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New Cityset Model Created - Conversion to .nif and texture help needed

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Graphics Modpacks' started by Matsuda123, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    Hello. :)

    Recently, I have begun creating citysets to fill in the missing eras for major culture groups in the game. I have created the first so far, beginning with Classical Era China, with a cityset based on the Qin and Han Dynasties. The only problem so far is that I am unsure of how to convert the Maya model to a .nif file, and unsure of how to texture the model. Does anyone know how to do these two things? I would like to learn so that I can make more of these, and add in more variety to the game.

    I have interest in creating the following citysets after this one:

    I have a list of culture groups in my ideas for mods listed along with the citysets. This applies to unit diversity as well.

    New Edited List of Planned Citysets


    Asian
    SINO (Chinese type cultures)
    Ancient - Xia / Shang - Incomplete
    Classical - Qin / Han - In progress
    Medieval - Tang / Song - Incomplete
    Renaissance - Ming - Incomplete
    Industrial - Qing - Incomplete
    Modern - Republic Of China - Incomplete
    Future - Custom - Incomplete

    JAPAN (Japanese type cultures)
    Ancient - Yayoi / Kofun - Incomplete
    Classical - Heian - Incomplete
    Medieval - Sengoku - Incomplete
    Renaissance - Edo - Incomplete
    Industrial - Meiji - In progress
    Modern - Early Showa? - Incomplete
    Future - Custom - In progress

    TIBET (Tibetan type cultures)
    Medieval - ? - In progress

    KHMER (Khmer / Southeast Asian cultures)
    Ancient - ? - Incomplete
    Classical - ? - Incomplete
    Medieval - ? - Incomplete

    MONGOL (Central Asian type cultures)
    ANCIENT - Remake existing cityset - Incomplete
    CLASSICAL - X
    MEDIEVAL - X
    RENAISSANCE - Various structures from late Khanates - Incomplete
    INDUSTRIAL - Custom - Incomplete

    Middle Eastern
    MIDDLE (Mesopotamian type cultures)
    Industrial - ? - Incomplete
    Modern - ? - Incomplete
    Future - Custom - Incomplete

    ARAB (Arabic type cultures)

    African
    AFRICAN (Sub - Saharan type cultures)

    European
    EURO (Western European type cultures)

    GRECO (Mediterranean type cultures)

    NORDIC (Eastern European type cultures)

    Indian
    INDIA (Indian type cultures)

    Mesoamerican
    MESO (Central American indigenous type cultures)

    EXTRA
    Fantasy Medieval Sino - In progress
    No Western Influence Sets for Japan and Sino in the Industrial and Modern eras - In progress
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  2. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    Wow, I definitely would use this in my mod this is quite some impressive work man!
     
  3. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    Thank you, that would be pretty cool to see. :) I just need to find a way to convert the maya file to .nif, and then find a way to texture it. I'm also on a mac, so i don't know if that hurts my efforts or not...
     
  4. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    I would ask Walter Hawkwood, he may know...
     
  5. Mudokon Pop

    Mudokon Pop Chieftain

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    Hi Matsuda.:) Are you familiar with UV Mapping? It's the method of texturing used for any 3d model. I haven't used Maya but you will need a NIF plugin to be able to export your buildings. I dont know if Maya has a NIF plugin available. If not export your model as a 3ds file and import them into another tool that has a plugin. (I used Blender)

    Personally I would copy a default city from CIV, rename it and import the .NIF into Maya (if possible) and then import your custom city - replacing each building in the original file. I tested this for my city - I merged my buildings into original slot then deleted the old building. I did this so I did not upset the files/node hierarchy. My buildings appeared in game. I didn't texture them yet though.
     
  6. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    I have now asked Walter, unfortunately he was unsure of how to go about doing this... But he may be able to help in other fields. :)

    UV Mapping... I have heard of it, but unfortunately I do not know anything about it. How do you use UV Mapping? Is that where Gimp comes into the picture? I have the plugin for that so it can alter .dds files.

    I see... I will first try exporting them as a 3ds file, then importing with blender, then try to convert that to a .nif. Hopefully it will work.

    Actually that's what I have been doing so far. Well, kind of. I have converted .nif files over to .obj, then open them with maya, then modify the city (but not the grounds beneath the buildings). I have heard of nodes, but am also unfortunately unfamiliar with these...

    I have been making a Future Era city set for Japan however, as well as an Industrial Era city set for Japan too. :)
     
  7. Mudokon Pop

    Mudokon Pop Chieftain

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    UV_Mapping should be done in either Maya, Blender or 3dsmax (your choice). If your familiar with paper-craft imagine the reverse - you take your building, mark seams (ie folds) and upwrap (unfold) it as flat image (called a UV layout) which can then be exported as an image to Gimp. You can now paint in your building decor on the UV layout.

    I'm sure you will find many tutorials. UV maps are compatible between Maya & Blender. Just use your preferred tool.
     
  8. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    I will look into that soon then... It sounds reasonable enough. Hopefully. these 3d programs are incredibly frustrating and not intuitive in the least...

    Right now I have realized that my model needs to be cleaned up. edges are disconnected, and i do not know how to merge them. I've tried every tool I know and yet they still remain separate. Online tutorials are always about merging two separate meshes, but I just want to merge to edges that have been cut from each other, an they are right next to each other...
     
