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  1. AVS

    Facial Recognition (updated)

    I've cracked the code. Okay, nothing actually that over-dramatic, but still. I managed to figure out something that's been bugging me for a while, and I'm a little excited about it. So while I had a pile of other stuff that I've been working on banked for a post, I'm gonna skip over it for the moment and show off something that I worked out literally yesterday. Pretty much right from the first point I started at making masks from in-game faces with the COR heads, I've also been poking at the idea of making 'living' faces that could be used with the DMA system. One of the biggest flaws with making equippable parts out of the games' head meshes is that they lose all of the facial animations. That was one of the first things I stumbled across during that abandoned 'detachable head' experiment early in the DCC project, and I've yet to find any reasonable way to add them back in while maintaining the parts' swappability. It just doesn't seem to be something the game's really built to do. When I was cutting the head meshes up into masks, however, it occurred to me that doing things the other way around and making 'mask' versions of the head meshes should be technically feasible. It would lose the capability to swap around faces, as they'd be treated just like the game's regular headparts and thus would be restricted to the single character that they were built for, but having a 'cyborg mask' with working facial animations was enough of a draw to make investigating the idea worthwhile. Now, there's two ways to approach this, design-wise. The first is what you could call the 'hardware' solution- physically chopping up the mesh in the same way I did for the masks and subbing that in for the character's existing head model. I've featured my attempts at this route before in this blog, but it never quite worked. While subbing the mesh in was possible, it turned out that having it mismatched with the head's .tri files resulted in a number of the facial animations and morphs going all, to use the technical term, 'wonky'. There didn't seem to be any way to remedy that short of making whole new .tri files for the mask-cut head meshes, which was well outside of what I know how to do, and I also had concerns about how those altered meshes would or wouldn't work with existing face presets. So after a last try around the time I was making the first batch of the Vanilla faces, I pretty much gave up on the idea. The second route would be the 'software' solution, and was actually the first idea I had for approaching this because it seemed much easier... but then I could never get it to work. Theoretically, all you really need to do to achieve the effect I was looking for was to alter the head's skin texture by erasing everything except the face. Without a texture, the rest of the mesh should be invisible and thus function about the same way visually as the physically cut mask meshes. Problem was that it didn't. I could alter the texture all I wanted, but when I tried applying it to the mesh, the mesh would inexplicably continue to display the unaltered texture on the areas that should've been rendered transparent. I had no idea what was going on there and that last point was particularly weird, so I shied away from it and explored the hardware solution instead. But the other night, and I'm not even sure what exactly prompted this, I started thinking about it again. I'd had to figure out how to make headpart entries in the Creation Kit as part of getting the null heads for the DMA followers I've been messing around with to work, and it occurred to me that I should look at how the use of texture sets and skin swaps on headparts might affect things, especially in light of how I had to use them extensively to get the right skins on the Doll bodies. I also wanted to see how a non-Vanilla skin set like on the COR races worked, so I loaded up an early COR follower mod in the CK and started poking around at it. Turns out none of that actually mattered, though. No matter how I tried re-pointing the textures, it kept doing the same thing. So as a last-ditch effort I opened up the character's head model in Nifskope to take a look at things... And remembered all the 'NiAlphaProperty' tags that I had to pull from hair meshes to disable the transparency effects for the stone and brass versions. Surely, I thought, it can't be that easy. It's that easy. 🤷‍♂️ Look, I still don't know how a lot of this stuff works, okay? I'm just high-level faking it. Lilitha had a bit of an issue as a test subject, though, as her hair's built in a way that makes it basically permanent. But there didn't seem to be any reason the same method wouldn't work on Vanilla faces. So I made dupes of a couple of my old NPC projects, good 'ol 12-16 and an appearance modification of the 'Swimmer' from the north Reach that I made ages ago, and applied it to their head meshes. Now first off, this initial test clearly shows one of the problems with this method, which is figuring out exactly which parts of the texture need to be erased. This isn't helped much by the fact that the texture isn't mapped on all that evenly, so doing a quick and dirty oval cut-out of the face left me with jaggy edges and way more scalp than I expected, thusly: But this was more than good enough to test out the concept with, and the details can be fixed later. The next problem is providing a robotic frame for this, as the ones already included in the DMA are set to a slot that would displace this face. But I already had some Crystal Frame heads set to alternate slots from the hardware solution's experiments, so that was a non-issue for now. The exact logistics of those head frames are going to require more thought, though. Which slot they'll use is one concern; they need to be on one not really used by anything else to avoid them getting displaced at random. I've currently got one on slot 35 and one on 50, but I need to look around and see exactly how much competition those have. Another issue is the design of the frames, especially around the eyes and jaw. These were originally designed for the very non-Vanilla Sextreme faces, and while they happened to fit into the COR faces just fine I found out early on in the Vanilla face project that they were a bit too over-built for them and tended to clip through a lot of the thinner faces or ones with deep-set eyes. I made some changes to the frames which alleviated those issues, but they didn't completely resolve them and I'm leery of making further changes to those models because it'll start to affect how they look without a face attached. Here, however, the face itself is 'permanent' and the frames meant to go with it are not intended to ever have their front sides on display, so I should be able to make more drastic changes without them becoming all that noticeable. Maybe not enough to avoid all potential clipping, but altering the faces themselves is less of an option here, so it'll have to do. I'll also pretty much have to give up on the frame structures inside of the face, for much the same reason. But these are all worthwhile trade-offs to get the animations back. The eyes are another concern. The lovely orb eyes I made for the Vanilla masks don't really transfer back over, sadly, and due to how the eye meshes incorporate the eyelashes it's not an easy proposition to just sub in the swirl texture I used on those, either. (It would be on the COR eyes where the eyeball and eyelashes are separate parts, but...) I've got plenty of options for Vanilla-type eyes to use, though, especially from the Portal Eyes and Holzfrau's Dwemer set, and even some of the nicer human eye textures. And these have their eye tracking back, the loss of which on the masks was the biggest reason why I ditched them in favor of the omnidirectional orbs in the first place. The eyes are a factor in how much of a pain in the ass these are going to be to implement, though. You see, until yesterday my plan for the DMA followers was to give them all the null heads and set their respective Vanilla mask as part of their outfit to build the character. I briefly considered including a copy of the full head model that I'd built the masks from as their default headmeshes, but it seemed like too much new work to learn considering that I've never built a follower for distribution before. But now I've got to basically do just that, which means I'm going to have to figure all that crap out. I probably won't do it for every single follower (and I wasn't planning on making NPCs for every Vanilla mask I've put into the pack anyway), but it's still quite a bit of extra work. I'll also have to figure out how exactly I'm going to handle their hair. The wigs, as-is, don't color match on the non-player characters (and it can be kinda spotty on the player, at that), so I was thinking about doing some character-specific alternate colors like the blonde Shero wig for 12-16 above. But as I'm already planning on leaving them with a 'real' head, I could conceivably include regular hair-part versions of the styles I wanted to use and let the game color them like normal. It's more work, but it would polish things off a bit. Not that the wigs don't work fine in their current state, provided you like brunettes... But speaking of polishing things off, let's go back to that... Cut line? Erase line? ...Where the edges at. Like I said, for this first test I just plopped an oval down and called it a day, but that clearly isn't something I'd want in a proper release. The ideal would be to get it pretty much in-line with where the edges of the physically cut mask model are, for consistency with those since I don't intend to take them out at this point. (Maybe I'll stick each character's mask into their non-outfit inventory. That'd be fun.) The question was how to see where the edges from that mesh lined up on the texture. As it happens, NifSkope does have some texture mapping editing tools that are mostly way outside of what I want to mess with, but as a part of that display a visual overlay of the vertices on the texture, thus: With that, it's just a matter of taking an isolated screenshot of the UV mapping window scaled to an even number of pixels, blowing that up to the texture's ratio, copying it in as a new layer over the skin texture, reducing its opacity and adjusting its position to get things to line up as well as possible, using the free select tool to trace the vertices around the outside of the mesh overlay, inverting that selection and erasing all the skin outside of it, making sure the image has a proper alpha layer, and then exporting it to a file that Skyrim can read. Simple, right? Ha. But in the end, you do get something that pretty much works. It didn't come out quite even, both because tracing those vertices was kind of a pain and because it looks like they're on there a bit lopsided to begin with. Comparing it to the meshlines in NifSkope it's clearly not perfectly matched to them. But this is definitely a case of the perfect being the enemy of the good the damned enough, and it looks fine as it is. There's some slight jags at certain points, but you have to look close to really see them in-game. I should also mention the question of the ear-caps. Keeping the rest of the robotic mask structures wouldn't really work that well, but I would like to retain those given that they're the element that mounts the face to the head frame. The problem is the variance in head widths between individuals and especially between the races. I've been manually adjusting them for each mask, but here I'd need more of a one-size-fits-most solution, along with a different way to implement them. My current thinking is to make slightly thicker caps incorporated into the alternate frame's model, with race-specific versions for humans, elves, and orcs. That should hopefully cover most of the potentials, but I haven't actually tried building that yet to see how it'd work out. This is all still very preliminary and there's plenty of possible stumbling blocks, but it's an infinitely more promising approach than the previous attempts. I mean, hot damn. But the most potentially interesting thing about this method isn't actually how I'll be using it for my own characters. It's how it works on any character with an exported FaceGen. Making masks out of personal followers was mentioned in comments before, but using the hardware solution it's a pretty laborious process. With this, once you have the altered texture it's basically three steps in NifSkope. One, repath the skin texture to the mask-cut texture. Two, right-click on the head mesh. Go to Node > Attach Property > NiAlphaProperty. Three, go to the Lighting Shader line under the head mesh in the Block List. Go down to Shader Flags 2 in the Details pane and click 'Double Sided' to prevent the face from being see-through from camera angles behind the head. Do the same with the mouth mesh, if needed. That's it. That's literally all the modifications you need to make to an NPC, and again this should work on any one with a head model that you can access. (I'm not sure where/how the player's head is stored, though, so I can't make any promises about using it outside of NPCs yet.) Once that file's saved the character will appear with a floating, disembodied face in-game, ready to be equipped with a proper head frame and DMA body. The hair probably shouldn't be messed with, as the game's expecting to see it and might do weird things if it's not there, but considering that a lot of the Vanilla hairs really aren't built with the idea of seeing them from the inside in mind... ...having some way to remove or swap them out in-game would be recommended. Like with the included wig sets! When I stop finding more things to do and get around to actually releasing any of this, that is. Speaking of those other things I found to do, I'll get back to those next post. Stay tuned. (Huarache Lights intensifies) Update: Gonna tack this onto here instead of making a whole new entry for it, since it's just a straight continuation of what I was talking about above. I mentioned needing to make modified versions of the head frames for this owing to some morphs of the Vanilla head models not really fitting over the existing ones. This was something I was aware of from when I first started working on making my own Vanilla-based masks, but it wasn't until I started looking at making masks from existing NPC's faces that I realized just how bad it could get. Obviously, that needed to be addressed before I could really do anything with this whole 'live faces' idea, so that was my project for today. And like I stated above, since most of that structure was built to make the frames look good without a face equipped, for this application where the faces would be 'permanent' and the front of the frames will never be seen most of that could get shrunk down or removed. These are just going to reuse the Doll heads' ground models, so the sins that the edits introduce won't be seen. The only real exception to that is on the Crystal Frame, whose open structure loses the brain casing that obstructs the view of the inside of the face from the back. In that case the Live version doesn't do anywhere near as good of a job of hiding the back of the eyes as the original version did, but it's still something that you generally have to be really looking for from weird camera angles to even notice. Considering that I have yet to run into a face that the modified structures clip through, I'll consider it an acceptable trade-off. I also implemented the idea I mentioned above regarding the ear-plates, with race-specific versions added onto the models. These are slightly thicker than the ones used on the masks, and hopefully will work with most morphs, but I can't really guarantee it. For instance I could see there being problems on those more 'anime' styled follower faces that some folks like, where the effect is sometimes achieved by making the head wider than normal. But for the Vanilla ranges it ought to be fine. Probably. It's also far enough back that jaw movement doesn't seem to affect the clearance much. While I was putting these together it did occur to me that there might be an issue with how tetchy Skyrim can get about handling layered transparencies, given how these faces work by making part of the head transparent and the Brain Capsule using a semi-transparent texture, but I'm happy to report that the two seem to be able to co-exist just fine. This is a definite relief, as having the visible brain effect compromised would've been a major disappointment. ...It does occur to me that I still need to check out how the faces work when viewed through water, though. But speaking of co-existing, I also took a minute to check out one of the other things that made the idea of Live faces so appealing: Gag compatibility! Since the Live face is fundamentally just a standard head mesh with only some texture modifications, it'll work perfectly normally with anything that affects the head like this. It should also work just fine with any face-based tattoo overlays or the like. I'm slightly less certain about what will happen in decapitations; the face itself should go flying as if it were a normal head, but what will happen to the underlying mechanical frame is rather in question. Particularly since it's currently using one of the decapitation slots, number 50. I picked that one because it has fairly minimal conflicts, with the DD vaginal piercings being the only other thing I know of that uses it, and because some of the other viable slots put it right up against the gags and blindfolds, which I actually cared about. Everything else either has similar conflicts or is just full up. One slot that is fairly free is number 60, but I do have one thing that makes use of it and that item keeps getting mysteriously de-equipped so I'm not exactly trustful of it. That said I might include an alternate set of the frames on 60 for those who have some reason to want 50 free. Changing the slot assignments on all the pieces is a pain, but it's doable. One thing I'm definite on, though, is that I'm only going to make these with the Doll necks. They're mainly intended to be used with the Doll body parts, and that neck's base works fine with robotic torsos, so there doesn't really seem to be any reason to bother with the old large neck pieces. Given that these faces do require actively modifying the character's FaceGen, though, I was especially curious to see how Paradise Halls' NPC cloning process would handle them. Using PAHE and HSH slaves to make Automatons can be a bit difficult due to some factor in their unique outfit system that makes them highly prone to having their original heads pop back in. That problem wouldn't come into play through this method, but I was unsure if the cloning process would copy over modifications made to the original's head model. So I made a copy of a Bandit and applied the mask effect to their head model, then spawned them into the room I've been doing this testing in, where the various followers made quick work of them: And then after using the raise-then-paralyze trick to get them into PAHE, it turns out that the modifications to the head model get copied over without any issue. 'Course, the obvious problem here is that without any DMA parts you're just left with a face creepily floating over an empty neckhole. You'll have to fill that in with one of the Live head frames and the Doll collar... ...Or you could just go ahead and replace everything else, while you're at it. The only real problem I've run into with all this so far is that I can't think of any way to do all of this dynamically inside of the game, since it requires certain changes to be made to the .nif file for the character's head. So it can only really work on purpose-built NPCs like this, and not just any rando you run into in the wild, sadly. And those NPCs will have that weird floating face thing going unless their outfits are modified to have the DMA parts pre-equipped, which cuts down a bit on the ~~immersion~~, but considering that it took me the better part of a year to figure out how to do this at all I'll take what I can get. Just having some way to put an NPC's living face on an Automaton keeps me happy. And speaking of, I chose that particular bandit model, one of the Bosmer Bandit Plunderers, for a very specific reason. Her face was on my shortlist for use in making the Vanilla NPC masks, and was actually once of the first ones I checked... and the first one that I found the clipping problems around the eyes on. So I particularly wanted to make sure that the new head frame structures were being cleared properly on her, and was quite pleased to see that everything fits just fine. And, of course, with accessories: Quite pleased.
