Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beginner's Guide to SF4 Model Editing

Model editing is still being perfected, but it's currently possible with a few caveats.

First, download piecemontee's SF4 Assets Explorer. This is the cornerstone of model editing:

Next, you'll need a 3D modeling program. I use the open source Misfit Model 3D because it preserves some coordinates and whatnot that seem to get dropped from other, more capable programs, such as 3D Studio Max (from what I hear from other modders; I have no experience with 3DS):

Once you have your tools, open the SF4 Asset Explorer and click 'Load file...'
Now, navigate to the costume file you wish to edit:
Click on the plus signs next to the path and the first entry marked "#EMB ([***]_01.obj.emo):
If you click on a model element, it will isolate it from the overall character model, like so:
Now, right-click on the element's name and select "Extract file...":
Name it something informative and give it the extension ".obj":
Next, open the file using Misfit Model 3D:
From here, you can move around vertices as much as you want, but you CANNOT add new ones or remove any. The number must stay EXACTLY THE SAME or you cannot re-inject it back into the model:
After you're finished editing, save the file and uncheck the option to "Save normals" (actually, I don't think this matters):
Now, back in the SF4 Assets Explorer, select and right click on the element you edited and choose "Inject file...":
Select your edited model and click "Open":
Now, when you refresh the model in the Asset Viewer, you will see your edits have taken effect:
The program will automatically create backups whenever you inject models, which is nice, but you should still be careful about overwriting because there is no "Undo." This edited model should now be ready to drop into your C:\Program Files\CAPCOM\STREETFIGHTERIV\Battle\Chara\*** folder to replace your old costume file.


Juan said...

hhmm... odd, Piecemontee's SF4 Assets Explorer doesn't work on my computer :S

Hunter K. said...

If you're using Windows Vista or Win7, you might need to set the compatibility to 'Run as Administrator' because it will need administrator rights to modify your program's files. If you continue having problems, try also setting it to use Windows XP compatibility mode (though this should not be necessary).

Juan said...

hey there! yes i'm using Win 7 (64-bit edition) and i've already did run this program as Administrator, except that it says that a .dll file is missing from the system :S

Hunter K. said...

Is it one you can download online (i.e., searching for 'download [whatever].dll')?

If you'll post your error message, I'll see what I can find.

Juan said...

it was a Direct X dll file, i've already found it. Thx anyway Hunter :D

Though i have a little problem when running SFIV, i can't see the menu :S all i see is a Black Screen, sound is on and i can hear when i'm selecting the optins on the menu, but it doesn't show anything :?

Hunter K. said...

not sure what to tell you there, but it sounds like a driver issue to me. Have you downloaded the most recent driver for your video card?

Anonymous said...

Mistfit can't open the .obj files extracted...
Any solution?

Anonymous said...

Mistfit can't open the .obj files extracted buy piecemontee's...
Any solution?

Anonymous said...

Hunter, thanks so much for this beginner's guide! I am planning to try and make my own editing now, hopefully i can make good ones :)

Some questions in regards to using misfit...if you dont mind?
How do i rotate the wire frame model? Is it set to front and back only? its such a headache trying to select only the front or back vertices....
Also, is there a way to set the 3D view back to its original position?

Thanks again for the tutorial :)

Hunter K. said...

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a way to rotate the wireframe models that I can see. You're right that this does make it a real hassle to select individual vertices. I would recommend just zooming in very close and then using the other perspectives to ensure you've selected the correct one(s). Also, I don't know of any way to return the rendered window to its original location, other than just saving, exiting and reopening. All in all, Misfit is a pretty cludgy program, but we make do with what we have :/

D4rknezz said...

aaah I see.
Its been a learning curve, alright, but I havent stopped playing with it for the past 3 days since i found your tutorial! :) thanks again. I hope to post my noobish work soon! :)

One more question if you dont mind :
How about deselecting vertices?


Hunter K. said...

No luck on deselecting vertices AFAIK, either. :(

I will say, though, that I just learned of some pro-quality programs that will work with SF4 (I'm planning to write an advanced model editing tutorial using these tools in the near future): SoftImage for the actual model editing and ZBrush for making normalmaps (which weren't covered in this tutorial but can really make or break some mods).

I imagine these programs include some of the tools you've asked about, though the learning curve will be much steeper than with the comparably simple Misfit3D.

D4rknezz said...

ooo, autodesk softimage? I'd be very interested when you get around to it :)
I didnt even know autodesk made other 3d programs...what happened to maya?

D4rknezz said...

The free modtool right? :) I popped my eye when i saw the 4000 dollar price tag.I hope there is a free version of zbrush too, would be nice!

Hunter K. said...

yeah, that's the one. I didn't see any actual free versions of ZBrush, but they have a 30-day, feature-complete trial version you can play around with.

D4rknezz said...

Thanks for all the help hunter! Have another question :

When i load these things up in explorer, there are two models...the first one is the one i adjust, the second one is a 3d model of ...shadow? what is it for?

