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For my SSE mod I'm attempting to make a custom shield nif out of the WRJovaskrBanner02. I have made weapon mashups before in nifskope before but not with something as complex as a banner. So I tried the normal way of opening an existing shield, copying the banner into the shield file, saving it out, and placing it in game. Through this method the item shows up fine in my inventory and when dropped on the floor, but in my hand the banner/shield does not appear. I imagine there are more steps to take in nifskope, but I have no idea what. Can anyone please please help?
For a long time I was forced to look at the inventory models of skyrim and the many armor mods that have come out since then, but most armor mods dont come with their own GND models, but rather copies of those found in vanilla skyrim. So for the longest of times most of us had to accept the laziness of modders and bethesda, but not any more (for the most part). This tutorial will cover the conversion of a "skinned" model, or a model that is rigged to a skeleton, into a GND/GO nif. (Collision mesh is in another tutorial) Q: What is a GND/GO nif and what does it do? A: The GrouND/ Ground Object is the model that the player sees when viewing an item in their inventory or when dropped onto the ground such as food, clutter, potions, weapons etc, etc. TOOLS NEEDED: The latest Blender, or Blender 2.77a as that is what i'm using right now for this tutorial, you heard me right, we wont be using 2.49b anymore! LINK Nifskope 2.0, or 1.2.0 Alpha 2 LINK Nif importer/exporter dev plugin v4, download here just in case you cant find the latest version on the nifskope forums LINK Nif importer/exporter dev plugin v5, 20 June 2016 LINK Possibly GIMP 2.0 in case you want to manually edit textures LINK A BSA extractor tool, go search online for one, there are many, I will be using B.A.E. LINK Preparation: If you haven't already done so, extract your archives since this tutorial is going to be using the bethesda GND nifs as a form template, but more importantly their collision shapes are what we are needing since this tutorial utilizes. Disclaimer! This tutorial is meant to teach you how to convert a RIGGED MESH into a GND nif, or even tweak a GND nif as there really isnt a reason to convert other objects into GND nifs, and as it stands the nif plugin for blender is not entirely functional and is still in development, which means that the collision export is bugged, so you may have to play around with your export/import options and even your file afterwards in nifskope, collisions are to be covered in a later tutorial. Make back-up copies just in case your custom GNDs cause your game to crash, and make sure you have done everything with your knowledge to troubleshoot issues that could be caused by you and not the plugin/blender. This plugin can actually be used to make/edit armor and export just fine for the most part, but you may run into the vertex->weight issue, and I may release another tutorial covering that as well. I also assume that you know how to operate blender, as this tutorial teaches you how to convert a nif and not use blender itself. If you dont know much about operating blender or what i am doing in blender, please go watch some tutorials on creating things in blender on youtube as they are a great way for a person to learn and get used to the layout since 2.49b is vastly different from 2.77a. STEP 1) Download and install blender 2.77a, nifskope, and then install the dev plugin by File>User Preferences>Add-Ons>Install From File. STEP 2) Import your nif file(s) into blender, if you are going to use my method of converting a mesh and then replacing a bethesda nif that already comes with a working collision layer, I suggest you choose something from your extracted archive that would fit the mesh you are currently converting. Sidenote: Unless you have a custom default scene that is empty, make sure you have first cleared your scene by pressing A twice and then press the delete button when your cursor is in the 3d render window, and hit enter or click on the option that asks for you to delete. STEP 3) Link your textures in the material section, and that means all of them that blender asks you to, otherwise blender wont let you export your mesh. Sidenote: Click and hold your mouse wheel while your cursor is over the Properties Bar and scroll to the left in order to get to the materials and textures tabs. Your textures may not be automatically linked by blender even if all of your meshes are in the extracted archive which is why they appear to be black, so you will have to link them yourself, make sure your Viewport Display in your 3D view is set to Texture or Material in order to prevent confusion of whether or not your textures have been linked by blender. Make sure that you have linked the Diffuse and Normal maps, and any other "maps" blender recognizes a texture link to. Find the textures that your model needs, such as the diffuse and normal maps, and link them, they should appear automatically if you have set your display settings accordingly. WARNING SOME TEXTURE LINK DATA MAY BE LOST SUCH AS ENVIRONMENT MAPS BUT CAN BE RESTORED FULLY IN NIFSKOPE SO DON'T SWEAT IT IF IT DOESN'T KEEP THE TEXTURE DATA! STEP 4) Import your reference GND nif, and then repeat step 3 STEP 5) Align your rigged mesh to the reference GND, use the pose mode from the skeleton, rather than manually moving the vertices to save time and keep the ability to further manipulate and move around the mesh without having to manually edit the vertices. STEP 6) After