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Author Topic: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding  (Read 36672 times)

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benitomuso

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Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« on: August 25, 2014, 06:25:35 PM »

Total MODder V3 with 100% effective and reversible SFS creation / extraction


Ok, this is what I consider will be the last stage of the idea of the TotalMODder. I learnt in depth how to pack / unpack SFS files, so now I'm able to provide SFS creation for a MODding solution (and eventually it can be used even if the TotalMODder itself is not used).

So now this version of my piece of software doesn't work anymore with .zip MODding to reduce size. I made it as pure as possible on having just SFS (let's say native) MODding contents (much preferable for big packs, planes, textures...), or the traditional folders (for small MODs and particularly for those who change core game clases, that will not work in SFS).


Previous versions of the TM were criticized because there wasn't a comprehensive documentation and it was "too complex" for the medium user. So now I'm offering this new Total MODder V3 public release as a consolidated pack to start MODding in seconds: the EasyPack.

Current Documentation (All this tutorials together plus some extra comments):




1) Here is a Step by Step on Setting Up ALL the typical Packs that we have for this game with TotalMODder V3

TotalMODder V3 Easy Pack, a 240Mb pack that includes everything what you need to activate anything in two clicks, including elder Game Version Packs.

Just extract the contents of this .rar over your IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 Folder and you are done, it would be a piece of cake MODding everything.

Introduction: TotalMODder creates Profiles that instruct the Game to load some contents or not. To make them operative, you need to make an "Activation" of the proper Profile. Since then, when you launch the game and until another change of Profile, it always will load the established settings and files.

To simplifiy things, I have packed two folders with the Most Common usable 6 Profiles for Il-2 to allow a 5secs Activation for any of them. Start by downloading this file:

(Now supports DBW1916 for v4.12.2)

IF YOU WERE USING TotalMODder before, take this into account:
  • The only problem is if you made changes to the standard Profiles or you created your own: Everything resides in the il2fbMODder.ini so you should back up that file before proceed to later manually copy your Profile data.
  • I would recommend to erase the older Activators-PreDBW2 folder to have a clean new one included in this build of the Easy Pack.

Code: [Select]
Current Version: 1.2

Release Date: 2014/09/05

ChangeLog:
1.2:
       -Included DBW1916 for v4.12.2
       -Included fixes of 3do vehicles by WindWpn
       -Included Maps listing normalization and placeholders for future (SAS~Poltava)
       -Some fixes and improvements in TotalMODder V3
    What will you previously require depending on what you want:
    • pre-DBW2: The two sasamt_*.sfs files of the JetWar plus all the below files distributed with the packs themselves. This is my temporary version of the DBW2 for v4.12.2. So, you have to had the packs downloaded and normally installed.
    • DBW1916 for 4.12: The full DBW1916 V3 (now up to patch 4) with All its Folders, preferably in another MODding Folder (i.e. jsgmemods1916v3). Apart you need all the below files distributed with the packs themselves. This is my temporary version of the DBW1916 for v4.12.2. So, you have to had the packs downloaded and normally installed.
    • HSFX7.02: All the fb_hfx*.sfs files distributed with the pack itself. So, you have to had the pack downloaded and normally installed.
    • SAS Mod Activator 5.30: the sas_basic_50.sfs in Root Folder plus any option in SFS_AUTO. So, you have to had the Activator downloaded and normally installed.
    • DBW1.7.1: All the up_*.sfs, SAS_DBW/dbw_*.sfsupdbw_*.sfs, sasup_*.sfs and SAS_DBW/sasup_*.sfs files (sorry but I haven't created that mess) distributed with the pack itself. So, you have to had the pack downloaded and normally installed.
    • UP3RC4: All the up_*.sfs and sasup_*.sfs files distributed with the pack itself. So, you have to had the pack downloaded and normally installed.


    This is what the pack includes in the Root Folder. The
il2fb.exe and the DInput.dll are auto-generated by the TotalMODder if required, but I included the latest versions of them for simplicity. The .pdf is the documentation which has all these explanations plus others.


