Packing custom particles

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by tyler, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    So I discovered that in games on servers the way I packed custom particles into Hella isn't working.

    I have the particle file packed along with the manifest. The system displays, but the materials are pink/black checkerboards. So I went back and made sure that I was packing the materials. Turns out: I am packing them correctly. I think?

    Is there a trick to this? I've been using PackBSP; does PakRat do this better or anything?

    halp
     
  2. Languid

    Languid L5: Dapper Member

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    I spent like 3-4 days trying to get custom particles working ingame in a test environment before just giving up entirely on the whole idea

    ITS HOPELESS
     
  3. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    What does GCFScape show in terms of what's inside your map?
     
  4. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    automatic packing is for pussies, real men pack manually, and take the blame when something goes wrong.
    pakrat is a fine piece of software in that regard and I don't understand why anyone would want to use something else. (no offense to packbsp)

    answering to languid,
    in pakrat, you need to edit your directories in order to get your particle files packed correctly.

    directories should look like this. (also true for packbsp)
    [​IMG]

    answering to yyler
    what I'd do, (because that's what a man does) open the pcf in the tf2 particle editor. note all the material used and make sure you include them all MANUALLY

    (now assuming you're talking about your black hole particle system)
    if the materials aren't custom make sure they are part of the tf2 gcf.
    iirc that particle system was developed outside of tf2 so make sure your not using materials from ep2's gcf or something
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  5. Rexy

    aa Rexy The Kwisatz Haderach

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    Even with that sort of packing that you're talking about fubar, I could never get custom particles to work correctly on other clients. There were very few people who understood how the particle system worked enough, even with correct manifests. I think Fearlezz was one of the few people I can ever recall having good success with the particle system. I spent as much as 30 hours one time trying to build/pack/manifest custom particles for a mod project I was working on with no success, to the point where I just gave up. There's very little documentation about the particle system for the source engine, and it's also not very intuitive to work with. If I find any useful tutorials on the subject, I will post them here, if it helps.

    EDIT: We've got these tutorials written by some tf2m members, but that only helps in the off chance that you haven't already read/seen these articles. In any case, here they are:

    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=8107 - Psy's guide, has some info about packing
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10514 - Fearlezz's guide on installing/packing
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10506 - Fearlezz's guide on creating/editing particles
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  6. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Well, if any "manly men" want to improve PackBSP, I open-sourced it for their manly text editors ;)
     
  7. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    The thing is pakrat is just more reliable/stable than packbsp. Packbsp often crashes. I think packbsp has a more reliable autopack function am i right? But any sensible person manually packs by default to be absolutely certain everything is packed. It only takes about 10 seconds longer, assuming you know where your materials are located within the directory branches.
     
  8. Vincent

    aa Vincent 🔨 Grandmaster Lizard Wizard Jedi 🔨

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    I've fallen in love with PackBSP. In my personal experience using it, I only had an error with it once and that was cleaned up a week or two later after I went to try it again.

    Since I've never had an issue with it.
     
  9. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    PackBSP has never once crashed for me nor failed to pack anything, and also I don't remember that kind of crap, but from what I can tell PackBSP either works perfectly for you (a rhetoric you) or you fucking hate it so let's not even bother arguing

    I was looking at the particle system in Tools mode and it does use EP2 textures, but I'm packing them all or at least I think I am. There's one texture I can't find at all but it's not in the EP2 materials folder that I extracted from the EP2 GCF, and yet it still appears fine for me in game. Not sure what's up with that

    Uh, somehow the unreleased version I'm trying to pack shows that I packed an achievement map into it. Interesting. Otherwise it's showing everything is packed properly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2011
  10. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    The particle editor claims I'm using
    Code:
    c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\yyler\team fortress 2\hl2\materials\particle\particle_ring_wave_7.vmt
    but that's not a valid folder at all and it works fine for me in game except when I'm on a server.
     
  11. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Not to derail the conversation too much more:

    Great! So that means you reported the problem to me, and sent me a debug log so that I can fix it... right?
     
  12. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Did you fix the fact that it doesn't pack the textures for multiple skins on the construction pack?
     
  13. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Note that while PackBSP goes several hops along the way, but cannot yet read the PCF files themselves to determine what VMT/VTF textures are used by them. (I have some work started but ran into difficulties with a binary library I'd hoped to transition everything to.)

    So I'd re-check that the VMT/VTF stuff you chose via the Particle Editor is included.

    Did someone send in a bug report with a debug-log that contains all the wonderful juicy information that helps determine exactly what went wrong?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  14. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Want you guys to know I solved my issue. It was a bit crazy and I was being a bit dumb before.

    Had to not only pull from "hl2E2 materials.gcf", but also "Source 2007 shared materials.gcf" and something else that I forgot, maybe it was "shared episodic materials.gcf" or something like that. Took a while to find it all but it's good now.
     
  15. LadyRaee

    LadyRaee CHEERFULLY SUICIDAL

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    NECROBUMP
    For people looking for an answer in here: Nowadays, compilepalx adds both pcf and [mapname_particles].txt manifest to bsp if packing is enabled.