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I got the rotating text working - again!


DocClox

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You would not believe how much trouble this little sucker caused me.

 

 

I got the rotating words working before, but the mesh was just a 2D plane. It tended to vanish completely unless you were looking down on it, and even then it was a bit lackluster.

 

So I made a 3D version. Made the text in Inkscape, imported the SVG into Blender, extruded the mesh to get teh 3D. Then it was just a case of export it as OBJ, import that into Outfit Studio, remove the skinning and add it to the Creation Kit. And that worked fine, but I really wanted that rotation.

 

So I set out to rotate the 3D words the same way as the 2D mesh. And it crashed the game every single time. Some versions even crashed the CK! Investigating, it turns out that my SVG derived mesh had about 40k duplicated vertices, plus a number of degenerate nodes and edges and some non-manifold solids where the vector art looped back over itself, just a little bit. I tried several ways to clean that mess up, including redoing the SVG and hand editing the paths before importing into Blender. Nothing worked.

 

Eventually I started thinking and googled to see if there was an easier way to do 3d text in Blender. Turns out there's support built in. Add a text object, set the text, set the font, then add a path and put the text on the path. Fiddle with font size so the whole thing exports, and then extrude the text.. Voila! One 3D circle of daedric text. (Then you need to convert that to a mesh, remove duplicates and decimate about 90% of the nodes to get somehting suitable for the game).

 

Anyway, I did that, ran the mesh through the animation process and finally, it works.

 

So that was how I spent my Sunday.

 

The reason I put the little halo of text around the button like that (apart from a quick test to see if it rotated properly) was to mark the button I use to test the girl positioning. This was a bit of fun as well.

 

 

 

 The problem here is that, to keep them in place, I have a Sit package and it looks for a nearby jar as a target. The trouble is, it doesn't necessarily find the nearest one, so the jar I move them too isn't usually the one they try and use. (I am having them Activate the furniture, but it doesn't seem to have much effect).

 

Then, once the words are in place, I got for a second round of movetos, which normally would fix any small drift of alignment. In this case though it bops them back to the wrong jar and they have to move back again. Amusing to watch, but potentially a problem with the finished mod.

 

Mind, it's not so bad for a single jar.

 

 

Although that second adjustment still puts her sitting on top of the jar for a moment.  I wonder if I might do better with setPosition...

 

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Furthermore...

 

 

That's the cuff words working as well. Difference this time is this lot are used by animating the texture rather than needing bones and frames. So, with a bit of luck, I can paste the sods onto existing cuffs without breaking the animation.

 

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And I finally got things working the way I want

 

 

The animated textures were weird. I could get them working just fine on statics (witness the rotating white text behind the dagger. but attach that node to a piece of armor and it doesn't display at all. I think I was doing everything right. On the other hand, I do wonder if there's a problem with animated armor textures in SSE. I did a google and couldn't find any examples. I know @C5Kevdid some very nice pieces for LE, but no-one seems to have managed to port them to SSE.

 

Or me likely it's just me doing it wrong. Anyway, the jar now starts with just the green rings on the bottom. |Assign an actor to it and the script places the ground words and then cuff words as statics, mounting everything on a node framework. Once all that is in place, I assign the actor. It seems to work about as reliably as anything ever does in Skyrim. I stuck a trio of ENB lights on that frame too. Three point lighting for the hapless occupant of the jar. I want her lit up like she was on display in a storefront window, but localized so that I light her up without drenching the surrounding area in light. Seems to work so far :D

 

Oh, and the geometry of notes is really weird. The "text" texture set seems to do nothing and the only one I could get to show at all was the "bottom of page" texture that does the underside of the note, in mirror writing! I think the note is folded shut and maybe if I could open it, it would display as I want, but I can't work out how to do that. Googling for "open book" brings up a load of "how do I fire a script when a book is read" hits, but none for how do I place a book or note so it lies open". I don't want a note to pick up and read - I just want a piece of paper on a desk with "do not touch" written on it.

 

Oh well, what I've got will do.

 

I did get one thing right with those cuffs. They animate by moving the texture along a U offset (that's x-axis to thee and me). So I have a UV map that uses a long, thin strip on a square texture. So I put four different messages on the texture and then added a second controller to give each cuff a different v offset (yep, that's "y-axis"). Result - each cuff scrolls quite happily showing a different line of text.

 

I might speed up the cuff rotation a little. One more tweak... :)

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