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How to Make Units With Bryce 5

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by DJ Bonebraker, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Part I: Making the Darn Model.

    This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to make a fairly simple 18th century cannon model in Bryce 5, as well as prepare the model for animation. Even though this model is fairly simple, the processes and techniques for making this model are exactly the same as what's used for more complicated designs (you'll just have to make more of the same things).

    First, create a new document in Bryce 5. Move the mouse pointer until the main menubar appears at the top of the screen. Click on "File" and then select "Document Setup." In the document setup, change the Document Aspect Ratio to 1:1, the document Resolution to 640x640, and make sure that AntiAliasing is selected for Superfine. Click the checkmark to close the setup window, and you're now ready to start modeling.

    To create the gun mount, first make sure that the Create tools are selected, and click on the cube to create a cube. Since the Cube, which should be called "cube 1," is already selected, there should be a series of small icons to the right of the object. Click on the "A" icon (top icon box) to edit the attributes. In the top part of the General Attributes are a series of options for boolean editing, and by default "neutral" is selected. Change this setting to "positive." Below the boolean settings are a series of numbers that determine the overall dimensions of the object and its position in Bryce space. Go to the Size boxes, and change the x value to 10, the Y value to 10 and the Z value to 20. Now go to the Origin boxes, and assign 0 to the X and Z values, and 8 for the Y value. Press ENTER or click on the checkmark to close the attribute window and verify your changes, and you now should have an elongated box floating above the ground plane.

    To texture the object, click on the "M" icon. Once in the Materials window, click on the arrow at the top righthand corner of the material preview, which will open up your Bryce 5 pre-set materials libraries. Click on the "Simple&Fast" library, and scroll down until you find the wood grain textures. Either the Maple or the Cedar (the texture I used) will work nicely. select the texture, and click the check mark or hit enter to select, and the material will be set. Just click the check mark at the bottom of the material window or hit enter again to close the window and apply the selected texture to the object.

    Now here come the somewhat tricky part. Go to the main menu (by moving your mouse to the top of the screen) and select "Edit" and then "Duplicate" which creates an exact duplicate of the selected object at the same exact position as the first. The new object is automatically selected, so edit its attributes, but this time change the boolean setting to "Negative," change the Origin to X=0, Y=12.25, and Z=2.25, and change the Size to X=11, Y=2.50, and Z=5.50, hit enter when done. There is no need to texture the object, since the textures were automatically copied during the duplication process. Now select both the first cube and the second cube by holding Ctrl and clicking on the first cube, and a list of selectable objects pops up. Since Cube 2 should already be selected, release the Ctrl key and and hold the Shift key while clicking on the "Cube 1." Now that both cubes are selected, there should be a new icon to the right of the objects that is labeled with a "G." This is the Grouping tool. All you have to do is click it, and the objects are now grouped. In the prieview window in the upper lefthand corner of the screen, you should now see that there is a gap in the first box that's the same size as the second box. By assigning a positive value to the first box, a negative value to the second box and grouping them, you've essentially told the program to subtract the second object's volume from the first object. This is known as boolean editing. If you want to do anything in Bryce, you'll be doing this a lot.

    Now that you've created your first boolean, here's a quick way to finish off the gun mount: Select the negative object by holding Ctrl and clicking on the second box to bring up a list of objects as before. This time, simply release the Ctrl key and click on the "Cube 2" object, and that will de-select the group (which by default is called "Group 1") and highlight just the negative box. Duplicate the negative box as stated bofore, but change the Position and Size to 0,11.25,-5.25 for the Position, and 11,4.50,10.50 for the Size. If you didn't already notice, this duplicated object has automatically been included in the boolean group. This, ladies and gentlemen, saves a HUGE amount of time when working with complex designs. Now if you look at the preview window (particularly the side view) you should start to see that the cannon mount is starting to take shape. To put a cap on the base mount, simply duplicate the object currently selected, and change the position and dimensions to: 0,10,0 for the Position, and 5,7,22 for the size.

    What you have, thus far, should look like this:


    Now to move on to the next part of the model: the Wheels.