  2. So I've actually been getting a decent amount of work done on DMA lately, although it's been somewhat... unfocused in it's scope. Along with polishing up the new parts that I've been working on, I've also found myself revisiting various old ideas that I hadn't quite gotten working before and finding new solutions for them. I've also kinda given up on certain things in the process... First off, a brief update on the new robot parts using the Gigadeux meshes that I showcased last time. I've settled on calling them the HV set, from the source mod's 'Heavy Armor' name, and have them all pretty well integrated into the core mod at this point. I also went ahead and included the Ebony-esque variants via a texture set swap as an 'Improved' set, with somewhat higher stats. The way the darker material pairs up with the bright brass of the jointing is rather interesting, I find. It also works quite well with the rubber pelvises. Speaking of the rubber parts, I've mentioned it before but I'm pretty well committed to the idea of adding in the rubber variants for all of the fixed-weight parts, now. I initially passed on them because making them takes a lot of annoying Creation Kit work, but in my own gameplay following the Type XXX release I consistently found the small selection that I had put together far too limiting. They're not done yet, however, both because that CK work is so tedious and because I've quite effectively multiplied it by also deciding to include the beast race variants for at least all of the D and R bodies. (I may tag the S ones in too, depending on how sick I get of seeing the CK, but the M ones require a bit more work due to their normal map situation.) An immediate consequence of that decision was that I had to figure out how I'd handle the tails. As I mentioned when I previously showed the beast varaints, the tail is a bit of an issue with the rubber bodies because the rubberized texture doesn't get applied to them, leaving them sticking out all naked. Making a rubberized version of the tail meshes wasn't difficult, but implementing it posed some challenges. Specifically, while it would be possible to second them into the pelvis models in such a way that they'd only be applied to their respective beast race characters in the same way the in-game tails work, there doesn't seem to be any way to do that without also blocking the tail slot from use on the non-beast characters, which would kinda bork the robotic tail pieces that I carried over from the -BAF- set in the first DMA release. So that wasn't exactly an ideal solution. The easier if less fancy way to work things was to just make the tails into equippable parts. That could have been done as easily as just slapping the existing in-game models into new playable armor entries in the CK, but it seemed like it would be much more interesting to properly integrate them into the mod and make add-on cyborg parts out of them. That was as simple as adding some metal bits to their bases to make 'connectors' for them. This... raised some further questions, actually. You see, that connector piece is a remnant from something I was working on when I was adding those other tails to the initial DMA set, and decided that a robotic tail with the Khajiit tail's weighting would be a fun thing to have. I mocked up a model, copied over the weighting, tossed it into the game and... it just stuck straight out. Didn't move in the least, annoyingly. I wasn't sure what the problem was and didn't care enough at the time to put much effort into fixing it, so I just dropped it and let it sit until now. But given that prior experience I was a bit surprised to find the base piece taken from it working just fine in this current application, until I noticed that there was a little extra line of data in the .nif files for the Vanilla tails that is evidently what tells the game to treat them like a tail. That earlier attempt was a victim of Outfit Studio's habit of invisibly handling stuff like that based on what the .nif first loaded in a given instance is; I had built that model by opening up some of the source .nifs for the Dwarven parts and then importing the tail mesh as a reference to get the weighting, which left the 'is a tail' data off of it completely. With the above model, I loaded the tail .nif first and then added in the Dwarven part, so it worked perfectly. So the obvious follow-up question was, what would happen if I loaded the Vanilla tail and then imported the abandoned DMA tail model on top of it? All of a sudden I've got a functional fully robotic tail, is what. This does need some further work, though. It was a rough first draft that never got any farther, after all. The general design of the cable with a weight at the end works well enough, but the Centurion armpiece base is a bit clunkier in motion than I'd like. This was even more glaringly evident on the beast tails, where the joint gap on the model let bits of the original beast tail meshes show through, and where trying to resize it to fit the Argonian tails just wasn't working out at all. So I decided to go for simplicity and replaced with with a sort of sheathing made from the central cylindrical element from the Spider model. Which works pretty well on the Argonian tail... And even better on the Khajiit's. And obviously a side-effect of making these basic equippable items is that anyone can equip them, not just the beast characters. Just clip them on and go. As a result of that it made sense to include the non-rubberized versions as well, although stone and metal types are still in the 'maybe' stage. These are all tossed in under 'Type XXX Tail' to keep them towards the bottom of the bodypart list. I also intend to do some rehab on that robotic tail and toss it in, maybe along with some more takes on the idea if inspiration hits. That's pretty low on my priorities list, though. Not that priorities always mean much when that inspiration hits. For example, I was finally getting around to adding that modified Ebony helmet from a few posts ago, now dubbed the Lancer, into the core mod when I thought to myself, 'hey, I could use a couple more things like this.' I even had a few sources in mind via the Bikini Armor sets that I thought would work out fine as brass castings. The only problem with the Bikini Armor parts was that they were designed more like masks or circlets than as proper helmets, and as such had some issues when viewed from the back. So I fucked around a bit with the Sphere's lid piece and a head model and built a new helmet substrate for them. This fits fine on normal character heads, but is a bit unprotected around the ears. This is largely because I didn't want to bother with trying to fit it around the various elf ears, but also because I wanted to leave it a bit open so that it wouldn't completely close off the insides of the DMA heads. It's a pretty handy thing to have, and I may end up building more helmets around it in the future. The Plate and Dragonbone ones here are a good start. Aside from little distractions like that, the meat of what I've been up to has been getting the Vanilla faces going. I'm not going to try to get every Vanilla character's face in, but I have ended up with a decent if somewhat random selection taken from followers, wilderness encounter characters, and a handful of characters whose corpses I don't mind abusing. As I mentioned before, there's limits imposed by how well the face meshes manage to fit over the existing DMA head structures, which were never built with them in mind. I have tried to salvage some of the more minor misfits when it was a character of particular interest, though. You do end up with some slight distortion from the original, but honestly, you'd have to be looking pretty damn close to even notice. I've also kind of abandoned my plans to keep the tintmasks on the Vanilla texture pathing, both because it would be a pain in the ass- I built these masks by making duplicates of the NPCs is a separate .esp file and exporting the facegens from there, and finding all the original tintmask pathing would have been a colossal chore- and because I had made some edits to clean the dirt off of certain characters that I didn't really want to lose. So the planned release has the custom tintmasks for all of these. I may put out a sub-in version with the Vanilla paths if there's any demand for it, or people can sub in their own if they want to. Regardless, The end product will have that assortment of Vanilla NPC faces... Along with a bunch of the character faces I made for testing over the course of the DCC project... And even a few brand-new ones made to fill in a few gaps. Although those new ones come with a bit of an annoying story. You see, my Racemenu has been kinda borked ever since I tried playing around with subbing in mask-cut meshes for the game's default head models in an attempt to make fully animated faces. That never quite worked, and in the process a bunch of stuff just went weird on me as far as the RM sliders went. The expanded sliders all had their names messed up, for the main thing, the Vanilla eyebrows are completely missing, and scars slider just does not work at all and jumps to random multi-digit numbers as you move it. I have no idea what's going on with that and have no idea how to fix it short of a complete re-install, which I'm not keen on doing, and enough stuff does continue to work that I can still make new faces with it. But I can't add scars to them. As it turns out, this might not entirely be a bad thing. There's an unexpected and slightly annoying flaw with using scars on these masks. While the face meshes themselves can be pointed to their own dedicated tintmasks in the .nif's data, the scars... can't. They take their tint from the skin color of the character wearing the mask. So on my grey-skinned Dark Elf character, Umana and the Wilderness Encounter Nord's scars show up with a Dunmer grey tinge. Which actually isn't too bad, and only makes them slightly off. Compare that to when, say, a golden-skinned High Elf character wears Salma's face: Yeah. Not a dealbreaker, but certainly a weird annoyance. On the subject of High Elves and new faces, I've kind of ended up with a surplus of them. The reason for this actually goes back to A5-17 up there. The day before I created the original version of her as one of my DCC testing player characters I had been massing around with making quickie followers by duplicating and modifying some random NPCs I found interesting, including a couple of Altmer bandits from one of the bandit expansion mods. One of them worked out pretty well, and ended up hanging around as the A5-16 that's popped up here and there over the course of the Type XXX body's testing, in a large part because she was handy as someone to test the Altmer Charmers mask on, and later the Vanilla-based Altmer mask when I was first looking at replacing the Charmers faces. When the A5-17 NPC I made after making a mask of her face worked out so well and I decided to explore adding NPCs to the core DMA mod, I figured I might as well make one for A5-16 as well. The only problem was that I had some vaguely-formed headcanon about them being related (maybe mother and daughter?), but that generic Altmer face didn't really look the part. So I tired sculpting a new one... and went a little bit overboard with it. It wasn't completely terrible, just a little bit too... Too. But the third time I made a more concerted effort to keep A5-17's features in mind and ended up with something that works out quite nicely. I'm somewhat inclined to keep the other two in as extra faces. The first one I've got some different skintones already made up for, so it'll be pretty easy to differentiate from hers. The second one I'm less keen on, given how overboard it turned out, but on the other hand it's already basically done, you know? Regardless, the third one definitely hits that somewhat more mature relative look that I was going for. You know what they say, the family that accidentally gets turned into pervy cyborgs together... ... ...Nobody actually says that, do they? Moving right along, working with the idea of pre-built NPCs got