course, besides the default stuff, people can easily expand the asset listing in Excel by adding their own, so the macro code will also recognize those custom graphics subsequently.

Hi! You want create utilite for VOL editing? Maybe this programm will help you:
http://dialogdima.na...mis/CommVOL.rar
Howewer, i not finish it, and it's not very useful.  :sad:  But works.  :) 

Edited by dialog, 05 October 2017 - 04:41 PM.


#86 Maurice1976

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:41 PM

Hi! You want create utilite for VOL editing? Maybe this programm will help you:
http://dialogdima.na...mis/CommVOL.rar
Howewer, i not finish it, and it's not very useful.  :sad:  But works.  :)

 

To be precise, what I want to do is to automate a number of things with mapmaking, which otherwise require handwork. I want to create a map through the map editor and just add the various objects. Then, with the tool I am making, I want to be able to do the following with the press of just a single button:

 

- Add the POINTS to the Polygon of each object;

- Add the proper shadow to each object;

- Add various explosion entries for when the object can be blown up;

- Add the "ruined" graphics for those objects;

 

So, the tool should take the VOL file that comes from the map editor (or CME file, which is the map editor save file), scan it for known graphics file names, correlate that with its own internal library, find all the corresponding entries that belong to it for the items I listed above and insert those into the VOL file with the proper coordinates. Nothing manual, just let the script handle it.

 

I'm currently working on collecting all that information from the game's original files, using those to build the asset library that the tool will use as reference. However, I am running into further challenges and complications, the more progress I make. While fun and entertaining to solve those challenges, it does take time. One of the recent challenges that I have is that I've noticed that there are a fair number of polygons that are a composite of a number of graphics - in fact, across all missions from BEL and BCoD (32 unique maps in total, if I counted right, including the tutorial missions), there are 99 polygons that are each composed of more than 50 tiles. Usually these are "BASE" and "AGUA" polygons, so I should be able to ignore them for what I want to create, but there are others too. Even so, there are numerous other polygons that have a few dozen entries. To complicate matters, a number of these tiles are in fact stuff like "-EXPLO00", which are transient; i.e., only shown when the object blows up. They're related to a state change of the object, not the actual object I am interested in. I'm going to have to separate those and add them as reference to the actual object instead. That's going to be some effort, but I am determined.

 

Once complete, I will publish the asset library, so hopefully other people will be able to use it for their tools as well.

 

Update:

I've made an analysis across the MAPA*.VOL files of both games (will do the CHOQ files later, but I suspect those don't contain polygons with lots of tiles), to get a feel for the number of tiles per polygon, in general. From the number of tiles, I've excluded the tiles that start with a '-', as those indicate referenced files like explosions and ruin graphics. Note that they're not exclusive, in the sense that specific graphic files may occur in more than one polygon (for instance, tree graphics have a tendency to occur relatively frequently). I've also excluded polygons that have "BASE" or "AGUA" at the start of their polygon name. This is the distribution that I found:

 

Polygons with ...

 

1 tile: 4698

2 tiles: 682

3 tiles: 420

4 tiles: 165

5 tiles: 133

6 tiles: 114

7 tiles: 49

8 tiles: 49

9 tiles: 34

10 tiles: 24

 

It quickly tapers off beyond that. It makes me wonder if perhaps I shouldn't approach this from another angle: find the polygons of - say - up to 8 tiles and see which ones make sensible compositions (like tree clusters) and then add those as objects, instead of trying to categorize individual graphics files. Of course, the 1 tile polygons are pretty straightforward to categorize. Need to think a bit more about this.


Edited by Maurice1976, 04 October 2017 - 07:43 PM.


#87 dialog

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:39 PM

Once complete, I will publish the asset library, so hopefully other people will be able to use it for their tools as well.


Yes, this library will be very important for creating new maps.
But why dont't create VOL file with all this elements, without additional conversions? I think, it's more convenient.
 

It quickly tapers off beyond that. It makes me wonder if perhaps I shouldn't approach this from another angle: find the polygons of - say - up to 8 tiles and see which ones make sensible compositions (like tree clusters) and then add those as objects, instead of trying to categorize individual graphics files. Of course, the 1 tile polygons are pretty straightforward to categorize. Need to think a bit more about this.

Well, as variant, you can load VOL text without BASE/AGUA poly's and see single images of objects.
bcd08vol.png
But i dn't know way to automatically get all related poly's from file.

