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Witcher placeable conversion project


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I looked through the material editor again and experimented for a while after I found a "metallic" setting, and I finally figured out how to create that fake "mirror" effect with the heavy glare. It washes out some of their nice texture work, but at least it reacts to the light instead of looking like a matte painting of a mirror. (In the Witcher, they actually have real reflections in the mirrors, which looks really nice on the supplied texture.)
Glare mirror

Also, no fantasy world should be without some good old-fashioned pub entertainment.
Game table

And I'm not sure if these are the kind of eggs Mokah had in mind for her module, but I put priority on their importation just in case. They're an aquatic monster kind of eggs that stick to a surface with some kind of disgusting substance. I'm using them for my kuo-toa and sahuagin areas (tinted to differentiate them).

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I love how one side is monsters of some sort.


Yeah, city guards versus ghouls, with a skull as a ball. smile.png


Are there bigger, outside themed placeables? cliffs, rocks, trees, etc?

as far as eggs, I did these a while ago for Jabberwocky:





Those are the container fillers with a fun texture and tinting...the slime under the egg is also a container filler...scaled and different texture.


Yes, there's a fantastic gnarled bare-limbed tree I have separated out from one of the exterior areas. It's one of two items that I've taken out of the areas that didn't exist as separate placeables. I haven't tried texturing them yet, but I will. I'll look for some suitable rocks and cliffs.


It looks like you have the eggs taken care of.


A friend just linked me this post, this is just incredible. I'm running a more medieval style PW and the witcher was a strong inspiration from the start. With those placeables we could take another step away from the normal NWN2 look and one closer to a more dark and griddy atmosphere. Any news when things would be ready for us impatient modders? wink.png


Impatient modders can have whatever I've shown so far just by asking me to zip up my latest testing module directory and put it up on Dropbox. That contains everything you need to use the currently finished placeables.


There are a few things it won't have until a formal release. There's no documentation beyond this thread itself, no blueprints (everything is a placed instance in the module areas), and the placeables all have a single generic placeholder name. You could do me a favour and create blueprints for these placed instances that I can package into this, if you're up for it. If you have the Usability Tools installed (which I think is what adds this function), you can just right click on a placed instance and choose "make blueprint", then give it a proper name, and make the tags, resrefs, and template match the placeable's file name.


I can do that. Making blueprints would be the least I can do to support your generous contribution to the nwn2 community. I would not want to cause an inconvienence for you, however, so if it would take time away to pack stuff up and put it on dropbox then I just wait until the 30 days are done.

Tchos, I'd love a look at the walls and windows and the eggs, so yes I'd love to look at anything you have so far.


I'm preparing the test module for upload. I just wanted to get one additional set of items ready for it. It's a bookshelf, but the clever thing about it is that it consists of an empty frame and 6 individual shelves. 4 of the shelves contain different arrangements of books, and the other two are a crisscrossing framework holding different arrangements of scrolls.


Additionally, the scrolls can be rotated 180 degrees, to create 2 additional arrangements (the books can't be done that way, because some of them are leaning against the wall). So you can make a lot of different combinations of filled bookshelves with this set, to prevent an obvious repetition in your decorations. And it all uses a single texture, as well! Very economical and flexible.




Okay, here's what's ready to go so far. I'm calling this pre-release version 0.101, because it contains 91 of approximately 900 objects that are in the pipeline.


If you look through the 2da, you can see the filenames of items yet to be fully converted, though all of them are converted to .3ds format so that I won't need the full 3ds Max to complete them. If any of those sound particularly interesting, let me know, and I'll put more priority on those.


[Edit: link to old pack removed here since the latest versions are now linked in the first post, but the instructions are still relevant.]


Unzip this as a module folder in your module directory. Be sure you open it with a fresh load of the toolset if you've previously been working with any modules with custom placeables.2da files, because those seem to stay in memory if you do. A fresh load loads the 2da straight from the module folder in my tests.

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Checking out those placeables. Magnificent. All of a sudden I have the urge to redesign every area. About the blueprints, should I make some right now and send back to you or should I wait for a larger batch? like half or until completion?


Just send back whatever you make, in as large or small batches as you like. You can just do whichever ones you plan to personally use; no obligation to do them all. You can email them to me or give a link here.


Insane! In a good way.

Just to go on official record as saying




Also, quick question: How long before we have all 900 placeables? biggrin.png


Also, also: Where did you get the placeable.2DA you are using?


Now that is the kind of reaction that motivates a person. smile.png


The placeables.2da file is the current version of the Master Placeables 2DA by Kanbyen, with my insertions beginning at the 15000 mark, selected based on the free spots available on the Reserved Ranges list. (I know you're aware of it yourself, but I include the link for others.)


