Camera Hak

Just pluttering about in the forums and I came across some screenshots of some lovely blue skies. On further investigation I kept coming across references to “Brandon’s Camera Hak” but can find it nowhere on the Vault. Does it exist, is it still relevant?

Since then I’ve had a look at something called the Camera Height Control system which I’ve got working and it seems to provide a lower shot from over the shoulder. Looks better for exploring than fighting but an interesting different viewpoint. The textures look better at close range - not sure why that is.

Anyway, I’ve also been trying to combine this with blue skies of some sort. I’ve tried something called Ivodonskies and also another had called Skyboxes but my problem is I don’t know if either is working because I don’t know how much of a change I should see. They both seem pretty close to what the default is for, say, a clear day in the Rural tileset.

I’ve followed the instructions for both of the above with regard to haks etc. and have a couple of queries if anyone can help.

  1. When the instructions tell me to put this hak at the top of the list how would you do that? Does it mean in the hak folder or when you import your haks into the game? If the former, do you alter the filename, say adding an “a” to the start to put it to the top ?

  2. The " Ivodonskies" resource tells me there are four files but when I unzip the Rar I only get three. I’m on a Mac and there is usually no problem with extracting files. The extra one talked about seems to be the .exe file which it suggests I change the suffix to .zip and unzip it which I’ve already done with the RAR. I’m guessing this is an error in the readme file and that the author is talking about initial extraction but don’t know enough about Windows.

  3. My final question is do you builders as a matter of course include some sort of camera control and skyboxes and if so which are the easiest to employ?

Thanks for any help you can offer. Some of these are pretty old so I’m also wondering if maybe the issue is that they don’t work on EE.

I’m guessing that what you are referring to as blue skies are in fact skyboxes. They’re built-in to NwN (1.69 & EE). Try this -

  1. Create a small test module with a single area using the rural tileset.
  2. With that area open in the toolset open the edit menu and select area properties.
  3. Once the dialogue opens choose the Visuals tab.
  4. At this point Area Clear will probably be highlighted. Ignore that.
  5. Near the bottom you will see a button marked “Customize Environment” - click it.
  6. This will bring up a fresh dialogue with a lot of things you can alter. The very bottom one is Sky Box.
  7. Next to it on the right, there is a drop down selection box. Click on the down pointing black triangular arrow.
  8. Select Grass_Clear. Finally for this dialogue press the Apply button and then the OK button to close the dialogue.
  9. Press the OK button the Area Properties dialogue to close it and save your module.
  10. Now test it by pressing F9 which will minimize the toolset and launch your module in the game with your default character.
  11. Zoom in to your PC and look up. Voila, Blue skies with summer cumulus clouds if I remember rightly.

If the small choice of skies that come with the game bothers you I recommend the Community Skybox Pack as a good selection made by various people.


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I can only comment on a couple of the OP questions.

The easy one - to move a hak to the top, open the module properties in the toolset. On the Custom Content tab, you can add haks, and move them up or down in the list. In the event that the same file name appears in more than one hak, the higher version trumps the lower. (See also Toolset Manuals , which you can download from the Vault).

Skyboxes are frequently used by builders. In addition to the official ones, CEP has lots more, which work out of the box. Personally, I also use a few custom ones - that requires a simple 2da edit (see Custom Content Guide).

Camera mods are a different matter. Builders rarely (never?) include them, because they might screw up what the player already has installed. Camera mods were very popular until Bioware unlocked the camera, but now both 1.69 and EE give the player so much control that I question whether mods are still useful, especially since they can spoil cutscenes.

Exception - the Android version of EE restricts the camera significantly, which is a hinderance occasionally. There is an open request to Beamdog to fix this, but no mod, that I know of. Again, builders don’t attempt to fix this, not least because a module quite rightly can’t discover which platform it’s running on.

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Thanks, Tarot. That’s exactly what I was looking for . . . and so easy !

I actually hadn’t realised that you could tilt the view using the mouse. Don’t know how I missed that. It’s also a relief as the nwmain.exe file that came with the camera height hak was causing a few crashes in the Toolset.

I’m off to try your suggested Community pack.

Thanks Proleric. I suspected that was the answer re the top hak but wasn’t sure.

I’ve done a little with 2da edits for custom floor decals suggested by Tarot so I could probably handle that simple editing but I’ll try Tarot’s suggested Skybox pack first. I’m not looking for much just a better looking sky.

As I said in reply to Tarot I actually hadn’t realised how much you can do with the camera in EE so the need for haks disappears. I’ve downloaded the CEP but haven’t actually used it yet, partly because the amount of stuff there was overwhelming for me starting off but I’ll get round to that soon.

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