me looking into rehabbing some other previously abandoned ideas. The hair pack has been kind of an albatross on this mod; I started working on it nearly a year ago, before I even had found the Charmers faces, and have yet to manage to actually get it out. It wasn't quite finished when CoR got pulled and I decided to release the Type XXX body parts without any new faces, so I've been holding off on putting it out until I could do it as a full face and hair appearance pack. That's obviously been taking longer than I might have wanted, and in the course of that I've been making all these other changes to the point that when I do get it out it will be alongside a heavily expanded and revamped body mod. But the hair set itself has been done enough for a while now for me to be using it in my own play, and I've found it... slightly lacking. The problem is that I had to be very restrictive in my selection just to winnow down the huge number of available hair sets in the packs I'm sourcing from to a manageable number of wigs. Disqualifications included having textures that were invisible from the interior of the head or with gaps through which the glow of the head inserts could be seen. Unfortunately this knocked out a lot of interesting styles, including most of the decent ponytails. Those problems could be remediated by adding in a hairline mesh, similar to the shaved head 'stubble' mesh that I'd previously used in the DCC extras, but those hairline meshes do not work at all well with the SeXtreme-based faces from the initial DMA release which have a forehead shape significantly off from the one on the Vanilla or Charmers faces. One of my other priorities was also getting wigs that worked tolerably well with those earlier faces, so anything that needed a hairline to work got nixed. But that left me with a somewhat more limited selection of hairstyles, and as I started looking at making NPCs from the various Vanilla-based faces I've been working up I found myself wanting to revisit some of those discarded wigs. So I dug a basic hairline mesh out of the KS set and got to rehabbin'. This hasn't been as simple as just tossing it in, mind you. Some of the hairstyles aren't shaped quite right for the hairline mesh, and it had to be trimmed to fit. And I sometimes found other little changes to make, like the Dwarven ring added to the ponytail up there. Some of these also still have the same fitment issues with the old face set that caused me to drop them, but I've decided to ignore that in interest of adding the styles back in. There's also the problem of one of the big reasons for using the hairline mesh, trying to fix the see-through interiors, not quite working. Going the other way works fine, and it's quite effective at blocking any sign of interior glowing bits in the head from showing through the scalp of the wig. But looking at the inside with the face off, in a lot of cases it just kinda makes the transparent section of the hair kinda hazy. This effect can vary a bit depending on the lighting behind the model, but it's a bit annoying that it doesn't perfectly block up those sections. Although it will help a lot more with that on the stone and brass versions. The other issue was more of a concern, though, so this is definitely worth moving forward on. And it gets me some options that I have definitely wanted in here. And for one last bit of rehab for today: Waaaaaaaay back when in the midst of the DCC project, Edhildil released an updated version of his Dwemer Cyborg that came outfitted with a cute brass bikini. I tried adapting it for the Extras pack, but while the bottoms worked fine, the top would consistently crash my game when equipped. I later found that this was a common problem when separating out some parts of Edhildil's meshes, where for whatever damn reason one part or another would turn into a CTD machine after being divided from the rest of the original model. I also eventually figured out a reasonably consistent way to fix it, much. much later, but never got around to applying that to the bikini top. Until now. You can kinda thank A5-16 for this. I've felt that the Type XXX bodies could use some kind of a clothing option aside from the modesty panels all along, but the complications of the fixed-weight parts and the lack of any options that were both on-theme and decently fitted to the boundaries imposed by the cutouts in the torso stymied me as far as that went. I did have some possibilities in mind, but they all required a fair bit of work to get to an acceptable state. I've known all along that these bottoms worked great with the Variable pelvises, though, so that kept trying out the top in the back of my mind. That came to a head when I decided that I wanted A5-16 to retain the Doll body with the huge... tracts of land that she's had since the initial Type XXX testing days, but that I also wanted something a bit more clothing-like for her than the panels. So that got me trying the fit on the UUNP reshape of the bikini top that I made all those months ago, and as luck would have it the straps fit perfectly within the cuts of the upper torso. After seeing that I ran it through the rehab process to get something that wouldn't CTD and got it into the game as fast as I could. And I didn't even consider restricting this to just the Variable version, or a handful of pre-selected fixed-weight parts. I dug out my size charts and fit this to everything. Well nearly everything. I don't seem to have bothered to write down the exact slider settings I used for the UUNP-Preg pelvis. Whoops. Getting this all in took surprisingly little time. I think it was maybe two and a half days between figuring out that it would work and having all the variants loaded into the core mod. So far everything's worked as well as I could've hoped for. It does have a few caveats, though. First is that they only work with the D and R models. Putting them on the stone or metal bodies would require making a whole duplicate set with the breast and butt weighting removed, and I'm just not keen on doing that. Second is that they can only really match up with the exact body type listed in their names. This will require you to actually pay attention to which top or bottom you're pairing with which torso or pelvis, or this'll happen to you: Third, it has a ground model. This is it's ground model: This is every type's ground model, because I honestly don't feel like putting in the effort of making a new one for each variation, here. I've already started that for the removable modesty panel project, and I'm kinda regretting it. Oh, and I know the radial pattern on the top isn't centered over the nipple. The mesh is centered over the nipple properly, but the pattern's center is a bit north of it for whatever reason, and I know nothing about UV mapping that would allow me to re-center it, nor do I care enough. The mismatch was covered by a metal cap on Edhildil's original model, but I pulled it when I did that initial UUNP conversion and I don't really feel like going back to add it in now. It looks fine even if it is a bit askew. Also, one of those things that I've given up on? Keeping this mod's parts count to a reasonable size. More to come.
  3. So, shit's been crazy lately, huh? My life's been particularly hectic since all the panic buying started. Without going into too much detail, my job is a small cog right on the middle of the food supply chain, and for the last few weeks that machine's been going full-fucking-tilt. Six-day weeks, and twelve or even sixteen hour days on the regular, all in service of people hoarding enough food to last them until the next god damn apocalypse. No worries about work-from-home or furloughs for us, that's for sure. It's only just now starting to calm down a little, at least to the extent that the strain on the system has become normalized enough that it's no longer about to crack. Things are still tense as hell, but the business is starting to understand how to manage expectations. And on the upside, the flaky coworker who was the major contributor to workplace stress prior to all this bullshit happening up and bailed the instant things turned grim, so there's at least some good that has come of all this. The relevant consequence of all this is that I've been even shorter on time and energy for working on mod stuff than I already was... pretty much since New Year's, really. But I did feel like getting something done with the scraps of motivation I could eke out, so I started poking at something I had been working on before getting sidetracked by the Type XXX stuff. It ended up coming together a lot easier than I expected it to. I'd been inclined to try doing something with the Dwarven armor set in the Girl's Heavy Armor mod by Gigaduex pretty much from the first time I came across it. There's a lot of stuff to like about the design, especially around the legs and helmet which are already fairly robotic, and I felt that they would be a great base for a new set of robot limbs in the DMA collection. But I quickly ran into various complications. The legs are a great visual design, but the knee joints are for some reason modeled much higher than where the skeleton's actual knees are, resulting in the top of the calf armor getting bent in whenever the joint is flexed. The only parts of the arms I could really use were the gauntlets, as the upper arms were just bodysuit and pauldron meshes that wouldn't really fit into the DMA setup, so I needed to build entirely new upper arms. And the torso was a particular sticking point, as its waist-length armor and wide shoulders were guaranteed to interfere with the existing DMA jointing. I had only barely started addressing those problems before getting distracted the the Type XXX bodies, but in this second look I quickly managed to knock down just about all of them. For the legs, the first thing I discovered during the opening tests of that initial go at these was that the thigh armor was damn near a perfect fit to the existing Type E set of leg connectors. The pistons and rods at the top of the legs, added to fill in the space left between the parts, were about all I got built at that time. The disc at the top was added recently, mainly in consideration of sealing things off for the ground models, and gets buried in the leg connection when equipped. The knee structures were a major contributor to me setting that first go aside, as I had also been trying out some scratch-built limbs alongside these and found building a feasible joint to be a royal pain in the butt, so I put off doing it here to instead poke around at what became the Type XXX parts. On this revisit I decided that I'd be better off trying to do something simple, so I just slapped the Sphere's spinal piece in there. Add in a couple of ring elements to fill in the gaps, and it looks pretty good! But then I ran into that aforementioned oddity with the joint's positioning. I built the initial version of these knees having forgotten about that issue, and hoo boy were the results not pretty in-game. The obvious solution was to reposition the knees, but the only real way I had to do that was by adjusting them on the Bodyslide model, using the Knee Height slider set to -200% to get the joint on the model more in line with the one on the skeleton. Unfortunately that came at the cost of distorting the detailing in the texture mid-shank. It's not particularly noticeable while you're playing, though, so I figure it's worth it. Even with the joint lowered that drastically there's still some clipping between the parts when the knees are at a fuller flex, but it's much more within tolerable limits. With the arms, my first attempt at building new upper sections for them involved simply copying over some slightly enlarged versions of the upper arms from the DD set. And that looked fine, but didn't really gel with the legs all that well. But you know what would? More of that lovely thigh armor! I got as far as getting that copied up there and repositioned with added in shoulders reused from the Type B arms before setting this aside, but on a second look the thigh pieces as-is were a bit too skinny in their new