FFXIV WEAPON PORTING GUIDE
First of all, I want to thank Milku for helping me get into 3D modding with her guide. In this guide I will show you how to import 3D models into FFXIV - This is only a guide for Weapons. I'm not confident with making a clothing guide So this will not be one, I will be making. Some models you may come across maybe in MMD Format (PMX/PMD) - with these models you need to be careful because they could be literal paper! The Textures may also be rubbish, You will need to make sure you know what you are doing when It comes to textures for some of these. I will be going through the process of how to import an MMD Model as well as one ripped from a game So that you are able to cover more when you come to import yourself. This guide was originally written when we only had DAE support, I have tried to update it for FBX but if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me for help.
I hope that you can understand this guide and if you have any trouble please feel free to send me a message and I will be happy to help you.
This guide is only for 3DS Max, I do not know how to use Blender other than for MMD and a little sculpting here and there.
Tools Needed (Potentially)
Blender (for MMD Models) MMD Blender Plugin
PSK Script (Models) Photoshop Or Gimp or other Editing programs
MMD Process - Skip if Not MMD (MMD Models are usually found on Deviant Art)If you have chosen an MMD Model you will need to have Blender and the CATs Plugin (Found above in Tools). Import your MMD model into Blender- By Clicking File>Import> MikuMikuDance Model (.pmd, .pmx) and finding your Model. You will then need to Decimate the model, Decimating reduces the number of faces/triangles a model has. Put in the Number 19999 and choose Quick Decimation. Then you are ready to export your Model - File > Export> You can choose Either FBX or OBJ.
Now you can follow the next steps on Importing into 3DS Max.
Script Process -Skip if Model is Obj/FBX
So you may come across some other formats for models. For this, there are some Scripts that you can use. (Found Above in Tools) - in order to use a script you need to have it in your >Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2018\scripts Folder and within the 3ds Max Toolbar select Script>Run the script and choose the script of the Model you will be importing. For example an XnaLara Model (named .Mesh), you will need to run the script XnaLara_Convertor_XPS.ms it will then take you to a menu where you can Find your mesh and import/open it. It will then pop up in your viewpoint ready for you.
Weapons are the easiest to port into FFXIV - You may find some textures to be challenging but initially, weapons are the best place to start.
First of all look at your textures are they doable? Are they in a good resolution? If so you are ready to start.
So you’ve opened 3DS Max, Chosen the Model you wish to import, File>Import> Browse or above for script Import.
For this guide, I am using Genesis Sword from FFVII Crisis Core. If the weapon is laying on the floor, which sometimes it usually is you may want to position it upright. You can do this by selecting it and using the move and Rotate tool. You may find that the Model is massive, we will sort this out soon.
Once your Model is upright, you will want to import the Model from FFXIV that you are replacing. In this case, I will be replacing the Rapier of the Goddess.
Look how big the comparison is, here is where you will reduce the size. What you will need to do is move your ported weapon onto the weapon you are replacing. Once you have your ported weapon positioned on the model you are replacing, select Vertex on the right where your Editable Mesh is displayed. This will make it easier to see and reduce the size.
Next, you will need to select the scale tool which is next to your Move and Rotate tool. Once you have your Model sized and positioned to the original. you will need to either Skin Wrap or add a Skin Modifier. Either way can be done, Skin wrap allows you to convert to Skin which paints the weights for you, whilst Skin Modifier you may have to paint the weights yourself. I will go through both methods for this. Weapons only require one bone which is n_hara, it is important to remember that. To add your Skin Wrap/Skin Modifier you can select it on the right with the modifier List.
Or you can press ‘x’ on your keyboard and type what Modifier you are using. I myself find this quicker and easier as you aren’t having to scroll through the Modifier list. It is up to you how you do it.
Once you have added your Skin Wrap/you will need to add the Model you want to Skin wrap to, you can do this by clicking add in the Parameters of the Skin Wrap.
You will then need to click the Model you are replacing, this will add it into the box for you.
You will then want to scroll down a little and check Weight to all Points and click Convert to Skin. This will add a Skin Modifier.
What you want to do now is right-click on Skin Wrap and select Collapse to. This will remove the Skin Wrap, so all you will see is Skin and Editable Mesh. You are now ready for the next step.
