Animal Crossing: New Leaf ROM Hacking

Discussion in '3DS - ROM Hacking, Translations and Utilities' started by Blundermann, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Alcuina

    Alcuina Member

    Newcomer
    14
    16
    Jul 11, 2017
    United States
    Insane amounts of trial and error the last few days. You can even see up there that the lighting may seem off. She is just using the bare minimal material requirements so you can see her lighting looks off and you can see a slash through her face. So still have to find the right way to do that correctly.

    I hope it does as well. Would be amazing to see a bunch of people pick it up again and make a lots of new things. (What you have to do is really complex and you need a really good understanding of maya or 3dsmax.) You are essentially doing it the same way they would but without the help of the programmers, to guide you how they set the game to read things.

    Kind of wish Ohana or something similar just allowed export and re-import so that the model, skeleton, animation, texture ect.. is just compressed back into the same file with all the correct info. When you have to make it from scratch with no info on how the game treats files, it's a nightmare. One small thing that's wrong and the whole thing crashes the second that model enters the screen.
     
    deishido, Onzy and Aeth-r like this.
  2. windwakemeupinside

    windwakemeupinside Resident Gost

    Member
    169
    58
    Apr 14, 2016
    United States
    Faerun
    Holy shit! That's super cool, would love to mess around with something like this.
     
  3. Aeth-r

    Aeth-r GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    153
    23
    Jan 6, 2016
    United States
    Very great work! I look forward to maybe someday working on a villager overhaul to swap out all of the villagers with animal crossing themed pokemon.
     
  4. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Just found this thread, and I was wondering about something.
    It seems everyone is using Autodesk (Maya/3dsmax)- what about blender? Wouldn't that work, too? Or are there some functions not in blender that you need for this?
    (I do have the 3-year version of Maya 2016 installed but I don't remember the controls, and tbh I don't want to go to blender later and have to set it to Maya controls forever.)

    I would love to be one of the ones to pick this back up. Only, 1. I'm about to install 3dsMax for the first time ever, and I have no experience with it, and 2. I haven't used Maya in years. I've touched blender, but all I've figured out how to do with that is turn a cube into... not a cube. I'm not quite sure what the program was calling "Cube" when I was finished...
    Oh, and reason 3 is pretty important. Until ntrboothax (I like the name MagnetPWN) is released I lack CFW access. And I'm on 11.5. (At least I have HBL access.)
    So, I can't get any game files to mess around with in the first place. :|
    At least in the meantime I can get acquainted with 3dsMax (and reacquainted with Maya).
    ...I'm gonna need someone to give me the info on how to decompress/recompress the files once I'm able to get them. I doubt I'll figure that out.
    Slightly unrelated ADHD ranting
    Edit (after installing 3dsMax 2018): I'm not sure that my computer has the power to handle 3dsMax. In fact, I didn't even bother installing Maya 2017, since the minimum requirement for RAM is 8GB, as opposed to Maya 2016's 4GB. Even though my (4GB) system supports up to 8GB, it has a Pentium acting both as a CPU and a GPU...
    Oh, hey, it's working now!
     
    Last edited by JavaScribe, Jul 21, 2017
  5. deishido

    deishido Texture Modder

    Member
    241
    115
    Jul 8, 2009
    United States
    Indiana

    I don't know anything about modeling, which is why I'm not very involved in the project these days, however I can give you some advice on the 3ds side of things.

    Because you don't have cfw, I recommend getting very familiar with HANS and working with RomFS files. (It will take about 1.3gigs per romfs file iirc, be prepared for long transfer wait times) I also recommend using the Welcome Amiibo version of the game for more complete compatability. You will have to recompile the whole romfs every time you want to test a change in game.

    (Unless there's a newer way of using layeredFS without cfw I havent heard about)
     
  6. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    I thought I heard something about HANS being broken? I assumed it was true, since last time I tried HANS, it didn't work.

