Cesm's Ase2asc tool update
cesm20 created Cesm's Ase2asc tool update on Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:24 am
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I am glad to see that some people here are using this tool, thanks TTR and Toshiba3! But the goal of this post was to indicate that there was a big update in my tool, and that i need some more beta-testing since this might have new bugs, anyways now it's able to produce alpha channel textures for materials with alpha setting that don't use texture files !! HEre's the log list of changes :

Main changes from 1.1.5 to 1.2.0:

- supports the porting and conversion of 'ambient'/'diffuse' colors to 'true color' setting in .mat files (if 'ambient' and 'diffuse' colors differ, a 'special_materials.txt' log file with the materials with that situation will be created, and no diffuse color will be applyed in this case, you will have to solve that by yourself, since carma2 only supports this to change the color of a texture)

- recognizes alpha setting in materials (translucency) and creates a brand new .pix file with alpha channel for those materials which don't use a texture file (for example to create glasses or any material with only diffuse and alpha settings without using texture files initially). This is NOT supported for materials associated to texture files, which names and alpha setting will be indicated in the 'special_materials.txt' log file).

- added a toggle to automatically overwrite already existing files

- added tooltiptexts in almost all controls, check them out when having doubts

- a few minor bug fixes

By the way check out my website sometimes [url=http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22]www.freewebs.com/cesm22[/url] for my latest tools and older tools as well, even tough the website isn't updated often.

Anyways PLEASE anyone post here bug reports, problems, doubts or sugestions that you all may have to improve this, just post it here, ok ?

The link is : [url=http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22/ASE2ASC120.exe]Ase2Asc 1.2.0[/url]

If it asks for vb6 runtimes, just install a older version i have with installer in [url=http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22/Ase2Asc1.1.3.zip]Ase2Asc1.1.3 installer[/url] and then overwrite the .exe with the 1.2.0 new version (which is only the .exe file that changes).
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Toshiba-3 on Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:13 pm
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Thanks for your work and posting it here.

About the translucid materials without texture file : where is it used ingame ? I think about the smashables shrapnels. Is it used elsewhere too ? Could it be used on cars directly ?
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coffeycup on Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:18 pm
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I'll try it out tonight.
But I'm not sure what "alpha channel for those materials which don't use a texture file" are or how to test.
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TTR on Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:32 pm
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I have no clue whatsoever neither, however it is a remarkable release again no doubt :smile: Thanks!
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coffeycup on Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:02 am
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unfortunately, with this version I get a run-time error '53': file not found

version ASE2ASC114 fix.exe works fine using same .ase file
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cesm20 on Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:52 pm
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thanks toshiba and ttr!

Quote "About the translucid materials without texture file : where is it used ingame ?"
I putted this feature because in that game i am currently porting to carma2 which you already know the name, there is a lot of glass materials which only use a diffuse color and alpha setting, without any texture, you see.

Quote "Could it be used on cars directly ?"
Yes, that's what this is maded for, the game i am porting to c2, each car uses about 3-4 different materials like this, mostly for the windshield and others. (by the way i am planning porting those as drones).

Besides that, other use for this is to create coloured glasses (mostly grey for a realistic glass), but besides that, it might only be useful for porting material from other games like the case of the game i am porting.

Quote "Is it used elsewhere too ?"
In the junkyard level you should have noticed some invisible walls on top of the buildings. There is a transpar.pix texture applyed there, with 100% translucency so it is invisible. So my tool is also good for this, to create a invisible texture which is usefull for walls like this.

to coffeycup :

Quote "But I'm not sure what "alpha channel for those materials which don't use a texture file" are or how to test."
How to test ? If you have 3dsmax, make a texture with a ambient or diffuse color, and choose a alpha setting in the materials. This is how its done. About the uses of this, read what i wrote above to toshiba.

Quote "unfortunately, with this version I get a run-time error '53': file not found
version ASE2ASC114 fix.exe works fine using same .ase file"

That's odd, i tested it before releasing and i didn't got that error... tell me how exactly you imported the .ase into it, and which program generated it, it's a .ase from 3dsmax ?

Anways you will have to send me the .ase file (compressed of course) so that i import it myself and debug in the program code itself to see where the error happens and why, because it didn't happened to me.

Also my tool is quite sensitive if the ase file isn't generated with 3dsmax, or if someone edits it manually...
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coffeycup on Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:53 am
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Well, the ase did come out of 3dsMax. But getting it there was a bit convoluted.

