New object package for H4

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New object package for H4

Postby {CH}ArticleBot » Jan 20 2018, 14:26

I'm pleased to announce that I'm working on a new OBJECT PACKAGE for H4.
Thanks to H4 editing program ResHelper made by Namerutan, as well as modding breakthrough on fellow fansite, heroescommunity, it is no longer limited to members of the Equilibris to add new objects to Heroes 4.
With the help of fellow modder Radmutant69, I'm planning on adding a large number of new objects. (Radmutant69 is kindly helping me import alot of the mirrored animations as H4 objects, as well as mirroring entrances and fixing flag positions).

A prioritized wishlist were posted here 4(!) years ago, and we're working our way through that as a start.

1st creature dwellings - In generel I decided not to mirror southfacing object.
2nd Quest huts. 
3rd All one-way portal entrances and exits.
4th All two-way portal entrances and exits.
5th Miscellanious (Magi Windows, Tavern, Blacksmith, Sanctuary, Hexis' Garrison).
6th treasure buildings/creature banks.
7th power up's (EXCEPT moral/luck boosters, alters and stat gems).
8th ship wrecks, derelict ship, gargoyle columns edit:(demonic trees).

Image

Now I don't have exact number but I estimate we're aboutt 60% through the list above, and that also includes/will include several non-portal Movement Modifiers like the Lighthouse, Stables, Tunnels etc., Structures and a few more.

Equilibris v.3.55 introduced a number of new objects based on Combat Objects and I intend on adding a lot of those as well. This means we'll have many more landscaping objects like Trees, Logs, Rocks, Flowers, Shrub, Mushrooms, Structures etc.
Among the more exciting new objects, there will be Staglagmites, Crates, Sacks, Ropes, Dead Creatures, Fog and Light. The list of new landscaping objects will include a couple hundred new objects (and even then I've still left out quite a lot).
Equilibris v.3.55 also included Creature Quest Huts, which essentially are Quest Huts with the looks of creatures. While this is still uncharted territory for me, I believe we can add those as well, IF fans request it.
We can even mod existing objects e.g. like turning the Tree of Knowledge into a Quest Hut.

I hope to finish and release this during 2018, but I would like to hear what the fans and map makers would consider as useful/interesting objects.
- Is Creature Quest Huts an unnessecary object or would it be interesting for (RPG) map making?
- Would Weather Effects like Fog, Sandstorm, Rain, Snowfall etc. be something fans would like to see?


WANNA HELP ME???

Also it would be great if anyone would offer to help with this or has objects of their own to share.
You can assist me in the following ways:
- Photoediting - preparing images for import - in most cases this is simply rescaling or deleting unneccesary images, but it would lift my work load. 
- Hex editing - help me transform new images into objects (you really don't need experience with hex editing - a year ago I'd never done any hex editing before, and if I can learn it, then I can teach you as well - it's really not hard).
-
Artists - I'm not much of an artist or animator myself and if we want objects like Weather Effects, it would be great if anyone could create such images/animations.

 
Read full article...
Last edited by Karmakeld on Jan 20 2018, 14:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Chacham » Jan 21 2018, 10:26

Great, nice work! Mind that the shadows/highlights of the mirrored objects should change to match with the original 'light source' angle of the game.

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Jan 21 2018, 11:58

Chacham wrote:Great, nice work! Mind that the shadows/highlights of the mirrored objects should change to match with the original 'light source' angle of the game.


Thanks for the feedback.
You're right, but sadly this is one of the areas where my skills doesn't always suffice. If you look at the shadows of the Temple of the Damned and the Dragon Teleport entrance you will notice that where possible I do attempt to make shadows fit the mirrored angle. But in other cases I would simply have to completely redo the entire shadow, but I don't have the skills or tools to point the light angle at the object and show me where it should be and how it should look. I made attempts by changing the color of the Dream Teacher to match the shadow color, but the result wasn't good, and it would basically just be a darker copy of the object, and would still not match how the shadow would fall from the object.

Highlights are also tricky. In some cases I've been able to copy/paste parts from the original object and thus avoid shadows being on the wrong side of the object, but still I can't easily highlight a shadow or darken highlights.

