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Blender armor conversion (the easy way) without 2.49b, a few notes on using Blender for Skyrim


~magic~

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I am not an expert at using Blender with Skyrim. I am, however, an experienced Blender user from my own game development and started using it a few weeks ago to convert armor from UNP to Dream Girl. I have noticed an odd and unnecessary obsession among Skyrim modders with blender 2.49b.

 

I noticed that the guides on the internet look something like this:

1 - open NIFskope

2 - change the file header

3 - summon the goddess Freya and give up your soul to learn kung fu

4 - solve the time-dependent schrodinger equation for energy

...183 - open blender 2.49b

184 - import nif

...3,481 - repeat steps 683-1,486

3,483 - change the file headers

3,484 - cure cancer

 

I have been using a much simpler and easier method completely independent of Blender 2.49b that I think people should know if they do not already. I use this method regularly to convert armors using only NIFskope and any version of Blender, e.g 2.72. Perhaps there is another tutorial that uses this same method but I figured it out on my own so I don't know.

This method only works if you do not add vertices or need to change the weight painting (e.g for making a non-tbbp mesh tbbp), which will require use of blender 2.49b as an importer/exporter and all of the tedious shit that results

1 - NIFSkope: Open the model you want to convert, both the _1 and the _0 files. Click the nitrishape of the mesh (not the body, if any), export as .obj.

2 - NIFSkope: Export both the destination body's _1 and _0 meshes as .obj.

3 - Blender 2.7+: Import destination body and one of the mesh files from the .obj files.

4 - Blender 2.7+: Use Blender 2.7+'s awesome tools to fit the mesh how you want. Repeat 3-4 for both _0 and _1 meshes.

5 - Blender 2.7+: Export the edited armor meshes as .3ds files. Make sure to only export only the armor and not the body. You should now have two 3ds files, one  _0, one _1, that are converted meshes to your new body.

6 - NIFSkope: Select the armor mesh's Nitrishape that you exported before, click "Import", click .3ds, click yes to overwrite. Your new modified mesh should import to the scene. Do this for both the _0 and _1 nifs.

7 - NIFSkope: Your armor's orientation is probably wrong. Right click the modified mesh, click "Transform", and rotate it 90 degrees on the three axis until it's oriented correctly. Do not change the location or a giant fist will come out of the screen and punch your stupid face. Apply transform. Do this for both the _0 and _1 nifs. 

8 - NIFSkope: Great, you have an armor that fits the new body and... the old body. Yuck. Click the old body now that your armor is changed and oriented correctly, press ctrl+delete or click "remove branch". Now you should have a converted armor out in space. Again, both files.

9 - NIFSkope: Open the destination body's _0 and _1 files. Click the body, right click, "copy branch". Open the matching armor files, right click the nifileheader tree, click paste branch. Have your brain on so you don't copy the _1 body to the _0 armor and vice versa. 

10 - NIFskope: Save. Give blender 2.49b the finger.

 

Some general notes on using Blender for stuff with Skyrim:

>I have yet to see one good reason to use blender 2.49b as anything other than a tool importing, exporting, and arguably weight painting if you don't want to move back and forth between 2.49b and 2.7+.  I see far too many people trying to model with Blender 2.49b. This is 2014, we don't travel on horseback either.
Blender 2.7+ is superior to 2.49b in every way and the only reason to use 2.49b for anything like modeling and fitting is because you're used to it and don't want to learn the obviously superior software.

>An alternative to modeling in Blender 2.49b is to use NIFSkope's .obj export function to export the destination body, use Blender 2.7+ to make your mesh with tools that make blender 2.49b look like a caveman's flint axe, then save your mesh as a legacy .blend fiile, open it in 2.49b, then continue to weight paint and export.

>You can even weight paint in Blender 2.7+. Just import the new armor with Blender 2.49b, import the body's nif that you're going to copy bone weights from (or at least get the bone names from), save as a .blend, open in 2.7+, weight paint, save as .blend (legacy on), open in 2.49b, carry on, as if nothing really matters. 

