Monday, February 20, 2012

If I had the skill: My long wishlist starts here

Time to move that stupid EA post down a little and post some pics again, even though they're not mine.
Current problem: Since playing Skyrim I have such a need for custom content for NWN2 again! I want more, and I'd love to be able to do it myself, but I just can't figure it out.
I really don't know if I'm that thick... I mean, I did computer stuffs for years and studied graphics... what is it that I just can't get into 3D proggies? Am I getting too old?

Last week I installed pretty much all the DAZ stuff that is available for free during this month (grab it if you're interested!), but it didn't really help at all since my main problem is still the import/adjust/export procedure with Blender. At this time even the installation of the required plugins and finding the right version is getting more and more confusing, I didn't even get as far as in my first clumsy attempts. What pains me so much is knowing that other people have zero problems with it and all I want to do should be easy for anyone who UNDERSTANDS THIS CRAP! *sigh*

Anyway, I've collected a lot of things that is on my personal wishlist just for a simple conversion of the base models. Highest on the list is of course armors and clothing, that's where I'd start. I know animations are hard stuff even for the skilled ones, so that's nothing I even think about at the moment. Models might be easier than armor, but there are no urgent needs for any specific ones (other than my NWN1 ships... *waves to Hellfire* ).
No, clothing is something I'm a sucker for, anything that improves the character looks. And sadly, the input of such on the vault has stopped long ago. But often I stumble over a great model on the Nexus sites while looking for New Vegas/Skyrim mods and think "damn, it's there, it just needs someone to do it!". I'm not even speaking about the gorgeous ingame stuff I'd love to see, but I'm scared of running into legal issues when grabbing Bethesda's official stuff so usually collect things from other modders in my link list.

Long story short, here's a bunch of stuff I'd loooove to get into NWN2. Some might not look so great first, but textures aren't the issue, I know how to use Photoshop etc. No, it's the meshes I want, either with the original textures or just as a plain white base for doing my own stuff.

Now the prettiness of my hitlist part one - all pics are from the Nexus sites and the original authors:

1. Triss armor. Maybe the prettiest of all. Has to be scaled down on polys, but hell... I'd love to get this! 

2. The RoadStroker's Rogue outfit. Was my favorite before Triss' armor. Here in the FalloutNV version, the original was for Oblivion, Skyrim version exists too. I managed to import that into Blender at least, ha... ha... *sniff*

3. Blue Stripes Elite. More from the Witcher, now with love for males too (yes, I do care for male outfits, those are just even more rare).

4. The Witcher 2 models (various). Still not the last of the Witcher 2, that content is just good. Cudos to CDPR who apparently gave their okay. 

5. Captain Molly For HGCE: Huge jump back in time to Oblivion days. This would make a great outfit for NWN2 too. The textures certainly need to be redone, but a good base for nice outfits!

6. Summer Fashion for CBBEv2: Some more revealing but not lore-breaking or ridiculous outfits, prefer this by far to modern skimpy stuff. Not all, but I'd like to have a few.

7. The Witcher 2 - Geralt Light Armor and Witcher Swords: You saw it coming, didn't you? The Witcher in person, or rather, his outfit.

8. Scout Armor: More love for males - an armor I just stumbled over, apparently an original. Would be nice!

9. Get Married in Skyrim in Style: A rather simple base, but nevertheless good base for many medieval dresses. 

10. Ashara Romantic Outfit for CBBE: Another simple but pretty base for all kinds of experiments. Not very medieval, but you can probably do a lot of texturing experiments on this.

11. Underworld Armor: One from Oblivion, kinda neat! 

12. InStyle Welchy's Culinary Desire HD Chef outfit: Another of these simple but pretty and useful ones.

13: Noble Female Clothes Non-replacer: This would make a great base for all kinds of new clothes! 

14: Feuermagierrobe: Apparently a model from Gothic 2, but looks good!

15. HGEC Bare Shoulder Dress: This pic might look not as impressive as the rest, but with a new/improved texture I'm sure it's a great base. 

16: Triss from the Witcher 2 Companion: Actually, I want her hairstyle! Maybe the head too, but the hair would be great. :)

17. Fur Hoods HD: Rather simple maybe, but Skyrim, Fallout etc. Had a lot of great hoods, I could grab a dozen of them. But since we're only looking at community stuff now, here's a fine example.

So much for now. So who gives me a real step-by-step guide for doing this? Or just grabs all that stuff and converts it for me? Hmm... I knew it!


Kamal said...

Not sure why, but even though I subscribe to your blog, I don't see when you update.

Frank Perez said...

I'm lucky to have come across your blog on time. I grabbed all the free stuff I could get from Daz3D. I have yet to download them, but they are safely tucked in my account.

Now about your request for a tutorial. I don't really have one, but I can give you an overview of the process. Firstly, there are legal issues to resolve, but if there is no problem in that regard, you can proceed to adapt your armor for NWN2.

First things first is to rename all the files to conform with the standards for NWN2. I don't recall the details, but I know they are written in one of the tutorials at the Vault.

You should also have a 3D editing program that will allow you to import rigged meshes and their skeletons from NWN2 files as well as the new meshes that you want to use in NWN2. The program should also allow you to export the rigged armor as an MDB file.

Perhaps the most difficult part of this process is ensuring that the polygon count is not too high. NWN2 is an old game, and it wasn't designed to handle high polycount models. If the armor you're trying to use has too many polygons, it won't be a simple task to reduce them. There are automated methods available, but they really aren't very good.

Once you have the base armor for humans, you will have to create different versions of it for all the other playable races. That's not too difficult, I imagine, although I confess I've never really tried to make armor for NWN2.

Next part is to rig the mesh. As long as you can import an existing rigged NWN2 mesh that is similar to the armor you want to rig, this process won't be too difficult. It's a simple matter of copying the rig from the old NWN2 mesh to the new mesh. If you have 3DS Max, I'm sure you'll be able to do it. You may have to do some manual adjustment, but it beats having to rig the mesh from scratch.

Finally, you export the newly rigged mesh as an MDB file. You'll also have to adjust copies of the appropriate 2DA files and put everything in your override folder. Then you test your new armor by running and NWN2, at which point you pull your hair out when you realize it's all gone horribly wrong. :P (As you can see, I do have some experience making 3D models for NWN2.)

As I mentioned, there are tutorials in the Vault on making armor for NWN2, although to the best of my knowledge, none shows you have to adapt armor/clothing from other applications. Nevertheless, there is some good info out there. The hard part is to come up with the minimum knowledge level required to make sense of the tutorials as most of them assume that you already have that minimum knowledge.

If you want to get your feet wet on making creature models, my blog has a seven-part tutorial on that. You'll find it among my January 2009 entries --

Casa said...

Thanks for the reply Frank! Actually I already know and read your blog entries about modelling, they were helpful in many parts, sadly just in theory. The main difference between me and all those people who actually get things done at the vault seems to be that there must've been a garage sale of 3DS Max a while ago that I missed. So I'm trying my luck with Blender, which I know works (others model for NWN2 with it too), but has a steep learning curve for one and second no tutorial is ever made for it, because everyone else can afford 3DS. :D

Anyway, my problems lie in the details, I might actually make a whole blog post about it again, otherwise this comment will get very long. I'll be thankful for any tips though, so don't run away yet.