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Retera's Model Studio

Submitted by Retera
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
This is Retera's Model Studio v0.03 Public Beta. It is not finished! But it is something that works and is better than the Matrix Eater application, and is compatible with Patch 1.31.

Retera's Model Studio is the second evolution of the Matrix Eater project. It is a standalone MDL and MDX model editor. The project has diverged from the Matrix Eater that is available here on the Hive, and become a different program with features that do not totally overlap -- although my goal is for this to entirely replace the Matrix Eater.

Features:
  • Open and view MDL and MDX model files
  • CASC Data browser with double-click to view model, or texture, using JCASC from DrSuperGood
  • Attempts to support every single Warcraft III Patch up to and including Patch 1.31
  • MPQ Data browser seamlessly replaces CASC browser when using older patches of the game
  • 24 color "Team Color" menu will seamlessly swap to 12 colors when using an older patch of the game
  • Edit the model geometry (Select by Vertex, Select by Face, Select by Group)
  • Editor hotkeys that were not present in the Matrix Eater predecessor (QWER for edit mode, ASDF for select mode)
  • Control which Geosets are editable at one time
  • Animation Previewing (No particles or ribbons yet)
  • An "Open Internal" menu for loading game models quickly
  • Can open and save MDX to MDL or MDL to MDX using a converter that supports features such as ReplaceableId on Particle Emitters better than some alternatives
  • Includes a basic UV map editor
  • Multiple GUI themes available in the Preferences Window
Experimental Features:
  • Create a new blank model with basic planes and boxes
  • Can open BLP or PNG images for previewing (similar to Magos application)
  • Includes an Edit Textures menu to view the list of used textures, and quickly change used paths.
  • Quick Browse: Opening a new model in the Data Browser will close unsaved old ones (can be turned off in preferences)
  • Customizable layout, allowing you to draw components of the UI into different places
  • Window -> Reset Layout to reload the default layout
  • T-Pose edit mode, which can move mesh based on assigned bones in a more intelligent way
  • Cluster selection mode, similar to Group mode but using connected mesh rather than assigned VertexGroup
  • Animation edit mode, which can edit and modify animations (Warning: uses Hermite and Bezier by default, and inserts incorrect inward and outward tangents that will cause visual "vibrations" of nonlinear models in some cases, this is a fixable bug, needs more time)
  • Hive Browser is a feature that does not work and was added only as a UI mockup to discuss technology, and was included by accident in V0.01. It will be removed in V0.02, as to my knowledge, the required server technology for the hypothetical feature to work was not built.
Limitations:
  • Unlike Matrix Eater, this application cannot pin a Geoset to be visible but not editable
  • Unlike Matrix Eater, this application gives no indication of a node's name graphically in the 2D editing space
  • No user interface to control mounting system for MPQ/CASC hybrid loading system, so it will break again in Patch 1.32 or whenever Blizzard moves data once again
  • No support for HD models from Warcraft 3 Reforged
  • Inherits WC3 cached install directory information from Matrix Eater, which can be removed in the case of incompatibility and is located at C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Roaming\JWC3\user.profile
  • After running this application, configuration settings from the Matrix Eater application may become corrupted and not work correctly, causing strange white background errors (This application will not be affected)
Required for running Retera's Model Studio:
  • A Java SE Runtime Environment. A bundle is included with a Windows 64-bit EXE launcher but if you want the application to run on Linux or Mac then you must install the Java SE Runtime Environment separately.
  • The above statement means that if you are a 32-bit Windows XP user, the EXE application will not function (only tested with Windows 7 64-bit, and Windows 10 64-bit)
  • A valid Warcraft III Installation (only tested with Patch 1.22 through Patch 1.31)
Additionally bundled applications (main methods in the same Java application included as EXE files):
  • Includes the AnimTransfer EXE that was previously included with Matrix Eater, which will use the Retera Model Studio MDL and MDX parser, which has significant subtle improvements over the one in the Matrix Eater application thanks to contributions from Ghostwolf.
  • Includes the ObjectEditor EXE shown in YouTube videos that has custom folders based on unit race, and can be opened multiple times simultaneously and can select, copy, and paste multiple Units between two running instances of the software. (Known to have bugs, requires Windows Clipboard, fails on Linux)