There is also the element of time to consider. While I do try to fix objects that look way out of place -fx. notice the flag of the Archery Range isn't mirrored, as it looked odd when wind direction of the object flag pointed in the opposite direction than the Owner Flag - I don't have time to work several hours on a single object. If I did, I/we would most likely drown in this project, and it would die out.
Radmutant has also been fixing Owner Flag positions that were out of place due to mirroring, so within our range of skills we try to fix as many errors as possible.

I could post images of all objects, as feedback would be nice (also to fix errors before release), but unless others can help fix these shadow/highlight issues, we'll just have to live with some minor issues like reversed highlights and the occasional odd looking shadow. (Perhaps this is the reason why mirrored objects never became a high priority for the Equilibris team ;| )


EDIT feb. 4 -18: So based on Chacham's and others feedback about shadows and lighting we discussed the matter and decided to do some retouches. I found ways to work with the lighting and shading and Radmutant agreed to help with the import of all of the objects once more. So here's a remade Dark Knight's Sanctum with fixed lighting and shading on the left, the original on the right. Hope you find this one acceptable.
Image
Last edited by Karmakeld on Feb 4 2018, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Mar 30 2018, 19:50

So I'm redoing the shadows and highlights as best as possible, so the objects won't simply appear as just mirrored objects.
Radmutant is still helping me and we're also fixing flag positions and mirroring entrances.
Mirroring all of the adventure objects was quite a task, but fixing the lighting, shadows and checking for correct flag position, animation speed and entrance/passability info is like redoing all of it over again, so if any one would like to help test and view that all mirrored objects appear as they should, please give a shout out and I'll share the objects with you for viewing.
Currently I'm going through all objects 1 by 1, before giving them the 'ready to be packaged' approval stamp, but if any one could give me a hand, that would free some time to focus on actual editing. I currently have some 150 objects ready for packing, but the list is far from finished.

Анастасия is helping preparing images for dead creatures. That part is also highly appreciated, as it saves me time.

So does anyone wanna help speed up the process??

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Mar 30 2018, 21:52

Well, at least editing passability and entrance info will be easy :D

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 1 2018, 12:55

iLiVeInAbOx05 wrote:Well, at least editing passability and entrance info will be easy :D


I still gotta try the latest update you shared, but once your tool is done, several things should hopefully be alot eaiser and faster.
But I've started preparing all the finished mirrored files for packaging, and so I have to check/compare that new shadows, highlights, animations speed, flag position and passability info match the original. So it takes a bit of time to open the editor, drag them in, do compares, fix issue and check again so if anyone would set aside an hours or two now and then, it would be much apprechiated.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 1 2018, 23:02

Something to keep in mind when using Namerutan's tool, it actually isn't correctly parsing the passability data. It will display correctly if the entire footprint is not passable, but it will be wrong if any of the grid is passable. Entrance info is correct though.

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 5 2018, 19:19

Do you have an example of this? Coz I don't recall encountering any objects where I noticed this. That is except for the windmill, but that one is kinda funny, coz in hex it appears to be a 2x2 objects, which is also how Namerutan's tool displays it, but in fact, the editor shows it as being a 1x2. This could match what you're describing as it being partly passable.

Anyway, I always view the final objects in the editor, as his tool sadly doesn't support import/viewing of objects files (h4d).
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 5 2018, 19:30

Just pick one of the mountains that has a funny shape for passability. Mountains.grass04 is the one I like to look at. The passability displayed for this object on Namerutan's tool is what I got when I followed his documentation, processing by row (top left to bottom right) instead of by column (top right to bottom left). After switching the order to process by columns, the passability was correct.
Last edited by iLiVeInAbOx05 on Apr 5 2018, 19:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 6 2018, 17:16

Ah, I havent really been looking at landscaping object, so...
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 6 2018, 18:55

Yeah, the adventure object ones look correct because they are, for the most part, completely impassable whereas the landscaping objects aren't. You still read the same amount of data, so it looks correct :D

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 3 2018, 18:13

So alot of the adventure objects are already (re)done, with new shadows and lighting to match the mirrored angle. All Creature Banks (except for Labyrint) and most of the Creature Dwellings are presented below. I'll post the objects are I finish them and rechieve the imported objects from Radmutant. All objects are centered, entrances are mirrored as well as flag positions. And all are animated :D
Feel free to give feedback. I tried my best to match how the shadows should look like, but I'm not a graphics artist, so sadly I can't match all objects 100%, but I'm quite pleased with the results.

