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»Forums Index »Halo Custom Edition (Bungie/Gearbox) »Halo CE General Discussion »Final update to the MEK

Author Topic: Final update to the MEK (14 messages, Page 1 of 1)
Moderators: Dennis

Joined: Apr 3, 2013

Posted: Oct 27, 2017 11:33 PM    Msg. 1 of 14       
I'll start off by saying that this is likely going to be the last major update the MEK will receive since I'm leaving the HCE modding community after this. I might still lurk and respond to and fix bugs, but don't expect to see me adding features to Mozzarilla/Refinery or making new tools.

My leaving isn't due to spite or me thinking the community is dying or anything, but rather I believe I've done what I set out to do by making these tools. The only other tool I might've wanted to make would have been a supplement to Arsenic, where it would optimize a tags directory so they would work better on Xbox by converting tag types, downrezzing certain bitmaps, changing bitmap formats, fixing hud and widget tags, etc.

I don't have the motivation or time to make that though, and HBOC will allow you to easily do most of the bitmap conversion you'll need. I have included in the MEK my old list of tips for converting PC maps to xbox. These were things I discovered years ago when getting Maridia to work on Xbox. These tips were collected while working with Arsenic though, so some of them might not apply to the newest version.

Anyway, on to what's new:

The MEK's installer has been revamped to be able to download changes to the MEK without you having to actually download the repository yourself. All you need to install the MEK is the python installer and the MEK installer. When the installer downloads updates from the MEK it will also replace the installer with any newer version of itself that it finds, so the installer will always be up to date.

The MEK installer will also now give better/more information on what was installed and any issues that need to be addressed. I have also cleaned up some aspects of the readme's and removed unnecessary files from the MEK download, so it's a bit more organized and much smaller.

Mozzarilla and Refinery can now display bitmaps like Guerilla, however they have more options with how they do it.

  • You can display cubemaps as a "t" shape now instead of a strip of cube faces

  • 3d textures can now be viewed as vertical slices rather than a single long strip

  • You can now have it display a dashed box around sprites so you can easily see where that sprite is in the bitmap.

  • You can export the selected bitmap to dds, tga, and png files(png wont have transparency exported though due to most editing programs not allowing you to separate the transparency from the color)

  • All places in tags that reference bitmap tags(and can ONLY reference bitmap tags) now have a "preview" button next to them so you can preview a bitmap without having to open the bitmap tag(does NOT apply to Refinery).

  • You can now view bitmaps with RGB channels shown, or the individual A, R, G, or B channels shown, OR have it mask the RGB with the alpha and show ARGB. This will allow you to see individual channels in a multipurpose map as greyscale images.

  • Swizzled and padded xbox textures will display correctly.

In order for the bitmap preview to work though, I had to write C extensions that must be compiled(more or less) for each machine. Once you install the MEK, the installer will give you additional instructions for how to get the C extensions compiled. If you don't want to go through the trouble you don't have to. All the programs will work just fine, but anything involving bitmap processing will be as much as 100x slower than it would be with the extensions.

Here is a copy+paste of most of the readme.txt
The MEK(Mo's Editing Kit) is my collection of tools I've made for editing Halo.
This will be updated whenever I commit changes, which means you guys can check in
whenever to see if something is new.

Here's a quick rundown of what each thing is as of the time of me writing this:

A program for optimizing entire directories of bitmap tags and converting them to/from
different formats and to/from xbox. Read hboc readme.txt for more details.

Capable of ripping the uncompressed source textures from a directory of tags to tga files.

A tag editor that almost entirely replaces and surpasses Guerilla(can't preview sounds).
Read mozzarilla readme.txt for more details.

Same as the above, except it runs with a console window so you get a printout of errors if
it crashes when starting up.

A new tag extractor that works for all types of Halo 1 maps and can extract open sauce tags
and MUCH more. Read the refinery_readme.txt for more information.

The Map Editor:
Decided to get in on this stupid meme. This is literally just Refinery with a different title.

The MEK also contains a scripts folder with any Maxscripts that I've made or modified.
Currently there are Gbxmodel Importer and an Animation Importer scripts, which are
both modified variants of TheGhost's scripts.

The model importer is now also capable of importing xbox models, and shader bugs found
in previous versions as well as various crash related bugs have been fixed.

The animation importer can now import model_animiation_yelo tags, can use xbox models
when prompted for a model, and has been fixed to work with tags containing more than
255 reflexives. This means you can finally open tags that have 256 or more animations.


1. Install python 3.5 or higher(newest version is recommended)
When installing, make sure to check "Add python to PATH"
2. Run MEK_Installer.pyw
3. Choose whether or not to install it in a portable fashion(to
a local directory) or to the machine you are running.
4. Click "Install"

Mozzarilla and all the programs in the MEK should be ready to run now by double clicking.


* If programs wont run at all, add the version of python you installed to your PATH
environment variable. Google how to do that.

* If programs wont load or save tags then you have a permissions issue where python isnt
being allowed to modify/make files in the directory you are in.

