That's fine. You want a tutorial, and a tutorial you will have; I still don't think my method to be worth mentioning, since it is nothing special, but you asked for it so here it goes.
Keep in mind that this is what I used for this particular vehicle; different vehicles will probably need a different approach to make them fit right, even though the basis will still be the same. And, above all, do not expect to get away with it in a lazy afternoon
Programs I used:
Paint.NET (the hell of a lot easier to use than Photoshop; yet, it is an extremely less powerful tool. You may compare the two with a bike and a car; a car is extremely faster, but it is harder to use and needs a licence; on the other hand, the bike is a lot slower, but there are no doubts that it will bring you where you want to go, with some patience) with some scripts lurking around in the forums
3DS Max (gmax would work well anyway, I guess) with gbx model importer script, animation importer script and JMS exporter script
Halo Editing Kit
WHAT I DID
To import the model
1) Use Adjutant to open the map with the space banshee (namely, "Long night of Solace" from Halo Reach; you can download the maps of Halo Reach here http://haloce3.com/xmf/)
2) Navigate until you find the space banshee model. Export it as an AMF (tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxTJ69vTyQY) and export the bitmaps as tif
3) With the AMF importer script, import the model in 3DS Max. I didn't import nodes nor markers, however (Halo reach uses way too many markers for my taste)
4) Convert all the geometry to editable poly, go to the "vertices" tab and weld the vertices that are closer than 0,001. If something got welded when it shouldn't have, undo your action and separate the shape just a little through translation, then repeat the welding (with the banshee, this happens with the coverage of the left engine, for example)
5) Separate the various parts of your models; you should have a hull with the wings, the two rudders and a cab
6) Open the default banshee model with the gbx model importer. Import both nodes, markers and geometry
7) Rotate the model of the space banshee until it is in the same position of the stock banshee. The cab should be closed; rotate it until it is as much opened as the one of the default banshee. You may want to adjust your working pivot (as seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XhpZs0u0rU) and to tell 3DS Max to use it so that you have your rotation centre right
8) Adjust the hierarchy; you should have the frame_hull at the top, with under it the other frames and the markers. Link each part of the model to its frame: the right rudder to the right rudder frame, the cab to the cab frame, the hull to the hull frame and so on. Then, move the various markers until they are in good position (the banshee fires from different points and its wings position is different, so the contrail will just pop out of nowhere)
9) Save your work and try to run the closing animation of the banshee with the animation importer, and see if it works fine; if it does not, unlink the cab to its frame and see its position; if the cab is opened, run the opening animation, and then link the cab once again when the cab frame is in the "opened" position; repeat step 9 until it works fine, then convert everything to editable mesh and export as JMS.
Some errors may pop-up: "too many actors to export" or "there was no geometry to export" means that you didn't set your hierarchy, check what went wrong by pressing H. "Unknown property name in material" (or something similar) means that you toyed with something you shouldn't have (namely, materials or the surfaces), and I don't know how to fix it because it didn't pop up and I didn't have to fix it. Repeat everything from the beginning, but this time avoid touching stuff you don't know about. Adjutant is good and it works right, if something goes wrong, it is because you
have messed it up.
To import the model in Halo: save the jms file in, for example, "[Halo CE directory]\data\vehicles\space banshee\models", then copy-paste cmd from your "windows\system32" folder to your halo folder. Run the cmd you have just pasted and type "tool model "vehicles\space banshee""; if it says something about having too many files, cut-paste part of your tags folder somewhere else, then compile, then put them back. The first attempt will ask you to set your shaders, and it will fail. Compile once again to have your gbxmodel.
About the textures
1) Open the diffuse bitmaps with Paint.NET
2) Remove all the transparency (there is a script lurking around, don't know exactly where; serach "paint.net rgb alpha" and similar until you find something to manage and\or remove transparency)
3) You will notice that the two bitmaps are different; one is blue and the other is purple, and the space banshee's one is much darker. You want to fix that, so adjust luminosity and until they have about the same radiosity; then, use the "hue\saturation" tool to have them share about the same color (in my case, a light reddish color). Remember to unselect the areas you don't want to be recolored.
