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all right, i will try to keep it all simple.
first of all, install cod2 mod tools over your cod2 game.
then you'll need:
for 3d modelling
set up your xmodelexporter, it will teach you how the cod2 model structure works and what files are needed, download here: Diegologic.net..
additionally you can download also xmodelutils and other tools from Tom, however these are aimed specifically at newer CoD games: Tom-crowley.co.uk
blender with the unofficial COD plugin, or
maya 6 with cod2 mod tools plugin, or
maya 8.5 with codwaw mod tools plugin, or
maya 2009 with codbo mod tools plugin
iwi2dds tool to convert existing cod2 textures into DDS
photoshop with nvidia DDS tools, or
paintnet, for old versions you will need DDS plugin, new versions support it natively, or
gimp, for old versions you will need DDS plugin, new versions support it natively
windows notepad is the temp option
better is notepad++ or editpad or any other advanced text editor
do not use microsoft word!
for 3d best is maya 6, maya 8.5. for texturing it's a matter of taste and doesn't really matter that much.
then read all the weapon import tutorial that you can find on the internet.they will teach you important lessons/topics like these:
how to setup a workflow in the 3d modelling software. cod2 uses inches as units so keep that in mid. also all meshes of the model need to be smooth binded to a skeleton of bones (joints). this applies even for static models because they are made static during compilation outside of the actual 3d modelling software. you cannot use rigid binding, it will not work.
how to create custom textures including shaders (in cod2 textures are called images, have extension .IWI and go inside "images" folder, shaders are called materials, have no extension and go inside "materials" folder), materials can be opened with text editor to search for texture file names, if you wanna save yourself troubles then always use TARGA (.TGA) format as input texture for compilation.
how to create XMODEL_EXPORT files from 3d modelling software. it's a file format that is used to compile ingame models from.
how to compile ingame models which are called xmodel, have no extension and are stored inside 3 folders. the model itself is inside "xmodel" folder. the model's bone structure (joints) are stored inside "xmodelparts" folder. the model's mesh (geometry) itself is stored inside "xmodelsurfs" folder. you cannot compile the model without having compiled necessary images and materials that the model is using.
for blender, read this. it's an old tutorial but it shows a perfect workflow on a simple example: Sites.google.com
now specifically to vehicles.
for compilation in asset manager, vehicles are "animated" type of xmodel
i will send you a download link which will contain sources for all the 4 default tanks that are in cod2. use these as a pattern. most important thing is the skeleton in them. you can modify the number of wheels up to 10 on each side maximum. more than 10 is not possible. other than that i suggest leaving the skeleton as is. there are more options of course but you need scripting skills to use them.
here's the download for model source: Mediafire.com..
few additional info:
when creating custom textures you can use basic diffuse (in cod2 called color), normal, specular and cosine power maps. cod2 supports also detail maps but these are mostly for world textures not for model textures and they are not as easy to setup so i recommend to avoid these unless you know exactly what you're doing.
when compiling xmodels, cod2 supports LOD (level of detail). you basically create up to 4 versions of the same model. the most detailed one is used when close to player. the least detailed one is used when the player is far away. you specify those distances in inches. standard for vehicles is this:
LOD distances are always in an increasing order! the last distance is 0 for models that should not disappear which is the case for vehicles
as for detail, the most detailed model should not be over 10000polygons (triangles). each subsequent LOD is approx half the amount of detail, so for example if high LOD is 10000triangles, then medium is 5000, low is 2500 and lowest is 1200. standard situation is to create the most detailed version first and then use some automatic remeshing software to calculate the lower detail versions. search the internet for these programs, meshlab is a decent free one.
vehicle model needs to have collision with bullets and projectile. this is done during xmodel compilation. you just select which LOD should be used for calculating the collision box. i recommend using medium or low LOD.
as for object and player collision, do not worry about that because that is done in the map itself and is not part of the model itself.
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