HOW TO EDIT TANK TREADS

Updated: Febuary 2004

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create new .skn files to bind .sm geometry to .ske files for Battlefield: 1942 and Battlefield: Vietnam

Requirements:
- Have completed the tutorial on creating a new mod, and how to edit a 3D Model
- Full installed game of Battlefield: 1942 or Battlefield: Vietnam
- Discreet® 3ds max® 5 or higher, or Discreet® Gmax® 1.2 or higher

Note for Battlefield: Vietnam - Substitute instances of "Sherman" with "ve_Patton_" (or any other tank of your choosing)

  1. Install the needed toolset from the mod developer's kit by running the 3ds max® or Gmax® toolset installer program if you haven't already.
2.

Load up max and you will find a menu named "Battlefield Tools", choose "RFA Tools" from the "Battlefield Tools" menu.

3.

Choose Open .rfa from the File menu

4.

Browse to the /mods/bf1942/ folder of your installed game's location. The "bf1942" mod folder has Battlefield: 1942's data files for a normal game. For Battlefield: Vietnam you will choose the "bfVietnam" mod folder instead of "bf1942".

5.

Choose "animation.rfa" and press Open.



6.

From the Extract menu choose "All".



7.

Select the My_Mod folder in the "Browse for Folder" dialog and press OK.

8.

In max choose "Skeleton and Skin" from the "Battlefield Tools" menu.



9.

SPECIAL NOTE!
Battlefield: Vietnam - Substitute "Sherman" with "ve_Patton_"

Press the Import (.ske) button under Skeleton Inport with IsWeapon unChecked, As Boxes checked and Bone Size set to 300%. Then browse to my_mod/archives/animations/ and select and open the file shermanTrackL.ske



10.

Import Sherman_trackL_M1.sm from the game's standardmesh.rfa file
(extract the file from mods/bf1942/archives/standardmesh.rfa to mods/my_mod/)



11.

Select all vertices in the tank tread mesh and scale on the X-Axis so that in game we can see a change.



12.

Export the modified tank track to /my_mod/standardMesh/Sherman_TrackL_M1.sm



13.

With the tank track selected, goto Modifiers->Animation Modifiers->Skin. Then press Add under Parameters and select bone0 through bone5.
Note: You will want to move the bones upwards to move the tank tread downwards in-game, do this movement prior to adding the .skn modifier.



14.

With sub-object Envelope selected, select each bone from the list and adjust the envelope gizmo as needed. Vertices that turn red are ones that will be affected by that bone. You may also choose to paint weights instead. See paint weight options and button further down below Envelope Properties.



15.

When your weights have been setup you will need to export the .skn file that stores these weights. In the Ske/Skn dialog choose export .skn with the tank tread selected. Save the file as /My_Mod/Animations/sherman_TrackL_M1.skn



16.

In /my_mod/archives/ run PackRfa.exe and press the All button at the right side of the window.



17.

Here is how it looks in game:
You can adjust the offset position of the tank tread by moving the skeleton bones inside 3dsmax prior to adding the skin modifier. Do so if you see wheels going through the tread itself.