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Tutorial 2: Beams, beams, beams

  1. #1
    fr0x, poxxy, ph0cks
    Join Date
    Jun 1999

    Tutorial 2: Beams, beams, beams

    The first tutorial I went through the basics of rings and sprays. In the beam tutorial were going to delve into beams and combos. Our final product will hopefully resemble something like this:

    Load up the FX Tool, Select "File", "New", and select "Beam" The first thing we need to do is make sure we have the lightning texture we are going to use. Now, I know *I* didnt make this texture but if I recall I found it somewhere other than the standard directory it browses through. If you cant find it you can download it here. Select "Texture" from the toolbar and click "Browse" to find our "Lightningbolt" texture.

    When you initially run the beam you'll notice that the textures black background is still present. Select "Blending" in the tool bar and change it to "2" (Additive) and hit "Apply". Now when you hit play you should notice the background is transparent.

    The next thing we want to do is decrease the time that the beam runs for. Click "Duration" in the toolbar. I believe the default is "5.0" which we want to change that down to "1.0"

    With the length set, we now want to set our final colors. In my example I used mostly white with a hint of purple. Select "Color" from the toolbar and make your beginning and end points both white. Move the slider to the middle and add a new KeyFrame and change its color to a light shade of purple.

    With our beginning, middle, and end colors set we are now going to give some circular arc to the beam. Select "Arc" from the toolbar. For this we are going to need 4 new KeyFrames spaced about evenly between the start and end. The beginning and end points will both remain at 0,0,0 but we are going to shift around our 4 new points. Now that you have the four points dropped down somewhat evenly, select the first new point. Change its X value to .5 and hit apply. For the second point, change its Z to .5 and hit apply. For the third point, change its X to -.5 and hit apply. For the fourth point, change its Z to -.5 and hit apply. This will now cause the bolt to follow a circular point for the origin and then go back to the origin at its end. Now that we have those 4 laid down we can go to the middle KeyFrame (which we havent edited since the color change) and delete this KeyFrame. We kept it in there as a place marker so the new KeyFrames we laid down would pick the correct color they should be automatically.

    With that done, go ahead and save your beam ("tutorial2_beam).

    We now have our beam! However, it doesnt quite give that "beefy" beam that our goal beam has. Currently if we just put in this beam we would get something along these lines:

    Now if thats what you are looking for you can stop right now. For the rest of you, lets beef that up a bit quickly.

    With our beam saved, go to "File" and "New" and select "Combo". This is a simple little FX that can give quite dramatic results. There isnt any real editing options here, only the ability to load multiple effects ontop of one another. Select "FX1" from the toolbar and click "Browse". Find your "tutorial2_beam" and select "OK". Do the same thing for FX2, FX3, FX4, and FX5. Once all of those are set, go ahead and save your combo ("tutorial2_combo").

    Now its time to load this bad boy onto our Henchman.

    Go into the objects editor and load up the henchman.

    Under the "Event Editor" tab, add a new event and call it "New Melee". As with the first tutorial we need to set the main 4 Parameters....
    anim: Melee1
    animtime: 0.00
    fx: tutorial2_combo
    marker: bip01 r hand

    As this is a beam effect that we want to go from the hand to another target, we need to define a few more items. I'm not 100% sure if these are the items we need as you cant really test this out without an actuall target so I had to change around the parameters slightly. I'm not sure if all these values do actually what I think they do (as once again, I cant test them in game) but they make sense in my head.

    fx_transform: SelftoOther I'm assuming this is telling it that the beam effect is to stretch from the marker point to 'Other' point.
    fx_other: target This defines that the 'Other' the beam is stretching to is a target.
    fx_length: distance This defines that the length of the fx is determined by the distance between self to other.

    In order to take the picture I changed the fx_length to "11" so I could have a look at a longer beam effect as without a target defined its fairly short.

    Thats it!

