Topic Purpose:To provide a brief overview of how to edit vehicles in GTA3, Vice city and San Andreas (when its released), on the PC
, and provide links to the necessary resources to mod said games.
No questions unless they pertain to the contents of this topic, only provide links to helpful applications (no warez!) plugins, guides/blueprints etc. Random questions such as "how do i export <whatever> from <name of app>" will be deleted.
To help bring you up to speed, i present this mini tutorial; initally written in Oct 2002, before vice or san andreas for the pc, were out. Although i have done my best to update it, there are always discoveries and advancements being made, so do not use this as your only source of information. At the time of this update (sep 15, 2003), It now sucessfully covers both gta3 and vice.
If you're looking for answers to a problem you might be having with your car, i cover a few common problems at the end of this post. scroll waaaaay down.
If you just looking for a quick guide on how to install cars, then i might i try this guide by Opius:http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=130850
3d Car modelling - Basics
The first thing you should do before modding ANY part of vice is uncheck "Read Only" on the files and folders. the easiest way is to to go to your Rockstar Games folder, and Select your "Grand Theft Auto Vice City" folder. Right click it, and go to properties, click it, under Attributes there should be 3 options, the first one is read only, UNcheck it, and apply it to all subfolders. click apply, then Ok. your done.You'll need the following tools:
an IMG Extractor/Importer (Img Tool)
a txd tool (txdtool, txdgold. Vice City textures do support DirectX compressed textures, so if your modding Vice, and none of these tools work, look for a Vice-specific editor, or one that says it supports vice.)
Zmodeler - http://www.zmodeler2.com/
An image editor (Paint, Photoshop, PSP, etc, its for modding the textures once extracted from the txd)
.IMG - archive of most of the models and textures used in the game.
.TXD - Texture dictionary, contains textures for a particular model.
.DFF - Model file. contains geometry, and sometimes, animation data (hierarchy, vlo/low-res, damaged models).
.COL - The collision data for the model, which parts are solid and which are not. Also controls the what sounds you make on impact, and the ability to shoot out / not shoout out the windscreen of the vehicle. All collision files are located in the vehicles.col file, in your gta\models\coll folder. Steve M and Delfi have each produced an editor for .col files.
But i won't cover creating .col files here, see the readme for each respective program for more information.
.DAT - data files for gta, in this particular instance, im referring to the carcols.dat, in your gta/data folder. The colors it refers to in that file, are based on flags set in the DFF models, so it does belong here.
.IDE - for gta3 and vice, default.ide in your gta\data folder. Contains a listing of every vehicle used by the game. Model-wise, it contains wheel assignment, and scale values, so the game know what wheels to use for your car, and how big they should be.
.CFG - handling.cfg. contains performance values for vehicles; how they drive, special attributes, etc. not covered by this tutorial, but handy to know anyway.
Gta modding tools can be found at the following locations:Tools by SpookyTools by DelfiTools by Steve Mhttp://www.gtagaming.com/mods/toolshttp://www.gtawh.com/db/
If you ever can't find anything, try www.google.com
Ok, the Kuruma (GTA3) is a popular car, so we'll use it for our example.
Extracting a vehicle -
Using your img tool of choice, open up GTA3.IMG, in your gta3 models folder, and find the files "kuruma.dff", and "kuruma.txd", they are NOT case sensitive. Now, wherever you want to store your cars (i keep mine in a folder on my desktop, called "My cars"), put a folder, named "kuruma" and extract your kuruma.dff, and txd files into this newly created folder. For the next part i used txdworkshop. I use txdworkshop because it can export in the .tga format, which i prefer over .bmp.
Getting the vehicle into Zmodeler -
First off, select both your kuruma.dff, and txd, and make a copy of each file. these will be your backups, in case somethign goes wrong. Now, using txdworkshop, open up the kuruma.txd, it should be in the folder you created above. Once you have the txd open, export all of the textures in the txd, into the EXACT SAME folder as your kuruma.dff. if you dont, your car is going to appear white and untextured. Once you have done that, close txdworkshop. The newly created .tga's can now be edited (with the image editor of your choice, I recommend Photoshop (paint wont open .tga files)). Start Zmodeler, from zmod, choose File / Import, and locate the kuruma.dff, in the folder we created above, and select it.
Now you should have the kuruma loaded up into zmodeler, fully textured (zmod auto-loads .tga textures that are in the same directory as the model, .bmp's won't be auto-loaded). If your textures look messed up somehow, try flipping them vertically, this usually does the trick. If not, i dont have an answer. In fact, ive never had a problem with that...
A bit of zmod info...
Glass on the cars is NOT textured. Instead of texturing the glass on the vehicles, the objects that use the glass material, are represented in the Material Editor by this name, "Matte 0xXXXXXX", where "X" is, the RGB values of the of the material. To change the color of the material, slide the bars named R, G and B, until you achieve your desired color, or, much easier, on zmod 1.07b and later, you can actually click on the square representing the color and it will take you to a much easier to use color chooser.
|Textured: kurumabody64.tga [prim]|
|Textured: kurumabodyb64.tga [sec]|
The [prim] sets that material, to work with the first color listed for this vehicle, in the carcols.dat. The [sec] does the same thing, but it works with the second color listed. just type these exactly how you see them formatted above, in your texture's name, in the upper right part of the material editor box. Be warned though, for the colors to remain as close as possible to the ones in the carcols.dat, make sure your main texture for that material is white-colored, or atleast as light-colored as you can get it.
Materials in and of themselves are a complex topic, i fully address them here:Reflection maps and Materials in GTA (3, VC, SA)
Import note on reflection mapping: the above only applies to zmodeler itself, and cars intended for vice city. Gta3 uses the default "reflection01", located in your gta3 folder /models / particle.txd.
Exporting: once you are done modding the car, it will be time to export the modified .dff back into the folder you created. if you decided to add/delete parts, you'll want to check the object names and hierarchy (Tools / Hierarchy / Browser...)
much to my chagrin, i have decided to post the stock kuruma hierarchy here. this applies to ALL cars, including Vehicles from vice, just change the name "Kuruma" to whatever car it is your modding...
Edit: Follwing a burst of insanity, I've now also included the Hierearchy of Vice-vehicles, such as bikes, helis and boats too.
------------------------end of car hierarchy
------------------------end of boat hierarchy
------------------------end of bike hierarchy
------------------------end of heli hierarchy
chassis_hi is the main section of the body, the roof, rear fenders and door frame+interior reside here
bonnet = hood
boot = trunk
ok = normal part
dam = damaged part
dummy objects are the objects animation-location ingame. doors, bonnets and boots rotate around the xyz coordinates, and rotation of the dummy object. for doors its best to place the dummy object for the front door where it meets the chassi_hi, for the rear doors, i recommend placing it, where it meets the front door. for the hood and bonnet, place the dummy objects where the parts would meet the chassis_hi.
Also important to note, is that the Local Axis (in max, pivot point) Needs to be centered on the dummy objects, and the objects that are children of the dummy, their axis needs to line up with that of the parent dummy object. Go ahead and re-read that. If they dont line up, your car will have an "exploded" look ingame.
Note, if you were to use dmagic's wheelmod, part of the hierarchy would change to this:
The wheels on Bikes, do NOT use the wheel scale system, you see them actual size in zmodeler.
If your making a car that will utilize Dmagic's wheelmod, or a similar set-up, scale the wheels to exactly 1.0 in zmodeler, then re-scale them in the default.ide for your car.]
Editing the textures:
Using the methods I've listed above, use an image editing program that support's the .tga format (preferably in 32-bit, for alpha channel support) to open up the image, mod it how you see fit, and save it. Use txdworkshop, or whatever you app you prefer, to import the texture back into the txd.
For the highest quality results, export the image as a 24-bit bitmap image, and mod it from there. Quality-wise for vice it doesnt matter much, since the image will be compressed anyway. Most of the standard images sizes are 64x64, and 128x128. Yes, these are small, if you wish to be able to use larger textures, delfi, steve m, and spooky all have new apps out that allow the creation of an entirely new txd file, supporting both gta3-style and vice DXT (directx) compressed textures. Be careful, the DXT textures ONLY work in vice, so if you want to use it in gta3, be sure to use 8 or 32-bit images.
Getting models ingame, GTA3 and Vice:
When you export the model from Zmodeler, you should get a menu allowing you to choose which gta your exporting the file for. Choose appropriately, and export. If you lock the file, it will still work ingame, but you will NOT be able to import it BACK into zmodeler (used against model theft), so be sure to keep a .z3d (zmodeler scene / save file) handy. Now you can import the model into your gta3.img, in your gta/models directory. Open it up, using the img app of your choice, and find the car you want to replace. The names will be abbreviated. Find the car you want to want to replace, make a backup of it (extract, place in your backup folder), delete it, and import your modded .dff file, making sure you name it correctly. Now rebuild the archive.
