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    Modding Automata into Props

    Have you ever wanted to use one of the in-game automata as a prop in lotting? Well it's actually really simple, all you need to do is create a prop exemplar that links to the installed automata model. You can even duplicate the model and make rotated versions. Unlike normal SC4Models, automata are special because fully 3D models are used in game.

    However to aid you in making automata as props, I've included here a template for the Bus Automata. I will use this as an example, and walk through the modifications required to make whatever bus automata you are using. But the principles explained here can be adapted to props for any S3D 3D model that you want as a prop. Note all models are S3D, but not all S3D models are the 3D ones.



    In the example above you can see the Basic Prop Exemplar for the default Bus Automata. The IID* of this model is 0x10620000. This is the same ID used in the Resource Key Type 0 field of the prop exemplar.

    *IID = Instance ID, as in Type, Group and Instance. For all 3D models the same Type and Group ID is normally used, hence we only need to worry about the Instance ID when dealing with these models.

    Any models which over-ride the Maxis defaults, must have the same ID as the originals. Therefore it's usually easy to know which IDs we are looking for. Vester has compiled a handy list of most Maxis Automata here.

    The example shown above references the default Bus Model. Without further modification, you can now use this prop to place your Bus Automata on lots. But in the included template DAT, there are a further 3 Prop Exemplars, linked to 3 S3D model files. These S3D files need to be replaced by duplicates of the actual Bus Automata you want to make into props. Since those included are merely templates.

    Copying your custom Bus Automata.

    These additional prop exemplars need to link to rotated models. At FAR-L, FAR-R and Diagonal positions. If you want to use these, you need to find the DAT containing your Bus Automata. Open that file, whilst keeping the included file opened as well.

    • Copy the S3D of the Bus Model. Be careful to get the whole bus, not the model with the lights.
    • Paste this below an existing S3D model in my file. 
    • Right click the template S3D model and select "Copy Entry ID". 
    • Right click the replacement S3D model and select "Paste Entry ID". 
    • Right click the template S3D model, select "Remove File". We don't need this anymore.

    So that's one S3D model replaced with your custom one. If you do it this way, all the prop exemplars and textures from the existing model are now automatically linked together, saving a lot of work.

    Repeat the process for the remaining two S3D templates. Save your modified file. You can optionally rename the Prop Exemplars to better suit your model.

    Rotating unique model instances with Model Tweaker.

    Now we need to rotate the models, because right now our copies are still straight. For this, you need Coego's Excellent Model Tweaker. Open the modified DAT file using Model Tweaker.

    Highlight the following S3D models in turn and use the Rotate Models option with the following settings for each:

    • S3D IID 0x20620000 FAR-L       -    Counter-Clockwise / Free = 18.5
    • S3D IID 0x30620000 FAR-R       -    Clockwise / Free = 18.5
    • S3D IID 0x40620000 Diag          -    Clockwise / Free = 45

    Now save the file. Your props will now appear in the Lot Editor for use. Bear in mind that such props may not show correctly in the Lot Editor. But they will appear in game, all four props link back to the original model's textures. So to use them, you must keep the file with the automata installed.


      Edited by rsc204  

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