NB: now i modificated a little this programm and changed video tutorial.


Edited by dialog, 05 October 2017 - 04:57 PM.


#88 Maurice1976

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 04:54 PM

Well, that's what I am trying to do ;).

 

I've progressed my analysis a bit further. Excluding the explosion and ruin tiles, I've made a pass over the MAPA*.VOL files and compiled a list of all composite polygons. There are 1827 in total. That may seem like a lot, but while examing which graphics make up these composite ones in FASE0000 (the first mission of BEL), I counted 13 such polygons and of these, there were 5 clusters of rocks, which also appeared individually, and 6 of tree/forest clusters - which you might want to create manually anyway from the various forest tiles. Only 2 of those polygons were "real" composites in the sense that by themselves, the graphics files look like they're cut off at one or more of its edges. One is a 2-tile rock cluster at the river bank, close to the Driver. The other is the small wall where Tiny has to climb across, which is composed of 3 tiles. I can't fathom why these two appear as split graphics, even if they could just as easily appear as a single one.

 

But there is more weirdness: in the next mission (to blow up the fuel depot across the river), the small reinforced building just to the right of the bunker is actually a four-time composite of itself, essentially cutting away the part of the graphic that gets hidden behind the bunker. Why on earth did they do that? I've altered the VOL file so that the graphics file is referred to only once, but then in full - and I see no difference ingame.

 

The composite looks like this, with each of the 4 sections framed with a red line:

 

CARB0000.png

 

Just inserting the full graphic works just as well. Why did they go through all the trouble to segment it like they did? In any case, because of this issue, the actual number of polygons that concern a real composite is lower still.


Edited by Maurice1976, 05 October 2017 - 05:07 PM.


#89 dialog

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 05:40 PM

Just inserting the full graphic works just as well. Why did they go through all the trouble to segment it like they did? In any case, because of this issue, the actual number of polygons that concern a real composite is lower still.

Probably, developers created VOL files not manually. It can be artifacts...

#90 Salvadorc17

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:22 PM

NB: now i modificated a little this programm and changed video tutorial.


How do you modified the program, youre creator of that??
 

Just inserting the full graphic works just as well. Why did they go through all the trouble to segment it
like they did? In any case, because of this issue, the actual number of polygons that concern a real composite is lower still.


Seems was easier to create simple image compositions of 4 polygons each one, and after merge those, that doing the complete one with multiple.



#91 dialog

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

How do you modified the program, youre creator of that??

Yes, i did few small, but important changes.



#92 Salvadorc17

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:24 PM

Yes, i did few small, but important changes.


You can share the source code of this?

#93 dialog

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:39 AM

You can share the source code of this?


Well:
https://www.mediafir...mVOL_source.rar



#94 A_MiRagE_A

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:46 AM

Hello everybody!

This is my first post in this forum. I didn't find any topic for newcomers to introduce themselves, so I decided to post here.

 

First of all a big thanks to everyone for your efforts (also to the Chinese community ofc :D) to keep this game alive until today! This is very big so Congraz!

 

I feel a bit guilty for not having posted before, but here I am! I have played the original commandos series a lot in my childhood, and since then I've been coming back and forth. But if it wasn't for the Destination Paris mod this wouldn't have happened.

I have finished Destination Paris 1.37 IIRC (on normal) and it was amazing experience. Once I saw v1.44(?) and that missions from all the series are included (let alone the great number of community missions) I decided I have to come back for good this time. But I had to do it the right way this time so I went for the hardest mode. I thought I wouldn't make it and I would quit the game, but I ended up progressing and having so much fun! I have finished all BEL missions and decided to continue with BTCOD. I just finished "Thor's Hammer" mission and getting ready for the next one after this post! You never know, maybe I will join multiplayer if these still take place!

 

Btw I checked the mission order and wondering if there is any reason behind it. Seems a bit weird, but ofc this is minor.

 

Sorry for the long post and big thanks again!

 

MiRagE

 



#95 Maurice1976

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

Today I decided to take a break from the analysis of the VOL files and the asset library and instead focussed on something else that was quite interesting to do!

 

armored train.png

 

The train is fully functional, animated and moving! :)

 

With thanks to Lexx2k for the locomotive and its tender, as well as the modifications to the first armored train after the tender.