Important note on IMG files, ESPECIALLY with Vice, make sure your gta3.img/.dir and txd.img/.dir are NOT set to "read only", or you wont be able to edit them! To check this, right click on the file, and go to properties. from there youll see if it is checked or not. be sure to UN-check it, if it is.
Importing modded / new TXD's into gta3 -
First of all, actually run the game once before modding it. When you do, it will give you a message about 3/4 of the way through the loading process, saying its optimizing the textures for your video card. now you can mod the game. When it optimized the textures, it created a file called "txd.img" Follow the same instructions as the model-importing instructions above, but import the txd's into the txd.img instead of the gta3.img. Your game will now load textures from the txd.img, and ignore the ones in the gta3.img.
Importing modded / new TXD's into vice -
same idea as above, run the game once, exit, now you can mod. Now, check your gta / models folder, and look for a txd.img. If your video card supports DirectX compresion, you wont find one (not necessary), so just replace the txd's in your gta3.img. if your card does NOT support DirectX compressed textures, then follow the instructions for importing textures for gta3, it works exactly the same in that case.
That should be all. I wrote most of this at 3am, so sorry if some of the spelling or instructions seem off.
Generic explanation of how to change the car names, using a GXT Editor. first of all, select the car you want to change the name of, then go to the data folder, and open up the default.ide
Scroll down a bit, and youll see all the cars, with lines of text after them, like this (this is the Landstalker)
90, landstal, landstal, car, LANDSTAL, LANDSTK
, richfamily, 10, 7, 0, 164, 0.8
The game name is what you need to find. I highlighted and underlined it above. Ok, now open up the american.gxt (or whatever language your using) and find the that same word, again its LANDSTK
in this case. In vice, all the vehicles names will be under the MAIN listing. The "value" for this entry is "Landstalker", and this is where you can change it. Simple eh?
repeat for any car's name you wanna change, and be sure to save Known Issues / Problem Solving
Problem - My car doesn't have any reflections!
Solution - Click the link to the materials topic. Just in case you missed it above;Reflection maps and Materials in GTA (3, VC, SA)
Problem - I want to add reflections to a car made for GTA3
Solution - Looky at the link above. If the model is locked, and you can't get ahold of the author, your SOL. of course, you could always make your own model...
Problem - I've set up the everything correctly, but the garage won't load my car, and it wont spawn anywhere else.
Solution - This seems to be really common with vice, try this;, in zmodeler, select every object of your car, in faces mode, then go to Edit / Attributes, Misc tab, and completely UN-check the following boxes:
-High blending (doesn't work in vice anyway, just gta3)
-Don't blend textures (this prevents the game from blending the reflection map with this material on whatever faces this is checked on)
That should make your car atleast load ingame now
Problem - Parts of my car are white / untextured
Solution - your TXD might be f*cked, make sure everything is named correctly, if so, i recommend building a new txd, in the UN-compressed format first, then when it works, compress it if you so desire. Make sure it was textured when you viewed it in zmodeler
Problem - Part of my car is carcols compatible, but not all of it. Some of the objects with a [prim] or [sec] material assigned to them, aren't using the flags ingame.
Solution - I don't think there is one at this time
My only advice would be to create new materials with identical settings and try assigning the faces to those materials, and re-export. Its hard to diagnose this problem, as i haven't personally experienced it, although i have seen others have it.
I would like it if this topic remains UNLOCKED, unless i specify otherwise. please only lock it again, if for some reason it becomes spammed, and do not under any circumstances DELETE it without atleast telling me in advance, i put alot of work into this!
Edit: 3/23/03 - Added instructions on changing car names above
Edit: 9/15/03 - Big-ass overhaul.
Edit: 12/27/03 - Small updates to dmagic's wheelmod usage, reflection mapping and local axis placement.
Edit: 1/13/04 - Added a problem / solution section with answers to common problems.
Last Updated: 6/4/05
Do not look for an SA update to this. its too jumbled up already to add all the significant differences. If anything (IF mind you, i'm fairly busy) there will be a new one written from scratch for SA. in the mean time, see the other pinned topics, both here and in other editing forums to get most of the info you need, and be sure to use the search feature before posting anys questions you might have.