[FfH II Art Team Blog]

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by seZereth, May 19, 2007.

  1. Amon Ra

    Amon Ra Chieftain

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    Thanks, but i found it that same night. Mechanos skins are on the unpacked files ir art folder, subfolder civs.

    Thinking on it, i ask: its better having all art packed? unpacked? whats the reason of having it mixed, most packed and a few unpacked?

    Also, leaderhead for Mahala is unpacked as Mahala-2, and the original mahala face is weird!

    Reviewing mechano´s skins, arent bad at all, except feris, who is suspect is a man (as Eihorn!! :cry:)

    Could i ask for a new skin for Feris, and instrucctions about how to change skins in general? i saw a few pretty good on download sections (urd and others) but no idea howto replace or use them.
    Mechanos are a nice civ, hard in the beggining, but great in late game.
     
  2. zldrago1000

    zldrago1000 Chieftain

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    Hey guys, I know this thread has been long dead, but I am working on creating some custom units for the Balseraph Immortal. I am modeling it after the Joker from Batman.

    I linked what I made here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=13583490&postcount=5185

    Does anyone with more artistic talent than what I possess have any advice on improving what I have currently created?
     
  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I reskinned Stephanos in order to make a couple new heroes in my modmod (the Imprimatur Council members Badb and Mikel Dylantyr, the greatest masters of Ice and Fire magic), but would rather them not be mounted units.

    I managed to make the horse invisible, but most of my attempts to remove the horse model from the .nif file resulted in the game crashing. A couple of times I managed to delete the horse without a crash, but in those versions the rider was still hovering bowlegged as if still on horseback. Since the horse model might as well have still been there, and since I would rather keep the sceptre, I ended up just using the original cataphractstephanos5.blend.nif but changing basic horse kopie.dds so that the horse was invisible.

    Could anyone help me get a unmounted model for Stephanos, preferably one that works with animations that lets them move and fight like an archmage?

    edit: I found that using <KFM>Art/Units/Grenadier/Grenadier.kfm</KFM> with the invisible horse gives the unit decent walking and fighting animations, but it still hovers in the air and faces the wrong direction.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  4. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

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    @PPQ_Purple is the only active 3d artist in the ffh area that i know of, so you should probably ask them. Note that if you do manage to have those two done, i'd be interested to have them for AoE too, with your and the artist's permission of course.
     
  5. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    You can't just delete the horse from a unit and have it work. If you want to take a mounted rider and have the guy be on foot you would have to open the NIF in a 3D software and rejig him to the animations of a foot unit. The whole affair is a lot more complicated and a lot more work than a copy paste job. And it can't usually be done well using nifscope. Since you are one of the original FFH people I'll see what I can do later today when I get off work. But no promises.
     
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  6. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Try this one on for size. It took a while to make it happen as rejigging an entire model isn't exactly easy but I think it should work. The unit uses the grenadier animations. In particular I've tested it with the Mage animations from FFH which I imagine is what you'd want anyway. Here are some screenshots and the zip.
    thrower.JPG fighter 1.JPG standing.JPG
     

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  7. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Thanks a lot!


    The unit's head tilts up rather the forwards further than I'd like, but it is definitely better than the mounted model. It looks like you already made it tilt forward a bit more, and that if you did it much more the gap between the hair and the cloak might become too noticeable, so it is probably not worth the effort to change it.

    I think I only noticed it because when I first used your model with my Mikel Dylantyr reskin I immediately saw an ugly area at the top of the cloak where the texture matched the hair instead of the fir trim of the cape. It is like that with the default Stephanos skin too, but was much more noticeable on Mikel where it was bright red hair against charcoal colored trim. I have edited my textures so it looks fine now.


    How would I go about changing color of the magical flame effect around the units' left hands? The blue flames are fine for Babd, but for Mikel Dylantyr I'd rather they be orange.


    That reminded me that when making my Gastrius model (the Amurite Wizard Illusion art, but bluer) I never quite figured out how to change his flames from orange to blue. I'd really like to change that since Kael revealed last year that Caswallawn literally translates to "wielder of the blue flames" and describes the appearance of the disembodied Gastrius's power being used by the host to whom he has attached himself.


    Would your modelling skins be needed just to add a crown or halo to a unit, or can that be done as a simple copy-paste in nifscope?

