Modding: All kinds.
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Thread: Modding: All kinds.

  1. #1

    Cool Modding: All kinds.

    Can anyone tell me how I get in to modding for CFS3? It's been something I have wanted to do for some time as I think there's a lot I can contribute but I need the basics first? For example, what are .dds files etc and others too. Where do I find the different files and what do they do, how do I change them for various reasons etc. What kind of software do I need etc? I've seen some fantastic work on here and I've had the benefit also. Just wondered when time permits.....? If I can make a contribution. It's a new area for me as I've never done it! Cheers!

  2. #2
    SOH-CM-2020 mongoose's Avatar
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    Lets start with small steps. there are many different kinds of modding, form simple(er) things like missions and even modifying already existing things which would not involve actual modelling. If you really want to build, i.e. model things, buildings would be the easiest. gmax is the model making tool used by CFS3. I will send you some info on modelling if I get time , but you could also even use Google to find out what things like dds files are. What many people, including me do, is look at all the folders and files in CFS3 and see how they are connected and what they do. I think Daiwilletti basically did that over a course of years to do all the good work he did. Also refer to all the sdk files for a start.
    Last edited by mongoose; January 20th, 2021 at 16:58.

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  3. #3
    Welcome! And thanks for wanting to jump right in and learn how to make and mod things - there arenít enough of us! As you mention you think there is a lot you can contribute, did you have a specific area in mind? Most of us here have our own various specialties, so there are certainly people here who can help you dive into most any kind of project.

    In broad categories we have 3D modelers, painters, flight dynamics, special effects, sounds, and the all important people who make a multitude of miscellaneous tweaks to various files with a text editor. Then of course there is map making, and while there are a few good tutorials, there isnít anyone who is actively working on that.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    SOH-CM-2021 Pat Pattle's Avatar
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    Hi Gordywill, is there anything you want to do in particular? If there's something that's missing or wrong or doesn't have the correct variant, that usually spurs folks on to do something about it. For me it was the lack of 'authentic' airfields in cfs3 and that's become a hobby in its own right. Having a focus will help!

    The aircraft modelling and terrain SDKs are very useful - see Major Magees link above.

    Very, very briefly.....

    .dds - these are the image files used by CFS3. Editable with Paint Shop / Photshop / Paint dot Net / Gimp to mention a few.

    .mos - Used with the above, enables damage and markings etc. to be added to aircraft and ground textures for airfields, factories etc.

    .xml - A main file type used by cfs3 for all manner of things. Editable with Notepad or word.

    .xdp - Used in models and defines type, country, weapons, damage viewpoints etc. Also for runway definitions

    .cfg - Flight models, editable in Notepad or word
    .air - Flight models, editable with 'Air-ed' or similar, downloadable from lots of sites.

    .csv - Defines ground objects in the cfs3 world, Docks, airfields, factories etc. Editable with Excel (best option) or Notepad.
    .Lib - CFS3 compiled version of the above, created with tools in the SDK

    .bdp - a cfs3 generated file, not readily editable but can be deleted.

    Plus some others that I've forgotten

    Cheers, Clive
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  6. #6

    Modding

    Quote Originally Posted by mongoose View Post
    Lets start with small steps. there are many different kinds of modding, form simple(er) things like missions and even modifying already existing things which would not involve actual modelling. If you really want to build, i.e. model things, buildings would be the easiest. gmax is the model making tool used by CFS3. I will send you some info on modelling if I get time , but you could also even use Google to find out what things like dds files are. What many people, including me do, is look at all the folders and files in CFS3 and see how they are connected and what they do. I think Daiwilletti basically did that over a course of years to do all the good work he did. Also refer to all the sdk files for a start.
    Hey Mongoose! Thanks for the info and the heads up! Will look into all the things you've mentioned here. I really am a grunt at this but tech savvy so when time permits I will crack on and see what trial and error has to offer. Thanks very much, will try and keep posted.