 

@Lexx2k: I didn't fully take the armored train you made, as the shadow on the turret in the lower left was mirrored from what it should be. As such, I took specific parts and pasted those on the original one, made a number of manual touch-ups (especially where the original gun from the lower left turret used to be), finally resulting in the one you see in this screenshot.

 

The mobile artillery piece was composed of about 8 different parts, I've welded them all together and got rid of the boarding ramps at the front and rear. Been busy setting this up for the better part of the day, going to take a break from it for now ;).


Edited by Maurice1976, 08 October 2017 - 04:22 PM.


#96 Salvadorc17

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:36 PM

I want to take the chance back with a simple game recreation, now that we have again something to talk about. Its called Commander Maker, and its main purpose is to allow create minigames based on game mechanics.

 

giphy.gif



#97 Lexx2k

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:18 AM

Today I decided to take a break from the analysis of the VOL files and the asset library and instead focussed on something else that was quite interesting to do!

 

attachicon.gifarmored train.png

 

The train is fully functional, animated and moving! :)

 

With thanks to Lexx2k for the locomotive and its tender, as well as the modifications to the first armored train after the tender.

 

@Lexx2k: I didn't fully take the armored train you made, as the shadow on the turret in the lower left was mirrored from what it should be. As such, I took specific parts and pasted those on the original one, made a number of manual touch-ups (especially where the original gun from the lower left turret used to be), finally resulting in the one you see in this screenshot.

 

The mobile artillery piece was composed of about 8 different parts, I've welded them all together and got rid of the boarding ramps at the front and rear. Been busy setting this up for the better part of the day, going to take a break from it for now ;).

 

This looks really cool.

Don't know about the issue with the shadow. Wouldn't surprise me if I missed it, as I'm not really a graphic-guy at all.



#98 Maurice1976

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:10 AM



This looks really cool.

Don't know about the issue with the shadow. Wouldn't surprise me if I missed it, as I'm not really a graphic-guy at all.

 

I guess you just mirrored the turret? The shadow looked like the lightsource was to the left of it, while it was from the right for the rest of the vehicle. I decided to maintain the original turret and just copy the gunbarrel and the top plate from your armored train version on top of it.

 

Late last evening I started working on the Leopold from mission 6 of BEL. I have composed the main graphic, but the challenge I am now facing is to lower the barrel into its resting position. It requires quite a bit of manual editing of the overall graphic. Another challenge is also with regards to the shadow. All the other train graphics are originally aligned from bottom left to top right, with shadows on the left side. The Leopold is oriented top left to bottom right; flipping it to change that would put the shadow on the right side instead of the left. So even after placing the barrel as it should, I'd still have to edit the model to swap the shadow around.

 

I'll see about writing up a few instructions on how to handle train graphics in general (with regards to defining the polygon box around it, instead of using trial and error) and release the edited wagon models as well as the respective ANM and MAC files for them. Not sure on total size, though it probably won't be much, seeing as it's just a few bitmaps and small textfiles.

 

But in general, shadows are a tricky thing, as the developers already noticed in the original game. Since I started to more closely examine them, I've noticed just how awkward they are in some missions. Mission 7 with the submarines has shadows at weird angles with respect to one another, as does mission 14, the Normandy beach. And for mission 15, the butcher of Paris, they even seem to have forgotten most shadows to begin with, which is the reason that mission always felt odd to me with regards to its looks.

 

Edit: That Leopold cannon is proving to be more problematic than I thought. The gun barrel has metal bands running around it; when you rotate the barrel, the perspective on those rings should change too, accordingly. That means I have to adjust all of those rings to make it look right; if I don't, the barrel will look really odd with respect to the rest of the carriage.


Edited by Maurice1976, 09 October 2017 - 07:56 PM.


#99 Maurice1976

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:31 PM

It's slow-going, but the end is getting in sight:

 

LEOPOLD4.png

 

All that's left to do now, is to add the shadows at the base of the train (although I will probably have to create those manually) and to brighten the side of the train. As you can see, I've flipped the train in the x-direction, which means that the darkened side is now actually the sunny side, if you compare it with other trains. But that will be for another day.



#100 Lexx2k

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:25 PM

I am just curious why you are doing this? If you put it all on a train in one mission, then... it will be a very long train, and I can't really imagine it looking that good in effect.






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