Topic: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points  (Read 14563 times)

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Offline Scottish Andy

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Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« on: February 08, 2007, 10:03:54 am »
I am having a real hard time understanding joints and HP/DPs in Milkshape.

I can move them around and assign them to vertices, but I don't understand why I cannot delete any of the existing joints, or why there are so many of them.

I only assuming that they are the points where the weapons and effects like tractor beams will come from, as well as the areas of the ship where the damage patterns will be applied to, but I actually know none of these things.

It's called the "skeleton" of the model as well, so there's the further assumption that it has something to do with the bones of the model, but are they only the literally the joints? The points at which the "action" (as described above) takes place in?

Could someone help me out in understanding these things, and intruct me on hw to manipulate/create/delete them?
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Offline Rod ONeal

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 01:48:47 am »
I wish that I could tell you which type was exactly what, but to my knowledge noone's actually figured it out. I believe that Atheorhaven asked once on the Taldren boards to have them defined, but no one from Taldren ever responded. (This is an old memory, it might not have been Atheorhaven, but I seem to recall that it was. Maybe he'll let us know if my memory is failing me here. :huh:)
HP, These are easy. They are the spots that the weapons fire from.  They'll be labeled HP1. HP2, etc... All of the others are different types of damage points. They're the spots where the plasma streams from, the "flare" on the hull occurs when a weapon hits. Where the electrical discharge across the hull comes from, etc... I usually put them in locations where I'd like to see these type of effects occur. It'd be nice, I suppose, if one of us would actually decipher exactly what each one does. (Or if someone knows, please tell?)

To delete them, hi lite/select one and hit "Delete" on your keyboard.

In other games they'd be the joints on the characters. Remember that milkshape was designed as a halflife model editor, not to make models for SFC. They were "adapted" to be used as HPs and DPs.
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Offline Interstellar Machine

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 07:55:40 am »
Hardpoints are made as dummy objects on the ship. If you do not use hardpoints, all weapons fire will come from and hit the center of the ship. You don't "need" them to play the model in game.

As O'Neal said, for SFCIII HP1 through HP24 are where the weapons fire origninates. HP1 through HP11 are for primary weapons (phasers), and HP12 through HP24 are for heavy weapons. The primary and heavy weapons designations are reversed for SFC, SFCII, and SFCOP. To get a good idea of where to put the hardpoints, you will want to consider the archs listed in the defaultCore file. Of course you want to to place theses on your ship where you can see the phaser strips and photon tubes.

Hardpoints A1, A2, . . . . F2, F3 are where your ship will be hit with weapons fire. I think that it was Atheorhaven that once posted how to properly place these on a model. They should be ordered starting from the bow and working counter clockwise around the ship toward the port then to the stern then starboard and back to the bow.

Bow Port: A1, A2, A3
Along the Port side: B1, B2, B3
Stern Port: C1, C2, C3
Stern Starboard: D1, D2, D3
Along the Starboard side: E1, E2, E3
Bow Starboard: F1, F2, F3

This order tells the game which side is which to make weapon routing more realistic. So, if an enemy ship is on the port side of your ship, it will always fire and hit the closest of the "B" series. If it is to the aft of your ship it will hit the closest of the "C" or "D" series.

In terms of application, you do NOT need to assign any vertexes or meshes to any of the hardpoints (or joints as Milkshape calls them). You do not need to have them connected either (like you do in Armada). To ensure that they are not connected, make sure that no other hardpoint (joint) is selected when you make a new one.

Also, consider that the Milkshape *.mod exporter flips the mesh and the hardpoints, so, you either have to build the hardpoints on the opposite side, or with the hardpoints showing, select all and then use the mirror all tool before exporting.

Because I usually just use loadouts from stock ships, I cheat by importing a stock game model for the loadout I am planning to use, deleting the stock mesh, and then merging my new ship. That way I am sure that the hardpoints will be on the correct side and that I have not missed any.
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Offline atheorhaven

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 09:09:58 am »
I wish that I could tell you which type was exactly what, but to my knowledge noone's actually figured it out. I believe that Atheorhaven asked once on the Taldren boards to have them defined, but no one from Taldren ever responded. (This is an old memory, it might not have been Atheorhaven, but I seem to recall that it was. Maybe he'll let us know if my memory is failing me here. :huh:)

No, that was me.. :)

I think that by now, I'll have to believe that I'm not going to get a response from Taldren.. ;)
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Offline Interstellar Machine

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 10:15:36 am »
It is strange how the damage particle effects come out of the weapons hardpoints. I was actually trying to figure out this morning where the tractor beam and shuttles come from, I think those come from the weapon hardpoints too.
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Offline atheorhaven

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 10:40:44 am »
It is strange how the damage particle effects come out of the weapons hardpoints. I was actually trying to figure out this morning where the tractor beam and shuttles come from, I think those come from the weapon hardpoints too.

