Sunday, May 10, 2015

So You Want To Do 3D (2015)

I have been asked many times by people interested in modding, game development, and 3d printing "Where do I start when it comes to getting into 3D stuff?". There is a ton of stuff to take into consideration when I am asked this question and a lot of it comes down to what they want to achieve.

So when I went to college, like most students, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with 3D or do in the games industry. After the first year and after messing around with different aspects of 3D I was sold on 3D modeling for games.

Whatcha doin?

For starters you are going to need a PC/laptop for anything 3D related. There is probably some trendy app out there for a phone or tablet for basic 3d sculpting but currently nothing seems practical on that end. You are going to need windows for most 3d software and game engines. If you got a Mac you can try getting it to run windows as well but I have no experience with that stuff.

I have a custom built PC with decent hardware but in no way is my hardware specs required for starting in 3d. Check out my Twitch channel for my computer specs:

I started with a crappy laptop. It was slow but it got the job done.

This isn't really a guide to building a custom PC but I will list the basic parts for a tower.

Case (Tower)
Mother Board
Processor (CPU)
Video Card
Hard Drive
Disk Drive
Power Supply

When it comes to compatibility of different parts you need to pick a lane being AMD or INTEL. I personally use Intel but my work computer uses AMD. They both work fine so it really doesn't matter. You can buy parts online for cheap but I recommend for first timers to buy directly from a frys or other big computer electronics store. When you buy in person you can get help from the people there to pick up compatible parts and return stuff right away if it is busted.

You can't make a game with a regular game console. Looking at you Grandma's Boy...

I can't really recommend a good laptop to use because I stopped using laptops for 3d in college. In my experience they just lack the video card and processing power most towers at the same price can achieve.

What programs do I use?

3DCG has an amazing intro to 3D guide here:

There are some great 3D programs out there and everyone has their gripes and favorites.

I currently use 3DS Max 2015 by Autodesk for basic 3d modeling and Zbrush 4R7 for sculpting high resolution meshes.

I recommend that you start with blender. It is free and has more support out there for it than any other 3d program. It's only real downside is that a lot of the game and film industry doesn't use it. Navigating the interface of blender can be daunting to newbies and vets like myself that are not familiar with the program. Also just orbiting around in blender feels very different control wise than most other 3d programs.

If you got a little cash but don't want to drop crazy money I recommend Modo. Modo has fantastic tools that I personally am not very familiar with. I can see it replacing 3ds max in my work flow. Modo is growing in popularity and worth looking at.

If you are a student 3ds max has an educational version out there somewhere you can download for free to get you started. 3ds max isn't perfect but it has been around forever and many 3d artists use it today.

If you are a student you could also jump into Maya by Autodesk. I personally see Maya as more of a 3d animation and rigging program than modeling. Some 3d modelers love it so it is another alternative worth looking into.

If you want to do high poly mesh sculpting I recommend Zbrush, Mudbox, or Sculptris. These programs are best utilized with a WACOM tablet.

I personally find Zbrush to be the best in this realm and worth every penny.

If you are broke or want to try out Zbrush you can do the 30 day trial or use Sculptris for free! It isn't nearly as fleshed out as Zbrush but it is a nice introduction.

You could also try Mudbox... some people use it I guess...

Resources and Learning
YouTube - mixed bag of good and bad tutorials
Reddit - Subscribe to groups for the programs you are trying to learn.
Pintrest - Not just used for fashion and cooking tips. Pintrest is now a great source for 3d tutorials.Just follow boards for the program you are trying to learn.
3DCG - board on 4chan that is very helpful for beginners.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Great Pokemon Rom Migration of our time! Gen 1 to Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4 to Gen 5 to Gen 6

The Great Pokemon Rom Migration of Our Time! Gen 1 to Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4 to Gen 5 to Gen 6

When I first made this guide I had been playing loads of Pokemon on emulators with roms and my motivation was Twitch Plays Pokemon and the desire to transfer my Mons from the very first games to the more recent ones. This guide is built on my personal experience with migrating pokemon from game to game. I know this guide will work 100% if you use the games I have and do exactly as I do. I have been updating this guide since March of 2014 and I update it when I find out easier ways to do things and when I know for sure that the method works.

Currently Citra is the only legit emulator for the 3DS.

