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NiAlphaShaderProperty with 256 levels of blending? DXT5? [solved]

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I'm lost. Went over this nexus post which is extremely helpful and detailed, to get familiar with transparency in texture maps.


My issue is that I can't seem to work out how to blend the transparency - it's always cut out at an aliased threshold. 


my photoshop alpha channel - note the dark soft blotches:





And my nifskope shader flag settings - blending is enabled:




And the in-game which is like the nifskope preview:





As you can see, the medium grey in the alpha channel is actually a semi transparent effect, and shows up here as translucent blue, exactly as desired.


But why are the other areas that are a little bit darker, getting cut off completely? After changing the testing threshold to 1, it was better.


But here is my problem:

I can't seem to get the softness to copy over, I may be using wrong DDS settings. The effect is posterized for some reason. You can see it in-game at the very edge of the hole, the transparecny is a wee bit higher, but it's posterized, ew!


In the interest of community service and sharing the knowledge, I'm keeping the post instead of deleting, I realized I was exporting as explicit alpha, and should have used blended alpha.


all good:




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For purposes of posterity, here is a little tutorial on how I made a (very ugly) fully custom made armor:


  • open reference body in Outfit Studio (OS), r.click mesh > export OBJ
  • import OBJ in blender (observe coordinate mapping during import for correct alignment)
  • model armor mesh, create UV map, paint and save reference PNG
  • export armor as OBJ, include normals, UV, etc
  • import blender OBJ to OS, copy bone weights from reference body, set correct partition (very important), possibly paint weights some more
  • set texture maps in OS (because they're actually labeled for ease of use)
  • export armor sans reference body as nif
  • open nifskope and add NiAlphaShaderProperty node to NiTriData block, and r.click flags to set alpha blending details as discussed above
  • in CK, create new ArmorAddon, observe matching biped object partitions, set nif source
  • create new Armor, set a world object mesh, or it will be impossible to pick up, set inventory model, add armoraddon model(s) created above
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