I've been playing around with making terrain models so I started with Terragen, exported as a .lwo, converted to 3ds with 3dWin5, polycount reduced with Action 3D Reducer, THEN imported into 3dsMax where I exported the ase. But, like I said, previous versions work fine for me. I will send you the ase.

If I never said it before, thanks for making these great programs, cheers!
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cesm20 on Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:11 pm
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"I've been playing around with making terrain models so I started with Terragen, exported as a .lwo, converted to 3ds with 3dWin5, polycount reduced with Action 3D Reducer, THEN imported into 3dsMax where I exported the ase"

I don't think that is a problem IF the 3d scene looks ok in 3dsmax. So don't worry about it, this isn't the problem. By the way you know what i mean when i talked about the "alpha" and "diffuse color" material settings in 3dsmax ? Those are the ported settings by this version of the tool.

"But, like I said, previous versions work fine for me. I will send you the ase. If I never said it before, thanks for making these great programs, cheers!"
Thanks, jeez i was afraid that no one besides ttr and toshiba would use these programs at all, remember how it was in CWABoard, almost no one was interested in this ! Besides the way to you retribute me for the program is reporting bugs to me, like you are doing now :)

By the way, how are you going to use the .ase file, you know my email ?
TTR on Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:29 pm
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Well theres us 3 and AdR also used the tool :smile:
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Toshiba-3 on Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:50 pm
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Ah yeah, sorry I had forgotten the correlation between this feature and your project.

It's indeed gonna be very usefull to make invisible walls without loading huge amount of alpha-channeled textures ! I guess ! I'll test that when the time come to it.

We try to spread your tool amongst the small community as it's powerfull and in constant developement.
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cesm20 on Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:24 pm
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actually today i discovered that i forgot something VERY important in the tool : the diffuse color and alpha settings are ONLY ported when using the special material of the specific game i am porting !! Which means it does NOT port those settings if the ase has settings from a STANDARD 3dsmax material! So none of you guys can check out this new feature, so wait for version 1.2.1 while i fix this !!

By the way in a STANDARD material the alpha setting i was talking about is exactly named "opacity" and not alpha.

And to coffeycup, well if you don't know my email adress, please send me a private message so that i can tell you the email adress since i don't want to tell it here to avoid more spam than i already have :) Even tough i discovered this huge bug in my 1.2.0 version i still need your .ase so that i can fix this at the same time in 1.2.1.
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coffeycup on Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:08 am
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Ok, I sent ase last night to you. The ase is just a test, I won't actually use that for anything.

The file looks good in 3dsMax and the 1.1.4 version handles it well.
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cesm20 on Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:44 am
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here's the new version of the tool ([url=http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22/ASE2ASC121.exe]1.2.1[/url]) please anyone test this better with normal 3dsmax materials since i tested it a bit but not much.
cesm20 on Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:17 am
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to coffeycup :

which version of 3dsmax you exported this .ase file with ? Just for curiosity.
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coffeycup on Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:16 am
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[quote=Cesm23]to coffeycup :

which version of 3dsmax you exported this .ase file with ? Just for curiosity.[/quote]
old. 3.1 version
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cesm20 on Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:49 am
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?! you don't have any more recent version ? Maybe this is why it's giving the error, nevertheless, it's good that i have a ase produced from that version, like this my tool will be able to support .ase files from that version of 3dsmax :)

(by the way the version 1.2.1 still doesn't accept your file, you will have to wait for version 1.2.2)
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Toshiba-3 on Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:31 pm
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[quote=coffeycup]old. 3.1 version[/quote]
Haven't installed MAX9 yet ? :heh:
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cesm20 on Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:16 pm
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Here's the link to another fix i did in my tool :