  9. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    I really wish this was afew years back, there would be plenty of people able to help you. Still cheering you on though.
     
  10. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    I wish so too, the community seemed to thrive more back then. I am not giving up however. These citysets will be released one day. Likely within a year. Civ 4 must have these missing city graphics, even if it's the last thing I do. I've always wished for the Asian citysets, so I will without a doubt create them, especially the industrial era ones.
     
    AbsintheRed and Leoreth like this.
  11. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    I appreciate your work in this Matsuda. Still think Civ4 is/was a great game and I wish the community didn't dry up. Age always does that to communities unless the games are supported still by their parent company sadly.
     
  12. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    Thank you. :) I wish the same, especially since I'm not too big a fan of 5 and especially not of 6. So, I will continue work on 4, which might be my favorite.... I've always loved the Sengoku scenario of civ 3, and thought it might be great to one day, in the far future, make a civ 4 mod of it, but expand it a bit with civ 4 features. make it an RFC mod for just japan... And these citysets would surely be used in it.
     
    AbsintheRed likes this.
  13. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    I would definitely love to see you figure out how to get your sets into the game man,

    BTW there is the sengoku scenario by Embryodead, have you checked that out?
     
  14. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    Yeah... that's going to be a whole other challenge. People talk about nodes and stuff.. i dont really know what that means but im sure its necessary to get the sets in. But it will happen.

    Ah yes, actually I have. It is very good stuff. Not quite what I'm looking for though. I really enjoy the early game, especially the pre sengoku period, which is rarely covered in scenarios. I would like to make a mod specifically dedicated to that time all the way to the mid meiji period.
     
  15. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    nodes are where each building goes and influeces where they show up in game. I cant help you much more than that as im not completely familiar with it myself.
     
  16. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Wow, yes, it's nice to see someone working on this sort of content now. :) I can't speak for anyone else obviously, but since the Civ entries after 4 have all been a different type of game that doesn't really interest me, it has been a given that I for one would always be sticking around here. ;)

    And if these citysets turn out well, I'll happily add them to MongooseMod when they're done. GeoModder did a pretty comprehensive job making the gold-standard mod that most mods use for this, but there should be plenty of room to add more.

    I can probably help with nodes, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about. They are things like 1x1, 2x1, 2x2, 3x2, 2x3, 3x3 that are used to fill in the available space on the city tile with random buildings from the appropriate cityset for the current civ and era. There are also larger ones like 4x4 and 5x5, that are typically reserved for Wonders. They are defined in the "LSystem" XML files; there is one for the City tiles, and another for all other plots (which handles tile improvements mostly).

    I have had to muck with those 2 XML files a fair amount in the past to get certain things working right in MongooseMod that I wanted to do. It can get pretty annoying and confusing, and there is no instruction manual so in some cases I had to spend many hours in trial-and-error mode, but that was for new functionality for the most part; just adding new citysets is much easier by comparison, as you can just follow the vanilla formatting and GeoModder's files.

    I'm kinda on vacation from Civ modding at the moment though, so hopefully that points you in the right direction. ;) Best of luck with it!
     
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  17. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    I'm glad to hear that you are interested in this. :) Much like you, I'm also discontent with Civ V and especially VI. IV has much easier modding capabilities, and many more ethnic units.

    I'm going to make sure Asia and the Middle East get treated right. Give plenty more, and with more culture groups too. I divide Asia into these culture groups: Sino, Japan, Mongol, Tibet, Khmer. So, expect to see citysets across all of those, especially for the modern and industrial era, even some for the future era.

    It's more that I don't know what I'm doing. I know how to model, so that's fine. But the problem comes when I need to export what I've made to be a .nif file. Often, I've opened the .nif citysets with blender, then exported them as .obj files to be edited in maya. Then I tried the reverse when I was done, and, it didn't work. Blender told me that whenever i try to export, it "does not match deleted export settings" I really don't know what that means. I am on Mac, so I'm really confused. Do you know anything about that?
     
  18. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Sorry no, I don't do any modelling. The closest I get is tweaking existing (flattened) texture files in Photoshop here and there, and that's only when I have to lol. My strengths are mod design, UI and aesthetics, programming, and a lot of experience with most of the Civ4 XML.

    I vaguely remember ppl MAYBE getting import/export to work with Maya, but that was from like 6-10 years ago on this forum when I last saw the subject come up so I could EASILY be remembering wrong. The one thing I CAN tell you is that the STANDARD program people have always talked about using for 3D modelling for Civ4 is 3DS Max.

    Also, I still don't know if you've seen GeoModder's work, but I would strongly recommend taking a look so you don't end up repeating or duplicating things. It was originally called Cultural City Styles, then Ethnic City Styles, then finally Ethnic Art Styles - he kept changing the name as the scope of the project expanded. ;)
     
  19. Matsuda123

    Matsuda123 Chieftain

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    It's alright, I was just curious. :p

    Yeah it looks like I'm going to have to get a normal PC and use 3ds Max. Which, should be pretty soon actually. I just hope it goes well. I will get it done.

    Oh I have, I've looked through many a mod to see all the citysets I could, and luckily, the ones I'm doing are largely uncovered...
     
  20. Sword_Of_Geddon

    Sword_Of_Geddon Mysterious Jungle Warrior

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    Its awesome your creating stuff Matsuda. I'd definitely find a use for anything you create in my mod thats for sure.
     

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