allow shp vehicle units to use a "Sequence" like infantry units do

Bug #895003 reported by Black Temple Gaurdian
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

; example

[AmphiousMech] ;Mech that can swim tongue.gif


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MT1337 (mt1337) wrote :

One of the most important art features I see. Definitely worth it.

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Renegade (renegade) wrote :

Care to elaborate why this is so important? With bug:293 re-enabling amphibious voxels, the swimming part of the example should be doable, HVAs can do the walking, and turret animations and cycling should be usable for firing.

Not saying voxels can dispay everything SHPs can, just saying I don't see a usage case for something this big and complex - which is curious, given that it's supposedly one of the most import art features.

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Beowulf (genkosygin) wrote :

I guess they don't know about WalkingFrames, etc that apply to SHP vehicles. As such, kinda makes this not as worthwile unless you just allow an SHP vehicle to use Sequence.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

i support on this feature since vehicle animation is so limit compare with infantry [ it can do only walk and fire and death anim ] and i think the most easy way to make it can have animation as infantry do are just make it support "Sequence" like infantry.

now it can Prone , Swim , Idle , infantry deploy or even have more death animation.

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

SHP vehicles can have idle animation, SHP infantry cant have that.

Exemple a spinning rotor of some chopper unit

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :


it can have idle animation but the problem is.. it can only use same with walk animation [you cant separate walk animation and idle animation anymore] . and infantry have idle animation but it work different like push-up when they don't do anything. for example.

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

yes, infantry idle animation are useless.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

but doesn't mean another animation not useful. and personally i think this logic seem likely to be fix facing problem from non turret balloon hover unit neither [because balloon hover infantry don't have that problem and this's the main problem that make me support this logic].

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

SHP vehicles have many bugs in YR:

- Hover shp vehicles can only have shadow if they have turret(this means no firing animation)
- Ballon hover shp vehicles cant have shadow, only if they have turret(this means no firing animation)
- If you have IdleRate and WalkRate tags in rules, the tags AccelerationFactor= and DeaccelerationFactor= are ignored. This is bad becuse mech units dont accelerates.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

that's the reason why shp vehicle should work with same infantry tag.

if it too hard to fix all shp vehicle bug why don't make infantry unit can creation from war factory and give "vehicle heal bar" for them now it isn't different from give Sequence to vehicle. [turret is no need for this but it isn't serious thing since modder can use normal vehicle code]

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

yes, I agree.

Also coders should remeber that SHP vehicles ange order are in N,NW,W,SW,S,SE,E,NE, infantry have the opposite(Starting with N)

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Renegade (renegade) wrote :

It's nice you two agree, but so far, I haven't heard a compelling reason for us to do either of this.

Is there any specific kind of VehicleType that 100% requires infantry animations to look passable?

Or is this just an "oh, shiny" kind of thing?

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

when vehicle can do everything that infantry can, it open new way to make graphic for artist. it very useful specialize for shp modder like me [that not only me in today] who avoid to use voxel in game . i'll tell you the main point why i want this logic so much.

- Infantry Balloon Hover don't have facing problem when they fire weapon like non-turret Balloon vehicle, it's mean logic will solve this problem perfectly [at least only for shp unit] and with this logic it can allow me creation air unit that can have all primary attack , Secondary Attack , Move and Idle animation [land infantry may not idle like AnnoySumo said but everyone know idle work for flying infantry [while Rocketeer floating for example].

- like what Black Temple Gaurdian want, now he can get his swim animation for his Mech. :p

example product
- Attack Chopper with attack animation.
- Amphibious Mode for vehicles that use Shp

i think in good hand this logic will change face of graphic in YR. :p

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WoRmINaToR (worminator) wrote :

what is the point of making SHP vehicles? Voxels are way, way easier and simpler and you can animate most parts of a voxel with HVAs and a little skill.

I agree having an amphibious mech without a different graphic would look terribly odd, but what's the logic in having an amphibious mech anyways (RA3 Mecha Tengu?)?

And If you put Accelerates=false on your unit it will not accelerate, end of story.

I suppose if it was simple enough to hook SHP vehicle logic to Infantry Sequences then go for it, but if it is too difficult it's not really worth it.

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DCoder DCoder (dcoder1337) wrote :

what is the point of making SHP vehicles? Voxels are way, way easier and simpler and you can animate most parts of a voxel with HVAs and a little skill. Voxels are way, way easier and simpler and you can animate most parts of a voxel with HVAs and a little skill.

