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    Post Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping


    Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    Last updated on June 27th, 2013

    Random helpful H2V notes. Some of these tips could save you days, even weeks of work/research.



    In Guerilla go to Edit then Expert Mode.

    Expert mode allows you to edit previously locked fields.

    Make sure you are using this unlocked Guerilla: H2MT H2EK Unlocked - Enhanced Edition.

    This unlocked version of Guerilla allows you to view/edit previously locked tags and to create new ones.

    H2GuerillaDONE.exe -> Use for normal unlocked editing.

    H2GuerillaTST.exe -> Use for editing otherwise hidden fields such as object naming, improved scripting support and messing with cameras.

    H2GuerillaNEW.exe -> Same features as the TST version plus it will not corrupt a scenario tag when adding Kill Trigger Volumes or weapons to a single player scenario. Of the three this is the most stable however it can only open one scenario at a time, a work-around is opening a second instance of Guerilla.


    Extract the contents of the archive to a sub-directory in the Halo 2 Map Editor folder named H2EK Unlocked, then make appropriate shortcuts.



    You can compile a Single Player, Multiplayer, Shared or Main Menu map with this modified version of H2Tool

    More info


    Rename the original to H2Tool.exe.BACKUP and rename this file to H2Tool.exe

    *Sapien can be used to change the map type to Single Player.



    About 70% of all the shaders use tex_bump or tex_bump_env_combined as their shader template.
    -Statement by bum has knife, an H2V Developer



    First thing to know about scripts is that not all of them will sync online. Many are host only; meaning they will not run or be visible when playing online.

    Working Script examples

    Script extraction tools and guides (H2X)

    Extracted Campaign Script examples

    Additional info: Scripts like the explosive crate creator and destroyer on Colossus require Kill Trigger Volumes that are labeled with Object Names.

    To add Objects Names and to get more options within a .scenario file use H2GuerillaTST.exe from the Unlocked H2EK. Otherwise you will never see those fields. The Object Names field is near the beginning of a .scenario file.

    Unfortunately, H2GuerillaTST.exe cannot open .scenarios that have Kill Trigger Volumes so the Object Names must be created first, then switch editors back to H2GuerillaDONE.exe.

    This thread explains in further detail: http://www.modacity.net/forums/showt...-Magic-scripts



    Never place more then 98 weapon .item_collections in Sapien. I've been told this can apply to too many crates and possibly scenery also.

    If you place too many .item_collections it will cause the map to overload which results in terrible lag that only appears when playing the map online with others.



    A crate can move (or be bumped) while a piece of scenery is static unless it is attached to a moving object such as a vehicle or projectile.

    An example of a crate would be one of the
    placeable boxes or the dumpster.

    An example of scenery would be the Flag's base.



    The .item_collection should point to the .weapon file.

    The .weapon file should point to everything else, so scroll through it and look for any tags that are red. If they are red you will need to find them. You can just use the built in windows search for this. Do this for every tag that is missing (in red).



    Decreased lightmap size reduces the memory used and can speed up the lighting process.

    This can be done by appending lm:0.1 or a higher numerical value.

    Example 3DS Max Material: city metal_roof

    Example with low lighting: city metal_roof lm:0.1

    REF: http://www.h2mt.org/tools/2_Vista/Tu...aterials1.html



    Duplicate an exiting .Sky file, such as the Coagulation sky.

    Under LIGHTS set the direction of the sun to Y 5 P -90.

    This puts the sun (the main light source) under the bsp covering the map in darkness.

    Y: Yaw - Roll around the side of
    P: Pitch - Roll under/over

    Click image for larger version

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    Here are the invisible stair settings:

    Name: %stepfix

    Material: zanzibar stepfix=({^

    (Right-click and then select save link as)

    So download and move the above shader to here: Tags/scenarios/shaders/multi/Zanzibar

    *BTW, the zanzibar shader_collection already exists inside of shader_collections.shader_collections so you do not need to make a new collection for it as long as you stick with my setup here.

