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How do I use the high level features of ModMan?

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I think I've figured out the basics of skinning the F-15, including the TGA files vs. BMP to create "decals" similar to those in SF2. This opens the possibility of creating custom nose art and canopy names for myself and other friends. However, doing so on skins other than default skins (already zipped and in path) will require a huge amount of storage (liveries) or manual entries into graphics.cfg (common files to a zip).

 

The most elegant solution is the zipfile for the skin (the tga dds files go into the livery), but I can't figure out how to get modman to make dynamic entries into cfg files. I know there are cfg and misc options in the mod maker, but there are no instructions or tutorials that I could find. The closest thing, the CDDS tutorial, seems to be obsolete with DCSW which now does the same thing with conventional zip files and native use of DDS.

 

Does anybody know how to use the cfg/misc features of modman, or if not is it still a feasible solution to bundle files in a CDDS?

 

Thanks in advance.

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For what it's worth, number Decals are 3d Model Integrated in Max with argument animations. Same with alot of other decals.

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Sorry Skate. Not to come off as a complete knucklehead, but I'm not sure of what that means, unless you're talking about assignment of the 3 digits of the serial number on the tail.

 

What I'm trying to figure out is how to use these functions in the Modman Mod Maker:

modsmaker.jpg

 

CFG (I think this is the one I want):

mm_cfg.jpg

 

Misc:

mm_misc.jpg

 

The whole idea is to have a common set of textures for a virtual squadron with specific decol files and pilot files for each member, in order to avoid having to repeat each file in each livery folder. I'm also trying to do it in a way that dosen't require manual tweaking of graphics.cfg.

Edited by HomeFries

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Liveries in a ZIP w/ DESC LUA shouldn't need to mod the CFG file. as long as the "TRUE/FALSE" part of each line is set correctly, the engine will scan that ZIP and the designated VFS_textures_Mount folders (/Bazar/Liveries/ etc) for the textures.

Edited by SkateZilla

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I was trying to get fancy. I saw that the CAW Su-25T package uses common zips and requires tweaking the graphics.cfg, and I was looking for a way to automate it. I also thought that doing this with a virtual squadron skin and using the decol/patch files in the individual liveries for the members would save on HD space and require fewer changes overall in the event that the skin was updated.

 

I wish ED would just add a single folder in the path, and every file in that folder would be read as part of graphics.cfg. This would make things much simpler for custom skins, though no question the livery system is a huge step in the right direction.

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Base Paint in one Folder.

 

Make a ZIP for each member, and only put DECALs or Changed Textures in it.

 

Make the Lines for the Common Textures in the description file read "true" (so game knows to scan outside local folder/zip, it will scan all vfs_texture mounts.).

So for common textures (ie base paint):

{"MaterialName", 0, "texturename", true]

 

then Custom name/patch/decals

{"materialname", 0/3, "texturename", false]

 

So You'd have a Folder (folder names are just examples.)

/Liveries/F-15C/HomeFriesMain.zip (with all common files that are in all squad skins). (This might have to be in a /HomeFriesMain/ folder too or in Bazar/Textures folder.)

 

then

/Liveries/F-15C/HomeFriesSqd1/member1.zip (with files specific only to his plane, and description lua with values set correctly)

/Liveries/F-15C/HomeFriesSqd2/member2.zip (with files specific only to his plane, and description lua with values set correctly)

/Liveries/F-15C/HomeFriesSqd3/member3.zip (with files specific only to his plane, and description lua with values set correctly)

 

 

So you'd have 4 zips. 1 with all the main textures for everthing. and 3 with just decals/changed textures. So common textures aren't copied 4 times. (decreases loading time, packages size, and VRAM usage).

 

Im in office so i cant say for sure the folders everything goes in, but this weekend I'll be doing something similar with one of my modules (Main skin and decals for individual skins in ZIP.

Edited by SkateZilla

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That's exactly what I would like to do, Skate. The VRAM hit is something else I thought of as well since I'm running with a 512Mb graphics card.

