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Daggerfall Dev

3ds Max 2017 Buggy as Oblivion ;P

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3ds Max 2017 <_<  was a bit of a downer for me, I don't know about anyone else? -_-

 

I just uninstalled 3ds Max 2015 so I can make room for 2017 "All because I saw a new fork of the .nif exporter for 2017" So after the installation which took 25min to do I updated which took another 10 and installed the .nif plugin, All seem so sweet & smooth. I imported my .nif for a reference, I scaled my squares and started to make some window models until certain parts of the Model where disappearing and reappearing in some weird positions, Those Bugs started after I finished my window model. :crash:  to make matters worse I exported it as a .nif after I applied some textures and it was missing random vertices!!! :o  So I downgraded back to 3ds max 2015 and all is well again ^_^ 

                                                                                              Long Story short, don't upgrade to 3ds max 2017 if your editing .nif files.  

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They've had a lot of problems with the Nif plugin for a long time now. There hasn't been a dedicated developer for the 3DS plugin for several years. Each version of Max is different, so the plugin has to be updated and it won't work with older versions of Max. We've found that the 2013 version of Max is the most reliable for Oblivion, unless you can get your hands on the 2009 version.

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I believe it works fine for Skyrim, but not so well for Oblivion. The file format is quite different between the two versions. Vorians would be able to comment on this better than me.

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I've never tried 2016 or 2017.

 

Before starting I have to use NIFSkope to export as an OBJ to then import into 3DS Max, things go wrong if I just try to edit a NIF directly.

After editing, I find that I have to export twice, once as a NIF and once as a 3DS file - this is because the exported NIF files lack NiMaterialProperty and NiTextureProperty entries. Then using NIFSkope I strip out of the NIF everything except the collision, and import the 3DS file because it still retains the Material and Texture entries (stripping out the imported collision object from the 3DS). After that I have to rewite all texture paths and change the various Colors, Glossiness and Alpha entries by hand because none of them are what I want and I don't know how to set them in 3DS Max.

Finally I run PyFFI on the mesh because if I don't then the game will crash when I attempt to get within 1 metre of the object.

 

Then after all that of course, I see something I missed and have to return to 3DS Max and start the exporting process all over again. Yay.

 

 

Here's my PM reply to Daggerfall Dev:

If you're working with statics then I'd suggest 2014, but if you're working with animation files (which I am clueless about) then I think you'd need an older version like 2012.

 

Fairly sure I use the 2013 nifplugin from Tesrenewal but I downloaded it a while ago so cannot be certain. The date matches my download and the forum page is in my bookmarks, so it's likely to be the right one. It hasn't been updated since November 2014 and was not capable of every feature needed for all types of modelling, but handled what I know how to do in 3DS Max. The plugin was taken over by a different programmer, now on Loverslab but this is the person who said he's only interested in Skyrim support. I believe I tried his version of the plugin with 2015 but it didn't work, presently I have no plugin installed for 2015 at all. This programmer looks to have stopped working on the plugin in December 2015.

 

There may be another person working on a newer version who has made further progress and also supports Oblivion, but I haven't looked into it for over a year as I rarely do modelling work.

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Try this plugin if you're using 3DS Max 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018. I recently got 3DS Max 2018 and went looking for a new NifTools, and that's the one I found - it works for Oblivion, and without any of that messing around I used to have to do. I can just export as a NIF file and put it straight into Oblivion, something I've never been able to do before.

 

This plugin doesn't use the same Helper objects to create collision as the ones I've used in the past, instead of bhkRigidBody and bhkCollProxy it uses bhkCollisionObject - it's a little clunky to use but does the job perfectly. For each mesh added to bhkCollisionObject, if you want that mesh to still be visible in-game (which is how bhkCollProxy worked) then you have to select that mesh entry on bhkCollisionObject's list, click Edit Shape and then tick Export Source Mesh - so the two old Helper objects have been combined into one, with a tick-box to enable the proxy functionality.

 

Also, this NifTools plugin has an installer. If you have 3DS Max installed in a location other than the default, the plugin will install to the default location and you will need to move the installed files to the correct location for your install.

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There's two ways to create collision. One is to use the mesh of the actual object you're putting in-game, so that the collision is a 100% match to the object shape. Old NifTools plugins used the bhkCollProxy object for this, and the Proxy object was then added to the bhkRigidBody object, so that the mesh was visible in-game AND it had collision. If you didn't use the Proxy object, and just assigned the mesh directly to the RigidBody object, then the mesh becomes invisible in-game, but the collision is there. The second way to create collision is by creating a separate mesh JUST for the collision, often a simplified shape based on the visible mesh. This way there's two meshes, one to be visible, and one to be added to the RigidBody object to create the collision.

 

This plugin doesn't have two objects to handle collision, there's just one, and it contains a parameter to set each mesh added to it to be treated the same way as the Proxy object used to if desired, but by default it just turns them into collision which makes them invisible. At first I didn't know what this parameter did so I thought I now had to clone every mesh needing collision, which was time-consuming, a little confusing and doubled the size of the .MAX file. Then I did some testing and learnt that this tick-box replaces the Proxy object's function. Just annoying that you have to tick it for each mesh, there's no single parameter for everything added to the object.

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I never understood how to do the single mesh version. I've always created a simplified mesh and added it to the bhkRigidBody object.

I created a miniature ship as a clutter item for Imperial Furniture. It had way too many vertices and would crush your fps when you entered the cell with the ship. I'll have to try loading it up and exporting it with this new plugin to see if it helps.

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Most of the mesh edits I do are for objects where the collision needs to be pretty much a perfect match to the visible mesh, so I've always used the Proxy object rather than try to create a second mesh which often is hardly any simpler than the original.

I haven't yet tried different materials for the collision (e.g. stone and arrows bounce off with a clang, wood and arrows stick with a thunk) - the NifTools I've used before could ONLY produce Stone collision, anything else and the resulting mesh caused Oblivion to crash. I need to find out if it can create collision with other materials, and then I want to find out whether I can create a single NIF containing collision of more than one material type, as should be possible, since the guide I always referred to for creating collision used the vanilla large tent mesh, which had canvas, wood and metal.

 

Here is the guide I used for the old NifTools, it explains how to use the Proxy object so the visible mesh can also provide the collision too.

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I tried following that guide but I don't think I could get it to work. I don't remember what the problem was. I found a Youtube video that explains how to do collision and I was going to check that out. I haven't watched it yet.

Getting the other materials to work would be awesome. Isn't there a setting in the CS for the different materials? I remember we had a bug in Black Marsh? I think where things made the wrong noise when they were hit and we had to specify a different material. It might have been in the mesh, but I thought I saw something in the CS.

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It's in the NIF file, I think if using the old NifTools you could change it after exporting using Nifskope, but you still could only have one type per NIF.

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That's probably what it was. We have some squishy dungeons in Black Marsh. The meshes were probably exported from Max with stone for the material and we had to change them in Nifskope afterwards.

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