Have you actually seen H_M's work ? SHP vehicles are quite useful.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

for me and many modder [specialize people who know to use 3d program that mostly make Total Conversion Project ] . shp is alot more easier to make than vxl ...

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WoRmINaToR (worminator) wrote :

well then if you think it would be good then go for it, I'm not going to bother over it since it doesn't affect me.

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Renegade (renegade) wrote :

Honestly, I'm not convinced...if D wants to try this one, alright, but personally, I think it would be far more useful to just allow additional HVAs depending on the action performed - e.g. a moving HVA, a firing HVA, an idle HVA and so on.

Also, I'm not entirely sure how, if you're already using a 3D program, making SHPs is easier?
- For voxels, you finish the model, export it, run it through 3ds2vxl, dump an HVA on it, done. It may require additional touch-ups, but it'll fit into the game just like that.
- For SHPs, you finish the model, export a shitload of frames, apply the correct palette, make sure no colors got screwed up (especially red/remap fuckups), bring the frames into the correct order, compile them into an SHP, build a complex art section so it displays correctly (as opposed to just doing Voxel=yes), run the game, take screenshots, and then repeat the entire process as often as necessary to get the edges, highlights and shadows just right.
And then probably have to do additional touch-ups for specific frames or directions. are arguing that painting dozens of frames in a particular theme in a particular palette is easier than automatically converting a 3D model.

Even if you honestly believe that, you'll have to admit that creating idle anims with the HVA editor, saving, and adding one flag to the art entry would be a lot quicker than creating the idle anim, rendering it, applying the palette, adding it at the correct place in the image sequence, adding the shadows at the correct place in the image sequence, compiling the SHP, and writing new sequence entries.

It's the difference between "meh, I don't like it...I'll move it further out" and "ah, fuck - now I have to spend another hour on this damn sequence!".

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

personally i dont care any about idle anim from this logic but i care only this logic can to make shp balloon hover unit work perfect. since flying [balloon] infantry don't have any problem like vehicle. [it have move , idle , attack animation working already it can fire the weapon and turn his face follow their target [this most important] and create shadow on ground].

however i hear someone request for dog kennel logic? because that logic can do what i want either, if unit that get creation from kennel have unique build queue. [just give option to put vehicle heal bar for this unit]

---------------- below is my opinion about shp making you can avoid to read this if you think it will waste your time -----------

since i work on shp unit i take only few time to work with unit in frame by frame mostly work very well after render. and most incorrect color [include remap] can be fix by OS shp Builder in few minute. [i can tell you how i fix remap color with out working frame by frame if you want to know]

Vxl "Normal" is real pain , it even harder than fix color in shp frame by frame. i know vxl editor can generate it but finally the best way to get best normal is paint it all by hand like mostly skilled vxl maker does. and i'm sure even by skilled voxeler it still take load of time to done this.

that make me believe, making vxl is easy but to make real good looking vxl is alot harder than making good looking shp, what ever color i put to vxl can be bend by game lighting.

[ this's my voxel that i create by using 3ds to vxl convertor but it still get black dot , too bright problem when display in game [none of editor can show what ingame looklike when it effect by game lighting] and i'm sure i cant fix all of these in 1-2 hour. ]

- animation part in vxl can't create shadow.

and most unit in my mod screenshot [previous reply] you see use same palette [All of them is shp, GDI and Fed Unit use their own faction palette ] i'm welcome to give my time for whole day to make new pal if i can use it to apply unit for whole faction. some color may be lost or bend but it not serious problem becaus it not too different from original color.

[ i know my texture is something i overdone for this game [because my personal joyfully ]

but truly you don't even need texture to make your unit look good [i'm not sure this's Pepsi or Gangster unit?]

- writing new sequence isn't problem since i done the model , animation , and render it by self i know the frame number on what my unit do already.

finally only time i need to spend is only just making model/texture and animation.

for lighting , camera direction can be done by max script like Flyby RA2_TOOLSET.

Revision history for this message
Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

D and Ren do excellent job on Ares.
But Ares lack graphic related features. So I think this is a great idea(what is this game worth with bad graphics?).
Another idea is to improve voxel engine and normals. That will every single person happy :D

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DCoder DCoder (dcoder1337) wrote :

I have not reverse engineered the voxel drawing engine enough to understand HVA behaviours. I do, however, have a decent comprehension of SHP animations and sequencing. Now, given those facts, which of those engines am I more likely to enhance?

