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The Trouble With Water (obejcts become invisible, when submerged)



Although it might seem I hadn't been working much on the Maze, lately, I have actually been doing little else, this week. And I'll be finally able to post another update tonight, featuring the first quest-giver, whom, quite likely you will miss entirely, so there will be little different, at first glance, from the previous version.


The most apparent change will be the spiders. Instead of the albino ones from the DLC, there will be modified white Frostbite Spiders, the reason being that I noticed that whatever part of their body was submerged, became invisible. So do any objects that may lie on the ground, under the water. As soon as the camera (in the Creation Kit as well as in-game) drops below the water surface, the objects become visible again, but you can never see them looking through it.


At first, I thought this was the result of my messing with the WaterType, but it soon turned out that all water behaves this way. I spent hours looking for solutions on the Internet, but never found any mention of it. At last, I realized that some creatures, like the Mudcrab, definitely can be seen through the water, so I focused on them.

It took a few more hours before I realized what is the difference between them and my spiders. For every type of Mudcrab, there was an Armor Addon object pointing to a .nif file in the meshes0.bsa. So I recreated such an addon for my spiders. But couldn't find the corresponding .nif file. I gave up, in the end, and replaced all the spiders with the white Frostbite variety, for which I did locate the file. And it is only fitting, since they belong to the Frostbite Clan.

This little armor addon did the trick (the armor being the spider's skin object), and submerged parts of spiders are now visible.

But it boggles the mind, why the engine would work this way. Maybe to reduce the workload for processing the distortion on objects? No idea. And I still don't know how to do this on stuff with no armor/skin objects.


So I'm posting this here, hopefully to help others dealing with the same issue, as it took all my effort to get to the bottom of that.

If anyone has any further insights on this, please let me know, or better yet, post here.


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