Saturday, 14 April 2012

Fan LOD Fix in Development

Some people are just gods made manifest I think. User woodbyte over on the Bioware Social forums has furthered his development of a LOD vertex mapping tool. If you haven't read up on what they are, these vertices control the shape of the Shepard head morph. In addition, they aren't easily transferable from ME2 to ME3.

In light of this, woodbyte has provided the project for all to use. It is based on Gibbed's save editor to interoperate the data and uses an XNA environment to show them in 3D. It looks great and you and see how similar (or different) faces are. The tool is surprisingly simple to use but in short, at the moment, it isn't in a stage most users won't be intimidated by. Essentially, the tool is for picking a vertex in ME2 and picking which vertex it corresponds to in ME3.

I've done some work with it myself and it is very promising. By opening up the project, woodbyte is looking to create "maps" for femShep and manShep that have all these corresponding vertices mapped. If both faces are successfully mapped, one would simply need an ME2 save, an ME3 save and the tool to transfer the facial structure from the previous game. It could easily include things like colour as well (which are already much easier to map), but the focus is on the structure (which is the hardest part to edit by hand).

It's slow going, but I can confirm it provides better definition of the head's ears, nose, chin and cheeks than Bioware's 1.02 patch. Unfortunately, without the whole face correctly mapped, there will be discrepancies for some users. In addition, because this is based on Gibbed's editors, this tool will only be compatible with PC and X360, with PC only currently supported.

Below is the post concerning this by woodbyte:

In addition, here is a direct link to the project:

Finally, I'd like to have a semi-unrelated rant:

I've provided some insight to the process and help to woodbyte where I can, but there are many users who have contributed as much or more and together we're now in the process of at least showing the 1.02 patch is not fully effective and a better way to fix the problem. Thank you to all the persistent users and followers who have kept the pressure going. I won't bash Bioware either, I'm sure they're diligently working at the game, but sometimes a fresh set of eyes (no pun intended) does wonders on problems like this and if our research and development provides better insight, I'm sure they appreciate it.

By contrast, the original official thread has been locked down (despite the issue persisting). In this regard, here is the new, currently unlocked thread:


  1. Yeah, this has been the first day that I've felt like a solid fix is not only possible, but will really be acheived. Thanks for the work you're doing on the mapping.

    And yes, Woodbyte rules. :)

    Sadly, for me, the 'Save ME3' button does not appear on the current version of Lazarus Project, but maybe there will be a fix for that later...

    1. I'm wondering, are you importing a PC save or an X360 save (I can't remember your format)? I certainly haven't had any issues regarding the UI myself. You sure you have .NET 4 and XNA distribs?

    2. I'm on PC.

      I installed XNA before I ran Lazarus the first time. I already had .NET 4 installed, but after I didn't get the button, I downloaded the installer that Woodbyte linked. It gave me options to repair or install, so I chose repair, let it do its thing, rebooted, and still no 'Save ME3' button.

      Maybe once the mapping is finalized I can bother someone to process my saves for me...or, maybe Woodbyte will be able to fix that part.

      But yeah, sounds like everyone else who's tried it hasn't had any problems.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Actually, I'm having the exact same problem - no save button, and no idea why.

  2. Ihnoc, I admire your restraint in not bashing BioWare. I must say, in my opinion they and EA deserve all the criticism they get for this. ME3 has outsold ME2 by a factor of 2:1 and the sad truth is that the community who care about continuity is worth a lot less than the community who care about tacked-on multiplayer. Hence this situation.

  3. Hey, I think we got a complete map. :)

    1. Would you like me to throw something up here now or should I wait for any particular release?

      Also, I never play it, but how does it fair with a broShep? I'd laugh it worked fine.