Fix "FrameNode name was too long" error in 3DS Max

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Fix "FrameNode name was too long" error in 3DS Max

Post by ImperiumXVII » Sun May 10, 2020 6:44 am

You need 3DS Max for this. You don't need to know how to model anything but an understanding of how GTA SA vehicle models work is a plus. I'll try and explain everything as simple as I can anyway.

I'll preface this by saying I highly recommend that you just download CodsMP. It provides a whole range of improvements and since the latest testing build, fixes the FrameNode error. Failing that, SAMPAddon is good (but made me crash a lot). If you're not interested in SAMPAddon/CodsMP (or indeed are making car mods yourself and want to avoid this error), here's how it's done.

So I didn't know, as I'm sure you do not either, what the hell a "FrameNode name" was or why it's too long. So I did some research. And I found nothing. So I just tested shit by myself until I found it. I'll explain it briefly for anyone interested, but you can skip this paragraph if you're not.

Explanation: show
GTA San Andreas has a "buffer" of length 23 characters that it uses for its model files. I have no idea what this means but I'm assuming it means that using any mods with a FrameNode name of more than 23 characters will result in game instability. Maybe this is only now an issue because of 0.3DL's ability to have custom peds; we wouldn't want malicious server owners breaking people's games with custom models. Because of this, SA-MP has disabled it as a "security risk".

I just, out of curiosity, opened up a .dff file of one of my vehicles. It's a Greenwood. Its model name was "87caprice" - 9 characters. I thought maybe this was the issue; every GTA SA vehicle has a maximum of 8 characters as its model name (the Greenwood is called 'greenwoo' for example, and the FBI Rancher is 'fbiranch'.) So I thought maybe it was this. 8 is a very common number in computing (it's 2[super]3[/super]) so I simply renamed it from 'caprice87' to 'caprice8'. Didn't work, and it made my game crash now. Nice.

I'll quickly explain how vehicle models work here. Every vehicle has a set number of 'nodes', these are used internally by the game to make things happen to them. Nodes have names like engine (where to start a fire), door_rr_ok (a non-damaged rear right door model), exhaust (where to blow smoke out of the vehicle). Most car mods just stick to these basic ones, but some - IVF vehicles in particular - have more descriptive names, I assume to help the author remember just what he's trying to accomplish. In my case, the '87 Caprice mod I had downloaded, one of the nodes was called indicator_lr__prmFF0000145 - I don't entirely know what the '145' is for but the FF0000 is hexadecimal code for 'red' (in RRGGBB format). Left/Right rear indicators on IVF vehicles are often red - perhaps the author was just reminding himself what colour they'd be in-game.

Look at the name again. indicator_lr__prmFF0000145 - count the characters: 26. And as expected, when I go in-game, I get FrameNode name was too long (26). Bingo!

So I renamed it. I just deleted 3 zeroes. It's now indicator_lr__prmFF0145. I exported it, go ingame, and hooray, it works! No more FrameNode error.
I'll say once more that you need 3DS Max to follow these steps. If you have any other modeling program (Blender is free, as is ZModeler 2 I believe) you can use that, but I have no experience with those programs so can't help you with them.

You'll need KAM's GTA Scripts for 3DS Max for this.

1. Open up 3DS Max and on the bottom right hand side, you should see "DFF IO" under Kam's Scripts. Click it.

2. Import your broken vehicle .dff file. In my case it was greenwoo.dff

3. Expand the dropdown on the left side of the window and look for any nodes with a name length of more than 23 characters. Mine in this case was indicator_lr__prmFF0000145 and indicator_rr__prmFF0000145. Rename them to anything less than 24 characters (23 or less). It's my belief that they don't have to follow any naming convention outside of the standard GTA node names, but I'm not sure about IVF cars. My indicators still work and are still red, so I'm assuming any name is fine.

4. Hit CTRL + A to select all nodes and then go back to Kam's DFF IO and export your model - you NEED to select a COL template or it will crash. If you've created your own vehicle, use your own collision file. For this, just use your original, broken (FrameNode too large) model file. If you use a bad collision model, your vehicle will look like it's sinking into the ground.

Now your model is fixed! You can go ingame once more.

Again to reiterate, it's much easier to just use CodsMP (preferably) or SAMPAddon to circumvent this (these addons bypass the error but don't actually fix the issue). But if you need to, this is how you fix it yourself. But again, you don't need to do this.
.Bauer. wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:48 pm
this is the best thing to happen to LSRP since Imperium got game dev
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Re: Fix "FrameNode name was too long" error in 3DS Max

Post by Quintessential » Fri May 15, 2020 8:00 pm

Thank you so much for this. I'll try this soon since I've gotten this error for 3 good mods so far.

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