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Strange Matter
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    « on: March 04, 2018, 03:40:50 AM »


    Model changers allow you to set various parts of a character's model to visible or invisible as needed. This has a number of advantages over manually scaling parts of the model to zero in different animations:

    - Even if the model is scaled from 1 to 0 in a single frame, this will become several frames when the game is running in slow motion, which can ruin the illusion of something appearing/disappearing in an instant.

    - Most particle GFX (including the final smash aura) don't like it when the bone they're attached to scales up from 0, which can cause them to detach from the character for a couple of frames and appear in a random spot around their body. This can be quite a nuisance if your character uses a constant GFX to indicate whether they're holding a charged special.

    - It allows for control over whether a character's shadow is visible.

    - It can slightly save on animation filesize, since it's handled entirely in PSA.

    - It can also save on PSA filesize, as additional objects can be stored as part of the character's model instead of being placed in the PSA file as a GFX. This also allows for the use of slot-dependent models without hugely inflating your character's filesize.

    - With enough creativity, it can allow for more advanced uses like spawning another character model to represent a transformation.

    Requirements:
    - Your character's FitFighter.pac and costume file(s).
    - BrawlBox (pretty much any version should do).
    - PSA Compressor.

    How It Works:

    We'll be using Bowser as an example since his one and only model changer is fairly straightforward.

    Open your FitCharacter00 in BrawlBox and expand the MDLO and Objects sections. Inside you'll find all of the "objects" that make up your character's model.


    Each object is assigned to a visibility bone. Brawl's default visibility bones typically follow the naming scheme "BoneM" (e.g. ShellM) but you can actually use any bone for this purpose.

    For example, most of Bowser's body is assigned to his TopN bone (bone 0), but the models used when he retracts into his shell are assigned to ShellBodyM (bone 24) and ShellM (bone 25).


    Once you've assigned your visibility bones, open your character's FitFighter.pac in PSA Compressor. First, navigate over to the Data > Misc section and expand ModelVisibility.


    Note that while the two sections inside are labelled Hidden and Visible in PSAC, these names aren't particularly accurate. We'll come back to this in a minute.

    Inside the "Hidden" section you'll find one or more bone switches which may each contain one or more bone groups.


    A bone switch is essentially the model changer itself, while the bone groups inside are the different modes it can be set to. The values inside each bone group are the visibility bones that activate when the switch is set to that group.


    Bowser's bone switch 1 is used to switch between his default state and being retracted inside his shell. Group 0 contains the visibility bones for his main body and horns, while group 1 is his two shell objects. Keep in mind that PSA Compressor uses hex while BrawlBox uses decimal, so in this case ShellM becomes bone 19.

    Switch 0 is usually reserved for activating final smash eyes (for characters that have them) and triggers automatically upon breaking a smash ball, but the others can be edited and used freely.

    You can change these values to any bones in your character's boneset, but don't use a number higher than the highest bone or the game will crash. Setting a visibility bone that doesn't have any objects attached to it will simply do nothing. You can also null out an unwanted bone group by replacing the values inside with FFFFFFF or simply right click to delete them.

    PSA Compressor also allows you to add new switches, groups, or visibility bones. While added groups and bones work fine, added switches have certain limitations compared to the default ones.


    The last step is to set up the so-called "Visible" section. Contrary to what you may assume, this section does not determine which bone groups are set to visible by default. It's actually a completely separate set of model changers that affect the character's shadow model.


    Like the main model, the shadow model is also made up of various objects (though typically fewer), and each can be assigned visibility bones from within the shadow model's own boneset.

    You'll want to set up the shadow's bone switches to match the main model's, since both are activated at the same time. Make sure the Hidden and Visible sections have matching switches and groups or else the game can crash, though leaving a bone group without any bone values in it is fine. The exception to this rule is bone switch 0, which doesn't need to have any bone groups in the shadow section.


    To activate a model changer, place the Model Changer (0B000200) or Model Changer 2 (0B010200) event in any action or subaction; as noted in PSAC, they appear to be identical.

    You can place multiple of the same model changer in a single subaction, and each will always override the previous one. The top value is the bone switch you want to use, while the bottom value is the bone group you want to trigger.


    Note that while the given example in PSAC is true for Bowser (0 is default, 1 is shell, and 2 is neither) this isn't necessarily the case in every instance, as creating a bone group 2 could cause Bowser's model changer to do something completely different. A character like Pit may have as many as 4 groups inside a single switch, representing all the different ways he can hold his blades.

    Other Things To Note:

    - While Brawl's preexisting bone switches are typically set up so group 0 is activated by default on every animation, this isn't true for bone switches you add yourself with PSAC. Added model changers have no default state, so all of the visibility bones within will be set to invisible until they're triggered, which can cause your entire character to become invisible if the switch includes TopN. Which switches are activated by default appears to be controlled within the character's module.

    - Some characters' model changers are set to automatically activate under certain circumstances. For example, Toon Link's bone switch 1 and 2 both change from their default 0 (sword and shield in hands) to 1 (sword and shield on back) whenever he's holding a heavy item. An easy workaround to this is to simply make their group 1 have the same bones as group 0 and use groups 2 and up instead.

    - Not every character reacts to model changers the same way. Toon Link's default model changers switch back to group 0 at the end of every action, but Pit's will stay activated until another model changer event is encountered.
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    Ricardo­
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    « Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 08:01:36 AM »


    Excellent tutorial. Scaling down to 0 is quite a jerry-rigged solution.
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