Blender custom armor
This walkthrough assumes you have some working knowledge of the basics of Blender, know how to find and extract various files from the toolset, and have been able to import/export mesh files from the Toolset into Blender.
What this walkthrough will do is attempt to explain how you can take two different mesh files (an armour mesh and a body mesh for instance) and combine them into one. For simplicity sake I am going to refer to the two types as Armour A and Armour B, but obviously one of your choices may be a body or clothing type, and so on. This is the process used to create the armours for the A little leg - combined mesh mod.
Combining two meshes and texture files into one
- First, you need to combine the texture files of each armour into one. Each armour type has an 0d.dds, 0n.dds, 0s.dds, and 0t.dds file. Some information about these files can be found here: Texture formats
- Lets start with the 0d.dds files. Open them up in Photoshop, Paint.net, or whichever software program you are using and place the 0d.dds image of Armour A above that of Armour B so that the top half of the total image is made up of Armour A and the bottom half is Armour B. Each half should be the same size.
- Repeat this with the two 0n, 0s, and 0t files. If for the sake of file size you want to shrink the 0d, 0n, and 0s files feel free to do so, though smaller files also have less resolution. It’s best NOT to resize the 0t files as this often leads to tinting/colour flaws with your final project.
- You should now have your four combined texture files.
- Now we have to combine the mesh files of Armour A and Armour B, and assign each mesh to its correct half (top or bottom) of the combined texture files.
- Open Blender.
- I’m assuming you already have your two chosen mesh files open and edited/shaped to your liking, and are ready to combine them into a single mesh. Learning how to use blender to edit mesh files is more than this walkthrough will handle.
- In edit mode, select the entire mesh of Armour A (remember, you can hit ‘b’ twice to make a selection tool that can quickly highlight all the vertices).
- Now we need to go to UV/Image editor. To get there first find the icon that looks like a tic tac toe board to the far left of your mid-screen toolbar (left of where you choose edit/sculpt mode, etc). When you click it you get a drop down menu, one of the options of which is UV/Image editor. Go there.
- Once there, select “image”, then “open” and open one of the 0d.dds combined texture file that we made. You should now see the vertices of the Armour A mesh overlaid on top of the texture file. What we need to do is resize the vertices so they are only on top of the Armour A half of the texture, correctly lined up (this is what tells the game where to apply the texture on top of the mesh).
- In order to resize and move the vertices:
- Select all the vertices and then press “s”. This stands for “scale.” We want to reduce the height by 50%, so hit “y” (to choose the y axis) and then type .5 (this should reduce the height of your chosen vertices by 50%).
- Now press “G”, then “Y” and you can slide the chosen vertices vertically up and down across the image. Slide them so that they overlay the Armour A half as exactly as you can.
- Once done, return to 3d view (just hit that same tictactoe # symbol again for the menu to return).
- Repeat the process with Armour B: (select all the vertices of Armour B, return once more to UV/Image editor and, again, load the image. Resize and position the vertices over it’s half of the texture file just as you did with Armour A.
- Return one more time to 3d view. In object mode select both meshes (hold shift), and on your mid-screen toolbar select “object” and then “join objects” (you don’t have to, but if you were to now switch to “texture paint” mode, you could see what your now combined mesh looks like in colour, now that you’ve assigned your texture files to them.)
- So we’ve joined the objects but we’re not done yet. We now have to do what’s called a “boneweightcopy” to basically give the combined mesh a skeleton, so that it isn’t all twisted in game.
- In edit mode, look near the bottom left. There is a section called “links and materials” within which is a heading called “vertex groups.” Just underneath that is a screen that will have the word “bone” plus a number in it, and beneath THAT is a delete button. Hit the delete button repeatedly until all the bones have been removed and the screen listing them disappears.
- Now import one of the original, unedited, default armor mesh files from the toolset which match one of two armor mesh files you combined. If you combined a body mesh with an armor mesh, import the armor mesh! For instance, if you combined a human male body mesh and the human male light armor mesh, import the human male light armor mesh and make sure it is directly above your now combined custom mesh.
- Between NewByPowers’ two squares of text, 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).
- 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: you can put any number from 1-4 as the quality. The higher the number, the higher the quality but also the longer the process takes. Using 2 has always been good enough for me).
- When it’s done (there should be a progress bar at the top of Blender) you will have a combined mesh file, complete with the skeleton/bone rigging of the default armor, and so should hold its shape.
- You can now either export your custom mesh (so that it overwrites a default mesh), and by putting that mesh file along with your texture files in the override folder, all armors of that type will now look like yours. Or you can make a standalone custom armor and follow other tutorials that will take you through that process.