Reliable tools to edit event, attachment, collision box?

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Nov 11, 2021
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Problem with Retera 0.4.1
  • Cannot edit event, attachment, collision box.
  • Often silently lost all events on save.
Problem with Magos Model Editor
  • For some models, unable to open or save due to "unknown error".
  • Almost impossible to rotate viewing camera -- move a few pixels and camera changes 360 degrees...
What I do now is use Retera or Magos to save as mdl, doing text edit and then use Magos to save as mdx.
(It seems that Magos can often export mdx even when it cannot save mdl due to "unknown error")

Is there some known reliable tool to edit event etc., or at least reliably convert mdx<->mdl with error message?
 
In order to learn to make Retera Model Studio and its predecessor software years ago, what I found is that because Blizzard never released the MDX and MDL specifications, the only reliable converter between the two formats was YobGul's File Converter. That program used the Warcraft 3 game DLL to convert the model, so the conversion between MDX and MDL was using Blizzard Entertainment's converter and would never fail and was always perfectly accurate.

Over the years, lots of us (myself included) learned many things about trying to invent our own clone of this converter behavior, but it takes a very, very long time because it had to all be found by guessing based on what the Warcraft 3 game would and would not read, since Blizzard Entertainment did not publish help for programmers on this topic.

I don't think I ever experienced Retera Model Studio silently losing all events on save, but it is certainly true that I did not bother to make a UI to edit them because I was always saving as MDL and tweaking them from there.

So, my recommendation is that because YobGul's File Converter only runs on Windows XP computers, you should choose a tool based on whether you are modding Patch 1.32 or modding a legacy Patch 1.31 or below client. Even the "classic SD" models on a Patch 1.32 (cross compatible with Reforged) installation are in a different format version 1000. So any model from that game installation will fail to open on War3ModelEditor. Maybe if you save as MDL from Retera Model Studio (which understands both Legacy 2002 Warcraft 3 format (called version 800) and Reforged compatible format (called version 1000)) then maybe that MDL would open in Magos War3ModelEditor. But you would be losing data and breaking it when you do that, unless you first change the FormatVersion setting to 800 in Retera Model Studio so that my code spits out a Frozen Throne 2003 game version model.

So, depending on whether you are a Patch 1.32 engine user (in other words using 1.32 Reforged compatible client regardless of whether you purchased Reforged) my advice for you is totally different.

Patch 1.32 user:
  • Find models in game storage using either CascView or Retera Model Studio
  • Convert models to MDL using Retera Model Studio
  • Dont bother with War3ModelEditor because the sourcecode for it is not published so it cant be kept up to date with Reforged's changes to formats
  • If you decide you do not trust Retera Model Studio builtin converter, other options supporting this reforged engine format would be MDX <-> MDL or Model Optimizer and Converter v1.2.1 (I did not personally use either of these much but I've had good conversations with bother authors in the past and they are both cool people and might fix bugs if you had a problem with something)
  • REMEMBER that because Blizzard never published MDL specifications for Reforged, and because we did not hack Blizzard like how YobGul did in 2002 to get access to the official MDL<->MDX converter for Frozen Throne (or at least I didnt) it means each program that converts MDX to MDL is at risk of their own quirks. I am guilty of this more than the others. In Retera Model Studio, if you save a Reforged HD model to an MDL then it will get formatted in a way that only Retera Model Studio can understand. If you open it with some other program before converting back to MDX with Retera Model Studio in that case, you would probably just break it. MDX is the format all our programs have to agree on because it has to be consistent with Warcraft 3 game.
  • To get a UI for editing stuff without converting to MDL, get a copy of Retera Model Studio 0.5 fanmade version. I did not personally add these features because I was too lazy, but I published all my code and other people built onto it and made a new version with all these editing capabilities for most if not all of the node types, with a GUI so you dont have to do MDL. However, they also broke a huge ton of stuff in my code, so what I hear from users is that they use my 0.4 version for complex animation transfers and they use the fanmade 0.5 version for having a GUI for all those needs like you're asking about.

For a user on legacy patches like 1.27 or below, or even still mostly up to Patch 1.31:
  • Use Guesst's convert called MDLX Converter, but find the fanmade recompiled version called 1.04 that fixes a bug
  • Use War3ModelEditor for editing flat model data
  • Use Mdlvis for editing animations
  • Use YobGul File Converter if you are on WinXP but you aren't probably
  • Edit: Personally I would also use RMS for this because its backwards compatible typically, but I was suggesting alternatives for you
 
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