    I tried copying the religion-identifying halos from the priests of the original religions to use for new units for my new religions, and found they showed up in Nifscope but not in the game.

    I had a similar issue trying to make the Crown of Command stick to Corlindate in an attempt as making a model for Laroth.

    There were a lot of cases where I wished I could swap the style of staff that a unit uses with a different style used in another model, but those probably aren't worth your time or the effort of teaching myself

    Here are the files for Badb and Mikel Dylantyr. You are welcome to use them however you like.
     

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  8. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Yea, the tilting head problem is something I've been struggling to fix for a long time now. It's a thing that's inherent to the original Grenadier animations actually. And it's something you can see on FFH mages as well. I've tried to address it multiple times in my own modifications to the Mage animation. But what every the guys at Fireaxis did originally to make it they did it so solidly that every time I try things only end up worse. Like permanently sideways head or detached head worse. I am still trying though. And if I manage to create an animation set that does not have the head tilt you'll be the first to know.

    Changing the effects is relatively easy. Just make a copy of the relevant animation set and edit the appropriate KFM files by replacing the effects inside the animation with which ever effects you created. That's how I did my fireball ships and the like. If you need an example of how it's done check out my Navy and Effects modules for RIFE.

    Or, given that I am currently working on a great number of civ specific units for that mod which includes a whole slew of magic wielders with different color effects (see the Purple fireball in the screenshot) you can wait for me to make my next release and you'll find all the work already done there. If you do that, I imagine you'll actually be able to just take my whole effects module and the animation sets from my unit module and copy them verbatim for your use. The way I make mine is that I create centralized animation sets that point to different effects in my effects module and swapping between them is literally just a case of changing the file in XML. So they;ll be super easy to use. But that'll take a while since I need to finish up some more units.

    As it stands the existing crown is still an integral part of the unit. So I'd have to open it up in 3D max to cut it off the head. But that's not hard to do. As in it's 5 minutes as opposed to the hours that it took to make sure everything on the unit works right. And after that you can copy paste what ever you want. I attached the unit to this post.

    Did you copy the DDS files too or just the object? If you haven't copied the DDS the religious halo will just show up as a white box in nifscope and won't be visible at all in game. I think.
    Send me the NIF's and I'll check them out.

    As for staffs and the like, unless they are literally fused into the model such as was the case with Stephanos you can just copy paste them.
     

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  9. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I think I found an easier way of changing the specific effects I wanted: I used Notepad++'s Find in Files function to replace every instance of fx_fire with fx_fblu in Gastrius's folder and fx_fblu with fx_fire in Mikel Dylantyr's folder.

    The effects I wanted were all commonly used for other units. I had already switched them in at least one place in Gastrius's model. The issue is that such effects are referenced a dozen times per model and the files are buried nested within trees so I had trouble finding most of them. Things became much simpler once I realized that Notepad++ could read and write to nif files. Even though most of the file looks like complete gibberish, the names of dds files referenced within the nif were clear.


    Now I am wondering though about changing the color effects for some other units. Herve, for instance, would look better with green effects than blue.



    I might end up using the crownless Stephanos model for Mikel. I did not at all mind him having a crown, but if might be nice for him to differ more from Badb. I definitely want to keep the crown on Badb, both because Kael called him a king and because it reminds me a little of a snowflake.


    What I was talking about doing was not removing the crown from the Stephanos model or replacing it with some other crown, but rather adding that crown to a different model. I wasn't actually thinking of taking the crown from Stephanos himself bur rather using the Crown of Command model, which is the same crown without anything attached.


    I've successfully pasted the Crown of Command into a reskinned Corlindale model for Laroth, but found that it just hovers in place rather than staying on top of the unit's head. (Even if it it did move with the head I'm not terribly impressed with the unit and am still looking for a better option.) I'm still very much an amateur with modelling software. How would I make it move with the head?

    If I were to copy and paste staffs, how would I make sure they stay in the unit's hand rather than hovering off to the side?



    There were a lot of staffs I'd like to switch around but I cannot remember what most were at the moment.