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MT1337 (mt1337) wrote :

Please enhance SHP and let shp vehicles uses sequences. For what its worth it is a feature I would definitely use in my mod (when ares releases and such).

A very well done SHP looks better than a very well done Voxel, as there are less game things like HVAs and Normals to screw up the art, there is just the images with frames, and a sequence to control. Also custom palettes too, if you let them for SHP units, this is another way SHP units can have more quality potential.

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DCoder DCoder (dcoder1337) wrote :

I've been looking at the SHP vehicle handling... how do you SHP users deal with slopes and lack of tilt?

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Can't tell for all moders, but i am just not use any slopes at all, just how old CnC games do.

- Gangster

P.S Is this possible to add support of 32-facing SHP with Sequence.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

mostly Total Conversion Mod have new terrain and that force them to make own map.

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MT1337 (mt1337) wrote :

Lack of slopes can hurt the appearance of SHP tanks and such, but for most usage of SHP vehicles this is okay.

Usually either the mod doesn't have slopes, or the unit in question is a "walker" type, which should stay upright on slopes anyways.

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Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Code related to this issue has just been checked in!
Author: DCoder
Location: issue-328-extended-sequences, r732
Revision comment:
Related to issue #328 - new branch for implementation.

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Blade (nadia-xy) wrote :

Nice though the rendered versions of tanks and aircraft look, I still don't see why there is insistance on using these as .shp. For complicated animated mechs I can understand but otherwise they just don't look better enough IMO to justify sequences for slopes and all the other stuff that is wanted. Its DCoders time to use as he wants, but I think its only going to help a couple of pedantic artists that don't want their "vision" tarnished by "inferior" voxels.

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Joshy (joshy) wrote :

I just wanted to bring this topic back up. It is very important for the artistic side of the game if shp units can have slope dedicated frames. Initially, that is what is holding me back from using shp units because they look very awkward on slopes.

I very much support this feature, and hope to see it come to fruition.

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

it not possible to make shp slope. [specilize that shp have turret]

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YR M0ddEr (yr-m0dder) wrote :

I think sequence for vehicles is not needed. But the art ini tags for shp vehicles should extend:
- Support slopes
- Support death frames
- Support aircraft

No more.
SHP vehicles types already support idle animations.

Some are already fixed to.
Like in vanillia, hover or ballonhover shp vehicle must have turret or they cant have shadow. This is fixed, which is very nice.

SHP vehicles dont need tags like prone, random idle animation, swim, pannic, crawl and so on, its a waste of time if you ask me.

Edit: support slopes for shp vehciles with turret is probably impossible. So I dont know about extending shp units is a good idea.

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AlliedG (alliedg) wrote :

I already made my point in another thread with people saying shp units are just a "nuance" instead of realising the bigger picture.

There are big total conversion mods in the community which are as good if not even better then those fancy Generals/3D engine CNC mods which are know by most people outside of the renegade zone.

More examples of the win -

Personally if you are going to trivalise such work as pedantic then you should consider yourself a bit of ass and against new creative modding approaches which will improve the profile of Ares.

I mean "clearly" their are 10 million 3d model shp artists in community who can render in 3DS Max and completely animate new infantry like Holy Master. (yes this was sarcasm)

Some aspects of the modding community have actually moved on from adding new units to RA2 you know.

When big projects start converting, adopting Ares to the full, they should be noticed.

Also why is everyone going crazy over slopes as if they are sacred? - it's like 2000 all over again when everyone said exe hacking or modifying was impossible.

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Renegade (renegade) wrote :

So wait...
TD had shps only.
RA had shps only.
TS added voxels.
RA2 kept voxels in addition to shps.
Some modders go back to shps only.

...and those modders are "moving on"?

Yeah. I can totally see it: Replacing 360° of unit data, 6 degrees of freedom and dynamic lighting with x frames of limited, unchangeable unit views is totally an improvement.

I mean, that's why the advent of 3D-acceleration triggered all game developers to move back to sprites, right? Because fixed 2D images are so much better and more flexible than properly rendered and integrated 3D objects!

I don't have sarcasm tags big enough for this shit.

There is -apparently- an implementation branch for this. Either it results in something, or not. There's really no point in arguing for or against the awesomeness of SHP units at this point. Either it's reasonably doable, or it isn't.

