ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To: Export/Import Nif files with Modelling Programs

Updated on May 28, 2009

A short tutorial on nif model import and export from popular modding programs to work with Oblivion.

By the time you are done this short tutorial you should understand the basics of exporting and importing nifs with both Blender and Gmax/3dsMax. Keep in mind that a lot of the editing of meshes is simpler than it looks and you can learn quite easily. I recommend reading this tutorial before doing any others of my more complicated tutorials since they do not regive the instructions on import and export (however they do link back here in case you've forgot how). My other mesh editing tutorials include: accurate collision, and more.

Importing a Nif into a modelling program.

Importing a Nif to a modelling program is very import for any advanced (and lots of simple types too) mesh editing. To do so just follow the instructions below for your modelling program.

Gmax/3dsMax

You will need:

  • Gmax (super easy and free) OR 3dsMax (expensive, haven't ever used it so don't know its ease of use)
  • Niftools Max plugin
  • and a nif file, there are lots available to download off of game sites and your game should include many but they may be packed in a hard way to access.

In 3dsMax/Gmax click File --> Import --> select type (Netimmerse/Gamebryo) --> browse to file --> open. For new users you can just use the default. Select Oblivion (or game that the Nif was designed for) and click import.

Blender

You will need:

  • Blender
  • Niftools Blender plugin
  • and a nif file, there are lots available to download off of game sites and your game should include many but they may be packed in a hard way to access.

In Blender, Go File --> Import --> select type (NetImmerse/Gamebryo) --> browse to file location --> select file --> click import nif --> scale correction should be 10 (default) and for new users you don't need to change the other settings so just click OK.

Exporting from Gmax/3dsMax

Requirements

  • Gmax (super easy and free) OR 3dsMax (expensive, haven't ever used it so don't know its ease of use)
  • Niftools Max plugin
  • A 3d mesh (here after referred to as model or mesh interchangeably)

Exporting

In Gmax go File --> export, browse to the path you want to save under and give it a name of *whatevername*.nif and select Netimmerse/Gamebryo in the save as type box at the bottom, then click save.

Next a box comes up with a bunch of options. Select whatever game you are going to be using the model in in the top box, then select what seems appropriate based on this semi-detailed description of each of the settings available:

  • Export

  • Hidden Nodes: does not seem to have any effect; leave checked.
  • Skeleton Only: leave unchecked unless you only want to export a skeleton such as when making a new creature or race.
  • Collision: leave checked unless you have bad collision data it will work fine, and if you have no collision mesh it will be fine too; this module just won't export anything.
  • Cameras: Leave unchecked; not used in Oblivion/Morrowind.
  • Lights: Leave unchecked; not used in Oblivion/Morrowind.

Mesh:

  • Generate Strips: if checked the exported meshes are in NiTriStrips, as opposed to if unchecked NiTriShapes, for most things leave checked.
  • Extra Nodes on Mesh: not needed, leave unchecked.
  • Flatten Hierarchy: again unneeded, leave unchecked.
  • Update Tangent Space: if checked it will update the tangent space, necessary for models to work, so checkit.
  • Collapse & Zero Transforms: As far as I can tell saving the mesh(es) to the correct position(s) requires these two be checked
Animation:Unless doing animations just leave the drop down menu at Nif w/o Animation and everything else at default (priority at 0.00 and transforms checked Skin Modifier:

  • Only matters for meshes of races, creatures and armour/clothes; if the mesh is not one of those leave all unchecked. Otherwise: check all of the available slots, with a max of 18 bones per partition and 4 bones per vertex.
Misc.:Add User Prop Buffer: Unnecessary, leave unchecked. Sort Nodes: sorts the nodes into the correct order, leave checked.Add Accum Nodes: haven't figured out what this purpose this serves but the result is really messy so leave it unchecked.Start Nifskope: have this checked to auto-open the exported file in Nifskope for tweaking etc. won't change the mesh that is exported at all, just opens it in Nifskope.Then click export and you have a working NetImmmerseFile (Nif) mesh unless something went terribly wrong somewhere, you should probably now test your mesh in game to make sure it is working (at least until you have a bit of experience).