    This stage is fairly simple. First create a cylinder, then assign the following values to it: Origin: X=0, Y=3, Z=7.5; Size: X=2, Y=17, Z=2; Rotate: X=0, Y=0, Z=90 degrees. For texture, go to the texture menu, open the preset library, and go to the "Metals" library. Select the "Cast Iron" texture and apply it to the object. Duplicate the cylinder, and change its Size to 6,2,6, and Origin to 6.5,3,7.5. Duplicate this object, and change the X value of the origin to -6.5. Select all three cylinders and group them. Go to the group's attributes, and change the name of the group to "Front Wheels" (this helps keep track of the objects for when you start animating). Now duplicate the group, and change the group's origins to 0,3,-7.5 and re-name this second group to "Rear Wheels."

    Your cannon should now look like this:


    The barrel and accompanying parts gets a wee bit complicated, so pay close attention. First create a torus, and rotate it 90 on the Y axis. Change the Size to 4.5,4.5,1.5 and the origin to 3.25,11,2.5. The texture used in this demonstration is the "Hammered Steel" preset found in the "Metals" section of the preset library. Duplicate this object, and change the X origin of the new torus to a -3.25. Now you have the clasps for securing the barrel done. For the Barell itself, first create a cylinder and make the rotation 90 deg on the Z axis, position it at 0,11,2.5, and change the Size to 2.5,9,2.5. Rename the cylinder to "Barrel Pin." The reason for this will be explained later. Edit the materials, and apply the "Hammered Steel" texture, however, instead of just applying it, we're going to play around with it a bit to make it look like that ol' black cannon steel. Change the diffuse color to a slightly darker grey, and the ambient color to an equally dark grey or brown color. Also, add the texture to the diffusion mapping by clicking on the circle in the "A" column. Your texture window should now look like this:


    Before closing the window, click on the "copy" button below the preview, then either hit the Enter key or click on the checkmark.

    Create a new cylinder and assign it a positive boolean value before moving it to an Origin of 0,10.5,0, rotating it 90 degrees along the X axis, and changing its Size to 5,20,5. To apply the previously copied texture, edit the material and click the "paste" button under the material preview, then press Enter or click the checkmark. Now duplicate the cylinder, and change its size to 4.5,5,4.5 and its position to 0,10.5,14.5. Duplicate this one, and where the toolbar is on the top of the screen, click "Edit" There should now be a seris of boxes representing various editing opetions, as well as a small Icon that looks like this: <--> Click the two arrows, and a list of the various objects that can be created in Bryce will pop up. Hold the mouse button and drag the cursor to the torus icon and release the button. You have now changed your cylinder to a torus. Edit the torus' attributes, and give it the following values: Rotate: 0,0,0; Origin: 0,10.5,12.5; Size:6,6,1. Duplicate this Torus, and assign these values: Change the Z Origin to 16.5, and the X and Y sizes to 5.5.

    Duplicate this torus, and use the Edit tool to change the new object to a sphere. Change the Sphere's Z origin value to -7.5, and change the size to 5,5,5. Duplicate this spere, and change the Z Origin to -10.25, and change the Size to 2,2,2. Now one final bit for the Barrell: Select the first cylinder made for the barell (the one created AFTER the Barrel Pin cylinder was), and duplicate it. Make the new cylinder Nevgative, change its z position to 7.5, and reduce the X and Z values to 3.5. Select all these objects EXCEPT THE BARREL PIN CYLINDER AND THE FIRST TWO TORII MADE, and group them. Name the resulting group "Barrel" Edit the attributes of the "Barrel" group, and select the "Linking" tab. Click on the box below where it says "Object Parent Name" to display a list of linkable objects, and select the object you re-named "Barrel Pin" and press enter or click the check mark. Now, whenever you move or rotate the Barrel Pin, the rest of the Barrel will move with it.

    For the final part of the model, Select the "Gun Mount" group, The "Front Wheels" and "Rear Wheels" groups, the Barrel Pin cylinder and the first two torii created and group them in one big group that we'll just call the "Carriage." The almost complete cannon should now look like this:


    Now to get the cannon looking right, select the Barrel pin and change its y rotation to 10 degrees. If you didn't already, you'll have to clidk on the "General" attributes tab to hide the linking options and bring up the standard attribute editing options.