It will create inside your eventual (or inexistent) jsgmemods folder 8 Folders with everything required to actívate any of the referred packs regardless your current game version (eventhough I recommend having 4.12.2 as your real version).


When opened, the TotalMODder (il2fbMODder.exe) will show 5 working, preconfigured, no extra-requirement Profiles. The only problem here is that they depend on where were the Folders used when the Profiles were created. I created them in my computer, everything in:

D:\Games\Ubisoft\Il-2 Sturmovik 1946.412\

But that is valid only for me. You will need the first time to click on Change aside the folders paths and establish the ones proper for you. As soon as you do that, it will led you to any of those versions of the game running in 5 seconds:


Typical process to make any of these Profiles to work:

1-Select the one you want with the tags under or the combobox with the list over the second pane
2-Click Launch Il-2 Sturmovik. When it asks if you want to use the current profile for your game answer "Yes" and you are done.


-- THE END -- First Tutorial about using Easy Pack with TM3[/list]
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benitomuso

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 06:25:58 PM »

2) OK, here is a Step by Step on Working with SFSs.

TotalMODder V3 Packs Directories to .SFS Files (it packs all its contents being the root level the inside of the Directory you are packing).

Firs steps: set the Folder with MODs (in this case i have this JSGMEMODS.Test). You can work with your original JSGMEMODS or whatever Directory you want to use. You will never (except you explicitly ask so will erasy anything from there). The other important folder is the one of the Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 game. I suggest to put the il2fbMODder.exe in the same folder of your game, but it is up to you.



In this case I only have one folder in my JSGMEMODS.Test folder. It is the MOD of the Whirlwind published by Storebror. Its name is Planes-Whirlwind. If I click the Contextual Button (Right Button) I get the PopupMenu with the option "Create 'Planes-Whirlwind.SFS'". If you click on it you are driven to this Window.


 The Pack All button is the key to build an SFS with its contents. You cannot change the filename, because it follows the contents of the folder from where it is comming from. You can select the Compression Level which can be from 0 (no compression at all, just packing in a single file) to 9, maximum compression and slowest. 8 will really be good for practically everything.


After the Packing and Compression you receive a notification like this one:


And when you go back to the original Folder List, now you have one SFS file too. Now if you click the Contextual Button over the SFS it will show:


Then it will lead to this screen, which are the contents of the file, including the full names (typically SFS files don't store names). In this case this is achieved by adding an extra file with the File Directory under the name 000000000000000. This was an idea borrowed from the SFS Archivator, but I have implemented full Writting / Reading of it so now the SFSs are 100% reversible:


The button Extract All does what it suggests. It will always (for the while) extract to a Folder with suffix .Extracted:


You will receive this notification at the end:


And a new folder will appear with the mentioned suffix:


I think that this screen is self explanatory, and it shows all what can be done with this:


-- THE END -- Second Tutorial about working with SFSs in TM3
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benitomuso

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:27:08 PM »

3) A Step by Step basic MODding.

Introduction: TotalMODder creates Profiles that instruct the Game to load some contents or not. To make them operative, you need to make an "Activation" of the proper Profile. Since then, when you launch the game and until another change of Profile, it always will load the established settings and files.

In this section we will learn how to add a typical Feature MOD (my Visual MOD) and a Plane MOD (I will add the Whirlwind of the previous tutorial).

So we are going to work over the pre-DBW2 of the EasyPack. The start situation is this one:


In the Left Pane I have the contents of the jsgmemods folder of the SAS ModActivator 5.30 (that is the jsmemods I'm using) plus the 8 Activators-* folders of the EasyPack. Then I Drag and Drop from Left to Right the folder of the Visual MOD (#SAS_VisualMOD8 by P.A.L). In fact the version delivered with the SAS ModActivator 5.30 is quite outdated, but I'm using this as an example. I suggest you to use the latest VisualMOD which has tens of improvements.
Order is important and controllable in TotalMODder: so I'm loading this over the pre-DBW2 pack and the Game v4.12.2 classes.


