Jump to content
cifordayzserver

[Tutorial] Introduction to Modding in Arma Video/Text Tutorial Series

Recommended Posts

**Updated to fix broken links and add relevant info for OFPEC**

Hi! I've created a text and video series of tutorials for modding in Arma.


The videos narrate through the tutorial and provide a visual guide and some commentary on the various points.


Below are the 3 Videos:

==========================

IntroTo Arma Modding - Part 1
==========================

 

 

==========================

IntroTo Arma Modding - Part 2
==========================

==========================

IntroTo Arma Modding - Part 3
==========================

 

===========================================
A Beginners Guide to Arma 2 and Arma 3 Modding
===========================================

Arma and it's sequels are an amazingly robust modding environment, but to say it's difficult to navigate is a drastic understatement.

When you get down to it's nuts and bolts however, the documentation is there, and it is a VERY capable platform.

With a bit of effort, eagerness to learn, and most of all passion you can produce amazing content and enjoy it on an amazing platform.

But keep in mind... Arma Modding is not for the faint of heart.

There are far easier modding platforms that allow for instant gratification, however they do not offer the depth and breadth that Arma does.

I would venture to say, there is likely no other modding platform that is as accessible in terms of talented people, tools, and information.

Within months of my intrest in the series being piqued I had direct contact with not only pillars of the arma community modding scene,

but internal BI and VBS employees as well.

The aim of this guide is to give aspiring modders a good entry level introduction to modding in Arma the intent is to provide:

- Clear & simple instructions

- Real repeatable examples using Bohemia Interactive's Sample Models and tools (as well as some AMAZING time saving community developed tools)

- Links to all the resources

- Clear Roadmap for the Sections and Tutorials.

ROADMAP:

I - Establishing a modding environment - This topic is covered very well by Shinkicker's 4 part tutorial on OpenDayZ.net:

Part 1 - http://opendayz.net/threads/shins-modeling-for-arma-2-dayz-tutorial-part-one.12392/

1. Downloading BI Tools

2. Optional (but recomended) community tools

3. Optional free 3rd party tools for modelling or art/graphics editing (for those who do not own superior commercial tools)

II - Tutorials and Links will be broken down by focus as below:

1. Sound modification and Voice Acting

2. Mission Editing (including cinematics creation)

3. Coding

4. Community Tool Development

5. Model Making

6. Texturing

7. Terrain Artist (be prepared to have the steepest hill to climb)

Now, Obviously each one of thses are VERY complicated and require intesive focus and dedication to master,

however they are pretty much ALL fairly accessable and can be toyed with fairly simply.

I am by no means a master of any of these focus', but I have spent a fair amount of time messing around with all of them.

So, I'm going to do my best to cover as many bases as I can, as accurately as I can w/o overstepping my knowledge base,

or providing useless guides.

==========================

I - The modding environment:

==========================

+++++++

Arma 2:

+++++++

Latest BI Tools - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/BI_Tools_2.5

Mikero's Dos Tools - https://armaservices.maverick-applications.com/Products/MikerosDosTools/FileBrowserFree
*NOTE - Mikero's free tools are still available but no longer updated with new features. There are paid tools available which are well worth the money spent if you are serious about modding in Arma long termhttps://armaservices.maverick-applications.com/Products/MikerosDosTools/default

Shinkicker of the 2017 Mod Team created a wonderful 4 part series on setting up your BI tools, and P drive, as well as,

how to create a basic object and get it into game.

Check it out starting at Part 1 Here: http://opendayz.net/threads/shins-modeling-for-arma-2-dayz-tutorial-part-one.12392/

+++++++

Arma 3:

+++++++

Latest BI Tools - Go to your Steam library and scroll down to "Tools" and then select Arma3 Tools from the list

Manaual Download - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Category:Arma_3_Official_Tools

Mikero's Dos Toolshttps://armaservices.maverick-applications.com/Products/MikerosDosTools/

For Arma 3 the process is quite different as it's done through steam, it's also a lot cleaner/easier to use as it has a

consolidated launcher for the tools that puts all the programs in one place, and even goes so far as to provide a quick means of

launghing a few popular external toolsets like Mikero's Tools.

