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Author Topic: Using Meta to simplfy removing vertex in VRS - Also guide on redundant textures  (Read 2240 times)

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Offline Kamilynn

  • Newbie modder who happens to not suck too much
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Ok, to begin with, whenever you are EVER EVER going to mod something, make sure you make backups of anything you intend to touch. In my stuff I generally edit the files where they are as they are and just make a "Copy of XX.dat" in the folder beforehand, and delete the altered dat and rename the copy to replace the original. But do whatever works.


Okay, today we are going to remove the shoulder/elbow pad from the Grim Cuirass for Elvaan male and put the Sam AF shoulders onto it.  This is a relatively simple mod as both objects are made for the same race and already have the appropriate weights and such applied to them - all we wanna do is take things out and put others in.

Because I think sideways, we will address this how I would.

First things first: we are going to make the dat into a manipulatable MQO file - this is also a good thing to always do in the beginning of any dat modding because we will now have a copy of the texture files in pristine condition.

After we have converted it, go to the model folder you saved it in, and edit the MQO. You need to have Metasequioa to alter this.

Because the model is made up of several different objects (anything with material, ie shine, on it will automatically be sorted separately from the rest of the model) we can hide or lock various objects in the Object panel, accesible by clicking the button located on the uppermost menu on the left side.

Ensuing sidewaysness: because you cannot delete the vertex in Meta, but life is so much easier to deal with in Meta than in VRS, I always move the parts I want to remove and drag them out of the way in Meta.  This means that when I get to VRS it is easy to select the already moved parts without any chance of accidentally getting some of the parts I do NOT want to delete.

Now that the shoulder is moved, repeat for the elbowpad. We can hide the arm to better see the elbow by clicking the appropriate selection in the object panel - click the little eye to make it invisible.

Repeat moving for the elbow - you can put it right on top of the other moved image if you want, its all garbage so it's like whatevs.

Save and convert the MQO in Model Viewer, as the file needs to be a dat for VRS to load it. Also, it makes it look super hilarious.

Do the same kinda stuff for the SAM AF armor whose shoulder we are wanting!

There are two ways to do this kind of thing, either select what you want only and then invert the selection as I have done, or select all and remove the selection you want to keep.  Hitting "control" will make any of the options that select vertices or face or lines in Meta deselect them.

Either way, once you have achieved selection of the parts you want to not have, just scale it and move it like we have for the other armor.

Again, we load a lovely rendition of the original!

Okay, now that we have the two files with the undesired model moved to the side, we need to load them in VRS.  At this point I assume you have both the program and DirectX9 installed, which is necessary to load and save ffxi dats.

You need to wait the agonizingly long time to load the first file, then you can load the second. In my case it was as simple as typing in the other location in the ROM folder because, like I've said, I altered my game files.

Now that both models are loaded you can edit them.  A quick and messy explanation is that the black boxes contain the model data and the blue boxes underneath designates the texture that is applied to that specific model data; the yellow boxes are the texture files and the red boxes that say "material" are what makes things shiny or adds other material to the dat. Usually, you will just want to mess with the model so highlighting the black boxes exclusively happens more often than not.

Side note: I generally keep my perspective 2 window open but don't edit in it, because I like to keep it as am alternate view when I am removing or altering material so I can see if I accidentally delete anything in the back of the model. This is totally a personal choice, so don't feel required to keep it open if you don't want to.

In this image, we are lucky because all of the material we want to remove is in just one of the two material boxes. So we can select that box only in the schematic screen and remove all of the bits we want off.  One other thing I do is always take small steps because it is easier to double check and undo than a big oops! That is why I delete before I combine.

Once you have the material selected as shown in the above image, all you have to do is hit delete to remove it.  Because we had moved the parts we wanted to the side in meta, we don't have to worry about ferreting out the precise parts, making this much easier than it could be.

Now onto the samurai part!

A little note: the part we wanted to keep was only in the main (long named with the dat location) black box at the top of the model schematic. Because of this, you can delete the entirety of the second part by just highlighting that second box and deleting it in the schematic window instead of messing with the vertexes in the perspective window. If you are so inclined.

One thing I had an issue with when I was combining models is the enormous increase in the file size for redundant or unnecessary textures. Most HQ mods out there have at least one, so obviously it isn't something all of even the more on top of things modders know how to negate, so I thought it would be nice if I were to share my recently formulated go around for it.

As you can see, there is an identifier for texture that is more or less unique for every dat out of SE's books.
Some dats require multiple texture files, but usually you can get all of what you need on a simple combination like this on one, you just have to do a little texture mapping in Meta after.
By renaming the one to be copied, the model feels it has already got the applicable texture it wants to have applied when it is pasted on the other model.  It doesn't work so well the other way around tho. I don't know why.  You want to get the text of the main dat's identifier and replace the soon to be copied dat's identifiers with it so that it makes it match, it's pretty easy but I know what I am talking about so if it is confusing I'm sorry I'll try to explain it better :s

Once we have (or have not as the case may be) messed with the textures, we want to copy that model of the shoulders to the other dat so we can export.
These parts are pretty easy cause VRS is actually nice enough to work the copy paste like normal things.

Now that we have our new dat all in one place, we need to get rid of the portion of the schematic that we do not need.

Huzzahs! We have achieved our goal. In VRS anyway, still need to make it a dat.
once you have told it where to save, go ahead and hit okay. Be aware that if you don't put .dat at the end here it will not automatically extension it as a dat file and it will not work until you tell it it is one.

Because I altered the grim cuirass file and allowed it to overwrite it, it is automatically viewable in my model viewer once VRS takes its sweet time to finish exporting.

So then:

OKAY! Now the mildly annoying thing. as you can see, the sam shoulders have picked up part of the texture from the grim cuirass - this is because when it applied itself to the texture, the UV mapping kept the same placement as it had on the SAM artifact.  Which is likely not the same placement as the grim bodies shoulders.  You can alter the UV map way easy in Meta, and use the leftover texture space from the old shoulders to create whatever you darn well please. I find it desirable over having multiple textures. Also, one of the first things I do personally when I use VRS is convert it back to the clean texture and not use the VRS greened one that is applied; I actually did that for the one I made making this guide, and I'll post it in a lil bit.  It can be complicated but Meta is such a fun and useful program so I recommend the pain in the assness for the cause of learning, especially if you intended to alter the texture anyway.

Sorry for the quick and messy guide, I'm not the best teacher.  I didn't actually READ any guides I just got excited and figured most of it out - or not as the case was, as is the instance with skeleton weights <.<

I hope this illustrates my earlier directions that didn't seem to work so well :z
Back online but out of the loop too long, I need some reintroduction to this stuff! :D

Offline Kamilynn

  • Newbie modder who happens to not suck too much
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 552
  • I mostly edit female mods but feel free to request
    • My Photobucket - Warning, cluttered
It has come to my attention that not all thumbnails load 100% of the time - but don't worry, clicking on the lil not loading box will make the full sized image come up.
Back online but out of the loop too long, I need some reintroduction to this stuff! :D