position. After reshaping them a bit so that they fit fully around the space a 100-weight arm would occupy and then adding in jointing and detailing to match that on the legs, the whole thing gels together much better than I had anticipated. The joints in particular turned out better than I thought they would, as the elbows specifically were what had been giving me trouble on those scratch-build experiments. Here they socket into the space on the gauntlets quite acceptably. You'd almost think they were meant to do that all along. The torso I hadn't touched during that initial run. I kinda despaired of it. It turned out to be easier to deal with than I expected in some ways, but also even more of a pain in others. Its length ended up being less of an issue than I thought it would, as the model is actually built of various joined sub-meshes which could be much more cleanly chopped up than a completely single-piece mesh. And one of the points where it could easily be divided happened to be right at the mid-torso where the DMA connection point is. It's still a very tight fit on the Type G pelvis there and needs some remediation to stop a few bits of clipping, but it's it's drastically more usable than the full torso armor would've been. But while that turned out to be an easily solved problem, the broad shoulders and back were still an issue. There was basically nothing to be done there except hammering them in with the deflate tool until I ended up with something pretty much okay. And even then it only really works well with the arms with those simple spherical shoulders; the detailing on the Type G-based arms digs into the flashing left inside of the shoulder opening a bit, and the Type E arms... Well, it's fine if you don't move much, I guess? But it's the best I could do without starting to seriously distort the torso armor, so it'll have to be good enough. The last part of this set, the helmet, ended up not really giving me any problems at all, thank christ. To start with, it was nice enough to happen to fit exactly over the existing DMA head models: You can't really ask for better than that... But I still did. You see, while the actual armor model from the Heavy Armor set is a solid piece with just an inverted cone at the bottom of the helmet once you remove the neckcloth, the ground model has this great bit of detailing hidden inside of it: But more important than that is that nice and cleanly open bottom, which would pair up quite nicely with the open structure of the DMA heads. So I gave the ground model a quick skin and weight, repositioned it to the same space as the armor model helmet, set it to slot 31 and bam, I had a perfectly functional version of this for the DMA set. But if I was going to use it as a robot part, it needed a little something extra. Take a copy of the helmet, cut out just the eyeslit, slap an emmissive glow onto it and slap it back onto the in-game model just a hair forward of the underlying primary mesh. Instant ominous glowing robot eyes. The shading native to the texture even happens to give the brightest areas a vaguely eye-like shape. The whole thing just works out perfectly. Put it all together and it just clicks, with charm points in those great legs, the substantial arms, the peek-a-boo cutout in the armor for the Heart to flash through, and that spectacular helmet model brought to life by that glow. The only real downside is that the original design doesn't really allow for a new pelvis piece to go along with it, but that's not a huge concern. Oh, and also that the sharp rake on the face of the helmet means that you can't use any faces at the same time as it without them clipping through, but that can be solved by blocking off the face slot. Although it'll still be an issue if you try to use it with a regular human head, but that can be said for a lot of things in here. While I was at it, I also did something similar with another suitably robotic existing Dwarven helmet variant... This one differs in that it's actually a full head replacer on slot 30 like a regular closed helmet, as the design didn't quite fit around the DMA heads as well as the one from Heavy Armor. So it's just the Bikini Closed Helm with the same sort of eye glow trick as on the Heavy's, pasted onto the neck from a DMA Doll head with some bits of filler. Simple, but an effective way to add just a bit more variation. And of course all this sticks to the 'modular' ethos of DMA, so you can mix things up. As mentioned above the sphere-shouldered limbs like the Type B work quite well with the Heavy torso... ...And the limbs also work very well with the Type XXX torso parts. So this is all pretty much a lock for getting added to a future update, which I did not expect to be the case when I picked it back up but here we are. Still need to figure out naming schemes for everything and maybe do a few tweaks here and there (and decide if I want to include the Ebony-toned variation as an alternate set), but nothing too major that would get in the way of putting it out at some point. No, the major stuff is things like getting the beast race support in, revamping the 'modesty' system to use all removable plates, adding rubber variants for all of the fixed-weight bodies, rebuilding the Charmers set as an optional(?) pack that uses CotR as a texture dependency, figuring which Vanilla character faces I want to actually use and resetting them to use their native tintmasks so I can stop angsting over find high-res ones for them and (hopefully) just let the end user see whatever they happen to have installed for them already... Oh, and continuing to figure out how to work those threatened followers. I've made some strides poking around at things there, having at least figured out how to change the default body and the obnoxiousness of the Outfit system. (Why can't you edit an existing Outfit set? Why does it only work as a drag-and-drop?? Why?!) That lets me set the 'nude' body to something like a bare torso core and load them out with a full kit of pre-equipped limbs. (Ignore the forehead bug, didn't feel like doing the fix for that, considering) The problem here comes with the head. I unfortunately can't load in one of the DMA heads as the default headpart. The game will only register and display one mesh from a multi-mesh model if you try to load one into that slot. I can, however, make alternate headparts that point to empty or no meshes and sub them in for the Vanilla ones, which almost works, except... ...for the mouth. The mouth isn't on the list with the other headparts in the CharGen tab, and if there's a place where you can manually change the one used I can't seem to find it. So I have no clue how to stop it from popping up. Having a DMA head included as part of the Outfit does displace it, but it pops back in if the Outfit is removed in some way, and thanks to how spotty Skyrim can be about actually keeping the headparts displaced when they're supposed to be displaced it'll sometimes find a way to sneak back in out of nowhere. But aside from that, this conceptually works pretty well. You can spawn them with a default outfit, change it with your usual follower mods... ...kill them if you want to be a jerk about it... ...and then strip them for parts leaving no 'human' body behind when they're empty. If I can figure out that thing with the mouth, this will work fine. And if I can't... Well, it could still work. It'd be kind of annoying sometimes, but it'll still work. I'd just like it to work better. I'm also not 100% what the 'nude' body should be. I started out with the stripped frame, then switched to the Maiden Heart without any frame on the idea that it'd be more consistent with the Type XXX torsos, but it looks pretty goofy if you strip off just the torso and leave the other parts with the Heart just hanging out in space in the middle of them all so I think I might switch back to the frame. We'll see. This most significant problem with these, though, is still placement. It's not too hard to drop them in various places already existing in the Vanilla game, of course. It's just the where and the why that get called into question. Where is a place that makes sense for them to be? Why would they be there? And what kind of an affect would they have on their surroundings, while I'm at it? It really makes more sense to have them in their own space of some kind, but that very rapidly gets into dungeon-building stuff that I don't have the skills or patience to do. Some ideas, maybe, but none of the other stuff that would bring them to fruition. But just slapping them into random places isn't particularly satisfying. Feh. It gives me something to think about, at least. When I have time to think.
  4. How do you mean that? If you're referring to the stuff listed in the credits, then no. All of the elements I've used from them are packaged into this mod. If you mean the stuff in the downloads list, you do need both of the October packs to get all of the mod into your game.
  5. Hm. You've covered the obvious culprits, so I'm not really sure what else it might be. I put it on slot 54 specifically to avoid the two major part-displacing mods I'm aware of, DD and SoS, but it's possible that there's a mod that I'm not aware of that's camping out on that slot. Some mods will use invisible equipment locked into an outfit slot via a script or an unlisted quest to achieve some effect or another, and that can cause outfit parts that want to use that slot to not display. I'd suspect that might be what's happening here, but I couldn't say what mod might be doing it.
  6. That's actually a bit of a flaw with how the darker colors are implemented. When MaikCG made the original version of this armor they exploited an oddity of the Vanilla Dwarven meshes it was built from, where if the vertex colors flag is tagged in the model data it'll cause the original brass colors to instead display as that strange dark tone. The problem with this is that it only works on *some* of the Dwarven meshes, and it's not particularly clear what the reason for it happening in the first place is. Whatever causes it can be lost during the process of getting the original NPC models to work as armor parts, as both of those pieces use elements of the Sphere model like the main body does, but for whatever reason the trick no longer works on them. I've never minded it too much on the crossbar version, as it's a small piece that mixed in well with the other bits of brightwork present in the original design, but the trick also not working on the collar mesh was a major hang-up for me when I was putting the source version of this together and led to it getting shelved for months. I still have no idea how to get it to match and it also bugs me that it doesn't, but I eventually decided to just ignore it and release the mod anyway. But if anyone can figure out a solution, it would be most welcome.
  7. Certainly! It should be a lot more straightforward than DMA is, after all. The original mod from MaikCG does have a CBBE Bodyslide version, so all that really needs to be done for a quick conversion is to borrow that body (and copy the HDT weights onto it, IIRC), then add my chopped up copy of the armor to it and recreate the zaps for the assorted variants. You'll probably put a lot more effort into getting it to work right than I would, though. 😄
  8. This is a lot more slapdash than I usually am with mods, but I've been sitting on the bones of this one for a while now, as detailed herein: Short version, there's a bunch of stuff I would've liked to do here that I couldn't quite get working, so I'm just going to put out what does work so that it's out there in some form. What you get is a collection of various things I've been wanting to do with the Dwarven Devious set for a while now, including a number of variants and minor improvements. Don't expect a whole lot more than that out of this. Absolutely do not expect Devious Devices capabilities out of me, as I have no patience for figuring that shit out. Ground models are also likely to remain incomplete, as making a new one for each variant is a bit of a pain. Slight edit made to description, no file changes.