4) Open the illumination bitmaps and resize them until they are the same size of the stock bitmaps
5) Copy-paste the illumination bitmap in a new layer on its base bitmap; you will paste the illumination bitmap of the space banshee on the bitmap of the space banshee; the same goes for the banshee
6) Save it as a base.pdn so that the layers are preserved; from these, you will have your multipurpose bitmap and your base bitmap
7) Let's create the base bitmap; in your illum. layer, go to the "curve" function, and switch from "luminosity" to "rgb" and lower the curve of the colors according to the color you want (for example, if you want a reddish color, you will lower both the green and the blue channel). If you lower it a bit, the illum. will preserve the white areas, while the grey areas will be tinted of that color; if you completely remove this color it will affect the white areas as well. Toy with these settings until the result satisfies you.
8) Save as whatever.tiff in your bitmaps folder
To make the multipurpose map; beware, this is not the best method around, it is just one that I use because I discovered it and it works somehow, and the result pleases me. There are far more efficient methods, probably, but I have never seen them, and this is what I could come up with
1) Take the base bitmap you saved earlier (the .pdn file)
2) Turn the base bitmap to black and white.
3) Adjust luminosity\contrast to what you like (remember to set it a bit high, for the final outcome will be darker than this)
4) Use the "curve" function to drop down the green channel to 0 in every pixel. DROP IT ALL DOWN!
This is for basic settings. For a better looking multipurpose, follow the next steps
5) Open your bump map (you have extracted it earlier with adjutant)
6) Turn it to black and white. Again, adjust luminosity and contrast
7) Paste it in a new layer on the old bitmap; as fusion method, I usually choose "darken", but there are many others: this will grant you a fake, though nice, bumping effect
8) Open the illumination layer you have set earlier and use the curve function to remove both red and blue from this channel; only green will stay
After that, make by hand all the adjustments are left to satisfy your taste (alpha, for example), and that's how I make my multipurpose bitmap. The final result is something like this for the space banshee's bitmap
To compile it, type "tool bitmaps "vehicles\space banshee\bitmaps"" or whatever is your path in cmd
FOR THE CONTRAIL
This is by far the most home-made and less elegant technique.
1) Open the mission with Adjutant.
2) Navigate to "fx\bitmaps\contrails" and have a preview of the contrail you want. For the banshee, basic trail.bitmap and beam.bitmap will work just fine, but remember to uncheck "show alpha"
3) Screenshot it and paste it in a new image in Paint.net
4) Copy-paste the contrail and compile this new bitmap. (really, I don't know how to extract a single bitmap when it is not directly used by a model, so that's how I do it). Once more, the "curve" function in Paint.NET is your friend; feel free to use it to scale the color of your bitmap (a light violet and a light purple in my case)
5) Compile the new bitmap in tool
6) Copy-paste TWICE the contrail of the banshee in your space banshee folder and give them a name
7) Copy-paste the banshee.vehicle tag in your space banshee folder
8) Open your vehicle and delete ALL the attachments except the sound-looping
9) Create 2 new attachments, linked to the marker where you want the contrail to be, and reference the 2 new contrails you just created. Scale it to a function (mine is B out); the same method can be used to attach lights, sound-looping and other attachments.