    I don't know what to do with a RomFS file... I do know, however, that extracting whatever file type Citra runs (I don't think it was romfs, probably cia/cxi) is about 1.3Gb (or GB? I don't remember) and takes about... an hour, two, somewhere in between. I've extracted a few games in the past. Annoyingly, AC:NL wasn't one of them.
    I... don't know how to do that. I'd guess that layeredFS lets you use non-compiled romfs files?
    Does that refer to any copy with that update or just the ones sold with that update preinstalled? I'd assume it wouldn't make a difference, but I see how it could. I have an old copy that a friend gave me years ago, so it didn't have that update originally.

    And is there a way to actually just run the edited RomFS on Citra? I'd rather not mess with my actual copy of the game, as it has years of legitimate progress on it (that I could probably redo really easily should I lose it because I understand the game more now, though I'd really rather not). I know I can back it up, but if using Citra is possible, I'd much rather do that. Also, it'd make everything a lot faster, since I wouldn't have to send the file back to the 3DS each time I changed it. Using a MicroSD adapter is a huge inconvenience at the moment, and I usually do wireless transfer anyways. (So slow... why is hardmodding 3DS's with better hardware not a thing?)
     
  7. deishido

    deishido Texture Modder

    Member
    241
    115
    Jul 8, 2009
    United States
    Indiana
    (I'm on mobile and formatting is basically impossible, so I apologize in advance)

    Alright, so citra as far as I know uses a proprietary format. You would have to decompress the Rom ( .CIA file) to get the code.bin and _RomFS files, make changes, then recompile into the cia format (which may require recompiling into CIA first.) There's a few different guides here on gbatemp so pick whichever suits your skill level. LayeredFS is significantly faster and more convenient for quick edits. (Maybe newer builds of citra are compatable with romfs? Idk)

    Neither HANS nor CFW Rom hacks actually touch the rom on the cartridge, so your cart will be safe unless you change something really ambitious and then save the game it could mess with the save data, but the Rom hacks themselves are not permanent and are stored on the SD card. Again, if you're only changing models and textures it shouldn't be a problem, but SVDT is a good tool to use just in case

    As for the Rom itself you should use the preinstalled welcome amiibo edition if you want to do anything with the added dlc. The old version can be used with a downloaded dlc but the process is unnecessarily complex and I don't recommend it especially if you're using hans

    And finally, Hans. Uh, I haven't used it with the Welcome amiibo version so i don't know what the compatability is like. I'm sure it works much better with the preinstalled version simply due to how hans handles dlc. (The files are all together in the bundled version. The old version keeps the original game files and the dlc itself separate which causes a lot of issues to say the least.) If that's still not working, eBay or Craigslist an old 2ds or something. Most (all?) o2DS systems have a hackable firmware. The hacking process is as easy as reading this paragraph.
     
    Last edited by deishido, Jul 23, 2017
  8. Saphiredurf

    Saphiredurf Member

    Newcomer
    18
    4
    Aug 10, 2015
    United States
    If you're using Citra, you'll most likely want to use the .cxi format or the .3ds format as there's no support for loading .cia's at the moment. Any modifications you do make to the romfs, though, you'll want to make sure to recompile it back into a working .cxi/.3ds file as well as there's no way just to load a modified romfs in Citra at the moment.

    Also a little bit beyond that, Citra has a few game breaking bugs for ACNL that won't even let you get to a point to save, so it may not be the best option for testing (at the moment at least).
     
  9. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Ok, then it is .cxi. I wasn't sure.
    Would it be possible to locate the cause of those bugs and fix them? I don't mean "would I be able to," because I almost certainly wouldn't, but would someone else hypothetically be able to accomplish said task? If decompiling code and editing it isn't out of the question in this situation, wouldn't it be possible to find the problem if you searched long enough? (Although, maybe I'm mistaken about what is being done to the code to be able to replace/edit resources such as models and textures.)
     
