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May 08, 2021, 05:31:35 AM

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Author Topic: Original BAT file gone  (Read 872 times)

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Offline deanva

Original BAT file gone
« on: April 10, 2019, 06:21:09 PM »
I have made some original BAT items they are listed now as SC4 model or lot files. If I want to modify or edit the original BAT file it is not listed on my computer at all any ideas what to do? Do I just start over and how to avoid this in the future?

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Re: Original BAT file gone
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 08:46:49 PM »
What I would do to avoid this in the future is to be more careful to preserve your source files--which would have the extension .gmax, if you're using the original/official "BAT" Gamepack for Gmax.  The BAT's rendering process does not destroy the original source .gmax file--only generate the .SC4Model file from it (.SC4Lot would come from the Lot Editor)--so if the source file is no longer there, it would mean it had been removed/deleted somehow. 

If you have indeed lost those files, unless you were doing highly-specialized work with a true-3D script (something which should only be done in very specialized circumstances), you would need to start over in order to replicate them. 

The .SC4Model files normally produced by the BAT scripts encapsulate a series of 20 "S3D" models, which are greatly simplified versions of the original source model, designed specifically to look representative of it at the 4 angles allowed by the game's camera, at 5 different zoom levels.  Attempting to rotate the S3D models within the .SC4Model file to angles other than the 4 in-game camera angles, however, will produce a result not unlike what would happen if one were to try to rotate M.C. Escher's Belvedere.  The original geometry is not retained in the rendered form, and cannot be recovered from the .SC4Model.  It was all an ingenious design that Paul Pedriana and the Maxis team worked out, to make it look like the game was fully in true-3D (and is the reason SC4 arguably stands up so well graphically today), while producing something that wouldn't bog down systems from 2003.

There are some aspects that can still be edited even after rendering into .SC4Model form--including scale and positioning (cogeo's SC4 Model Tweaker is invaluable for this), and also textures--but anything beyond that would not be possible.


Edit: Added the "fully" qualifier to the true-3D comment, as technically the game is capable of supporting true-3D--it's just that the camera system is set to fixed angles.

Offline fantozzi

Re: Original BAT file gone
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 02:26:59 AM »
Sounds sad. I feel sorry for you. Sometimes, after half a day of work, it happened that a gmax file got corrupted and I had to start the whole thing again. The feeling, the first version, the version I lost, was much better - this feeling will stay forever.

That's why marring a widow with children is an extremely difficult task. The childrern always will be convinced: the first dad was much better. No matter if it's right or wrong - it's a mysterious behavior of men - that those things we have lost gain importance inside.

Perhaps to follow the traces back how you created those bats. Maybe you find a version in some other program when you started to create them. Which software did you use? Which backup format in which folder?