  • BlpConv EXE that can be used to convert TGA to BLP using DrSuperGood's blp-iio-plugin on systems where Magos or BLP Lab are not working (although these two alternative tools are typically superior to mine)
v0.03:
  • Changed the program to use Java 11. Had trouble exporting the JAR from Eclipse, so I changed it back to Java 8 for now.
  • Changed the program to use the latest version of DrSuperGood's JCASC, which requires Java 11 to use, then I modified his code so that it did not require Java 11 so that we could continue deployment in the previous fashion.
  • Changed the startup sequence to use a "data source chooser" view, which is also available in Preferences. This allows users to load CASC or MPQ data in a way that is intended to be straightforward and clear to the user, and for CASC data the user able to choose the locale to load from the game. Locales that are present in the CASC's list but have not been downloaded from Blizzard are shown in dark red. These dark red options won't work until you launch Warcraft III at least one time using that locale.
  • Changed the startup sequence to return the user to the "data source chooser" any time that the program crashes during startup, so that the user is always able to reconfigure their settings.
  • Changed the model previewer to include the rendering of Particle Emitters, so that users can have a better feel for how their models might look in-game. This is a nontrivial task that involves many hundreds of lines of code replicating the behavior of the game and it was only possible because of the works of Ghostwolf, which I translated nearly directly from JavaScript into Java.
    • "Squirt" mode particles will emit at random times when they should not because of a difference between my code and Ghostwolf's code (his does not have this bug).
    • Also, priority plane and layering are known to have issues.
  • Added a JSON parser that loads the "filealiases.json" data when using CASC. This file is used by the 1.30 and 1.31 clients to support removed legacy files inside the Warcraft III game, and it will now be supported by the Retera Model Studio when viewing models. This will fix missing textures in some instances when the textures were not missing in-game.
  • Changed the default application data folder to be named "ReteraStudio" instead of "JWC3". This change removes bad interactions with the "Matrix Eater" application where the "Retera Model Studio" and "Matrix Eater" would write clashing versions of the same data to the same settings file (see "AppData/Roaming/ReteraStudio" on your computer).
    • This will cause a reset of all user settings for the Retera Model Studio version v0.03.
    • If you wish to avoid a settings reset, copy your settings file from "AppData/Roaming/JWC3". However I do not promise backwards compatibility.
  • Fixed an issue with the Quick Browse option so that turning it off and on will work correctly.
  • Added a scroll bar to the "Change Animation Lengths (by Scaling)" popup. (Thanks Mythic!) This popup is now listed under the "Scripts" menu.
  • Added 3 new GUI Themes: HiFi, Acryl, and Aluminium. These are all from the JTattoo library. Also, the "Dark" theme was technically the "Noire" theme from the JTattoo library, and it has been renamed accordingly. Aluminium is now the default theme (this can still be changed in the Preferences Window).
  • Changed code in the BLP loading pipeline used for rendering models and icons that aims to avoid destruction of texture data that is beneath an alpha channel yet loaded on a model's surface regardless of the alpha channel. Previously visual artifacts were visible in some cases that were not in accordance with how the textures would display in the Warcraft III game.
  • Added an "Edit" button in the Time Bound Chooser panel, but it does not actually work yet and will be fixed in a future version.
  • Changed some code with the "X" button on the program and how closing model files functions, so that it should not be able to bug out and fail to close a model or fail to close the application in a way unexpected by the user.
  • Added a system in the 3D displays that compares the aspect ratios known to the application with the aspect ratios known to the graphics card that attempts to use this information to fix the renderer when used on desktops that have the UI Scale setting specified. This was tested on Windows 10 with the UI scale, and it still fails on multiple monitor configurations where the second or third monitor have differing UI Scale specified. However, it should always work correctly on the main display when previously it may not have worked correctly at all.
  • Added a Preferences option to disable rendering particle emitters, as well as a separate option to disable rendering particle emitters in the Editor view.
