First Aid: Splitting folders / containers

  • Content, like scenery items, have to be packaged in a container (*.lct file) before they can be loaded in LOTUS. The Content-Tool does this automatically, packaging all objects (and other content) in one folder into one container.

    If at any point the combination of content is not as required, the folder has to be split up. This splitting can at the moment not be done automatically. For splitting manually you will require a bit of a magic touch. This article helps you with splitting.

    1 Initial situation

    Let's assume we build four houses, "house1.lob", "house2.lob", "house3.lob" and "house4.lob". Every house has its own texture, "house1.bmp", "house2.bmp", "house3.bmp" and "house4.bmp". All four house share two textures, "roof.bmp" and "wall.bmp". The folder containing these assets is called "houses" and as such the container is called "houses.lct".

    We now want to upload house1 and house2 to the Workshop. For this we need to separate these houses from the rest. That means we have to split the folder into two folders (and thus two containers): "houses_ws" (house1 and house2) and "houses_not_ws" (house3 and house4).

    All four houses have been modeled in one single Blender file, called "houses.blend" which is also included in the folder "houses". The meshes of the houses are exported separately from Blender as "house1.x3d" - "house4.x3d".

    2 Folder contents

    In the above situation the folder can look like this:

    3 Preparation

    3.1 Remove container

    As we are going to create two new folders, called "houses_ws" and "houses_not_ws" we will also get two new containers, called respectively "houses_ws.lct" and "houses_not_ws.lct". This means we no longer need the current container "houses.lct". It will no longer be overwritten which will lead to it being out-of-date. Therefor we delete the "houses.lct" container from the "MyContent" folder.

    3.2 Backup the folder

    Since the following process is quite tricky, first of all a copy of the entire working folder "houses" should be created and stored safely.

    3.3 Remove automatic backups

    The Content-Tool automatically creates backups in the Export folder. These backups are stored in separate folders, called "[ObjectName]_BU#". As we have made a complete backup of our data, we can simplify the following steps by deleting these backup folders. The Export folder should have no sub folders anymore now.

    You can also delete the "LOTUScontdescr" file from the Export folder. This is only used for creating containers and as we are going to mix everything up the Content-Tool will have to create new containers.

    3.4 Create the new working folders

    We now create new, empty folders "houses_ws" and "houses_not_ws". In both folders we create a new empty "Export" folder.

    4 Moving/copying data

    4.1 Object data

    We start by moving the simple files:

    • The four *.lob files are moved, as needed into the new folders.
      • houses\house1.lob ==> houses_ws
      • houses\house2.lob ==> houses_ws
      • houses\house3.lob ==> houses_not_ws
      • houses\house4.lob ==> houses_not_ws
    • We also copy from the Export folder all relevant files of the types *.lob, *.lge, *.lgo, *.lgp in the new Export folders, as required:
      • houses\Export\house1.lob ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house1.lge ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house1.lob@1234.lgo ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house1.lob@1234.lgp =0> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house2.lob ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house2.lge ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house2.lob@2345.lgo ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house2.lob@2345.lgp ==> houses_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house3.lob ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house3.lge ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house3.lob@3456.lgo ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house3.lob@3456.lgp ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house4.lob ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house4.lge ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house4.lob@4567.lgo ==> houses_not_ws\Export
      • houses\Export\house4.lob@4567.lgp ==> houses_not_ws\Export

    4.2 Textures

    Textures can be a bit more difficult: there are four textures that are each only used by one house. There are also two textures that are shared by all houses. The four single textures can simply be moved to the chosen new folder. The shared textures however are COPIED to both folders! Otherwise the folder will not be complete and the Content-Tool will be unable to find the texture.

    The textures each consist of the original file (*.bmp or *.dds) and the LOTUS texture (*.ltx). BOTH files have to be moved/copied correctly!

    • houses\house1.bmp ==> houses_ws
    • houses\house2.bmp ==> houses_ws
    • houses\house3.bmp ==> houses_not_ws
    • houses\house4.bmp ==> houses_not_ws
    • houses\roof.bmp ==> houses_ws AND houses_not_ws
    • houses\wall.bmp ==> houses_ws AND houses_not_ws
    • houses\Export\house1.bmp.ltx ==> houses_ws\Export
    • houses\Export\house2.bmp.ltx ==> houses_ws\Export
    • houses\Export\house3.bmp.ltx ==> houses_not_ws\Export
    • houses\Export\house4.bmp.ltx ==> houses_not_ws\Export
    • houses\Export\roof.bmp.ltx ==> houses_ws\Export AND houses_not_ws\Export
    • houses\Export\wall.bmp.ltx ==> houses_ws\Export AND houses_not_ws\Export

    4.3 x3d- and Blender files

    While not necessary, it is recommended to also copy the source models into the new folders:

    • houses\house1.x3d ==> houses_ws
    • houses\house2.x3d ==> houses_ws
    • houses\house3.x3d ==> houses_not_ws
    • houses\house4.x3d ==> houses_not_ws

    Where you store the Blender or 3dsMax file is completely irrelevant to LOTUS. Remember that you need them to continue working on your model! ;-)

    5 Packaging

    All files have now been divided over the new folders. To use the models in LOTUS both folders have to be packaged again now:

    It is recommended to open all content (that is all four houses) in the Content-Tool to check if everything still works as intended. When checking you can also use the "Save & Pack" command in for one object in each folder (e.g. house2.lob and house4.lob). This creates the new containers and completes the process.

    Finally we have to check in the MapEditor or by loading a map where all objects are placed if everything also works correctly in LOTUS.