Atsche did a nice video tutorial of the install and initial setup for Arma 3

Check it out here -

HIT LIKE ON THESE FOLKS' VIDS, and PLEASE help support modders directly!

Whether it's by donating to them, or simply by promoting their work!

Donation Links: (All below seem to be broken, contacting these and others to get a better list)

OpenDayZ - http://opendayz.net/goals/server-costs.1/

kju - http://www.patreon.com/PvPsceneWorkshop

snakeman - http://tactical.nekromantix.com/donate.php

===================

II - RULES TO LIVE BY

===================

1. RESPECT ALL AUTHOR'S RIGHTS - This is non-negotiable. Arma is a great platform to mod and learn on because of the respect that modders have

for eachother, for those that showed them the ropes, and for Bohemia and it's spirit of sharing and open opportunity. Author's Rights Violations

are taken VERY VERY seriously in the modding scene, and on the BI forums.

For a VERY comprehensive look at Author's Rights, I suggest you consult the Addon Maker's for Author's Rights site: http://amar.arma3.fr/

2. Register an OFPEC tag and use it RELGIOUSLY do this FIRST THING don't assume your desired prefix isn't taken - http://www.ofpec.com/tags/

- ALWAYS prefix p3d (models) files with your OFPEC tag to ensure you do not create a conflict with a rival mod, or with native BI content

- ALWAYS prefix your PBO's IE your work folders in your P Drive
- UPDATE 2018 - OFPEC if often down (possibly permanently?) BI has a locked list (from I don't know when because my tag isn't included and had been registered for at least a year prior to me making these tutorials originally) available on the Biki - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/OFPEC_tag_list 
- As well as some general 'OFPEC Tag' use info and rules - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/OFPEC_tags

3. Use Mikero's tools. (this is not REALLY required anymore, BI have done a lot to improve their native tool set, I however do still recommend use of Mikero's tools)

- More specifically pack ALL your work with PBOProject, it will identify problems and errors, as well as ensuring proper packing and binarization. PBOProject performs drastically more checks than Bohemia's packing tool, it will notice and point out errors in your project that might otherwise go unnoticed. The checks prevent sloppy errors from causing slowdowns and unexpected behavior in game.

4. Sign your files - This process is made VERY easy by PBOProject, you simply go into "setup" and point to the correct path where your

private key is stored. Using PBOProject for signing files also

==================

III - Pick A Discipline

==================

1. Sound modification and Voice Acting - You can add or alter sounds for any aspect of the environment or it's contents. You can create original dialogue or sounds

and integrate them into normal gameplay or special missions or cutscenes.

2. Mission Editing - Both Single Player and Multi Player. Can be intended for public use or just for testing assets or creating cinematic recordings.

3. Coding - Arma allows for HEAVY scripting, and code integration upto and including use of external Database's and Virtual Machine's. ALL assets in Arma are interpretted via Config.cpp files,

EVERY asset needs to be configured in order for the game to recognize it and take action accordingly. Many mods are nothing more than modifications to existing configs, or heavy

additions of original SQF scripts and functions.

4. Community Tool Development - This can range from something as simple as a batch script, to things as complicated as 3rd party Antihack or File/Server Browsers

5. Model Making - Bohemia provides an ENORMOUS library of content for anyone to use as a base for modification within the Arma Franchise & they also provide

tools to allow for the importing of originally produced content

6. Texturing - Again, the entire library of textures and materials are available from Arma 1 and Arma 2 in the MLOD releases. Bohemia also provide all the needed

tools to convert your custom textures to the proper formats and apply them to existing or imported models.

7. Terrain Artist - Be prepared to have the steepest hill to climb, and need essentially ALL the above skills (coding knowledge is not essential however you must edit/create config files)

=======================

IV - RESEARCH and PLAN

=======================

There is an ASTOUNDING amount of content produced by the modding community, and an even more astounding amount of documentation and information produced by 3rd parties.

When you plan your addon, make sure it's not something that will be pointless, or construed as attempting to "piggyback" off of or copy others existing work.

It's always a good idea to look at how Bohemia accomplished something similar, and use that as a reference, however it's also a VERY good idea to contact the author's of

existing mods and ask if you can poke around their work to glean lessons as well.

