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CivBE Graphics Compatible With Civ5?

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Modding Discussion' started by Civitar, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    I make units for Civ5, usually by converting them from Civ4. Because I've seen some awesome units in the BE videos, I was wondering if anybody happens to know what kind of graphics BE uses?
    For example Civ4 uses Gamebryo IIRC (.nif files galore), while Civ5 uses Granny (hence many headaches for me).
    Hopefully, even if they're not of the kind that Civ5 can use directly, they can be pretty easily converted back to Civ5... especially since many of the effects in BE look suspiciously like held-over Civ5 effects.
     
  2. Riso

    Riso Chieftain

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    They're using the same engine, thus it follows they won't change formats.
     
  3. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Just downloaded Beyond Earth to check things out with regards to 3D modding.

    The good news is that the 3D assets seem to be in the same Granny format as Civ 5 which means all the existing 3D techniques should work. There is an issue in that it looks like all the mesh/bone/texture names are blank in the .gr2 files, but I think I can add some code to Nexus Buddy to give them default names. That should allow full export to Blender as with the Civ 5 models. I'm looking into this now.
     
  4. Gilgamesch

    Gilgamesch Ancient Alien

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    This would be so awesome if you could convert units/improvements from BE into CiV.

    I would sacrifice my first born son to you sir:bowdown:
     
  5. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    I think there's a good chance that Civ 5 models will just work in Civ:BE and vice versa without any conversion being required. I could be wrong.

    Unfortunately, extracting the models is looking only partially possible at the moment. The fact that all the bone names are blank means that all the bone binding names are also blank. So I can extract the meshes and skeletons but not the rigging/vertex groups. :(
     
  6. hugojackson18

    hugojackson18 Warlord

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    Deliverator, we can always count on you! thanks for looking into this. As soon as I've got BE up and running, I'll try to check if integrating a new unit works as with CiV
     
  7. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    So the good news is that it looks like 3D assets from Civ 5 will work in Beyond Earth just fine. I made a simple test unit mod for Civ BE and here are some of my Griffons conversions enjoying the miasma....

    Spoiler :


    This means we're free to create models in the same way as we have been for Civ V.

    Exporting Civ BE models to Civ V looks harder at the moment - they don't work by default. What it looks Firaxis have done is stripped almost all of the string data out the Granny .gr2 files into a database file called unitmodels_stringdatabase.gsd. I have no idea what format this database file is, but from the name and the fact that I can see all the mesh and bone names in there it seems to be a safe bet that the Civ BE engine is somehow recombining the string names with the .gr2 files at runtime.

    If I can extract the bone and texture names from this unitmodels_stringdatabase.gsd in Nexus Buddy it might be possible to convert the Civ BE models to .gr2s that work in both Civ V and Civ BE. Will keep digging... :)
     
  8. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    I've found that you can use Civ BE 3D assets in Civ V provided you do one extra step which can't be done via a mod.

    The step was to make a copy of unitmodels_stringdatabase.gsd from the Beyond Earth UnitModels.fpk (I named it be_unitmodels_stringdatabase.gsd) and place it in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V\Assets.

    Having done this you can make a mod with all the files (.gr2, .fxsxml and .dds) required for the unit and it works just fine. I tested this for the Xeno Titan unit:

    Spoiler :


    Obviously if you wanted to have all effects working you'd have to include more files in the mod.
     
  9. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    With some further investigation and coding I've managed to resolve the issue with using the Civ BE units in Civ V.

    The code to load the string database and recombine it with the .gr2 files was already in the Firaxis Granny DLLs so I've extended Nexus Buddy to do that. I've added a batch facility that will resave all the .gr2s in a directory, both models and animations, with the bone names etc included so that they will work in mods for Civ V without copying the string database to Assets. This will make converting the Civ BE files to Civ V a very quick and painless task.

    Spoiler :


    This also means that the Civ BE units can be exported to Blender completely intact with all original names and vertex groups.

    So everything that we could do in Civ V with 3D assets should also possible in Civ BE and we can use assets interchangeable between the two games. :)

    Will release the new version of Nexus Buddy and write up a short tutorial soon.
     
  10. Nutty

    Nutty Deity

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  11. bouncymischa

    bouncymischa Synthetic Genie

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    This'll certainly answer the need for futuristic units for Civ 5 mods that want to extend the game into future time periods!
     
  12. temprus

    temprus Chieftain

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    Whoot, thanks, Deliverator. Soon, Pacal can bring the wrath of his sandworms unto his foes!
     
  13. Gilgamesch

    Gilgamesch Ancient Alien

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    :woohoo::thanx:

    Wow this will be a very big stepp forward.
    Thanks for your work Sir.:goodjob:

    Iam just imaging how amazing this will look in CCTP, because we use already a lot of the original Alpha Centaurie Stuff.
     
  14. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    Hadn't looked back in here since my account was corrupted... five stars Deliverator! While I don't have BE yet I probably will get it for Christmas. I can't wait to see some of the converted units...
    PS: Do all the aliens look so... wet? I'm guessing that the Xenotitan was just a very white sref, but it looks like it's covered in membranes or something.
     
  15. hugojackson18

    hugojackson18 Warlord

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    I can't wait to start doing some Avatar looking units for the aliens! Im not a big fan of the Insects style they did for the alien.
     
  16. UncivilizedGuy

    UncivilizedGuy The Village Idiot

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    Sounds like it's time for a CiV mod with an alien theme. Bring it on!
     
  17. Gilgamesch

    Gilgamesch Ancient Alien

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    We use a event system in our current testing version of CCTP that simulatetes a Alien interaction/Invasion.
    So far we uses skins from the Warhammer 40K mod, but with BE we will definitely expand this system.
     
  18. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Nexus Buddy 2.1 is now uploaded with the new features discussed here.

    Haven't had time to write a full tutorial yet, but this post has the key points.
     
  19. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    You rock, Deliverator! If I understand correctly it can still be used exactly the same way for Civ5 units, right?
     
  20. masaykh

    masaykh Prince

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    As 3D assets can be used in civ5 , tell me please - can all BE data be made into mod for civ5?
    in other words - i understand it can be - but how hard it will be to do it?

    p.s. BE engine at present bugged as hell, and cost to much so if it can be stripped to mod version it will be really great.
     

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