One potential way to fix this is to locate your python installation, right click python.exe,
and set it to run with administrator privileges. Do the same for pythonw.exe.

Some users claim that this fix prevents their python programs from running at all, so if it
does then undo that administrator change and change the folder permissions on the folder
you are trying to edit tags in. It turns out that this is caused by certain versions of
windows due to some of their security measures, like UAC.

* If you changed config settings and now it wont load or stuff is too screwed up to use,
delete the config. You can find it at PYTHON\Lib\site-packages\mozzarilla\mozzarilla.cfg
where PYTHON is the location of your python installation. If you don't know where this is,
you can find it in your PATH variable. If not, then go looking lol.


1. Run MEK_Installer.pyw
2. Click Update

MEK Installer and Python 3.5.4 Installer download:

I'm leaving HCE modding, there is one final update to the MEK with a self-updating installer, mozz and refinery can now display bitmaps, and to allow them to display bitmaps you may need to follow the some instructions that pop up after the installer finishes.
Edited by MosesofEgypt on Nov 9, 2017 at 08:19 AM

Joined: Mar 21, 2015


Posted: Oct 28, 2017 08:13 AM    Msg. 2 of 14       
"Here lies the remains of a once great HCE modder, may he rest in piece"

Joined: Jan 29, 2009

Yup, It's like working with insufferable neurotics

Posted: Oct 28, 2017 04:45 PM    Msg. 3 of 14       
Mission Accomplished, update autonomy?


Joined: Aug 21, 2010

Former biped rigger & FP animator

Posted: Oct 28, 2017 08:26 PM    Msg. 4 of 14       
You've done some great work Mose
Some really cool stuff for the community to use

Joined: Mar 5, 2006

halonaminator's unfortunate idol

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 02:45 PM    Msg. 5 of 14       
By far one of the most important tools to come out of this community. Thanks for everything and best of luck with what comes next.

Joined: Jan 7, 2015

End my suffering

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 02:55 PM    Msg. 6 of 14       
Good bye Moses, thanks for your tolos and your help

Bungie LLC
Joined: Dec 29, 2013

friendly neighborhood contrarian funposter

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 06:32 PM    Msg. 7 of 14       
Truly revolutionary work. Thank you for your time and effort, and best of luck to you in your future endeavors :)

Joined: Jun 27, 2009

Fools deceive, but knowledge of Jesus is life.

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 07:52 PM    Msg. 8 of 14       
If you want to come back, you know where to find us.

Joined: Apr 22, 2007

"stupidity is an epidemic " - Donut

Posted: Oct 31, 2017 12:22 PM    Msg. 9 of 14       
The end of an era. Thanks for everything you've done for this community!

Joined: Mar 21, 2015


Posted: Oct 31, 2017 08:08 PM    Msg. 10 of 14       
Quote: --- Original message by: _TheArbiter_
The end of an era. Thanks for everything you've done for this community!

Lurker spotted :P

Joined: May 1, 2009

AI fanatic and rookie programmer.

Posted: Nov 1, 2017 03:33 AM    Msg. 11 of 14       
Thank you for your excellent work -- the tools you've given us are outstanding. I wish you good luck in what you do next!

Joined: Mar 18, 2010

I win. You lose.

Posted: Nov 3, 2017 08:43 PM    Msg. 12 of 14       
Thanks for your time and dedication.

Joined: Jul 14, 2017

Been playin Halo since 07

Posted: Nov 3, 2017 09:08 PM    Msg. 13 of 14       
Hey Moe thanks for all the help you gave me and thank you for your tools. Because of you, I have reached many of my goals in modding halo ce. Just a couple more questions i have for you before you go, I going to start compiling the sound files now that i have the time. does refinery still have the issue with extracting large sound files and also i would i fix broken bsps

Edited by GirtheDoge on Nov 3, 2017 at 09:13 PM

Joined: Apr 3, 2013

Posted: Nov 4, 2017 01:25 AM    Msg. 14 of 14       
So as it turns out, the visual studio 2017 build tools(the ones the MEK's installer tells you need to be installed) are actually broken when used for 2015 stuff because of microsoft:

I have modified the installer in a few ways, and one of those ways is that it now points you to the 2015 build tools(which do work), though they require around 120MB of space to install(you will need to uninstall any VS2017 related build tools to get the 2015 ones to work). You can get the new installer by just running the old one and letting it update the mek's programs. The new installer will also now tell you if an installer different than the one you currently have was downloaded, and stop the installation and tell you to run the new one instead.

In case anyone is confused, these build tools are required for the bitmap processing accelerator modules to work. Without them, viewing bitmaps will be really slow unless you have a high end machine.

Fricken microsoft.

Also, Gir, I don't know what large sound issues you're talking about, and you aren't giving anywhere near enough information when you say "broken bsp's" for me to give a meaningful response. Care to elaborate?
Edited by MosesofEgypt on Nov 5, 2017 at 06:30 PM


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