  10. MRJPGames

    MRJPGames Pretty great guy

    Member
    1,111
    717
    Aug 17, 2013
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands
    Well, technically yes that would be a possibility it would be far more productive (and in the long run definitely easier too) to instead of hacking the game to work with the emulator to just improve the accuracy of the emulator by looking at what it's doing differently from how the real 3DS hardware would do it and then try to replicate it perfectly (or at least more accuratly). Of course this will require a lot of work and reverse engineering. But the positive side is that Citra is in active development so this will most likely eventually happen. I doubt someone will take the time to hack the NL rom to fix the current bugs with the emulator, especially because they are quite major bugs, some of which might very well be impossible to fix at this point by hacking the game.

    Also nothing is done to code to change resources, the code and the resources for most games are separate. And any big game it's not just most it becomes all. (depending on what you call "code"). Anyways the 3DS has romfs for files the game needs, no code is stored there and this is the place where all model data etc. for AC:NL is stored.
     
    deishido likes this.
  11. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Right. Didn't really think about that. Honestly, I feel like that should have been obvious to me. In my defense, I'd just burned out my brain on trying to research other aspects of my question before asking. Assembly isn't something that's easy to understand after a few Google searches... °.°
     
    MRJPGames likes this.
  12. Alcuina

    Alcuina Member

    Newcomer
    14
    16
    Jul 11, 2017
    United States
    Work has been really making it hard to work on this project the last week. I'm sorry about that guys. I might be a bit slow for a bit. Is it possible to pm me and get my email? I'll tell you all I know related to model swapping for the game.

    If you are interested In doing this I'd highly suggest you have pretty dang good knowledge of maya or 3DS max, willing to learn a new program, and some knowledge in photoshop, as there are lots of really technical things going.

    If you are ok with all of the above, I can't wait to spread the knowledge I have so far and hopefully others can find the things I'm missing...

    Things I have NOT figured out:

    How to keep villagers faces animated. (I've exported the faces the way I think the game would look for them but its obviously not seeing it right. Villager has blank face)

    Getting any mesh on the player without it vanishing.

    The exact lighting method Nintendo used to make everything look really nice.

    Things I HAVE figured out:

    Swapping any static mesh such as house hold items, ground/out side things, pretty much anything in the game. (non skeletal)

    Swapping a villager out with any mesh you want/making any villager possible if under a polygon limit.( Trust me you don't want to import your 50K mesh into an actual 3DS haha)

    Gear the player character can put on can be swapped out with any mesh.
     
    deishido likes this.
  13. deishido

    deishido Texture Modder

    Member
    241
    115
    Jul 8, 2009
    United States
    Indiana
    I have zero modeling experience but I've already bookmarked quite a few basic tutorials for Maya, so while I'm out of the running for now I certainly hope to figure some of this out soon!
    You said gear can be adjusted, so do hats work? I think a modified hat would be a great start for editing player heads while we figure out the specifics of the player model.

    (Do we know the exact polygon limit for villagers?)
     
  14. Alcuina

    Alcuina Member

    Newcomer
    14
    16
    Jul 11, 2017
    United States
    Ya! You can absolutely change gear but if you swap a villager head out with the hat the head will never be able to emote.

    Polygon limit is weird... But from what I tested a character can't go over 1.5K (for reference no character in the game is more than 1K, or at least any I found) and a static mesh like a lamp or house can't go over 1K Without the 3DS acting up.
     
    deishido likes this.
  15. deishido

    deishido Texture Modder

    Member
    241
    115
    Jul 8, 2009
    United States
    Indiana
    Give me the in-game fursuit mod, I don't care if I can't emote anymore lmao

