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 Cell Creation - Navmeshing 
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Post Cell Creation - Navmeshing
Cell Creation - Navmesh I


Items Needed:
- Creation Kit/GECK
- thirty minutes of time. (may vary based on the size of your cell. A large castle/ruin will take far longer than a farm house)

Preface:
This is the navmesh tutorial. It is no where near as hard as everyone makes it out to be. A lot of people elsewhere have complained and made navmesh into a boogieman of sorts. This tutorially will hopefully help dispel these beliefs.

This is not to say that navmeshing is easy. Actually it is, just very very time consuming and requires a good bit of patience.
For this tutorial, I will be navmeshing Part of Castle pundus. Any pictures are from that cell.

Step 1:
This goes without saying for most, but open your Creation Kit/Construction Set and load the Skyrim.esm/Oblivion.esm and your esp file.
Once it loads, please turn your attention to the tool bar at the top of the window. (the one with save, open, snap to grid, ect) and proceed to Explaining Navbar.

Explaining Navbar:
Image
This is the navmesh bar. I will explain what each button does, and what they are good for.

The frst set, as their names might suggest are what you can select while in navmesh mode.

-Select Triangle: Allows for you to select an entire triangle. This is helpful usually when you need to delete a triangle that was linked up through navmesh. This often occurs in cells that already have some for of navmesh that you are modifying/adding onto. Keep this one off otherwise.
-Select Vertices: This is the most important one. And the one that you always must have on when working with navmesh. This allows you to place new vertices on the ground. it allows them to be linked, ect.
-Select Edges: This is helpful when you have a triangle that is to big and you need to 'subdivide' it. It is helpful when you have an object that is partially intersected by a triangle. It helps you to be able to move just parts of it around. Leave this off if you are not needing this feature! it will be nearly impossible to navmesh normally with this turned on

the next are view modes. Do not mess with them.
-Standard view mode: turned on by default. Allows the editor camera to move normally
-Top View Mode: Okay, but locks you to a top view. Not worth time.
-Navmesh only view mode: Shows only navmesh (hard to do navmeshing when you can not see the ground/objects)

The next section is where we get into trouble. These are the automated navmesh features. Use them with caution.
-Test Navmesh: Test your navmesh to see if it is working correctly. I do not use their button. It might not be a bad idea to use it.
-Balance for Optimization: I do not use this button. I assume it will go through and optimize your navmesh. This automation scares me.
-Find Cover Edges: Run this once you finish a room/cell This goes through and identifies the edges of your navmesh for the npcs.
-Finalize Navmesh:Run this after Cover Edge This is the final step. This is the last thing you should do when you finish your navmeshing. It goes through and finalizes it for the engine. It can still be edited after, but you will need to refind cover edges and refinalize it.
-Auto-Generation: DO NOT USE THIS!
-Advanced Auto-Generation: DO NOT USE THIS!
These auto generation features are broken and in my opinion appear to be the source of a lot of the rumors and myths about navmesh being so bad. I tried these with FONV and they just massacred the cells navmesh and was a complete nightmare. Others in the community might have found ways to make these work, but I have not. When I used them, I got navmesh on the ceiling, and running up walls and to the celling and it was a real mess. So I recommend to stay away from them, despite how tempting they might be.

There are a number of other buttons on the toolbar. The only other one that I have used, and find reason to mention is the merge vertex button. This is useful if you have too many vertices in a specific area. it allows you to merge them all into one, and help condense/refine/optimize your navmesh. To use it just select to vertices that are close to each other and hit it. They must be really close (almost touching) for it to work right though.

For info on the other buttons, see the wiki.

Please move on to keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcuts:
There are a number of keyboard shortcuts that are important to have and use for the navmeshing process. Some of these are unique to the Navmesh process. I will denote them with a *.

-A Key*: This creates a triangle. When you have three vertecies selected, this key will link them together and make a triangle. (There is a button on the toolbar that does the same thing. But who wants to hit that button each time?)

-D Key: Deselects the current objects/items. Extremely useful when you create a triangle. This will deselect the navmesh and allow you to select three new vertices.