  7. #7

    Modding

    Hello again all. Thank you for this valuable info, I was interested in visuals and scenery but may get in to the modelling part later. Things like the landscape in CFS3 for example. I know there have been many great upgrades to the scenery such as Ankors shaders, but I am so new to this side of it that I could't understand what was meant in the read me file about Z Buffer and Dual pass renderer being in the config exe file? I looked but there is the usual 5 detail levels and screen res settings. This is my level of knowledge thus far. I've got a rough idea though so it's a start. Thanks again all for your great work and the pleasure I've had from it. I'll see if anything, what I can do to help.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Pattle View Post
    Hi Gordywill, is there anything you want to do in particular? If there's something that's missing or wrong or doesn't have the correct variant, that usually spurs folks on to do something about it. For me it was the lack of 'authentic' airfields in cfs3 and that's become a hobby in its own right. Having a focus will help!

    The aircraft modelling and terrain SDKs are very useful - see Major Magees link above.

    Very, very briefly.....

    .dds - these are the image files used by CFS3. Editable with Paint Shop / Photshop / Paint dot Net / Gimp to mention a few.

    .mos - Used with the above, enables damage and markings etc. to be added to aircraft and ground textures for airfields, factories etc.

    .xml - A main file type used by cfs3 for all manner of things. Editable with Notepad or word.

    .xdp - Used in models and defines type, country, weapons, damage viewpoints etc. Also for runway definitions

    .cfg - Flight models, editable in Notepad or word
    .air - Flight models, editable with 'Air-ed' or similar, downloadable from lots of sites.

    .csv - Defines ground objects in the cfs3 world, Docks, airfields, factories etc. Editable with Excel (best option) or Notepad.
    .Lib - CFS3 compiled version of the above, created with tools in the SDK

    .bdp - a cfs3 generated file, not readily editable but can be deleted.

    Plus some others that I've forgotten

    Cheers, Clive
    Hey Clive, I've seen and used your handywork with the airbases. Excellent! The one that I'd start with I think would be the houses and roads, see what I could do there. It's a point of entry in to this. The info you have given here is invaluable as it saves me time working it out. Thanks. Also I will get hold of the software mentioned above see what I can do. I figure a good starting point would be to create two installs of CFS3 adjacent each other, that way when I cock up I can just scrap the file and copy another one over from the other install. Cheers mate. Gordy

  9. #9
    Hi Gecko, yes I thought I would have a crack at the house modelling and the way they seem to just be placed there like on a monopoly board! Also the randomness of them, and more variants conducive to the era if poss. Roads is another one. Naturally I'm sure there are a host of other different things that this will open up, but I'll do for now. Cheers Gordy.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMagee View Post
    Thanks MajorMagee I'll check these out.Gordy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordywill View Post
    Hi Gecko, yes I thought I would have a crack at the house modelling and the way they seem to just be placed there like on a monopoly board! Cheers Gordy.
    Hi Gordywill, the Terrain SDK explains how scenery objects like houses get placed on a texture. IIRC the location of scenery objects is controlled by a .lso file. It is a slow process, but new lso files would certainly be a useful contribution!

    Landscape textures blend together, this is controlled by the landclasses.xml file, which controls which texture gets priority when two textures from different landclasses abut each other. The landclasses.xml file also identifies summer and winter textures. For example, a "summer fields" texture will be a .dds file (the texture file), accompanied by a .mos file and a .lso file, all named the same. The lso file will contain information about the scenery object placement on the summer fields texture.

    HTH,

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordywill View Post
    Can anyone tell me how I get in to modding for CFS3? It's been something I have wanted to do for some time as I think there's a lot I can contribute but I need the basics first? For example, what are .dds files etc and others too. Where do I find the different files and what do they do, how do I change them for various reasons etc. What kind of software do I need etc? I've seen some fantastic work on here and I've had the benefit also. Just wondered when time permits.....? If I can make a contribution. It's a new area for me as I've never done it! Cheers!
    Gordy,

    You got PM


    ACC Member, ETO and PTO contributor & librarian

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