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[Tut] Nifscope

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modding Tutorials & Reference' started by The_Coyote, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    The purpose of this tutorial is to have a some information how to use nifscope written down. While for sceneviewer (aka nifviewer), the from Firaxis provided tool, already lots of tutorials exists, the same can´t be said for nifscope.

    So here i try to give you an impression how to work with a tool, with may thanks to the niftools team for providing and creating it, A tool which is my eyes better than nifviewer and also allows you more things to do. It seems that i use the outdated version 1.0.8, but there shouldn´t be big differences the handling.

    The tutorial will start with the basic in how to use the program and will cover all fields i know. Hopeful if somebody knows more about it, he will add the information. If later questions arise i will cover them in the thread, and perhaps if my time allows it and it´s worth, update this text.

    dl: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=11641

    Ciao
    The_Coyote

    to add:
    (Shader and non shader SkinPartitions are not the same!)
    problem (example): http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8072802&postcount=2372
    solution and reason: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8072802&postcount=2372

    get polycount:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=7865504&postcount=14

    make a non shader teamcolour Civ4 unit Colonization ready (unit is completely displayed in teamcolor):
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=298464&page=3

    longer explaination how nifs, kfm, kf correspond (no pedia entry error):
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=319369

    explaination (with pic) what it´s meant with order of children (it can be important eg for attachables and transparency)
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8814635&postcount=36

    explaination of the steps necessary in nifscope to get a max2009 model with the nifscripts running in game
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=363586

    explaination of how to do a nifswap using nifskope from SaibotLieh, also look at the following posts (eg there are some remarks and hints from ambrox62 three posts below)
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=9203025&postcount=3534

    with the lastest Nifskope version 1.0.22 you can scale and rotate the selected parts of an uv in the texture edit mode. Available throu the menue (RMB) or with the shortcuts Alt + R and Alt + S

    adding gloss or glow to non rigged (non shader) models
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=9682546&postcount=36

    explaination / description of the settings / texture setup for shader / non shader units and civ 4 vanilla naming convention.(SaibotLieh)
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=10321122#post10321122

    particle effects / transparent parts of models and visibility problems (the model disappears behind the transparent part or the particle effects seems to be behind the model). It´s a problem of the order of the children
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=418869 and
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8814635&postcount=36

    explaination of the known facts about frozen nifs (with an almost doable "solution idea" to create them, you have to read the linked threads)
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=326410

    SaibotLieh tutorial "How to modify existing animations using Blender and NifSkop " with some additional and detailed informations how to change animation in Nifskope
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=435755

    Discussion of the importance of offset value and vertex color for the terrain height adjustment of forest like features [Blender needed for fix - a script written by tesb to make the work a bit easier is in the linked thread]
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=481612


    old text:
    Spoiler :
    Version: .03

    I have started with a nifscope tutorial. After long time hoping that some of the other more expert modellers makes it but there is still nothing available i decided to start making one.

    Still in a very early phase i will upload if i have something new. Comments are more than welcomed, eg what also to include (if you want to know something special about leaderheads, i´m the wrong person) or where additional information are needed. Also if you want to cover a part, feel free ;)

    The so far planed content can be found in the outline, atm i didn´t finished the basics, but perhaps somebody can use the informations

    Ciao
    The_Coyote

    Edit: 13.01. atm my available time is a bit limited, hopeful i can add new stuff next weekend
    .......21.01. version .02 uploaded, almost chapter one finished
    .......22.01. version .03 uploaded, finished chapter one and half of chapter 2 finished (copying meshes from one nif to another)
     
  2. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    no need for this tutorial :confused: Believe it or not there are other things i could do in my free time. Also because i´m familar with this tool i have no idea if it understandable (the reason why i upload every new part), ...

    btw v.03 uploaded
     
  3. pencilgod

    pencilgod Chieftain

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    I think this is very useful! I'm especially curious if it is possible to fix the position of the teeth and eyes of imported LH's in Nifscope.
     
  4. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    thanks :)

    can you please provide a file (or link) with a LH which has this problems? i have an idea but because i´m absolut no leaderhead expert (i only make units) i must test if it works
     
  5. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    Wow, downloading it :) Thx for this tut :)
     
  6. Bakuel

    Bakuel King

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    I can't believe I missed this! :goodjob:
    Great tutorial The_Coyote, I only know how to use nif viewer but now I can began to use nif scope as well.
     
  7. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    thanks :) if something is left unclear ask, i think i´m a bit too used to the program to see possible problems for nifscope starters
     
  8. sedna17

    sedna17 Emperor

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    I'm also just getting started with NifSkope (now that it finally will work on a Mac), and have found your tutorial helpful so far. Please continue.
     