-Skin Modifier -[Skip this if you did Skin Wrap]
Now I will show you the other Method of adding the bones to your Model. You will want to add a Skin Modifier to your Model Port.
In Parameters on the right menu, you will see Bones with a Box underneath, this is usually where the bones go.
To add a bone click Add. This will bring up a menu, where you will select your bones. In this case, as it is a weapon we need the Bone n_hara. So click n_root > n_hara and then click Select. This will add the bone to the box to your right. Usually, as there is only one bone it will weight itself so you won’t need to. You can see the painted weights by clicking on the little arrow on your skin Modifier and selecting Envelope.
Whatever step you chose you it should look like this for you
If it does then you are ready for the next step.
Now, this is the easy part. You will want to move your Port into the group of the Model you are replacing. You can do this by dragging the name and dropping it into the group.
Next, you will need to rename your port. You can do this by typing the same name or by right click > Rename, then Copy Paste onto the port.
So then you will have this. (with newest Textools update, you can just name "Part 0.0")
You can then go ahead and Delete the ones you don’t need. You should now only have your ported weapon Displayed. You are now ready to import into TT, although I suggest one thing first, sometimes your weapon will not show, and when you re-import into 3ds part of your model will be Missing, so press M or you can click
to bring up the Material Editor. You will want to have your model selected and go to Material > get all scene materials. This will bring up the Materials in your scene.
You will then want to right-click on material and select Assign Material to Selection. At the moment it doesn't matter what texture you assign, we just need it to show up in TT as sometimes It may not.
Once you have done that you are ready to Export. You do this by going File > Export.
You will need to navigate your files and select what file you are replacing, make sure that you are saving as FBX.
Once you have done that you are ready to import into TT.
Go onto your Textools and locate the weapon you are replacing, in my case it's the Rapier of the Goddess. What you will want to do now is click import. Once you have done that you may find that your weapon is on the floor. It will need to be upright for it to look right in-game, so go ahead and export and import into 3ds. When you have done that you will want to Select Vertices on your edited mesh and then put it upright. This has not happened since the FBX Update, so you may not need to do this part.
Now you can export and import into TT again. Your weapon should then be upright like this (Although this has not happened to me since the FBX support)
If not then you will need to go back to adjust it, you are now ready for your texturing.
First of all, you will need to open up your editing program and open the textures that you are using. Hopefully, you have a model that has provided you with a Normal, if not then this is where your Nvidia Plugin comes in. If you are using Photoshop or alternatively you can go to http://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/ or https://www.smart-page.net/smartnormal/ and add your diffuse for it to then be a useable Normals. I will be doing this as my Nvidia Plugin seems to be broken but to make a normal In photoshop you will need to go to Filter> Nvidia Tools> Normal Map filter.
Once you have your texture you can save it onto the textures of the Model you are importing to. You will want to save as .dds and as a DTX 5 for the Normal, DTX 1 for your diffuse/Specular/Mask if the model you are replacing has any of these. It may be different for what you are replacing so make sure that you check on the side of Textools. I believe we can now import png though so you may be able to do that. At this point, you may need to re-import into 3ds and adjust your UVW to do this create an Unwrap UVW Modifier. Place it under your skin and select Open UV Editor and then adjust your UVW accordingly.
You may need to Edit your normals as your textures may seem a little off, you can do this by creating an Edit Normals Modifier. Make sure it is placed under your Skin Modifier.
You may have noticed that when clicked on the modifier you will now see a lot of green lines coming off your model, don’t fret. This is supposed to happen.
What you want to do now is select all of these green Lines which you can do by clicking on the arrow on your edit normals modifier, having Normal selected, and press Ctrl-A on your keyboard, this will select all of those green lines and make them red. Alternatively, you can click, hold and select all with your mouse.
Once you have all the lines selected you will want to go to your parameters and click Break, Then check to Unify/break in average and then unify. This should then make your model textures look better. You can then Collapse your edit Normals Modifier. Then you can import it back into Textools.
You are now ready to test your new Weapon in-game. You may find that you need to adjust your model positioning slightly, to do this import it into 3ds again and adjust it how you need to, make sure that you move it by selecting the vertices.
That concludes the Weapon Porting Guide. Hope you found it useful and go on to make many weapons for FFXIV.