Author Topic: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack (now supports M&B v1.011 & Warband v1.105)  (Read 103563 times)

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yellowmosquito

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Mount & Blade Banner and Flag Standardization Pack v2.01 (updated April 12, 2010)

This pack makes adding your own banners and flags to Mount & Blade faster and easier, while making your results more predictable.
This pack replaces the default method for making banners and flags and requires minimal coding changes to use.

Download the Banner and Flag Standardization Pack v2.01

Features
  • Your banners and flags show up the way YOU want them to
  • Remapped and clearly defined areas in the textures where your banners and flags are taken from.
  • Support for both Vertical and Horizontal animated flags
  • Banner sizes are standardized to 132x330 pixels (2:5 aspect ratio) 
  • Flag sizes are standardized to and 132x220 px (3:5 aspect ratio)
  • Separate textures for banners and horizontal flags to prevent stretching
  • Shared textures for banners and vertical flags for convenience
  • Same width on flags and banners means easier recreation of horizontal flags from banner textures and less work for you!
  • Standard area on banners (10 pixels tall) lets you define the pattern of the top roll of the banner - No more surprises from natives UV maps!
  • Native's default textures included for both flag types
  • Removed V-Cuts from all models
  • Full Alpha Channel Support means you can easily add v-cuts, holes, tears and rips at the texture level.
  • LOTS of templates and examples to get you building your own banners quickly (.psd and .bmp).
  • Compatible with heraldry enabled armors and shields.
  • Fully compatible with Mount & Blade v1.011 and Warband v1.105.

Example Screenshots

Alpha Channel Example Screenshots (optional feature)

Template Screenshots


Tools you will need
  • Photoshop (preferably) or a program that can open .psd files.  Alternatively, a lesser image editor can be used with the included .bmp files.
  • Basic Image editing skills


How to Install
Installation requires installing files into your resource and textures folders.  You will also need to make some small changes to module.ini.  Detailed instructions are included with the pack.


About the Included Templates

Individual Templates:
These templates are pre-sized to what your banner or flag needs to be.  The .psd files also have texture overlay layers and discoloration layers built in to make banner creation faster and easier.  From here you can copy the texture onto your grid after you have tweaked it to your liking.  Examples are included to show how to use them.
                     
Grid Templates:
This is the collection of individual banners and flags that the game looks at, or what you typically consider a texture.  The .psd files have guides built in to help in positioning, which you will definitely want to use (snap is very handy).
 
If you want to import all of your own banners, use the empty grid templates. 
If you just want to change a few, use the pre-populated grid templates.  These templates already include all of the layers for native's default texture, so adding one is a snap. 

Details and Other Info
The top fabric roll of your banner is made out of the 10 pixel buffer at the top of each banners in the grid sheet.  It is often best to copy a part of your banner and paste it in here, but (unlike in native) you get to be the one to choose what goes there.   The sides of the banner roll (which you will probably never see) come from the far ends of this top section as well.  The wooden sections of the flags and banners are mapped to ...you guessed it, the wood texture.

When you use the vertical flag, the banner texture is reused for your convenience.  Since this model has no top roll, the 10 pixel buffer is not used.

All pixels on the flag should be reflected on your model.  The UV-mapping goes right up to the edge, so squeeze in the detail.


Using Alpha Channels
I HIGHLY recommend using a transparent alpha channel for the spacing between flags and banners.  The in game animations for flags have a way of bringing back the purple separation layer if you forget to do this at higher zoom levels.   This is probably due to the mipmaps not scaling perfectly.  So use transparency and you'll be happier.

You'll also notice that by default, none of the flags or banners used in this pack use the v-cuts that were used in native.  Native achieved this by having it built into the model.
This pack allows you to do the same thing, but at the texture level.  You can add your own v-cuts to any flag or banner by adding a transparent alpha channel to your current textures.  You can use this same effect to create the square flags that native uses.  You could even use this approach to create tears, cuts, rips, and holes in your flags and banners. 

Combining Flag Types
You can use both vertically and horizontally oriented flags at the same time, but you'll have to do some editing of the brf files.  Detailed instructions are included with the pack.


Special thanks to Highlander for donating his animated horizontal flag models and his assistance on this project.  What a guy! 


