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InsanitySorrow

3D Craftworks: From Blender To Skyrim

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As many of the Communities 3D Artists know, we currently don't have any Nifscripts support for Skyrim, so we can't export our creations directly into Skyrim. There is another way we can get our creations into the game, it's a little more involved than we are used too, but it'll serve us well while we wait for the Niftools team to work their magic! :wizard:

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Blender 2.49b - Download from Blender.org

Nifskope - Nifskope 1.1.1

Blender Nifscripts - Nifscripts 2.5.8

Pyffi - Pyffi

NifUtils - Forum Thread, Download

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  1. Importing Assets
  2. Exporting Assets
  3. NIF Preparations
  4. Collision Creation

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ImportingAssets_zps827757e9.png

 

 

Importing Skyrim assets into Skyrim takes a little more effort than we're used to with Oblivion. It's not a difficult process though so no need to worry :dance:

 

First thing we need to do is open up the NIF we want to import in Nifskope, for this I'm using one of my own NIFs, but you can use any to follow along with. Make sure both the Block List and Block Details panes are showing (F2, F3) as we'll be needing those:

 

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Next we need to change the Block List from a tree ( As it's called, many branches you see) to a list, to do this we go to View>Block List>Show Blocks in List.

 

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From here we need to select the NiHeader at the very top of the list, now take a look at the details pane. There are three values we need to change here User Version, Num Blocks, User Version 2. These three blocks tell Blender what version of NIF we're using, we need to change them to the following:

  • User Version to 11

  • Num Blocks to 22

  • User Version 2 to 34

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Now change the Block List back into a tree list, same steps as before. After that we need to remove blocks that are not compatible with the NIF Importer. Remove the following from the NIF by right-clicking and chosing Block>Remove Branch:

 

  • BSInvMarker

  • bhkCollisionObject

  • NiStringExtraData

  • BSLightingShaderProperty

  • Any Blood Decal blocks

After that is done save the NIF, make sure to save it as a New NIF so you don't overwrite the unedited one.

 

Import04-1_zpsf0ab9a3e.jpg

 

Now we import into Blender using the NIF using the NIF Import/Export script, when the Import screen opens keep all the settings at the default values, these work best. Click Import and your NIF should appear on screen.

 

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Now if it doesn't get imported check the Blender Console screen, it will tell you what the problem is. It's usual as simple as removing a block of incompatible data you might have missed.

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ExportingAssets_zps99fe5076.png

As I mentioned at the start Skyrim has no Nifscripts support, but thanks to some hard working members of the Community we have a way around this, and you know what?, It isn't as hard as you might think.

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First thing we need to do is model our asset, I'm not going to walk you through this here as I'm sure you have something ready made you want to put into the game. So double check that you have everything done, Model, UV Map, Vertex Paint, Materials.

This is one I made earlier :cookie:

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The set of tools we'll be using next are setup to make use of Morrowind NIFs as the input NIF, this doesn't mean Morrowind quality NIF, just the NIF version and the very basic setup they have. So what we'll do is export as a Morrowind NIF.

Click on File and then Export to see your export options, if everything was installed correctly you'll see a NetImmerse option for our NIF files.

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Click it and you'll be able to name your file, then it'll option open up our Export Options screen, what you need to do now is select Morrowind from the Games list, this will change all the options so it exports a Morrowind NIF, there aren't many options for this one so we can leave them all default.

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Export it and we can move onto the next part, Nif Preparations

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NifPrepTitle_zps0dc6e481.png

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Out of the two files available for download, the one we'll be using first is NifConvert. As the name suggests this will allow us to covert our newly exported NIF into something that Skyrim can use. It takes a lot of the manual hardwork and headaches out of making a NIF file we can use in the game.

Open up NIFConvert, you'll be presented with a nice, simply interface.

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As you can see there are a few options here, we'll take a quick look at what they are before we continue.

In-File - This is the NIF we want to convert, in this case our recently exported NIF.

Out-File - This is what we want it saved as, pic a location and set a name.

Template - A Template NIF that will be used for the NIF structure and data, this is needed to make our NIF a Skyrim one.

Texture Path - This points to your Skyrim install so the texture paths inside the NIF can be correctly set.

Those four are the only ones we need to touch, the others can be safely ignored as the defaults will work perfectly fine for use. You'll also notice there is a screen below all these options, that is a log screen which will show us what NifConvert is doing.

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So now what we need to do is convert our NIF file, so with NifConvert open use the browse buttons (Ones with 3 dots) to select your newly exported NIF and to set where you want it saved and what you wanted it named.

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:smarty: Smarty Says: To avoid overwriting your file make sure it has a unique name, a simple way of doing this is by adding _Sky to the end of your source NIFs name. This way you know what it is and also the game it's intended for.

For the next option what you'll need is a template NIF, easiest option here is to extract something from the game's BSA. For this I'll be using the FarmBannerPost.NIF in the Architecture>Farmhouse folders. The reason for this is I'll be making a static model, so I need a similar model for converting and later for creating the collision for the model.

After that set your texture path, do this by navigating to your Skyrim root folder and selecting the TESV.exe, NifConvert will then populate the drop-down list with texture path choices. Select one of those for use in the NIF.

:smarty: Smarty Says: NifConvert will keep your texture names intact and will swap the old texture path for the new one.

Hit the convert button and as long as there aren't any problems NifConvert will pump out a new Skyrim ready NIF for you :dance:

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Last stop, Collision Creation :cookie:

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UtilsColTitle_zps221dccb5.png

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Before we can go ahead and give our NIF collision we first have to create it. The difference here compared to previous games is the collision is an actual mesh, by that I mean we create it like we would any other model, we'll just use less polys to create it.

