Hi everyone! I’m Axel, and I’ve followed the vault for many years but never joined up until now. I thought I’d finally contribute some content of my own, though, having gained some experience with Blender and such in other fandoms. I’ve recently come back to NWN2 and decided to start with a new head. It’s my first mod for this game, and Xaltar’s been very patient and helpful in guiding me as I’ve learned how to do all this. I haven’t posted my mod yet since I want to get the head converted for the different elf subraces first, but I thought I’d show you guys my progress so far.
A new female half-elf head - I call it Reivy because it’s from a Daz3D figure I did that’s a mix of Reine and Vivy for G8F. I chose half-elf because there aren’t currently a lot of good options for that race, and even less for half-drow. So those are the two I’ve started with.
Hey Axel, great to see you here. It’s been fun watching you overcome all the hurdles to get here. Once you get the workflow down it does get a lot easier, the first new head is always tough to get in game
Thanks! Hopefully things’ll go smoother now that I have a better idea of what to do. Still not sure how to add a new numbered head - this one replaces P_EHF_Head33 and P_ERF_Head33 so far, so the half-elf (but not half-drow) version conflicts with Krighaur’s pack if you include that particular head of his. How high can head numbers go? Is there a limit?
@Axel_Firestorm - Thank you for making new heads for us! It looks lovely from your pictures! There can never be enough in my opinion. From what I believe (but I could of course be wrong) the limit for hair and faces is 255. Do correct me if I’m wrong. When it comes to hair I’m pretty sure that’s the case, so I would assume it is the same for heads.
By the way, if you can make her blink in the end, that would be awesome. It makes the head so much more lifelike, but I can understand if that would be too hard to do (I use Blender sometimes, but I only know how to do some really easy stuff, like remove parts from armor, so in fact I know next to nothing about modelling). Maybe @Xaltar or @4760 could help you with that? 4760 has helped me modifying heads for my modules that had no blinking or mouth movements. He works with 3D Studio Max though.
I confirm that the number limit is 255 for all mdb (body, head, hair etc…)
You can double this value (one set for playable characters, the other for NPC, but that means the two sets will be independent: the PC heads will not be available for NPC and vice-versa, which is nice however if you want to avoid twins )
As @andgalf says, if you want me to add face movements to the heads, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m still with 3ds max, and I’m trying to switch to Blender, but that’s quite a hurdle for me - I can’t find where the modifiers are, I don’t understand how the menus are organized, I don’t get how animations apply to the skeleton, etc…) I guess I spent too much time with 3ds max.
Lol that may be true, looks like it’s something else higher, hair maybe, I know I have 257 there and 1 higher I think. Usu not appearing is a skeleton issue, but u could be right, there are so many ‘replaceable’ ones looks like I’m still in the 240’s on heads.
Thanks! And you’re welcome. I’ve been using MBD cloner to assign the textures but didn’t know I could do that. I had originally tried to set the head as P_EHF_Head99 but when I did that it didn’t even show up at all in-game, not until I switched it to 33.
As for the blinking, I’m not sure how to get it working right. I imported one of the female half-elf heads @Xaltar did in his original pak in Blender, aligned it with mine, and transferred the weights, so I thought that would do it, but her eyes don’t do much more than twitch slightly instead of blink for some reason. Any help would be appreciated, though.
Transferring weights gets you closer, at least testable, but you need to actually do the rigging if you want them to blink and have animated faces for dialogue. It’s one of the reasons I keep my triangle counts as low as possible, I have to manually assign vertex weights because my max plugin doesn’t align the skeleton properly. If it did I could use envelopes to get the bulk of the vertices weighted then fine tune manually. What’s worse is sometimes the weights just break and assign the whole head to left eyelid…
Of all the things I hate about getting heads in game, rigging is the worst. I am a bit of a perfectionist so when I see an errant vertex in game during animation I have to go back and fix it…
Oh, I know what you mean. I’m a bit on the OCD side myself with my creative stuff. Even now, I wonder if I made Reivy’s ears a little too big and a little too out. But it’s not enough to get me to go back and redo the head yet again, so I’ll leave it.
Yeah, it’s so important to know when to call it good enough and move on. I used to get stuck on the same head for weeks on end, redoing this, tweaking that, scrapping it all and starting over. It’s not a good place to be.
Just a little tip, you can keep blender (or max in my case) open with your model loaded up, open NWN2, check the model, see what needs tweaking, tab back to blender/max, tweak the necessary elements, re-export, tab back to NWN2, switch heads in character creation and back to your head and the changes will show up. Or you can load a save after the tweaks and the changes will show up. The only time you need to restart NWN2 is when you change a texture path to a texture that wasn’t in your override folder when you loaded NWN2.
I find this really helps with the fine tuning, especially rigging where I can make a save right before a cutscene trigger, tweak my rigging, load the save and trigger the cutscene to see how well it worked. Rinse and repeat until you are happy. I back up head P_HHF_Head04 and P_HHM_Head01 then rename the model groups and export whatever head I am working on in their place, 04 for female heads and 01 for male. Georg and Amie. That way you can test the animations with their cutscenes that happen right at the beginning of the tutorial. Once the rigging is all good, rename your model groups to whatever you want and export knowing your rigging is done then drop your original head 04 and 01 back in your override folder being sure to overwrite your testing versions.
I always thought I had to restart NWN2 to refresh any changes to the content in the override folder, but this is good to know. I do keep the game open while I work sometimes, but switching out of it’s a bit of a pain since it means the resolution has to change along with it - my screen’s at 4K but I have the game at 1080p so the UI is readable even though I could technically play it in 4K. If I did, though, the text would be way too small. I use Tchos’s UI, which is really good, but at 1080p I can’t fit more than 5 party portraits on screen due to how big they are. That’s really the only downside, though.
Oh, I hadn’t tried to set the number to 99 through MDB Cloner, so maybe that’s why it didn’t work. I just tried saving it as P_EHF_Head100 from there though, and it showed up in-game just fine. So thanks for letting me know about that.