Revision History
  Version  Date Comments 
        2.0104/12/10Warband Files Bug Fix - Previous version included invalid models
     In following M&B Warband v1.105 Native example, Texture Sheet G now replaces Texture Sheet F. 
       I am including them both the textures and templates, but please note that Texture Sheet F is no longer referenced!
        2.004/11/10Now Compatible with Warband 1.105 and M&B 1.011.
     Changes made for Warband Files: 
           Texture sheets B,C,F changed to reflect changes made to native textures
           Texture sheet G added
           Banners and flags now present for new textures
           Texture sheets B,C,F changed to reflect changes made to native textures
           Kingdom banners now follow standard format
           Kingdom banner and flag models added
           UI Shield models now use standard banner textures
           CTF Flag models now use standard banner textures
      Changes made to M&B 1.011 files:
           None
        1.202/08/09Compatible with M&B 1.011 (Now uses twice as many textures)
Compatible with heraldry enabled armors and shields (Centered designs still give best results)   
Default banners have not been converted to standard sizes
        1.103/05/08Vertical Map Flags supported (uses banner textures so no additional work is needed on your part)
Added Full Support for Alpha Channels - can be used to recreate v-cuts, square maps, tears, cuts   
Renamed BRF Files to std_flags_vertical and  std_flags_horizontal for clarity purposes
Renamed Textures to avoid collisions with native textures
Renamed Templates for consistency
        1.003/01/08Initial Release
Horizontal Flags (animated, without v-cuts) supported
Vertical Banners (non-animated, without v-cuts) supported   
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 02:43:24 PM by Caba`drin »

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 04:59:07 PM »

I recently added all new banners for the upcoming 1866 mod (63 in all), and I became really disappointed with how banners and flags were handled in game.  Adding new banners was very imprecise and making them show up properly as flags on the world map was near impossible.  As I researched, I found that many people were having the same kind of headaches as I was, so I decided to try to fix it and make the results available to everyone.
 


These are the problems with the current system:

First of all, the banner textures are all different sizes which is very annoying if you are importing multiple banners.   
Secondly, the map flag system is horrendous.  It uses a different shaped flag based on which number in the sequence you choose, and it is totally arbitrary. 

So you get one of the following based on the number in the sequence you choose:

X)  horizontal, non-square flag with a V-Cut at the end:
1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 29, 30, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 54, 53, 55, 62, 59, 63

Y) vertical banners:
3, 5, 16, 18, 27, 28, 31, 40, 42, 45, 56, 58, 57, 61

Z) tiny square flags:
7, 8, 9, 13, 15, 17, 23, 25, 32, 33, 34, 37, 46, 52, 60

To make flag types X and Z, the game arbitrarily chooses part of the banner from the texture, so you never really know what segment is going to come off of your flag. :roll:  It also uses another arbitrary segment from the texture to draw the top roll of the banner which more often than not looks very ugly.

Also I know that this is a medieval game, but there is a complete lack of what we consider to be the most normal type of flag:  A horizontal flag without a V-cut in the end of it.

This is the solution I am working towards:


Banners:

I will be recreating banners_a.dds, banners_b.dds, and banners_c.dds so that the textures use standard sized banners of 132x330 pixels (2:5 aspect ratio).
Additionally, the top 10 pixels in the banner will be stretched and mapped over the roll at the top of the banner, and the wooden dowel will be mapped to a wooden texture like it is now. The models in banners.brf will be replaced to point to the correct locations on the new textures.   I will also be removing the v-cuts from the bottom of all banner models.



Horizontal Flags (without V-cuts) - new map flag shape:

This shape will be a horizontal flag without the v-cut that is currently found on all horizontal flags.

To avoid image distortion issues, I will be creating new texture files to hold the textures for a new horizontal map shape.  These textures will be standardized as 132x220 pixels, which is the most common aspect ratio for flags (3:5).    This also makes it easy to move over your banner texture since the widths are the same (lengths are different).  I will create a map flags brf which will have an entry for every flag that is meant to replace the entries found in map_flags_a.brf, map_flags_b.brf, and map_flags_c.brf.  These models file will point to the correct areas of the new 3:5 flag textures and the brf file will include updated vertex animations for each flag (which will be a lot of work)

So just to be clear, there will be seperate textures for the flags and for the banners.  SO you may have to do a little extra work, but you'll always know what part of the flag you'll be getting in game and its orientation, AND you won't get image distortion.  I will also provide my templates for easily creating new textures. 