    Click image for larger version

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    There is not a way to make new sounds in the Halo 2 format, however you can use some sounds from Halo CE. If you try to edit these files in Unlocked Guerilla the app will crash.

    You can, however, listen to them from Guerilla. To do so; open the Halo CE sound file in Guerilla. Now scroll to the bottom of it, under Permutations select a number and click on the play button to hear it.

    The archive below should help add support so that you can properly preview these sound files.

    Download this file: http://www.h2mt.org/killsalone/bin/XBADPCM.rar

    Put the extracted files here: \Halo 2 Map Editor\bin



    I keep an updated list of retired maps that I have made into a .bat (batch) file to move all of them for users that have too many old outdated maps or just too many maps in general.



    Photoshop: When saving an exported .DDS texture import it as 16-bit and save as a .TIF file.

    In my experience .DDS files fail when extracting bump maps from Halo so I suggest extracting those as .BMPs.

    For consistency sake I always save images as .TIFFs when I can. When saving make sure that the layers are first merged.

    Photoshop DDS plug-in: http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-t...shop#downloads

    3DS Max 8 DDS support: http://www.h2mt.org/tools/3D/Apps_+_...8DDSPlugIn.rar

    a8r8g8b8 TGA 32-Bit




    Additional weapons are added to all future compiled custom maps(!) whether they are placed in Sapien or not. This will, of course, increase map filesize.



    The following is the method I use:

    *If you do not create all gametypes you will receive errors when saving the current scenario in Sapien.

    For CTF to work you need:

    1) The scenery that it sits upon; one for Red team, one for Blue and one for Neutral.

    2) The CTF Netgame Flags are set to one Spawn per Red/Blue base set to the correct team color, leave Identifier at 0. Check the first two flags (Multiple Flag and Single Flag). Then create one more spawn for the Neutral Flag at the Neutral location. Team Neutral. Identifier still 0. Check only the bottom flag (Neutral).

    3) The CTF Netgame Flags are also set to one Return per Red/Blue base set to the correct team color, leave Identifier at 0. Check the all flags (Multiple Flag, Single Flag and Neutral).

    4) Do the exact same thing for Assault.


    Now for the spawns:

    -Set Red and Bluespawns to CTF and Slayer only

    -Set Neutral spawns to All but CTF and Slayer

    -Do not put different types of spawns in the exact same area

    -Each spawn (or group of similar spawns) needs a respawn or initial spawn set over it/them.

    -Each respawn/initial spawn needs a weight, the higher the weight the more likely it will be used, (I recommend setting them all to 2)



    Player Starting Points:

    Team: Red/Blue

    Game Type 1: CTF
    Game Type 2: Slayer
    Spawn Type 0: Both

    Team: Neutral

    Games Type 1: All Except CTF
    Games Type 2: Slayer


    Respawn Zones:

    Team: Red/Blue

    Games: CTF
    Lower Height: 0
    Upper Height: 1
    Inner Radius: 1.5
    Outer Radius: 2.5
    Weight: 2

    Team: All + Neutral

    Games: All but CTF, Race and Headhunter


    Initial Spawn:

    Team: Red/Blue

    Games: CTF
    Lower Height: 0
    Upper Height: 1
    Inner Radius: 1.5
    Outer Radius: 2.5
    Weight: 2

    Team: All + Neutral

    Games: All but CTF, Race and Headhunter



    708KBs (1.23MBs extracted)

    Put the enclosed files into the appropriate data/tags folders.

    Go into your maps .scenario_structure_bsp and add water definitions at the bottom. You can get these values from other maps, by viewing them with Entity for example (for H2 XBox maps) and maybe Gravemind (for H2V maps) or you can use the following picture as a reference:

    In the actual Max file; set the water material (M brings up Material editor) add these symbols to the end of the shader: ?!

    So the shaders call should look something like this: mapname water_pool?!

    Set the maps that the material uses to diffuse and opacity (at 100%).

    You DO NOT need to render with lighting every-time you change your water, or your sky for that matter. Just package and test.