  • Changed the "Use Boxes for Pivot Points" option so that it also affects the 2D displays in the Animation Editor.
  • Changed the Right-Click mouse button not to do anything on the Outliner widget, so that it can popup an "Edit" option on a popup menu in a future version of the software.
  • Changed the code that converts program data to MDX at Save time, so that some models that previously would not save due to state corruption inside the Model Studio will now be able to save. There may be more similar bugs yet to be fixed.
  • Changed the SLK parser used to load Unit Data so that it should be able to load data from the Reign of Chaos and from Project Revolution, in case users wish to load that data using the new game data source choosing settings.
  • Changed the Unit Browser to reload its contents when the program data source is changed. Previously, the "View -> Change Game Directory" option was likely to change the internal setting but keep previously cached information in the Unit Browser.
  • Added a command line option, "-forcedataprompt" to force the program to start with the Data Source Chooser window, so that users can specify their Warcraft III game data source without launching the application.
  • Changed how missing textures resolve so that they should resolve to a white surface. This should hopefully remove the irritating popup.
  • Attempted to make the Perspective view constantly repaint itself to always update dynamically, however in practice this is still not working in some cases.
  • Changed the texture loader so that a default Tree texture will be loaded when the replaceable texture ID is not known. This does not yet help with previewing cliff models but it means that the Mountain Giant and similar models should preview decently.
  • Added a scroll bar to the Texture Manager shown with "Tools -> Edit Textures" for use on models with many textures
  • Reorganized some of the program menus to attempt to make them more logical (Based on some suggestions from Hayate, many thanks! If only this program could be updated as quickly as his mockup UI!) More changes to these may be added in a future version, as they are still rather disorganized.
    • The new "Scripts" is a place for one-off script utilities that don't fit anywhere else, and maybe be user modifiable to include custom code in the future. At this time, it is only a preset list.
    • "Scripts -> Export Animated to Static Mesh" is a new option to build snapshot models. Unfortunately, it only snapshots the currently timeline in the Editor view, not in the Viewer that you see when you start the application. Also, it discards all node information, including Billboarded nodes, so camera-centric planes will be left to face forward instead of the camera.
    • "Edit -> Optimize" now include an option to merge all geosets that share like materials and visibility that is called "Minimize Geosets". Misha and a few other users have been asking for this option for years. I have not tested it very extensively and there may still be bugs in it. It worked on one or two sample cases that I experimented with.
  • In v0.01/v0.02 I added an option in Program Preferences to allow loading Non-BLP textures, so that users can open a PNG file or a model that references a PNG file even though these are generally not valid MDX files when used inside the Warcraft III game. This option may have been changed in the newer one to fix bugs, according to some of my code history information.
  • Fixed a crash relating to parsing WTS files for unit data, such as when the Data Source Chooser is used to load a custom map file as an MPQ.
  • Changed "Error: A matrix's bone id was not referencing a real bone!" to be a console log line instead of a popup, so that users do not receive a spamming wave of popups when opening a model file.
  • Changed the model parser to accept models with missing Pivot Points (as the Warcraft III game does), so that the Retera Model Studio is able to open some MDX models that previously would have caused a crash popup.
v0.02:
  • Removed Hive Browser UI mockup that did not work
  • Wrapped the startup code in a block that will catch and display errors in a GUI
  • Fixed an issue where users who had never run the Matrix Eater application in the past would have the Retera Model Studio application crash the first time it was run
Personal note: On the Matrix Eater application, I left a note where I said:
This application does not solve that concern of mine. I am not uploading this as a finished product. But as we have seen with Patch 1.31, some times, software is pushed into production when it isn't ready. That is the case with this application. I want more than I have. I just can't stand not to share with the community what I have anymore, because I feel a deep sense of guilt for anyone who is using the Matrix Eater application and forcing themselves to mod on Patch 1.26 or some nonsense, while the above application existed on my computer and has for almost a year.