 

Question is whether it is possible to do this without adding a line to graphics.cfg. I've already tested this by adding a couple of ZIPs with common files to Bazar\World\Textures and adding them to graphics.cfg, then putting the personalized files in the livery folders and setting the appropriate lines to True/False.

 

The big hang up is whether there is a way to automate this for people who don't want to tweak their config files. I would rather spend the time trying to simplify the system than spend the same amount or more time helping people who are afraid to tweak their file, or have done so incorrectly.

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Bazar/World/Textures should already be mounted.

 

if not add the vfs texture call to the F-15C.LUA in the /Scripts/database/planes/

 

 

That would be the only difference in what im gonna be doing and what you're doing.

 

our Module uses /Mods/Aircraft/F-100D/Textures/ to store textures with a VFS Mount for each skin folder, plus a folder with a folder for main self_illuminated, a folder for main diffuse/spec/bump maps.

 

 

So, Items that dont change on any of the Liveries are in the /F-100D/Textures/MainDiffuse/ folder, and String in Livery desc. lua is set to true.

those items are bump maps, canopy glass, etc etc.

 

/self_illuminated is the folder where I store the TGAs for Lights, Afterburner etc.

Edited by SkateZilla

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Bazar/World/Textures should already be mounted.

 

if not add the vfs texture call to the F-15C.LUA in the /Scripts/database/planes/

Now that's an interesting idea: adding ta tweaked F-15C.lua to the modman package. Solves the graphics.cfg problem.

 

In the existing graphics.cfg, a number of files have path lines, many of which are in Bazar\World\Textures. I was under the impression that the files themselves had to be in the path line, as opposed to a folder being in the path and having all of its contents in the path as well.

 

Like you, I'm at work, so I can't take a look right now, but this is definitely something to build on.

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If Bazar/World/Textures/ is mounted, then you only need to place your commonfiles.zip there, or maybe /Textures/F-15C/ if it exists.

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Skate, you're a genius!

 

I thought that the path commands in graphics.cfg pointed to zip files. In fact, they point to folders, and DCS recognizes a zip file as a folder.

 

Here's what I did to test:

  1. Extracted bazar\textures\f-15.zip to the folder bazar\textures\f-15. Removed f-15.zip. Ran mission with default skins and tested SAT.
  2. Removed files from F-15 folder and reinserted f-15.zip. Added custom skins to F-15 folder. Ran mission with combination of default skins and custom skins. Tested SAT.
  3. Renamed files in F-15 folder from *.bmp.dds and *.tga.dds to *.dds. Ran same mission with combination of default and custom skins. Tested SAT.

 

What this means is that we can have our cake and eat it too!

 

Even with the existence of a F-15.zip file, DCSW will continue to read files from both the zipfile and the folder named in the path. There is no need to extract the existing zipfiles, nor add files to them. This is great for maintaining compatibility with the autoupdater.

Likewise, we can create the F-15 folder in ModMan and add common files without having to add a path to graphics.cfg.

Finally, since ModMan can't handle the multiple-extension DDS files that are required for the zipfile, being able to have "regular" named DDS files in the folders allows for the use of ModMan to keep track of our common files.

 

Bottom line: packaging aircraft fleets like this will save a lot of space, loading time, VRAM, et al, yet we can still maintain a compact delivery using the RAR/Zip feature in ModMan.

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these lines/scanning methods are kinda new from what i was told, older lomac/fc2, and dcs KA-50, you had to mod the Graphics.CFG,

 

ED Added the ability to declare/use folder mounts scanning to allow user to have custom skins without being booted from servers for failing integrity checks (modded .CFG) (or something along those lines.)

 

I think the Engine scans over 100 folders during startup for Declare LUAs and stuff.

 

at one point i had BMPs all over the place, and they kept being picked up by game, when i didnt want them too, lol.

 

Now when i run 3 screens, my left is completely filled with Debug Data..

 

 

 

As for Decal Layer on A-10C not working, Dunno why, as I didnt see a Decal Layer option in materials list in Max,

 

I know I'm gonna need both Decals and Damage/Bulletholes Layers soon.

Edited by SkateZilla

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