    Materials + Bitmaps

    water - tomb highplains_water_pool?!

    under water - tomb highplains_sewer_water





    To summarize, the regular water goes on top, then the ground texture that is below the water has its material name (in the Shader in Guerilla) set to liquid_thin_water_shallow also take note of the templates in use.


    All of the Tombstone Shaders

    All of the Tombstone Bitmaps



    There is a functioning device included with the example.map.

    Its the purple rotating shine that surrounds the gravity lifts. In Sapien it needs a value of 1 or 0 to function which is an On or Off setting, I believe.

    From Sapien:

    Mission > Objects > Devices > Machines > high_lift_effect
    (under Power and Position Groups its points to the following)

    Mission > Objects > Devices > Device Groups > lift
    (initial value of 1)

    The necessary files are located here:
    tags\scenarios\objects\solo\highcharity\high_lift_ effect\high_lift_effect.device_machine



    Q: Is there no script for going through a model and making sure they are all flipped the same way?

    A: There is. In surface properties, go to the normals stuff. Press Unify. Only actually works for sealed models, so It's great for Bungie rips.



    Suspension material is at @ Section 60, 61 and probably 58, 59ish


    Our newest Custom Weapons Pack contains over fifty new weapons, equipment, HUDs and vehicles:
    Version 2.0



    -Get/Make a model

    -Import it into 3DS Max (I prefer version 8 for Halo related work)

    -Set-up Nodes and Markers, Materials

    -Turn off Backface culling and flip polys on model(s) so that model appears black

    -Export to .JMS

    -Compile to GBX_model

    -Use Jahrain's GBX Model Upgrader (which only runs on certain systems)

    -Setup new weapon in the Unlocked H2V Guerilla, tags, bitmaps, 1st/3rd person model, effects, etc

    -" " Shaders, importing whatever else is needed to the editor

    -Adjust messed up nodes/markers by hand

    -Test and balance

    A more detailed custom weapon model guide (unfinished) in Word 2007 .docx file format



    Halo 2 uses radians instead of degrees for rotation stuff, so here's how to convert between them.

    1 degrees = 0.0174532925 radians

    Degrees = Radians * 180/pi

    Radians = Degrees * pi/180

    I think that 3.14 is as far into pi as you need to get...
    So if in halo 2 you have 2.15 as the rotation of something, it's 123.25 degrees.







    Ambiguous Alpha

    The first RTE for H2V.

    Cheat Engine 5.6

    Can be used as a RTE for H2V, see the section below regarding manually adjusting nodes.

    Biped FP FOV: 1.22173 = 70


    Resize Models by hand


    This quick guide will give you the key tips and info required to resize new or existing models for
    Halo 2 Vista.

    This process can be time intensive depending on your ability with math and the complexity of the
    model and its various parts.

    The trickiest part will be getting the .Collision_Model and the .Physics_Model to work correctly.

    The guide now includes a small section describing the use of Cheat Engine to edit the models
    in real time. This will save you hours of guessing and waiting for the compiler to spit out the map
    after every minor change.


    H2 Editing Kit - from the Halo 2 Vista DVD

    H2V Guerilla Unlocked - running in expert mode (Edit > Expert Mode)

    Cheat Engine 5.6


    Edit the values at the top of the file immediately under the section titled COMPRESSION INFO.

    To resize your .Render_Model either multiply or divide the numbers highlighted in red.

    *Leave the minus symbols (-) where they are.

    Manually adjusting Nodes (aka Frames) and Markers

    Scroll down to the section titled Nodes or Markers depending on which you need to change.

    To adjust either of them follow the key below:

    X: +Forward -Backward

    Y: +Left -Right

    Z: +Up -Down



    K: +Rotate to side -Reverse Rotate to side


    Further Example: You can use Cheat Engine 5.6 to edit the Node/Marker's XYZ values in real time in Sapien and

    Open a .Scenario file in Sapien; one that includes whatever Nodes/Markers you want to edit, if it does not then
    place them now.

    Next open Cheat Engine. Click Select process to open then select the running instance of Sapien which will be labeled
    as a string of numbers and -H2Sapien.exe.