    It's interesting that theres different model limits for static items, but I suppose it makes sense.
    Unrelated I suppose, but have you looked into Happy Home Academy models? They aren't directly transferable to New Leaf through conventional means, I assume it's because the models are either formatted differently or because of the polygon count; I'm assuming the later since we're able to rip textures and reapply them back into NL just fine. There aren't any new villagers aside from lottie that I'm aware of, but I think there were several new items added to the game. I wonder if it would be possible to convert HHA models to NL models. :unsure:

    Also unrelated, but with more people coming to this thread recently, I'm still hoping we can get more insight to the code itself. I think it would be great to be able to drop things outside. Perhaps we could use something like NTR to read values to figure how the game looks at the location data when dropping items and determining whether the player is inside their own home, or outside. although that could affect how natural items work like trees dropping items. (Imagine shaking a tree and a couch falls out, not the leaf, the whole couch)
     
  16. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    1. Will blender work instead of Autodesk? To be honest, I prefer the controls that blender uses, despite my scroll wheel being odd to press down without accidentally clicking it to the left. blender (yes, it's lowercase on the Windows Start Menu, so I'm leaving it lowercase here) lets you use 3dsMax or Maya controls, but not vice versa. I'd also like to be able to use my second display for a quad view when I want to, which is more complicated in Maya.
    ...oh. And my laptop can hardly handle 3dsMax 2018, and I didn't even bother updating to Maya 2017 because the minimum requirement for RAM is 8GB (whereas my computer only meets Maya 2016's 4GB requirement).
    blender runs pretty smoothly.
    I understand if blender won't work, because the rigging seems to work differently.

    2. Will GIMP work instead of Photoshop? I don't have Photoshop, and my computer only has 4GB RAM. 8GB RAM has shown to be hardly sufficient for running certain Adobe products.
    GIMP is infamous for being the most difficult tool available to beginners (since it's free), but I've kinda got the hang of it.
    Either way, I'm expecting to have to learn a lot. I may end up never being able to make significant contributions here, but at the very least I hope to get better with the tools I'm using.

    Ok. I'm definitely one to mess with stuff until I figure it out.
    1K tris, or 1K verts? If you mean tris, I would expect few characters to get very close to 1K, if any at all. Keep in mind that the 3DS only has two 240p screens. And 10MB of VRAM (256 MB FCRAM, which is probably just a fancy name for normal RAM)
    Also, using higher-res textures is indeed worthless. The clothing designs are 20x20, and from experience, when you actually wear them, the screen quality is low enough that it is possible to manually anti-alias the textures suprisingly well with the 9-shades-of-each-hue color pallet.
     
  17. Alcuina

    Alcuina Member

    Newcomer
    14
    16
    Jul 11, 2017
    United States
    Maya/Max are important because the tool used to export the mesh is only for those programs. I suppose you could use blender to do all your editing but it has to be sent back to maya or max for export.

    Same with photoshop the texture has to be exported a certain way and the tool is only for photoshop. Suppose you could work on the actual art in gimp and send it to photoshop though.

    I mean Tris and faces. Those are those most important numbers to look at. Games should always have triangulated mesh. It makes 0 sense to never have it triangulated from a game development view point. When things are triangulated they should match very closely with faces and tris. So in this case Isabelle Has 842 tris and 842 faces, because its impossible to pull a model back out of a game without triangulation. so out of the 1.5K I was able to max out at, Isabelle is 842, Which is not even close to the 1.5k limit if you really know how to model and cut corners with beautiful textures!

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I'm sorry @deishido I didn't see your post. I could try, Don't own Happy home academy though sadly.. I don't want to pirate it too bad seeing as I'm in the same field as the people that made that game, I would feel terrible doing so. I don't know if taking the game and just messing with the files would count or not. If there's a way to gain the models without the game I'd love to try! I'm positive you could send items backwards to new leaf though!
     