-F Key: Drops any and all floating vertices (Selected Objects) to the floor. It will also raise partially buried objects/vertices from the ground. However, be careful. If the object is floating above the floor or is to far through the floor, weird things have been known to happen. so use caution.

-Left Click: Selects an object/vertex. You can not select non navmesh items when you are working with navmesh(Tool bar is open).

-Right Click*: This is how you create a vertex. right click and one shall appear where your mouse was. These are the building blocks for navmesh. (and path gridding)

-Control Key*: This is useful to some extent. It was FAR more useful in the Construction Set. When you hold it down and left click, you will select a vertex. It will continue to select vertices you select as long as you do not click into an 'empty space' or hit the deselect key/button. This works the same as it would for files in your operating system (windows)
The second feature of the Control Key, the one I referred to with the Construction Set, is that when you right click to make a vertex, it will keep any previous made vertices (that were made while control was held down) selected. This can be useful from the stand point of. I make three vertices, holding control down the whole time, then I hit the A Key, and the triangle is made. I do not have to go back and reselect vertices.

Step 2:
Image
You should now be familiar with the bar, and the keyboard shortcuts. Pleas refer to the picture above. This is an example of a starting navmesh. The first triangle with the red filling is a 'done' triangle. It has already been linked up. The three green vertices that are highlighted are ready to be made into a triangle. All that is needed to do is press the 'A key.'

There is a yellow vertex off to the right, that is a non attached, non selected vertex. An orphaned vertex if you will. These are ones that need to be selected along with two others to form their own triangle. that is the next step in this tutorial. is to select those and press the a button. Proceed to step three to see this being accomplished.


Step 3:
Image
Notice if you will, the two high lighted vertices. Whenever you make a triangle, it will leave the LAST TWO vertices you selected (to make that triangle) selected whenever you pressed the 'A Key' to make the triangle. This can be handy if you are going t keep going in the same direction. However, this can be a pain if (in our case) you wanted to link up that poor orphaned vertex. This is where the deselect key (D Key) or the button on the toolbar for it are very helpful. Then you can select the right vertices and link them up. You just continue to do this until your room is full of red triangles. Well, all the 'walkable' spaces in your room are covered by red triangles.

Remember this: NPCs can only walk on the red mesh you create. if you want them to avoid a certain area, just don't navmesh that area and you will be good.

On that note, please move to 'Things to Keep in Mind'

Things to Keep in Mind
First thing to keep in mind is to navmesh around objects that the npcs can not walk through. Such as desks, tables, piles of boxes or food. It is good to keep the navmesh a few 'inches' or 25 clicks away from the object. Just notably away from it. This will make sure that npcs don't get to close and hit/clip tbales or boxes. this helps keep sweet roles on their plates on their tables and keeps npcs from accidently triggering their collision boxes.

the second thing to keep in mind is NEVER EVER EVER have navmesh that doubles back on itself. I will show you a picture, but NEVER Do this EVER.
Image

Notice the triangles on the far right hand side.

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Cell Creation - Navmeshing
I got Vilja to follow me into the back room but I can't get her to come out back into the main room. Also does it matter if some of the navimesh goes under the floor? Hmm should take a screenshot of that to show what I mean. Part of triangle is on top of a floor board and part is underneath. The same floor board not different ones. The boards are correct. Proper height.

update: Got Vilja to follow by changing the triangles but still have no idea why she would follow into the back groom but not leave it.I am about to try navimeshing the balconies> I have a feeling the basement is going to be a nightmare to do.

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Last edited by Nakia on Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

update added



Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Cell Creation - Navmeshing
In your farm house, since the floor is flat (why cant the stupid fort floor be flat) they should all be visible. if it is not, select the vertices that make up the 'sunken' triangle, and then raise them up (with the z key) and then hit the f key to send them down to the floor. That should fix that issue... as for following you in but not out, there are weird things about the pathing worked fine in one direction but failed to work fine in the other direction. Stairs are a pain to navmesh. Just going to say that now. If you want to navmesh them right that is...

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