    Put the number/value you are searching for under Value. Typically you would get this value from the .Render_Model by
    viewing it with Guerilla Unlocked.

    Also, take note that if the value is not unique (and by that I mean a long number such as 0.123456 compared to
    0.1) then when you run the search Cheat Engine will either crash or take forever to find far too many values.

    To avoid this edit the X, Y or Z value that you need to change to be unique with Guerilla. So if the value was
    0.12 then make it 0.1201243. Guerilla will cut off any excess numbers from the values by rounding the number
    up for you; this should not provide a significant problem.

    Set the Value type to Float and select the option that just appeared labeled Rounded (extreme). Click First Scan.

    Again, depending on how long the number is this search could take a few seconds to a few minutes.

    When it completes select all the Addresses that have appeared and then click the Red arrow to copy them all below
    to the address list. DO NOT COPY THE GREEN VALUES. These cannot be changed and should not be or the application
    will crash.

    Now down below in the Address list select all of the values. Now hit Enter. The number we put in now will overwrite all
    similar values in the Sapien's memory. Once Sapien is closed the values will revert.

    Edit the value then switch back to Sapien to see the change. Rinse and repeat.

    Once you find the correct value copy it and take it back to Guerilla.

    Too many memory edits will cause Sapien to crash, no problem just restart it, reopen the .Scenario and Cheat Engine.


    Scroll down to the section titled PLANES.

    To resize your .Collision_Model multiply or divide the values.

    Next scroll down to the section titled VERTICES.

    To resize your .Collision_Model multiply or divide the values.

    Take note, some values will appear as the following: 3.40282e+038.

    The "e" denotes scientific notation in a floating-point value. Basically when you see that, you multiply the decimal number
    by that many powers of 10. So, 3.40282e+38 = 3.40282 x 10^38, or 34,028,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 .

    To double the value simply multiply the decimal number (before the e [3.40282]) by 2. If the result would be greater than 10,
    move the decimal place over by one to the left, drop the last decimal place, and increase the e value by 1.

    Thus 3.40282e+38 doubled would be 6.80564e+38.

    *Leave the minus (-) or plus (+) symbols where they are.

    Further Example: When the Plasma Grenade's .Collision_Model is multiplied by a value of 10 it is about the size of a basketball.
    And when it is multiplied by a value of 50 it is the size of a Bubble Shield.


    To resize your .Physics_Model it depends on what type you intend to modify/scale such as:




    Boxes - Adjust the three I, J and K values labeled half extents


    Polyhedra - Adjust the I, J and K values labeled four vectors X, Y and Z

    Further Explanation: The Boxes' .Physics_Model is the easiest to resize as you only need to change three values and because it is a box it is easy to imagine what it will look like after the change (as opposed to a very complex shape like a vehicle). Of course if you are trying to make a round object a box will probably not work as well as a Sphere.


    To scale your models from the .Scenario, select either the .Scenery or .Crate you you want to scale, then set the scale value.

    This can also be done from Sapien by holding ALT then scaling up or down with the mouse.


    Call Me Alexx (Dakote) + DarkShallFall - had info about resizing models in Halo ODST - rework3d.com

    CMT - for inspiring so many and providing excellent custom tags to use and learn from - moddb.com

    Jahrain - for creating the GBX Model Upgrader

    Kant - introduced me to RTE through Cheat Engine and created Ambiguous

    Kills Alone - one of the H2MT Group Leaders - h2mt.org

    Kornman00 - various research and tools that he has shared with the community - halomods.com

    p0lar_bear - helped with the section explaining how to work with the floating-point values

    TheGhost - specifically for Bluestreak and Modacity - modacity.net

    WMClan (E3pO) - unlocking the H2EK and great research - wmclan.net

    and many more, TY all for your help

    Last edited by Resinball; June 28th, 2013 at 03:27 AM. Reason: fixing most links
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  2. #2

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    This is the easiest way to Port Halo 2 Xbox MP maps into H2V

    -This .OBJ plug-in makes it so you do not have to place many .OBJ files together again:


    *Place under \3DS Max 8\plugins

    -This Max plug-in allows 3DS Max 8 users (under Vista) to see .DDS texture files:

    *Place under \3DS Max 8\plugins


    -You also need the Halo 2 Xbox maps.