>Yes, you can animate in Blender, using Anton's animation n3 tools.

>You can even use havok format with Blender quite effectively.

>UV maps created in 2.7+ persist all the way through blender 2.49b to the .nif file. Awesome. Smart unwrapping, seam cutting, on-the-fly 4k UV layout generation, have the sexy UV map you always wanted.

>Using NIFskope's export and import functions removes the need entirely for 2.49b for a lot of simple tasks such as armor conversion and weapon creation, provided you do not add vertices or need to change the weight painting.

>I saw multiple tutorials online of people modeling in Blender 2.7+ and 2.49b by subdividing a mesh repeatedly then slowly moving the vertices to make the shape of an armor, then presumably uploaded the video on their windows 98 machine using internet explorer 4 and left the house to go sharpen their scythes and complain about soviets.
Subsurface division modifiers do the exact same thing, much faster, much more gracefully, and with a lot more control, using less time, less cpu, and less elbow grease. You can make a skin-tight dress in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.

>As user cell noted to me, there is a development build of nifscripts working for Blender 2.72, removing the need for 2.49b nearly entirely, albeit they are still buggy and do not support all of the features that 2.49b does.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey this tutorial looks really interesting and you write that this only works if I don't add vertices so does that mean I could potentially remove vertices and be fine with this tutorial?
I mostly just want to remove the sleeves of an armor but I don't wan't to go through all the weight painting and so on, just get rid of some of them vertices. :7

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I noticed that the guides on the internet look something like this:

1 - open NIFskope

2 - change the file header

3 - summon the goddess Freya and give up your soul to learn kung fu

4 - solve the time-dependent schrodinger equation for energy

...183 - open blender 2.49b

184 - import nif

...3,481 - repeat steps 683-1,486

3,483 - change the file headers

3,484 - cure cancer

*rofl*

Now THAT'S exactly what it felt like in the beginning (and still does since half of the 2.49 work is crap that you need to do just to get the meshes into that caveman version of Blender and export it back to Skyrim nif format). A tedious and shitty worflow that is literally teeming with inefficiency. Will try your suggestion.

 

However, the cause of the fear of yet having to learn ANOTHER 3D prog may be that you really had to sell your soul, nerves, stamina, heart, blood and what have you to the evil prince of modders hell. To go through that again may not seem desirable for many people. When I remember my first Blender steps I feel literally nauseous. The interface of 2.49b alone is a reason for running amok...

 

 

This method only works if you do not add vertices or need to change the weight painting (e.g for making a non-tbbp mesh tbbp), which will require use of blender 2.49b as an importer/exporter and all of the tedious shit that results.

For re-weighting the vertices you should use Mesh Rigger (http://kgtools.org/) anyway. More accurate, faster, far less hassle, highly configurable, has a shitload of features (f. ex. can copy dismemberment partitions from one mesh to another).

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i do not understand why you use blender at all !!!     blender 2.49 or 2.72 it is the same basics  with more color and more options.

 

with your way i doubt the result  as exporting as file.obj you loose the weight paint  and need to do it again.

 

notice that there is a vertion of blender 2.6....   that has a nifscript in dev : aloud you to import directly oblivion or skyrim meshes to blender , it is not perfect but it works.( you need to look over the internet  it is not easyly found).

 

AND for a better convertion and fastest  i would look at Gerra 6 Tools :  in Modder Ressources  in " New Clothing Body Style Converter "

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Wait this meshrigger automates weightpainting?? Did heavens door just open to me? Or did I missunderstood? XD

If you have a template mesh that is close (more or less) to the mesh you want to weightpaint, it copies the weighting very accurately. On top you can fix dismemberment partitions if the template mesh has correct ones. The tool is highly configurable, and you can choose which parts of the target mesh to weight and which bone weights you want to copy. You can set the search distance, can completely re-rig entire meshes etcpp.

 

Experiment with it a bit and you wouldn't want to miss it.