Can you point out which ones are the original and which ones are mirrored?

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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Panda Tar » Jun 6 2018, 19:10

Can you point out which ones are the original and which ones are mirrored?


Only those that the shadows seem a bit off. For example, the Cliff Nest. On the original position, it's sort of on inclined angle that fits with the lighting, so it barely has any shadow behind it. On the other hand, if you mirror it, the shadow will then be very visible on the side, because now it's not angled with the light anymore – and there are no shadows there, they're missing. Others only have small discrepancies, like the Dragon Utopia, the Dragon's Treasure, the Paladin's one, for instance. The latter, it's mainly the axis in which the tall building's shadow was done. You could make lines on the perspective to notice it's a bit off. The same problem is seen at the Graveyard. Dunno if you understood what I mean?
Last edited by Panda Tar on Jun 6 2018, 20:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 10 2018, 21:46

Panda Tar wrote:
Can you point out which ones are the original and which ones are mirrored?


Only those that the shadows seem a bit off. For example, the Cliff Nest. On the original position, it's sort of on inclined angle that fits with the lighting, so it barely has any shadow behind it. On the other hand, if you mirror it, the shadow will then be very visible on the side, because now it's not angled with the light anymore – and there are no shadows there, they're missing. Others only have small discrepancies, like the Dragon Utopia, the Dragon's Treasure, the Paladin's one, for instance. The latter, it's mainly the axis in which the tall building's shadow was done. You could make lines on the perspective to notice it's a bit off. The same problem is seen at the Graveyard. Dunno if you understood what I mean?


I have tried, but I find it hard to make an accurate line of perspective to show where the shadow should be and HOW it should look - I blame the isometric angle. I dont know if I can rotate the structure to match the shadows angle, otherwise it's really hard for me to do properly, as I have to create the shadow by hand so to speak.
If you find that those really sticks out, please point them out/mark the areas and I might take another look at them.
But overall if you only point out a handful having 'clear' signs of being mirrored, I'm quite satisfied. Oh and no mentioning of the Magic Lamps..? :(
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Panda Tar » Jun 11 2018, 15:53

The Magic Lamps were telling, eh? :D

I made an example of an easy suggestive way to do them, perhaps not entirely accurate, but just the idea:
Image

You pick that angle and then use for all others. For each corner/peak of the thing you want to draw, you use that angle, then you just fill in the space in between accordingly to the object you are working on.
Last edited by Panda Tar on Jun 11 2018, 15:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 13 2018, 6:22

Panda Tar wrote:The Magic Lamps were telling, eh? :D

I made an example of an easy suggestive way to do them, perhaps not entirely accurate, but just the idea:
Image

You pick that angle and then use for all others. For each corner/peak of the thing you want to draw, you use that angle, then you just fill in the space in between accordingly to the object you are working on.


You know, sometimes the simple solutions just work. I honestly hadn't thought of drawing a line to see the angle of shadows despite I occasionally did attempt to line some of them up with strings, but it should be fairly easy to do a few compares to make sure it it's somewhat accurate - well atleast the angle of it that is.
There's still the issue of eg. getting the edges of a rugged rock right, but I'll just have to play around some more to see if I can come up with some methods of helping myself.
Thanks Panda
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Panda Tar » Jun 25 2018, 23:49

So, any luck? :)
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 27 2018, 14:03

Sorry about that, been busy lately, festival last week, got sick after that and then my pc decided to play hard to get (to work). Once it will actually allow me to do open stuff on the desktop I will try to set up a 'base shadow' and 'shadow angles' as you suggested. Then I gotta to do some compares and stuff, but I'll keep you posted with my progress. Also there's been some requesting about releasing beta versions of the package, so that's in consideration aswell.
Last edited by Karmakeld on Jun 27 2018, 14:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Panda Tar » Jun 27 2018, 20:05

Get well, then. ;) Both you and your computer. :D
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Re: New object package for H4

Postby Pol » Jun 27 2018, 20:49

Stumpy PC, what went wrong with it?
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