Beginner HWRM Modding & Editing

Hello GBX forums,

I am just taking my first steps into modding HWRM. I know its kinda rude to begin an introduction with requests, particularly because I will probably never contribute much and just take up time, but all too often I have to seek out those more experienced to learn from in order to begin, as I get stumped on what I know should be basic stuff. I am attempting to pull the models out of the game into blender, and I am having a hangup. So I got the big files decrypted, and opened/archived with CFHOD into nice big directories I can open and explore with CFHOD. I can open the files, and mess around with the 3d model in the viewer panel, so we have liftoff. How would I go about taking it to blender from a HOD file, as the only tools seem to open DAE’s. What I guess I am hung up on is what a DAE is! I get that somehow you utilize the toolkit to extract the DAE files, and then you can convert these DAE’s into HOD’s to reintroduce into the game with HODOR (which is a beautifully designed tool, whomever did that), but how do I convert a HOD into a DAE, or is that even possible? If not, why extract the HOD’s at all? If you cant modify them as HOD’s, and only as DAE’s why would one extract a HOD from the game?

In short; how do I open the HOD’s in blender, and if impossible, how do I get a nice directory of DAE’s like the HOD directory I have to open in blender, and then how do I open that in blender.

Sorry for the long laundry list of questions, I hope my question isnt way too dumb to warrant an answer.

The hod format of HwRm is different from the hod format of HW2.
CFHODed was never intented for use with HwRm and will not extract correctly all the informations from HwRm hod files.
What you want to do is extract the original 3d files from the game from what I understand ? Know that it’s not something Gearbox will help with as it’s like “cracking” the game assets.
Think of the DAE file as the source file to create HwRm hods, nothing else. If it’s not your ship to begin with, you won’t have access to this source file and so won’t be able to modify it.
The only exception to this are old hod files from HW2, which can be converted back using RODOH, which will create a DAE file from the old hod and include into it all the necessary informations to be able to recreate a new HwRm hod.

tl;dr : what you want to do is not possible

edit : would perhaps need clarification/precision from @Bitvenom but I shouldn’t be far from reality

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Taking the HW:RM assets and going to DAE, and then back is bad-juju - not only does RODOH not handle those HOD files, but the textures inside are baked for in-game use. Going back to DAE means decompressing a ton of merged/processed data. The result, on the way back into HOD from those DAEs will be artifacts from recompression… it is far from lossy.

If you have HODs from prior games you want to use, that’s easy - or you can use our many examples (linked in this forum and available in Steam Workshop) to look at how many things were made, how to do your own, etc.

@BitVenom, What if I had kit-bashed ships from HW2, and wanted to use the new updated ships to re-create those kit-bashed ships?

There’s a ‘patching’ system for that sort of thing coming, a big part of it is already in testing for the next patch… and RODOH/HODOR will gain some new powers too.

Without details I really can’t answer your question - to be frank I am focused on the patch, and then after, the DAE->HOD toolchain, not much else.

Hmmm… Well I don’t exactly want to go back, nor do I need the textures. I really just want the updated ship models. Also, wouldn’t that kind of DRM prevent modders from making ships from existing hwrm textures, such as the ships in REARM such as the vaygr support and sniper frigates that are based on existing ship hulls?

Baked for game data is not DRM. Almost any game out right now (unreal/unity as key examples) are going to have assets that aren’t ‘raw’ data any longer, they’re cooked and contain data that is processed and only viable in-game. There’s a ton of loss and compression. Some games bake data more than others, certainly - but ‘DRM’ is a very poor way to describe normal development.

As for stuff like REARM - they’re more than likely going to use the patching tools after the next patch - not only is their mod way, way smaller then (don’t have to clone/redist a ton of models already in the game), but the process is additive and very flexible.

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Ahh I see. But I have managed to open the models in CFHOD, does that mean that 3d models as “simple” data exist on some level? If so, how would I go about getting at that?

Save them from CfHOD if you want (I think? I haven’t used it in ages) - but no automated mechanism exists, and most of the important stuff (joints, nodes, etc) will have to be manually grafted back.

Finally figured it out, just had to export the mesh you want and it pops out as an obj file! If anyone wants to know, im exporting the models to games like space engineers and starmade. How big are these ships anyways? Is as fighter f-16 sized or boeing 747 size?

I would say a viable scale is 1 unit = 1 meter, which puts fighters much closer to f-16 size.

Just be clear that you’re cool to use assets in that manner for personal use - go nuts - hell, post shots :wink: But as part of a Workshop or Mod for another game, not so much…

Yeah I figured that would not be proprietary as that would basically be putting your new games assets up for download. Doesn’t matter much anyways, the program used to convert the models, SEToolbox, didn’t like the RM models and they came out LESS detailed when rebuilt than original HW models. Bah.

::DESERTS OF KHARAK SPOILER ALERT::
On the scale note, are the ships in HW not to scale with each other, because the Taiidan carrier in Deserts of Kharak is about 4x the length of the Kapisi, putting it at about 2km in length! It was previously believed the Taiidan carrier itself was about 500m long, as indicated by numerous size guides online. But the Deserts of Kharak expedition guide garage is the only definitive canon source for unit scales to my knowledge, and that about fits with the size of the freighter fleet shipwrecks you find in Deserts of Kharak.

I talked to Rob about that, and it seems the answer is actually a lot simpler. They forgot to Homework. I asked about that in the Reddit AMA and followed up on Facebook with him, and what I imagine happened is they used the original files from HW1, which is assumed that the units for those models were in feet (blasphemy on their Canadian heritage) when compared to HW2 models which are assumed to be in meters. The RM scaling i like best, as it accurately portrays the HW1 ships to scale with HW2 ships were the HW1 model units to be in feet, or about that at least.

There has been long debate on Relicnews and the Facebook group over scaling and I’m glad it’s finally being put to rest since I obsess… and I mean OBSESS. over ship sizes.

What do you mean? I’m editing ships with CFHod for RM and the joints I’ve put in CFHod are working just fine in RM, with or without going through RODOH/HODOR.

I’ll see about cracking open your mod when I have some spare time and see if I can make ships look any better via RODOH/HODOR. :wink:

Well, I would be very interested if you managed to crack it open. If you get through DerpSec**, can you PM me how you did it?

** the nickname of the security feature I and some other modders implemented to avoid getting some assets copied without permission by for-profit teams, particularly code. Of course, if you want it, I can send you some samples from the mod. So, apparently, the trick is no longer working. Crap.

A few notes… (all stuff I’ve said before)

  • CfHODED isn’t saving out all of the data in your HOD correctly. Maybe a hacked version is just cloning data it doesn’t understand to ‘keep’ it - but that’ll cause problems too. They may be subtle, at first.

  • CfHODED isn’t going to work with newer HODs and you’ll lose your changes - there are a ton of internal revisions to the data format coming. Your edited HODs will need to run through HODOR to work in-game at all, and without a DAE to start that, you’re going nowhere fast.

  • Go to DAE, use HODOR to go to HOD.

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Thing is, I’m the only actual coder in the mod (we have people doing models and textures, but I’m the only one doing the actual integration, scripting and the rest), and I have little to say no experience in 3D editing software. That plus finishing a PhD in Physics right now means I do not have the time right now to learn that to get all the files in the proper way (aka most likely restarting them from scratch).

I know I’ll have to tinker with the stuff, especially the multi-mesh models I’m using for some of the bigger ships (200k+ polys), but as long as RODOH will allow me to end up with a working version of the .dae for HODOR, editing the .dae directly is going to be out of my reach for quite some time.

Assign your 3D modellers to get a grip on the DAE to HODOR pipeline. They should do it.