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Furry Fallout


Bad Dog

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I've downloaded Fallout 4 (again) and I'm having a look. There's a pretty steep learning curve here, I think.

 

I'm not in love with the new tri expressions. I'd rather have an "angry" expression than have a bunch of individual part movements "left eyebrow down". The YA angry expressions include ear movement... I'm not sure how that can be reproduced here. I'll probably put some ear movement in... somewhat randomly, I'm afraid.

 

Still collecting tools and sorting through this mess.

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Got NPCs furried up and facegenned. Morning mod thoghts:

  • 6 fur colors isn't enough if everyone's the same species and it's the only differentiator. Small variants in skin color matter more than I might have thought.
  • I ported over KK's Lykaios eyes and they look much better.
  • Neck bone weights and texture seam is bad. I need a better method for the weights. My regular computer is on the fritz, when I get it back I'll load up Max and see if I can make that route work.
  • Everyone (or one in every group) seems to have a gas mask. They're going to need some love.
    • Hey, here's a thought: The face bones are so you can do chargen by pulling on the bones, right? And the head parts have the same bones so they get warped the same way as the underlying head? Then suppose I used some of the bones to smoosh the wolf muzzle back under the gas mask, exported that, then used bone morphs to pull it back out into proper position--then did the chargen from that position. Wouldn't that pull the mask out to match? It might not look terrific depending on how the stretching happened, but it would cover the head.
  • It's just astounding how much smaller a game FO4 is than Skyrim. Less than 1000 NPCs to furrify.

Lookit:

 

Spoiler

image.png

 

That's just done by playing with the facebones in OS. There are things I'd clean up if I were doing it by hand, but I think it's perfectly acceptable.

 

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1 hour ago, Bad Dog said:
  • 6 fur colors isn't enough if everyone's the same species and it's the only differentiator. Small variants in skin color matter more than I might have thought.

Yeah, figured as much. Other than chargen morphs with noticeable effects like ear shape or muzzle length or whatever, the main traits that can set NPCs apart is fur color, face markings, and hair. The latter will still take a while to be refit and TBH I'm not sure all hairs can look good, though I guess you could try porting Kritta's hairs to make up for the losses there?

 

In any case, that's gonna be a problem until face tints are functional, methinks.

 

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  • I ported over KK's Lykaios eyes and they look much better.

I already have some Skyrim eyes (non vanilla, from Natural Eyes) ported and working for the sharks. You could grab those too and add them as well, more options are always better.

 

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  • Neck bone weights and texture seam is bad. I need a better method for the weights. My regular computer is on the fritz, when I get it back I'll load up Max and see if I can make that route work.

Does the head mesh actually have the exact same amount of vertices as the body neck seam? Is the neck "convex" where it meets the body (like the vanilla/Selachii/Vulpine heads are, as opposed to the "concave" effect they had in Skyrim? I honestly don't see what the issue could be since OS' Copy Bone Weights too worked wonders for the shark heads as well as the re-weighting of the Vulpine ones I did.

 

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  • It's just astounding how much smaller a game FO4 is than Skyrim. Less than 1000 NPCs to furrify.

That should make things easier for you though, wouldn't it? 😬

 

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Lookit:

That's just done by playing with the facebones in OS. There are things I'd clean up if I were doing it by hand, but I think it's perfectly acceptable.

Honestly, while it's "acceptable", at that point you might as well just use Outfit Studio's brushes to refit the mesh. Unless the bones method somehow allows you to automate the process/save time/do it in bulk, in which case I guess doing a first pass and then adding some minor cleanup afterwards would make sense.

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43 minutes ago, Blaze69 said:

Does the head mesh actually have the exact same amount of vertices as the body neck seam?

Bitch, please. It's me. 😛 I'll play around some more. For the females I copied the neck seam weights from the body with a mask, then reversed the mask and copied the rest from another head. I think that worked better.

 

The idea with the facebones was that I wouldn't have to fiddle with headgear or hair at all, it would all just work because of how facebones work. But I might go freaking insane trying to get the facebones to warp just right. Getting everything into the right place without distortion when the mesh wasn't made for that is... not easy. It would be easer with blender, where you can adjust multiple bones at once. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bad Dog said:

Bitch, please. It's me. 😛 I'll play around some more. For the females I copied the neck seam weights from the body with a mask, then reversed the mask and copied the rest from another head. I think that worked better.

