View Full Version : Ra3 mod SDK & Worldbuilder FAQ

22-12-2009, 04:41 AM
originally posted by PurpleScrin in the official cnc forums, figured it would do some good here as well.

This is a review and new list of some of the frequently asked questions (all in one post) about the Mod SDK and the WB (some Q&A are from JonWil):


1. Where do I get the RA3 Mod SDK?
Download: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...dAlert3_ModSDK/RA3ModSDKv3.exe
You will also need Bibber's RA3 extra files to make RA3 modding workable: http://bibber.bplaced.net/index.php?action=download&id=7

2. Where do I get the UI files from the game?
Download: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...dSDK/RA3SDK_UI_ScreensPack.zip

3. Where can I see some examples of art for RA3?
http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...ModSDK/SovietArtSourcePack.rar for soviet examples, http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...ModSDK/AlliedArtSourcePack.rar for allied examples and http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...ModSDK/EmpireArtSourcePack.rar for empire examples.
for Uprising source art
for Mumakil source art

4. Where can I see examples of build icons, unit portraits and other such art?
Download http://www.cncmods.net/files/packedimages.zip to see all the build icons, unit portraits and other packed textures from RA3/Uprising

5. How can I get the 4-rows-per-build-page UI from uprising into RA3?
Download: http://www.cncmods.net/files/aptui.zip and get that UI built for RA3.
Just put the modified AptUI folder into your mod's folder. You don't need to mention any xml files of the AptUI in the file 'mod.xml'. The mod will overwrite the old AptUI with the modified one automatically when compiling the mod.

6. Can I edit some UI screens such as special powers and unit abilities?
As Jonwil had said before, some of the codes from C&C3 are not available in RA3. Unfortunately we are restricted to a limitation of (no more or less than) 3 x 5 of the grid in special powers and only one unit ability. If someone can *** and hack the code to this, we pretty much can modify further than that.

7. How do I stop the mod from crashing when switching graphical settings?
This bug issue has been solved. Just download Bibber's RA3 extra files and then there shouldn't be a problem.

8. How do you add new factions?
See this thread http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/12988.page for details on that.

9. How do you create collapse models and put them into RA3?
See this article: http://www.cnclabs.com/modding/redalert3/creating-collapse-models.aspx

10. I am running a foreign language version of windows and the SDK wont install, what can I do?
Go here http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/13555.page and download a zip file of the SDK. The only things the installer does other than copying files is to add an uninstall entry to add/remove programs and to add a start menu option

11. How do I add UI to my mod?
You need to put the UI folder into the data\aptui folder inside your mod. The Mod Build Studio will do the rest (including creating the .babproj file with the correct data in it)

12. My mod browser is crashing/not working, how do I fix it?
You need to delete the Last Replay.RA3Replay file, sometimes this can get corrupted (especially if the game crashes in the middle of a game)

13. The compiler complains about missing art.
Download the "dummy art pack for RA3" from http://www.cncmods.net/files/dummyartra3.zip and unzip into the RA3 SDK art folder. Any errors that come up are likely to be genuine (unless you happen to be using an art piece thats in the game files but for some reason isn't in the dummy art pack which may happen if you are using some of the sample art released by EA which references art not in the dummy art pack. The sample mod may also reference art not in the dummy art pack.)

14. How do I edit or override civilian units, props and other map-specific art?
You need to download this http://www.cncmods.net/files/civasset.zip pack. Put assetresolver.exe in the tools folder of the SDK. Put worldbuilder.manifest into the builtmods\sagexml folder. Put defaultscript.cs into the root folder (you may want to back up the original one just in case). Then when you run the mod build studio, there will be 3 new options for civilian asset fix-up for high, medium and low LODs.
Select these and it will run assetresolver.exe and apply fixups, making your re-use of art in the WorldBuilder stream work.

15. The SDK wont work and I am running a 64-bit OS (such as Vista x64), what can I do?
Download this http://www.nevec.net/~gatekeep/BinaryAssetBuilder.exe and put it in the tools folder of the SDK and it will work again.

16. How can I create seperate low-detail or medium-detail models for my mod?
You create art that is the same as the normal art but low-detail. The objects (meshes, skeletons, bones, animations etc) have the same name as the normal art. The only difference is that you append _l to the end of the filename. So if the normal art is test.w3x, the low-detail art is test_l.w3x. The SDK will then take care of the rest and compile your low-detail art correctly. For the medium-detail objects use _m.

17. How do I extract art from the game?
You cannot extract art from the game in a usable format.

18. How do I extract audio from the game?
You can extract sound effects from the game with the binview.exe tool (see www.cncmods.net for the download and info on how to use it). You cannot extract music from the game at this time.

