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Saturday, December 11th 2010, 7:25pm

Information Requested Regarding .fm8 Animations

It's an interesting feeling to be making the first thread in a board.

Anyhow, I've been a fan of Starlancer for quite some time, but it was only recently that I discovered that it was possible to get into the game's very unusual .HOG archive format. After digging up another archive tool that could handle the format, and poking around a bit, I found the Pilots archive file. There is every reason to suspect that this archive contains all the in-game head animations played alongside audio messages. I would like to extract and convert these animations for use in some other projects of mine, but there is one not-so-small problem: the animations are in the .fm8 format.

There is absolutely zero information on the 'net about .fm8s as animations. I've posed this question to friends, other gaming communities, Microsoft itself, and gotten nothing useful. So, finally, I come here- in the wake of Lancer Reactor's resurrection, I come humbly before you requesting information and/or a tool to do something with these arcane .fm8s.

If anybody has information, I implore you- please don't hold back. Deciphering this format has become something of a personal quest, and I am absolutely at wit's end. Somebody, somewhere has to know something that can help.

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Sunday, December 12th 2010, 11:04am

fm8 is an image animation similar to gif
unfortunatly there is no known tool that can make use of those files
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Monday, December 13th 2010, 12:55pm

Here's a (command line) program to translate the pilot fm8s (from the trial version) to bmp. Going back the other way could be tricky, since I didn't really decode it, just ripped it straight from lancer.exe.

Edit: updated attachment to work with animated fm8s.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "adoxa" (Dec 23rd 2010, 10:21am)


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Monday, December 13th 2010, 5:19pm

Adoxa, thank you very much! Now, just one question, how do I actually use the program? Command-line programs can be particular, and you didn't include any documentation...

Edit Ok, I'm not as clever as I initially thought. Still need a walkthrough of the program.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Captain Comrade" (Dec 13th 2010, 5:16pm)


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Tuesday, December 14th 2010, 12:39pm

Open a Command Prompt, navigate to where you have the fm8 files (or maybe you can right-click the folder and do a "Command Prompt here") and type in "fm8tobmp *.fm8" to convert all the fm8 files at once. Alternatively, you should be able to select files and drop them onto the exe, then refresh (if necessary) and see the bitmaps.

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Friday, December 17th 2010, 5:41pm

Ok, had a chance to mess with the program a bit, and it works, but just one thing- it's only converting the first frame of the animation. Is there any way for the program to convert subsequent frames?

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Sunday, December 19th 2010, 10:31am

As far as the demo pilots are concerned, that's all there was - each fm8 contained a single image. Mail me a couple of files and I'll see what I can do.

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