Custom Hologram Templates

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Artesia, May 11, 2009.

  1. Artesia

    Artesia L6: Sharp Member

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    Here are my files and instructions on how to quickly reskin and compile a custom CP hologram using the default CP model.

    Programs needed:
    Photoshop (or equivalent)
    GUIStudioMDL
    VTFedit (or photoshop VTF plugin which is what I use)
    notepad (or equivalent I'm using notepad++)

    Installation:
    Extract to your Team Fortress 2 directory, this should put all files in materials\models\effects\

    I'm not going to be covering QC commands, how to use any of the programs listed above, or model compiling options. The steps listed are simply what you need to do to make this work.

    Here we go:

    1) Decide what you want to skin, and discard the files you don't need. Not every file here is needed so we want to get rid of the ones we don't want. Included are 6 .smd files, 3 have _template at the end 3 have _default. _template we only want to keep if we are going to make a custom skin for that state (ie blu red or neutral). likewise _default we only want to keep if we aren't going to make a custom model for that state. In the end this should leave you with only 3 .smd files. We can also delete the .vtf's and .vmt's for any state we aren't customizing.

    Example: I want to skin a Red and Blu Logo but want to keep the default neutral Question mark model and skin so I'm deleting the following files:
    cappoint_hologram_neutral_reference_template.SMD
    cappoint_hologram_redteam_reference_default.smd
    cappoint_hologram_blueteam_reference_default.smd
    cappoint_logo_neutral_template.vmt
    cappoint_logo_neutral_template_dark.vmt
    cappoint_logo_neutral_template.vtf

    2) Pick a name for your Hologram Model... I'd recomend something like the name of your map. For demonstration purposes I'll be making a custom CP model for pl_cashworks as it has custom logos conveniently in the downloads section. So the name I'm going to choose is "cashworks". Just make sure its something unique

    3) File Renaming - all of the included files with the word "template" in the name, need to be changed replacing "template" with your chosen name from step 2. For instance I'm changing 'cappoint_logo_neutral_template_dark.vmt' to cappoint_logo_neutral_cashworks_dark.vmt". Don't worry about openning any files yet just get rid of all the occurances of "template" in the filenames. Don't worry about doing this to the photoshop files unless you want to.

    4) VMT Editing - Open each VMT file in notepad, and replace the word "template" with that of your modelname from step 2

    5) SMD editing- You should only have 3 smd files remaining from step 1. We now need to edit our custom .smd files (NOT the _default .smd files) in notepad. Open each of the custom (has your modelname in the filename) smd files in notepad, and do a search and replace operation, replace the word "template" with your modelname. be sure it replaces all of them. then save and close.

    6) QC editing - Open the qc file. On the first line after $cd " change the path if needed to correctly get to the directory the files are stored in (\team fortress 2\tf\materials\models\effects)

    7) Replace the word "template" at the end of the $modelname to your modelname from step 2

    8) look at the 3 lines beginning with "studio". These 3 lines have the name of the default .smd files. change the word "default" to your modelname from step 2 for any of the lines you are customizing. Example, I'm only customizing red and blu, so I'm only changing those lines, the neutral line remains at default.

    If we were to compile the model now using GUIStudioMDL, and then load the model in model viewer we would see that it works, but any of the custom states are blank. Thats because we haven't customized the texture yet! but everything else should be working (these models use bodygroups not skins, in model viewer go to the model tab and change the bodygroup, bodygroup 2 is empty, this is normal.)

    9) using your favorite image editing software create a texture for each custom state, I've included blank vtf's (which you should have either renamed or deleted depending on what you're customizing) as well as photoshop files, I'll be using the cashworks logos for mine. Once your done override the vtf of the correct team color

    We should be all done now, just load the QC file into GUIStudioMDL and compile it, and your model should be loadable into model viewer

    your model name should be cappoint_hologram_modelname.mdl where modelname is what you chose up in step 2. to use the model in hammer simply add your _modelname to the end of the RED BLU and Reset model values on the team_capture_point entity. It won't show up in hammer, it will stay default, compile your map and it should appear in game. make sure you keep the models/effects/ at the beginning of the model name as well.

    after everything is working correctly you can move or delete your .smd's the QC and the photoshop files, I'd recommend putting them in a custom folder so if you need to make any changes you can, but they don't clutter up your effects folder.

    just remember to pakrat your vmt's vtf's and the model files (found in models\effects directory not in materials) so that others can enjoy your work.

    that should be it, if there's anything I missed or anyone has problems let me know and I can edit this document to clarify better.

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