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Minor Setbacks

DocClox

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I'm getting my ass kicked by object mods right now, so I'm going to make some notes and see if I can figure something out.

 

Basically, I made two boring cylindrical metal rods to attach to the back of the arms on the StumpZ armor. No sign of them. So I tried attaching them at a workbench rather than programmatically when they engage with the wall: got a CTD. Worked out why that was happening, but they still don't show up when attached.

 

So, finally, I made them into two armor items just to see if they showed up as non-omods. Turns out one of them does and one doesn't. So I figure check bad materials, biped slot mismatches, that sort of thing. Won't tell  me why the omods aren't attaching, but at least I know they'd be visible if they did.

 

reason they might not be attaching? I;m using AttachModToInventoryItem which may be a little flaky. I know that attaching from inside an objectref's script will work, so maybe the thing to do is have the stumpz register to receive the wearer's OnSit events. That way I'm already inside the omod, and I don't need to spam events round all actors or furniture to find out who should be listening.

 

I had to mess around a bit with the biped slots to equip those rods as garments. One happy side effect is that my girl got her head back.

 

image.png

 

Turns out that the neck Stump makes a decent collar, and with a little more height could pass for a posture collar, while still having the attach points if I want to lock her into something. I still want to be able to do head decapitation, optionally replaced with brains in jars, flowerpots, robobrain heads, miniguns and the like, but I could maybe better implement those as hats.

 

(As a sidebar, I've been re-reading Baron and Rude's Nexus comics. They had a world of Heads, amputated heads kept alive by some sort of life support. It turned out that not having a body awakened the brain's latent TK powers, so the heads all flew around telekinetically, sometimes with a pair of equally disembodied hands. It occurs to me that I could make a pretty decent Head rig this way. But I digress...)

 

You can also see the one working restraint bar in the screeny. Not being able to do "tcl" is proving a major pain at the moment, but I managed to grab this shot before she turned around to face me again.

 

image.png

 

As you can see, the alignment is off. I'd hoped that the add-ons would take their position from the connect points in the nif, and I spent some time setting them up to be exact.... but that's clearly not the case.

 

On the other hand, I set up six invisible floating cubes to be anchors for custom bones to weight the restraints against. That looks like it's welded to the right shoulder cube perfectly. I guess one way to test that is to un-zap the cubes and see. If that does turn out to be the case, there's an argument for separating out the socket meshes and using them to host the custom bones. That way the sockets move with the bodyslide preset, but the connection should remain exact. Also means I'll go from six custom bones to 25 of them, but that might be worthwhile.

 

OK. That's all I can think of for now, and I need my sleep. Hopefully some of this will make sense in the morning.

 

 

[edit]

 

Thought I'd get in half an hour's actual play before bed. All of sudden my amputee girl has two restraints. I guess the 3D needed time to update after I fixed the underlying bug.

 

image.png

 

It's a small victory, but at times like this, I'll take what I can get.



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Bones are weird. I mean I know a bit about bones and weighting from faffing around with Blender in the past, but these bones don't seem to work as I'd expect. For instance

 

image.png

 

I separated out the two rear-facing arm sockets, and weighted them as I would any other part of the armor. ("Armor" sounds weird in this context. But then so does "garment" and "outfit" is already too overloaded so what to do?) Anyway, I weighted them, then gave them each a custom bone and painted the sockets with their respective bones.

 

What I've done here is made the cylinders part of the outfit for now. If I can get the weight and position to work here, I can separate them out into their own nif files once I know everything lines up. So I painted the cylinders with the custom bones from their respective nifs and saved. Then I looked  at the generated mesh with nifskope.

 

image.png

 

So that's the two cylinders at ground level there. Worse is to come.

 

The damn sockets aren't where I need them to be. Well I fussed at this for a bit and I couldn't get them right. Then it hit me: the sockets are being dragged down because the custom bone is still on the floor. Reason for that is that last time when I entered a height, every thing was off like this and I had to move the bone up to get stuff to line up. So, having no better ideas, I did the same here: Found the left  arm helper bone :

 

image.png

 

and translated it upwards.

 

image.png

 

Wonder of wonders, by the time socket is in the right place, as if by magic, so is the cylinder.

 

image.png

 

So if I had entered 120 as the bone height when I created it, would this have Just Worked(TM)? Or would it have been just the same with the offset fucking up subsequent things? I have no idea. Like I say, these bones are weird.

 

On the bright side, I shouldn't have to weight anything else to this particular bone, or at least not in combination with this cylinder. So, worst case, I can weight new restraints by setting the bone to zero, adding the model, and cranking the bone back to z120.

 

Of course, I still have to see how it looks in-game.

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Looks good in Bodyslide anyway.

 

image.png

 

Useful thing to remember if you're going to try this sort of jiggery-pokery:use nifskope to edit the nif in bodyslide's SliderData, and not the nif bodyslide generates when you build the outfit. Otherwise every time you build it, it'll overwrite your careful work.

 

In game ... mixed results.

 

image.png

 

The height is right, but there's a horizontal offset. And I'm willing to be it's offset from where it's supposed to be by the same amount as the socket is offset from the center of the model. The trouble is, the socket is not so offset. So if I move the bone I'll move the sockets off true again.

 

I suppose this is one advantage to having invisible helpers. if I was still weighting to a floating invisible cube, it wouldn't matter where the cube ended up so long as the cylinder looked right.

 

Luckily I kept a backup of the old nif.

 

Maybe I should read up on bone weighting in nifskope. It might be easier to fix that way.

 

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On the plus side, those cylinders are rock solid in their vertical offset, and they don't move when the girl's torso twists. That's exactly what I wanted for bars that are supposed to be part of a restraint. It won't work for anything with too much lattitude of movement, but it should see the idea of "pinned to the wall" nicely.

 

I wonder what it will do if I lie the cross down on the ground. Assuming the animation still works (and I can't see why it shouldn't), will the cylinders rotate with the overall model so they point straight up (or down)? Or will they remain stubbornly horizontal. I'm hoping they take their orientation from the socket object where I created the bone.

 

I've noticed that they don't drop down when the girl sneaks. Not sure if that's relevant or not.

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Looking at nifskope a bit more, there's a node named for the bone, and then there's a set of co-ords for the bone itself. I've been moving the node, but maybe I should have moved the bone. I sort of assumed they were effectively the same thing...

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You should definetly take a look at bone weighting in Outfit Studio, it's far easier and less time consuming than any other voodoo stuff in NifSkope.

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I've been using Outfit Studio. By and large it works fine, but I can't for the life of me make these add-ons stay where I want them to stay.

 

Actually, I think I'm going to mount them on the wall instead. There's a trick with a dummy node that Crazy used for his gun animations that's looking promising at the moment. If I can just get the nodes framework to spawn with the same z-coord as the board I'm using as a wall...

 

image.png

 

There's always something...

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