HW2RM ship models

Anyone have any ideas where to start for extracting ship models from the .big file? I tried using an old utility and the extraction failed for the remastered version of HW2 ships.

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anyone able to contact cold fusion? maybe he can update his tool for the new hods?

Again - don’t edit HOD files. I can’t be more clear than that. And it’ll get less and less fun. The ‘correct’ tools are coming (one could say already out, you just don’t have examples for input format) - and most of the ‘real’ work of Mods will be able to go forward. Some of the kitbash stuff will need a bit of consideration - I have some ideas to put out there, but nothing ready.

i’m wondering, would something like smoothing particular edges be achievable through such a tool? some modders have made vertex injectors to manipulate geometry without needing to open the model. seems that might be ideal case

I feel like an ass having to say this - but I can’t promise stuff. And I can’t really talk about things that aren’t concrete. So spitballing with the community about some of what I am thinking is hard. I hope to resolve that very soon. You’ll have PLENTY to chew on before the weekend -though not about the longer-term idea.

Here’s my sort of ‘goals’ list (edit usually means add/remove/replace):

  • Ability to edit ship binding info (markers/hardpoints/nav-lights/etc)
  • Ability to edit animations
  • Ability to control/override materials/shaders
  • Ability to edit meshes

And so on. The idea is that all of this works in a way that others can build on - not steal/kitbash and replace. In theory you’d be able to make a ‘weapons enhanced’ mod for another mod - and survive their update of base meshes. Or using Gearbox as an example - but able to add extra death FX, add new bindings for various uses - but still work ‘as-is’ if we update a mesh or tweak something in a patch.

Kitbashing with ‘game ready’ assets means lossy file edits every time (especially once you see the newer pipeline) - so avoiding people ripping from each other is very important. If the community at large can setup some best practices to work together and function on top of each other (without liberal re-packaging and raw copy/paste) - it’s going to be much better for everyone, and I very much want to do the work that enables that going forward.

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Personally I just want to extract the meshes so I can see what the ship’s dimensions are, since there’s no ship viewer or whatever… PS if anyone can find the dimensions somewhere lemme know. Making comparison charts.

Hey there!
I really see your logic here. I was a modeler years ago for C&C Generals, and I agree that it would be much better on the long term.
My problem is just that I think having the original files open is really important to the modders… lets say I want to add a new Vaigr corvette, I would have much better results using another corvette model as a base, and going from there. Or maybe someone wants to put that models from the Karos Graveyard back into service, with a few modifications or etc, you get the idea.

So, why dont you guys just release the models, textures, etc, with the modding tools? I mean, that way the modders can use the assets, without messing with the ‘game ready’ ones… They will have to add them as new assets.

I can’t speculate as to what we’ll release, but ‘all’ ships is likely a bit much - just 2 was nearly 500MB. We’re talking a TON of data. Example Ships #1 leads one to believe however that there could be more numbers to follow, yeah?

Taking a HOD with any toolkit and making a DAE for re-feed back into HODOR correctly is ugly, ugly, ugly.

The whole ‘we have to dump the assets to Mod’ argument doesn’t ring entirely true to me. So many great Mods, certainly most are made with entirely distinct assets - we’ve now released the tools (better tools than HW1/HW2 EVER had) - and we plan to support them. ‘Kitbashing’ as well is just a cry for ‘remix culture’ - as an ex DJ I get it. But at the same time I think more will be done by building systems to help Mods cooperate without direct asset ‘borrowing’. Hell, the classic assets exist en-masse - go tackle your own remaster using our stuff as a guide. At least then you won’t be stumbling over our updates and edits, etc.

If you make a mod and really don’t care to keep the results to yourself (counter to what anyone says working on Mods does not somehow void your rights to copyright of your own creations…) - you should be able to do that - dump your raw assets onto gitHub and watch as people cry for joy at your selflessness. On the other hand if you’re of the belief that your work (even the hard to protect stuff like raw TGAs for things like Badges or Battle scars) is your work - there needs to be a means to respect that. If you think that serious and talented artists won’t be turned off by having their works ‘borrowed’ and hacked at when they’ve not said outright that’s okay - you aren’t being realistic. If you make mods, experiments, examples - and you want to be clear that people can and should derive from your work - give it a Creative Commons badge - be a hero. People will know they can do as they please - and any issues of ‘permission’ or ‘credit’ go right out the window.

