Working with Privateer 3D model textures

bai

Spaceman
Hi all, I'm interested in playing with the Privateer 3D models as linked from the download section - awesome resource, thanks! However, I'm having trouble getting usable textures set up. I'm importing the 3DS files into Blender, but for the most part everything is just black, with no texture associations set up. I'm guessing Blender is just dropping all unsupported image files, and knows nothing about .CEL

I found a tool to convert .CEL files into a format Blender likes, but I'm a bit unclear on how the materials should be configured. It seems that the models should have diffuse and bump maps, but all the .CEL images (at least for this model) look like bump maps, and none of them seem to have the nice metal panel texture the Tarsus has. For instance, as far as I can tell, these are the textures associated with the back

(image removed - guess I can't post images yet?)

(image removed)

When using both these textures, I get something like this - which doesn't necessarily look BAD, but it doesn't look right, either - it's missing all the nice little panels that I'd expect to see on the Tarsus.

(image removed)

Anyone familiar with the data who can provide some hints? Did the program I found to convert them (PVW32Con) fail to convert color data properly, or am I missing something obvious?

Thanks in advance!
 

bai

Spaceman
Well ok, I guess that post doesn't work as well with the images removed, that's kind of annoying. The links to the images are, respectively:

i.imgur.com/YK5TvIb.png
i.imgur.com/iLGw6M1.png
i.imgur.com/F1XsOfF.png
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I've managed to convert a few meshes and their bitmap-textures for Blender using 3D Exploration, which also helped me finding the right settings for the materials. If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you the Tarsus' exterior and cockpit.
 

bai

Spaceman
Thanks for the reply. I tried to get 3D Exploration to run but it doesn't seem to want to install in Win10. I'll spin up an older VM in a bit to test.

Maybe having your models for reference could be useful. I feel like I'm close, just need to figure out where all the textures are hiding. The Tarsus seems like a good place to start - from there I'll probably be able to get the rest going.

My goal is to pull these assets into JanusVR, and make some rooms to recreate scenes from the old game. I'm surprised how many of the assets in this pack never made it into the game, or look way different from what I remember - the mercenaries guild, for instance. Curious if anyone has any info on the history of this package.
 

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
According to this page, the CELs are just FLCs. I was able to convert most of the CELs, except for the WC2 ones (with some unfortunate input/output errors, but that didn't seem to be a huge issue) to PNGs using this FFMpeg command line:
ffmpeg -f flic -c flic -i WHATEVER.CEL -f apng -c apng WHATEVER.png
 
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FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Odd. I have Win10 on my machine and 3D Exploration works fine on it. Have you tried installing it in Admin-mode?

Ok, I've prepared a rar-archive containing the converted Tarsus as well as instructions on how to use the Privateer 3D files in Blender.
Please standby while I'm uploading it.

EDIT: Upload complete. Please let me know if you have any further troubles:
https://mega.nz/#!F9lyzTQI!NPp7GMZ3EWSTgDN6RqGOICgBsqrhoghH84O2zEMFrFE

Have fun playing around with the Privateer 3D Archive. :)
 
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bai

Spaceman
Ah hah! Thanks Kevin, didn't realize ffmpeg could read CEL/FLC files, this is exactly what I needed. Turns out PVW32Con is just giving me weird partial conversions, most of the images are black and white and very washed out. ffmpeg does a much better job.

Thanks for the reference file FekLeyrTarg - this will help me get the materials set up just right. Seems like a bit of manual process still, but at least I can tell which textures go with which objects, then it's just a matter of figuring out which material they belong to. Still, this is more than enough for me to work with.

Thanks again guys - I'll be back in a few days with some cool stuff to show off :)
 

bai

Spaceman
Got some more models converted, starting to do some more test renders. Turning out better than expected. Amazing how good these models are, for being 25 years old. More to come :D

 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Wow, this looks amazing. This shows PNB's vastness better than the original Privateer cover artwork IMO. :O

Your awesome renders (and the instructions how to adapt the meshes for Blender) definitely belong in the CIC's news. And I highly encourage you to keep them coming. :)

(I'd also like to give permission to upload/host the archive with the instructions and samples anywhere, including here on the CIC, if it is left intact.)

(@ChrisReid and @Bandit LOAF)
 

bai

Spaceman
Yeah, I never really got a sense of the scale while playing the original game - but it's EPIC in size!

Did another render of a ship coming in to dock:


I'm experimenting with some engine trail effects too. They don't show up so well in the above render, still need some tweaking. They look good in the dark void of space, though:


 

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
... that's pretty impressive. I'd second a request to get them uploaded, I could definitely do some stuff with these.
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I wrote a Python 3 script, and a C++ program, to convert the WC2 CEL files (the ones that can't be converted to PNG using ffmpeg) to PNG.
The Python script can either work as a standalone script, or within Blender by moving it to the addons folder.
The C++ program requires libpng 1.2 or higher.
Python script: https://gist.github.com/Talon1024/835b34585f4db200434c26da1c40820a
C++ program: https://gist.github.com/Talon1024/45170eb0170bc5084d6c421622efd9ad
Thanks Kevin. I'll try out your addon in Blender ASAP.
(I wonder if native support of the .CEL-files is possible in Blender)


... that's pretty impressive. I'd second a request to get them uploaded, I could definitely do some stuff with these.
The Privateer 3D archive, which features about 90% of the original production meshes of WC2, Privateer and SWC:
https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/Privateer_3D_Archive

Here's a converted Tarsus and instructions on how to import the meshes in Blender:
https://mega.nz/#!F9lyzTQI!NPp7GMZ3EWSTgDN6RqGOICgBsqrhoghH84O2zEMFrFE
 
Do we have the .CEL files for the WC1 Dralthi? I would love to see that. I'm trying to recreate the cover image and that would look awasome.
Keep up the great work. :)
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Thanks Kevin. I'll try out your addon in Blender ASAP.
(I wonder if native support of the .CEL-files is possible in Blender)




The Privateer 3D archive, which features about 90% of the original production meshes of WC2, Privateer and SWC:
https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/Privateer_3D_Archive

Here's a converted Tarsus and instructions on how to import the meshes in Blender:
https://mega.nz/#!F9lyzTQI!NPp7GMZ3EWSTgDN6RqGOICgBsqrhoghH84O2zEMFrFE
Thanks! I'll add them to my stash of 3D files. :)
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Do we have the .CEL files for the WC1 Dralthi? I would love to see that. I'm trying to recreate the cover image and that would look awasome.
Keep up the great work. :)
As far as I know, none of the original production meshes of WC1 were ever released.
However, it might be possible to re-create these from scratch as the sprites should be a sufficent source.
 
Here is what I pulled from the game if this helps. I don't have the programs or knowledge to do it.
If someone could help that would be Awesome!
Thanks for all your help.
 

Attachments

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I forgot about these. Time for another crack at a Privateer remake? ;)

I just wished they'd used more sprites for the planets and bases. It felt like a step backwards coming from WC2 to have places like Perry and New Constantinople be just a flat sprite no matter which direction I was approaching them from.
 
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