to Mod Uniform files in CWBR
By Jim (6th Vermont) Weaver
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Modding uniforms in this game is similar in principle to uniform
mods in the Sid Meir engine series of games (Gettysburg, Antietam,
Waterloo, Austerlitz). There are two parts to the process, editing
the graphics files themselves and modifying the text files that
specify which unit uses which graphic file for their uniform.
Usage - Uniform graphics are held in memory – the standard
CWBR set of seven uniform files for infantry takes up about 38
MB of memory. In my system with 1,000 MB of RAM, the game can
take 400-500 MB depending on graphics settings and scenario loaded.
System overhead is around 200 MB, leaving me with 300 MB of free
RAM. This means that if I add 8 new uniforms (8x38=304), I will
start to get into disk swapping, which begins to slow things down.
there is no requirement to use graphics in the CWBR format. Uniform
files can be less detailed and have fewer frames of animation,
with much less memory usage. For example the equivalent set of
files from Austerlitz uses only about 6 MB of RAM. So one early
decision is where to set your tradeoff between number of uniforms
and level of detail on each uniform. How critical this is to you
depends entirely on how much RAM you have on your system. If you
have 4 GB of RAM, go wild.
Graphics files - Each uniform requires a set of seven matched
graphics files for the required game actions: stand, shoot, melee,
march, charge, double quick, and death. All unit graphics in CWBR
are in *.tga format. The standard CWBR infantry graphics show
16 angles in each row of each figure with between 10 and 40 rows
per file. In theory, each of the 2240 frames that go into one
uniform set could be pixel edited. However this may be somewhat
time consuming. Adam suggests a program called 3DStudio Max. There
are probably alternative programs that will do the same job, but
others will have to comment on that. Graphics files from other
games can be imported provided that the angles go across and the
frames go down. The correct values for these files need to be
entered in the appropriate csv file but they should work. The
full set of seven files must be imported or created.
CSV files - After you have made the set of 7 graphics files
you need to get the new uniform in the game. This can be done
on a per scenario basis by editing the set of four .csv files
that specify which graphics files go with which action and which
unit uses which uniform type(s). This is done fairly easily by
using a spreadsheet program like Excel to keep everything lined
up properly. The four files are: sprites.csv, unitsprites.csv,
units.csv, and unitcommon.csv. Lets look at these in
is the file that deals with the details of using the *.tga file
as the source of the animation in the game. Each graphic file
is assigned a name used by other files in the game. Other parameters
dealing with the nuts and bolts of animation are in this file
as well. The details of the column entries are shown in the Appendix.
unitcommon.csv is the file where the specific uniform graphics
files are assigned to a unit class. Up to six uniforms can be
assigned to a unit class, these will appear at random on the sprites
in that unit. There is no limit on how many uniform classes may
be declared. The name in each uniform column must match a name
in the ‘type’ column of unitsprite.csv. See the Appendix
is the primary OOB file. The column of interest for uniform modding
is column G, ‘Class’. The entry here must match the ‘Class’ entry
in unitcommon.csv and determines which uniform(s) are worn
by which specific unit in the game.
is the file where the seven names that were associated with the
seven *.tga files in sprites.csv are linked to a uniform ‘type’,
used in the file unitcommon.csv. The name in each column
must match the name in the ‘Name’ column of sprites.csv.
See Appendix for details.
of a simple uniform mod.
demonstrate the process we will walk through the process of doing
a simple uniform mod. For this example, we will insert a set of
uniform files for the US Marine Corps battalion that was part
of Porter’s Brigade. Please Note: I have not actually
created a set of USMC uniform graphics files, so please do not
ask me for them. Hopefully someone in the mod community will
actually create this set of files.
first step is to do the actual graphics editing. There are two
strategies, pixel editing which is cheap but very tedious or 3D
editing which requires one or more comparatively expensive program(s),
but is much faster.
the pixel editing example, we will make a simple change of color
for uniform pants. The standard Union infantry uniform is a reasonable
approximation of the USMC uniform of the day except that the Marines
had white uniform pants. If you were doing this by pixel editing,
these are the steps. First, in the graphics directory copy the
file U_Stand.tga and name the copy USMC_Stand.tga.
Repeat the process with these files: U_March.tga, U_Shoot.tga,
U_Melee.tga, U_DblQuik.tga, U_Charge.tga,
and U_Death.tga. When you are done, you will have seven
USMC_*.tga files to edit.
pixel editing requires a program that can read and save *.tga
files. There are a number that can do the job, that can be purchased
either commercially or downloaded as shareware or freeware. Regardless
of the program, open the USMC_Stand.tga file in the editor.
In the first image, edit the pixels to change the color of the
standard uniform pants from the existing blue to white. Repeat
2239 more times to convert the rest of the images in this and
the other six USMC_*.tga files.
A somewhat less tedious method is to load the files into a 3D
rendering program, do the editing there and then write out the
edited files with the appropriate parameters. One program that
will do this is a program called 3D Studio Max. The details of
using these 3D programs is beyond my expertise, consult the ‘Modders
Corner’ on the MMG discussion boards for pointers to books or
websites describing this process in more detail. After the 3D
models are created, the 2D graphics files need to be created or
rendered from the 3D models. This must be done for all 7 file
you have finished up creating or editing all seven of the graphics
files, you need to do some editing of *.CSV files to get the game
to recognize them. I will assume that you will be opening the
*.CSV files in a spreadsheet program and will refer to row & column
open up the file sprites.csv, and move down to row 117.
Insert seven (7) blank rows below. Next type in the name for each
of the seven types and the matching name for the *.tga file. Next,
enter the appropriate numbers for each of the animation columns.
If you are using the same number of frames and rows as the base
game, you can simply copy the data from the existing equivalent
file. See the Appendix for details of the animation values. For
the USMC example, the end results should look like this. Using
this order will ma
things easier for other files.
values in column B must be the exact filenames of the graphics
files. Save the file in *.csv format.
open up the file unitsprite.csv, enter a type name in column
A, for this example, use USMC. Next enter the names from column
A of sprites.csv into columns B-H. A useful trick is to
copy the names in column A and then Paste Special/Transpose with
the active cell in column B. The end result should look like this:
USMC_March USMC_Stand USMC_Shoot USMC_DblQuik USMC_Charge USMC_Melee
values in columns B-H must match the values in colum A of sprites.csv.
Save this file in *.csv format and continue with the next file.
third file to edit is unitcommon.csv in this file, scroll
down and insert a row below row 15. Copy all of the information
from the row above and paste it into the blank row. Next change
the entry in column A, ‘Class’ to Infantry_USMC. Change the value
in column F, ‘Uniform 1’ to read USMC and delete the value in
column G. Leave all of the other columns alone unless you have
created new sound files to match the uniform. When you are done,
columns A through H should look like this:
Infantry_USMC 0 1.7 5 USMC
The name in column F must exactly match the text from column A
of unitsprite.csv. If you have additional uniforms for
this unit, they can be entered in columns G-K. Matching entries
must be in the unisprite.csv. A maximum of six (6) uniforms
is allowed per regiment and will be placed on the individual sprites
at random. Save this file in *.csv format and continue with the
last file to edit is units.csv, here move down to row 50
and over to column G ‘Class’ and enter Infantry_USMC which is
the exact text from column A of unitcommon.csv. Save in
you have done things correctly, the new uniform will show up in
on the USMC battalion in Porters brigade.