If I remember, from SFC 1 and SFC 2, I think it was hardpoint 7 or 13.. moving that seemed to move the launch point.. but I could just be blowing smoke.. :p
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Offline Rod ONeal

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 02:54:16 pm »
The tractor beam, adds, mauler, and PPD just come from the center of the ship. Now, I've never modded for SFC3 and I'm not too sure that IM's explaination for the "lettered" HPs applies to SFC2 or not. It very well might. If so though then what does anyone know what determines where the plasma vents from, where the elctrical charges arc from? Is it also tied into the same HPs and is only determined by what side the fire comes from?
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Offline Interstellar Machine

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 03:19:16 pm »
As far as what I have observed in all SFC versions, plasma vents and electrical charges come from and jump between the weapon hardpoints (HPXX), not the lettered hardpoints. In my opinion, it would have been better if those damage effects came from the lettered damage hardpoints. As far as the lettered hardpoints working the same in SFCII and SFCIII, I am pretty sure they do. Anyone else have any input or seen anything to the contrary?
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Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2007, 11:39:15 pm »
A very big "thank you" to all who contributed, especially ISM who gave me the specific gen on Milkshape. I put in my hardpoints and played her in game, and they all came from where they were supposed to come from.

Thank you all so very much! It may be quite sad of me to say so, but it was literally thrilling to watch all my work come to life like that!
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Offline Rod ONeal

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 01:53:24 am »
Well, this was a good thread. I like it when I learn something new about the "nuts & bolts" of the game. ...and yeap, it's pretty cool to see your own stuff come to life, so to speak, in game. I can only imagine what it's like for someone who has made enough models to replace everything (or almost everything) with your own work. It must be pretty cool!
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Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 11:01:14 am »
Maybe we could get the mod to Sticky this thread as a tutorial?
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Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 11:10:23 am »
Atheorhaven, I tried playing around with the shuttle launch hardpoint, but alas no luck. Hardpoint 13 is definitely for phasers as they only start at 11 as ISM stated. I tried moving hardpoint 7 but it still came from the centrepoint. I realised I actually had no shuttlebay doors on my ship so I put one in at the "usual" spot for TNG ships (the crew shouldn't be too broken up over the loss of the large aft lounge, what with all the other lounges in the bridge superstructure). When I moved hardpoint 7 to the new shuttlebay, it still appeared under the saucer, in front of the torpedo launcher.

Plus, using the Excelsior UI, I see that Hardpoint 7 is used there as the aft photons. I'll play around with the hardpoints and damage points some (I have an Idea that the aft damage point c3 or d1 might be the launch point), and I'll let you all (all y'all) know of the results of my footering.

Once again, thanks to all for sharing your knowledge! I am most sincerely grateful. oh, I think I'll bump up all your kudos +5. I have no idea how that stuff works, never paid attention to it, but I see people +1-ing their pals, so...  ;D

Update: Ah, seems I can only +1 once every 12 hours. Weird. Oh well.
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2007, 11:17:13 am »
I'll be along in a bit to try and clear up the front here for you guys, as soon as I figure out Bonks method there in the consolidated thread.

Stephen
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Offline Interstellar Machine

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2007, 12:50:30 pm »
It looks like all he did was to put a link in the consolidated thread to the respective thread.

The consolidated is just a thread with a bunch of links.
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Offline Interstellar Machine

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2007, 03:09:59 pm »
I would be in favor of doing away with the "WIP" and "final product" sub boards because that is pretty much the jist of the whole SFC Models forum. Then, you could make "resources" and "permissions" subboards.
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Offline Centurus

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2007, 03:18:29 pm »
A little bit of information when hardpointing for SFC3.  And take it from me, I know how to hardpoint SFC3. 

Since ships in SFC3 rely on the DefaultCore and Defaultloadout for not only the firing arcs, but also the various systems, it is literally possible to have more than 11 primary or secondary weapons.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that the SFC3 game code was never truly completed, hardpoint number 25 will never work.  You only have 24 viable hardpoints.

When hardpointing your model in 3DS Max or MS3D, just position the hardpoints where you please, making sure to write down their approximate location and what kind of weapon they'll be used for, such as phasers and torpedoes.  Just make a note on a piece of paper.

When writing up the specs for the ship in the Defaultcore, just list all the primary hardpoint arcs as you normally would.  An example to this can be found at SFC3Files.com with the Galaxy EVO.  She has 17 phaser hardpoints, and 7 torpedo hardpoints.

In the Scifi-Wars mod that Puterz did, they had ships in there that were pure phaser boats.  I suppose they took a page from my book. 
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Offline atheorhaven

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2007, 05:00:57 pm »
I actually like the idea of a tutorial sub-board, with maybe phasing out the finished and WIP subboards (and placing their contents into the main Models board.  But then again, with the Taldren board, everything was all together in one board.. you know, back before rocks were formed (in Internet time)..

Guess that if I remember that, that makes me a First One..  woohoo!  :D
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Offline Rod ONeal

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2007, 06:55:01 pm »
I like a tutorial and a resources  child-board, if someone has the time to set it up. Possibly just rename the wip and finished boards and move the stuff in there out to the main modeling board.
Put up a sticky warning people that it's going to happen giving a week or 2 notice.
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Offline Centurus

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2007, 08:05:15 pm »
Oh, in response to an earlier post, in SFC3, plasma vents from the damage points, not weapons hardpoints.  :-D
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Joints, Hardpoints and Damage Points
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2007, 08:47:17 pm »
I'll ask Frey about it over the weekend, and see what we can do for you guys.

Stephen
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