I mean, I had to ask. I just don't see what's so special about Lykaios heads that makes OS fail to weight them properly while my total halfass of a shark head worked just fine.

 

The only other thing I can think of is skin transforms, or rather the lack thereof. Dunno if you noticed (probably not) but FO4's nifs use "half-precision" for its vertex data, so the further a mesh is from the origin (ground), the less accurate the vertex position is and the higher the chances of them being moved/scrambled on save.

 

As you may figure out, with heads being as far from the origin as it gets, this is a problem because it can mess them up badly, so Bethesda instead opted for placing the "real" mesh and vertex data for the heads right at the origin (where precision is good enough to avoid most weirdness) and then using a skin transform to lift the whole thing back where it belongs ingame. (This is why if you disable the "Do Skinning" toggle in NifSkope aka the red bone icon, the meshes will sink below the ground, as you disable the skin transform and see the "real" position).

 

The point is, if you somehow weighted the heads without applying the skin transform (which is possible if you painted them by hand or copied weights from Vulpine heads, since IIRC the current public Vulpine release has transform-less heads), the coordinates for the vertices at the neck may have gotten scrambled due to the half precision thing, resulting in gaps that are present even if the weights are a 1:1 match.

 

Load either the vanilla human heads or the shark ones as reference in OS, then load the Lykaios heads, and try to copy bone weights. If you see this specific version of the window (note the stuff below the "No Target Limit" checkbox, which is missing otherwise):

SkinTransformCopyWindow.jpg

Then that means the heads don't have the transforms applied.

 

It is possible the transform is similar but not a perfect match, since I ended up with that result for the shark heads somehow (pretty close to the default vanilla transform but not a 1:1 match), in which case you can double-click on the Lykaios trishape in OS' list and check the transform data in the Coordinates tab. The value you want to check is the Z transform, it doesn't need to be a perfect match but it must be 120.x.

 

SkinTransform.jpg

 

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The idea with the facebones was that I wouldn't have to fiddle with headgear or hair at all, it would all just work because of how facebones work. But I might go freaking insane trying to get the facebones to warp just right.

Yeah, that's why I'd suggest against doing that and would opt for simply manually editing the meshes in OS to refit them. I just don't think that's the right approach.

 

What you can do to save some time (even though I'm not sure if it will work out), is smush the Lykaios head into a human-ish shape (at least close enough that it fits under masks or whatever, and then create an Outfit Studio reference/slider data to un-smush it back to normal shape. You can set that as reference and do "conform to sliders" on any other meshes you want. It will probably look like crap most of the time, but perhaps the cleanup work involved would be easier and quicker than having to actually do every single one by hand all the way.

 

(As usual, if this is of any interest but you didn't quite understand how to do it, just let me know and I'll try to give a rundown of it).

 

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Getting everything into the right place without distortion when the mesh wasn't made for that is... not easy.

Lol, tell me about it. Already had to go through that for the headwear refits for the sharks.

 

Since heads only have like 4 bones and 2 of them are basically the same ("Head" and "Head_Skin"), I mostly just exported the meshes to Blender as OBJ, subdivided the problematic areas, and then imported back and re-rigged them. You could do that too, and once you have a subdivided mesh it may work out for other races with minor shape tweaks as well (other than deers and horses which as we've mentioned above will need dedicated new meshes or at least dedicated extensive edits of existing meshes).

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I have to say I do not at all understand the facebones files. I'm imagining that since there's billions of bones in the facebone file, the game uses it only when equipping the armor, to fit it to the character. Then it uses the other file for regular animation.

 

Okay, fine, but how does the game go from one to the other? Is it like a tri where the position of the two meshes doesn't matter, just the movement of the verts? Asking because if I reposition headgear from vanilla position to furry position, do I have to adjust both files the same way? Or can I just do the base file and leave the facebones file as is?

 

Edit: By the clever method of trying it out, you have to edit both. I expect the position gets determined by the facebones file and then animation from there happens in the other nif. Which means, hmm, maybe I only need to edit the facebones file?

 

ALSO TOO, BIG NOOZE:

 

Got a sneak preview very early version up here

 

Play if you like, tell me what you think. Remember alpha means don't use it on a save you care about, beta means probably good for play. We're not gonna see a beta for a while.