Oh, another thing to mention is that I converted all of the white space in the Master Placeables 2DA into tabs, which significantly reduces the file size. ~10MB => ~3MB. I've put a link to the original Master Placeables 2DA in the credits.


All 900? I'm not sure, but there are currently 771 ready for final processing and importation. When I get into a routine, they go pretty quickly, but every so often I hit one that needs special attention (texture work, tinting, too many separate parts, special material property needs, etc.), and that brings things to a halt for a while.


The rest are area files and creature files, and converting those is really hard to predict. I can continue releasing incremental versions, though, which might be best.


What I would do is:

  1. Place the unscaled cabinet in the toolset
  2. Place an effect point in the toolset using the glass FX
  3. Move the effect point about until it's exactly where you want it
  4. Compare the origin of the cabinet placeable to the origin of the effect point
  5. Work out the X, Y and Z offsets from the differences of the two origins
  6. Modify the glass FX in the Effects Editor using your calculated offsets

Then you could apply the glass FX to a non-static cabinet, safe in the knowledge that it will scale and rotate to match the placeable.


I'll keep this post as reference for trying that out later. Probably the most important thing I'll have to try to remember is that it has to be non-static.


Don't feel I'm asking about timeline to rush you in anyway. I was just curious if you had some schedule in mind and if I have to take a couple weeks off from work to redesign all of my areas... biggrin.png Also, looking through the placeable.2da I can see about a hundred more models that I would like to mess with.


Believe me, the only thing that's rushing me is the 3ds Max trial limit. wink.png


Right now I'm just doing the last of the conversions into .3ds format (those being the creatures and characters), just so that I can be done with 3ds Max. The trial version crashes extremely often, and I look forward to being rid of it. I don't know if I really want to do all of the creatures and characters, though, since there are 381 of them, and I don't even know how to rig things for animation. It's a lot of work for "just in case", but I'd hate to be kicking myself later after the trial's over.


Also, the numbers estimated above don't include the doors. The door textures can be applied to standard NWN2 doors, though, so it shouldn't be a concern.


Any models you can list off, offhand?


Um...all of them?


Truthfully, any model that is not really found in NWN2 is what I'd love to see. The lab equipment is great and I'm already importing the tavern walls.

Any of the furnishings and nick-knacks would be great. Stuff that can decorate an interior area, whether a cave or a building.


Okay, then I know what to work on next. Also, I think I can do more with the walls. But first I need to finish the creatures and characters.


I converted 94 of the characters and creatures yesterday, and found about half of the creature MDBs were actually duplicates, so there are only 90 left.


Just wanted to say, this project looks great and I am looking forward to seeing the finished items.


I have looked at the sample module and I am blown away by the work, I honestly think this is one of the best ideas/projects I have seen for NWN2. thank you for taking the time to do this work!

Those placeables look great Tchos, thank you for your effort. The fish laden market stall and the carpet one are very good and may well find themselves into my new area this evening.


Keep up to good work, I think you are making one of the biggest steps forward this game has seen for quite a while and it is much appreciated.


Off to merge a 2da smile.png




I definitely appreciate the encouraging words on all sides!


That fish table has already found a home on my docks, as well. smile.png


An aside...look at this creature I found. I haven't seen this little man in the game, and I can't find any info on him in the bestiary, either. The file name calls him a "faerie". He's fully animated with a swaggering walk and some whimsical idle animations.


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That's a leprechaun don't you know.

To be sure the little fella needs some colour in his cheeks though biggrin.png



It's true, leprechauns are indeed creatures that exist in the Witcher universe, but so do gnomes, spriggans, dryads, kelpies, and all sorts of other well-known woodsie creatures, so I didn't want to jump to conclusions. smile.png His texture seems to support the idea of him being a leprechaun, too.


Working on those blueprints right now. I wonder, Tchos, are you going to add opening animations to those lovely chests?


Regarding animation: I'd like to, and it's a possibility in the future, but I don't know how to do it at this time. For now, my priority is to get everything usable as non-moving items.


Also, there are a few more chests on the way.

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I've finished all of the creature and character work, so thus endeth my time with 3ds Max. I don't think there's anything left that needs it. Now I can focus entirely on importing things into the NWN2 toolset.

Here's some of the new stuff:

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And there I thought it could not get more awesome.

Very nice additions, I like the fireplaces especially. I have spent some of this evening making a hak out of the ones you gave us earlier and have done a few blueprints. I can export them if that would be of use. I did the sheep first biggrin.png



No need for a hak just yet. I'll take care of the hak when I have a substantial release. There's a lot more to come, and I had to fix something on the tint map for the fish stall (the ropes were getting tinted wrongly). Do send along those blueprints, though.


Sheep and Stone. Now with Sheep!

I took a look at the download you linked to. There's some impressive stuff there already.


More food placeables were sorely needed in the game. I was getting sick of every kitchen having the same fruit bowl, basket of bread, and slab of meat. Those Witcher onion strings can double as garlic as well.