19. How do I extract files from the .big files of RA3/Uprising?
Use my .big program from www.cncmods.net. XCC Mixer, FinalBig and some other BIG programs won't work for RA3 or Uprising. OS BIG Editor also opens them all and it provides a nice and simple interface. Get that at: http://www.ppmsite.com/index.php?go=osbigeditorinfo

20. How do I open 'bin', 'imp', 'manifest', 'relo' and 'cdata' files after extracted from the OS BIG editor or Jonwil's bigextractor?
A tool called "binviewer" from Jonwil's tools can only view and save texture files or audio files. It cannot view anything else. There's another program called BinOpener that can open 'manifest' files as long as there is a bin file supporting it but as for now, it does not work on RA3/Uprising at this time unless an update is issued. You can extract almost anything from the BinOpener. Cdata files are considered encrypted music and sound files. There is no program that can convert from .cdata into .wav or .mp3 files.

21. How do you disable the EA Logo clip when I load RA3?
Fortunately there's no mod that can disable the EA logo. However, you can disable this by renaming a movie file:
1. Go to directory: "your drive name\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Red Alert 3\Data\Movies"
2. Rename "RA3_EA_logo.vp6" into "RA3_EA_logo.vp6.bak"
3. You're set to go. Notice after loading RA3, it skips the movie and goes to the main menu.
You can also use RA3 skirmish video remover (by Bibber) to disable and re-enable skirmish videos of co-commanders ingame.

