Updated: Febuary 2004

In this tutorial, you will learn how to modify 3d models for Battlefield: 1942 and Battlefield: Vietnam

3-D models (also know as meshes) for Battlefield: 1942 and Battlefield: Vietnam are stored in the StandardMesh.rfa archive file.

- Have completed the tutorial on creating a new mod
- Full installed game of Battlefield: 1942 or Battlefield: Vietnam
- Discreet® 3ds max® 5 or higher, or Discreet® Gmax® 1.2 or higher


Install the 3ds max® toolset from the mod developer's kit by running the 3ds max® toolset installer program. You can also press the install 3ds max® tools button from the Battlefield Mod Developement Toolkit front-end. The next time you load up 3ds max® and you will find a new menu named "Battlefield Tools".

For Discreet® Gmax® 1.2 or higher run the install Gmax® toolset button after Gmax® has been installed.


Choose "RFA Tools" from the "Battlefield Tools" menu to launch the .rfa archive utility. This is so we can import an existing 3D model from the game.



Choose "Open .rfa" from the File menu



Browse to the /mods/bf1942/ folder of your installed game's location. The "bf1942" mod folder has Battlefield: 1942's data files for a normal game. For Battlefield: Vietnam you will choose the "bfVietnam" mod folder instead of "bf1942".



Choose the filen named "standardMesh.rfa" and press the "Open" button.



Battlefield: 1942 - Select files and
Battlefield: Vietnam - Select files and

These files are part of a hand held weapon thus it will easy to see any changes made to them in-game.

.rs files contain ASCII plain-text shader information (can be edited with notepad).
.sm files contain geometry data that defines the 3-D model.

From the "Extract" menu choose "Selected".



Select the My_Mod folder in the "Browse for Folder" dialog and press "OK". This will extract the selected files to your mod's folder so you can easily modify and include these files in your mod.



In 3ds max® choose "Model Import/Export" from the "Battlefield Tools" menu.



Press the "Import" button (top left and under 3D Models) to bring up the Mesh Import dialog screen. Set your options to have "Only Main LOD/Mesh" and "Visible" checked then press the "IMPORT..." button.



Browse to /Mods /My_Mod/standardMesh/ directory of your installed game.



Select the .sm geometry file you extracted earlier and press the open button.



Here is how the model looks imported into 3ds max®.

Press the "Z" key on the keyboard by default to zoom-extents of the model, you can also use the viewport zoom tool.



Set modify mode and sub object vertex on the LOD01 named node. Then use the selection and scale tools to deform the mesh into an odd shape. This is so we can easily see in game that we have changed the model.



Goto the export 3d model screen and press Add LOD, then pick the scene node (object) with the name starting with LOD01. This is the primary visible model.

Check Auto Generate LODs and set the Min # of LODs spinner to 6, this will tell the exporter to generate 5 additional meshes of progressively lower detail to use. LOD meshes are used to increase game performance by switching to lower detail versions of the primary visible model when the camera is further away from the object.

Note: Autogenerate LOD's is for 3ds max® only, Gmax® does not include features to automaticly generate LOD's. If you need additonal LOD's you will have to create reduced versions of the model manually.

Press the export button then choose the same filename as the .sm file you extracted to /Mods/My_Mod/Standardmesh



Press yes to the dialog box that pops up to overwrite the existing file.



In /Mods/my_mod/archives/ run PackRfa.exe, select standardMesh from the folder drop down list (right side) and press the "Pack Folder" button.



Here is a screen shot of the /Mods/My_Mod/Archives directory with the file archive "standardMesh.rfa" packed.



Here is how the new weapon model looks in Battlefield: 1942:
(Note: Below image shows weapon with a modified .dds texture as well)


-- End of Tutorial --

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