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Custom Content Tools and Tutorials

thirdmousethirdmouse Member Posts: 67
There are a lot of resources and links by many different people floating around, and those that have been around NWN for a long time or never left might take knowing where to find it all for granted. Here are some links (to many more links, in some cases) and EE-specific information. Maybe they will be helpful to someone. Apologies for any misinformation or critical omission :)

Tools & Utilities
  • Blender - It's free, modern, open source, and currently has the most up-to-date tools for NWN:EE.
  • Neverblender - the aforementioned up-to-date tools, still actively being developed by @symmetric .
  • gmax - a great many older tutorials for NWN modeling refer to this. Still works :)
  • NWMax+ - tools for gmax and (I think) some versions of 3dsMax. This is the most recently updated version, but MDA has been out of touch for a bit now. It does not support some of the newer EE fancymap type features, but was practically mandatory for many years, and is still in use by a lot of people today.
  • Sublime Text, Notepad++, etc - whatever modern text editor you prefer
  • CleanModels3 - This is an invaluable tool for batch detecting/repairing/adjusting NWN models.
  • NWN Crunch - console application for texture compression. Supported formats include bmp, png, tga and dds (standard and NWN). Please test :)
  • GIMP - Free and open source image editing
  • Gimp PLT Plugin - Cross-Platform Loading/Saving of PLT files
  • NWN Explorer - EE - virusman's update for NWN Explorer, a tool for extracting or browsing game resources either for content creation or reference. "It doesn't detect the installation path automatically yet but you can specify it manually. As a bonus, it supports new mdl parameters: materialname and renderhint."
  • NwnMdlComp EE - Compile and decompile NWN models - virusman's alpha update for EE, possibly not a lot of testing done on it.
  • NWN Toolbox - An assortment of utilities, many still in regular use. (eg TGA Flipper, Veltools)
  • 7-Zip, Peazip, WinRar, etc - You need a file archiver for when you distribute your content, even if you're just posting a single .mod on the vault. You probably have one already, but if you don't, any of these are fine.

Tutorials & Reference
  • Vault-Wiki Tutorials - The newest place for tutorials to live - a bit sparse right now, but more organized and likely to become the go-to collection in the future. In particular check out the Aribethorial for some EE model-modifications, or Do It In Blender! for super basic Neverblender introductions.
  • Neverblender Documentation - "You mean a tool can be useful AND documented?" :P
  • File Formats - Technical information on various NWN file formats, as well as some shader support notes.
  • Rigging in Blender - Rigging a "skinmeshed" model for NWN, also includes a_fa and a_ba templates with dummy daggers and shields.
  • Merricksdad's Placeholder Tileset - "I set out to produce a 3 height transition tileset with a few crosser types, and leave the tiles untextured, so that anybody building a tileset could use these as placeholders for their own tiles. "
  • NWN University - A massive collection of guides/manuals/tutorials on various subjects.
  • Custom Content Guide 3.0 - As mentioned in the comments, this is somewhat out of date, but still has information not yet documented elsewhere.
  • NWN:EE 2das - Beamdog may include a zip of their 2das with the game in the future, but for now this is a great resource.
  • The 1.69 Omnibus - This is a ton of information, downloadable and made easily searchable for reference - including the old-old Bioware forums. (It would be great if the old Bioware forums could be included, one day.) This will grow ever more outdated as EE progresses, but is still pretty handy for all that Old Lore, when you're sure someone did this back in 07 and don't remember who it was. Check out Proleric's comment at the bottom on getting it working in Windows 10.
  • neverwinternights.info - References for many different topics and tools (including some linked already, and many more that aren't), some in particular categories like sound or animation. 1.69 oriented, still very helpful.
  • Head-Aligned VFX Tutorial - (Video) You can grab the templates from the Community VFX Project.
  • Uploading to Steam Workshop - Guides to getting your stuff on the Workshop. Note that as mentioned in this discussion, if you are not already a Steam customer, you'll need $5 in your steam wallet in order to set the visibility of your content to public.
  • The Bioware NWN Standard Assets. - If you are wanting to modify a standard asset (e.g. model/texture/portrait etc.) you can grab these instead of having to search for them.
  • gMax tutorial for importing (legally) free models into NWN - illustrated step by step guide on importing models from outside sources
Other
  • Vault forums - Most people are probably familiar with the vault as a download site, but it is also a community of custom-content makers. Lists like (and more extensive than) this have been made many times by the people there over the years.
  • vaultchat - A Discord server for the vault. (The IRC bridge is no longer functional.)

    (The vault, which I do not speak on behalf of, also hosts NWN's Brothers/Sisters/Cousins in Modding, the NWN2 community!)

Post edited by thirdmouse on
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Comments

  • TarotRedhandTarotRedhand Member Posts: 587
    edited October 2018
    Just a few things to add.
    • The Bioware NwN Standard Assets. If you are wanting to modify a standard asset (e.g. model/texture/portrait etc.) you can grab these instead of having to search for them.
    • Archivers. If you are planning to upload your work for others to download you really need one of these. Apart from reducing the download size and bundling all your files (you do include at least a readme file with your hak don't you?) into a single download, an archived version also removes the chances of a users browser from trying to display your files as garbage on screen. The problem is that certain extensions are used by other programs - a mod file is an ancient sound format and an erf is an image file filter format. There are others. So you need one of these (other archivers are available) 7Zip, PeaZip, WinRar. Also, remember to keep your unarchiver up to date.
    • The wayback machine. On here you can find copies of pages from old, defunct NwN forums. Here is the original Bioware NwN forum (Just select the year/month/day you want to look at.) and here is the old Bioware Social Network. There was a forum that occurred between the times of those 2 but unfortunately EA re-purposed it, so there is no archive of it.
    • A Good Modern Plain Text Editor. I find one of these to be essential for custom content work, not just scripting. I personally use Notepad++ for, amongst other things, editing and merging 2da files for which I find column mode very useful.

    Hope these are of use.

    TR

  • TarotRedhandTarotRedhand Member Posts: 587
    edited October 2018
    Having just re-found this for a reply over on the vault I thought it might fit here. It is one of the best tutorials I have seen.
    TR

  • ShadowMShadowM Member Posts: 399
    edited February 10
    Can we get links added to the tool(s) mentioned in this thread for people to convert to the new video format?
    Can anyone suggest a good free bink to webm converter?

    Post edited by ShadowM on
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