22. Here is a list of all the UI files included with the UI download and what part of the UI they are for:
A01_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 1
A01_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 1
A02_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 2
A02_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 2
A03_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 3
A03_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 3
A04_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 4
A04_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 4
A05_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 5
A05_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 5
A06_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 6
A06_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 6
A07_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 7
A07_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 7
A08_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 8
A08_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 8
A09_Global_Briefing briefing for allied mission 9
A09_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for allied mission 9
blockTextComponent no idea
careerStatsComponent related to stats
chapterSelectComponent chapter selection dialog
chatComponent in game chat parts
fe_components no idea
fe_m_assets profile dialog
fe_m_assetsgamesetup stuff for game setup (i.e. initial map settings etc)
fe_m_generalscreencomponents no idea
fe_missionbriefingassets shared assets for mission briefings
fe_objectivebriefingassets shared assets for mission objective briefing assets
fe_onlinecomponents online stuff like player info (name, wins, losses, rank etc)
fe_sharedmainmenulib main menu background pieces including kirov, statue of liberty, bombs, searchlights etc
feg_m_background no idea
feg_m_comlink comlink on the main menu (star icon, gamespy logo etc)
feg_m_contextmenu no idea
feg_m_credits credits dialog
feg_m_disconnect disconnect dialog
feg_m_filmarchivetheater movie viewer dialog
feg_m_load loadscreen
feg_m_main main menu
feg_m_mainmenu main menu
feg_m_mainmenu3d more main menu
feg_m_messagebox message box
feg_m_newloadcontinue new game/load game/continue dialog
feg_m_optionssettings options dialog
feg_m_profilemanager profile manager
feg_m_profilestats profile stats
feg_m_recruitchooser recruit chooser
feg_m_saveloadmenu save/load
feg_m_tutorialmenu tutorial
fem_m_automatchsearch auto match search
fem_m_automatchsetup auto match setup
fem_m_battlecast battlecast dialog
fem_m_coopstaging co-op staging dialog
fem_m_gamesignup game signup
fem_m_langamesetup lan game setup
fem_m_lanlobby lan lobby
fem_m_load load dialog
fem_m_onlinemultiplayer online multiplayer
fem_m_postgameroundup post-game roundup dialog
fes_m_chapterselect chapter select
fes_m_factionmenu faction select menu
fes_m_missionbriefing main mission briefing dialog
fes_m_objectivesbriefing main objectives briefing dialog
fes_m_postgameroundup post-game roundup dialog for missions
fes_m_singleplayermenu single player menu
fes_m_skirmishgamesetup skirmish game setup
globalclasses global classes used by everything
helpbox the info box that shows stuff about units etc
hudtickerpanel no idea
hudvoicechatcontrolpanel voice chat controls
ig_aitargetindicator ai target indicator
ig_drawableoverlaystage no idea
ig_hud shared HUD stuff
ig_infobox no idea
ig_libhud shared HUD stuff
ig_missionmap objective dialog overlays
ig_missionmaphotspotlayer objective dialog overlays
ig_radarbridgelayer radar overlays
ig_radarcoopaitargetlayer radar overlays
ig_radarobjectiveslayer radar overlays
igm_gadgetflashstage no idea
igm_pausemenu pause menu
igm_playertechstoredialog dialog for selection of player special powers
igm_replaycontrolpanel replay control panel
igm_shellroot shell root
igm_unitintrodialog unit profile dialog
ingamechat leftover from Tiberium Wars
ingamecheckbox leftover from Tiberium Wars
J01_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 1
J01_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 1
J02_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 2
J02_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 2
J03_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 3
J03_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 3
J04_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 4
J04_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 4
J05_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 5
J05_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 5
J06_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 6
J06_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 6
J07_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 7
J07_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 7
J08_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 8
J08_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 8
J09_Global_Briefing briefing for japanese mission 9
J09_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for japanese mission 9
libprogressbar leftover from Tiberium Wars
loadscreen leftover from Tiberium Wars
loadscreencampaign leftover from Tiberium Wars
loadscreenimage leftover from Tiberium Wars
main_mouse no idea
mouse_chapterselectcomponent chapter select stuff
notificationpopup no idea
popupfactionlogo leftover from Tiberium Wars
S01_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 1
S01_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 1
S02_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 2
S02_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 2
S03_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 3
S03_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 3
S04_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 4
S04_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 4
S05_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 5
S05_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 5
S06_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 6
S06_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 6
S07_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 7
S07_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 7
S08_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 8
S08_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 8
S09_Global_Briefing briefing for soviet mission 9
S09_Objective_Briefing objective briefing for soviet mission 9
samplemissionbriefing no idea
sampleobjectivebriefing no idea
skins no idea
standardcommandbutton standard in-game command button
std_mouseaccordianbutton main menu slide-out button
std_mousebutton push button
std_mousecheckbox checbox
std_mousedrowndownmenu dropdown combo box
std_mouseradiobutton radio button
std_mousescrollbar scroll bar
std_mousescrollinglistbox list box
std_mouseslider slider
std_mousetextinputfield text input
tacticalendgamedialog end game dialog (with vicory/defeat images)
tacticalhud main HUD
tacticalhudbeaconstage stuff for timebomb
tacticalhudbuildqueuepage build queue pages
tacticalhudcommandlistbox command list box used for build queue pages and for selection pages
tacticalhudcommandmodebar commands like sell, repair etc
tacitcalhudcoopaiorderpanel co-op ai order buttons
tacticalhudenergymeter power meter
tacticalhudexperiencepanel panel showing your special power points
tacticalhudmaincommandbar main command bar and tabs (for selecting infantry/vehicles/structures/etc build queue pages)
tacticalhudobjectiveindicatorstage leftover from Tiberium Wars I think
tacticalhudobservercontrolpanel observer control panel
tacticalhudtelestratorcontrolpanel telestrator control panel
tacticalmissionhotspotpopup popup for when you can order the AI to do specific things
tacticalmpbeacondialog multiplayer beacon dialog
tacticalobjectiveicon objective icons
tacticalobjectiveindicatorpopup no idea
tacticalobjectiveintropopup leftover from Tiberium Wars
tacticalplayerpowercommandbutton player power command button
tacticalplayerstatusdialog leftover from Tiberium Wars
tacticalquickchatdialog no idea
tacticaltextchatdialog in-game chat dialog
testcafeui no clue
verticalscrollbar leftover from Tiberium Wars
yesnodialog yes/no select dialog

23. What command line options does BinaryAssetBuilder.exe accept?
It accepts the following:
/AlwaysTouchCache Touch files in build cache even when not copied
/BasePatchStream Base stream upon which to do a patch
/BuildCache Enable build cache
/BuildCacheDirectory Directory used for caching assets on the network
/BuildConfigurationName Name of build configuration to use
/CompressedSessionCache Generate compressed session cache
/CustomPostFix If specified, appends this postfix to the configuration-defined stream postfix. Useful for versioning.
/DataRoot Directory used as a root for all stream XML files
/DefaultArtPaths Default search paths for ART: path alias
/DefaultAudioPaths Default search paths for AUDIO: path alias
/DefaultDataPaths Default search paths for DATA: path alias
/ErrorLevel Error level for reporting
/ForceSlowCleanup Forces the slow asset and cdata cleanup
/FreezeSessionCache Prevents updating the session cache (used for debugging
/GuiMode Creates a new window for text output
/IntermediateOutputDirectory Directory for intermediate files
/LinkedStreams Enables linked streams
/MetricsReporting Enables metrics reporting
/MonitorPaths Additional paths which should be monitored for changes in persistent mode
/OldOutputFormat Uses the old asset output format with three separate files
/OutputAssetReport Specifies whether to compile an asset report
/OutputDirectory Output directory for generated data
/OutputIntermediateXml Generates intermediate XML files for testing purposes
/PartialSessionCache Save session cache on aborted build
/PauseOnError Pause after build is complete if errors occurred
/Resident If true, BAB runs as a background process to greatly reduce load/shutdown times
/SchemaPath Schema describing the XML file processed
/SessionCache Enable session cache
/SessionCacheDirectory Directory used for storing the session cache
/SingleFile Enable single file mode
/StableSort Sort assets in a manner that is stable, but slower
/StreamHints If true, the stream hints saved in the session cache will be used to only build the streams that have dirty assets in them.
/TargetPlatform Target platform for generated data
/TraceLevel Trace level for used for output
/UsePrecompliled If true, referenced streams will not be compiled if their .manifest output is available
/VersionFiles If true, generates a .version file for each stream containing the stream suffix used