    Now, in game this wont exactly have the desired effect we are looking for. As this units attack is defined as close combat / melee, we wont see any long range beam attacks. We would also have to do some changing to the object to allow for ranged attacks.

  2. #2
    That's a great tutorial Fox. The only thing I would add is under the Event Editor in the Object Editor, add a fx_OtherMarker = random.

    With the setup you currently have, (ie. no destination marker set) the beam attack will attach itself at the one marker specified, and then travel to the origin point of the target entity. That is to say it will go from his hand, to the feet of the enemy. Here you have the chance to say where you want the beam to attack towards!

    Because attacking is such a generic action, and can be performed against so many different models with differently named bones\markers (animals, characters, structures) I would suggest that you set fx_othermarker = random. You have to type in the word random. This will attach the end of the beam effect to, yep you guessed it, a *random* bone of the entity being attacked. Voila!

    Also, this prevents a swarm of ranged creatures all attacking exactly the same point on an enemy model.

  3. #3
    Ok, this is nice. esspecilly if you iclude the fire from the first tut. i made a few changes. i applied what Gnome said, to no vissble change, but thats ok. i did change it so that the effect only last .25 and made it start at .44 that way it only fires when his fist is moving forward. its shoter but looks better IMHO. i allso took a few beams out of the combo. i think it looks nice.

  4. #4
    fr0x, poxxy, ph0cks
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    There is always room for tweaking

    Glad you got the desired effects from the tutorials....hopefully I'll get another one up in the next few days! Not sure quite what to do yet.....

    I think Gnome's changes will only be apparent in game as there isnt random areas for a target in the object editor

  5. #5

    Henchmen Range Attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoX:
    Now, in game this wont exactly have the desired effect we are looking for. As this units attack is defined as close combat / melee, we wont see any long range beam attacks. We would also have to do some changing to the object to allow for ranged attacks.
    What are those additional changes? Could someone please go into detail on what you have to do to give Henchmen "Range" Attacks? Ideally, I also want to be able to give Henchmen a Range-Attack that works ONLY against Creatures but not other Henchmen or buildings. It would still be fine if it did affect building and other henchman, though.

    Also, can you get the pictures for your tutorial to show up again?

    [ EDIT: ]
    I recently noticed that FoX (the creator of this tutorial) does log on here at semi-regular intervals. I recently contacted him through private messaging to bring his attention to this this reply and the fact that others have also been waiting for additional explanations (since he apparently didn't realize I had replied originally) and he had the following to say:

    Wow....its been a LONG time since I wrote that.....I really can't remember the settings for it unfortunately

    I asked if he could look into this further now (refreshing his memory, etc), since I know of a lot of other people also looking for this information. But, I haven't yet received a reply at the time of my posting this edit.


    :eye: :eye: :eye:
    Last edited by iiiHuman; 17th Feb 06 at 11:26 AM.

  6. #6
    no one posts on these forums any more your better off asking on icp

  7. #7

    Hope For Additional Help.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad_monkey_j
    no one posts on these forums any more your better off asking on icp
    Well, YOU posted that here in response to my question (which means, I'm also posting, both my previous question and this one).

    Although unlikely, I am hoping that someone that visits this site (and happens to NOT visit Impossible Creatures Planet anymore) will know the answer to my question and is willing to share that information. Especially, since I HAVE also posted that question over at ICP. While I know that there is at least one person over there that does know how to do it, they are not willing to share the information at this time. And, noone else has stepped forward with the information there. Besides, it doesn't hurt to try and cover as much territory as possible in trying to get a solution to this.

    As an example, you yourself missed that I have also had a thread discussing this at ICP.

    [ EDIT: I thought would be important to note that, since the time of this previous discussion, more and more people have started posting here again with Impossible Creature questions and looking for more information like for that listed here. ]

    :eye: :eye: :eye:
    Last edited by iiiHuman; 17th Feb 06 at 11:22 AM.

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