Blender/Beginners Guide

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  • The Blender Plug-in for Blender 2.62 is currently in development and this guide can quickly become out-dated.
  • If you want to do production work, do not use this version, instead please refer to Blender Front-page.


Please check the bug tracker and report any new bugs

  • This page is used as guide for the basic feature set of the Blender Nif Plug-in v2.6.0 - pre-alpha
  • Once a feature passes its regression test it is deemed supported.
  • For each additional feature added, a tutorial will be made in the documentation


Contents

Installation

Please read the Online Documentation


Requirements

Requirements Version Download Link Additional Notes


Register the Add-on

The Blender NifScripts is an Add-on. The add-on needs to be enabled first in order to use.

  • Start Blender.
  • Go to: File > User Preferences > Add-Ons.
  • Under Categories (left), select Import-Export.
  • Tick the empty box to enable the Import-Export: NetImmerse/Gambryo nif format Add-on.
  • Close the Blender User Preferences window.
  • The nif importer and exporter should now show under File > Import and File > Export.

(Optional): Save User Prefences (Avoids enabling addon on each start-up)

  • Do: File > Save User Settings.

blender_nifscript_enable_addon.jpg


The Basics

This tutorial contains the basic features used to create and export a NIF.
It assumes that you have a reasonable knowledge of the Blender and 3d related terminolgy
It will not go in-depth about Blender specific techniques unless necessary.
If you are completely new to blender, it is suggested you read Blender3D: Noob to Pro, even if you aren't it is still good for referencing.


Creating a Mesh

The mesh in this example is a simple chair.
For the chair I used cylinders for the legs and back support spindles.

  • Use the add menu to add mesh objects. Shift->A Mesh->Cylinder

The main base and back rest were made from cubes.
blender_tutorial_mesh_splitview.jpg

Currently Double sided mesh are not exportable
To make a Mesh single sided.
In the Properties Window under the Object Data Tab,
Normals Panel->Untick Double Sided


Common Errors:

The export script will not apply modifiers on export Apply the modifier before exporting

(Normal Direction): Make sure all face normals are pointing to the outside of your model.
A normal is a perpendicular vector to the face. The normal direction tells the engine which way the face is pointing.
If a normal is pointing the wrong direction it will appear to be missing/invisible.
This is a very common pitfall but easily fixed.

You can check the direction of the face normals by toggling the option in the Properites Panel.
Toggle Normals: Face under the Mesh Display Panel
The blue lines are the face normals.

While in Edit Mode, the Tools Shelf presented two options for normal manipulation.

  • Recalculate Normal & Flip Direction.

You can automatically recalculate the normals.

  • In Edit Mode: Ctrl->N will make selected all faces face outwards

Blender_tutorial_flip_normal.jpg

(Non-Uniforn Scaling):The Nif format does not allow for non-uniform scaling even though Blender does.
This problem occurs when scaling has occured on one or two axises but not all three equally.

  • Eg. Uniform = X,Y,Z: Non-unform = X,Y

This happens while editing on the Mesh level and not affected by the Object level scaling.
The fix is simply Ctrl->A, Scale.
blender_tutorial_non_uniform-1.jpg


UV Unwrapping

In the 3D view, and switch to edit mode

  • Press (U),
  • Select Unwrap->Smart UV Project.


Adding Material

The next step is to add a new Material. Under the Material Property Tab, Add a new Material, give it a suitable name.
The material defines the properties of the object.


Diffuse Property

Under Diffuse, use the color wheel to set it to completely white
Each (R, G, B) value should be 1.000, blender default is 0.800.
Hex : Value FFFFFF, HSV : (0.0, 0.0, 0.8)
Set Intensity to 1.000.


Specular Property

Under Specular, set Intensity to 0.000, to disable specularity
This will prevent a NiSpecularProperty being exported, currently not supported.


Adding Textures

In the Properties panel, under the Texture tab,

  • Click New to create a new material texture slot. Name it.
  • Under Type, Select **Image or Movie**.


Image Panel

  • Next to Image, click Open,
  • Select the desired texture image.


Mapping Panel

  • Coordinates, Select UV.
  • Layer, Click on the empty field,
  • Select ``UVTex``.


Influence Panel

  • Diffuse, Ensure Color is selected, everything should be deselected.
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