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Author Topic: New to Halo Custom edition Machinimaking, need some help. (22 messages, Page 1 of 1)
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Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 01:57 PM    Msg. 1 of 22       
Um, no, I don't need help filming or making machinima. I'm a machinima.com contracted director.

What I really need help with is something that's vital to proper filmmaking, which is map editing. I need to be able to make changes and remove objects and things like that from maps. I heard about sparkedit, but then I learned it doesn't work on Halo Custom Edition.

I can't rely on other people to make the kinds of changes and additions I need so I need to get the tools myself and learn how.

I'm aware it won't be as easy as using fallout 3's GECK.


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 04:31 PM    Msg. 2 of 22       
Okay, I'll do my best to help. Here is the basics to Halo map making:


The Halo Editing Kit, often abbreviated as HEK, was released by Gearbox Software along with the Halo Custom Edition. It includes, among other things, basic "tags" for bitmaps, vehicles, weapons, bipeds, and other necessary elements of a Halo map.

Contents:

The kit comes with three programs designed to assist mappers.
LINK TO HEK:http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=411

Tool:

The first program is Tool. Tool is both the backbone and the pain of CE. Although it is capable of everything from bitmap creation to the final map-building, its old-style command prompt methods have been rather frustrating for at least a few mappers.

Guerilla:

The second program, known as Guerilla and has the icon of what appears to be Che Guevarra, a guerilla leader, edited to look like a gorilla (pun intended), opens tags and edits them. Tags are files that make up everything in a Halo map: weapons, vehicles, etc. Guerilla can edit them so that mappers can alter what a specific item, what it does and how it looks (such as change a vehicle's color). Guerilla tends to crash when it encounters corrupted tags.

Sapien:

The third program is Sapien, continues the primate naming scheme. Sapien opens scenario tags and creates a visual representation of the final map. Mappers can insert vehicles and weapons, place spawn points, and make camera points for cutscenes. Everything that can be positioned in the map physically is done with Sapien. This is widely considered the easiest program of the three, and is comparable to Halo 3's Forge. However, Sapien is slow-loading, and tends to crash often; its debug.txt file is useful when attempting to diagnose such problems.

Other Materials:

The Halo Editing Kit also includes a tutorial in the form of a step-by-step walkthrough of the making of the accompanying tutorial map. The tags that come with the kit are almost singularly made for this small map and include select bitmaps from the Campaign and Multiplayer maps. The combination of the tags, programs, and tutorial gives players a glimpse into the unique possibilities of the Halo Custom Edition.
Also, there are some programs that prove to be very useful such as Gmax/3DS Max for 3d modeling, and Photoshop for creating TIF images for creating bitmaps.

Hacked HEK:

Because the HEK is only a basic group of files, CE mappers had to experiment with it and share their discoveries on the workings of the game in order to form a useful knowledge base for editing. Over time, they realized that most of the game's tags were excluded from the HEK, eliminating a huge amount of creative possibilities.
It was at this point that people began tinkering with the HEK programs. Kornman produced a new version of Guerilla called "Kornman00", which unlocked all the grayed-out areas in the program. The new program allows for editing of terrain bitmaps and AIs, as well as many other previously impossible actions. He also created a user-friendly version of tool called "Tool++" and an unlocked version of Sapien called "a_hobo".
LINK TO Tool++:http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=578
LINK TO Kornman00:http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=1422
LINK TO a_hobo:http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=1081

HEK+:

The largest breakthrough in regards to tag availability was Steelix B's "HEK+", which allows anyone to enter any original or custom map and extract any tag they want. Along with a few others, Steelix recompiled the entire Halo PC game into its basic parts. CE mappers now are able to do nearly anything they want, including adding AIs into maps, adding usable Pelicans and Longswords, easily creating Campaign-to-Multiplayer conversions or ripping the BSP from it. Also, this program had a feature to "protect" maps, which denied access to tag extraction. However, there was an encryption key, which could unprotect maps as long the the key matches the one used to protect the map.
LINK TO HEK+:http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=2289


Now since your a director, the most useful part out of all of this would be how to create cut-scenes. It requires that you first decompile the map with HEK+, open the scenario in sapien, place camera points, script them to work and recompile the map.

This is just the basic gist of everything, I'm sure you have questions, for there is a lot I didn't cover. If you could please also be more specific of what you want, that would help me help you.
Edited by pepzee on Feb 25, 2011 at 04:34 PM


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 05:16 PM    Msg. 3 of 22       
Quote: Now since your a director, the most useful part out of all of this would be how to create cut-scenes. It requires that you first decompile the map with HEK+, open the scenario in sapien, place camera points, script them to work and recompile the map.


