Regarding File Archive Usage - Pre-Sticky Edition

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Chernobyl

Sr Member
Since I took over managing the File Archive, I've faced a lot of similar questions and issues regarding its usage. Rather than constantly respond to the same questions over and over again, I'm making this thread in the hopes that it will answer some questions before people resort to making threads or sending me private messages. Please bear in mind that this thread is not designed to answer all questions people might have about the Archive - rather, I hope to answer some broader-reaching issues here and reduce the number of instances of the same questions being asked.

EDIT 26/07/2016: I'm still receiving a lot of messages asking questions that could be answered by reading this thread. From now on, anybody asking a question that has a direct answer in this thread will receive simply a link to this thread, and instructions to read. I'm not an encyclopedia, people - please, learn to look things up before asking questions.

Q: I just joined up! Why can't I download files?
A: New (unverified) members don't have access to the Archive. This is to prevent the 405th being swamped by zero-post accounts from people signing up simply to leech from the forum - we encourage all users to use our files and to contribute to the community. Therefore, until you've been verified and made some posts on the forum, your access to the Archive will be restricted. Basically: zero posts? Zero files.

Q: I can't open these files! What do I do?
A: Check the file extension of the file you're trying to open. Pepakura Designer will open most model formats hosted on the 405th (.OBJ, .PDO) - most files nowadays are made available in Pepakura Designer 3. If your version of Pepakura isn't opening your downloads, check you've got an up-to-date version (Pepakura DESIGNER 3). Pepakura Viewer generally won't cut it.

Edit 07/04/2016: I'm aware that Pepakura Designer 4 is the latest update available to the program - however, the same should still hold true. Pepakura Designer 4 will open files created in legacy versions.

Q: I can't find a file! Help!
A: This is a major complaint of mine personally - far too many members simply give up after five minutes of casual browsing. PLEASE make sure you've thoroughly checked the forum and the Archive before posting a file request. We have a Search function both for the forum and for the Archive - make use of them. If you genuinely can't find a file, please send me a message asking me if a certain file has been uploaded. We're still rebuilding the Archive, and some files might not have made it online yet.

Q: I saw your game assets! Could you tell me how you got them?
A: Definitely not. Extracting game files is a legally grey area as it is - and this isn't a modding forum. There are other places that will help you find those assets; a quick search in Google will usually present you with better options than I can provide. Either way: simple answer is no.

Q: Can I upload my own files to the Archive?
A: Yes! Absolutely - please be sure to add a thumbnail, and add credit to the original modellers, when you do! Also make sure that your file goes in the right place - if you're unsure, please send me a message and I'll point you in the right direction. Above all else, however: check that your file doesn't already exist in the Archive.

Q: There's a problem with this file! How do I report it?
A: There's a dedicated 'Report' function for every file in the Archive - if a file is broken, or if the content doesn't meet the quality criteria for the forum, don't hesitate to Report the file, or better yet - send me a message telling me that something's wrong. Please don't submit erroneous reports, though - you might think it's funny to submit a 'Pornographic content' report for a file, but it wastes my time when I have to take the report seriously and check. Also, check the second question in this thread - if you're having an issue opening a file, check your version of Pepakura is up-to-date before submitting a report. 90% of the reports I receive are from people who didn't upgrade their software before trying, and it's incredibly annoying for me to wade through twenty or thirty false-flag reports.

If you have any questions that aren't covered by this thread, please either leave a response, or send me a message with your query. I'd be happy to help.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Q: Is there a chance of the 4shared files being uploaded to the File Archive?
This is in-progress. Art Andrews very kindly got me a bulk download of the 4Shared archive a while back, and I've been slowly plugging away at getting them uploaded onto the 405th Archive. It's a lot of work, but I don't mind spending an hour or two a day chipping away at it. Most of the Halo-based files have been prioritised and cleared away, meaning that the bulk of my work remaining is non-Halo stuff.

Moving on: I really can't believe I'm having to go through this, but some people just refuse to be told. Therefore, I'm going to expand upon the 'Asset Ripping' point a little further.

Why Cherry won't let you talk about asset ripping (or, 'Saving Your Arse From The DMCA').

Asset ripping isn't a topic that's encouraged here on the 405th, and with good reason. It's a legally-complex topic to say the least, and a lot of this discussion will be extremely watered down, in order to make it easily digestible.

Basically, asset ripping goes against the 'fair use' policies you'll tend to skim over in passing when installing or buying a game. Whenever you purchase a game, you're entering into a legal contract to use that game for its intended purpose, and nothing more. Breaking into that game's software to access the resources it uses violates the terms of that contract - regardless of whether you're breaking into the game for resources, or to mod in an aimbot, the results are the same. And, understandably, companies don't like this - after all, you're mis-using the game and altering it beyond the intended purpose. The generic legal tagline usually goes along the lines of:

"You will not modify or in any way alter or tamper with this software beyond its intended purpose".

Pretty self-explanatory, I'd say.

This can have repercussions, obviously. In some cases, it's something as simple as a DMCA - the corporate equivalent of 'please take that stuff down'. In others, the consequences can be a little more severe. Either way, this sort of stuff isn't what we want for the 405th.

343i and Microsoft have turned a blind eye to the fact that I've made available their game resources - likely due to the fact that these assets enable this community to function, which in turn runs up to decent press for them. I'm extremely grateful for this benevolent thought from the producers, and don't wish to kick the nest by discussing how these resources ended up here - even ignoring for a second the fact that this forum is dedicated to costuming, not asset ripping.

