How First Strike creates a static object by DMR
Static creation follows a very simple 5 stage progression. Nothing we make is made in a void, that is to say, when you make something, you aren't the only one who uses it. Once you are done with your part of it, it get's passed around to many other team members. In order for other people to do their part with your creation, certain guidelines must be followed for them to work efficiently. The following is the list of those guidelines for a static, meant to facilitate the team-based creation of models. Alright, let's make a static! As always make sure people know what you are working on to avoid duplication of efforts. Note: In all stages you can edit a file (PROGRESS.txt) in the readme folder to describe your progress. You should at least put your name, the date, and what you did. This not only helps you remember what you were doing when you come back to it next week, but helps others know how far along you are and what your plans are to do next.
Stage 0: In this stage you've just begun work on your static. You need to start by creating the correct file/folder structure to keep track of your progress. All statics should have a folder named after the static as the top level directory. For this stage, you need to create another folder in the main one called "0-WIP". Create your scene in Maya/Max/whatever you use and save the file as STATIC_NAME.max in the 0-WIP folder you just created. Work on your model and just keep saving it to this folder. This folder can be used as a dumping pit for all of your work, create as many files as you need while working in this stage. Note: Always save your model, zip up the folder, and upload it to the FTP when you've made changes to it. For obvious backup purposes.
Stage 1: When your model is to the point where the entire mesh is complete, you need make sure you and everyone else is satisfied with this being the FINAL model. In max, name your mesh after the following convention: staticname . That's it for naming! there's no object template like in other models (two underscores followed by a template name). Create a folder called "1-Mesh" in your static's main folder. And now all you have to do for this stage is simply save the completed mesh file in the 1-Mesh directory. And of course always zip and upload your file to the FTP server!
Stage 2: Since Stage 1 didn't take you any time at all, you figure you're ready to jump in to stage 2. Hold on, cowboy! First you need some background on the BF2 Hierarchy system. Check out BF2 Hierarchy before you go any further. OK, so the basic hierarchy of the static you have to create is as in the following screenie.
The only dummy is the nonvis_ object. It is a child of your main mesh, and a parent of your collision meshes. Fortunately for you, there isn't much you have to do for a static. You need to create the main mesh, as well as the 3 Collision meshes and any LOD meshes (1 should do fine). Now, select your main mesh, and go to the BF2 Utilities dialog. On the right, make sure "static/building" is selected and choose "Run Wizard".
That's it. You, as the modeller, are done. Take a look at your hierarchy and make sure it looks similar to this:
Create a folder called "2-Hierarchy" in your weapon's main folder. Save your completed scene to this folder. And of course always zip and upload your file to the FTP server!
Stage 3: In this stage, a skinner creates and applies the diffuse and bump maps to the main meshes. After the skinning process is completed, the skinner should create a folder called "3-Skinned" in your static's main folder. Save the skinned mesh file as well as the textures in the 3-Skinned directory. And of course always zip and upload your file to the FTP server!
Stage 4: If for some reason your static needs animating, it most likely will be a custom animation. Alex will have to fill in the details of how to actually animate the static. After the animation process is completed, the animator should create a folder called "4-Animated" in your weapon's main folder. Save the animated scene file in the 4-Animated directory. And of course always zip and upload your file to the FTP server!
Stage 5: Almost done! Next a static gets imported and coded. If all of the LODs, Cols, and hierarchy is complete as it should be by this point, the importing of the static will be easy and the guys who know how to tweak settings should be able to modify the static in-game so that it looks the way it should. Once the weapon is imported into the editor, several files are created, those files should be included in the next folder we create called "5-Coded" in your static's main folder. Save the generated files as well as your tweaks in the 5-Coded directory. And of course always zip and upload your file to the FTP server! After all of these Stages have been completed, the result should be a totally static object. Of course the success of this process working is to make sure everything is done in the correct order, with only one person working on one part at a time. If everyone does their own part and we can get these models churning out very quickly, with less frustration all around.
Copy by Deathmanreturns