Also, i got my first mod out, credited your tutorial for getting me started! ^_^ thankie.

Hunter K. said...

I'm not entirely sure I follow, but I think you're describing what is known as a 'normalmap.' It's an image file (in this case a DDS) that is applied to the model that fine-tunes the contours of the model (some people refer to editing the normalmap as 'sculpting,' which is a pretty apt description of how it works).

SF4 actually uses pretty simple models, as I'm sure you've discovered. It's the normalmap that adds most of the details, such as clothing wrinkles, muscle ripples, etc. The dark areas are rendered as recessed into the overall model, while the light areas are rendered as raised.

Here's a great tutorial for making a normalmap from scratch in GIMP:

It's written with respect to Oblivion, but it works for SF4, too.

D4rknezz said...

thanks hunter! :) will check it out. I actually got myself a book on zbrush yesterday. Now need to sit down with it. I had always wanted to get into 3D but Maya had started out too daunting. Zbrush looks a lot more friendly :) cheers

D4rknezz said...

Hi Hunter,

I think i have found out how to deselect vertices! :) its Shift - Right click and drag a box around the vertex that you dont want.

Cheers :)


Hunter K. said...


oh man, that's good news! Thanks for letting me know, as that's definitely going to make things much easier for me ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I know this hasn't been commented on in a while, but on the current version of Misfit you can rotate the wireframe views by holding ctrl then click dragging with the left mouse button. There's also a dropdown menu in the up left of each viewport that lets you select to rest the camera to various positions.

nanda said...

I tried using it but misfit doesn't allow me to modify anything in the object =/

I wanted to make a more realistically fat Rufus, actually even a make him a little fatter, instead of the weird ball shaped rufus, perhaps you could help me with that if you ever feel like it, hunter?
I used that buff rufus model you did, and it was amazing!

I was trying to use this video ( ) as reference, Iwas going to make rufus with a dropping belly ( closer to his knees, covering his crotch ) and all, but misfit simply doesnt allow me to mess with it

me and some more fans of rufus would be really grateful if you could help with that, doesn't matter how long it takes.
thank you very much

Anubis said...

I like how Misfit is so simple and barebone. It really introduces you to 3d editing without being scary.

The only unfortunate aspect of Misfit is that it doesn't let you edit multiple objects at a time (or can it?). It makes it a bit difficult to make all the pieces fit.

Do you think Blender and Autodesk would solve that problem? I almost feel brave enough to try them now that I know editing is all about moving vertices.

In any case, Thanks hunter!

Hunter K. said...

Yeah, Misfit matches my skill level nicely :P

I have not figured out any way to edit multiple objects at once, no. Blender and SoftImage definitely can, though.

They are both daunting in their complexity, but Blender at least has tons of helpful tutorials on youtube and elsewhere :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Hunterk
do you you have a tutorial where you show how to add or remove costumes in SSF4

Hunter K. said...

Hi Anon,
I'm not really sure what you're referring to by 'add or remove costumes'. Could you elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Hello Hunter.
Sorry bout late response, been scouring the internet tryin to teach myself how to mod.
By add or remove I mean, maybe I want to remove M.Bison's cap and shoulder guards, or maybe I want to import them onto a new character.
Do you have or know of a tutorial that can show me how to do this
Thank you

Hunter K. said...

Hey, no worries. To remove something from an existing costume, the easiest thing to do is just open the EMO in piecemontee's Asset Explorer and toggle the visibility of the object to 'OFF.' You have to be careful, though, because there's not always body parts where you expect them to be, and making things invisible can sometimes leave unexpected holes.

To swap things around, use sloth86's tools. There's a tutorial to get you started here:

Anonymous said...

Perfect... Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hey this was awesome! Was wondering how ppl are adding extra hair textures (EMB's) in there mods? Plz help!!!

Anonymous said...

N/m I figured it out.

DarkSF4 said...

Hey Hunter, got a question, how come the nude models are missing parts in other words i see triangles all over the model like as if its missing a piece when loaded into SFexplorer?
I wanted to edit them but the models look like they have triangular cuts in them but most of the model is intact. Any ideas how to fix this?

Hunter K. said...

Capcom did that to conserve resources. There wouldn't be any point in rendering geometry that no player would ever see.

To fix that, you can move the vertices like in this post's tutorial to close the gap (good for small things; this is the simplest solution), though this will stretch the DDS texture and look weird on large areas. Or, you could swap in a complete body part from another costume/character using sloth86's EMGSwap tool (more advanced solution). Or, you could rig in a totally new model in Blender using sloth86's SMD tools (most advanced solution).

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Is it possible if I say - make my own model from scratch to import that? I would be pretty sweet to have a complete custom character to use.


Hunter K. said...

Yeah, that's totally possible. The procedure is very different, though, and you'll need to be familiar with manually rigging things in Blender.

If you have that covered, check out the tutorials linked on and BrutalAce and khaledantar666 have written some steps for importing and rigging custom models.

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