One thing I did was change the models to use "red" as their tint map, which is a texture already in the game (red.dds). That means one less new texture is required.


Ah, good, then I'll switch to using red.dds going forward. Did you change all of them? A scant few of these have custom tint maps.


Is there a similar existing blank normal map for the models that don't have normal maps?


For some of these models, I've been generating normal maps where none existed previously. The fireplaces and stoves were like that, and on reviewing them, I found that I did some of them poorly. I've remade several of them, as shown by a couple here.


Better normals

Previous version


So far I've mostly been interested in the food placeables, so those are the only ones I've changed.


There are lots of blank normal map textures in the game. I can't think of any specific file names though. I think eyeballs all use the same blank normal map (although it might be extra-shiny - I've never looked at the alpha channel).


Since you mention it, I'm converting some more food items now. Meats, fish, and vegetables.


I like the fact that actual photos were used as the basis of many of the textures. I saw the separate fish placeable available in the 7-zip file, although it seems to have been designed to sit on one of the angled merchant stall surfaces. They could just as easily be sitting on a gently sloping bank besides a stream or lake though (next to one of the fishing tackle placeables perhaps).


It is sloped as if it should go on one of the tables, but I noticed that it doesn't quite fit any of the tables that I've found as yet. The angles don't quite match. Putting it on a stream bank would be a good use for it, but perhaps I should also rotate it a little so that it does fit.


In the meantime:

Food. And three new tables to support the food.


Now they are very nice indeed. That and the city hak stuff gives us plenty to play with. No more bowls of fruit ...



There is actually a bowl of fruit amongst these placeables, but I put low priority on it since we've already got one.


Let the feast commence!


As for a default normal map; there is one called 'ts_n' that might do the trick.


I opened ts_n.dds in Photoshop, and it will definitely work as a default blank normal map. There will be times when I'll want an alpha channel in the normal map, such as a noisy one for times that I want to break up the specularity, or a full-bright one when I want to make an object shiny, but I'll probably have to make my own for those. The normal_map_blank.dds that I included with these models has a noisy alpha channel in it.


So here's the latest batch.

I'll work on some more home furnishings next.

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I decided to try extracting an item out of one of the areas. As I expected, this is going to be difficult, since it doesn't seem to know what textures should be on the items. I tried a couple of the textures available in the pool before settling on this one. It also didn't seem to have any actual UV coordinates, so I had to apply something.

Gnarled tree


These are really good Tchos. Do you think the detailed textures on that outside tree will make it look odd in amongst the stock items? I don't think its the case for the interior ones though they do look markedly better in all cases ...

The kneeler is a prayer booth or perhaps, with a few extra walls, a confessional. Whatever you call it, it is an amazingly good item to have for temple areas.


I don't know that it's necessarily more detailed than the stock items. You mean the stock trees? I think they're pretty flexible, and it depends on how you design the area, too, and the lighting.

I'd be wary of using the booth as a confessional in just any temple. I'd go out on a limb and say that most of the Forgotten Realms gods don't actually have a confession of sins as part of their dogma. Just keep your Faiths and Pantheons book on hand to guide your temple design!


Fantastic work Tchos!

Actually I am trying to create some stuff too, using Witcher 2.
I have managed to import the Witcher 2 models into blender and export them to mdb. Sadly I haven't got any experience in using 3d programs, so I dont know how to export a new .dds file... and so on.


Luckily you don't have to cut the buildings from the map, because they are seperate models. You have to combine the different levels though, because they are stored separated


Short update:
When simply exporting the models and copying the textures from the assets into my override this is the result http://rivin.de/witcher2-house2.jpg

I am still having issues with texturing though and I have no idea which export options I should use biggrin.png


Well, perhaps this means I don't need to bother with extracting the buildings from the Witcher areas, if the Witcher 2 has easily extractable buildings.


I am not sure if they work that well with nwn and since I am having no experience converting models. It could be possible that i am simply doing nonsense (not having a look on polycount, texture issues etc.).

It would be very nice to have some more buildings! If you still have time left, please extract the witcher 1 buildings too smile.png Maybe I could send you the .blend files for the witcher2 buildings afterwards, so you can have a look at them?


Hmm, it's true that the Witcher 2 was designed for higher-powered computers, so indeed the houses might be higher-poly than would be ideal, though I think they could be reduced if necessary. But you're right, I should probably try to extract the ones from the Witcher 1 anyway.

I'm not very familiar with Blender, but I can look at them and I might be able to see if you're headed in the right direction with them.

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I probably shouldn't have used Dropbox for these pictures. It's a great service for what it's usually used for, but its image sharing functionality is limited and awkward. Nevertheless, this is an index of thumbnails showing the objects yet to be converted, for anyone here to point out for me to convert next. I couldn't find a way to simply display them in alphabetical order, so they're pretty much scattered randomly. You can get the filename by clicking on the thumbnail.


