Creating CC Vehicles
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This is a page for helping those who are modding Close Combat vehicles. I would like to thank him for letting us put it up on CSO. Sulla

This guide is written by Han Bos aka Atilla

 

Contents

Introduction

1. Editing vehicle graphics

  1.    1.1  Making the graphics
  2.    1.2  Repainting the graphics
  3.    1.3  Basic painting techniques

2.  Putting  vehicle graphics in CloseCombat 3

  1. 2.1   Editing vehicle graphics
  2. 2.1.1  Extracting existing graphics from the tanks.zfx file
  3. 2.1.2  Inserting new images in the tanks.zfx file

Credits:

TinTin

Dreaded’88

GS_Marcks

Introduction

The idea behind this utility is to make vehicle painting a bit more accessable for the general CC player, and to ease it for modmakes.

Most of these graphics were made for CC1946. As the technique I use for painting them allows for very easy adaptation of the camo and colors of the tanks, other modmakers might take advantage of these graphics for their own mods.

The part of this document on inserting new images into CC3 was intended for a editing-quide, but looking at the progress right now, to finish the whole thing may take eons J .

The vehicles shown here, were painted like this in a matter of minutes. When resizing them to 60% of the original size, like the small ones below, they can be used for CC4 and CC5. They will need some ajustments to make the graphics more clear, but that’s not very hard to do.

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I hope this utility proves to be usefull to some people,

Han Bos aka Atilla

1. Editing vehicle graphics

Tools needed for editing graphics

The gun and vehicle graphics are a part that most mods will replace, either completely or parts of them. The tools needed for this, are TinTin’s zfx and nnt tool, and the tanktool.  You also need to have the microsoft JVM on the computer, but most versions of Windows do have that standard. To edit the TGA graphics themselfs, you will need a program like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro.

1.1  Making the graphics

Probably the hardest thing in making new vehicle graphics, is getting the basic vehicle shape right. I hope that the Do-it-yourself-kit will make painting your own tanks a bit easier: the only thing you have to do is recolor and camouflage the tanks.

The size of the graphics in the kit is zoom-in CC3.  To produce CC3 normal size graphics, reduce the size to 50%. This will cause the graphics to be a bit blurred, so you will have to change them a bit.

To make CC4 and CC5 graphics, reduce the size to 60% of CC3 zoom-in scale. This gives a better effect than 50%, although some repainting is needed here too.

One problem you will encounter, is the distinction between hull and turret graphic. There are several ways to make the turret more visible on the hull.

The first way is to paint a black/dark outline around the turret, so that the shape stands out a bit more. Another way is to lighten the turret graphic more than the hull.  Give both options a try to see what you like.

1.2  Repainting the graphics

Only a few tools are needed to reach a nice effect. We’ll discuss the use of those here. As I have PSP, I’ll use that programm to explain the settings used. Photoshop probably has similar tools.

1.3  Basic painting techniques

First, cut the hull-graphic you want to use, and paste it as a ‘new image’. On top of that image, paste the same hull-graphic again, now as a ‘transparent image’ (white being the transparant color)  The reason why to do this, is that now you can recolor and paint on the hull-graphic without painting on the surrounding pixels. This is important, as every pixel that is not plain white will show up in closecombat.

Now you have a ‘floating’ hull-graphic, you can start changing the color.

To change the base color, you can use the following tools:

Colors => adjust => Hue/Saturation/Lightness   :  tune down saturation and lightness for a more dark yellow base color.

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Colors => adjust =>Hue map :  the second sliding-bar can alter the base color from dark-green to snow-white; very usefull to make snow camo.

Once the base color is to your liking, you can add camouflage. One of the most usefull tools for that is the Airbrush. Some samples of German brown and green are included with the kit.

The settings I use for the airbrush are usually these: shape = round,  size = 5,  hardness = 20, opacy = 35, step = 1,  density = 65.

Once you’ve got the basic idea, experiment a bit with the tools till you get the result you like.

2.  Putting  vehicle graphics in CloseCombat

2.1  Editing vehicle graphics

In some cases, it can be usefull to edit existing graphics and change those a bit. So let’s start with opening the original tanks.zfx file.