A little background first… Pokemon Generations and their Games.

Gen 2:
Gen 3:
Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald & Fire Red/Leaf Green
Gen 4:
Pear/Diamond/Platinum & Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Gen 5:
Black/White & Black 2/White 2
Gen 6:
X/Y & Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby
Gen 7:

Where do I find pokemon roms? Just Google it.

Support the series and buy the games. I own a copy of every pokemon game I have played via emulator.

The Great Migration Guide:
If a link is dead for a transfer tool a great place to start searching is the Project Pokemon forums:
Before making any changes to your pokemon save files aka “battery file” (.sav) make sure you make a backup. I always have a backup file and sometimes backup/ backups when testing tools.

Gen 1 to Gen 2
I played Red/Blue and Crystal with the VBA LINK 172 emulator

Tool Transfer:
Download: PKX Delta:
PKX Delta will load a .sav file and will allow you to open multiple game .sav files and right click / copy and paste pokemon from Gen 1 to Gen 2.
Keep in mind:
PKX Delta seems to have a bug that makes loading pokemon from the boxes in Gen 1 not always work. You may want to just put the pokemon you wish to transfer into your party and re-export the .sav file for use with the tool. The problem only seems to affect Gen 1. Also info like where the pokemon was caught will be left blank.
Emulation Transfer:
Gen 1 to Gen 1 / Gen 1 to Gen 2 / Gen 2 to Gen 1
As Luke Freeman in the comments stated:
TGB Dual can trade between RGBYGSC without any problems, and .sav fiels are completely compatible with VBA Link, which can’t trade between those versions.

So if you wanted to do some trading without using an outside program other than an emulator you can use TGB Dual.

To trade between Gen 2 and Gen 1 you will need to first meet “Bill” in your Gen 2 game and then wait “24 hours” to unlock the interface in the poke-center.
Keep in mind:
TGB Dual was created initially in Japanese. So make sure you look for an English version. I was able to find TGB Dual Vol. 8.3.1 in english.

Thanks Luke!

Possible Legit Transfer:
Gen 1 to Gen 7 and ???
So the digital downloaded version of the Gen 1 games on the 3ds should EVENTUALLY be able to transfer to the PokeBank when Gen 7 hits. I am still unsure what this will mean for transfer from the PokeBank to possible Gen 6. I haven’t tried and this is all RUMOR at the moment.

Gen 1 & 2 to Gen 3
Keep in mind:
As you may have heard transferring pokemon from Gen 1 & 2 to the Gen 3 games is impossible. Well that is only half true. When the people at Nintendo made the Gen 3 games they made the IV/EV stuff more complex. These are the hidden values on your pokemon that determines nature and how they will grow stats wise as they level. The “PKX Delta” converts the Gen 1 & 2 pokemon to Gen 3 with this in mind but you must also input the caught location manually and their trainer ID may need a re-roll. PKX Delta has Auto features to help you reroll different stats.

So if you want your legit pokemon to ever leave emulators and make it into a legit cartridge you may want to start with Gen 3 instead of 1 &2.

I played Red/Blue/Crystal and Emerald with the VBA LINK 172 emulator

Tool Transfer:
Download: PKX Delta:
PKX Delta will load a .sav file and will allow you to open multiple game .sav files and right click / copy and paste pokemon from Gen 1 & 2 to Gen 3.

Keep in mind:
Emerald, by default, will not save out correctly with VisualBoyAdvance or VBA LINK to edit with PKX Delta or A-Save. Also to just play it normally with VBA LINK you need to make some changes to your settings.
Under Options/Emulator check:
Real Time Clock
Save Type>
Flash 128K
Image of my settings in VBA:

If you messed up on using the correct save file type you can try converting it here:

Gen 3 to Gen 3

Emulation Transfer:
If you want to avoid using an outside emulation program you can trade with yourself using VBA LINK. I have traded successfully with myself with Fire Red and Leaf Green.
Keep in mind:
I have read that a bunch of people are having a hard time getting VBA LINK to work. I think this is a problem with what version of VBA LINK they are using. The version I have been using is 1.7.2.
Tool Transfer:
Both PKX Delta and A-Save work great for Gen 3 pokemon management.
Download: PKX Delta:
PKX Delta will load a .sav file and will allow you to open multiple game .sav files and right click / copy and paste pokemon from Gen 1 & 2 to Gen 3.