Actually I'm only going to use the debug_camera_save/load as I can't film without a camera I can control as needed. ANd I need to keep it as uncomplicated as possible.

Quote: This is just the basic gist of everything, I'm sure you have questions, for there is a lot I didn't cover. If you could please also be more specific of what you want, that would help me help you.


Well, I am not interested in building maps from scratch using 3ds max or anything like that. There are enough maps available already to use. All I really need to do is be able to add/remove objects and guns and vehicles. And manipulate weather conditions, if that's even possible.

And, do I really need to download all those programs or is there just one I can use to do everything?


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 05:23 PM    Msg. 4 of 22       
The debug camera works too.

That's fine, there is no need for you to build maps from scratch, but you will need most of those programs.
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=411
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=2289
Those are the big two. The HEK+ decompiles the map for editing, and the HEK will modify the map however you wish and recompile.

HEK contains all three of those programs: Guerrilla, Sapien and Tool. What do you exactly wish to do?

Do you want to add extra rocks to Blood gulch? Add extra weapons to a map? They are all different things and I need to know before I can continue to help you.


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 05:45 PM    Msg. 5 of 22       
Well I can tell you I can't use http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=2289

It locks up when I click on anything in the program, so apparently that's not going to be helping me at all.


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 05:51 PM    Msg. 6 of 22       
Quote: --- Original message by: Anarchist86ed
Well I can tell you I can't use http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=2289

It locks up when I click on anything in the program, so apparently that's not going to be helping me at all.

I don't know why it would do that, but that makes a huge problem. The way you start to edit maps is through that program. It decompiles the map for you so HEK can use it.

It just locks up? Try the older version to see if that works: http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=1489

Give me a few minutes while I try and figure out the possible cause of this.
Edited by pepzee on Feb 25, 2011 at 05:51 PM


General Shepherd
Joined: Feb 15, 2011


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 05:51 PM    Msg. 7 of 22       
Right Click the .exe,
Select Properties
Select Compatibility
Check "Disable Desktop Composition"
Click "Apply"
Hit "OK".

You can't do anything with the custom maps made by the members of this forum without this tool.

However, if you simply wish to do minor edits to default maps go here: http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=2620

And open the .scenario files via Sapien.


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 25, 2011 06:00 PM    Msg. 8 of 22       
Beat me to it.

But you will need to use the HEK+ if you wish to modify custom maps. The scenario pack only has the original multiplayer maps.


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Feb 26, 2011 11:28 AM    Msg. 9 of 22       
Ah, yes, my old friend desktop composition. I had some vista update months ago that disabled pretty much every older game and piece of software I had until I clicked desktop composition.

Sometimes the most obvious solutions elude you.

Ok, now that that's working.

I have one other MAJOR thing I need a solution to and can't find the answer anywhere.

I've seen in some videos the spartan models have no weapons, and their arms are at their sides. Is there a way to accomplish this without doing some insanely complicated glitch?


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 26, 2011 11:39 AM    Msg. 10 of 22       
Quote: --- Original message by: Anarchist86ed
Ah, yes, my old friend desktop composition. I had some vista update months ago that disabled pretty much every older game and piece of software I had until I clicked desktop composition.

Sometimes the most obvious solutions elude you.

Ok, now that that's working.

I have one other MAJOR thing I need a solution to and can't find the answer anywhere.

I've seen in some videos the spartan models have no weapons, and their arms are at their sides. Is there a way to accomplish this without doing some insanely complicated glitch?

Yes, you modify the map in guerrilla. You go down to a part that says "Starting equipment" and delete item collections one and two.

Let me know if you need further explanation.
Edited by pepzee on Feb 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Feb 26, 2011 03:48 PM    Msg. 11 of 22       
Well now Sapien crashes instantly when I try to load a scenario. It starts, then the window just vanishes on me.

I also can't seem to create scenario files with Hek+.


Ah, what fun...


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Feb 26, 2011 04:37 PM    Msg. 12 of 22       
We'll worry about Sapien once you get the HEK+ working. So I'll walk you through the steps:

1. Open HEK+

2 There should be a button in the top left called "Open map" click on it.

3. The window that will appear is the folder of your Halo: PC maps. You want Halo: Custom Edition maps.

4. So go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo Custom Edition\maps

5. You do NOT want C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo\MAPS

6. Then a list of maps will appear, chose the map you want and open it.

7. Now you should see a list of folders, these are the contents that make up the map, but you must first extract them in order to modify them.