    One last step, and your model will be ready to animate. Bring up the main menu, select "File" and "Document Setup," and change the Document Resolution to 140x140 (a good size for most Civ III units this size), and click on the check mark or press enter. Go to the Camera view. On the left side of the screen, just right of the zoom, trackball, and view controls are four downward pointing arrows. Click on the second arrow down from the top and it will bring up the camera menu. Select "Edit Current Camera..." to bring up the camera attribute menu. This menu should look familliar, since it's almost identical to the object attribute menu. Click on the Linking tab, and assign Plane 1 (the default ground plane) as both the Object Parent Name AND the Track Object Name. Click on the "General" tab, and change the origin to -4500, 3500, 4500, the FOV to 1 degree and the Scale to 150%. Finally, click on the "Sky and Fog" toolbar and enter the skylab by clicking on the small icon that looks like a cloud and rainbow. For Sun and Moon, put the sun controls at the bottom right corner and leave everything else alone. For the Cloud cover, deselect everything, leaving a blank blue box for the preview. For the Atmosphere setting, deselect everything except the Fog and Haze, and set BOTH those to 0 density. Now click on the arrow to the right of the preview box and click the Add button at the bottom left corner to add this sky to your preset skies, since you'll be using these settings for all your future units.

    Congratulations, the unit is now ready to animate. The finished product should look like this:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Default, Fidget & Run animation tutorial:

    Okay First up is the default and fidget/fortify/victory animations. Actually for our purposes, they'll be one and the same (sort of)

    Now that you have your cannon model compelted, go to "File" and "Document Setup" and set the animation to 8 frames. Now save this file as CannonFidget.br5 (or something like that, just so you remember what it is). this way if you screw up the animation, you have the default un-animated model as backup.

    Next, sellect the "Barrel Pin" object, and direct your attention to the lower left-hand corner of the screen. There should be a bar with a series of tick marks and a slider. The darkened tick marks are the frames that make your animation up, and each tick mark represents 1 frame.

    Now Click and drag the slider to frame 4, and edit the attributes of the Barrel Pin object, changing the Z rotation from 10 back to zero. Now move the slider to the last frame and change the rotation back to the original value.

    If you're not already in the camera view, switch to the camera view and move the slider back to frame 1.

    Minimize Bryce (after saving your work), and create a new directory on whatever drive you'll be rendering to (name it something like "In Progress units" or "Renders" or whatever will help you remember what it's for). Inside of this new folder, create 8 more folders. Name one "N", one "NW", one "W", one "SW", then "S", "SE", "E", and "NE". These folders are where you'll be rendering each direction of your animation.

    Close your "My Computer" explorer window and restore Bryce 5

    Select the ground plain (By holding CTRL and Left clicking anywhere on the plain object). Go to the "File" menu and select "Render Animation". When the Animation render window pops up, click on the bar that says "AVI Sequence" to open the output dialog box, then select "BMP Sequence" from the options. Where it says "Output Directory", click on the folder and select the "SW" folder inside the one you previously made, then click on the checkmark. Now you'll have to wait several minutes (depending on how fast your computer is) while all 8 frames are rendered out.

    Once the rendering is done, you'll see the photo browser pop up, and you can sequence the images to get a rough idea of what your unit will look like animated. (the barrel should bob down then back up). Close the photo browser and you'll see that the animation in Bryce is on the last frame.

    Move the slider back to the first frame, open the object attributes of the ground plain (Plain 1) and rotate it 45 degrees along the Y axis (Y Rotate=45). Now the cannon should be facing S. Open the File menu and select Render animation again. This time, the only thing you have to change is the output directory. Go to the folder you named "S" and click on the checkmark (or press enter) and the South facing direction will be rendered. Repeat this process 6 more times, incrementing the rotation by 45 degrees each time and rendering in the appropriate folder.

    Once you're done rendering, save and close bryce 5 and open one of the images in PsP or Photoshop and find out what the exact values of the pink background color are. Write them down and open Stephs SBB program (if you don't have it already, go to the utilities section and download it). Select the "Single Unit Storyboard" option, and under the "BMP file path", go to one of your sub-folders and Click on the "CannonFidget0000.BMP" file and click "ok". Once you do this, you'll see a preview of the animation in the small window, as well as all 8 direction boxes checked off. over on the side you'll see a color with editible RGB value boxes (set to 255 0 255 by default) followed by an "=>" and another color with editible RGB value boxes. Select the first set of RGB boxes and enter the RGB values you got from your paint program, and SBB will also automatically change the BG to the proper color.

