killakanz's Tank Setup for Total Beginners Tutorial

Ok, we're doing well. Now for the bones. Bones are simply markers that show to the game engine where certain parts of the model are for effects or animation purposes, like where the end of the gun is or where smoke is emitted, so for tanks there are not that many. For infantry, however, bones are used to animate each part of them so you end up building a whole skeleton of bones. You don't need to worry about that though, for our tank we just need to make a handful of bones and no animation is needed. A bone can be any shape, a cube for example. The habbit I've gotten into is making spheres with 4 segs (little diamonds :D ) and then give them a bright green colour so they stand out, I'll tell you the main reason for that later, but whatever shape you make a bone the number of polys in it doesn't matter because it's geometry wont be exported, another thing we'll cover later in this tutorial.
A diamond cunningly fashioned from pure green.

The name of the bone tells the game what bone it is. The names of bones are defined in the INI so you should check with the INI editor in your team what (s)he wants the bones to be called. for this tutorial I'm going to copy the bone names of the USA Crusader tank. Once you've made a bone, name it TURRETMS01 (in caps) and place it on the end of the gun. This is the muzzle bone and marks where the shell appears from when it fires.
Muzzle the beast
In Generals when a tank takes damage, it can start to let off some smoke. So a bone is needed to show where the smoke comes from! Make some bones named SMOKEXX (where X is the number, 01, 02 etc.). 5 of these is usually enough and you can place them anywhere on your tank. I like to put one on the end of the barrel too, aaah, smokey barrel! :)

One last effect we need to consider. When the tank moves it leaves behind treadmarks. So we need to place bones for them too. We need to be carfull were we put these, if they're too close together the treadmarks may show up narrower than the tank and vice versa. These bones are named TREADFX01 and 02, one for each side of the tank. Place them right in the middle of the treads (and on the ground :p )
Track marks

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