Blender bone weight copy
This walkthrough is for those that use Blender and want to know how to take the bone structure from an existing mesh and transfer it to thier custom made mesh. This guide assumes you already know the basics of Blender, have the script by NewBypower installed that lets you import/export DragonAge mesh files, and have created your custom mesh.
Intro: If you use Blender and either make a custom mesh or combine parts of several different mesh files into one, you'll notice that in game its shape loses its structure and looks like your creation was made out of clay that's been played with by a three year old.
In order for it to maintain its proper shape, you need to do a "bone weight copy."
To do so, follow these steps:
1) In edit mode, delete all the bones from your custom mesh. If you don't know how to do that, continue reading the rest of this step: Look near the bottom left. There is a section called “links and materials” within which is a heading call “vertex groups.” Just underneath that is a screen that will have a the word "bone" plus a number in it, and beneath THAT is a delete button. Hit this button repeatedly until all the bones have been removed and the screen listing them disappears.
2) Now import one of the default mesh files from the toolset that most closely resembles your custom armor. If you're doing a human female light armor, import the human female light armor mesh from the toolset, and so on. Make sure this mesh is lined up directly on top of your custom mesh.
3) Between NewByPowers’ two squares of text that should be on the right of your screen, there is a tab (to the left of an arrow and the words “text edit format”). Select this to open a drop down menu and choose “scripts window” (there should be a picture of a snake next to it).
4) Once there, select “scripts”, then “object” , then “bone weight copy.” Put the quality at “2” and hit Ok. You’ll now have a bit of a wait while it transfers the skeleton of the original mesh onto your combined one.
Note: I recommend putting in "2" in the quality field, but you can put in 1, 3, or 4 as well. The higher the number the better the quality of the transfer will be, but also the longer the process will take. Using "2" has always worked perfectly fine for me.
5) The copying process can take anywhere from a minute to a half an hour depending on your computer and what number you put in the quality field (there's a progress bar that should fill up at the top of your screen). But when it's done you should see that your custom armor once again has a value in the bones field. You have basically given it the skeleton of the default armor, and in game in will now use the bone rigging of that mesh.
Good luck. Firinneach