    The staff I was least happy with was Herve's. Herve (Member of the Imprimatur Council, Kylorin's student in Nature Magic, a Fey from long before the Ljosalfar and Svartalfar split) is a reskin of the Svartalfar Druid, but in more Ljosalfar colors. I don't like him having the Svartalfar crescent moon as the head of his staff. I would rather him use the staff from the Ljosalfar Archmage, Druid, Mage, Adept, or High Priest of the Leaves. (I listed those in order or preference but would settle for any of them; only the last two have the staff as a separate branch from the body of the unit.)

    The clerics of the Brotherhood of Wardens currently use reskinned models from the Order High Priests, with the valkyrie spear tip included for the normal Warden of the Weak but the whole staff removed for the Calabim Blinded Brother UU (who are strict pacifists that refuse to fight for any reason, even to defend themselves or others). I would much rather use the staff from the Elohim Mage (which is topped with an Owl, a symbol of Sirona) for both of them, but that one is an integral part of the unit's body too.

    Soqed Hozi used a reskin of the Elohim Adept, which has no staff, but I would like the hand that does not carry her holy book to hold a ceremonial mace (since canonically she used one to beat her twin sister to death.) Stephanos's scepter would probably do fine.

    I'm thinking my Emrys unit (a reskin of a Profane) might look better with the staff from the Sheaim Mage instead of from the Profane, but that staff is also part of the same model and probably not worth the effort to separate.



    When I tried copying the halos I included custom dds files to show the icon of the new religions my mod adds. They show up in nifscope but are invisible in the game.
     

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  10. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    If you just want to change the color of the effects look at what I did in my effects module. There are ready made examples there and you can just do what I did. That is to say:
    1. Make a copy of the effect in question (entire folder).
    2. Edit the dds file to change the color. I use Paint.net for that.
    3. Make new XML by copy pasting the old one and changing the name and paths.
    4. Attach.

    Did you paste it into the head node? Youi need to attach any adons like that to the skeleton otherwise they won't be animated. See the staff in the nif I sent you for an example of that.

    Paste it onto the skeleton of the unit into the appropriate hand node. See the model I sent you in my last post for an example as to where these should be attached.

    You know... at this point I am tempted to just go and make a common nif with all the various custom weapons in FFH just as a reference collection that one can copy paste from. I'll get back to you on that in a day or two. If it isn't way too much work I'll probably have it done by the end of next week or something and you and I both can copy paste from there. Until than practice copy pasting things into the appropriate node on the skeleton.

    I'll look into it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  11. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I looked into the units you linked and the problem is the same as with your weapons and crowns. TLDR you did not copy the effect properly, you only took the mesh where as you should have copied the entire "Attachable_Prophet_Highlight" node. And than you didn't paste it into the proper head node on the skeleton either. I fixed those. But I would advise you to look inside the nifs and see what and how it works. Also I would advise you not use NOTEPAD++ but Nifscope because whilst NP++ is quicker for some things you really must learn about the insides of Nif files and their structure if you are going to do this sort of work.

    PS. If you don't like the positioning of the halos and want to move them around move the entire "Attachable_Prophet_Highlight" node and not just the mesh you get when you click on it. Otherwise you WILL break the effect.
     

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  12. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Why it is that erasing portions of a DDS sometimes make a model transparent and sometimes do not?

    I've been playing around with nifscope to try to make unit art for more items of equipment.

    It gt started with me trying to tweak Trenton Majosi's model so that he would use a trident instead of a spear. I found there was a mermaid model someone shared which included a basic trident. I took that and adding a magic blue glowing grenade effect. Once it was working for Trenton himself I went ahead and made a version with only the trident and effects to be the item's own art.

    Then I made art for the Umbra Cloak and Pelian's Pallium. I started using the cape from a great commander, but could not figure out how to make the head/face/crown portion disappear. Erasing it just left it with whatever texture the dds had before erasing. I ended up using parts of the Sons of Acheron instead, as there I could delete the body and keep just the cape and hood.

    I made a Resounding Sheild, taking a unit's round shield and changing the texture to am image of Captain America's shield but saturated. I found cropping the unit to just the shield broke something, but I managed to copy the block from that model to a model of the black mirror and then delete the black mirror.

    What I have been struggling with the most are the Seven League Boots. I really like the boots from the Lanun Berserker best, but they are part of the same model as the body. (I have not found a unit whose bots are a separate object from the legs.) I can make the rest of the body change color, but nothing I do will make the body invisible like I was able to make the horse from the Stephanos model before you provided the custom rigging.
     

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