8. Highlight ALL of the folders and drag them into the "Tag Extraction Queue" It's in the bottom right hand corner.

9. Click on the "start" button directly below.

10. Look at the "output" bar, it's at the very bottom of the screen.

11. When it's done it should say, "Tags Extracted!"

12. Close HEK+, you're done.

Those are the exact steps to extract a scenario in HEK+. Let me know if you get stuck anywhere and then we'll move onto Guerrilla.


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 2, 2011 03:33 PM    Msg. 13 of 22       
Yeah, I know that part and I did find a scenario file in the extracted files but sapien says "you tried to open a non-scenario tag. Bad!"
Edited by Anarchist86ed on Mar 2, 2011 at 03:58 PM


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 10:48 AM    Msg. 14 of 22       
Yeh, that's the problem. I'm extracting to that folder but the files aren't showing up there.

It's either the software, or windows friggin' vista.

Personally I tend to blame microsoft for all my problems in getting this junk to work.

I've tried everything, inclduing extracting the files to a desktop folder and then moving them, and sapien still will not open files. I've tried several maps.

Clearly I'm doing something wrong but I can't pinpoint what.
Edited by Anarchist86ed on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 10:56 AM    Msg. 15 of 22       
As I edited my post...

Sapien simply will not load anything. It starts and then the window just disappears or I get that error message no matter where the files are.


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 11:19 AM    Msg. 16 of 22       
Hobo does the same thing.

Yes, I AM using custom edition. I swear...


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 01:43 PM    Msg. 17 of 22       
I've tried absolutely everything. Windows classic, compatability, affinity... nothing is working. It still opens for a second and then vanishes.



Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 03:24 PM    Msg. 18 of 22       
that's a no go. Vista just turns the files read only again after i apply the change. Running as an admin seems to make things worse.

I am 90% about to give it up...


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 3, 2011 04:46 PM    Msg. 19 of 22       
03.03.11 14:49:16 sapien pc 01.00.00.0609 ----------------------------------------------
03.03.11 14:49:16 reference function: _write_to_error_file
03.03.11 14:49:16 reference address: 401b13
03.03.11 14:49:16 Couldn't read map file './sapienbeta.map'
03.03.11 14:49:16 CreateDevice succeeded with refresh rate = 0
03.03.11 14:49:16 Sound card doesn't meet minimum hardware requirements. Disabling hardware option.
03.03.11 14:49:16 Increasing sound decompression buffer size to 1048576 bytes
03.03.11 14:49:34 the meter definition ui\hud\cyborg shield does not specify a stencil bitmap group.
03.03.11 14:49:35 the meter definition ui\hud\cyborg body does not specify a stencil bitmap group.
03.03.11 14:49:41 WARNING: 1 clusters in structure_bsp levels\gtest\gtesta have no background sound or sound environment.
03.03.11 14:49:41 EAX: 0xE2C70058
03.03.11 14:49:41 EBX: 0x00000101
03.03.11 14:49:41 ECX: 0x00080000
03.03.11 14:49:41 EDX: 0x11096480
03.03.11 14:49:41 EDI: 0x0012E3D0
03.03.11 14:49:41 ESI: 0x00000000
03.03.11 14:49:41 EBP: 0x0012E2A8
03.03.11 14:49:41 ESP: 0x0012E298
03.03.11 14:49:41 EIP: 0x77525CA4, C3 8D A4 24 ?????
03.03.11 14:49:41 EXCEPTION halt in \halopc\haloce\source\tag_files\tag_groups.c,#3157: #-1 is not a valid object_function_block index in [#0,


Pepzee
Joined: Sep 9, 2010


Posted: Mar 4, 2011 08:52 PM    Msg. 20 of 22       
Open Guerrilla and go to the directory ui\hud\cyborg body.meter. Then make sure the stencil bitmaps are set to ui\hud\bitmaps\hud_health_stencil.bitmaps. Let me know if that works.
Edited by pepzee on Mar 4, 2011 at 08:52 PM


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 7, 2011 12:11 PM    Msg. 21 of 22       
Nah I think I give up. It's not going to work no matter what I do.

I've tried several maps and every setting there is and it's the same result every time. I can't keep wasting time on something that doesn't work.

Sad. I really wanted to work with this game but the software is simply not cooperating. Oh well.


Anarchist86ed
Joined: Feb 25, 2011


Posted: Mar 7, 2011 01:26 PM    Msg. 22 of 22       
I would, but I shouldn't have to. I build every set mod I need for my fallout 3 series.


For example... I made all these set modifications myself. Not the mods, but I set up all the visual scenery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebtm0XQeTpg

It took.... a while to do.

 

 
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