Modding

[SFxT] How to Transform into Alt Characters/Costumes for Pandora

By ContentBot

Posted March 22nd, 2021

· 

4 mins read

An archive of SFxT mods forum board. Original guide was made by bbbSFXT.

In this tutorial, I will be explaining how to make any character when activating Pandora, transform into a different mod/character/costume.

Getting the base ready

The very first step is to take the emo file of the character you want to make the mod for, and the emo of the mod you want to act as Pandora.

Using EMGSWAPv3, extract all the emg's from the emo you want for Pandora and append them all into the normal characters emo. NOTE - If parts are the same for both, like tongue, face, mouth, etc. then it is not necessary to extract those emg's and append them. However, if the texture or even the color is going to be different for the Pandora version, then you will still have to extract and append it.

After that is done, make sure there are no similar mesh names from both mods if they are going to have a different texture or color. More common example of this happening would be with skin. if both mods have mesh called skin, but use different textures or colors, you must open the emo and rename one of them.

once that is done, you must extract all the textures from the Pandora mod's emb file and then add them to the normal mods emb file by using kensous tool or hex editing.

After that, use DDSREFEDIT and assign all the Pandora parts to the right texture.

when that is done, open the emm files 1,2, and pdr for the normal character and add all the materials of the Pandora version to that.

the base of the mod should be done now. Now to go on to the next step to get the transition between the 2 mods working.

Making the mod transform

Now that your base is done, we will get to the confusing part to get the transition to work

for emm 1 and 2. on every single material that is not the same for both normal and Pandora, you must add the following parameters:

AlphaTest 0100010080000000 TexScrl0V 00000000000000CC

NOTE- If a material already has an AlphaTest, delete it and use this one.

once that is done for both emm files, on every material that is used only for pandora, change the material name to -

SpcMaskScrEmi_W

when that is done, open the pdr emm file and do the opposite this time. on every material that you no longer want around for Pandora, give them the SpcMaskScrEmi_W name.

when that is done, you must open every texture that is for Pandora and every texture that will go away in Pandora in photoshop and you must edit the alpha channel by adding a small black bar at the very top like so -

if an alpha channel already has some black in it, it wont cause any problems, just add the black bar ontop and it should be fine

NOTE- If your texture has its UVs too high and don't have room for the black bar, try putting the black bar on the left (thanks segadordelinks) instead and change the parameter to this TexScrl0U 00000000000000CC. If you still lack room, then the UV must be moved or resized.

NOTE- If any of the 2 mods you are using had a Pandora skin transformation originally, you will have to delete the Pandora alpha patterns on the skin for those textures.

after that is done, the mod should be complete. if any unwanted parts still show up, try making the black bar a bit thicker.

EDIT- some issues with Nvidia users have the transparency not work properly for some objects. to fix this, instead of having just the black bar, fill up the entire texture with alpha that does not have any UVs and it should fix the issues. Also for Nvidia uses, the UVs must remain in the main box of the uv editor in the 3d program you are using. the alpha does not affect outside the main box on Nvidia cards for some reason.

Known Issues

There are 3 known issues I discovered with this process, but they are all minor.

  1. Since the animated shader is being used to make the transition possible, animated textures are not possible unless its on a mesh that receives no change when entering Pandora.

  2. odd character select screen look on the character when you first start the game up.

this look will not appear if the demo has started or looked at a character in customization, or any match is played with any character.

when you close the game, and open it again, this same issue will happen and go away again.

  1. at the very start of battle, there could be a small flicker for half a second

its only for half a second and goes away.

Theory on why this works

Some of you may be wondering why Part 2 works. This is my theory on why it does.

pdr emm files have all the same info as the regular emm files however the game does not recognize any of it except for the shader names. Why would the developers bother to have all that info if it does nothing? I believe it was just to save time by copying emm 1 and just renaming the shaders.

When the TexScrl0V 00000000000000CC parameter is used on any shader that is not SpcMaskScrEmi_W, it has no effect, so when normal parts have it, they receive no harm, and with Pandora parts using the SpcMaskScrEmi_W shader has it, along with the AlphaTest, they remain hidden.

When Pandora is activated, the game uses the shader names from the pdr emm file, which would have the shaders you have on the normal one swapped, so the normal parts with those parameters get the SpcMaskScrEmi_W shader and becomes invisible and the pandora parts lose that shader and those parameters no longer has effect and ends up becoming visable.

Now, for why the little black bar is needed on the top of every alpha channel. when the TexScrl0V 00000000000000CC parameter is used with the SpcMaskScrEmi_W shader, it takes the top of the texture and stretches it all the way down, which also includes the alpha layer, so even when the bar is thin at the top, when its stretched, it takes up the whole texture, so alpha test will make the model completely invisible. when the regular shader is used, AlphaTestis still in affect, but with the bar being so thin and at the top where there is most likely no UVs in the way, it wont be hiding anything which makes this whole Pandora transformation possible.

More related to Modding