26. Which shaders have changed in uprising?
The following shaders are new to Uprising:
The following shaders have changed in Uprising: (none of the changes seem to affect models in any way, all objects I can find that have any of these shaders attached to them are identical in both RA3 and Uprising)

24. How can I extract art from Uprising?
See here: http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/14125.page for tools to do that

25. How do I edit the XSD files?
Although it may look like certain things in the XSD files are editable, you should not edit them. As a general rule, the game will NOT work correctly if you edit the XSD files. The XSD files are run through a tool (that seems to be named xsd2cpp based on what I see in the comments) and compiled into the game and SDK compiler.
If anyone knows of any XSD edits that are 100% known to work with NO problems, feel free to add them here.

26. How do I add new terrain?
Firstly, you need to make a copy of terrain.xml. Change the id="TerrainAssetStore" to something else. Edit as appropriate.
Then you compile your mod with this new terrain.xml file. You also need to make sure your terrain tgas end up in art\terrain in your .big file

27. How do I add starting units?
Bibber has written a sample code on this: http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/13831.page#212394

28. Are the shaders and animated max files only usable on some 3D programs?
They are only usable under 3Dsmax 7 and 9 only. Using other programs or using 3Dsmax 10 and above are not supported.

29. Where can I find some RA3 tutorials?
Hooked on CNC website that covers C&C3 and RA3 tutorials is gone now.
Max Scripts and tutorials: http://www.cnclabs.com/modding/redalert3/creating-collapse-models.aspx
A basic tutorial on how to edit UI here:
and a tutorial following on from that showing how to edit the number of rows and columns on the unit/structure build grid in RA3 here:
There will be more RA3 tutorials once I have found them and then post more links to this.

30. Can I add music into the mod?
No, since pathmusic is encoded. EA created music in a format/compression that we are unable to replicate at this moment. You can add music with the tags AudioFileMP3Passthrough and MP3MusicTrack as samples. As you can see the format has to be mp3. But remember that Music Palettes don't work anymore. You can just play those tracks via script in the Worldbuilder (deactivate dynamic pathmusic then). Changing the dynamic pathmusic isn't possible, too, so we are very restricted in editing music.


1. Where do I get only the RA3 Worldbuilder?
Download: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...CnCRedAlert3WorldBuilderV2.exe

2. Where do I get the RA3 SDK WorldBuilder?
Download: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc...RA3WorldBuilder_ModSDKv112.exe

3. How can I use my mod with the SDK worldbuilder?
You need to add your .big file to the worldbuilder .cfg file. Because of bugs/limitations in WorldBuilder and the SDK, if you have used the "civilian asset fix" on your mod, it will fail. Thanks to Tsumetai, we have some info on damage textures: The RGB channels of the Damaged texture multiplies themselves to the RBG channels of the diffuse map, and the A channel of the Damaged texture adds itself to the A channel of the diffuse map. The catch is that the damaged map has to be mapped on UVW mapping channel #2. This plus the sample art (and its MAX files) should provide all the needed info to make it work.

4. How do I set the WorldBuilder cloud texture, macro texture, lookup table postfx texture, ocean model, depth tint etc?
Download: http://www.cncmods.net/files/wbart.zip and unzip it into your RA3 data folder. Then WorldBuilder will be able to find the art.

5. With regards to the shaders in RA3 and the "specular maps", this is what apoc had to say:
The green channel of the spec map is not used in RA3. It used to be that red was specular strength and green environment map strength, but we consolidated the specular lighting to be purely done through an environment map, so now we only need one of the two numbers for both.

6. Where can I find RA3 Worldbuilder tutorials?
See this thread: http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/4210.page

There will be more RA3 Q&A until I have more information. I would like thread stickied and replace JonWil's old RA3 modding Q&A thread, which will need to be unstickied. I more frequent here than Jonwil so changes will be easily made in the first post.

Feel free to post any Q&A here instead and I'll update them if those questions do get answered.