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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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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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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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      You can see clear through the tails from the front seat.  In this case, I just started flying through a cloud, so it's a little blurry.
      The Jester AI, like I mentioned earlier, is very intuitive and easy to interact with.  Even without reading the manual on how to interact, I figured it out in the first combat flight I took.  The single biggest thing that will take time to learn is the flight model and handling characteristics.  The F-14 is truly a stick and rudder plane, and the F-14s in Strike Fighters 2 don't even come close to simulating the adverse elements of the F-14's handling, especially wing rock and control reversal.  I wouldn't consider myself a contender online at the moment, and the fact that I was able to take out the AI aircraft in a gunfight at this stage is simply because they are AI.  If you hop in expecting the plane to hold your hand like the F/A-18C module, you're in for a ride.  It has no g-limiter, no alpha limiter, beta (yaw) limiter, etc.  It's you talking directly to the control surfaces and them doing whatever the hell you tell them to, be it to your advantage or detriment.  "Need to get out of the way of that missile and put the stick in your lap?  Fine!  10g ain't the worst I've been through!  Boot full of rudder?  I'm not stopping you!  Canopy jettison followed by...oh, you son of a..." 
      In terms of overall maneuverability (sustained/instantaneous "g", roll rate, etc.) the airplane feels good.  If I didn't jack it up and start rocking the wings, I was able to turn perfectly fine and loaded as much as 9.8g on the plane in one of my fights without complaint.  A major saving grace against the F-5s when I got the plane out of shape is the fact that the B adds energy quick, and I was able to stabilize the plane and quickly curl inside their turns to go from defensive, to neutral, to offensive reliably and repeatedly.  I actually had to get one of them off of my dead six o'clock (he shot a missile while there, but it took my flares) and was able to reverse the situation in a manner of seconds.  The F110's power also gives the plane a lot of options, such as pushing the fight vertical, or un-f*cking your carrier approach when you jack it up and almost put yourself into the back of the boat for the fourth time. AoA and airspeed are very important to pay attention to, and the rudders will make or break you in a dogfight or at slow speeds.  I still haven't felt out the slow speed regime intentionally yet.  I have run the plane out of airspeed during some hamfisted dogfighting moments, but honestly, it recovers itself pretty quickly, and it maintains a degree of controllability even below 100KIAS, such that I was able to point the nose where I wanted with the rudders as the plane flopped over and began regaining speed.  It also allows you to go to full flaps for slow-speed flight/fighting without needing to pull the aux flap circuit breaker (of the few things not [yet] modeled, one is the circuit breakers).  As I build confidence, I'll start looking to test my skills against MiG-29s, Su-27s, etc., and eventually get into multiplayer, but right now, I'm still learning the thing.
      Overall, it's a really amazing module.  Every video I've seen talking about this module says that Heatblur set a new bar for aircraft in DCS.  I agree.  The plane is spectacular.  You'll need to put in the time to learn it, but man, is it rewarding to fly.  At some point in the future, the F-14A will be released, and the package already comes with a carrier and A-6, so its steeper asking price of $79.99 gets you more than just a single jet.  In my opinion, it's well worth the asking price.

      I'm sure that'll buff out...
       
    • By MigBuster

        Eagle Dynamics Loyalty Program
      Following a lengthy client satisfaction review of our existing Bonus Program, we are delighted to announce the new DCS World Loyalty Program. This will replace the Bonus Program and will provide a simpler way to earn rewards and more freedom to use them!
      ED Miles are similar in many ways to airline miles and can be earned/awarded and used as follows:
      Regardless if a product has just been released, is already on sale or in pre-purchase, you will always earn ED Miles on the price you paid for the purchase. For each purchase, you will earn 10% of the Purchase Price in ED Miles. As an example: if you purchase something for USD 29.99 you will be awarded 2990 ED Miles worth USD 2.99 on the DCS World e-Shop. You can use ED Miles to purchase any product participating in the program, regardless if they are just released, already on sale, or as a pre-purchase! There is no limit on the number of ED Miles you can use for a purchase. If you have enough ED Miles, you can even pay for an entire product just using ED Miles. ED Miles earned are valid for three calendar years from the time of your last DCS World e-Shop purchase. Existing Bonus points will expire in 2019 on a date to be confirmed. Note that ED Miles cannot be redeemed for cash or any other conversion, and a list of 3rd parties participating in the program will be provided at launch.
      DCS: F-14 Tomcat Coming Next Week
      The F-14 Tomcat developed by Heatblur Simulations will be available next week on 13 March 2019 for both the DCS World e-Shop and Steam. Purchase now and take advantage of the pre-order discount; only a few days are left!
      Purchase from DCS e-shop
      The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a two-crew, variable geometry, maritime air superiority fighter that served with the US Navy for 32 years and continues to serve with the IRIAF in Iran. The F-14 was the US Navy's frontline fighter from the 1970s until the mid-2000s. Over the course of its long service life it also became the US Navy’s premier precision ground-attack platform and lone airborne reconnaissance asset.

      Outstanding features of the aircraft are the swing-wing configuration, crew of two, and the powerful AN/AWG-9 Weapons Control System (WCS) and radar. The AWG-9 allows employment of the powerful AIM-54 Phoenix air to air missile while the LANTIRN pod allows the ability to carry out precision ground strikes using laser guided bombs. The F-14 Tomcat was present during many pivotal historic moments such as the two Gulf of Sidra incidents, Operation Desert storm in Iraq, the conflict in Yugoslavia, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was also immortalized in the iconic motion picture, Top Gun, and starred in several other feature films including The Final Countdown, Executive Decision, and others.
      DCS: Christen Eagle II Available on Steam
      The Christen Eagle II by Magnitude 3 LLC is now available on Steam.
      The Christen Eagle II, which later became the Aviat Eagle II in the mid-1990s, is an aerobatic biplane aircraft that has been produced in the United States since February 1977.

      Designed by Frank Christensen, a veteran WW2 P-51D pilot and aerobatic competitor, it was originally built to compete with the Pitts Special. You’ll find that the Eagle is hard to beat in terms of flying excitement and adventure, and yet the ease of control allows even average pilots to feel like masters of aerobatics.
      Dare to fly like a true eagle, whether you are learning to fly, or you are an experienced pilot. Inside this powerful aerobatic beauty, you can enjoy solo aerobatics, do tight formation flying, graze the landscape sightseeing, or speed race down the track. You can even teach other people to fly. The smoke system allows you to visualize your stunts for yourself and other viewers. To extend the Eagle’s prowess in DCS, we implemented an internal and external light system which will keep you safe day and night, and a simple autopilot which will allow you to grab your favorite drink while your aircraft safely levels and awaits your return.
      Sincerely,
      The Eagle Dynamics Team
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