Also, there are some duplicates there, and objects not displaying textures. I cleared out most of the duplicates, but not all of them. I'll only be converting one of the copies.

I have a few more converted, but I'll have to show them later. I'm also working on other stuff.

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We already have most nwn2 weapons/amor as placeables in multiple orientations, so that should be low priority. My personal preference is floors/floor coverings/things to go on walls.


No argument from me. I'm not particularly interested in the weapons or armour, but I have them there for the sake of completeness. There are some more paintings and wall tapestries in the pool that I can do. I think there are some floor carpets in there somewhere...


One man's junk is another strumpet's treasure. I have particular interests in lots of that stuff...especially the armor and weapons. The truth is, yes, we might have similar things in the toolset already, but think of it this way: We've all seen that stuff before...lots of times. These models are new and new is good. The skulls for example...seeing them has given me an idea for a nifty new trap...devil.png


Are there any in particular that you like? I'd be most partial to the very unusual looking ones, like the staves. But I'll definitely get those skulls for you. A Skull Trap?


The waterwheel plzkthx! I always dreamt about having watermills in NWN2, with that wheel that dream might come true! Animated wouldn't be possible, would it..?


I should have done that waterwheel earlier. I've done it now.


As for animation, I still don't know how to export it. From what I've read, animating NWN2 objects requires Obsidian's Expotron plugin for 3ds Max.


I found a copy of the plugin. Also, Obsidian's PDF tutorial for how to use it is still available via the Wayback Machine. I also found the video tutorials mirrored on the Vault. And the waterwheel itself already has animation in it, so I just need to watch those videos, read the documentation, and learn how to export it. Learning to do the animation is on my list of things to do, but it's not priority 1.


I also need to see if the plugin will work in Gmax.


In the meantime, it'll be a static object. Here's how it looks in-game. I notice there's either a missing face or a flipped normal on the front of the axle.

Front, back.


That set is amazing, if I were to pick i would like to see the gallows and the two short walls and the rustic bench and the ....


I'm working on your request as well as the others, but could you give me the filename of the rustic bench you're talking about? If you click on it, it'll show the name in the lower left of the screen.


Really?? You're asking me to choose? OK...I choose all of them. Seriously, the more variety I have to build with the more I'm inspired to build.


This is what happened when I learned how to use SLS2 and placeables together...it's a skull trap/puzzle for a pirate den. Match the right colors up or you're dead...




Not to choose whether or not to do it, because I'm converting all of them, no matter what. It's just which ones do I do sooner rather than later? And I like that trap. smile.png


That's kind of you Tchos and I will look at that in the morning but I will not be building for a week or two while I support my release. After that I will be in there doing a dock area. I will look again then and pick based on that area requirement. Keep up the good work Tchos it is, and will be, very much appreciated by the community.



Okay, here's what else I've finished. Not as much as I was planning, but it's something.


7 rugs

2 partitions (I think these are what PJ meant by short walls)

2 gallows

A fancy bottle and a drum

Edited by Tchos
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I agree - that stuff is TREASURE wizard.png


I'll never get between a strumpet and her treasure! http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/pirate.gif


Sadly expotron only works with 3dsmax 7 and 8.


That's unfortunate about the plugin, Semper. I can see why so little has been done with this game in the animation department. I've long said that if I had the ability I'd like to replace certain default animations in this game, such as the very unnatural idle standing and head dipping.


This batch took longer than normal because I had to hunt for some of the textures. I found a few textures were outside of the normal directory, and others referred to textures for other objects. I like reusing textures where possible, but this made it difficult to find, since the names of the textures were not preserved during the conversion process, so I duplicated the reused texture in this case, in the likely event someone wants to use only a few items from this pack, where a separated texture may be confusing.


I picked items from a variety of types rather than going with a theme like I've done in most previous batches. I removed their thumbnails from the Dropbox gallery as I converted them, so if you find something missing, it's probably because I was working on it. I also found some more items that I somehow mistakenly moved into my "done" folder, and I don't think they ever showed up in the thumbnail gallery.


Mokah, I've done the skulls for you. One is lying on its side, and the other is resting on its jaw and the base of its skull, as they were in the original files. Let me know if you'd like any other orientations for them.


I've also done a bench that might be the one you wanted, PJ.


I think I'm going to try the illumination method of transparency for one of these glass-paneled items, because this one has something inside it.


Maybe one more batch, and I'll put up another link for the work done so far, for everyone to try out, including the blueprints for the first batch that EvilShade put together.


Wow! The illumination map transparency workaround works really well! Now I can make some more believeable glass, or at least something for which you can suspend your disbelief! I'll do that for the hourglass and some other things, too. Thanks for that tip, Dann.

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