I am assuming that readers of this tutorial have a basic knowledge of computers, how to create and rename files and folders, how to copy and paste etc.
The tutorial will start with me assuming the following criteria have been carried out by the reader:
I have seen so many people post images of thier pure white models half burried in the ground asking "how do I fix this?"
I had exactly the same problem when BI first released the BIModels.zip containing the soldier model. I was patient and followed the various forum threads and kept track of who had made progress and how close they were to getting the soldier model to work in-game.
I decided to write a tutorial based on what I read and what I did to get my units ingame.
I am going to use default names for ease of use, More advanced readers may want to change model names and config entry`s etc. The tutorial is not a complete guide on how to get a model to work in-game, it simply informs the reader how to get the BISoldier model to run around like he should in Armed Assault.
* NOTE:There is another way of selecting the named points by dragging your mouse over them and copying them that way. For some reason this method only selects 83 points. Using the CTRL+A method as described above ensures all 84 are selected.
To get your BISoldier model to work in-game you will need a config.cpp file
There is no point me going into great depth here showing you what each part of the script does, that is not the purpose of this tutorial.
All we are going to do at this stage is add a very basic configuration file that will add an M107 Sniper rifle, a few magazines, a couple of grenades and a pair of binoculars to our Soldier.
If you wish you can visit the BI wiki page on weapons and add your own custom setup but I recommend for the newbie that you use the config provided.
You now have two choices.
You can either pack your .pbo file now, and test the config and make sure everything works OK Or you can continue with the tutorial and fix the texture paths.
If you pack the files now there is obviously going to be a problem with the textures as we have not yet correctly defined their paths but at least you can test your the model ingame and make sure its not half buried!
If you wish to pack and test your model now skip the next section and go straight to the Packing the Files part of this tutorial.
If not, read on..
Fixing the texture and material paths
We are now going to fix the texture paths for your model. Remember when you make your own model you will be using different file, folder and path names so you have to make sure Armed Assault knows where to look for them, otherwise you will get the dreaded white soldier showing up in-game!
I could have avoided this section by keeping strictly to the paths of the data folder (BIModels\BISoldier\data\xxx ) that were created when we extracted the BISoldier model from the BIModels.zip but I think it will be good practice to learn how to rename the texture paths.
OK, here we go..
This will open up a window showing a list of all texture and material names used on our model. The .paa files are the textures and the .rvmat files are the materials.
You can see that the texture and material path is bimodels\bisoldier\data\xxx, This is wrong because the model is no longer located within the BIModels folder so we need to remove the reference to it from the path.
To do this is in O2 PE is very simple:
By following the above steps you now need to rename all the textures and materials listed in the window. Below is a list of what should need renaming on the BISoldier model.
Once you have done that your texture and material paths should now look similar to this
Now you have done this we can now save the model and move onto the next stage.
So far we have changed the material paths in O2 but we also need to do it via the Material Editor.
This again is a pretty simple process
Choose the first one on the list - us_hhl.rvmat
On opening up the selected .rvmat file you will see the settings for the material file are now visible.
Certain settings (Diffuse, Forced Diffuse, Emissive, Specular, Specular Power, Default Texture) can be ignored for this tutorial.
You will see however that some settings have a path name assigned to them (Stage Config). You will also see that the path is again incorrect for our model and still has reference to the BIModels folder:
There are only 4 in total for the BISoldier model so it should take no more than 5 minutes
Once this is done close down the Material Editor.
We have now configured our model and corrected the path to our texture and material folder, all that remains is to pack the files and place them in our addons folder.
Packing the Files
All we need to do now to complete the tutorial is to pack the BISoldier folder and its contents into a .PBO.
That's it for the editing part, all that is left now is to cross your fingers and test it in Armed Assault!
Testing the final product
On loading Armed Assault and going into the editor you should be able to locate the BISoldier from the dropdown menu under BLUEFOR.
Starting the game should give you no errors. If you do get errors take note of the error message – it will give you a clue as to how to fix the problem. Usually it is a texture that is not found due to bad renaming of the paths somewhere either in the config.cpp, O2 or MatEditor.
Hopefully though, you will see a fully working model for you to enjoy.
If you want to take it a step further you can now start editing the model in O2 and an art package such as Adobe Photoshop to create unique load outs and textures for your units.
The method described in this tutorial was discoverd by hard work done by members of the Bohemia Interactive Studios community. All I did was write the tutorial.
Members I would especially like to thank (usually because one of their post played a key part in this tutorial) are, in no particular order:
Synide, RavenDK, ADOGMC, Pantiflex, CameronMcDonald, dbobrick, Jackal326 and danelectro_dc.
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