Other Flag Shapes:

As of now I do not have plans to provide standardization options for the three existing flag shapes, but I may do this if there is sufficient interest.




I'm basically doing this to solve a specific problem I have, and I'm hoping it will be useful to others.  Let me know if you think this will be useful to you.

I am somewhat of a modding novice, so i will be posting requests for help in this thread.  Please help out with advice when you can.  If you think I am missing a crucial piece of information, please inform me as well. Thanks!





First Problem:


I exported a square-bottomed banner from banners.brf using BRF edit so that I could re UV-map it to my new texture locations.

However, I am getting wierd shadows on my mesh and I honestly can't figure out how to get it to look like the other banners.  I'm assuming it is due to edge hardness issues since edge hardness is not exported from BRF edit, but I just can't recreate the original model that exists in banners.brf.    :x

Wings Screenshots:


BRF Edit Screenshots:
Standard Model vs My Model (notice the bad shading on the upper left and lower right corners):


If you know what I am doing wrong, please help.  If you want to recreate the problem, just export banner_a10 from banners.brf as an .obj and import it into wings.   

EDIT: I deleted the trouble parts of the model and extruded as necessary to rebuild them.  Something must have been off.  :?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 08:22:14 AM by yellowmosquito »

Highlander

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 09:41:26 PM »
Okay, I guess you really want this, but I tell you, that this is a lot of work.

Your problem with the banners can be fixed, if you just remodel the banner. That won't be hard, since it doesn't have vertex animation.

I'll help you with the map flags. I have all 0-10 frames for a horizontal map flag without V-cut (Don't pay attention to the file names, I accidently named them vertical).

Step by step (you need to do that for EVERY banner):
1)Download these files:
http://rapidshare.com/files/95454847/flag_vertical.rar.html
2)Import map_flag_vertical_1.obj to wings3d.
3)Move the UV map around so that it fits to your texture. Don't change the model and more important: Don't seperate the objects.
4)Export it.
5)Import it to BRFEdit.
6)Now import the models map_flag_vertical_1.1.obj-map_flag_vertical_1.10.obj over you model. You do not need to re-UVmap them.
Tick these settings:
Standard; Replace Selected Mesh; Append
In your BRFEdit settings use Y up.
Use the following frame times:
0 Not needed
1 Not needed
2 100
3 105
4 110
5 115
6 120
7 125
8 130
9 135
10 140
7) Done! Now save the BRF file (sometimes BRFedit crashed and that is horrible, if you didn't save your work).

If you have any problems, just ask.

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 10:12:16 PM »

Thanks Highlander! I'm sorry that I couldn't be dissuaded from doing this.  ;)
I already put a ton of time into the banners and I want to see them used to their full potential.  Hopefully this will get used by others too.
I know this will be a lot of work, but I imagine most of the work will be wash, rinse, repeat type stuff. 

I had just started taking the v-cut out of the first few frames and getting my animations in brf edit.  Your flags will definitely save me some work.  Thanks.


One question though:  How does line hardness get set?  Does that come off of the baseline model just like the uv-map?

Highlander

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2008, 06:52:37 AM »
One question though:  How does line hardness get set?  Does that come off of the baseline model just like the uv-map?
I guess so, but I have no idea. I don't really think you need any hard edges in the map flag, though.

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2008, 04:43:19 PM »
Yargh.  I did a quick test, and yes, the line hardness does need to be in each model.  It is not read along with the UV information from the base frame. 

I don't know what it is about wings3d, but it seems to export line hardness okay into .objs (it gets into BRF Edit somehow) but when I use it to import .objs, it loses all hardness.  Very weird.

I know it is a small point, but if I'm going to be doing it, I'd like to do it right so it doesn't need to be redone.  The difference is small shadows on the flag, which no one will likely notice.  Oh well, this particular step only needs to be done 10 times.   :wink:

The difference between the two (at frame 10) for reference:
Unhardened Edges:


Hardened Edges:




Also Highlander, I just figured this out, but you don't have to do the reimporting of each flag every time.  You can use BRF Edit to clone the object, and then import the base flag of the animation (with the updated UV mapping info).  Then you just on the new cloned mesh and click import and choose "Modify Base Frame".  It works great and saves lots of work.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 07:03:23 PM by yellowmosquito »

Highlander

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Re: Banner and Horizontal Flags Standardization Project - Advice Needed
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 05:54:03 AM »
Cool. I didn't know.
The flag with hardened edges looks better, indeed.