[url]http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22/ASE2ASC121%20fix2.exe[/url]

now it imports files when associated with ase files in windows explorer, and doesn't give a "file not found error" when having invalid/empty objects in projects.
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coffeycup on Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:50 am
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vers 121 fix 2 seems to be working great. no more errors for me. thanks
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cesm20 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:59 pm
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finally ! Please remember the issues i talked about, you have to stop using different ambient and diffuse colors, since only the ambient color setting will be ported... and also remember my other tips.
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Toshiba-3 on Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:46 pm
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I tested the new release too. Worked mighty fine.
Haven't tested the new translucid material feature yet though.
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cesm20 on Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:22 pm
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You just have to make some 3d models in 3dsmax, and assign a material into the 3d model, and choose the opacity setting to a value you want, and also choose some diffuse color (it's best that both ambient and diffuse colors are the same to avoid confusion). Then you will have a translucent coloured model in the game WITHOUT having to create any texture for it ! This is useful for creating glasses or glasses with color without using alpha channel editing software, but also VERY USEFULL for porting cars from the game i porting since the windshields are kinda grey and translucent...
TTR on Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:14 pm
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Uh..but can they "smash" too? (smash, as in smashables, as in in the wam defined to break glass?)
cesm20 on Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:32 pm
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lol, that would be too good to be truth, right ? You must know how to create smashables, and the smashables text in the .txt track file... and you can't have cracked versions of the glass, for that you will still have to use software to handle alpha channels, BUT remember that there is a specific kind of smashables shrapnels that does smash the glass in pieces without having a extra texture with the destroyed glass.. just read c2 scientist tuturials.
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Toshiba-3 on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:28 pm
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Bumping this thread to say that ASE2ASC crashes when you copy/paste anything during a conversion.
Cesm, you may want to try this in order to verify that it's a general issue.
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cesm20 on Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:21 pm
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what the ?! That's very strange indeed, but you mean, when you use the clipboard, right ? I will check this out this weekend then i tell you something by monday. Thanks for the bug report!
cesm20 on Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:15 pm
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Here's the new version [url]http://www.freewebs.com/cesm22/ASE2ASC122.ZIP[/url] i fixed the bug regarding the clipboard and another bug regarding when untextured objects in ase files would be found which i accidently discovered when i tried to fix the clipboard bug !

Please try it again!
cesm20 on Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:42 pm
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can you tell me at least if it works now ok ?
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Toshiba-3 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:00 pm
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I tested the new version for the clipboard bug, it doesn't occur anymore.
I tested the special materials feature, seems to work well :smile:
This could lead me to another idea... Remember my idea of fxFoliage ?
Well I could model the grass and simply use this feature to avoid the use of textures. Just an idea ofcourse~
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cesm20 on Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:34 pm
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hum... please be more specific, so that it's possible to be done or not, since unfortunately i don't remember in which email you talked about the foliage, i would have to reread every email.
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Toshiba-3 on Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:08 pm
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It is clearly possible to be done, I would just have to test ingame to see if it has any visual impact or such.
You see I would just create thin tris/polys in small groups to form grass here and there and simply apply a diffuse color to the tris in MAX (slightly different colors for some grass to add a bit more realism, some yellowish, some brownish, some really green etc) and then simply export via ASE2ASC which will create the needed materials out of the diffuse color values, and finally I will just make the material nonsolid in PT2.
And don't worry about the theory in the mail, it's outdated now as it's quite obvious that it would be really too alphachannels intensive.

I think I'll try this in the HTAtrack, some grass around the dead trees for example.
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cesm20 on Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:47 pm
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ok, since i got visual studio .net 2005, i am going to upgrade my tool to vb .net, i would like to know if anyone that uses to use my tool, has problems with vb .net applications... or if i still need to update the vb6 version of this tool (which i will only do if i receive any bug reports since i am not planning anymore updates to it unless there is a bug report).

Also this vb .net remake will be maded mostly because with this version of visual basic i found more optimized aways for doing the same things, and maybe, i will add new features, i don't know yet.
TTR on Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:30 pm
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Do upgrade the tool :tup:
cesm20 on Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:41 pm
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lol, of course it's still going to take some time, meanwhile, there isnt' any other new problems with my ase2asc tool ?
TTR on Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:22 pm
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Can you make a function so that the diffuse color can be set on/off to c2's default while converting? because my cars really were destroyed by the default max grey diffuse color, and i would like to see that beeing "helped" setting it all default...and not just for me but for everyone that go and use the tool. Because i dont want to see very dark shaded cars or so heh because other people if they do it will probably dont know about this and think...what the?? You know...
I had to change about 80 times the grey dark color to totally white (255,255,255) :uho:
And that was AFTER i had released the car and thought what the hell was wrong with my car? And Econobrick told me about it it was that hehe!

So if it can be done, make the option like the 2 sided polys (a checkbox on/off) and set it default to on :smile: (and maybe when someone puts it off a warning message on what this does when its off?)

:uho: :grin:
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