REALLY valuable official and community resources:

BI Forums - https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/forum/218-arma-3/

BI Wiki or "Biki" - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Main_Page 

BI Licenses - https://www.bohemia.net/community/licenses

Public Data Files (Arma 1 and 2 + OA + DLCs) - https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Public_Data

Arma 3 Sample data gets downloaded automatically when you install the tools via steam

Dev Heaven Community Modding Bible - https://dev.withsix.com/projects/cmb/wiki (Believe this is gone, I will  investigate and update if possible)

PMC Tactical - http://tactical.nekromantix.com/

Again, PLEASE consider donating to folks like kju, Mikero, & Snakeman

I will be recording some modelling tutorials on properly configuring objects and buildings in O2 for Arma 2 and 3 for the first series.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for putting this together. I have just spent the last 2 hours going over all your information and videos, and I learned that I still have a lot left to learn. You put me onto pages that I didn't even know existed. Looking forward to your other videos in the series.

Edited by hdchristopher

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GREAT to hear! That's exactly what I'm hoping to do.

A LOT of what I did for the SMD Sahrani project was researching info for more skilled modders who could not track down the details they needed, so I'm very familiar with the difficulty in finding a lot of it!

One of the main goals of the series is to make the info that is already available more accessible and well known!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking forward to more of your videos as well, I just started to learn terrain making so I have quite a lot to learn.

I am also trying to learn more about Blender and modeling but if the mutated sandbag bunker I made is any indication I might not have the artistic abilities for modeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for a great job with both this guide and guide to the sample models, I hope that You won't mind if I share the link to this thread with thanks to You :icon_twisted:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am looking forward to more of your videos as well, I just started to learn terrain making so I have quite a lot to learn.

I am also trying to learn more about Blender and modeling but if the mutated sandbag bunker I made is any indication I might not have the artistic abilities for modeling.

I'm not sure when I'll be doing the terrain series, I still have a LOT to learn in that arena myself.

In the meantime here are some links that will REALLY aid you in your efforts:

Firstly is Bushlurkers beginners guide to terrain making, this will guide you through the existing tutorials

https://sites.google.com/site/bushlurker/beginners-guide

Then there is Zero G's Arma 3 Terrain editing suite:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?166895-ZGM-Arma-3-Terrain-Editing-Suite

It's also VERY wise to join the skype groups that Dwarden setup:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?131825-Skype-groups-amp-other-contact-groups

THESE are PURE GOLD, it's an active conversation with some of the most prolific modders in Arma.

Lastly a LOT of the new information has been cataloged on a wiki:

http://wiki.armamapmaking.info/

Thanks a lot for a great job with both this guide and guide to the sample models, I hope that You won't mind if I share the link to this thread with thanks to You :icon_twisted:

Of COURSE you can!

I also published a introduction to Static and Dynamic objects in Oxygen over in the modelling forum:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?182984-Tutorial-BI-Sample-Data-Modding-102-Intro-to-Static-and-Dynamic-Objects-in-O2

Edited by CiforDayZServer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh one thing about Atsche video (how to set up object builder)

In first video you download arma3P drive RAR file which is not listed among mikero tools on https://dev.withsix.com/projects/mikero-pbodll/files.

Instead of that there are 2 exe files.So when I install that instead, mount P drive and run arma 3 P from mikero tools it tells me to

install deOGG.You might need to update video tags for this.

Yes it works!

Steps I taken:

Install arma 3 tools

Install from Mikero DOS tools

adwadawdawa_zpsf9ede914.jpg

Run arma 3 tools and choose P drive (dev P)

then selected perform clean install and after that map P drive

And then I launched arma3P1.12...installer

Configured all the paths

External viewer: P:\buldozer.exe -window -buldozer -noland

Path for textures: P:\

Exit object builder

Launch from root directory (as admin)

Create box, click on grey box icon, and X looking icon.

Then red box icon and launch

wwewewewe_zpsde5053dd.jpg

Ta-da!

Edited by enex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: Seemed to have got it all setup now, just followed this guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txbnT_crZ4s so if anyone else if having trouble have a look at that.

Opening existing Arma models crashes oxygen for me though im guessing because its limited or something but i though that was the whole point of mikeros tools? To have a look at existing models and how everything is done?

