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Author Topic: Small Blender Walkthru  (Read 699 times)

Offline Randomdays

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Small Blender Walkthru
« on: January 12, 2012, 02:03:44 AM »
A few people have asked me how to do a few things with Blender.

There's a small walkthru here on converting a FFVTTR mesh to FF, with reference's to setting up Blender and Ewzzy's walkthru

Here's a quick walkthru on swapping a female mesh onto male kfs. I've done this and it works - you can see the female Star trek characters meshed onto Tommyboy's male trek_t kfs on my Major Mesh release thread in the Requests forum.

A couple of notes - due to the way Irrational set up their nifs, some will not import to Blender and will error. Look for a fan made altered nif which might work - male basic probably won't work, but male_basic_gloves might.
Some of Tommyboy's import fine, but the export is broken for some reason and won't respond to kfs, even with no error. If you follow the walkthru and the final mesh is "frozen", this might be the case. I use his trek_t alot because it works and has a lot of special "emote" kfs I like.
 This method works best when both meshes have the same "rest pose" - the standard arms out to side view. If one is imported in an "action pose" , it should work but there might be glitches. Blender does have a "pose mode" to match poses, but that's more complex and I won't go into that here.
Resizing and repositioning ought to match the 2 meshes. To match the female mesh, I did shorten the clavicle bones to match shoulder width better, but again, that's more complex and I won't go into that here.
I've only done this for a main object. Not sure how skoped items, capes, etc would work. With the walkthru below, the new female nif would have all the skoped items the male had, but slightly smaller, and would lose all her own items. You'd have to remove and re-add items with nifskope to get back to where you were. 
Needless to say, do numerous saves while converting so you don't have to start from the beginning if things go wrong.

I'm doing this off the top of my head, and I've only been doing this since October - still learning. If anyone has any input or corrections, please do so. Thanks.

1)Import the female mesh into Blender. If you are not in front view, hitting "1" or "3" on the number keypad should get you there. (Not sure if the "Numlock" needs to be on off for that - try both ways)

2) Hitting the "A" key will select/ deselect everything. Make sure everything is selected.

3) Holding down the "shift" key, use the mouse to unselect just the main mesh, and maybe the cape if you want to keep it and there is one. They will turn black where everything else stays purple/ pink. Since I'm not sure of the cape, maybe try without first.

4)Hit the "X" key to delete everything highlighted. You should be left with nothing but the main mesh.

5) Select the main mesh eith the mouse and highlight it pink.

6) Hit "N" to bring up the meshes basic stats. You'll see the X/Y/Z location of the mesh, its rotation on the 3 axis, and its size in all 3 directions. Hit "CTRL" + "A" to make it's present size and rotation default - the mesh shouldn't change, but all rotations should got to 0% and all sizes should go to 1.0 (100% of present size.) Do the same with the cape if its there and seperate.

7) Now we need to move it out of the way for a moment. Change the x value of the mesh to move it to the side. Y would move it forward/ back and Z up and down.

8)Now import the male mesh you want to use. Once its loaded, you should see everything belonging to the new mesh in the center, and the female mesh to one side.

9) Move the female mesh back to center. Wen now need to match the sizes of the 2 meshes. You can now either enlarge the female mesh to match the male and then shrink it later, or just shrink the male down to female size. We'll do that.

10) make sure the 2 meshes are overlapped as much as possible - moving only the female mesh around to match the male. Once they are ovelapped as much as possible, resize the male mesh.

11)Select the male armature - the skeleton, not the mesh itself. When you resize the skeleton, all other parts connected to it should resize as well.

12) Resize the male mesh by the armature using the resize buttons on the panel brought up with the "N" key. There's a button beneath them to resize all 3 directions at once - this should be on at first and off only for fine tuning in a single direction. put in a decimal  to resize - ".8" = "80%"

13) You will probably have to adjust at least the "Z" location as it shrinks and lower it back to the ground. Do the same with the cape if needed.

14) Once both meshes are as close to possible in size and location, selection ONLY the male mesh and delete it.

15) Now the female mesh is in place it needs to be tied to the armature. The kf's move the armature and the armature moves the polys tied to it. This is called rigging or weight painting. The polys are combined in a "vertex group" - IE all the polys in the upper right arm belong to the right upper arm vertex group. The group is tied to the upper right arm bone so that when the bone is moved by the kf, all polys tied to bone move with it.

16) Select the female mesh FIRST, the with shift held down select the male armature SECOND. It must be in this order - both should turn pink. You want to make the mesh the child of the armature.

17) Hit "Ctrl" +"P". select Armature in the popup. This will tie the mesh to the armature. With the next popup menu, select "Don'r create groups" . Since the female mesh is from a pre-existing setup, all its polys should already be set up in groups. If not, you could select "create from bone heat" and Blender would create vertex groups of ploys from the closest bone for you. You would have to tweek it by hand as some polys would be too far away from a bone and some bones are in the armature that aren't meant to be tied to the mesh, and would be with the automatic function.

18) Do the same with cape.

19) if you changed the size of the mesh to different x/y/z values, like .8/.86/.8, Blender will not let you export. Hit "Ctrl" +"A" to make sure the defult values are set back to 1.0

20) hit "A" until all parts are highlighted and export. There are preset exports for both FF and FFVTTR. There is a button on the default setup where the nif will think all skins have the "dds" extention - turn this off. Make sure to give the nif a temp name besides "character.nif" so it doesn't overwrite the original.

That should be it. Problems, questions, let me know.

Offline detourne_me

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Re: Small Blender Walkthru
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 11:42:13 AM »
I'm dredging up the past here,  but I'm trying to use this walkthrough to do some rigging.  Is it possible to rig a .blend file that's in the same pose as a male_basic rest pose?
I tried tying the mesh to the armature (Scene Root) but I'm not getting any results. Does anyone have anyother tips or tricks for doing this?