I doubt, very much, that Gearbox has any interest or intent to get into this stuff. Steam has it’s own process for this (flagging content as inappropriate or theft, etc) - the people that want to be the sole source for their output will have means to ensure that (within reason). My concern is helping or endorsing that process or mentality. I will support our tools. I won’t help tear apart other author’s work. To that end, making systems that dis-incentivize that sort of stuff is key, making systems that allow people to work on top of existing assets is key. You won’t have to agree with me. But my perspective will inform what sorts of assistance I give or work I sign up to do in service of the greater community (personally and professionally).


most of the size comes from the textures, maybe it would be possible to just release the dae files. the textures would already be available to anyone who has the game.

This might very well be true for other games, but from my extensive (~10 years) experience in the modding scene, most of the major modifications for Homeworld 2 (barring franchise-based total conversions like Star Wars-themed mods etc.) like Complex, TFS, PDS and EX rely heavily on a mixture of kitbashes and shared assets.

[quote=“BitVenom, post:9, topic:116985”] ‘Kitbashing’ as well is just a cry for ‘remix culture’ - as an ex DJ I
get it. But at the same time I think more will be done by building
systems to help Mods cooperate without direct asset ‘borrowing’. Hell, the classic assets exist en-masse - go tackle your own remaster using our stuff as a guide.[/quote]

I have to respectfully disagree with you here. There is a difference between good kitbashing and bad kitbashing. Let’s take the Vaygr corvettes, for example, which are based on a common chassis and only differ in the weapon systems mounted. Creating your own custom mesh for a weapon system and then “kitbashing” it onto a modified corvette chassis is not too different in concept and practice. Moreover, it brings me to my next and arguably more important point - it makes modding ships much more accessible.

There is a shortage of people who can create brand-new models AND textures from scratch in the modding community as it is, and it is unrealistic to think that most of us are going to be able to pick up 3DS and create a whole roster of fully textured ship models for our individual mods. Hence why you see a LOT of shared ship hods in most of the major Homeworld 2 mods (again, barring the franchise-based TCs). Discouraging or preventing simple tweaks and modifications to existing meshes or even using the stock textures for user-generated models will really limit the accessibility of modding. It’s also important to keep in mind that many of the major mods initially start with simple kitbashes/tweaks to hods before the modders develop the necessary skills to create better replacements in successive releases.

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“So many great Mods, certainly most are made with entirely distinct assets”
Plain wrong for Homeworld 2 modding. Most of the content in non-TC Homeworld mods is not new assets, they’re kitbashes and even many new assets are originally based on kitbashing.

Also you’re limiting the tools available to modders based on your own subjective moral stances while claiming how they’re so superior to everything that came before. Think about how wrongheaded that is. You don’t enforce your moral stance on others by limiting what they can do because you think it’s “right” - if you want people to share your stance you convince them with reason, not by withholding important tools you deem “wrong”.

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Hi BitVenom, just to get a bit out of the HOD direct editting thing.

Is HODOR really the tool used to create the new HOD files, it is well commandline stuff, and feels a bit like back to DOS times. CFHODEdit had a GUI and visual stuff, it had ist flaws but it worked for most parts good enough for ist purpose.

Seeing the exmaple ships in 3dsMAX worries me a bit, because that is a lot of stuff that needs to be done by hand which CFHODEdit were automated at.

I don’t want to blame you guys for the effort you guys are making to provide tools and mod compatibility, but a commandline tool, that leaves me a bit speechless.

If possible could you talk a bit about the tools used to create the ships and the workprocess to the HODs?

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I find no problem with the GBX stance on this issue.

Look at it this way, would all of you prodding for release of the GBX ships be 100% ok with someone running off with your kitbashes or original models and putting them into a new mod (and releasing it) without your knowledge?

And nothing wrong with command line. You kids today are spoiled with your fancy GUI’s. :slight_smile:


I know both, and GUI is just much easier to work into.
while it is nice to have such a tool at all after such a short time, I’m quite used to CFHODEdit… :frowning:

Can we get resource collector and resource controller next?