 

I only use Blender if I want to change anything about the vertices (i. e. add or remove some). I only do the minimal rigging in Blender so that it can export the mesh and then I do the rest using Mesh Rigger. The sculpting I do in Outfit studio, and if OS fails at copying weights which it sometimes does I also do that with MR.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

Wait this meshrigger automates weightpainting?? Did heavens door just open to me? Or did I missunderstood? XD

If you have a template mesh that is close (more or less) to the mesh you want to weightpaint, it copies the weighting very accurately. On top you can fix dismemberment partitions if the template mesh has correct ones. The tool is highly configurable, and you can choose which parts of the target mesh to weight and which bone weights you want to copy. You can set the search distance, can completely re-rig entire meshes etcpp.

 

Experiment with it a bit and you wouldn't want to miss it.

 

I only use Blender if I want to change anything about the vertices (i. e. add or remove some). I only do the minimal rigging in Blender so that it can export the mesh and then I do the rest using Mesh Rigger. The sculpting I do in Outfit studio, and if OS fails at copying weights which it sometimes does I also do that with MR.

 

 

hey, sorry for the late reply! I forgot about this -_-;;

 

this does sound like a wonderfull tool, but then the question that arises for me as a 3dsmax user is : will it be more beneficial for me to use this instead of applying my skinwrap to both the body and my template mesh where Ill get a variable between the 2

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I tried this method on doing a body conversion for a panty model (By itself, no body mesh). Only, when I equip the item in game nothing shows up, not even a blank texture. I've also tried importing the .nif into blender and it comes up textured and everything. Here is the exact process that I did:

 

1. Open .nif and export NiTriMesh as an .obj

2 Import the .obj into Blender

3. Modified the object, did not add or delete vertices

4. Exported from blender as a .3ds

5. Went back to the original if, selected the NiTriMesh I had previously exported and then imported the new corrected .3ds file

6. Rotated it 90 degree, and everything seemed to look fine, then saved it.

 

Unless I misunderstood something, I don't think I needed to worry about transfering any data blocks from one .nif to another because all the nodes mentioned where still there. But when I equip it in game, nothing shows up. The game doesn't crash or lag, so I'm not sure what is happening. Could some of the information about where the game engine is supposed to attach it be lost? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This method is flawed because exporting as .obj from nifskope is in general a bad idea (learned it the hard way this past half a year). For example you could have the mesh split along its seam edges, it's a known issue with how blender imports .obj files. This issue alone could make you lose enough time that you might as well import the nif in blender 2.49b, which seems the only 100% reliable method.

 

Edit: yesterday I finally managed to export a mesh using niftools for blender 2.7x, so it seems it might already be a valid alternative.

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  • 7 months later...

@Jarka Ruus  - How did you do that? I keep going crazy... I made the simple act of importing a .nif file and export it as it is, with no change and guess what {I guess you know for experience yourself}... Blender exports it very bad!

 

What am I doing wrong?

 

 

@kingkong - I've found the converter you mentioned {but not in Modders resources}. but after all the possible efforts I couldn't install it at all... I'm going insane... any help?



 

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Thanks for a great tutorial. Now I am able to design my headmeshes exactly the way I want them to be. No more tedious hours with Racemenu. Although it's a fantastic plugin, it gets pretty tiresome after an hour or so. I have even re-designed my favorite body-type to my own liking. Once again thanks

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks, this is quite useful :)
 

I noticed that the guides on the internet look something like this:
1 - open NIFskope
2 - change the file header
3 - summon the goddess Freya and give up your soul to learn kung fu
4 - solve the time-dependent schrodinger equation for energy
...183 - open blender 2.49b
184 - import nif
...3,481 - repeat steps 683-1,486
3,483 - change the file headers
3,484 - cure cancer

 

That's what I first thought thought as well, until I tried it. There's a nice script to handle the materials part of the process automatically and that really helps. It's much less of a pain then you may think.
 

>I have yet to see one good reason to use blender 2.49b as anything other than a tool importing, exporting, and arguably weight painting if you don't want to move back and forth between 2.49b and 2.7+.

 

It's still useful for removing vertices, joining and splitting meshes, and changing material properties.

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