Wow, what a great thread! We think everything we need is in this discussion. We like discussions where experienced pros disagree. It's just elsewhere some users can be sensitive to disagreements.
Meanwhile! We're still puzzled, though we may have enough to proceed.
Here's what got us troubled in the first place, when we started with making our BSA directly from the CK-archive function.
The CK popped up a warning, something like "No Facegen/Tintmask" and messed up and "lost" our custom Tintmask.
(We might not recall this warning exactly, but the warning was close to that. We do recall when we returned to our FaceGen folders in both Meshes/Textures, the CK had altered our NIF (yuck!), altered paths, and also replaced our custom tintmask, while in-game the NPC face was wrecked.)
The CK-extract function did not seem to see, find, and include our custom tintmask, no matter the three times we tried to replace the results of the CTRL-F4 function in the CK one with ours. We also learned to make a backup of our custom tintmask since the CK kept losing it.
We could have given up on our tintmask, and gone straight vanilla, and let CTRL-F4 give us all our straight-up textures and files, but we really had made a pleasing tintmask. (Experienced modders are making and uploading excellent custom tintmasks with their NPC's!)
So, we decided to pack our files manually, and successfully include our custom tintmask. Which brought us here to this forum.
We think this tintmask issue is kind of well known among experienced NPC-creators? Which is why they use the Archive.exe method, rather than make an archive through CK? But we found even the Archive.exe tutorials a bit confusing. Sad on us?
(We are also posting a new question and topic shortly, on how to "duplicate" and rename one of our personal custom NPC's (call that NPC Stelja, let's say) who is "inside" one of our large personal Mods, call that bigger mod ManyNPC'sMod.esp, let's say, and making that Stelja-duplicate NPC character have no dependency whatsoever on our original ManyNPC's.sp mod.
+Is this doable? We think the CK will allow us to uncheck the dependencies, which we can then confirm through TESVedit? That's how we anticipate the process so far?)
Edited by Gorgopis, 04 March 2021 - 04:50 PM.