Exporting with Blender

Requirements

  • Blender (super easy and free)
  • Niftools Blender plugin
  • A 3d mesh (here after referred to as model or mesh interchangeably) open in Blender

Exporting

In Blender make sure you have all objects you want to export selected because it only exports selected shapes; to select all press A once or twice until all objects have pink outline. Then go File --> export, choose type (for this you want Netimmerse/Gamebryo) then browse to the path you want to save under and give it a name of *whatevername*.nif then click export NIF/KF.

Next a the screen fills up with a whole passel of options. Select whatever game you are going to be using the model in in the bottom section (or NIF version but best to use game selecter instead) then select what seems appropriate based on this semi-detailed description of the other settings that many users will need to change:

  • Collision Options:

  • Select the closest match for the collision (if you've made one otherwise just ignore it) in the top two rows of buttons. You don't need to change any of the numbers unless you are experimenting ;) (most changes there will just break collision unless you know what the expected numbers are). Then select either hollow or solid, whichever is a closer match to your mesh.

Then click export and you have a working NetImmmerseFile (Nif) mesh unless something went terribly wrong somewhere, you should probably now test your mesh in game to make sure it is working (at least until you have a chunk of experience under your belt).

Please post any comments, suggestion or requests) that you may have about this lens and its content here!

Any comments or suggestions? - I'd love to hear...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      NONE OF THIS SHIT WORKS MY MACHINE IS A (P-7805U)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for a revealing site.

      Has anyone experienced this? When I export from Blender the files shrink and are impossible to use in Oblivion TES4.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: i have no problem exporting meshes for oblivion but i have trouble with exporting for skyrim

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Companies these days are developing path-breaking software's which can easily take care of the all the exporter's worries. Softlink is one of them; our software visual x-port provides complete export solution and at the same time helps achieving profitability and growth in export business. Visual X-Port has been successfully deployed in various small and large organizations across industries. International Trade Software

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Trade between countries can be traced back to the ancient times. Things were very much simple in the olden days with a smooth exchange of goods & services, both within the country and with other countries. Times have changed since then, so have the policies & procedures. Modern day trade involves a lot of complexities in terms of documentation and regulatory compliance, further making things difficult. Complying with these requirements is not only time consuming, but also adds up to wasteful expenditures. Thus there arises the need for Life Insurance

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: You have to resize the window of the nif's import options, the OK button is hidden on the bottom of that window.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I'm trying to import .nif files from Oblivion to Blender but the OK button doesn't show in the screen where you set the scale correction level. I have the latest version of Blender, Blender NIF Scripts, Python 2.6.2, and PyFFI. Does anyone know what's wrong?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i have used 3ds max in a scholastic setting and just downloaded gmax just so you know they have *EXACTLY* the same interface and function the same way. anyway just thought i would let you know this tutorial is extremely helpful though i wish that you would explain the different options for exporting from gmax and 3dsmax a little more in depth. otherwise i liked this very much, thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Get the Nif import/export Scripts

      http://sourceforge.net/projects/niftools/files/

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have this issue....i don't know why but whenever i do the UV mapping on Blender exported meshes stop showing up on NifSkope

      If i don't do the UV mapping they show

      Please help this poor desperate noob modeler x)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I keep getting an error that say something about UV i do what it says then it says something about doing it too all the textures...so i apply the UV mapping or whatever and it still tells me too....im importing to morrowind.....am i missing something

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I created a cube and i want to export it as a nif file. But i can't find the export button in the option screen. Where is it?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have a real bad problem I just got blender fineshed making a few things and i can export them but there is no export for anif file but for everything else could you please help me my email is zamarak2000@aol.com please send me a reply