    Now click "Generate Storyboard" and once it runs through, close SBB and open FLICster (again dL latest version from utilities if you don't have it) and generate a new Storyboard (.FXM & blank PCX) file with the following properties: Size: 140x140, Frames: 8, and Speed: 100. Generate the Storyboard file and minimize FLICster. Open PsP (or Photoshop or GIMP or whatever paint program capable of handling custom palettes you have) and (I reccomend) once you've extracted a palette for a similarly colored unit by using FLICster (generating a FXM file from an existing unit will also output a JASC (PsP) palette file automatically), and load the palette into your true color BMP storyboard file. Now save this over top of the "CannonFidget.pcx" file that was generated by FLICster, and minimize or close your paint program.

    Restore Flicster, and click on the "animation preview" tab, and you'll be able to see your unit in action. Go to the Export tab, and export it as a Civ III .FLC file. After you've checked your newly generated FLC, re-export the FXM file, but change the number of frames to "1" and change the file name to "CannonDefault", and now you have your still default animation, and that wraps up the Default/Fidget/Fortify/Victory animation tutorial (we'll be using the Fidget animation for the Fortify and Victory as well)
     
  3. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Sorry about the long delay, gut my time has been short latley....

    Anyways, here's the attack animation in a nutshell:

    Create a new Sphere that's as big around as the inside of the cannons barrel (4.5,4.5,4.5) and place it into the cannon's barrel. Go to the Texture Lab, and choose the "Fire 6" from the User Material library (after downloading and unzipping the file attached in the next post into your Bryce 5 folder). Next, set the animation to 10 frames (frame 0-9), and start the sphere for the fire at 0% density for frame 0, then for frames 1-6, set it to 100%. Then make frame 7 80%, fame 8 70% and frame 9 0% again. At the 3 frame mark, move the sphere just outside the cannon barrel and make it long the direction the cannon is facing, and fiddle with the X and Z rotation to get it to match the barrel's direction. At Frame 6, move it so that it is further away from the cannon, spherical and 2x as big as the original (9,9,9). For frame 9, leave the sphere at it's current position, but expand it until it is 13,13,13 in size.

    Congratulations! Your attack animation is now done. The death is similar, except that you put the sphere at the center of the cannon, and leave it where it is and make the barrel assembly lift up and turn around a bit before it falls back on the chassis (or ground if you want a BIG explosion). Rendering is the same as before.
     
  4. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Misc data & other Helpful stuff:

    UPDATE: For those interested in using Bryce to do Humanoid or walking units, here's the entire Galbadian Elite Soldier animation file set, including the un-animated rigged base model:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/uploads/43985/GalbadianModels.rar

    First up is the Fire & metal presets I use in most of my units. Just download and unzip into your bryce 5\presets folder, then use the material option "Import" and select the Fire&Smoke.mat and Metals.mat files.

    Smoke, Fire and Metal texture presets

    Next is three pre-fab objects that I've used in some of my units.... The leftmost one in the preview is the 14-inch twin turret from the Land-Battleship, which I also used on the Land Ironclad. It has three hidden objects; LFwd14inElev and RFwd14InElev allow you to independently raise and lower the barrels, and Fwd14InRot (hidden cylinder directly under turred) enables you to rotate the whole turret assembly. The middle one is a generic gunflash that I've used in EVERY full-auto MG/light cannon sequence (Death machine & Custom Sweeper attack b, Advanced Airship Mk II attack c, Gatling Gun, etc). Just link it to the gun turret that you're using, and set the Material density to 0% until you begin firing, then alterante between 0% and 100% to get that full-auto gunfire effects. The last one is a generic Missile that I used in the Highwind attacks and the Advanced Airship Mk II attack A. Just move it from point a (launcher) to point b (target).... It's that simple.

    Bryce prefab pack #1
     

    Attached Files:

  5. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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    Nice. Look forward to using it in a little while after I get Bryce.:)
     
  6. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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    You gonna be finishing this?
     
