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Is there any way to properly load gobos?


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#1
Glitchfinder

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So a year and a half ago I worked up and posted a mod that made fairly heavy use of textured lights (the gobo feature in the creation kit.) Specifically, it was a bunch of recolored variants of the bottle lanterns used by the Children of Atom, for use in settlements. There was, however, a slight snag. Unless one of the lights added by Far Harbor was currently loaded, the lights added by my mod would simply load in without the gobo, leaving them as a generic spherical light source. If one of the far harbor lights was loaded, my mod's lights would load just fine, and if placed, would retain that through a save-load cycle. Even more odd, removing the DLC lantern but leaving mine would leave the gobo working fine, even through a save-load. Suffice to say, I never figured out a reasonable way to forcibly load the gobo for my mod, which is a significant part of why I never finished the 2.0 update.

 

I was never able to find much on them aside from a few threads explaining gobo texture in reference to flashlights and the headlamp, so I figured I may as well ask here: does anyone know of a reasonable way to allow a mod to add a new light that will properly load a gobo texture?



#2
Ablaze666

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Now that you mentioned it, I experienced the very same issue in settlement mode. I've made some copies of vanilla lights for settlement mode and assigned gobo textures to them but they didn't worked. Then I assigned the same gobo texture to the vanilla light and suddenly the gobos worked after placing the edited vanilla light.

 

I noticed something when gobos fails to load. The light sphere of non-working gobos is kind of purple and it looks like the engine can't find the gobo texture linked to the light source. There are some unused gobo light sources in the game and when placing them in the Creation Kit they show the same purple sphere too because their gobo textures are not packed into the game files so the engine can't render them and using a generic purple texture instead. And because the purple sphere looks the same in both cases I assume the engine simply looks in the wrong direction for the gobos under some circumstances for whatever reason.

 

The question here is why the engine searches for the wrong texture and sometimes finds it a) after reloading, b) placing a vanilla item with gobo textures in settlement mode or c) if using a flashlight mod: hopping in and out of power armor with headlamp. This just makes no sense at all. I have a feeling that this can only be fixed at engine level which involves an F4SE plugin.

 

I tried to find the cause for this problem several times but gave up eventually. This bug can even be triggered in an unmodded game simply by stepping into power armor with a headlamp while having the Pip-Boy light on and then switching the headlamp on and off really fast a couple of times. The light spot will turn purple.


Edited by Ablaze666, 03 October 2018 - 08:38 AM.


#3
Glitchfinder

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All right, I went and did some experimenting and learned a few things. First and foremost is that if you're trying to load gobo lights using an AddonNode: Don't. It's pretty much that simple. That means don't use things like the bottle lanterns from the children of atom as a model. It just doesn't work for some reason. Even unmodified vanilla addonnodes have occasional trouble loading, as noted before.

 

Gobo lights load just fine, even with custom textures, if placed as lights, be it manually or as a constructible object. That spells trouble for someone who wants lights tied to a moving object, but explains the issues with flashlights and headlamps. That does not explain why a significant portion of vanilla workshop items using gobo lights use addon nodes rather than simply making the light itself constructible.

 

And fair warning regarding that: if you take a vanilla gobo light that relies on an addon-node, make sure you remove said node from the nif prior to adding it as a constructible object. (Preferably using a copy of the nif to prevent affecting other things.) If you don't remove the node, and the original data is intact and loaded, placing the light will place a copy of the vanilla object as well. Or, if you make a particularly poor choice and add the mesh to the light that the addon node creates, the game will crash due to a permanent loop of object->addonNode(which is the object)->object->addonNode...

 

All that said, now I know what I needed to know to fix the issues with Colorful Bottle Lanterns and maybe actually deal with the 2.0 update I promised a year and a half ago.


Edited by Glitchfinder, 04 October 2018 - 04:41 AM.





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