I believe in the power of open source, and this application is entirely open source. I have been developing it for about two years since the Matrix Eater was posted, and it has evolved out of the same codebase. This is the same GitHub link that was included on the Matrix Eater program, but it now contains the source for Retera Model Studio:
Retera/JWC3
Contents

Retera's Model Studio 0.03 (Binary)

  1. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

    Map Reviewer

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    Hey, any chance for drag and drop .mdx and stuff? It'd be helpful and faster to load/open stuff.
     
  2. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    Any word on version 0.04 or 0.05?

    Are you looking to update your Retera Model Studio to handle WC3 Reforged MDX to WC3TFT MDX conversion?

    That'd be real neat! So far, WET as of version0.4.2.2 (Warcraft Export Tools) only supports exporting WC3 Reforged MDX into OBJ, missing all the bones, animations, and other information.
     
  3. Retera

    Retera

    Tool Reviewer

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    I asked a Blizzard employee about the leak and they said, "Don't develop against it." I will take my chances that they know what they are talking about.
    I have a local build that is titled 0.04 but it has bugs in it that I don't like and I don't want to publish it until they are gone. Also, I would prefer to add even more features.
     
  4. PhoenixZeng

    PhoenixZeng

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    any plan for multilingual?
     
  5. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    Aaah I see, but still it's worthwhile to understand the MDX format. See here for example, Taylour Mouse is trying to develop a plugion, no doubt in order to be able to convert to WC3 TFT and other file formats, in order to retain the animation and all other pertinent information.

    Taylor Mouse's recent thread: Warcraft III Reforged - MDX format
    Methinks, that Taylour Mouse and you should chat between each other! Let me know how I can help as well! I'm still very newb at this, but I can code and understand programming enough to get started.

    I tried re-rigging all the vertices of a WC3R Centaur Outrunner unit to the WOW centaur Warrior model which I have ported already successfully. It sort of worked... but it's still rather bad... especially the attack animations. The stand and walk animations are passable, but still ugh... this Animation stuff is really tough and time-consuming. One hand I did animate well, but the other one I TERRIBLY messed up lol. It looks like a weird Fishman monstrosity thing hahaha

    Oooooh, I'm waiting anxiously and eagerly for 0.04, Retera! Cheers! I noticed on your YouTube channel that you been busy 7 hours trying to get a leaked WC3Reforged torrent working lol, on a Linux OS, not a WIndows 10 OS, right? Did you crack it?
     
  6. Retera

    Retera

    Tool Reviewer

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    It's clearly a bit off topic, but I decided to play Warcraft 3 Beta at any cost after that 7 hour video and this video is the result. Honestly, even though I was playing single player, this game was incredibly fun -- once I realized that I had to play as Human or Orc.

    Wouldn't the performance of a Reforged model file be pretty terrible on the old WC3 TFT engine? For me, I don't know if I feel as though there is much purpose to making those kinds of backwards conversions.
    I would be much more interested in converting MDX800 model files to MDX900 model files, so that I could use spell effects and other elements that I developed in the past even on a Reforged mod. The people I've communicated with who did more research than I have said that although the Reforged beta can load both MDX800 and MDX900 model files, it does a poor job loading MDX800 models and breaks certain elements of them. So, for example, if I want to take my Heaven's Fall mod that has maybe 700 custom MDX800 model files made over the past fifteen years, and port certain ones to MDX900 for Reforged and then remake all the ones that are derivative works of the MDX900 format, then I would need a way to port MDX800 to MDX900. For example, the Reforged beta supposedly has a "non HD" mode where it uses "the old model files" from the old game. But my sources told me that when they looked at these old model files, they are in the MDX900 format. They use DDS textures and PBX particles or whatever, even if it's just the model of something from classic WC3.

    This is interesting because if you take some basic unit that we all know, like the Undead Shade for example, my mod has custom models made from the Undead Shade that were created in the MDX800 format. But what my sources are telling me is that if you import the MDX800 Shade or derivative works into the Reforged beta, they are going to look terrible. Yet, if you play SD mode and you train a Shade unit, that unit looks fine in the SD mode because there is an MDX900 Shade model stored in the new format that is "meant to look identical" to the old Shade from the old game, even though its file contents have been changed to match the new engine.

