HOW TO EDIT TREES IN BATTLEFIELD: 1942

Updated: October 11th 2003

In this tutorial, you will learn how to modify models for Battlefield

Models for Battlefield are stored primarily in the standardMesh.rfa archive. The two major formats in use are .sm and .tm.
Tools to import and export Battlefield models were included with the Battlefield mod developer's kit. The tools are written for 3D Studio Max version 5.1

Requirements:
- You have already completed the tutorial on creating a mod with the Mod Wizard.
- You own a copy of 3D Studio Max 5.1 or higher.

  1. Install the 3dsmax toolset from the mod developer's kit by running the 3dsmax toolset installer program.
2.

Load up 3dsmax and you will find a new 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. The "bf1942" folder has Battlefield's data files for a normal game.

 

5.

Choose "treeMesh.rfa" and press Open.

 

6.

Select the file PALMHIGH_M1.tm. This file is of a tree used frequrently on the Wake Island map. From the Extract menu choose Selected.

 

7.

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

 

8.

In 3dsmax choose Tree Import/Export from the Battlefield Tools menu

 

9.

Press the IMPORT... button under TreeMesh Import and browse to /My_Mod/TreeMesh/

 

 

10.

Select "PALMHIGH_M1.tm" and press Open

 

11.

Here is how the model looks imported into 3dsmax.

 

12.

Set modify mode and sub object vertex on the palmhigh_m02 object. Then use the selection and scale too to deform the mesh into an odd shape. This is so we can see that we have changed the model in game.

 

13.

Go to the export treemesh screen from Battlefield Tools. Press Pick Collision and pick COL_treemesh as your collision model.

 

14.

Press Add Branch and pick palmhigh_m02. This geometry will be rendered as a tree branch with its transparency effects.
Press Add Trunk and pick palmhigh_m03 and Add Trunk palmhigh_m04. This trunk geometry will be rendered as regular geometry.
Take note that you can have only one material per object with the current treemesh export version.

Have Force Material ID checked and set to Material ID 166, you can find more values to use by either importing existing .tm files or looking in the /bf1942/game/ archive folders and then at .con files material in their names.

Press Export .tm and choose the existing file named "PALMHIGH_M1.tm"

 

15.

Press yes to the dialog box that pops up to overwrite the existing file

 

16.

We are going to render the billboard for the modified tree. To do this select palmhigh_m02, palmhigh_m03 and palmhigh_m04 then press Render Billboard with the spinner value of 128 for the image resolution. If you want to, you can create your own lights but if no lights are found in the scene, the exporter will create a default set for you.

If you are using alpha channels for transparency then you want to have the opacity map in the material set to the same texture only with the alpha channel set (see 3dsmax user refernce for how to setup an opacity map). It should also be noted that the .dds plugin for 3dsmax that was used for this tutorial did not support reading of alpha channels. Converting the .dds to a 32bit .tga file worked around this issue. All this is necessary if you wish to have a billboard rendered with proper transparency for parts of the treemesh that use alpha channels for transparency.

Press the Save Bitmap button on the rendered image dialog.

 

17.

Create a subdirectory named Billboards inside /My_Mod/treeMesh/ and save the image with the same name as the treemesh you exported. Here we use "PALMHIGH_m1.tga". Use 32bit with alpha channel and save as a .tga (targa).

 

18. Convert the .tga file to a .dds (DXT 5) texture then delete the .tga file
19.

In /my_mod/archives/ run PackRfa.exe, select treeMesh from the folder drop down list and press the Pack Folder button.

 

20.

Here is how the new model looks in game: