[HOW-TO] Using Santos Model Editor and Scaling units models
Well, as this is a pretty simple thing that might be a strong tool for modding purposes, I have decided to build up a tutorial about how to scale units.
Tools you will need:
- Santos' Model Editor correctly installed and configured. [link]
- [OPTIONAL] Cope Tool Box to pack your result into a .sga file [link]
- [Only required to set up Santos model editor correctly] SGA Reader 2 [link - direct link]
Note I will explain it for Retribution, as I think most of users mod it. However, it can perfectly be done on Vanilla/CR game, just work on the 'dawn of war ii' folder instead of the 'dawn of war ii - retribution' one.
Part 0: INSTALLING AND SETTING UP SANTOS MODEL EDITOR
This is not very complicated, but it is not evident when we are a beginner, so I'll also explain this:
- Firstly, you must download the file
- Then you must either install it if it is a stable version (just launch the installer and follow instructions), or extract it to Steam\SteamApps\common\dawn of war ii - retribution\Tools\SantosTools2 (if any folder does not exist, just create it ) if it is a DEV/BÊTA version.
- Then edit the settings.ini file located in the ModelEditor folder (located in the Steam\SteamApps\common\dawn of war ii - retribution\Tools\SantosTools2 folder), and modify the "Module" line this way (this is to avoid the tool from working on the GameAssets DOW2 folder, the folder used to launch the game in the normal way. You must ALWAYS set up a difference between the normal game and your mods/tests, as you might not be able to launch the normal game after modding and therefore, you won't be able to play multiplayer (this is a general modding advice, DOW2 might be more protected thanks to -dev command))
- Now let's create the 'model_editor.module' file that the program will look for. First, edit 'DOW2.module' file with notepad. Save it as 'model_editor.module' (verify it will not save it as a .txt). Now at the first lines, change Mod name by model_editor, mod folder by model_editor, and, at the bottom, in [data:common], modify
folder.01 = GameAssets\Data
folder.01 = model_editor\Data
folder.02 = GameAssets\Data
- Now let's create the model_editor folder, in the dow ii retribution folder, and create inside a DATA folder, within an 'art', a 'shaders' and a 'config' folders inside. You must have: \dawn of war ii - retribution\model_editor\DATA\art , \dawn of war ii - retribution\model_editor\DATA\shaders and \dawn of war ii - retribution\model_editor\DATA\config
- Now we must insert into the model_editor folder all the models of the game, as well as some required files by santos model editor: Launch the SGA Reader, and open data_000.sga file located in the \dawn of war ii - retribution\GameAssets\Archives folder. Change (at the top) the default directory action to 'Extract' and extract the 'art', 'config' and 'shaders' folders to the folders created in model_editor\DATA\ folder. Now open data_001.sga, data_002.sga and data_003.sga (in this order!) and extract only the art folder (this is to get any model update).
- That's it! Now you have all the models of the game extracted in you model_editor folder, and Santos model editor program work on that folder, so you just have correctly configured Santos model editor program.
- FYI, models are always located in a way like this one: art\race\unit_type\unit_name\unit_name.model, e.g. art\race_eldar\troops\avatar\avatar.model.
- However, usually the models located in the 'troops' folder "only" have the bones and animations but don't have any armor, any body itself nor helmet nor weapon. You will find all that in the 'troops_wargear' folder. The names are very explicit, so I won't explain that. So, what you must do to get e.g. a "working space-marine" in model editor program (and in the game, the idea is the same), is to 'OPEN' (File\Open) the base model file (called by the game 'animator' into the 'entity_blueprint_ext' extension of the ebps (that's just to work on models when editing .rbf files, if you are not gonna do that, just forget italic parts)), and then, in the 'Attachments' part, to 'ADD' (Attachments\Add) all the wargear (called in the game 'animator_attachments' if it doesn't depend on your multiplayer level or 'online_level_animator_attachments' if it does. EXCEPTION: Weapons are not considered an attachment in .rbf files, they're located in their own wargear part instead. Weapon are a little bit more complicated, so we won't work on them for the moment). Here is a screenshot showing the difference.
Part 1: SCALING THE UNIT
This is not very complicated either, but some things need to be detailed:
- You need, for the moment, the DEV version of Santos Model Editor. If you have installed the stable release (with installer) and you have followed all the steps of the part 0, you just need to extract the .rar file of the DEV version to Steam\SteamApps\common\dawn of war ii - retribution\Tools\SantosTools2 (if any folder does not exist, just create it ) and modify the settings.ini file in the same way you did before.
- Now you must open the base .model file of the unit you want to scale (called the 'animator', did you remember it? No? Never mind ). YOU DON'T NEED TO OPEN ANY ATTACHMENT, as "magically" ( ) attachments get scaled if the base model is scaled. Easy, isn't it?
- Now follow the screenshots instructions (it will be easier to follow, you see ). First of all, you must locate the 'Actions' Box (first screenshot).
- Problem: Even after adding an attachment, I don't see any model.
Solution: You didn't follow step by step Part 0, and thus, you don't have the required folders in your model_editor\DATA\ folder. Look at Santos Model Editor Readme to know which folders are needed.
- Problem: When launching Model Editor, a box appears with 'Failed to load module "model_editor" '
Solution: You didn't follow step by step Part 0, and thus, the program cannot locate 'model_editor.module' file. Verify you have the program installed in dawn of war ii - retribution\Tools\SantosTools2\ModelEditor (or in ModelEditorDEV). Check also you have 'model_editor.module' file in dawn of war ii - retribution\ folder.
- Problem: When trying to open a file, there is no folder.
Solution: You didn't follow step by step Part 0, and thus, 'model_editor.module' hasn't been correctly made, or you haven't extracted 'art', 'config' and 'shaders' folders correctly to model_editor\DATA\ folder. Check both things.
- Problem: When scaling a unit, when adding the 'animator_scale' Command to the 'scale' action, the program crashes.
Solution: Look at the screenshots, this case has already been explained.
- Problem: How do I make the game load modified models?
Solution: Well, it is a little bit complicated to explain that on a FAQ part, but I'll try to do my best:
If you just have modified models from the game and haven't added new models, just save your work (IN A DIFFERENT FOLDER FROM DEFAULT ONES, OR YOUR MODEL_EDITOR FOLDER WILL NOT HAVE THE DEFAULT MODELS (and if you want at any moment restart a mod, you will not want aready-modified models, will you?). IF IT IS TOO LATE, JUST RESTART EXTRACTING data_000.sga, etc.) and paste your work in the GameAssets\DATA\art\ folder. Then launching the game with the -dev tag will load you modified models. This is not a ver proper way to do that, the best way is to start a new mod (use also awesome Cope ToolBox to do it), and to paste your work in 'your_mod_name'\DATA\art folder. To launch it, either you pack the mod (An option of the Toolbox) or you click on 'Test Mod', a Toolbox option also. This way you don't modify the normal game, and you even can create new untis with custom models! (remember the animator, and animator_attachments and wargear/weapon stuff I have talked about (a littile bit I know) to do it properly). If you want more details, just post a new thread unless you have found something in any other tutorial, and after SEARCHING about your question, maybe someone has already posted it .
- Problem: I love this tutorial!! You're the best, Yandros!
Solution: This is not a problem, it is a very natural thing instead