I will say, however, that all the shit that's being brought up that's making this complicated -slopes, tilting, z-ordering, etc., etc.- are exactly the goddamn reason Westwood moved on from SHPs for vehicles in the first place.
Because, believe it or not, for nominally 3-dimensional objects, a 3-dimensional representation actually makes more sense.
So as much as some of you may cry that SHP vehicles are oh-so-awesome and superior, you should consider the fact that adding complex graphical capabilities to SHP-vehicles is just too much effort to justify the work - which would be the exact reason WW went with voxels instead.

The simple fact of the matter is: Reality doesn't give a shit what you think. You can think SHPs should replace all voxels until your head explodes and it rains unicorns, if reality says it's just not feasible, tough luck.

So yeah.
Cut the stupid discussion and wait it out.
Either extended sequences will come, or not.
Nobody's opinion will make any difference at this point.
Only technical issues count now.

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YR M0ddEr (yr-m0dder) wrote :

I think, instead of allow shp to use sequence, the voxel engine(including normals) should be improved. How that is going to be done have I no idea about :p

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Holy_Master (holy-master) wrote :

voxel is only few part of graphic in this engine if you ask me. most of them is bitmap graphic. they use voxel only vehicle and only good point of voxel i can see is it can slope by terrain. [so... increadible feature!] if WW have problem about making shp graphic they should make infantry and building as voxel too because vehicle shp is alot more easier to make than previous.i think main reason they use voxel because they deformation terrain thing that's all.

and since i start to make mod by shp i never ask for slope shp and i will never ask for it. because i can accept what it can do/can't do and i don't need it. and all benefit i get from this is perfect gunship by using infantry jumpjet animation.

but this logic can be possible if it can't possible that's just because ARES don't want to do it. [don't like slope shp thing that can't be possible in every logic] or atleast just clone infantry set them as new kind of unit and give them vehicle healbar and build from factory. [i dunno maybe you will have an idea to add turret for them :p ]

but it's wrong if some people want to try something different from another?

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AlexB (alexander-b) wrote :

Voxels are good for everything that can be viewed from different angles. Perspective of buildings are fixed in the viewport, so there really is no need to make them voxels. IIRC in an interview in 1999 some Westwood guy said (don't have proof available, was in a German PC mag) voxels are way more efficient to keep in memory, because there is only one piece of data how the thing and its turret looks -- there is no need to have the look from every angle possible available in memory. If needed, the appearance from a specific viewing angle can be calculated from the voxel.

The moment the chassis changes shape or turret of a SHP unit changes its location related to the chassis -- be it by walking, swimming, proning, cheering or whatever (or standing on a slope) -- the count of needed frames will spin out of control, because for every possible configuration there need to be special frames for it to look good. Without support for multi-part units (that is, no turret and no barrel) it is technically possible, but I don't know how much work that would be and whether this is feasible at all.

This is just some technical stuff, it doesn't say SHPs are bad or voxels are ugly and don't offer enough control. Just to say something would be good to have doesn't make it magically possible.

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DCoder DCoder (dcoder1337) wrote :

What Alex said. While it is possible we'll add something useful here, I don't foresee large amounts of time being spent on it. If you guys can live without slopes, that makes things easier but from the technical POV you're still limited more than voxels...

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cranium (cranium) wrote :

I'd hate to live without slopes but whatever you devs decide upon is fine with me, I'll take what I can get.:) Though I would like to see the body use the same amount of facings as it's counterpart, the turret. (32 facings) It would give it the ability to have a much smoother turn ratio, instead of "jumping" to the next facing. I just think 8 facings is awful. Hell even 16 facings would be much better.

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WoRmINaToR (worminator) wrote :

As far as the issue goes, I am in agreement with Renegade and Alex here. I did at one time vouch for the graphical superiority of SHP vehicles (they look cleaner and nicer), but I have realized here that the technical superiority of voxels is far more important. Even with added features to enhance SHP vehicle capabilities, they are still limited compared to voxels, and in several ways.

But as Ren said, development has already been decided on, so we'll just wait and see what happens.

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YR M0ddEr (yr-m0dder) wrote :

Also, many shp=lag
I rather have improved voxels.

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Joshy (joshy) wrote :

Alright, very understandable. I'm actually just going to go ahead and drop slopes in what I'm doing. I'm not really a fan of voxels.

"Also, many shp=lag"
Too much of anything can = lag.

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