But I have one more thing in the jsgmemods folder: I have here the Planes-Whirlwind.SFS created in the previous tutorial. This is depicted as a binary folder, not a real folder, because it is a pack, but again: by Drag and Drop I add it to my Profile.
Order is important and controllable in TotalMODder: so I'm loading this over the pre-DBW2 pack and the Game v4.12.2 classes.


But then I have to add the corresponding new plane definition into the air.ini to make this plane work. So I go to Tools -> Edit air.ini. It could take a time if your Profile was not activated, because the TotalMODder has to find where you have your air.ini file. It must be in a folder (not in .SFS) because it is required that the file itself could be modified.


Then the Text Editor appears, showing where is the file you are editing (depending on what you have in your Profile it will always load the top-most upper location of any air.ini file). Then I go (because I like it like this) to the end of the air.ini and I add the line required to load the Whirlwind plane. When finished editing, I click OK and it offers me to Save the file. Something that I will accept.


Now I have finished what I wanted in this Profile edition. So I click the "Activate Profile" button.


It could take a couple of seconds, specially if you have a huge MODding Profile, but then a similar message will appear. This means that now you can just launch your game and you will have the Visual MOD active and the Whirlwind as an option in your planes list.


When you return to the Main Screen, the two items now activated will show a Green Check over them, indicating that they are now part of the Profile. If you want you can use the "Launch Il-2 Sturmovik" button to just Launch the Game from inside TotalMODder.


-- THE END -- Third Tutorial about typical MODding in TM3
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SAS~Bombsaway

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 06:28:58 PM »

Thank you Pablo. :) I know you worked hard on this. Thank you very much. :)
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benitomuso

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 06:37:50 PM »

You welcome Bombsaway!

Here is the TM3 itself without the EasyPack:

Total MODder V3 with 100% effective and reversible SFS creation / extraction


Ok, this is what I consider will be the last stage of the idea of the TotalMODder. I learnt in depth how to pack / unpack SFS files, so now I'm able to provide SFS creation for a MODding solution (and eventually it can be used even if the TotalMODder itself is not used).

So now this version of my piece of software doesn't work anymore with .zip MODding to reduce size. I made it as pure as possible on having just SFS (let's say native) MODding contents (much preferable for big packs, planes, textures...), or the traditional folders (for small MODs and particularly for those who change core game clases, that will not work in SFS).



I will try to offer a set of guides on how to use it, for those who complainted about "how complicated" it was. For the ones who were using it, the changes in the .zip not supported anymore could be perceived as a limitation, but very soon you will adapt it to SFS and you will see the benefits. Those who had previous versions registered, will continue having the same registration for this one.

Current Documentation (All this tutorials together plus some extra comments):



Old Help File made by RedSpade (quite outdated now):


Credits to:

SAS~Storebror: for binary search routines and DInput JVM injector.
RedSpade, plug_nickel: Documentation of previous version, Beta Testing.
SAS~BravoFxTrt: Beta Testing previous version.
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Draken

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 07:15:07 PM »

Thanks !
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SAS~Gerax

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 09:16:13 PM »

Great! Many thanks for all your work with this Pablo!  ;)
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 11:17:36 PM »

Great effort, a true masterpiece.
Thank you very much for this pablo and special thanks for adding the detailed instructions ;)

Best regards - Mike
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ton414

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 06:36:20 AM »

Congrats Pablo!!!, this is really an outstanding work. :)

I have tried quickly your SFS tool, and it really works fine, It's very fast and compression ratio is excellent (I had only used before the AviaSkin SFS tool, also a very good tool, of course).

Again thank you very much for this. ;)
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OberstDanjeje

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 09:50:16 AM »

just WOW ;)
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SAS~Malone

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 09:59:01 AM »

a superb job, as always, Pablo!
thanks for your continued efforts in making our modding experience so much better! :D
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4ent

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Re: Total MODder V3 (EasyPack) - SFS Creation and MODding
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 06:28:04 AM »

Hi,Pablo!
Thanks for your great effort I have just one question.When I tryied to pack" Combined Bf-109 cockpits mod " to SFS format I´v got error message "Out of memory creating Temporary Files String!" Is this because this mod is too big to be packed?
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