MDB/GR2 to FBX & FBX to MDB/GR2 tools


#61

You should be able to use my tool with any install directory. That’s the purpose of the config file. If it works with F:\gogGames\Neverwinter Nights 2, there shouldn’t be any reason to not work with F:\gogGames\NWN2 Complete, unless there is a bug. I have tested with “NWN2 Complete” and other things and it works.


#62

I have released version 0.7. You can download it here: https://github.com/Arbos/nwn2mdk/releases

Changes:

  • Improved error message when NWN2 not found: when a NWN2 installation directory is specified in config.yml and it’s not found by the tool, the directory will be printed so the user can verify the directory is specified correctly.
  • fbx2nw: An output file won’t be generated if errors are found during the conversion.
  • fbx2nw: Validates that skin vertices have atleast one bone weight.
  • fbx2nw: Bone weights of a skin vertex are auto normalized when generating a MDB.

#63

thanks for your ongoing support :wink:


#64

Thanks for this very useful tool.


#65

I wish to take this tool to a state of maximum value for the community. For this, I ask for your feedback.

The supposed added value of this tool is to work with MDB & GR2 files using any modern 3D computer graphics software of your choice, like Blender, 3ds max, Maya and so on. But, especially, the most valuable is supposed to be working with skeletons and animations, which allows to:

  1. Create new creature skeletons
  2. Create new creature animations
  3. Modify creature animations
  4. Create new animated placeables

For more than year, the NWN2 community has had available a tool that allows all this, however:

  • I haven’t seen neither 1 or 2
  • I have only seen a little of 3. I know that @Trinital made animations for Haven.
  • I have seen substantial amount of 4 (by @rjshae and I think a little by @kamal)

Because this is all I have seen, and despite being complimented for making this tool, I wonder if the tool has lived to its expectations.

Is there more content out there that I haven’t seen?
Is it just because the community is small?
Is the topic of skeletons and animations too much difficult?
Is there lack of tutorials?
Is the tool too much difficult to use?

I would like to know what you think. Thanks.


#66

i believe that it’s a combination of point two and three. creating new models, baking different textures and creating dozens of animations from scratch is very complicated. add the small community and you’re left with only a tiny fraction of people with the needed skillset to undertake such a load of work. completely new creatures with custom skeletons are by far not the norm, even in big modding communities like those of the elder scrolls games.

while i am very thankful for your tool and the enormous work behind reverse engineering the granny file format, i am also a bit sad that there’s such a small community left for nwn2.

there’s also a lot of content for nwn2 floating around at discord. the majority of it is being developed for persitant worlds.


#67

Well I haven’t done much with #1-3 primarily because of my lack of experience, and, well, I’ve just been busy with other projects. But I’ve been planning to do more eventually. It’s a great tool and I’m happy we have it available.

Unfortunately the community is rather small and is unlikely to grow. I don’t find the topics of skeletons or animations too difficult, but I am reluctant to get into creating new creature animations because it looks like a lengthy undertaking and one for which I have no training. If I do something along those lines, it would probably be pretty simple: a few bones and some simple animations. A few of the projects I have in mind: create some modern/sci-fi ‘overland map’ vehicles that work like the wagon creatures, construct a curtain door that opens and closes in a realistic manner using bones, and build a floating, talking humanoid mouth (for a magic mouth spell) that works with the mouth flapper tool.

I did try to see if I could port a NWN creature (giant centipede) to NWN2 using this tool, but my efforts failed. I think that was in large part due to my lack of knowledge about Blender. If we could get that pipeline working, there’s a huge library of animated NWN creatures – some quite good – that could be made available and improved upon. Meanwhile I could work it from scratch, but that is likely to take much longer. I find that porting is much more cost effective.


#68

I have released version 0.7.1 that fixes a bug introduced in 0.7. You can download it here: https://github.com/Arbos/nwn2mdk/releases

Changes:

  • Fixed bug (introduced in 0.7) that made NWN2 to crash when using GR2 files generated by the tool.

#69

Reading the feedback obtained both in this forum and in discord on the subject of creature skeletons and animations, it seems that two main groups of people can be identified:

  1. People who want to create content and know the existence of my tool, but haven’t tried the tool at all (or hardly at all) because they don’t believe they have the necessary artistic skills, they think that the artistic learning curve is too difficult and/or they don’t have free time. As they have little or no experience with the tool, they haven’t expressed any concern about its usability.

  2. People who, to a greater or lesser degree, have passed the learning curve, have experience using my tool and have created more or less content. The necessary artistic skills, the artistic learning curve and free time are also a handicap for them. As they have experience with the tool, some do have concerns about its usability and have expressed the desire of a Blender plugin to improve productivity and reduce the likelihood of errors.

Since my concern is about improving the tool, it seems that, if I had to improve something, the most valuable thing would be to create a Blender plugin.

With respect to the people in the first group, it could help more advanced artists to provide Blender files setup with IK constraints on the most used skeletons, animation retargeting, python scripts and so on, serving as a base for other artists.


#70

One thing to mention is there were some other games that used the .gr2 format. Iirc there was at least a submarine sim game, and people were adding new subs to it. Maybe some cross posting of your work?


#71

I use 3DSMax for my mod work. I have a few new creatures that are WIP for my Never-likely-to-be-finished-winter campaign. :slight_smile: The Xvart is nearly done though, it just needs skinning.


#72

If you do make this a plug-in, are you going to adopt it to work with the other (non-animated) MDB model types for NWN2? For example, the walk meshes, hook points, and anchor points for tiles. It’d be handy to have a single, unified tool.


#73

Yes, the plugin would allow importing and exporting all MDB model types.


#74

I am having the same issue as a user above. I have edited the yml file with the proper directory path, but the tool still continues to give me this error: “Cannot find a NWN2 installation directory. Edit the config.yml file and put the directory where NWN2 is installed.”

Any ideas?


#75

Remove the hashtag (#) at the start of the line. The hashtag is used for comments. In the next version I will put a comment in config.yml explaining comments :smiley:.


#76

That’s good to know. The languages I do for work use “star” or “//” or “/*” for their comments, so I’m used to seeing those. Thanks, FreshLook! :slight_smile: