SLAB6: The ABSOLUTE Guide to Modding![WIP AGAIN]

Instructions for using and creating mods.
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Preface: Many people are posting mods, okay, that's good, keeping the community and the game alive(well, to a certain degree); but comparing to the older forums, mod's quality have seriously degraded into infinity. That's why I'm making this guide, targeted at those who want to improve their modding skills. There also Kuma's guide, but I reccomend to use both mine and his(keep in mind, I don't write about making maps, he does).


SLAB6: The ABSOLUTE Guide to Modding!
Note: This guide is strictly about semi/smg/shotgun.kv6. I forgot to add players, but once you've got the hang of the program, it shouldn't be a problem.
Sponspored by: Image Hax Industries

I. Basics
II. Getting used to Slab6
III. Modeling!
IV. Colors!
V. Finalizing the Models, along with Sights and Sounds
VI. Submitting to the Forums

I. Basics
What Slab6 is: it's a program designed by Ken Silverman for making kv6, vox, etc. models. It has been used for making several models and maps for games like Blood or Shadow Warrior.
*.kv6 is a file format, which is used by Ace of Spades and its forks. There are many other voxel editors, but not many support kv6 format.
(But there is a commercial voxel editor that supports kv6, called Qubicle Constructor, it's pretty awesome though, check it out!)

Download Slab6 here

Now that you have downloaded the compressed file, use your favorite compress/decompress program and extract slab6.exe to somewhere easier to access(I recommend 7Zip; see Section V). And please, bring the slab6.txt file with you. It's helpful.
To open kv6 models, in which we will use to modify AoS/OS, either open slab6 and press "L", this will open the built-in file browser. You could also assign Slab6 to open kv6 files on Windows by using Open with... function.

II. Getting used to Slab6

Basic controls:
Note: Copied and edited from slab6.txt. KP stands for KeyPad. Turn NumLock on for these. Underlined controls are basic controls you need to memorize.

Hold down LEFT MOUSE BUTTON to change angle (y-inverted mouselook)
Hold down RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON in addition to LEFT MOUSE BUTTON to tilt screen
ARROW KEYS/WASD = move forward,backward,sidestep left/right
RIGHT CTRL/KP0 = move up/down
LEFT SHIFT = speed up 2x
RIGHT SHIFT = speed up 4x
BOTH SHIFTS = speed up 8x
, and . = rotate object left/right around the pivot axis
PGUP/PGDN = rotate object up/down around the pivot axis
KP/ and KP* = zoom in / out
/ = reset position, orientation, and zoom

B = set background color to color under cursor
R = Toggle light source shading mode. Useful for preview in
game, and necessary for permanent light command 'F'.

T = Toggle cube face shading mode. Useful for editing shape.
KP2,KP4,KP6,KP8 = Move light source left/right/up/down
KP1,KP7 = Change scale of light source (lightmul)
KP3,KP9 = Change offset of light source (lightadd)
F12 = screen capture ("SL6D0000.PCX", "SL6D0001.PCX", etc.)


TAB or RMB = set current color to color under cursor

BACKSPACE = set current color to -1 (air). Useful for 2D editing.
SPACE = Paint with current color (NOTE: it is often helpful to hold
this key down while using the arrow keys / mouse)

SHIFT+SPACE = Paint all nearby voxels. Much faster than using SPACE.
INSERT = Insert voxel at cursor
DELETE = Delete voxel at cursor
HOME = Voxel mold insert (hold it down) Much faster than INSERT.
END = Voxel mold delete (hold it down) Much faster than DELETE.
[,] = Change default radius. Valid range is 1-12, default is 4
Affects these functions: HOME END J ; . CTRL+SPACE
SHIFT+[,] = Change mold speed (HOME/END keys). The speed is the number of
voxels/sec inserted or deleted. Possible values are:
16,32,64,128,256,512,1024,2048. Default is 512.

ENTER = Show / hide 2D slice editor (shows 3 windows, 1 for each axis)
PGUP/PGDN = Change slice number in a 2D slice window
HOME/END = Change slice number to first or last one in 2D slice window
` = Adjust pivot mode: move cursor over 2D slice window and use
arrow keys to adjust the pivot
/ = When adjust pivot mode is on, use this to center the 3 pivots
LMB = Hold down to drag one of the windows.
KP*, KP/ = Press to change the zoom of a 2D slice window.
SHIFT = Hold down while cursor is in a 2D slice window to copy a
rectangular region to memory. Works similar to selecting text
in a text editor.
SH+INSERT = When used while cursor is inside a 2D slice window, it will
paste the contents in memory to the slice.
4 = X-flip contents in memory buffer
5 = Y-flip contents in memory buffer
6 = Swap X&Y axes of contents in memory buffer

KP+/KP- = increment / decrement color by 1 (good for fine color editing)
C = Change all voxels with color under cursor to current color. If
cursor is in a slice window, then it only affects that slice
F = Safe floodfill: follow color under cursor (2D slice mode only)
CTRL+F = Dangerous floodfill: uses cursor color as border, nothing else
stops it, so make sure you don't have any gaps!
(2D slice mode only)

J = Junk function: Force nearby voxels to have different colors.
; = Smooth colors, crossing palette groups
' = Smooth colors, preserve palette groups

SHIFT+R = If cursor is in a 2D slice window: Rotates the entire object 90
degrees (clockwise). The window you choose selects the axis.
If cursor is in 3D window: Rotates object so that its default
orientation is aligned to way you're currently looking at it.
SHIFT+F = Cursor must be in a 2D slice window. Mirror-flips the entire 3D
object. The window you choose select the axis.
'=' = Use this to copy a mirror image from the left side of the sprite
to the right side. It always uses the X-pivot as the mirror
plane. If you're working on a symmetric object, using this key
can save you a lot of time!

L = Quick load VOX/KVX/KV6 file. Another way to load files. I like it
better than than File..Open from the menu because you can
quickly load files using the sequence: "L..Down..Enter".

ScrollLock = Toggle 3D selection/drag mode. While in this mode, use:
KP1,KP3,KP5,KP2,KP4,KPEnter to change selection, and Shift+
KP1,KP3,KP5,KP2,KP4,KPEnter to move (overwriting like a glacier)

KP1-6 = When mouse is over palette window and slice editor is enabled,
use these keys modify the RGB value of the selected palette

KP. = When mouse is over palette window and slice editor is enabled,
use this key to perform interpolation (default is linear:
gamma=1.0) for RGB between the selected palette index and
the index under the mouse cursor.
KP+/KP- = When mouse is over palette window and slice editor is enabled,
use these keys to change the gamma for KP. interpolation.
I use this equation for gamma interpolation:
new_red = ((red0^gamma)*(1-t) + (red1^gamma)*t) ^ (1/gamma)
(similar equations for green and blue, 0<=t<=1)

Description of selected menu options:

Save file: KVX format: In versions previous to 12/25/2003, SLAB6 saved only
the first mip-map level. This results in a smaller file size. However,
if you want to use your voxel object in the Build Engine, you must save
all 5 mips. Also, be aware that the (classic) Build Engine can not load a
KVX voxel model larger than 128x128x200! Anything larger will likely
crash (classic) Build. SLAB6 can handle up to 256x256x255. It is up to
you to make sure the limits are not exceeded.

Note: If you load a KV6 file (written from a version of SLAB6 previous to
July 2007) directly from the command line, it will use the first 256 colors
it finds. If you load a KV6 file while inside the editor, it will convert
the colors to the current palette. As of July 2007, SLAB6 stores a
suggested palette at the end of KV6 files, so there is no need to also
write a KVX file to save the palette.

There are 6 rendering methods:
Dots FASTEST UnderDraws
Ortho cubes Fast Wrong perspective
Cubes (default) Slow Ideal
Bounded cubes Fast OverDraws
Spheres Slowest OverDraws
Bounded spheres Fast when far OverDraws

Press 'T' to toggle options for the following rendering methods:
Cubes&Ortho cubes: Toggle face shading. (default=unshaded)
Spheres/Bounded spheres: Choose big/small spheres (default=small)

Converting to a new color palette: First decide whether you want to replace
the palette without changing colors, or replace the palette and map to
the nearest color. (Note that mapping to the nearest color is a lossy
operation). The palette can be extracted from one of the following file

Hollow Fill: Sometimes, there are holes left in the interior of a model. It
never hurts to use this tool. Use this function to remove any unexposed
voxels. Doing so can save precious bytes of disk space, memory, and even
speed up the rendering.

Optimize dimensions: Reduces voxel dimensions until no side is fully
transparent. This is done automatically while saving.

Double dimensions: Doubles the size of all 3 axes, duplicating each voxel
to a size of 2x2x2.

Brighten/Darken all colors by 2x: (In 3D window): darkens/brightens all
colors in model to half intensity. Changes are permanent and lossy.

Burn Shaded Colors: (In 3D window): applies lighting permanently to model.
You must enable lighting first using the 'R' key. Once permanent
lighting is applied to the model, 'R' is automatically turned off. You
will see that the lighting has been applied permanently when you rotate
the model.
You can read the slab.txt for more details, I deleted quite a lot.
After familiarizing yourself with the controls, move on.

III. Modeling!
Ok, remember where you put AoS? Get into it, access the game's kv6 folder, voila! All the models are there.
For a starter, I recommend "fixing" the default rifle-add a scope, bayonet, or anything. If you understand how the models work, try creating a model from scratch!
To create an entirely new model, open either semi.kv6, smg.kv6 or shotgun.kv6; you will need a base for your model(which are, the 3 files I have listed), so it doesn't eff up. You can search for references to make your model look like its real-life counter-part on Google(use the image searching thing). Make sure its pivot positions(Tools>Adjust pivots) are at 16.50 for y, or the gun will protrude out of your arse shoulder.(not a really bad thing, but it looks better)

Also, some YouTube tutorials:
IV. Colors!
So, you made your model, what's next? Colors! A wonderful thing to make your gun look less plain and boring.
As a beginner, you could use Slab6's default palette. Recommending color id 5 for gray/black guns of all sorts.
As an expert, I recommend making your own colors. But only use custom colors when the color you're looking for doesn't exist, eg: olive drab green, beige, etc.
To create a custom color, check Section II, Palette Editing Controls.
There are 3 basic colors: Red, Green, Blue.
4 and 1 to increase/decrease Red.
5 and 2 to increase/decrease Green.
6 and 3 to increase/decrease Blue.

V. Finalizing the Models, along with Sights and Sounds
Models are done, now all you need is some feedback: we pros usually ask a friend on IRC, or posting a preview image on the thread and ask for feedback. Most of us will, hopefully, tell you what needs to be fixed.
(But, but.. what images? First, change Slab6's background to a color that makes your model much more visible. Then, PrtScrn if you are on Windows, paste it to your favorite image editor, or just Paint on Windows, fix the image a bit if necessary, save it, then upload to your favorite image hosting service;(alternatively, if you're on Windows Vista and above, there's a program called Snipping Tool pre-installed; use it instead.) I, and almost everybody, recommends imgur; after that, copy the image's URL and paste it to your post.).
After feedback is recieved, depending on how helpful they are, and after adjusting your models, then I guess you are done! If your mods contain .png and .wav, here's a thing:

For .png sights, check Taboo's Comprehensive Guide to Sight Making
Please note that this guide is for people who use Paint.NET-a good program for beginners, but does not have many functions. I personally use GIMP which has more functions but a steeper learning curve. Taboo's guide could be used for GIMP, too-provided that you know which function is which.
Here a guide on GIMP:
Note: Rear sight is your model, front sight is your aiming thingy. Keep them in separated layers!
1- Make the sight model in Slab6. Check Taboo's. Change the background color to something like, pink, make your model as much as distinctive from the background as possible. To change it, see Section II.
2- Print the screen with PrtSrc. If you're on Windows Vista and above, use Snipping Tool and snip only the sight for maximum effectiveness - snipping the taskbar can make things clumsy. Copy the snipped image.
3- Paste to GIMP.
4- Use Fuzzy Select and delete the background.
5- Create your rear sight. If deleting is required, use Eraser with 'hard edge' option ticked.
6- Create a new image with 800x600 resolution, transparent background(It's in Advanced options)
7- Use 1-pixel pencil, draw 4 pixels at 399,300; 399,301; 400,300; 400,301. Just use 399,300 if you are doing 1-pixel sights.
Lines placed on 400(vertical) will not be visible so better not put your main dot there but remember to put something because it is visible when the gun shoots(only in 0.75). After that, draw your front sight over it.
8- Copy the rear sight to this image. Move it to the correct place. Anchor the image to a new layer on top of the front sight.
Done! That's your basic sight. The rest down here is post-processing, making your sight a bit easier for the eyes.

9-If you are making illuminated sights, download the Edge Glow script. Put it in GIMP's default folder for scripts(please access EDIT>PERFERENCES>FOLDERS) or another folder of your liking.
Now, you should have a basic sight without post-processing.
Paint the part you want to glow. Have your colors as same as the to-be-glowy parts. Access Filters, look for 'Border Glow' script, should be in 'Will's...' can't remember.
Once the dialog popped up, set Width to 1 and Feathering to.. your liking. I usually use 6-7.
Once done, merge the Glow Layer to its respective layers. Glow for front merge to front, glow for rear merge to rear.
After that, duplicate the rear sight, put the copy on top. Then Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Recommending 7.0. And done!
It should come out like this, somehow:

10- 'Use "Export as" if using gimp 2.8 and "Save as" in gimp 2.6, save it as semi.png/smg.png/shotgun.png for respective guns.
Also, a few tips(a few of these are for 0.75 modders):
The center of the scope/sight should be at 399x300
X 400(vertical) line is always hidden when idle and is visible when the gun is fired.
Y 299(horizontal) line is always doubled.
Don't make scopes with light colors like green, blue, white. Use black for the lines and red(optional) for the dots. But I am not saying don't use these colors, you can use them but not for the entire scopes.
For .wav files, I suggest looking it up on Google, or alternatively, GameBanana, a site for modding all sorts of things, including sound files; you could look for mods you need, download it and copy its .wav(usually .wav) files. But you may need editing: download Audacity, a program for editing sounds for free. Guides for using it are on the Internet.
All good? Pack them up! I suggest using 7Zip for compressing and de-compressing files. Most of us use .zip, so don't try to be different and use .rar. Guides for it are also on the Internet.
Done packing? Moving on to:

VI. Submitting to the Forums
This is pretty simple, although there are a few things:
No pix, no clix. Which means: No pictures, no downloads. Give us downloaders preview images, so we can judge, give our verdict, download, all sorts of thing. To upload images, see Section V.

Hosting services. Don't use attachments! It will get clumsy later on, so I suggest using file hosting services such as MediaFire or Dropbox. Both of them require making accounts, ranging from free accounts with 2 GB to.. well, no one needs more than 2GB, I guarantee. The rest? It depends on your liking, but most of them are untrustworthy(with a few exceptions like Mega).

Don't plagiarize. A.k.a don't copy other's work, without crediting them. This is a very, very bad act, and you shouldn't, or mustn't do it, or you will get a free ban.

(Can't think of anything else, will edit later)

A few notes: as already said, this guide is strictly about weapons. But much of the rules also apply to other things, such as spades, grenades, intel, etc: you need the default file as a base.
For player models, color id 0(aka pitch black, top left of the color board) is the team color.

Done submitting? That's it! I assume that you know how to mod your game: it's just copy and paste(replacing files).
Now, go get your mods done, and good luck!

Credits: (Didn't get credited? Gimme a post, or PM!)
Kuma for his guide and aid.
Taboo for his .png guide.
My fellow Freedom Fighters clanmates for proofreading!
Last edited by MrHaaax on Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:25 am, edited 22 times in total.
League Participant
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Index doesn't works.
Chromium based browser, if it is important.
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Good point. The index is sort of pointless in this posting anyways. But I appreciate the effort.
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Added sector 4, coloring.
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needs pics
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jdrew wrote:
needs pics
Note: WIP
I know it needs pics.
3 Years of Ace of Spades
3 Years of Ace of Spades
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I'd like to add that the gun intersecting with the player model's shoulder is not necessarily a bad thing (IIRC even the default rifle does this). However, if it protudes so much, when reloading the player's vision will be obscured for a moment, due to a bug.
Deuced Up
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MrHaaax wrote:
jdrew wrote:
needs pics
Note: WIP
I know it needs pics.
Why pics? Its easily to understand (¬_¬) \m/
Blue Master Race
Blue Master Race
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:51 pm

Actum wrote:
MrHaaax wrote:
jdrew wrote:
needs pics
Note: WIP
I know it needs pics.
Why pics? Its easily to understand (¬_¬) \m/
Rule of thumb for the internet: Always assume everyone around you has the IQ of a tree sapling.
Deuced Up
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Rule of thumb for the internet: Always assume everyone around you has the IQ of a tree sapling.
If so, they would know turn on the computer?
For most who have the IQ of a salping tree, you have to respect .-.
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:58 am

Actum wrote:
Rule of thumb for the internet: Always assume everyone around you has the IQ of a tree sapling.
If so, they would know turn on the computer?
For most who have the IQ of a salping tree, you have to respect .-.
You don't get it, did ya.
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:58 am

(27-4-2014) That was a year! Finalized the thread, add some more useful stuffs(courtesy of Kuma).
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:58 am

Fixed typos, grammartical errors, added some extra bits to Section I, Section VI and Credits.
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:25 pm

Great Tutorial for beginners
3 Years of Ace of Spades
3 Years of Ace of Spades
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:17 am

I tried making my first weapon, but it sucks incredibly. For 1 issue, I can't get the color of the fuel tank (yes, i'm making a flamethrower) to stay the same. I'm trying to make it construction orange, but it keeps switching to maroon. In comparison, everyone else is making masterpieces, and everything I make in Slab6 turns out to be shit.
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