Actor rendering modes
And here I rant about how it is possible to assign a specific rendering mode (such as wireframe) to a single component by editing the ACT file.
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Here's what I dug out today: it's possible to change the way certain elements are drawn ingame in C2 by modifying one byte in the .ACT file. Let's see what, where, how:
Every .ACT file start with this hex string:
0000 0012 0000 0008 0000 0001 0000 0002
and then the different actors slots start. These slots always starts like this :
0000 0023 0000 0009 01 424F 4E4E 4554
[type] [!!][actor's name]
That 04h byte is what we'll have to change, it's easy to notice as it is the byte right before the actor's name.
Pay attention though that the actor's name may appear twice in the same slot, if so, it will always be the byte before the first instance that get our attention. That byte can have several values, by default it will be 04, and if you save the model in PT2 while you are in wireframe mode the byte will be 03. This has for consequence to display every component BUT the master component in wireframe mode ingame. Ofcourse, like that, it isn't interesting at all. What we might find interesting is to apply such effect to only one or two components, to make cages, wires, thin frames, etc. This is why we have to edit manually the ACT file. The other possible value are 00 (solid as 04), 01 (invisible, might be useful if you wanna mod a car without altering the model?!), 02 (vertices mode!! I'm sure it can be used!), 03 (the wireframe mode thus), 05 (bounding box vertices), 06 (bbox edges), 07 (solid bbox). I'm not sure whether these bounding box modes could be useful or not, but the vertices mode for sure can!! However, the vertices appear through the rest of the mesh, which is not very convenient. Also these vertices seem to have a specific color (from orange to blue, changes with damage?). The wireframe mode seems yet more useful, especially as it supports quads and larger polygons! The wireframe is textured by the way, which is even better.
Well that's pretty much all there is to say. Don't forget that once you have edited the ACT file, don't bring it back to PT2 or it will revert to either solid or wireframe mode!
I guess inspired artists can use such trick to achieve interesting designs. It will be very useful for wires anyway. Also all this stuff could bring some kind of abstract car to live, what the hell, I don't know, I'm a cat! Here's a pic to illsutrate previous information:
I suppose this trick can be used in C1 as well. Just have to test someday maybe.