Edited by AVFC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edit: Seemed to have got it all setup now, just followed this guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txbnT_crZ4s so if anyone else if having trouble have a look at that.

Opening existing Arma models crashes oxygen for me though im guessing because its limited or something but i though that was the whole point of mikeros tools? To have a look at existing models and how everything is done?

Sorry for the delayed answer, I don't have notifications configured right.

The sample models in your steam folder are the only Arma 3 models you are allowed to open/edit. The current Arma 3 models are otherwise off limits. They are currently making photoshop files available for many of the vehicles so that folks can make "reskins" for them.

I have not fully investigated as yet, but I believe that almost ALL the items, vehicles, and units have "hidden selections" so you CAN make new/altered textures for them and use those.

You also have the option of using the vast library of Arma 1 and 2 assets released in the public data as discussed in my other tutorial series here:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?182967-Tutorial-Bohemia-Sample-Data-Modding-101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I'm very new to modding, and am currently struggling to get my development environment configured.

I've got Arma 3 tool installed, and my P: drive mounted.

Now, I need to copy assets. The automated tool written by Mikero is failing for me.

Can anyone help?

After selecting "y" to alter some contents of P, I receive the following error:

"mikero tools is not set in registgry

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mikero\DePboTools\bin\bin

extgractpbo is not installed

Press any key to continue . . ."

Help?:butbut:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello,

I'm very new to modding, and am currently struggling to get my development environment configured.

I've got Arma 3 tool installed, and my P: drive mounted.

Now, I need to copy assets. The automated tool written by Mikero is failing for me.

Can anyone help?

After selecting "y" to alter some contents of P, I receive the following error:

"mikero tools is not set in registgry

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mikero\DePboTools\bin\bin

extgractpbo is not installed

Press any key to continue . . ."

Help?:butbut:

I would first start with installing that from his devheaven site

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find my post on first page and follow the procedure.Might work for you, It did for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there! I'm relly new in this ARMA scripting but i do a lot of programming. I have really two quick questions, the first one is there is any chance to control where the player is aiming with a method, i'm using an Arduino and i want to make an script to controll the player aiming/looking with the arduino. The second is there is any chance of use a python script that read the arduino stream in the arma scripting. Thanks a lot ! !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi there! I'm relly new in this ARMA scripting but i do a lot of programming. I have really two quick questions, the first one is there is any chance to control where the player is aiming with a method, i'm using an Arduino and i want to make an script to controll the player aiming/looking with the arduino. The second is there is any chance of use a python script that read the arduino stream in the arma scripting. Thanks a lot ! !

You'll need to sit down and learn SQF, as thats the only option you have in arma. You'd probably have to find a hacky way to control aiming, but almost anything is possible through modding if you try hard enough with the engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another important part of information that I found when I dealt with my bookmarks:

---------- Post added at 18:10 ---------- Previous post was at 17:59 ----------

Mikero: New Bis tools for arma3 via steam

DO NOT RUN DevP. you are inviting disaster.

1) start with an empty p:

2) run arma3p

this is most important. it does considerably more than 'just' extracting files

3) alter the newly rebadged visitor and oxygen to point to p:\buldozer with appropriate -exthreads -nosplash and etc

The above three steps eliminate the viewer not found missing blah, and various other issues.

you will also need (generally) to provide a bulldozer.cfg file. Read the vbs2 documentation for Visitor4

Source: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?150724-A3-p-drive-setup-info/page6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Find my post on first page and follow the procedure.Might work for you, It did for me.

Thanks for those links, I'm going to edit my original post to make special note of it, I try not to militantly advocate Mikero's tools, but I figured the repeat mentions of them in there would hint to folks to use those instead of what's suggested in the other vid.

I will eventually make a video of how to set up a modding environment forA2, for A3, and for both, and how to quickly/easily switch between them. But that's a while off at my current schedule.

Hi there! I'm relly new in this ARMA scripting but i do a lot of programming. I have really two quick questions, the first one is there is any chance to control where the player is aiming with a method, i'm using an Arduino and i want to make an script to controll the player aiming/looking with the arduino. The second is there is any chance of use a python script that read the arduino stream in the arma scripting. Thanks a lot ! !