Download A-Save by KazoWAR:

Gen 3 to Gen 4 Via Pal Park

Emulation Transfer Only:
I played Emerald and Platinum with the VBA LINK emulator and the DeSmuMe emulator
Just to be clear:

One does not simply transfer from Gen 3 to Gen 4 via Pal Park
For starters you need to beat your Gen 4 game. All Gyms, Elite 4, and get the National Pokedex for at least Seeing all the pokemon in the game. This means you need to do a lot before Pal Park becomes available.

Ok so… DeSmuMe has a GBA slot for your Gen 3 rom…
  • So there are a lot of issues with getting DeSmuMe to do this correctly.
  • For starters the new version of DeSmuMe 0.9.10 will not work so you need to use the older version: 0.9.7
  • The Gen 3 .sav file needs to be saved out as Flash 128 in VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • Export a battery file (.sav) from VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • Ok using the correct programs and settings…
  • You can’t transfer pokemon that know HM moves so delete the moves.
  • In Emerald the move deleter is in Lilycove City, east of the PokeMart.
  • You can only transfer 6 pokemon a day to pal park so changing your computer time/day is a must.
  • You can’t transfer pokemon that are currently in your party in Gen 3 so get them in the boxes.
  • Process for Transfer:
  • Place the gen3.gba and gen3.sav file in the roms folder of the Old DeSmuMe from VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • (*_*) Open Old DeSmuMe and open your Gen 4 game.
  • In the menu go to Emulation -> GBA slot
  • Change it to Guitar Grip, this will reset the game
  • Now change it to GBA game and select your gen3.gba in the Old DeSmuMe roms folder.
  • This will reset the game again.
  • If everything was done correctly you will now be able to migrate 6 pokemon over via the main menu
  • Good ol’ “Save Failed” can still happen for what seems like no reason. Anyways No worries! Just ReSave and export from VBA LINK and try, try again.
    Check your versions and make sure you are exporting your save correctly.
  • Pal park is stupid easy. Just walk around till your pokemon spawns, might need to surf, and throw a ball.
  • Transfer new pokemons to box via guy working there.
  • Save game and close DeSmuMe
  • Change your data to the following day on your computer and repeat the process starting at (*_*)
  • Good ol’ “Save Failed” can still happen for what seems like no reason. Anyways No worries! Just ReSave and export from VBA LINK and try, try again.
  • Once you have a stable save for Gen 4 transfer with it stays stable.
Keep in mind:
When Save Failed happens the game will tell you upon opening next time that the save was corrupted and that it reverted to an earlier version. No worries! It just recognized that the save failed and it’s cool.

Gen 4 to 4, Gen 4 to 5, Gen 5 to 5
PokeGen is pretty easy to use, just drag and drop the pokemon you want to transfer to another game to a folder on your computer. Open the other game and select your pokemon and drag them into PokeGen window and they will populate the box.
Keep in mind:
Bad eggs error is a possible result from using this tool to manage pokemon. Just keep backups of your .sav files and make sure to check that your pokemon are not bugged out after every transfer.
Other Tools for migrating Gen 4 / 5:

Gen 5 to 6
If you are able to jump through some hoops you can use PKHeX.
PKHeX works just like PokeGen and can even use .pkm files from PokeGen.

Currently for most people:
You can move your pokemon to a DS flashcart and then move it to another Gen 5 game. Then using a DS and a 3DS to the PokeBank using the Pokemon Transfer tool on the 3DS. You do risk losing your pokemon if it is caught by a filter to weed out hacked pokemon from a tool like PokeGen. If you pay for the PokeBank it is an easy way to manage your pokemon for any legit copy of Gen 5 / 6 / 7 pokemon.

Hardware Trade Up
If you are interested in semi legit transfer of non-emulated pokemon from Gen 1 to Gen 6 / 7 beyond check out this video by Linkara-AtopTheFourthWall
Keep in mind:
Some of the save editing tools in the video are out of date and have been replaced by PKX Delta.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Old Left 4 Dead 2 Custom Character guide

I had a long guide here that I was pretty proud of back in 2009 / 2010. It has long been out of date and it was never formatted correctly anyways. :P