10) Work on this new function. Set "step count" to 10, "map to", to "very early" and scale it to B in
11) go to the very bottom of the vehicle tag, and set export to functions: B in to be linked to absolute velocity or forward velocity
12) Open your contrail tags and reference the new bitmaps; set "framebuffer blend function" to "add" and "framebuffer fade mode" to none. In the bottom tag toy with the settings; they are well explained and the best way to make them faithful to the original is to watch a space banshee flying in one of the several mods around, and see
1) The color of the 2 contrails
2) What's the first to fade
3) How quickly they fade, and how do they evolve during time
Toy with these settings accordingly to what you have observed until you find something that could actually work. For the contrail of the space banshee, my references were this video
and this image
ABOUT THE LIGHT VOLUME
1) Create a new light-volume tag (or copy paste the light volume of the plasma rifle projectile). Set "attachment marker" to whatever you want it to be, brightness scale perpendicular and parallel both to 1, "brightness scale source" and "frame animation source" to B out. For the scale distance, set it to something high, 50-60 will work fine
2) Toy with the settings, they are all well-explained; just remember that, if you make your light volume longer (idk, make it 0.5 world units), you should change accordingly your "offset from marker" to make it stay in place (so it would be -0.5 world units in this case)
3) In your vehicle, create a new widget and reference your light_volume
TO REMOVE THE BRAKE FUNCTION
In the "vehicle" section of the vehicle tag, change "maximum reverse speed" to be equal to the equal to "maximum forward speed", but opposite (In my case, forward speed is 0.5 and reverse speed is -0.5)
Collision model were just drew with boxes overlapping the various shapes; to these boxes I added vertices and edges to envelop the original shape. Needless to say, hierarchy and markers should remain unchanged; when done, save in "data\vehicles\space banshee\physics" as a jms and type in cmd "tool collision-geometry "vehicles\space banshee""
Physics were entirely done in guerrilla because I could not find, for the life of me, a single darn tutorial in the whole internet about the purpose and the effect of the various settings; I copy-pasted the banshee physics and changed the coordinates of the markers until they were in the right place, checking the result with every change in Sapien, using the "debug_objects true" and "debug_object_physics true" commands to check the result on a collisionless banshee (so that only physics were shown, and not the collision model).
ABOUT THE SHADERS
Set the base map and the multipurpose map to what you have saved earlier. Then toy with the reflection settings; my advice is NOT to be fooled by Reach nice aspect; Reach's cubemaps (object\bitmaps\reflection maps\glassy sharp reflections.btmp and similar) look good in Reach engine, but that's just because the engine's good. The cubemaps, on their own, are really crappy. Choose a cubemap according to your needs, but remember that
1) In Halo CE, the choice of the cubemap is way beyond important
2) "vehicles\warthog\bitmaps\reflection diffuse metal" is the first cubemap you should ALWAYS
try, because it looks pretty good on almost everything (it is the one I am using on the space banshee, for example). If it does not fit, try "weapons\assault rifle\fp\bitmaps\diffuse gunmetal", then try everything else; in the ZTeam tag pack, there are several cubemaps; feel free to try them.
3) Unless absolutely necessary, DO NOT toy with the colors of the reflection. Set the perpendicular brightness to 1 and the color to solid white; change the color only later, if the first result doesn't satisfy you. If you want colors, first try an already colored bitmap (for green, you would want, for example, "characters\cyborg\bitmaps\cyborg reflection armor", and not a generic cubemap tinted green in the shader)
4) Parallel brightness should be first set to 0, then changed if a more glossy look is needed.
5) At the top of the vehicle tag, "brighter than it should be" is your friend if needed.
6) Making manual adjustements to your bitmaps with the paint brush tool is highly advisable (which actually means that you MUST
do it), especially in the multipurpose map to highlight the fake bumps. Choose a color you like, set its transparency to something like 10-15, create a new layer and paint. Then use the rubber to soften the color. Then paint again and soften again and paint again and soften again; don't be afraid to try and make your own mistakes.
7) Always remember to save somewhere a working copy of your textures, both in pdn format to preserve the layers and in tif format for in-game testing and small adjustments.
8) If no cubemaps you have seems to look right, don't be afraid of taking an already existing one and edit it, maybe even mixing it with other existing bitmaps. My first try used a metal tone alike to the "vehicles\banshee\cubemap banshee", though red, mixed with the reach reflections and with a more yellowish tone added in the upper side to mimick the sun. I have to admit that it really sucked, but you can't improve unless you make your own mistakes, got it? And maybe, who knows?, the best cubemap for your vehicle may actually be the one made by you.Edited by rododoonceagain on Jan 31, 2015 at 11:03 AM