  9. AVS

    Past Imperfect

    Still running short on time and energy a lot these days. so not much progress to report as far as DMA goes, I'm afraid. There's some things that I'm dissatisfied with that I'm not sure if I have a good way to change, like finding decent hi-res tint masks for the Vanilla character faces I want to use without having to manually recreate all of them myself. There's also changes that I kinda want to make but dislike the effort and disruption involved, such as ditching the 'permanent modesty' versions of the all the D-type bodies, replacing them with removable modesty plates like I've already made in a limited scope for the Variable and Robot Limbed sets, and adding in R-types for all of the Fixed Weight body parts. I originally went with the permanently affixed plates to keep things simpler by avoiding people having to match up the right sets, but in my own play I've found that I rather prefer the removable ones. And only having a handful of the rubber bodies available has been annoyingly limiting, as I find them slightly more publicly presentable than bare skin sets for the followers I've got running around through town with me. But doing all that will take a lot of re-jiggering in the CK that I haven't had the focus to do, so I've just been spinning my wheels on it. But that's not really what I'm here to talk about today. I'm here to dredge something up. The very first thing I ever shared publicly, mod-wise, was an 'open' edit of MaikCG's Dwarven Devious set. Messing around with that inspired me to start doing enhancements and changes to the other existing Dwarven Cyborg-themed mods out there, and that got us to where we are today, some two and a half years later. But that original, kinda half-assed edit to the DwarvenDD set was just left to sit in the mod's thread and never really got revisited. Part of the reason for that is that a number of other things have touched on the set over time- I even whipped up some ground models for it when it got incorporated into the PAHE Devious Devices patch- and I've been a bit loathe on fracturing its ecosystem further. Another is that a lot of what I've wanted to do with it hasn't quite been working out. I've been poking at one particular idea for a while. You see, back when I adapted some parts of the DwarvenDD set for use as DMA body parts, I tore this thing apart. The original model has the bulk of the pieces that make it up merged together in a single mesh, so I to the time to isolate and separate each and every discrete component. This left me with a Bodyslide model where I could remove parts at will, giving me a number of possible variants. I put a bit of time into fixing it up, added in an improved version of my original open concept, and then... never really did anything with it, because I was too busy with DMA to bother. And also because I wanted to try something a bit experimental with it, but wasn't at all sue it would work. Then someone recently brought up open versions yet again in the DwarvenDD thread, so I decided to give that experiment a try. It didn't work. I mean, it almost works. Just looking at that, you probably think it worked. But there's various problems that are just too much effort to fix. The root of the problem is that the bound human body central to the DwarvenDD requires a modified normal map to keep the shadows on the tied-back arms and legs from looking all weird. So that makes the core of this plan, which was to improve the open versions by modifying the bound body from a based UUNP HDT to something more like UUNP Special, more than a bit complex. Recreating the bound body entirely using the Special mesh was a bit outside of my capabilities, so I instead tried to swap out just the pelvic areas of the meshes using complimentary zaps on the bound and Special bodies in Outfit Studio. And again, it almost worked. Except that there's this frickin' inexplicable hairline gap between the two. I'm not sure how the heck that got introduced, much less how to fix it. And it's also just the first of my problems. Most of the others go back to that customized normal map. An annoyance I've run into before with Skyrim's skin textures is that it's basically impossible to use multiple skin textures on the same model. I can incorporate the two pieces of the body onto the same model like this, but the game will force the customized texture set onto both of them. The first problem with that is that the custom normal lacks a vagina texture, leaving it oddly mis-lit. That could probably be rectified by pasting one into the custom normal, but it'll still cause problems for the other gimmick I kinda wanted to try out with this concept: Half-sets. Theoretically, these could look pretty neat. In game? There's the obvious problem. There are still ways around this, of course. Making variants of the custom normal map with the relevant limbs changed back to normal lighting would be the most effective, as well as the furthest outside of my skillset. Making the pieces that need the regular normal map discrete parts a separate slot would also work, but that adds a fair bit of complication. It also runs into an issue I've found in the course of working on the Doll bodies for DMA, where Racemenu and Slavetats overlays only get applied to skin meshes on a very limited set of slots. Except that as it turns out that is also a problem with my current concept of using multiple skin meshes on the same model and slot, as they'll only apply the overlay to one of them. Fucking hell. So that pretty well shot this whole concept down, but I figured at least some of the work I put into it could be salvageable. Turn off and hide all the zaps I made for the body mods, and I've still got a functional set of variants for the set. So I figured I might as well make a new mod incorporating them. Avoiding fracturing the ecosystem? What's that? Is it good to eat? That last pair, the alternate Open set incorporating the Edhildil Dwarven Cyborg collar, were another complication. In fact, they were the original complication, as that was the first idea I had in mind for how to do an open set way back when but that I had to abandon and replace with the crossbar design when I found that having the collar added to the mesh caused the whole thing to crash. I later found that a number of the pieces from the Edhildil set would do that in certain situations and figured out how to fix most of them, but never got around to revisiting it here until a few months ago... and then stalled out on it again when I found that the collar wouldn't take the 'vertex coloring' trick used to darken the other parts. I'm still not happy about that, but fuckit. I also decided to include the 'bright' versions with that vertex coloring turned off, in part because of that and in part because the darkened ones cause issues for some people's lighting setups in the DwarvenDD thread, so I figured it was worthwhile to include both options from the start. That also led to all of these having the belly plate piece removed; I had originally considered having ones with and without it as separate sets, but quickly decided that making the plate its own equippable part would be much more efficient. I tossed it onto slot 54 to avoid the various issues with Devious Devices and SoS. While I was parting things out, I also made the 'plugs' into their own removable pieces. Those come in anal, vaginal, or paired set versions, all on the Devious vaginal plug's slot as I was already using the anal plug slot, 48, to add in copies of the Edhildil breast caps. I borrowed the thin Edhildil collar from the -BAF- set to provide something to cover the inevitable neck seam with and carried over the shaved heads from the DCC Extras while I was at it, as well. And there was one more thing that I managed to part out- The enchantment. The original version applied a 'blood & lightning' effect when the DwarvenDD body was equipped, but it wasn't to everyone's tastes. I don't always like using it, but also think it's too interesting to completely ditch, so I moved it. It's now on on an equippable copy of the 'heart' from my DMA sets, set to slot 60 to keep it out of the way, that gets buried in the chest when worn. And of course, the amusing side effect of that is that it can now be used with anything, not just the DwarvenDD sets. In all, this gives me at least part of what I would like to have done. The more ambitious stuff would've been entertaining, but also more effort than I want to put into this to fix. I'm just happy to have a pile of variations of this armor to use around my own game, and hope that others will be as well. I've also tossed in Bodyslide files pointing at the original DwarvenDD armor location with zaps for all of the various removable parts, for people who want to build one of these variants to be use by other mods that draw on the existing set. Those also have all the zaps needed to recreate my UUNP Special quasi-conversion left set to 'hidden' in them, if anyone feels like messing around with that.
  10. Version 2-29-20

    966 downloads

    Dwarven Devious Cuirass Variations This is an expansion of MaikCG's Dwarven Devious Cuirass, featuring several pre-built variant designs along with BodySlide files with zappable parts pointed at the original armor location. (UUNP Only) Features Seven variations with varying degrees of exposure All parts and variants come in original darkened colors and Vanilla Dwarven colors Separately equipped belly plate [slot 54] Separately equipped plugs [slot 57] Separately equipped enchantment trigger [slot 60] with additional Heal Rate effect Breast caps for open-chest designs [slot 48] Thin collar to cover neck seam [slot 45] Shaved head wigs, bald and stubble SexLab NoStrip keywords Bodyslide files for all variants and applicable parts Bodyslide files with selectable zaps to build a modified replacement of the original armor Installation Install as normal. Can be used with or without original Dwarven Devious Cuirass mod; will prompt for overwrite on some files if that is installed, but they are unchanged in this file so that can be ignored. After installation, run Bodyslide on the files in the 'Dwarven Devious Cuirass Variations' Slider Group to conform them to your body type. 'DwarvenDD Main Variable A' & 'DwarvenDD Main Variable B' will replace the model in the original Dwarven Devious armor location when run. Choose only one; 'A' will produce a dark-colored armor while 'B' will produce a bright brass-colored armor. Crafting recipes not included. Use AddItemMenu or console to acquire in-game. Notes 'NoStrip' keyword is applied to major armor parts to prevent them from being removed by SexLab during scenes. Plugs and breast caps have 'AlwaysStrip' keyword so that they will always be removed during scenes. Belly plate does not have keyword set, user can manually adjust its strip settings using SexLab's 'Strip Item' editor. Belly plate set to slot 54 to avoid issues with Devious Devices and SoS on slots 49 and 52. As such it can be used in conjunction with clothing using those slots, if desired. Breast bones removed from Variant E2 due to the breasts being 'pinned' in place. Bounce adjusted on variants E3 and E4 to dampen clipping, but it will still occur during some motions. All variants are compatible with SLIF and other Bodymorph-based mods when 'Build Morphs' box is checked in Bodyslide upon generating the models. Clipping may occur at more extreme sizes. The 'knobs' that were positioned under the breasts on the original version were moved to the sides of the torso to allow for better Bodyslide/Bodymorph compatibility. These can be removed via zap from all variants, if desired. All Bodyslide parts are built with UUNP. I do not actively have plans to convert this to CBBE myself, but welcome anyone who wants to try. Please see first post in support thread for further information. Credit for the original models goes to MaikCG and Edhildil.
