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Seeking Nifskope advice when adding transparency to Armors


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Hey there. As the title states, I'm seeking some help with adding transparency to armors and clothing. To start, I liked the Transparent Glass armor mod posted on the Nexus a few years ago but wanted to use different meshes than it provided, so I decided to just add it to the ones I'm using myself. I was able to change the Alpha Channels on the textures no problem, so that was fine. Afterwards I added the NiAlphaProperty to all the parts I wanted to be semi-transparent and set the Flag to Enable Blending so it wouldn't be completely see through. Saved the .nif, built it in BodySlide, then checked it out in game only to find that the transparent parts were fine but the rest of the texture was very dark. It took a few hours of googling and reading Nifskope guides to figure out I needed to add Assume_Shadowmask to Shader Flags 2 in BSLightingShaderProperty to fix it. Well, it did... sort of.


The texture now displays properly but the armor has taken on some strange transparent properties that I have no idea how to fix. Depending on where you look, the parts of the armor that aren't directly in line with the body are almost completely transparent, like thin glass.

Example here: 



As one can see, the parts that aren't directly in line with her body shape are very translucent. You can see it mostly on the arms and shoulders in this image. While it's arguably a cool effect with Glass Armor, it won't work if I want to, say, make the Miner's Clothing partially transparent. 


So, what exactly is causing this? I imagine I'm missing something in BSLightingShaderProperty that needs to be added but I'm rather new to Nifskope and have no idea what. Any input any of you may have would be very welcome. Thanks in advance!

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To make transparency all you need is to add a NiAlpha to the Tri-shape and add a greysclale alpha to the diffuse map. If you want it to be invisible you make the alpha black. If you want it to be opaque you make it white. Semi-transparent you make it shades of grey. Make sure you save your .dds in a format that supports alpha. DTX 5 is your safest bet.  You can undo all your other changes. If you want only part of the mesh to be transparent you make that part of the alpha black (or grey) and you make the rest white. Set the flags in the NiAlphaProperty to 4844 and the threshold to 128. This will help with interior lighting and underwater.

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edit: beat me to it lol


I think the best way to have specific parts of an armour to be translucent/transparent is to have them as separate NiTriShapes. Otherwise compromises will have to be made lol

So in your example, I think had the same problem somewhat recently on a mesh I was working on. Where the lighting is kind of off, creates outlines of the character and it goes invisible underwater.. stuff like that. This is due to the NiAlphaProperty flag afaik. Meshes with transparency have their flag set to 4844. The thing this gives up is partial transparency. Everything is now either completely opaque or completely transparent and it depends on the threshold you set on the Property (value between 0-255, usually set to 128). Anything inside the texture with an alpha value below the threshold disappears completely and anything above the threshold becomes opaque. I believe it's used in a few vanilla textures like deer/elk to make them appear "fluffier"? I'm not sure how the flags work specifically but just for example, the mesh I had the same transparency problem with was set to 237.


The same visual effect can been seen in the somewhat recently popular DEM Linen going around.

My recommendation would be to just make the areas you want semi-transparent slightly more opaque so it's a little easier to see even when it's giving you this problem.

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Appreciate the help, guys. Sadly, these settings are not working. 


As I said above, I've already done the texture work perfectly, greyed out the areas I want semi-transparent in the Alpha channel, saved it as DTX 5, etc... 



I used the Miner's Outfit as the example here because it was easy. The grey is about 75% because I want it only slightly transparent.

This is how the Glass Armor looks. 



The grey's 50% so it looks like glass. 


The textures aren't the issue, the settings in Nifskope are. Frankly said, setting the flag at 4844 isn't working. As Artsick mentioned, there's no semi-transparency with 4844. If I set the threshold at 128, there's no visible change whatsoever. If I put the threshold higher, say 200, the parts that are greyed out in the Alpha Channel just go completely invisible. The few guides I've read say that, if you want part of your mesh to be semi-transparent, you need to set your flags to Enable Blending, which automatically sets it to 4333. Unfortunately, that brings me right back to the original problem with the odd visual discrepancies in this lighting and, I assume, underwater.


I know this is possible, I've seen it accomplished in other armor mods like the afore mentioned Transparent Glass Armor. The meshes he used didn't have the glass portions as separate NiTriShapes. There was also a mod a couple of years ago that made all of the wench, merchant, chef, etc... clothing slightly transparent around the breasts as well. 

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I'm not sure if this is the one you're talking about (I'm assuming you're talking about the one for CHSBHC) but this mod has figured out partial transparency without weird lighting and it does it using two of the same mesh over the top of each other. Their alpha property's are similar but one is 4844 with the threshold at 230, the other 4845 with a threshold of 0. They use the same texture files and have identical BSLightingShaderProperty's.


It's a start. :smile:

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