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack (Coming Soon)
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 11:23:06 PM »
Woot woot!  All done...I just have to gather up the files, write some instructions, and put it on the repository.  I'll post the completed product in just a few hours.

DMcain

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack (Coming Soon)
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2008, 05:43:03 AM »
Odd question, especially since you already finished the mod.

Would it be possibly to mod the module_game_menus.py, or one of the other files, so the banner orientation (vertical or horizontal) can be selected? Also, the V-tail selectable on the horizontal banners?

Maybe something to work towards.

DMCain
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 05:46:19 AM by DMcain »

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack (Coming Soon)
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2008, 06:25:12 AM »

While it may be possible, it is more of an elegant (and complicated) method than I had planned, and is certainly out of my area of expertise.  I honestly don't know if it is possible either.

I have implemented a quick and dirty system where I have manually replaced the old models, animations, uv-maps, and textures.  The end result is that the user just has to edit their textures using the supplied templates and drop them into their mod.  Your suggestion would be powerful, but it may be out of the realm of many users who just want to edit their flags in their image editor and have it show up. 

On the other hand, people who would use this are probably pretty advanced anyway. If someone wants to come up with a way to implement a code-based approach, I would be more than happy to work with them.

Thanks for the interest and the suggestion. 

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack (Coming Soon)
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2008, 09:15:31 AM »
Can a moderator please move this to the Unofficial Editing Tools Forum?

Edit: Thank you!

Another Edit:  Predak suggested that an easy way to implement v-cuts and smaller square shapes into the current horizontal flags would be to use an alpha channel for the unused segment.  I haven't tried this out, but it sounds like a good idea.  If anyone tries it, please let me know how it looks.

Edit: Works fantastic once I enabled alpha in the .brf files.  Fully supported in v1.1.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 11:43:14 PM by yellowmosquito »

Darkwood

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2008, 08:53:35 AM »
Really cool! I'm impressed  :o

I have question about flags. Is it possible to modify .py files to make all lords from one country to have same flag? If someone know how to do this, please PM me (so we could start new topic and discuss it).

Thanks.

Errr... Hello!... Me Willy, me Willy Thrombone... With this I tell you a story, story about good, story about bad, this disc is all that are left of the true story...

yellowmosquito

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Re: Banner and Flag Standardization Pack
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2008, 11:34:43 PM »
Really cool! I'm impressed  :o

I have question about flags. Is it possible to modify .py files to make all lords from one country to have same flag? If someone know how to do this, please PM me (so we could start new topic and discuss it).

Thanks.

Yes, this is possible.  I have seen it, but I'm not sure what it takes to set it up.  I think it requires changes to module_presentations.py but I don't know any more than that.




In other news, Version v1.1 is finished, which lets you use vertical flags with your banner textures!  This might interest all you people out there who hate horizontal flags.  ;) 

I will upload the new version to the repository in a few hours.

New Features: 
  • Vertical Map Flags supported (uses banner textures so no additional work is needed on your part)
  • Added Full Support for Alpha Channels - can be used to recreate v-cuts, square maps, tears, cuts   
  • Renamed BRF Files to std_flags_vertical and  std_flags_horizontal for clarity purposes
  • Renamed Textures to avoid collisions with native textures
  • Renamed Templates for consistency


EDIT:   If you are upgrading from the v1.0 pack, delete your old .brf files  and copy the new ones into your resource directory.  Then and put the new brf files into module.ini.  You also need to change the names of your textures so it begins with "std_".  Sorry, but I ran into problems with the native textures and this was the easiest way around it for most users.  The templates have been renamed to be consistent with the output textures.

ANOTHER EDIT:  Version 1.1 uploaded to the repository.  Let me know what you think of the new version if you decide to use it!

« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 03:06:39 AM by yellowmosquito »

Khalid ibn Walid

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 :D  8-) :D

yellowmosquito, you're a life-saver!!  Thanks!

Your pack works excellently.  Saved me more trouble than I can express.

My eternal gratitude!!!


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Great work!
A Song of Ice and Fire (v0.4.2) for Mount&Blade 0.903

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