you are satisfied with the posed position of your rigged mesh, apply the armature modifier to set the pose of the model. STEP 7) Delete all vertex groups after you have applied the armature modifier, or else your mesh will go back to its default T-pose state STEP 8) Delete the reference GND vertices, but do not delete the entire node, you will need that unless you want to go through the trouble of altering the new mesh's data to be exported as a GND object, instead of a skinned one. STEP 9) Merge the new mesh to the empty reference node, do this in object mode and use Ctrl+J, DO NOT MERGE THE EMPTY NODE TO THE NEW MESH OR IT WILL NOT WORK. STEP 10) Go back to your materials and delete the old material data, so that only your new mesh's material data exists. STEP 11) In object mode, select your mesh and collision layer, however since the blender plugin doesn't fully support collision export, you can delete it if you want to, but you can keep it if you want to generate an entirely new collision shape in Nifskope later on. STEP 12) Export your selection by going to File>Export>NetImmerse/Gamebryo (.nif), make sure your export selection is set to Skyrim, the default for the plugin is for Oblivion, you may get an error message that says your version number does not match the selected export option, which means you did not set your file version correctly, or you did not set your export version to Skyrim. You aren't exporting a rigged mesh, so don't change any of the settings anywhere else, just make sure your export game setting is set to Skyrim. STEP 13) Name and export your file whatever you wish, just be warned that your nif's exported name, will be the same name as your BSFadeNode, in other words if you export your nif as Scene Root.nif, the name value of the nif will be Scene Root. STEP 14) Open up your new GND nif, and open up your reference GND nif, you are going to remove the mesh of the reference GND and copy/paste in your own, that way you can keep the old collision data without having to generate a new collision mesh. Delete the reference mesh by right clicking on it in the display window, and click on Block>Remove Branch. STEP 15) Now go into your new GND nif and do the same, except copy your mesh for the reference by right clicking on your mesh in the 3d render window, and clicking on Block>Copy Branch. STEP 16) Paste your new mesh into the reference by right clicking on the BSFadeNode name, and clicking on Block>Paste Branch. Sidenote: Make sure you right click somewhere in the value of the name, for example from the Txt to the , otherwise Nifskope may end up pasting your mesh outside of the node, which would be bad news for you because the nif may not save and will not work and may cause your game to crash. STEP 17) Your new mesh may not have the same string name, as it so happens, all pasted data will assume the name of a pre-existing string name, so you must rename your string, I suggest the name of the mesh that was already deleted. If you want to give it a custom name, just remember that nifskope will literally make a new string name for each new letter or symbol entered into the table, which can lead to a stair-step string name list effect, it wont harm the nif, but it makes you look sloppy in your editing, go ahead and look at some old Skyrim armor mods, you may find some unused or old string names such as Material.001 for example. My node's name was assumed to be BSX, just click on whatever the deleted node's string name was, mine was helmet01:0, then press okay. STEP 18) Save your new nif as something other than the reference nif and your exported nif. STEP 19) If your nif file had more than two texture references other than the diffuse and normal, you will have to manually repath them in Nifskope. Expand the node by right clicking on the arrow to reveal the data within the node, expand NiTriShape>BSLightingShaderProperty and then select BSShaderTextureSet, then expand the textures menu in your block details, it should look like my reference image and you should see your two dds textures linked, and if you want to manually relink or change textures, just right click on the texture path and click choose, a menu should pop up and you will have to select the textures you want. Make sure you reduce your texture path by double clicking on the texture path, and deleting any text that comes before "textures\.......", as it may cause odd rendering issues as the game will be looking for textures that the user may not have, or the directory of the player using your mod may not be the same as yours is, which is why you should always reduce your linked texture paths. STEP 20) You are now done with your GND nif, if you are replacing a pre-existing nif, such as I am, I can copy and paste and rename the helmet nif accordingly in the right file location, use your extracted archive for reference. If you are wanting to make an entirely new GND nif for a custom armor, then you will have to put it where your armor is, make sure the file is named properly such as Helmet_GND.nif. If you are making an entirely new GND nif and want it in your game, you will have to manually link it in the Creation Kit, but there are tutorials elsewhere for stuff like that, as this tutorial was strictly meant to help you create a GND nif, not make a mod that uses it. Here is an example of the old GND nif that was low-poly, and here is the new nif that uses the same model that you wear. OLD version DOWNLOAD NEW higher-poly version DOWNLOAD If you think that this tutorial/method doesn't work, then please take a look at what I have made below by using this method.