It’s been over 6 months since I last made a post here. I’m assuming most people had assumed I’d been crushed by stampeding moose.
Actually since last August it’s mostly been two things keeping me from doing more updates – a new job which keeps me extremely busy and I’ve been working almost entirely on Ham and Jam which I hope we’ll be able to release soon.
Regarding the plug-ins and other modding projects, there are some things going on but a lack of free time has meant that updates aren’t as rapid as usual.
A couple of “ongoing” things:
- I’ve been looking into adding XBox360 support to VTFLib/VTFEdit.
- I’ve tested the VTF extensions with Windows 2008R2 (people asked for support) and need to update the installer.
- I’ve been adding support for multiple meshes in the VTA exporter. It’ll make face/mouth cavity animation easier.
- Still trying to figure out a good algorithm to try and recreate smoothing groups in the SMD importer. I’m thinking edge/normal matching and neighbour trees.
All the above are “when I can find the freetime” so don’t hassle me about it please.
Finally people have been asking about versions of my plug-ins for 3DS Max 2011 – just use the 2010 versions. They’re compatible.
Sorry it took so long, but I finally updated my VTF Shell extensions to support the 7.4 VTF format as found in Team Fortress 2/The Orangebox.
The delay was due to both Nem being busy with real-life stuff and unfortunately losing the code to the Photoshop plug-in which meant a re-write. This lead to the new version of VTFLib being delayed and as so many of our tools rely on it, we couldn’t update without it.
Anyway, everything is updated now – Nem has released the new VTFLib, VTFEdt and his Photoshop VTF plug-in with 7.4 support and I’ve updated my XP/Vista Shell extensions. I’ll update the 3DS Max plug-ins hopefully in the next couple of days. I’ve also updated the documentation for VTFLib.
One new feature though that’s worth mentioning. Since VTF 7.3, the VTF format has added support for “resources” embedded inside the actual VTF file. This was originally added, I believe, to better support features on the XBox360. What’s nice is that developers can add any custom resource and data they might need.
This gave me a brainwave.
Often you find VTF textures all over the place and if you’re creating a Mod it can be a right pain-in-the-arse to keep track of texture assets. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of metadata inside the actual file containing useful information about who made the texture, how to contact them and what game/mod it came from? Basically EXIF for VTF files.
Well that’s what we implemented. Using a custom “Information” resource you can now embed useful information into VTF files for TF2/Orangebox using VTFEdit. You have the basic author and contact info, your texture version number, what game/mod it’s for and include a short note. My VTF Shell extensions can show this info as part of the detail columns in XP or in the properties view in Vista.
So you know the drill – un-install any previous versions of the shell extensions you have installed and make sure you have the Visual C++ 2005 SP1 runtimes installed if you don’t already.
Finally, two weeks after returning from my short break in England, I’m just about back on top of things. The enormous backlog of mail almost drowned me and things to follow up after my trip are done. Of course, the need to play TF2, E2 and Portal ranked highly on my to-do list…
With EP2 et. al. came a new VTF format which means changes to VTFLib to add compatibility. Nem and I already added partial VTF 7.3 support but Valve also has version 7.4 out there which needs to be added. We’ve been promised the final spec in a few weeks by Valve, so hopefully we’ll roll out a new version then and you’ll see up-dates to my VTF apps.
So apart from that it’s back to coding and modelling for Ham and Jam and trying to get it one step closer to a public beta. As usual it’s mostly art assets that are holding us back but at least we got the British player models done at last.