To some, the fact that I personally have asset extraction knowledge but refuse to share it comes off as hypocritical. Believe me - if I were able I'd share that knowledge. It would make my life a lot easier to spread the workload around. However, in the interests of protecting the forum and you, the regular user, I've kept this knowledge compartmentalised. If, heavens forbid, a DMCA ever comes against the 405th, the only person that is affected is me. The reason I come down so hard on asset ripping discussions is because my goal is to protect this forum - not to flex my muscles and show off some sort of superiority.

So. In long and short: if you want to learn how to rip assets from games, Google is your best bet. If you make a topic asking how to do it here, I'll politely redirect you and request the thread be locked. I realise that you might not like being told what to do, but in the interests of the forum at large: if I tell you to do something, don't frakking question it. It's for your own protection, and Mama Cherry is making sure you, and the rest of us, don't suffer for it.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
This is getting tiresome to have to re-iterate, but I'm going to have to do so again, for those of the community that are completely oblivious:

Please do not file false-flag reports for files in the Archive. I am getting legitimately sick of having to deal with erroneous reports for files that are functional, and constantly reviewing my Mod CP and seeing reports for the same files - which I have checked more times than I care to calculate. PLEASE realise that I have to take each report seriously - which ends up taking up time out of my schedule that I could be using to better organise the assets this community needs. It also makes it easier for actual reports to slip through my net, if I accidentally delete a legitimate report. It isn't funny, it isn't clever, and if it keeps on happening, I'll be making roads into having the people that frequently abuse the report system punished.

Again: before submitting a report, check your software - 90% or more of the reports submitted are likely to be issues regarding Pepakura compatibility. Here's a handy guide:

  • If the file isn't unfolded - don't submit a report. Unfold the file yourself, or have another forum member do it using the REQUESTS THREAD
  • If the file doesn't open - don't submit a report. Check your version of Pepakura is up-to-date. Most files now use Pepakura DESIGNER 3 or Pepakura VIEWER - if a file doesn't open in VIEWER, consider obtaining a copy of DESIGNER instead. Likewise, if a file doesn't open in DESIGNER, obtain a free copy of Viewer.
  • If the file is corrupt - submit a report. We'll get the file working, if possible, or source an alternative.
  • If a file is mis-labelled or contains inappropriate content - submit a report. We need to know so we can put the file where it needs to be, or remove it if necessary.
I hope this has proven illuminating. And remember: I'm going to slap the bolts out of the next person to submit a false-flag report. I can see your name with the report, don't think I won't know.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
After a message from Spacemeat, it's worth me mentioning again the various restrictions that are in place within the File Archive, and why they're in place, to prevent further confusion from some members.

Downloads are completely unrestricted for all VERIFIED forum members. This means that, as long as you have an active account on the forum with at least ONE POST, you should be able to download files from the Archive. This is to prevent people from making an account simply to download files - while I realise that it's just as easy to make an account, post once, and then have unlimited access to our Archive, we also need to make access to our content fair and accessible to those who intend to stay around and contribute to the forum. Put simply: if we restricted file access to Full Members only, we'd have a lot of impatient members sitting on their hands, and not a lot of costumes being made. We've had to balance the risk of allowing leechers onto the forum with enabling our members to get started as soon as possible.

Uploads are restricted to Full members - if you've been a member for more than 90 days and have over fifty posts, you'll automatically pass into this group and be eligible to upload your own works onto the Archive. This is to prevent members from signing up, fulfilling their mandatory one-post checkpoint, and then spamming the Archive with unwanted content (pornography, poor-quality files, so on and so forth). All members should have the ability to attach files to their posts - images and standard document types are compatible by default, whereas any .PDO and .OBJ file will need to be compressed into a .ZIP format prior to uploading.

If these explanations are insufficient, or if my definitions of the Archive usage are incorrect, I would invite Art Andrews to kindly either correct my definitions, or ensure that the File Archive permission settings aren't somehow incorrect. I recently went through the Archive's different categories (which, I'll add, was an exhausting task) and ensured that all permissions were set up correctly - I don't see any cause for errors that would cause any specific member group from being unable to download from the Archive that isn't by design.

Please find attached to this post the various permission settings for the File Archive - this should help to alleviate some confusion. However, to re-iterate one of my earlier posts, and to sum the matter up:

All verified 405th members have File Archive access. Whether you're a New Recruit or one of the longest-serving members of the 405th, you'll be able to access our Archive and download our content.
Only Full Members have upload capabilities - if it says 'New Recruit' under your name, you won't be able to upload files to the Archive. Please bear in mind, however, that certain categories are limited to certain members - if you feel that you should be able to upload a file to a certain location but can't, please contact me and I'll investigate the matter.

I hope this has cleared up some of the confusion that some members have been having - again, please take note of the membership level restrictions before asking questions.
 

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Chernobyl nailed it. I saw that there was recently some complaining on Facebook, but it seemed to be tied to a complete misunderstanding of the permission system. Thanks for clarifying, Chernobyl.
 
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Chernobyl

Sr Member
This is a bit of a hefty bump, but it bears mentioning that, in the coming days and weeks, I'm going to be jiggling and refining the general guidelines associated with the File Archive and the most frequently-asked questions I've been getting through my inbox. Please be aware that I'm unable to answer any questions not associated with the File Archive - if you have a problem with the forum in general, you'll need to contact another Staff member.
 

DarkWolfElite

New Member
I hate to assume, but assuming that if all of the Halo 5 armor models would be 100% finished and uploaded on the File Archive, would you upload asset models such as Vehicles/Weapons/Misc. Props/Models to the File Archive? If so, how long do you estimate it might take? I know someone asked about the Halo 5 assets before, I was just curious how long something like the Halo 5 models would take to be take from the game and uploaded to the 405th.
 
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