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Original Poster
#1 Old 14th Sep 2011 at 1:20 PM Last edited by BloomsBase : 10th Jun 2012 at 5:47 AM.
Default Tutorial: Creating a shadowmesh
This tutorial explains how to create and position a custom shadow mesh.
(keep in mind that after you have created cc shadowmeshes you need to update the possoffsets in the Lods aswell.)

I assume you already know how to export and import custom shadowmeshes into a package, i am only explaining the meshing part.
You need Milkshape in order to follow this tutorial.

I have included a Ms3d file wich includes several EA meshes(with their shadowmeshes)
but did include the same file as obj file for those who like to have a go at it with Blender or any other 3d program.
Also included is the file TemplateShadowWallsOnly.OBJ wich you can use in the future to create your custom shadowmeshes.
It includes only the 3 reference meshes wich are needed for positioning your custom mesh.

The following meshes i use as example to recreate a shadowmesh:
*The garden gnome
*The stereo
*A outdoor lamp
*A car

That same file also contains 3 reference meshes that you need to position your new shadowmesh, these are:
* reference floor
* reference sidewall
* reference backwall

* Open the Ms3d file with Milkshape

Have a look at each Mesh and its shadow mesh by unhiding them in the groups tab.
You will see that some shadowmeshes are shaped diffrent as the original, especially the car will look funny.
The reason they are shaped diffrent is that each shadowmesh is either squized into a 2x2x2 box or is placed on:
The bottom of that 2x2x2 box
Against the right sidewall of that 2x2x2 box
Against the backwall of that 2x2x2 box

A shadowmesh is scaled 200% bigger on each axis by default but only
one of our meshes will have no problem fitting in that 2x2x2 box(The gnome)
All others are edited to fit in and besides the scaling that is wat im going to explain.


*Unhide the base mesh of the gnome and select it
*Duplicate the gnome mesh(Edit/duplicate selection)
It will be added at the bottom of the other meshes in the meshgroup list

Setup your Milkshape windows something similar as this:

*Go to Model/scale and set the scaling options to Origin(it means the scaling is done from X0,Y0,Z0)
* Fill in 2 in each value box, then hit scale

*Now select the move button and select at the move options ABSOLUTE
no need to fill in the value boxes(0 by default)

*Click move(This will move the centerpoint of the mesh to X0,Y0,Z0)

We are now at a very important stage as we need to inspect if the shadowmesh fits in 2x2x2 box

*Click 3d view and inspect if the mesh exceeds the walls/floor

In this case the gnome fits in nicely so we continue

*Move the mesh:
-- with its back to the backwall
-- with its right side to the right side wall
-- with its bottom on the floor

Since this is just a shadowmesh it isn't really that important how acurate you are, i zoomed in a little and moved it by hand close to these 3 walls.
When done you can unhide the original shadowmesh of the gnome and see if you did it correct.

This is how to create a small shadowmesh as long as it doesn't exceed the 2x2x2 box

On the first 2 screenshots the walls are not setup as 2x2x2 yet, this might be a bit confusing.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: 7z Helpfiles.7z (457.9 KB, 27 downloads) - View custom content
File Type: 7z TemplateShadowwallsonly.7z (452 Bytes, 30 downloads) - View custom content
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Original Poster
#2 Old 14th Sep 2011 at 1:23 PM Last edited by BloomsBase : 14th Sep 2011 at 3:46 PM.
part 2 the lamp

Moving on to the next step, wat if my shadow mesh doesn't fit in the 2x2x2 box?
Delete or hide the duplicate you made earlier

* Unhide the lamp,select it, duplicate it.(hide the original)
* Scale the duplicate 200% bigger(scale options set to Origin)
* Move it ABSOLUTE to X0,Y0,Z0

When we now inspect the mesh we see that the lamp is exceeding the bottom(and top) of the box
Before we can continue and position the mesh we need to scale down the height of the lamp so it fits into the 2x2x2 box

* Go to scaleoptions and correct the X and Z box by filling in 1 again and fill in the Y box 0.99

* Start scaling till the lamp fits in the box

*When done go to top view and move the lamp manually into the corner(alligning it with the back and sidewall)

* Done

Unhide the original shadowlamp to see if you have done it correct.

Original Poster
#3 Old 14th Sep 2011 at 1:23 PM Last edited by BloomsBase : 14th Sep 2011 at 2:52 PM.
part 3 the stereo

This is basicly the same story as the lamp but the stereo exceeds both the top/back and the side walls as you can see on the screenshot

*Scale the stereo 200%
*Move it absolute to X0,Y0,Z0

As you can see we need to edit the height and width now

* First scale the width till it fits the box

* Then scale the height down

* And last, position the stereo against the backwall

* Done
Original Poster
#4 Old 14th Sep 2011 at 2:20 PM Last edited by BloomsBase : 15th Sep 2011 at 5:16 AM.
part 4, the car

The ultimate test

Same story only this time you have alot of scaling to do on all 3 axises

*The car after scaling it 200% bigger

* moving it to X0,Y0,Z0

* Scaled into the box

Since you have scaled it on all 3 axises and used X0,Y0,Z0 as reference point(Origin) it will be autoalligned on all 3(6) walls so no need to reposition it.

˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#5 Old 14th Sep 2011 at 8:21 PM
Thanks, Bloom. I've used this tutorial to automate the process in Blender.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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#6 Old 15th Sep 2011 at 1:48 AM
Nice bit of research, Bloom.

<* Wes *>

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