Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Frontlines: Fuel of War - Easy Modding

First, we need to activate the Unreal Editor in FFOW. Right click the FFOW shortcut on your desktop, open Properties, then add the word editor to the end of the target so it looks like this:

Press Apply and click OK. Now open FFOW and you will see the editor splash screen. When it finally loads, you will get a window with the title "Generic" and a tip of the day. Close the tip of the day thingy. There will also be a window behind it named "UnrealEd"..but no need to use that.

This may look confusing at first, but trust me, it's a breeze after you get confortable with it. We need to load up our textures so we can log them. In the "Generic" window, go to File > Open and browse to this path -- X:\Program Files\THQ\Frontlines-Fuel of War\GCGame\CookedPC

Under the CookedPC folder, you got lots of more folders with generic names...for players, we want to open the Characters folder....for vehicles, the vehicles folder....for weapons, the weapons folder. Yea, it's pretty simple. For now, open the Characters folder. Reference is below if you are lost.

You see a bunch of .upk files. This is what we want. Click on CHW_01_US.upk and click Open to load it. The below pic shows what is loaded and what I see when I first open the .upk file.

Ok, so now we need to look at one bigger picture of our US player model. See those purple boxes? That's what we want. In other words, we want meshes. To just view the meshes, expand CHW_US_01 on the left and click on Meshes. Reference below:

Okay, now. There are 2 ways to open the meshes. You can either double click it or right click > AnimSet Viewer. Either way, it will open it in AnimSet, which is what we need. So go ahead and open the first mesh, SK_CHW_01_US_1P_ArmsA.This will popup a whole new window with a whole bunch more crap. Reference below to what I see:

In the above picture, I have circled red the important things and the only things you need to worry about. On the right is our model of ArmsA. On the left is the Mesh browser, so we can switch meshes in the drop down. Right now it's on the ArmsA mesh.

The bar that I circled on the top is the LOD. LOD is the Levels of Detail. This is nice because we need to log all LOD's if we want properly working chams. The model rec changes when the LOD changes...and the LOD changes when your player gets further away from the enemy player or another object. NEVER use Auto LOD when you log! This will sometimes give you LOD 1 or LOD 2.

B = LOD 0 or BASE
1 = LOD 1
2 = LOD 2
3 = LOD 3

If you click on the different LOD's, you will notice the texture quality changes.

The last thing I circled has all the mesh information. It shows the LOD and how many chunks it has. The chunks is important because a model could have more parts. For example, when I logged the ground drones, they had 3 chunks...the body, left tread, right tread. Take note of this when logging because you need to get all parts of the model to color the whole thing or color each part different. Whatever you like to do.

To change the camera view on the model you are looking at, use the left and right mouse buttons. The right mouse button changes your distance and the left mouse button pivots around the model.

To change meshes, click the drop-down box on the left. This has every mesh that you loaded in the "Generic" window, even if you didn't open it yet in AnimSet. They are all easily accessable to you now.

I pretty much toured you through the Editor so you can log models with ease instead of in-game. I hope this has helped some of you.

CrEdZ: drunken cheetah

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