  9. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    for the moment it´s completed (simply because i have no idea what i could add). If somebody has question and i an answer, it will be continued

    Edit: btw great effort to compile nifscope so that it works on a mac
     
  10. Shiggs713

    Shiggs713 Immortal

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    Great tutorial Coyote. It helped me create my first bunch of new units. It was hard at first, but once I slowed down and read it all step by step, its not too hard. I took some of danrell and bernie14's american civil war units and gave them new weapons, and put them on horseback and such. That way there is lots of variety in the weaponry gfx, since there are many different types in the mod.

    Anyhow thanks :thumbsup:
     
  11. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    glad to hear and thanks :)
     
  12. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

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    awesome tutorial Coyote, thanks for sharing some insights ;)
     
  13. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    I read the tutorial, but unfortunately it did not help me with my task at hand. I'm not a modeler or an artist, and don't really have any desire to be. I am very apreciative of those who are though, that produce all this fine art. Thing is when I want to add a model, or remove one from my current base mod, I need to be able to get a poly count. I do not want to be dependent on other to do this, so I'd really like to know a quick and efficient method to just get a poly count of a nif file I have at hand.

    How do I go about doing this? I have installed and ran blender and nifscope, I could find nothing in the nifscope UI to give me a polycount. Also for some reason Sceneviewer refuses to install for me, says it can't find some district.msi file from Microsoft visual studios, installed the program it wanted, but it can't find it, and the installer runs too fast for me to catch it's location. So I can only use nifskope.

    Any help would be apreciated.
     
  14. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    it´s under NiTriShapeData or NiTriStripsData of the mesh - there are two interesting values for you:

    Num Triangles and Num Vertices, the first is the polycount the second the number of points, if the model is a NiTriStrips you could try to triangulate the mesh [RMB NiTriStrips -> Mesh - Triangulate] and look at the number of triangles. If there is a big drop (more than 30%) you should use the NiTriShape.

    Unfortunally i don´t know if there is a count all polys option, so beside you find such an option, you have to count the polys of all meshes to have the complete polycount.

    But beside the polycount you should also be aware that afaik the number of textures, texture size and also if the model has a shader or not affects the performance
     
  15. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    This is what I see when I open the Viking Warrior.nif with nifskope:



    I don't see the headers you reference, Where are these located?
     
  16. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    # of triangles = # of vertices divided by 3?

    I think the headers should be in the block list which I believe should be long and complex, but that model only has one node listed for some reason.
    Edit: under View you can show the blocks as a tree or a list. You have it set to tree I believe.

    My problem is there doesn't seem to be a way to get total vertices or total triangles of the unit, just sub-part by sub-part.
     
  17. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    I still don't understand, I have no experience with art programs. Pretend I'm your grandma and don't understand computer. What are the step by step instructions I need to access this information?

    It's weird, getting into Python and C++ programming was easier with no prior knowledge, as I have a good understanding of math, and language in general I guess. But when it comes to art apps, I have no base knowledge to work from.
     
  18. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    look at the tutorial and activated the block details in nifscope,
    now in the block list (left window in you pic), expand the tree (LMB on the small plus left of SceneRoot), repeat this in the tree until you see the NiTriShape or NiTriStrips node, expand there and you will see the block in mentioned, in the block details you can gather the informations. But be aware a model can have more than one mesh

    @GoodGame

    # of triangles = # of vertices divided by 3?

    will be different, one point can be part of more than one triangle and like said before, no idea how to get the entire polycount at once in nifscope (therefore for this i use also sceneviewer aka nifviewer)
     
  19. Ekmek

    Ekmek on steam: ekmek_e

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    I hope this doesnt stump you. I'm making units for civ4colonization. but for some reason some units come out like this. and this is just adding a unit someone made in these forums for bts and putting them in colonization.

    I fixed it one time by going into blender then doing texture paint (figured that out by trial and error).

    but is there a nifskope way to fix it?


    PS I know the pink club is no texture but why is the whole unit in teamcolor? and i removed teamcolor.bmp from the textures in nifskope!

     
  20. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    i know that there are two possible problems, one with teamcolour units (the unit texture must be the base texture, for Civ4 non shader units the base texture was the teamcolor.bmp and the model texture had another slot - but you already removed the teamcolor.bmp) and one with vertex paint. From the pic i can´t say what exactly the problem is in this case:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=298464&page=3 and the following page

    because the information are missing there, if it´s vertex colour you can deactivate it in nifscope, the boolean value can be found under NiTriStripsData, it´s called 'Has Vertex Colors'

    could you provide a link to the unit, so that i can look at it?
     

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