Sunday, June 23, 2013

Delivery From Skyrim


It Glows!

I sat up playing Civ4 until nearly 0700 Saturday, I didn't end up getting back up until nearly 1800. So it is that I sit awake now.

Seems to be fuckall going on in the late night/early morning -- nothing on TV, XM continues to be made of suck and fail since the Sirius takeover; nothing interesting on any forums or boards.

Decided to spend some time modding; which I haven't gotten to do much lately due to life being annoying. Should probably be creating weapons and scripting their leveled list adders in FNV... but that crap is so boring. Ended up monkeying with Skyrim, instead.

Readers will no doubt be aware that one of the more memorable features of everyone's favorite demoness (aside from being friggin' huge) is that her eyes glow; and not with that boring, "brighter than the sun" single color glow-y spot that you can see from space, either. Regular readers may also recall that when I initially tried carrying this effect over to Skyrim, I failed miserably.

Well, I've learned a fair bit more about working with models since then, and figured I could give it another go. Better than watching The Matrix for a forty-third time on Cinemax, anyway.

Made the alterations to the mesh; made the alterations in the relevant entries in the SuCK; loaded the game... and no change.


...Then I remembered I forgot to export her facegen files again; since while I didn't edit the character, the eyes and eye textures are nonetheless listed in the facegen mesh. Once I did that...

...Ye Gods; it looked like some shit from /tesg/. Still, they glow; so now it's just a matter of finding the right settings... and modifying the eye texture to be the right color to emulate the Fallout setup; and looking up which emissive color I used to get the right bleed-through effect; and creating a whole new glowmap that looks less like shit...

While I was "under the hood" anyway, I also decided to see to a couple other issues. It's fairly well known that while an otherwise outstanding body, UNP/B/C/et al have an issue wherein the default head is too big for the body -- not quite cartoonish in proportion, but not anatomically correct for a human being, either. I've known for several months how to fix it; but never bothered because doing it right would involve setting up a custom skeleton for each race... and I'm y'know, lazy and all. Figured I may as well tonight, though; since I was messing with a bunch of other stuff, anyway.

The results? Well, I'll let the images speak for themselves:

In all, I glowy-ed the eyes, shrank her head to human-esque proportion, made her arms and hips slightly larger (had done the legs, too; but they ended up looking messed up so I reverted them to normal), mostly fixed the issue with her underlying "hairline" mesh clipping through the main hair (you can still see a teeny spot in that second-to-last image; up at the top rear of her head -- so I apparently still need to mess with it a bit), and increased the scale of the main hair as a whole 10% to help offset it being too short and having screwed up alphas.

I wasn't sure how many tries it would take to get the eyes right; but looking through my screenshot archive from FNV, I think I nailed it as close as the games' different interpretation of meshes and lighting will allow.

While I wouldn't call it a masterwork, I'm nonetheless pretty pleased with how Maeva came out. Scaling up her hair seems to have worked nicely, too... but man that is a low quality texture. Then again, the ported hair mesh uses the same texture it had in FO3; which was the same texture it had in Oblivion... so not unexpected.

Now if I could just get those damned neck-seams to disappear...

Edit, noon-thirty PST:

Played some; got my savegames lined out (I think -- I swear to whoever's listening, I'm going to stop using any script-heavy Skyrim mods... they all seem to be game-fuckers); took some more screenshots under dimmer lighting conditions.

Here we have the wild demon; getting sloshed while listening to some live entertainment.

Back in the main game, we spent some time in the volcanic hotsprings; met a majestic endangered species... and hit it in the face with sharp objects until it died.

We ended up out east of Karthwasten after dark; finishing off some miscellaneous quests. This seemed a perfect opportunity to see how the new glowy eyes did in the dark.

As you can see, they're noticeable; but don't overpower local sources or cause the equivalent of a washout in your vision.

It's probably not something you guys can tell from the screenshots, but I messed with Maeva's hair some more, too. Increased the scale another ten percent; got the underlying "hairline" mesh to stop clipping through; and increased the volume of her hair in general.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do It Yourself?

Got curious this morning about just how many of my FNV mods were stuff I did myself; since I tend to just create what I need at the moment and not really pay attention to it after that as long as it works.

Not counting the FNV master, the DLC, or esp "working versions" of files I use as a master, I count 59 plugins in my FNV data folder.

Yes, I run a fairly sparse game. It cuts down on crashing; and I found long ago that most of my plugins in FNV and other games were clutter -- armor or weapon mods that weren't actually in any leveled list, and that I never really used.

Of those 59 plugins, 22 were made by me. 23 if you count the version of Kaw's "Cat Outfits" plugin that I converted from FO3 myself rather than wait on an official port when FNV hit. What? I needed Maeva's horns, damn it.

So... yeah -- apparently there were quite a few things I wanted done right and/or without excess baggage and "extra features".

A Mojave Aside

Not really pertaining to mods exactly, but I went on a bit of a modding binge this evening.

I've long wanted an increases spawns mod for FNV; but the mods I've tried have uniformly sucked. The latest has recently hit the Nexus' hot files listing, but when I tested it I found out that it was not an increased spawns mod, after all -- in a simple increased spawns mod, you'd see more of whatever normally inhabited an area; just more of them. This one took every spawn type I enabled... and put them wherever I went. When I stepped out of the Estate (NNE of Jacobstown, over the mountain -- normally only inhabited by some Bighorners and a few mantises) to go test spawns, imagine my surprise when I was met by cazadores, super mutants, radscorpions, ghouls, and Legion. Might have been more... but the stupid mod spawned so many enemies (even with a 10% chance of none) that my system slowed to one frame every other second or so.

Just another case of 'if you want something done right, do it your damned self' -- so I did.

Anyway, while I was in the GECK looking around outdoor cells for certain types of spawns to multiply in a non-pantsu-on-head-retarded manner I decided to check on Bonnie Springs. I kind of waffled on this idea because if you play the long way around (like you're a'sposed to) the Vipers in Bonnie Springs are a push-over -- you'll long since have acquired the long range weapons and/or DT busting ammo you need; but the way I play, I generally roll into the park at level four, with nothing more powerful than a .357 revolver or varmint rifle. Without mods or preorder packs, it's really difficult to clear out the Vipers; since one has metal armor and one has combat armor, they're pretty much immune to anything you can loot around Goodsprings save for explosives... and since the Vipers also get to spawn with a grenade rifle and a trail carbine, getting close enough to use dynamite can be a messy proposition, too.

Digression aside, I found that I couldn't practically increase the Viper spawns, since they're scripted. Turns out most of the Vipers in the game are. I don't know why the rest of the enemies in the game didn't get the treatment, but apparently Vipers are scripted to have their corpses replaced with scavenging animals after a certain amount of time passes from their death -- the Vipers around Ranger Station Charlie actually have three levels: the Vipers, the scavengers, and then a third set that moves in when you kill the second off.

While I was trying to decide whether I wanted to edit the scripts to work with more spawns, I found this:

Those of you in the audience who have done much quest scripting in NV will probably recognize Jorge's name -- he left comments and notes in more than a few scripts. This one, I can't help but think was meant to be deleted before the game went live. Basically, it's one of the devs passive-aggressively bitching about having to scale things back to make the game work on consoles. So much for consoles being just as good as the PC, I suppose.

I thought it was funny.