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Rigging in Blender (2.79) - a tutorial for NWN1 models

a_ba version 2: with daggers and shields
a_ba version 2: adjusting the position of the right dagger 1
a_ba version 2: adjusting the position of the right dagger 2
Author: 
Black Rider

This is a step by step tutorial on how  to rig a model (= a "skinmeshed" model) for NWN1 in Blender (2.79) using Neverblender. Though it does show the way for NWN1, the general rigging part is, of course, usable for any system, e.g. NWN2!

The plan to create a tutorial was announced some weeks ago and  I finally managed to finish it. English is not my native language, so you might stumble upon weird sentences, grammatical or spelling mistakes. But I hope, that it’s understandable enough.

It has gotten quiet long. This is due to the fact, that I wanted to write it also for Blender newbies and thus I used many screenshots and a lot of explanations! But don't let you be frightened away by the number of pages (58 ATM)! It doesn't take too many steps to get a basic weighting and once you wormed yourself through this, a basic (automatic) rig should be managable in a much shorter time period!

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Symmetric, who not only improved his Neverblender tool while I was trying to do a NWN1-rig, but also supplied me with tons of information and findings on how to accomplish certain things in Blender, which I knew how to do in Gmax, but not in Blender.

This is covered in the tutorial:
- Some basics / usefull functions (e.g. un-hiding objects)
- Setting up the scene to have an all-over lighting
- Preparing / adjusting the NWN1-model (which will be used as a skeleton) and the mesh to be rigged
- Creating the Armature (= the Blender skeleton) with the help of Neverblender
- Rigging basics
- How to do a manual rig of the mesh to the Armature
- How to do an automatic rig
- An ecample weight reference
- Adjust the position of the dummies for adding weapons and such
- How to export the skinmeshed model with the help of Neverblender
- Tripping hazard
- How to change the silvery base texture of a NWN1 creature to show transparency (instead of silver)
- Hiding the crosshairs/axis of empties/dummy nodes
- Bending fingers (with the help of a Lattice modifier)
- Slowing down the animation speed for the Blender view port

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Addition:

Two simplified human NWN1-templates based on a_fa and a_ba.

- All unneeded parts have been removed (cloaks, shoulder, ...)

- Material entries have been removed

- All parts are set to Render=No and Shadows=Yes

- Meshes are partly simplified (e.g. the female head)

You can use these for humans to create the Armature and, later on, to link your skinmeshes to - for the NWN1-export.

They have the original animations. Ignore those "Shield-"ones They only animate a part of the upper body. The walking is drawn from another supermodel. There are enough others to use to check your rigging. If an animation of your model is not working IG, you might have to set the supermodel to a_fa/a_ba, because they are drawing on other supermodels and their animations.

 

Edit / addition (July 2018):

Exchanged the a_fa / a_ba templates (= now version 2): They now have dummy daggers and shields (all = small, large and tower), which make it much more easy to position the item nodes after rigging (see page 42/43 of the manual). Of course, they will not render, nor cast shadows (= turned off).

To position the weapon/shield nodes, select the according dummy of the NWN1-model (e.g. rhand, lhand = weapons / lforearm = shields) - NOT the item or the empty/dummy of the item! - and move it.

[For the record: version1 (=withouth daggers and shields) had 15 downloads so far]

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This tutorial doesn't cover EE additions. Here is an info and a link, which will help to expand a rig for EE:

 Quote Symmetric:
"Neverblender supports all new parameters: Normals, tangents, colors (vertex colors), materialname, renderhint, multiple tverts (uv maps) and multiple textures. You'll need to enable the checkbox "Export Normals and Tangents" in the export options for normals and tangent support (disabled by default atm)"

A nice tutorial by TheBarbarian is here:
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn1/other/aribethorial-aribeth-mod...

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Please report anything, that is not correct or unclear, so I can update the tutorial, if necessary.

Happy Rigging!

 

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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kaliopsys

Hello !

Thank you very much ! I'm working on a Diablo3 models importation with no animations, so I think it will be very useful to me ;)

Please send my regards to Symmetric ^^

Salut !

Merci beaucoup ! Je travaille sur l'importation de modèles tirés de Diablo 3 sans animations, je pense que ça me sera très utile ;)

Mes salutations à Symmetric ^^

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DrA

Wow, impressive work here, Black Rider. It'll take some time till I can read the whole stuff, but from what Ive glimpsed, nicely explained. Thanks smiley

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Black Rider

Thank you.

I just added two simplified human NWN1-templates (see description in the main text body).

And as an info: I'll be gone for vacations starting this thursday, so I probably won't be able to send any replies. -> I'm back. smiley

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TheBarbarian

This is an excellent, well-illustrated tutorial, and those a_ba and a_fa bases are bound to be extremely convenient for a lot of things.

Now I've finally got something to point people to when they ask how to turn a creature model into a robe. Nice job, Black Rider. :-D

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Black Rider

59 downloads so far! laugh THANK YOU for checking it out!

So, did it work out for you = those, who tried the tutorial? That would be very intresting for me!

 

And an update:

I exchanged the a_fa / a_ba templates (= now version 2): They now have dummy daggers and shields (all = small, large and tower), which make it much more easy to position the item nodes after rigging (see page 42/43 of the manual).

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Symmetric

I finally found some time to read your tutorial. Nice work all around. This will help everyone intersted in rigging - hopefully we'll a bunch of nice models. (I'm expecting 67 as of now)

I'm still hunting that export bug when not at frame 0. No clue why that sometimes happens. If everything else fails I'll just add another export option to set the frame to 0 - it could be useful to export at the current frame so I want to keep it as an option.

Fimbul and I found an issue with NWN:EE: If a skinmesh has no uv-map/tverts it will not be deformed at all. Should people want to test their rig in-game without textures they'll need to add at least some placeholder uv-map. This also applies to skinmeshes without textures at all - just sayin' in case someone wants to do that. That is new behaviour in NWN:EE (at least currently, July 2017, v1.76). It works fine in 1.69.

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Black Rider

Awesome! Hit 100 downloads! Again thank you to all, who give it a try!!!

And I'd still be glad, if some of you find the time to give feedbacks, like if this works for you or if I missed something.

 

Symmetric sent me an info / corretion (some time ago... sorry):

The "Apply Transform Helper" (which is "ResetXform" in Gmax) works only on the chosen/active model = Everything, which is linked to that Aurora Base and NOT everything in the scene. - Thanks Symmetric!

 

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