Sunday, June 23, 2013

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.

Fuck.

...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.

7 comments:

  1. You should have no trouble now finding Maeva in the dark, as long as she is looking in your general direction XD I have the impression in the third image, that there are fires burning in her eyes. An appropriate, and disturbing effect.

    As I have not had much exposure to Skyrim, I cannot say that I have noticed a discrepancy between the body/head size ratio when using a female body replacer. Then again, I was using the CBBE body, and I think the custom race I was using had a "head fix" included. Don't hold me to that, though. I would have to check the readme or the mod's main page again.

    I am assuming that you already have Maeva and the other members of the lovely trio already packed as an ESM file, so I wouldn't have any other suggestions about the neck seam issue that didn't involve jewelry or avoiding low neck lines.

    Hmm, I should try messing around with glow maps for Maeva's eyes myself...

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    1. " I have the impression in the third image, that there are fires burning in her eyes. An appropriate, and disturbing effect."

      Oh, believe me: the hellfire pun has been made. Several times.


      "I cannot say that I have noticed a discrepancy between the body/head size ratio when using a female body replacer. Then again, I was using the CBBE body,"

      I'm not 100% on this, since I only used CBBE a few days (long enough to find out the UV mapping wasn't compatible with vanilla), but I've never heard of the issue with it. I think the head thing is a UNP-specific issue. It's not always easy to see; since Skyrim has several armors with oversized pauldrons -- they're not WoW-fuckhueg; but big enough to screw up your sense of scale. I ended up going with a scale of 0.925, and it looks much better now.


      "I am assuming that you already have Maeva and the other members of the lovely trio already packed as an ESM file,"

      They're actually not. Skyrim doesn't have the head/body mismatch bug (at least that I've ever heard of); and I wasn't sure how well TESSnip would do with the new plugin format, so I decided to leave it an esp until and unless I needed it to be a master.

      As far as I know, the issue with the neck seams is predominantly caused by how Skyrim reads the normal and subsurface maps for the head and body -- if they're not perfectly aligned and coordinated, you get a seam. Even if they are... you still have a seam under certain lighting conditions. Skyrim, much like Oblivion before it, is going to be a necklace-mandatory game, I fear.


      "Hmm, I should try messing around with glow maps for Maeva's eyes myself..."

      If you're meaning for FO3, there shouldn't be any messing necessary. If you have my cosmetic pack, you have the same eyes and glowmaps I used for Maeva in my plugin. I stumbled into it playing with combinations one day, and it worked well enough that I never felt it necessary to create new ones. My Maeva uses the golden glowing demon eyes, with a red demon eye texture. The glowmap is already set up through the mesh itself.

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    2. Hmm, I have never specifically checked on how much glow there was with Maeva's eyes in FO3, so I might have just missed it all this time. How, after all this time, I have missed that is beyond me... o.O

      And no "mismatch bug" with Skyrim? Again, I have not put enough time into it to notice some things, and it is quite possible that using a custom race designed to use a specific custom body most likely had a less noticeable seam, so I (again) didn't see it. *shrugs*

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    3. "How, after all this time, I have missed that is beyond me... o.O"

      RR-Maeva has no glow. She predates my messing with that stuff; and I never updated her to use it. As I recall, she just has the plain, non-glow green demon eye texture.

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    4. Your recollections on the matter are correct, Nos; RR-Maeva predates your cosmetic pack and thus has no glowy eyes. I only recall it so distinctly because I was working on the RR Scouts at the time and I was of course impressed enough by your glowy eyes to add them to several of the Scouts.

      Skyrim-Maeva is looking impressive, true to form. Though it has never occurred to me to ask until now, does she like cats? (That's right, there are Skyrim nekomimi mods out there somewhere and I WILL find them.) Otherwise, I'd really hate to get on her bad side.

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    5. "I only recall it so distinctly because I was working on the RR Scouts at the time and I was of course impressed enough by your glowy eyes to add them to several of the Scouts."

      Flatterer. (The glowmaps did come out pretty nice looking, though...)


      "Though it has never occurred to me to ask until now, does she like cats?"

      Hang on, I'll ask.

      ...

      She says: "That depends: is said cat-girl willing to wear a cute collar and bring me beer?"

      Her first comment was something about liking cats so long as they were seasoned properly... but then I reminded her that you probably meant catgirl and not house cat.


      "(That's right, there are Skyrim nekomimi mods out there somewhere and I WILL find them.)"

      You know, you can just ask if you want to know which mods of a particular type I'm aware of; you don't hafta ask leading questions...

      Anyhow, if you want to go lazy (or have a favorite body replacer/texture you don't want to give up), Kaw Cat Disguise Set is pretty much anime-cat-girl: craft ears and a tail and slap 'em on any female you like.

      For more involved stuff, I think Eiries' (HoneyVanity's significant other) custom set of catgirl textures (Ohmes Raht? I forget what exactly they were supposed to be) are the best looking. Also link has some NSFW screens and so forth. He only uses Mega for file sharing; and I've had them since release so I don't have a link handy anymore, but I can dropbox the archive for you if you want.

      Only kicker is they're textures only -- you have to do your own installation by renaming them to replace an existing race's textures, or creating a whole new custom race for them. I think I remember Eiries mentioning he uses them as a replacer for the Nidia race to get a custom race without having to mess with scripting and all. I don't actually use them myself; it's just that after losing a couple Fallout bodies/textures to the aether, I've started obsessively archiving every mod that looks even remotely like I might someday have a use for it.


      "Otherwise, I'd really hate to get on her bad side."

      Probably a good call -- we met some vampires (Dawnguard-added) up the hill from Karthwasten. Mystery-chan and I nailed the first with arrows; but the second got into melee range. Maeva one-shotted the poor bastard -- decapitated him on the spot with her sword.

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    6. Thanks for the info. From the looks of my latest web search, the Cat Disguise for now will have to suffice.

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