  11. Dwarven Devious Cuirass Variations View File Dwarven Devious Cuirass Variations This is an expansion of MaikCG's Dwarven Devious Cuirass, featuring several pre-built variant designs along with BodySlide files with zappable parts pointed at the original armor location. (UUNP Only) Features Seven variations with varying degrees of exposure All parts and variants come in original darkened colors and Vanilla Dwarven colors Separately equipped belly plate [slot 54] Separately equipped plugs [slot 57] Separately equipped enchantment trigger [slot 60] with additional Heal Rate effect Breast caps for open-chest designs [slot 48] Thin collar to cover neck seam [slot 45] Shaved head wigs, bald and stubble SexLab NoStrip keywords Bodyslide files for all variants and applicable parts Bodyslide files with selectable zaps to build a modified replacement of the original armor Installation Install as normal. Can be used with or without original Dwarven Devious Cuirass mod; will prompt for overwrite on some files if that is installed, but they are unchanged in this file so that can be ignored. After installation, run Bodyslide on the files in the 'Dwarven Devious Cuirass Variations' Slider Group to conform them to your body type. 'DwarvenDD Main Variable A' & 'DwarvenDD Main Variable B' will replace the model in the original Dwarven Devious armor location when run. Choose only one; 'A' will produce a dark-colored armor while 'B' will produce a bright brass-colored armor. Crafting recipes not included. Use AddItemMenu or console to acquire in-game. Notes 'NoStrip' keyword is applied to major armor parts to prevent them from being removed by SexLab during scenes. Plugs and breast caps have 'AlwaysStrip' keyword so that they will always be removed during scenes. Belly plate does not have keyword set, user can manually adjust its strip settings using SexLab's 'Strip Item' editor. Belly plate set to slot 54 to avoid issues with Devious Devices and SoS on slots 49 and 52. As such it can be used in conjunction with clothing using those slots, if desired. Breast bones removed from Variant E2 due to the breasts being 'pinned' in place. Bounce adjusted on variants E3 and E4 to dampen clipping, but it will still occur during some motions. All variants are compatible with SLIF and other Bodymorph-based mods when 'Build Morphs' box is checked in Bodyslide upon generating the models. Clipping may occur at more extreme sizes. The 'knobs' that were positioned under the breasts on the original version were moved to the sides of the torso to allow for better Bodyslide/Bodymorph compatibility. These can be removed via zap from all variants, if desired. All Bodyslide parts are built with UUNP. I do not actively have plans to convert this to CBBE myself, but welcome anyone who wants to try. Please see first post in support thread for further information. Credit for the original models goes to MaikCG and Edhildil. Submitter AVS Submitted 02/29/2020 Category Armor & Clothing Requires Racemenu (NiOverride High Heels), XPMSE, BodySlide Special Edition Compatible No  
  12. Dusting out the creaking vaults of memory for something I did over two years ago, getting the thing opened up in the first place wasn't too hard. I'm not sure what exactly your process here is, but all I did was make edits to the original BodySlide files provided by MaikCG using Outfit Studio's mesh editing tools, then save those to a new Bodyslide file and use that to generate the edited in-game model. It kinda sounds like you're trying to force the edited Shape Data model directly into the game instead, which can cause all sorts of problems. As for the problems I was having in that initial attempt at this, my later projects showed me that various meshes can be inexplicably crash-happy when modified in certain ways for a BodySlide-based model, and that the parts from the Edhildil Dwarven Cyborg set could be particularly touchy. That first attempt at an open version of this outfit that you're referencing only crashed with the Edhildil collar added to it; without that part it worked fine. At the time I bypassed the issue by ditching the Edhildil collar and instead making the functional open version with a simple cross-bar across the collarbones that I shared in a subsequent post. Later on I found ways to fix most of those touchy meshes in the course of those other projects, but I never got around to coming back to this one to add that collar back in. It may be that I have some plans about that, though. Edit: In fact, these plans:
  13. AVS

    Bright-Eyed

    Whew. been a while. I've had various other things taking up my time so I haven't had as much focus on progressing this mod as I might've liked to, lately. But that's not to say I haven't gotten anything done with it in the last couple of months. Picking up where we left off last time, I've been continuing to mess around with the Vanilla-based faces. I mentioned belatedly remembering that I had a fairly high-poly sphere model hanging around that I wanted to see if I could use for better replacement eyes. Turns out it works quite well. I found a texture called 'darkswirls' floating around in the Vanilla folders that works rather nicely for giving the eyes some visual depth, and as it has a light grey base tone it's pretty easy to 'colorize' it by playing around with the emissive and specular colors. I can also rotate the spheres around some to change the visible pattern, giving me individualized glowing eyes for each face. The overall effect worked out even better than I had hoped it would. I'm particularly taken with how the mask from my old A5-17 character turned out, to the point where I whipped up a quick custom follower of her for myself, based on the Falkreath housecarl so she could use her double weapons properly. This had the additional purpose of letting me really see how well the eyes worked in various lighting conditions, especially when paired with the light on the Aster, which her face was sculpted to pair with originally. The effect is increasingly startling in dim to no lighting. I've enjoyed having her around enough that I'm pretty tempted to include a more polished version of her- and maybe followers for some of the other faces I've been making- in a future update. I'm not entirely certain of how I'd go about implementing that yet, though. The first question is what I'd do for their 'substrate'; in-game they'd have the DMA body parts and faces as their default outfits, but I'm not sure if it'd make more sense to let them have 'regular' bodies when you take those off or to find some way to give them invisible base bodies. The latter would make more sense immersion-wise, but I'm not sure if it's possible to do it without having them all in a specialized race instead of their apparent one. But if I did the former I'd also kind of like to include the non-mask versions of their heads so you're not popping them off and seeing some random NPC's face, and that would add a lot more work and hassle to things. I'm also not certain of exactly how I'd put them into the game; the obvious answer would be to have them kicking around at the bottom of some Dwarven ruin, but exactly which one is a question. One where they wouldn't stick out too much or interact poorly with scripted events or boss fights would be preferable, but that thins things out, as does my personal preference that it not be one infested with Falmer for head-canon reasons. At that point it probably makes just as much sense to build some kind of stub dungeon specifically for them, but dungeon-building is not my forte, especially not with the Dwarven build set. And if I went to that much trouble I'd also really like to have some custom dialog for them, but that's way the hell out of my range. Although using the Vanilla voicetypes does give you the occasional bit of incongruity... (Well I would hope so!) And of course, since this is Lover's Lab building some followers specifically for use with these parts made me figure I ought to some removable versions of the modesty plates for, y'know, roleplay reasons. I've gone ahead and tossed those into the current core build of the mod, but kept them restrained to just the Variable versions and ones for the D/R parts of the dedicated robot limb sets in the interest of not completely overloading the mod with them. Shit's already complicated enough as it is... Aside from what I do with this idea, however, I've still got various things to consider about the Vanilla-based masks and which faces I'm actually going to be able to use. I started out with the various character heads I had lying around from prior work, and some of them worked out pretty well. The face from my last character prior to getting into all this Dwarven stuff works quite nicely, and is a definite candidate for an additional follower, although I'll have to come up with a thematic name for her. The 'Dwemer colors' version of Lydia that I did way back when for that first detachable head experiment also carried over rather well, although I do think I need to tone down her eyes a bit. I do find myself wondering just which faces I want to do like this, though. The process is reasonably quick and simple at this point so it's not hard to churn these out, so if I wanted to I could do, say, every major follower, or a grab bag of what I find to be the more attractive NPCs. There's some things that would impede either plan, though. First off is the honest fact that some of the major characters have pretty bland faces when removed from the context of their original hair or outfits. First time I tried this character's face on for size all I could think was 'Who the hell is this?' It's honestly kinda hard to tell unless you're looking at her other appearance... While corpse-salvage is an amusing idea, it might not carry over that well. That Burned Astrid face texture also has a poorly compressed normal map that results in the 'blocky face' bug at any kind of distance, so I'm not particularly inclined to use it as is. The bigger problem with using various NPCs, though, is that a lot of the faces simply won't fit. As I mentioned last time, the underlying structures for the head parts simply weren't built with the Vanilla designs in mind, and I had to compress various bits in about as far as they could reasonably go in order to get some of that initial batch I was experimenting with on them. Unfortunately, while I was randomly going through NPC heads for more test-shots I found entirely too many that even the modified head structures clipped through to some degree or another. The eyes in particular tend to be a problem, with all too many characters having them set too far back to clear the parts, and the High and Wood Elves especially tend to be absolute disasters. Every single one of those two races I tried was unusable. The dark Elves fared a little better; Irileth was sadly a complete loss, but Jenassa I could salvage with just a little bit of touch-up at the outside corners of the eyes. So that limits what I can do with these in terms of selection, annoyingly, but there's also the question of scope. The specific-character faces are fun, but the original intent was to find a replacement for the range of faces I made using the Charmers