The reason for this is the tool we'll be using next, Chunk Merge, takes the shape information of the model and uses that for the collisions shape for our In-Game model. We could use our main NIF for collision too by making a copy of the NIF, but this isn't a good idea unless your model is low poly as high poly complex collision can have an impact on the games performance.

So best thing to do is either make something new or do a little work on your current model and lower it's poly count down to something more suitable for a collision mesh. For architecture or statics I find the second way the better choice as you'll be wanting and needing the collision to fit closely to the mesh.

CollisionModel_zps74779d38.jpg

This is my Collision model, it's a reduced version of the main model I want to put in game. As you can see it has materials and has been UV mapped, these are only important for the exporting, so if you are making a new mesh you don't have to worry about making a good UV map, anything will do.

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For the final part what we want to do is take our Collision Model and add it to our Game Model, to do this we use Chunk Merge. It's the second file available on the Download page.

Once you start it up you'll be prompted to locate a NIF.xml file, one of these comes with Nifskope and it's a good idea to use the one from the latest version of Nifskope you would have installed at the start of this workshop. After we've done that UI will open up:

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These are the options we'll be needing, the collision source option can be ignored if you're not having problems.

NIF File - This is the file we want to add collision too, for us it's the NIF we created in Exporting Assets

Collision File - This is the file Chunk Merge will use as the collision information for our NIF

Template - A Skyrim NIF Chunk Merge will use for the Collision properties, we're making a Static NIF so we'll use a Static NIF template

Collision Material - The material we want our collision to be, IE when hit do we want it to sound like Wood?, Maybe Stone?

Okay so the next step is to select our files and then we select the material type we want to use for our NIF from the material type drop down option. The default value there is Stone, which in this case is what I want to choose for mine.

:smarty: Smarty Says: For this I am using the farmbannerpost01.NIF for the static collision properties.

After doing all that click the Convert button and Chunk Merge will get to work, it'll add the collision information into the NIF File you have chosen.

UtilsMerge_zps5a609e6c.jpg

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Hello,

I'm very grateful for this tutorial, but unfortunately this program NifConvert don't work for me. It work sometime on exported Sky meshes, but on custom, and I try with morro nifs, it always crashes. I'm on XP.SP3 if it means something, I go through Niftools forum where are people who complain the same issue, but there is no answer.

Are there some prerequisites for this program to run?

Must the files like import nif, export nif and template be in specific folder?

Maybe this post is not in adequate place, but any help is welcome.

There is another way to export with FOE options and take a fun with Nifscope, but the tutorial is rather vague, so I don't know where to start.

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Hi garnet, I'm on XP SP3 too, and for a while NifConvert didn't work at all for me either. Even after IS posted this excellent tut. I was at my wit's end when, on a whim, I tried a different Skyrim .nif as a template. That was the problem for me. Now it works flawlessly every time, with any of my models I export from Blender.

There might be other things you can do to get it to work, but try changing the template nif. I hope that it works for you like it did for me. :pints:

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As Grond said you could try another NIF template, a good template to use for statics at least is Meshes>Architecture>Farmhouse>Farmbannerpost01.nif.

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Thanks guys, I tried with several templates including the farmbannerpost01 with no success, it crashes constantly. Maybe is a nif problem. I use Blender 2.49 and export with default morro settings. :wallbash:

So bad, I have nice projects and now I'm with hands tied.

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It could be something with your NIF it doesn't like, I've had problems with models having to many separate pieces or too many materials.

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Ta, tam! It work :woohoo:

I don't how and why, I have 2 HD, doing a little cleaning I transferred the program on the drive where Skyrim is installed and it works.

I have few simple models, max two materials and I used the Farmbannerpost.01.nif like template, but on a model with alpha propriety he need something similar so I used clutter\pelts\peltfloor01.nif. The ChunkMerge works from the second drive without problems.

What to say: Mysterious are the ways of the NifTools.

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A big, big thank you for covering the part about Chunk Merge. I have no ambitions to start modeling myself, but this was still a tremendous help for solving an annoying problem I had... Wanted to refurbish Skyrim's icicles into stalacites for regular caves, and have them also placed upside down on the ground instead of just hanging from ceilings. A big problem was that the collision was all weird and you can simply walk through half of the mesh radius.

 

After letting the project collect dust for months, today I finally looked at the mesh with collision visibility on in the Creation Kit and saw that it was essentially just a rectangle covering half the radius acting as a collision model. So I took a crapshot, deleted the CollisionObject part in NifSkope, then applied the .nif on itself in Chunk Merge. To my surprise it worked flawlessly! So once again, thanks.

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Wow this was a great guide! Way more ti the point then other guides I've used. I now have a working model with collison and everything, the CK just accepts it! The only thing That the .nif didn't have were the BSLightingShaderProperties, I copied the ones from the model I used as an example, but the textures aren't showing... Any idea how that could be fixed?

 

EDIT: Maybe a more accurate description: My textures aren't showing, but there is a black shining hue over my model.

Edited by Kevski
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@  Insanity  -  (you should have known I'd have a question, lol)  

 

You said:   "do a little work on your current model and lower it's poly count down to something more suitable for a collision mesh. For architecture or statics I find the second way the better choice as you'll be wanting and needing the collision to fit closely to the mesh."    

 

 

The architectural piece I converted is very complex, so would like to use this option - but there is no explanation how;  can you give a little run through of how to lower the poly on the current model?   

 

Thank you for this Awesome tutorial!  Boy did I need this on my first converted piece (which is now waiting for Chunk Merge).   Thank you IS!

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