  7. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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    Would begging help? :D
     
  8. flamescreen

    flamescreen Ancient Mariner

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    ^Hehehe.
    I'd like that too, but for much later(I have a dream, to make naval units as good as Wyrmshadow's. Though that's probably gonna stay a dream! :p )
     
  9. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Patience, please!! I've been spending about 10 hours a day working on Leader Heads, searching the WWW for Poser Props, and starting on the models for units I've promised to do for the Steampunk mod. I'll be getting back to this soon enough (not right now, though, since my PC is occupied with rendering another LH, and that's going to take at least 4 hours).
     
  10. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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    One quick question on the first part: How do you get the back ground pink?
     
  11. Tearor

    Tearor Warlord

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    any idea on what i can use to animate my model or how? :confused:
     
  12. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Well, If you've made the cannon by the instructions I've set forth in the first part, I'll be writing a tutorial for the basic default, fidget and run animations. For instance, the barell pin allows you to raise and lower the barell, so for the fidget, I was going to tell you to set the animation time length to 8 frames, and move the slider to 3, select the barel pin and rotate it back to its original configuration, and at frame 8 return it to the state it was in frame 1 (as it was at the end of the first part of the tutorial). That way, when you render out the fidget animation, you'll see the barell tilt forward, then return to its original position. I'll be posting more detail sometime tomorrow. I won't have any pictures, because I don't have much time with all my other projects, not to mention that if you did everything like I said in the first part, you should be able to easily select the part I name in the animation section, and manipulate it from there.

    Marine Corps: you get the Ground pink by selecting the ground plain that's automatically generated with every new file, then go to the materials lab and change the diffuse, ambient and specular colors from gray to magenta. Of course, since bryce doesn't display a RGB value readout when selecting the colors, you'll have to guestimate. I do have a texture that I've ALMOST got dead on. When using the sky/lighting preset I described in the first part, the final rendered ground was 255,58,255. I'll most likely be compiling all the best textures I've managed to make or gather into one easy to download User texture library file which you just have to merely unzip inot your Bryce 5 folder. I'll be adding this info to the Errata/tips section.
     
  13. Tearor

    Tearor Warlord

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    when i render the cannon while im making it it looks flat. im using the ceter render button on the create screen. am i doing something wrong.
     
  14. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Umm... Go to "File" on the main menubar, then to document setup. In the document setup, it wll have a "Anti-Aliasing" box with two choices: Standard and Superfine. Make sure that "superfine" is selected. (I can't believe I forgot to mention that)
     
  15. Tearor

    Tearor Warlord

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    good point, you did mention, i forgot
     
  16. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    will this be finished? i really want to make units...
     
  17. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Quizny, It is pretty much finished.... All that you really need to know for making units in Bryce is in this thread. The rest you just gotta kind of experiment with.... I WILL be posting my personal texture library (including all the some and fire effects as well as the metal textures I used on the Tesla Tank, Land Battleship and Highwind).

    I'll also post the attack animation files for some of my simpler units so that you can pick them apart and see how I did it. The problem is that I'm too busy MAKING units to write a tutorial on how to make them, however, if you have any particular difficulty, just PM me and I'll try to help you out.
     
  18. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Emperor

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    hey Hikaro, this is all I have so far, it doesnt even look close to what you have, can you help me? here is a screenie, and a zip w/ my save files, just tell me what I did wrong, Please.
     

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  19. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Well, looking at your file, it's simple: You created two Paralell lights (which, BTW are good for some fancy lighting FX) rather than two cubes as you intended. In the creation menu, all the lights have a sort of light beam behind the object and are yellow... Your geometric solids are blue and larger than the lights. You can change the two paralell lights into cubes by clicking on the "Edit" menu, then click on the small icon that looks like this: <--> and drag the mouse over to the blue cube that appears. You'll have to do this for both paralell lights. Also, FYI, you don't want to include the ground plane in your object group, as that can have wierd results, especially if you need to move the group around.
     
  20. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Emperor

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    is poser easier to use, because Im getting it tommorow, off my friend, its poser 4, dont really know much about poser, just when I used it today, it was really funny, I liked it, didnt seem too hard.
     

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