    This could work as a sort of Rosetta Stone for porting old maps and such from the versions of Warcraft III that we have had for years into something that could run on Reforged, because we have "both versions" of the model files for every single SD Warcraft III model. So, I believe that there will eventually be a convenient system or converter to run our classic Warcraft III maps on Reforged, even if it requires modifying the contents of all of their model files in an automated way.

    But to me porting Reforged MDX900 models to the old MDX800 format is somewhat crazy. There are going to be certain elements of the model that the older format *has no equivalent for*. You can take as an example even the basic Reforged Footman. The metal changes from light colors to dark colors in a glossy way based on whether it faces a light source, such as the sun. Our eyes recognize this glossy effect as "metal". The old MDX800 Warcraft III model format is 2002 technology from before this kind of rendering was invented. As a language, it has "no words to describe" that kind of effect. So it simply can't be done. You could never have the Reforged footman in WC3 TFT because it's physically impossible unless you change the WC3 TFT render engine. So, to me, attempting to do that is some form of madness. When I'm given to accepting madness in my life, I would rather spend it on trying to build my own game that supports models made in the Retera Model Studio or something, so that it was easier to do modding of my game. I'm not quite sure what I want anymore.

    But I'm much more inclined to build a port functionality from MDX800 to MDX900, even though I won't be doing it yet, because I don't yet have access to play any games that use the MDX900 format.
     
  7. dtnmang

    dtnmang

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    well I am sure that lighting/shading won't be the only problem. The newer model format has bone weight, which helps make animations look more natural and minimize mesh clipping. The older model format doesn't (because low poly), and has no way to support bone weight. All vertices tied to a given bone have the same weight in the old format.
     
  8. Taylor_Mouse

    Taylor_Mouse

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    I do have a question for @Retera, what are the PIVT for ?
     
  9. Retera

    Retera

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    PIVT are really important. I learned the format as text based MDL, so I always referred to those as Pivot Points. If there are 100 nodes, then there are 100 pivot points -- one for each node. For example, if I have Bone_Arm1_R with ObjectID 2, then the pivot point at index 2 is the point around which Bone_Arm1_R will rotate.
     
  10. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    Great investigation, Retera! Much appreciated :D I learned a lot from your post. THanks, keep it up!

    The video doesn't have the new models though, unlike in Arcane's and BookOfFlame's videos. Interesting.

    I agree with you, Retera, backwards conversion wouldn't make much sense. Still, I remember reading that Blizzard confirmed backwards compatibility, so old custom games can be loaded just fine into Reforged. But probably you're right.. not the other way around, for Reforged assets to get ported into WC3TFT again. Woa, your Haven's Fall mod has like 700 custom models?! Sheesh, that's AMAZING! So you will be supporting MDX800 to MDX900 conversion once Reforged hits, right? At least one way, the most popular and requested way, yep?

    I didn't know about MDX800 vs. MDX900, especially the different in # of polys. However, I was able to port, quite badly but it works, the Centaur Outrunner, rerigged to the skeleton of WOW CentaurWarrior.MDX.... yeah it's missing the glossiness on the metal parts like the shoulder pauldrons, but it's still in-game. So yes, you're right it's completely missing those elements since it has no schema of understanding those extra layers of information.
     
  11. 1337Smithy

    1337Smithy

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    Is it just me, or has he downloaded the old Warcraft 3 beta from 2001/2002 lol, which explains the old art of the menu, gameplay differences, and zero engine updates lol.
     
  12. Clanzion

    Clanzion

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    Is there way for your object editor to copy over object's id over instead of having to type in a new one? Could save alot of time.
     
  13. Retera

    Retera

    Tool Reviewer

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    @Clanzion Yea it's open source so you can download the code and make it do whatever you want. One time I made 10,000 abilities with unique names in 20 seconds to help Kam test the limits of the World Editor. Another time, I automatically generated grid hotkeys for all abilities in my map.
    Retera/JWC3

    @1337Smithy @CentaurWarlord Yes, the video of me playing the "Forged" beta is a parody of the recent trend of beta content. I was playing the 2002 Beta of the Reign of Chaos. All of that content was from 17 or more years ago.
     
  14. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    @Retera Hahaha, I see now, you cheeky bastard you. Well played! Noice parody lawlz... you're like the grand-daddy of WC3 hipsters.