    -Extract the desired H2X map BSP with the newest version of Entity 2.1.8:

    -Extract it to a single mesh instead of many .OBJs.


    -Import the single .OBJ mesh into 3DS Max 8 with the new plug-in using these settings:


    -Then after the single mesh and materials have been imported you need to open the Material Editor (M key) open each shader/material and set the Specular Level to 0 (from 100) and select the blue + white checkered box to Show the Map in the Viewport.

    -Now select the scale tool and scale the map by 10,000 exactly.

    -When you run an STL Check on the current BSP you will see 1,000's of errors, so go into Vertice Edit mode and select all Verts with Ctrl+A.

    -Then use the Weld tool and set the selected Weld at 0.0001, then STL check it, see if there are less errors. See if you can Weld it further with a lower number such as 0.001 or even 0.01. DO NOT OVER-WELD! That is why we use the STL Check to verify that we have not caused more errors.

    -Now create a sky material (+sky) in the sub-material). The easiest way to stitch the sky in is to create a new box with two Length and two Width Segs. Now select its polys and flip em. Then delete all the faces except for the top one that should be above your BSP and about the same size (width + length).

    -Now select the main BSP (usually called Skybox) and attach it to the new sky. Then stitch the new sky to the main BSP by creating new polys between the two and settings these new polys to the +sky material.

    -Create a new sphere and name it b_levelroot. Link everything in the map to b_levelroot.


    Garry's Mod, a quick conversion guide

    Use GCFScape to export a .GFC, .PAK, .WAD or .BSP file.

    Then use StudioCompiler to decompile the model files (.MDL) into .SMD files.
    http://www.chaosincarnate.net/cannonfodder/cftools.htm <-Click StudioCompiler

    Then import the .SMD files into 3DS Max (with the SMD importer plugin).
    http://www.chaosincarnate.net/cannonfodder/cftools.htm <-Click 3DS Max Tools


    Install 3DSMax VTF Import plugin to view VFT textures in Max (version 6 - 2010).
    Last edited by Resinball; June 28th, 2013 at 03:08 AM.
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  3. #3

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    Is it possible to add weapons with new animations?
    And custom HUD's too?
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  4. #4

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    New animations are beyond the tools we currently have. That is not to say its impossible; ZTeam has shown that they can rip animations and put em back in, but sadly they do not feel the game deserves their attention.

    Using the MainMenu Mod (or MMM) you can compile and see new HUD's.
    Last edited by Resinball; June 28th, 2013 at 03:05 AM.
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  5. #5

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    i just dont see why the wont just let us have that info so we can work with it and improve it. also for custom bipeds if they are stored in the shared.map file then all we really need to do is edit the .map file directly resign it and we should be good to go. and i'm pretty sure kiwi found a way to bypass the LIVE checksum. not sure though i'll have to ask him.
    H2v Hub
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  6. #6

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    Quote Originally Posted by supersniper View Post
    i just dont see why the wont just let us have that info so we can work with it and improve it. hmmm, source engine is tasty and for the community.

    also for custom bipeds if they are stored in the shared.map file then all we really need to do is edit the .map file directly resign it and we should be good to go. and i'm pretty sure kiwi found a way to bypass the LIVE checksum. not sure though i'll have to ask him. I doubt a person like him could ever perform a task like that.
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  7. #7

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    Uhhhh... How the hell do you use the OBJ plug-in? All it is is a wall of text...
    I am a Monument to all of your Sins ┌∩┐┌∩┐

    (__\ \
    |= |_ 0 0 |>
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  8. #8

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    Right-Click then Save As, or Save Target As (whichever option your browser offers).
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  9. #9

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    There is a more up-to-date and complete version of these notes here.

    Last edited by Resinball; June 28th, 2013 at 03:03 AM.
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  10. #10

    Re: Kills Alone's notes for Halo 2 Vista Mapping

    the many face of the halo 2 man train
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