of the Reach assets. And while the Vanilla-based faces turned out surprisingly good when using skin tones... ...The alternate-material versions turned out every bit as bad as I had feared they would. The detail loss is simply excessive, to the point where they're hardly recognizable as the same faces. The Vanilla mesh uses a lot of lighting and texturing tricks to cover up its sins on the skin tone version, but they all shine right the fuck through when those tricks are removed. The comparison to the material variants of the Charmers faces couldn't be more stark. The stone version fares a little bit better since it continues to use the original model space normal map, but even then it's noticeably less successful at pulling off the effect than the Charmers version, especially with how it no longer hides how the nostrils are just little divots. But with the metal and rubber versions turning out as bad as they did, I don't really find myself keen on pursuing the material variant concept for these at all. I do still like the idea of including a bunch of them as specific-character masks, but they just can't fill the niche as replacements for the Charmers masks. Which leaves me once again looking for a way to get those back in there. My current thinking is to change things around so that Charmers of the Reach is a requirement for them; I previously had the textures I'd be using re-packaged into my own folders for ease of use, but by having them depend on Charmers being installed for the textures to work it's not functionally all that different from how a CoR follower mod would work, with it's packaged headmesh pointing to CoR's textures. Just more, y'know, swappable. To that end I spent a full day the other week changing the textures on all the Charmers masks back to their original paths, which was fun. I also poked around at changing the (honestly kinda half-assed) eye textures I had on them to use the same 'darkswirls'-based idea that I'd been using on the Vanilla faces, but it still needs a bit of tweaking to get right. The emissives on the Charmers eye meshes seem to be more finicky, for some reason, and it's more limited in how much the texture can vary. But it's promising. Still need to verify if this scheme will actually pass muster, though, so don't hold your breath on it. In work aside from the faces, I've finally- finally!- gotten all of the hair sets added into the core build. Only took six-plus months after I first decided on the idea to actually do it, but I've got a large selection of equippable hair sets picked for how well they fit with the DMA bodies... ...all with working ground models... ...in original, brass, and stone. (Statuesque.) Most of these are just straight conversions of the original hairs, with the only exception being that 'Dwarven Coffee' one. I ended up being lower than I liked on usable ponytail-type hairstyles, sadly, and the 'Midnight Coffee' one from the HG set fit all of my criteria aside from the bandanna used to tie off the tail. So i just swapped it out for a stack of the ever-useful astrolabe rings. Now it fits in perfectly. 😀 I've also been poking at another provisional headpiece, after thinking that I could kinda use something halfway between a full expressive face and the depersonalization of the Peacekeeper masks. I was thinking that something like the Dwemer-ified 'sexy' Ebony helmet from the cyborg content in the old Fresh Woman Darkness mod would fit the bill, and then I realized that I could basically just do the same thing. So I did, but with more Dwemering. The Centurion jaw-guard bits that replace the Ebony helmet's 'ears' are a bit incongruous with the rest of it, but I had to keep the original Ebony normal map to maintain the shadowing effect on the 'brim'. It looks really frickin' weird without it. This fills the niche I had in mind pretty well, though, so I'm inclined to toss it in once I get a ground model built for it. I've also been poking around with something that's been missing from the bodies: beast race support. Currently the D2 torso is the only part that will display the Argonian or Khajit skin textures, and even that is honestly an unexpected result of it being set to use the original default skin textures. Beast race support was something that I just couldn't be bothered with when developing these parts originally. I've known for a while that the way I built them to use an isolated skin texture kind of borked things for the beasts, but the reasons for that outweighed my desire to go through the extra trouble of making beast versions. But I wanted to take a break from mucking around with the faces recently and... oh christ it's just as much of a pain in the ass as i thought it would be. Doing this is pure Creation Kit work, which immediately means it's cludgy and obnoxious. Basically you have to add in alternate Armor Add-on entries for the beasts, with the textures redirected to their skin textures and the race-use markers selected and deselected on each AA to filter out who wears what in-game. The first part of that has some logistical hurdles. I currently have things set up with beast-specific texture sets pointed at isolated copies of the Feminine beast skins that I've been using, much like how the humanoid skins are set up. The obvious problem with doing it like that is that there's a lot of variety to the beast skins out there, and this would require the end-user to manually copy in the textures they're using if they want them to match, which might be asking a bit much. I could also just set the beast-use AA's to use the default textures like the D2 torso, which should bypass that issue, but would solidly bork the whole 'body agnosticism' thing for CBBE users should I add the beast support to all of the parts. Currently I have not done that, and have only added it to the Variable parts and the arms because of the issues around the second part of how you build these; modifying race support in the CK is fucking tedious. It wouldn't have killed Bethesda to add in some kind of 'player race: beast/not beast' toggle instead of making you go through and select or deselect Every. Single. One. when you need to modify the race usage. Whoever designed the CK actively hates its users. So it's a royal pain in the ass, but when you manage to suffer through putting it together things do look pretty good. The necks are still a bit of a problem on the non-D2 torsos due to the larger necks on the beast races not covering the torso's neck ring all that cleanly, but even that doesn't look terrible. The arms add another logistical issue if I do keep this restricted to the Variable models as I'm currently inclined, however. Specifically that unless I add beast-use versions of them, using the arms with the fixed-weight parts on a beast character will result in mis-matched skins between the two. Although on the other hand it's already not recommended to use the D-series parts on beast races due to how their skin tints make things go weird, so... But then, I didn't just do these for the D skin. The R skins are actually the main reason I wanted to try adding beast support to begin with. I mean, if the idea with them is that the body parts have been rubber-coated, it doesn't really make sense for the beasts to lose their scales and fur and such. And the end result does look damn good. But there are some additional logistical hurdles here, the most glaring of which is that the tails don't get coated. I suspect that I'll have to make alternate versions for them as well, although I'm not at all sure how to implement that yet. Player-equippable tails? Race-specific add-ons to the pelvises? There's also the problem of how these most emphatically don't simply use the default textures, which means that the 'easy' way of doing beast support that I mentioned above can't work for them. I can probably change the texture sets to point at the default beast normal maps instead of these isolated ones, but that adds the body-agnosticism issue back in... Also, one thing that I don't think I've ever really mentioned about the Rubber skins but that these pics show off really well: they do, in fact, still use the character's skin tints. They're still set to the Skin Tint shader so that they can use the skin swap function and so the specular gloss will work right, which means that the game is still applying the skin's color overlay as well. It's simply not usually that noticeable over the solid black base color, but a really strong tone like that Khajit's orange stands out more. You can also see it if you have two rubberized characters running around to compare. In the shot below Raev's rubber is kinda greyish, thanks to her base body's super-white skin tone, while A5-17's Altmer base gives her a bit of a golden hue. This isn't anything particularly important, but it does amuse me. And finally, another little bit of amusing mod integration that I came across when I was looking at female mannequin mods, in the form of the Cursed Mannequin Collars mod. It takes a bit of work to actually get it started, but it gives you a handful of collars that can turn any NPC into a functional mannequin when added to their inventory. (I found that using Manipulator's Open Inventory command works well for this, and also that giving them to active followers can do Weird Things so that's best avoided.) You only get a limited number, but it gives you a very good way to use the Pedestals on an actual NPC instead of a generic female mannequin without the bowed head of Display Model's 'stay' command. Très amusant.
  14. Yeah, fundamentally, the Skyrim outfit system just doesn't support that. The in-game clothes don't really go 'over' a body so much as they replace the body model with the outfit's model. The nude body model can also be thought of as an outfit mesh that the game defaults to if nothing else is specifically equipped. It may be possible to set a cyborg body as that default model, but I expect that it would require a completely custom race at the least, and am not sure if the game actually supports using a multi-mesh model for that purpose to begin with. Regardless, even if you did set up something like that you still wouldn't be able to wear existing outfits 'over' the cyborg body, as they're designed to displace the default body. The only feasible way to achieve that effect within the confines of Skyrim's system are to make versions of the outfits that don't use the body slot, as I did for the DCC, or to make a version of the outfit with the cyborg body parts integrated into it, as was done in the Mekka mod. Either way, custom versions of the outfits are the only solution.
  15. Got over to Stony Creek and can confirm that the dead Captive there is missing their FaceGen on the LE KS Hair version. Does seem like it could be related to the SE issues, but it's absolutely bizarre that this would cause crashes there. For my part I kinda like having the dead Captives around; I like how they flesh out the setting a bit and confirm how bandits are in no way smart enough to really be able to manage the restraints on their own. But ditching them would obviously be the more straight-forward route to resolving the problem.
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