    I guess I'm now guilty of the recent trend of beta content. Shameless plug:

    1) My first BETA match
    and

    2) first 2v2 beta victory (
    recorded only the end for some reason, my stupid Action! messed up, plus no voice, grrr


    Even on my powerful rig with AMD Threadripper with 32 cores/64 threads and RTX 2080Ti, the performance was rather atrocious. I had to turn off Shadows and Occlusion completely to get playable frame rates. Noticeably it looks more washed out not as dark.
     
  15. Retera

    Retera

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    I dont have the beta because I got blacklisted for trolling on the forums due to the time that I posted a link to my animation editor test video with the title "RA RA RA I'm a Makrura"


    But I have the 2002 Beta, so maybe I'll develop a model editor for the 2002 Beta, honestly. Modding the 2002 Beta is kind of fun. The night elves weren't functioning because wisp harvest crashed the game so I modded KotG to make 5 treats per cast and made the treants able to harvest lumber and then I got to play the 2002 night elves.

    Is anybody modifying the repo of this open source Retera Model Studio to work on MDX900 already or are you all waiting on me to do it? After I praised Ghostwolf as being the Lord Ghostwolf because he gave me animation editor code, now he studied MDX900 so that he could stay cool and sent me a link to a parser that works on all the chunks like the CORNs and stuff he said. So I might be able to just copy his code and jury rig a Reforged Model Studio together sometime, maybe this weekend. But it will be tough if I'm unable to test it.

    Edit: Actually I was trolling and have no idea whether I got into Reforged beta yet today because I am still at work. I got in trouble for exploiting World of Warcraft in middle school in order to reach "GM Island" because I wanted to prove to a guy I met online that there wouldn't be an island like that, it would be like a Wc3 map that only GMs would have on their computers, and so I went to the location listed online out in the ocean and I was wrong about it, there was an island. So there are multiple reasons I might be on a no-Beta list.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  16. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    I'm really sad to read that Blizzard blacklisted you so. Blizzard sometimes acts too harshly, too fast, like a kneejerk reaction. For example, my brother's Diablo III account is still perma-banned because they say he was cheating... he's a Luddite, so he definitely wasn't... probably some hacker got hold of his account somehow. But to this day, my brothers and I can't play Diablo III anymore because one of the brothers is perma-banned.... oh well really loved my Wizard there, but couldn't and wouldn't continue without my brothers.

    I hope that for both yourself and my brother, that in due time, you'll get your privileges and rights back, bro.

    Woa, that's a very innovative resolution to the 2002 beta, hahahaha... You ultimate troll, you! Lol Sheeesh, you really do like pushing them boundaries huh, Retera? Why is your YouTube channel named The Shorka, though? I don't get the disconnect.. or inside joke probably lol :D

    Then, I'd be awaiting anxiously for the weekend! Apparently, YourArthas/eges96 already was able to successfully re-rig the WC3R Centaur Khan to the old WC3TFT Vanilla Centaur Khan. I'm poring his brain on how to do it, so then I can emulate and learn the pipeline as well for myself.
     
  17. Retera

    Retera

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    Yeah so it turns out I was wrong and I wasn't blacklisted. I never got an email about it but when I got home after work and got on the launcher it allowed the download. Apparently nobody cares who makes Makruras dance or went to GM Island in middle school a decade ago.

    But there is apparently no button to play custom maps, so I cannot yet test making custom Reforged format models very easily with the beta.
     
  18. CentaurWarlord

    CentaurWarlord

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    Yaaaay! Way to go Retera! It's good to know that the lil Makrura dance and GM island debacle from a decade ago was finally delisted if it ever was blacklisted. If anything, I think they should give props/kudos to you for figuring it all out.
     
  19. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    How can we extract stuff like from project Revolution? We get the unit browser but it doesn't allow us to export anything and in the data browser only the Warcraft III casc files appear and there's an export option for the data browser.
     
  20. Retera

    Retera

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    Here is how I would do it, if that helps. But now I need to get some dinner! Video might not be done processing server-side yet. If you check back in 20 minutes, it might have better quality.