2.1.1  Extracting existing graphics from the tanks.zfx file

The following steps 3 are needed to open the tanks.zfx file.

1) make a new folder; for this example let’s presume it is C:\CC3tanks . Now make a copy

    of the original tanks.zfx file, and place that in the new folder. Put the zfx.exe tool also in

    this folder. 

2) Start Dos, and go to C:\CC3tanks .  Type the following line: zfx.-e tanks.zfx  . Now you

    will have a new folder in the C:\CC3tanks folder, with the name tanks . This folder

    contains 8 files for each tank (4 in case of vehicles without a turret), with the following

    extensions:  

nnh 

=  normal hull image

nsh

=  normal snow hull image

nnt

=  normal turret image

nst

=  normal snow turret image                             

znh

=  zoomed hull image

znt

=  zoomed turret image

zsh

=  zoomed snow hull image

zst

=  zoomed snow turret image

3) Put the nnt.exe tool in the C:\CC3tanks\tanks  folder. Presume we want to extract the

     zoomed hull image from the Kingtiger.  Start Dos again, and go to C:\CC3tanks\tanks  .

     To extract the graphic, type:  nnt –e gPzVIB.znh  .  This will result in a new folder in

     C:\CC3tanks\tanks  , with 17 zoomed-hull TGA graphics from the Kingtiger in it, that can

     be opened in a paintprogram.

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2.1.2  Inserting new images in the tanks.zfx file

A practical example of putting a new tank in Close Combat: inserting the ‘Maus’.

(graphics by GS_Marcks)

 

1) Put the 4 images you created in a new folder. For this example, we will presume that this folder is:  C:\Maus .  Save the images pointing down, as 16-bit TGA’s.

 

(Image 1)

 

( Maus graphics by GS_Marcks )

2) Now make the inputfile in wordpad. For this, you need to know the coordinates where the turret centres on the hull, and the coordinates of the turret rotation point. Take these coordinates from the images pointing up. The red dots are the hotpoints. When the inputfile is finished, remove the .txt extension. ( the filename is than 'inputfile' )

(Image 2)

 

The inputfile will read like this:     (the red parts are not in the file)

 

  • gPzII               Basename of the vehicle you are replacing
  • maus-nnh.tga   Path to normal hull image
  • maus-nnh.tga   Path to normal snow hull image
  • maus-znh.tga   Path to zoomed hull image
  • maus-znh.tga   Path to zoomed snow hull image
  • 14                    Normal hull's x hotpoint coordinate   
  • 53                    Normal hull's y hotpoint coordinate
  • 28                    Zoomed hull's x hotpoint coordinate
  • 106                  Zoomed hull's y hotpoint coordinate
  • y                      Does the vehicle have a turret? n if not, and you're done with this file
  • maus-nnt.tga    Path to normal turret image
  • maus-nnt.tga    Path to normal snow turret image
  • maus-znt.tga    Path to zoomed turret image
  • maus-znt.tga    Path to zoomed snow turret image
  • 14                    Normal turret's hotpoint x coordinate
  • 53                    Normal turret's hotpoint y coordinate
  • 28                    Zoomed turret's hotpoint x coordinate
  • 106                  Zoomed turret's hotpoint y coordinate

(note:  usually the hull and turret hotpoints are not the same)

3) Put the tanktool in the C:\Maus folder. Than start DOS, and go to the C:\Maus   dir.

    To run the tanktool, type the following line: tanktool < inputfile .  The tanktool will create

    eight new files. ( space between ‘tanktool’ and < , again between < and ‘inputfile’)

4) Put the new files in the C:\CC3Tanks\tanks  folder, replacing the original gPzII files.

    Start Dos again, now go to C:\CC3Tanks . Type the following line: zfx.exe tanks .

    This will create a new tanks.zfx file, using the new Maus graphics.

It is likely that the first time the turret is not aligned completely correct. In that case,  change the inputfile and repeat the procedure described above.

It is not possible to add new vehicle graphics, other than by replacing original ones. However, the number of turrets seems not to have this limit.  So it is possible, in the event you run out of  slots for hull graphics, to add a new vehicle graphic as the ‘turret’of an existing hull. In that case, give the vehicle a non-rotating turret.

NL_Atilla