So, if I'm understanding your question right, you want to make a device that will control the players aim.. like a homemade 6axis controller, or a rigged wiimote or something? That should actually be fairly easy, all you need to do is look into freetrack, it's open source, and should provide you with all the params you need to trigger movement in as many axis as you want, it's up to you to write the sensor to output code obviously though... but you could easily mimic/identify your rig as a mouse or trackIR device and control look or aim respectively. As far as having an external device feed info into the game? It again, should be totally do-able depending on exactly what you have in mind, but you'd have to know SQF REALLY well, and what your options are, and how to best carry it out, cuz there are probably a few ways and doing it right vs wrong could mean the difference between it working great and not harming gameplay and it being crappy and causing tons of lag. I don't know anything of value about writing/using extensions, but I know it's possible, and in some fairly amazing ways.

Another important part of information that I found when I dealt with my bookmarks:

---------- Post added at 18:10 ---------- Previous post was at 17:59 ----------

Mikero: New Bis tools for arma3 via steam

DO NOT RUN DevP. you are inviting disaster.

1) start with an empty p:

2) run arma3p

this is most important. it does considerably more than 'just' extracting files

3) alter the newly rebadged visitor and oxygen to point to p:\buldozer with appropriate -exthreads -nosplash and etc

The above three steps eliminate the viewer not found missing blah, and various other issues.

you will also need (generally) to provide a bulldozer.cfg file. Read the vbs2 documentation for Visitor4

Source: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?150724-A3-p-drive-setup-info/page6

Again, great info and totally worthy of note, I will try to get my own environment setup tutorial done, so I can ensure it includes ever detail/hiccup that folks tend to run into, and isn't always documented/explained.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to learn how to make mods for Weapon 3, where I can get this same information but in Spanish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too sure, I know there are a few big spanish speaking Arma communities. I'll try to have a poke around and find some links for you this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run a private indie-only tanoa wasteland server, and have been trying to figure out how to modify mass/capacity values of uniforms and vests. I was informed that I would have to make an addon, however I have encountered a small issue.

I am wanting to create a modified version of the U_O_V_Soldier_Viper_F Special Purpose Suit (Green Hex) suit with lower weight, so that it would be more in line with the CTRG stealth suit, and make it so that indies can use it ofc.

 

I have found a wealth of information on how to make an addon, however I have encountered a small hiccup. As the texture and model are in the apex .ebo I cannot extract them into my p drive so that I can essentially clone the texture/model but modify the values therein. Is there any way to "borrow" both the texture and model from a .ebo? I have looked hard and all I have found is regarding people wanting to reskin, and therefore needing the model extracted to do so, however I am just wanting to keep the asset the same, only modifying the values.

Is there a way to do so that I have simply overlooked?

Edited by Sil3nt_Pr0digy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Sil3nt_Pr0digy said:

I run a private indie-only tanoa wasteland server, and have been trying to figure out how to modify mass/capacity values of uniforms and vests. I was informed that I would have to make an addon, however I have encountered a small issue.

I am wanting to create a modified version of the U_O_V_Soldier_Viper_F Special Purpose Suit (Green Hex) suit with lower weight, so that it would be more in line with the CTRG stealth suit, and make it so that indies can use it ofc.

I have found a wealth of information on how to make an addon, however I have encountered a small hiccup. As the texture and model are in the apex .ebo I cannot extract them into my p drive so that I can essentially clone the texture/model but modify the values therein. Is there any way to "borrow" both the texture and model from a .ebo? I have looked hard and all I have found is regarding people wanting to reskin, and therefore needing the model extracted to do so, however I am just wanting to keep the asset the same, only modifying the values.

Is there a way to do so that I have simply overlooked?

No.  You cannot open .ebos, as the special extension is meant to protect the contents through encryption. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Savage_Donkey said:

No.  You cannot open .ebos, as the special extension is meant to protect the contents through encryption. 

So I can't even just reference the location ala "A3\Characters_F\Civil\Data\c_cloth1_injury.rvmat" and "\A3\characters_f\civil\data\c_poloshirt_3_co.paa" ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too knowledgeable on the subject, but I guess you could.  But how would you know they were in that location without opening the file?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×