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[1.16] Rendering arrows on bows


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Hiya guys,

I'm developing a mod that adds, among other things, custom bows and arrows to the game. The different arrows can have different damage output, knockback, velocity, or even special attributes. I would like the player to be able to see which arrow they're using when pulling a bow, as opposed to how vanilla handles things. That is, I want to be able to dynamically add another layer to my bow models depending on the arrow used, without having to write a .json file for every combination of bow, arrow, and pull phase.

Now I know that


are a thing, but I feel like this is not the right approach. I'm pretty sure I'd have to add overrides for every new arrow type to every new bow type model if I used that. And if I were to add another arrow type, I'd have to change every bow model again. Seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

I looked at vanilla's


and forge's


, and these look promising. I'm just not sure how to go about making these bow models in code, and especially where to register them. Could anyone point me in the right direction or provide some relevant documentation/code? Thanks in advance!

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5 hours ago, JoieNL said:

I'm just not sure how to go about making these bow models in code

You're technically not making the models in code, you are creating loaders that handle your json models. Based on what I gather, you simply want to overlay one model or layer onto another given a specific arrow nocked. You can either use a data generator which will handle all of this overlay data for you and all you need is a texture of the bow and it's states along with a property for the arrow. Otherwise, you would need some implementation of IDynamicBakedModel where it stores the ModelProperty of the arrow using an enum or a registry. There is no specific documentation on this. However, I am sure someone has created examples, though I cannot point you to where.

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I can't believe I've never seen this Forge test library before, thanks for sharing! I'm still having trouble though. My model provider class listens to


and the listener is registered to the mod event bus like in the Forge test, but it seems the event never fires. The model provider should spit some "Hello World"s into the console but it never does. Here's the relevant part of my model provider class:

public class ModelGenerators {

    static {
        System.out.println("Hello World!");

    public static void gatherData(GatherDataEvent event) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!");
        DataGenerator generator = event.getGenerator();
        ExistingFileHelper helper = event.getExistingFileHelper();

        if (event.includeClient()) {
            generator.addProvider(new BowModelProvider(generator, helper));

In my main mod class I have added the following line:


What's going wrong here?

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1 hour ago, diesieben07 said:

DId you configure the runData configuration in your build.gradle correctly? Are you actually running runData?

Good thing this forum has people with functional brain cells to compensate for my lack thereof. I was running runClient instead of runData.

I'll look into generating the bow model files once I find the time to. If I run into any problems along the way, I'll post them here.

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