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What tools to create models for NWN?

Hi folks,
Back in the days I used 3DS Max and could create some intersting things, but what discouraged me was getting 3D models textured correctly.

I heard of ways to paint 3D models just like you would paint a Warhammer model (which I like to do) and preferably with a graphics tablet.

Can that be done for NWN and with which tools?

I would like information about the software (Max, photoshop and the like), the interface (scripts to inport/export models to/from NWN) and the tools (graphics tablet).

Any input will be appreciated,


  • symmetricsymmetric Member Posts: 48
    edited August 7
    Current Blender and 3dsMax versions both have the ability for texture/material painting and support graphics tablets.

    For 3dsMax you'll need the nwmax plugin:

    For Blender you'll need NeverBlender:
    - NeverBlender Documentation
    - NeverBlender Tutorial List

    Other than that, there is Substance Painter, a program specifically made for texturing. But there are no direct import/export options to Neverwinter Nights: You'll have to use an intermediate format like fbx or obj to import/export models, i.e. go Blender/3dsMax => Substance Painter => Blender/3dsMax => Neverwinter Nights (or maybe only export the texture from Substance Painter, I have no experience with it). Still, substance painter is probably the closest to what you want.

    Post edited by symmetric on
  • JapualtahJapualtah Member Posts: 107
    *Stares at the monitor in awe*

    Man, that's a lot of good news in a single thread!
    Quite intimidating though, but incredibly exciting, I'm really looking forward to delving into this.

    Do you think an amateur has a chance at designing decent models with these tools, or would it take monthes to learn the ropes to go from a bare 3D model to texturing/animating/having everything work in NWN? When I had a go at 3DS Max I only designed weapons with some particle effects and basic models like tables, watercans and other easy to texture objects.

    Are there model libraries we can use to get some basic models from which to expand?

    More, I was very excited when seeing the new Aribeth model (which is not available in the toolset for some reason) but I couldn't help but thinking: will the engine withstand multi thousands polygons models while iirc we had to limit ourselves to a few hundreds polygons?

    Anyway, I've been watching a few Blender videos lately and I'm super hyped to see you made it work with NWN, that's fantastic news, big thumbs up ;-)

  • zordren3742zordren3742 Member Posts: 174
    I would say go ahead and get gmax and nwnmdlcomp too. It helps when you can look at stuff that is already in the game.

  • symmetricsymmetric Member Posts: 48
    edited August 7
    I'm not gonna lie, it will take time to get to a decent level - like with everything really :) . BUT: Over the years the tools (be it 3dsMax, Blender or Substance Painter) have evolved alongside the models complexity. Because of all the tools the programs may look intimidating, but really the tools are all there to make your life easier.
    Imho it's best to start with placeables, doing architecture and things like that to learn the basics. It's also easier to create, using basic techniques like extruding and subdividing. Maybe dip into sculpting for something like a wall relief (for which you can use a graphics tablet as well).
    Then eventually move on to characters, organic objects. For those you would want to use sculpting mainly.

    Model library wise it's probably best to stick to sites like blendswap to avoid license troubles. 3D printing sites like thingiverse also offer some models with open licenses, but lacking textures. Some guy made custom D&D miniatures for 3D printing a way back. Those used to be on thingiverse too, but Wizards requested them to be moved to shapeways.
    You can of course also use NWN's own models and use them as a base - that would have the added benefit of them already having animations. There are plenty of other sites with models ripped from other games but I'm not gonna post them here, neither do I endorse using them.

    Model complexity wise: Yes, you're right. We'll have to see what the new limits are, poly-count and texture wise.

    Post edited by symmetric on
  • JapualtahJapualtah Member Posts: 107
    Thanks, I started learning Blender with my son today, we're following Blender Guru Youtube beginner tutorials and we're having great fun, doing 2 episodes a day is enough :wink:
    Man, I never suspected this game could be so much fun 15 years after and probably for a few years to come, thanks again for you work and your encouragements, much appreciated.

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