A mega response post!

Eh - no. The in-HOD textures are compressed and HODOR needs them broken out into discrete channels as well. Putting them back in VERY rapidly leads to garbage pixels. The normals and other textures suffer badly under DXT1-5 compression, especially the stuff that uses ‘off axis’ optimizations - because in GPU pipes the colors are floats - the values decompressed represent a color space that doesn’t go back to 8888 ARGB nicely - repeating the process is extremely destructive. Try it yourself, it won’t be nice.

I imagine (again, can’t promise!) that many many ships will be released as full assets. ‘All’ is really unlikely - I can’t even guess how big the total dataset is.

I write tools, not moderate the scene. Go at it, share assets. Often those are things added to existing objects - which I’d love to help get some cool systems in place for. I’m not hostile to doing any of this - but I can’t engage in helping people rip apart ‘built for game’ assets. Not my problem.

Limiting tools? You now have the tools we used to make this game. There’s a very selective perspective at work here:

  • HW1 had virtually zero dev support. The systems to edit it and add content were beyond arcane.
  • HW2 got a single patch post release. Most of what happened to create the ‘scene’ was external developers with free time making new tools.

Contrast that with today:

  • 1 major patch out, more (likely!) coming.
  • ‘beta’ distinction for MP to indicate that we want it to grow and adapt to both external feedback and technical realities.
  • Devs (myself, etc) openly asking ‘What would make LUA run better?’, ‘What other tools should we support?’, ‘Can we make new systems that will make many mods and mods of mods easier/quicker/better?’. How often do you ever hear that? Seriously.
  • It’s not a moral stance to say ‘I will support X’. That’s my time and effort. That’s energy that can be put into many things. It’s neither boundless nor infinite. You can now make ships that rival our own. Some of the biggest Mods in your community are about to prove that. I am not ‘limiting’ you by not actively assisting you… I am not responsible for your actions.

No, seriously, we use HODOR. You think a GUI is fine until you realize there’s a pipeline that GUI doesn’t support. It isn’t just ‘had it flaws’ (and OMG it has some crazy bugs) - it doesn’t work anymore. Ignore my advice - don’t use our tools - and when the format changes, we add new data or systems - and we patch our content… you’ll be stuck having to rehack stuff, wait for an author to update with a format they don’t have the info for, etc. In contrast, every effort will be taken to make our released tools work with our updates - as that’s sorta the point of releasing them, yeah?

Ditto for examples. They’re in Steam Workshop so that we can update them as required. New tool feature or input data tweak? Update tools & examples. New internal engine data requirements? Update tools & examples.

HODOR is able to take the entire raw asset tree and convert it into game-ready data in a single step. And not just ships (we’ll get to all of that soon). That same system will be open for Mod authors to use (is now in a sense) - our GUI was Max (and HW2’s GUI was Maya…) - how is this surprising?

I feel for you - I really do. And that is a HUGE part of the open offer to find other tools to interop with. But I can’t help support tools written outside of the actual dev by others, it has ZERO to do with Gearbox.

I honestly cannot, under any circumstances, promise the release or execution of anything. That said, your request is noted.


Thanks for your reply on a Weekend but, that was in no way meant as an offence to you.
I didn’t touch CFHODEdit for years nor hacked anything. I’m still preparing a ship in Max.
Nice Information, didn’t know the original ships were made in maya.
At what poind did the HUI fail in the work pipleline?
So far, didn’t had too much time with the examples, I’m just looking for the information for about size of navlights, Intervall color an this kind of stuff. but I guess that will come in time.
While it is nice to have everything in Max, currently 2015 version is driving me nutts :frowning:
Oh and I do not ask for support for the old community tools that were made by all the other mod creators back in the days.

Have a nice Weekend.

So the tldr I’m getting from this is that we have to wait to see what management decides. Am I right?

I wasn’t offended, and I really do understand your struggle. We’ll make more examples (NavLights are CRAZY powerful now!) - and you’ll get more comfy with the tools. I wasn’t trying to single you out - the points I had to make were for everyone. You just happened to have quotes that likely mirror what others are thinking or have already said elsewhere.