 

My thoughts:

  • Gotta tone down those mouth anims. 
  • Gotta do the headgear.
  • Too many highly-colored and light-colored wolfies. Those colors might be okay for foxes and okay for the player to pick but not so many light-colored NPCs.
  • I kinda like having a base esm + player file + npc file system. Can have all furry, just the player furry, just the player not furry, whatever. I'm not planning on overwriting any vanilla assets, so playing as a furry in a human world should be fine.
    • Edit: Ugh, I say that but then all the headgear needs a new armor addon for the furry race, instead of just overwriting the NIF. I'll have to think whether that's worth it.
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10 hours ago, Bad Dog said:

I have to say I do not at all understand the facebones files. I'm imagining that since there's billions of bones in the facebone file, the game uses it only when equipping the armor, to fit it to the character. Then it uses the other file for regular animation.

I'm not sure but this is my guess as to how the whole system works.

  1. Load FaceBones nif, with all the actual facebones and their boneweights in it.
  2. Apply the FaceBones transforms chosen by the player during chargen, and obtain the "final" shape for the mesh.
  3. Save the mesh shape generated in #2 (dunno if it saves vertex offsets like TRIs, absolute vertex positions, or what)
  4. Load "standard"/non-FaceBones nif.
  5. Apply saved shape from #2 and #3 to standard nif.
  6. Use standard nif as long as there's no change in FaceBones data/LooksMenu isn't opened.
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Asking because if I reposition headgear from vanilla position to furry position, do I have to adjust both files the same way? Or can I just do the base file and leave the facebones file as is?

As you have found out yourself, you need to either delete/not create the FaceBones nif so the game simply grabs the standard one and rolls with it, or have the FaceBones one have the exact same shape as the standard one.

 

What you could do is simply refit the FaceBones mesh first, and then delete all the face bone weights from the project (so only normal/standard bones are left) and save that as the standard nif.

 

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  • I kinda like having a base esm + player file + npc file system. Can have all furry, just the player furry, just the player not furry, whatever. I'm not planning on overwriting any vanilla assets, so playing as a furry in a human world should be fine.

Sounds feasible, and that way you could even have the Player and NPC files be ESL-tagged ESPs to avoid taking up extra ESP/ESM slots in the load order.

 

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  • Edit: Ugh, I say that but then all the headgear needs a new armor addon for the furry race, instead of just overwriting the NIF. I'll have to think whether that's worth it.

Shouldn't that be easy to automate with xEdit?

 

Either have a subfolder for each race's gear that keeps the rest of the vanilla path intact (e.g. "Meshes\Horse\Armor..." for vanilla meshes in "Meshes\Armor..." and same with "Meshes\Lykaios\..." or "Meshes\Lion\...") or have each race use a suffix on the vanilla nif (e.g. "Headgear_Horse.nif" and "Headgear_Lykaios.nif" for a vanilla "Headgear.nif") and then come up with a xEdit script that creates duplicates of any ArmorAddons of the desired slots (i.e. head/face ones), assigns the matching race to each one, and then alters the model path/filename as desired.

 

You'd still have to do the meshes, but that work would have still been required even if you did straight up mesh replacers, and the only extra work that would be required would be writing the script itself.

 

It would also mean the mod would be automatically compatible with anything else adding NPCs, as those would remain human but would work fine otherwise since human-fit gear would still exist.

 

If you wanted to get fancy you could even make it so it actually checks for the nif files in the matching/proper paths for all AAs it's run on, so it can be used to patch your whole load order at once and other mods could include built-in support for these races by simply packing the matching meshes without the need for extra plugin data or whatever. That's a helluva long shot, though.

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Did a quick test and it seems like if all you're doing is repositioning the thing, you just need to edit the facebones file. I loaded the facebones for one of the fedoras, repositioned it, and it was repositioned in game. 

 

The game can't be creating variants on-disk for every NPC. I figure it has to be doing it at equip time--refashioning the armor according to facebones, then using the regular nif for animations. Maybe the game stores that adaptation somewhere, maybe not, but it re-evaluates facebones at load time because my hat got repositioned on reload even though I was wearing it at the time.

 

I don't know what happens if you change the base nif. Maybe if you don't reorder verts, that could work. The game refashions the facebones nif, then applies that change to the base nif using the same method as tris use. But that's a guess and I don't actually know how useful it is. Depends on how much you refashioned the base nif, maybe.

 

I think it's worth it to create addition armor addons, and the additional work is pretty minor.

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