  18. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Ah. That's ok, I can either do that or just get used to Maya/3dsMax. They will run, it's just that opening them takes forever and 3dsMax (and maybe Maya, I don't remember) freezes for a second or two every few minutes or so. (I've always wondered why it was 3dsMax instead of, say, 3dMax. I don't suppose it has anything to do with using it to edit 3DS game data. A bit ironic, isn't it?)
    See TL;DR below
    TL;DR: I'd choose Photoshop over GIMP any day (despite never having even touched Photoshop) if I could. But I can't.
    Ok. I'd normally assume that, but after seeing tri counts for MK7, I wasn't even sure the 3DS could handle a few thousand tris, let alone render a game like this at a thousand tris/faces per character.
    On second thought, I might have been remembering the tri count for MKDS... That makes more sense. Sorry for making you explain all of that.
    ...wait, there's a way to have models not triangulated?
    ...so like all of the faces are disconnected, or what? Because that'd be a nightmare.
    I do know that over the years, people have figured out more efficient ways to arrange tris/faces in a mesh. Low Poly by A+Start on YouTube does a good job explaining a lot of this stuff. I do believe it's a series, although there was only one (maybe two) videos last I watched. It seems there are more now.

    I should probably just say this outright. I'm actually really inexperienced with 3D modelling. I just know a bunch about it because I'm a curious kid with access to YouTube. They say that you learn best by doing, so I thought maybe this would help me learn how things are usually done. I don't want to make you teach me from square one or anything. I'm willing to put this aside for a while if there are things that I really need to master first.
     
  19. Alcuina

    Alcuina Member

    Newcomer
    14
    16
    Jul 11, 2017
    United States
    Sorry I must have made that more confusing then it needed to be. When a modeler models a character they sure as heck don't model it in triangles. You want as much quads as possible. In Nintendo's case they also used quite a few triangles (which is fine when modeling game characters, especially really low poly ones.) General rule though is have as many quads as you can.

    What you'll pull out of a game is this:
    isa_nochange.png
    If you look closely you can sort of see where quads were before triangulated for engine purposes. I also removed a few tris and also left one where Nintendo used an actual tri in the mesh.

    isa_change.png
    This is a very old model, I believe this is Toy Stories models from the first movie (could be wrong) so... dated, but gets the point across still.
    Every mesh starts out like that or close. 90% of the triangles are generated for the engine and not something the artist did.

    14251a30afef167f14b2ca142d53e208--animation-studios-d-animation.jpg
    I hope that clears it up a little.

    I think you should absolutely try to mess with the mesh or model your own. I'm sure this would be a fun learning experience. I'm also sure its going to be quite the challenge.
    When I said pretty good knowledge of the 3D softwares above, I meant if you have never messed with 3D or know any of the terms or where and what things do, its going to be very, very stressful to get started, especially since you are trying to make something for a game that is looking for extremely specific ways of things being done.

    I would look up modeling, uv, and weighting tuts for sure. Since you are using Nintendo's bones for animal swapping or swapping mesh over your character, you won't really need to learn rigging, though it would still be worth learning, I think at least.
     
  20. JavaScribe

    JavaScribe Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    67
    16
    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Ah, I'm used to seeing video game models where tris are used. I have previously noticed how it often seems like there are a ton of squares (or non-symmetrical quadrilaterals) that have been split in half, but I never really thought much of it. Thinking about it, modelling programs obviously use quads (the startup scene for blender is a lone cube, which has roughly exactly 0 tris). I'd assume tris are easier to deal with when deforming a mesh? (Three vertices are always coplanar, but four aren't necessarily. I'd assume that using tris would forestall any issues concerning that.)
    Ok. I feel like rigging a model from scratch would be a headache at least the first time around, so it's good that I shouldn't have to do that. From messing around with a few models, rigging seems easier to move around in Maya. My biggest issue is actually trying to see the textures while I'm messing with stuff, because ambient lighting is most definitely not clearly labelled.
    Anyway... you said that the villager's face won't animate, right? Just out of curiosity, is that after making changes to it? (You've probably already gone through altering the UV appropriately and all that)