After a few months of gathering information on Oblivion Animations & Custom Creatures & Conversions, I decided to create a updated guide on the process with links to all the tools needed and additional resources. Since it's been mostly an unexplored area of Oblivion modding and a sheer amount of info on the topic is slowly getting lost to time. This Guide will be getting updated over the next few weeks with more information, So consider it a WIP
Note: This guide may also help with Fallout 3/NV Animations, Although keep in mind this is created for the purpose of Oblivion.
Last Updated on 10/5/2020
- 3ds Max 8 Trial
- 3ds Max 8 Service Pack 3
- Civ4 Plugin
- Nif Plugin for Max 5-9
- Photoshop or GIMP
- kfupdater (May not be needed anymore)
When installing 3ds Max 8 you can leave the serial key as default, First and Last Name as anything you want and Company as whatever you want. Those require something to be filled in to continue the installation. After a successful install, Go ahead and download the 3ds Max Service Pack 3. This ensures that 3ds max is fully up to date and should give you less headaches.
After installing service pack 3, You can open 3ds Max and follow the prompts to activate your trial period of 30 Days. Note: After 30 Days you can simply uninstall and follow this tutorial and it should reset back to 30 Days.
After you verify that everything works correctly, exit 3ds Max and continue to download the Niftools Max Plugins 3.4.2. Then navigate to max-8-plugins-3.4.2
Copy the contents to your 3ds Max 8 directory, Default location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\3dsMax8
Now we can install the CivilizationIV-MaxTools-v7, Copy the contents to your 3ds Max 8 directory same as the last step. Now open 3ds Max 8 from desktop and it should load without issue.
Now to verify that you can open a creature file and start working on those animation skills!! If you navigate to the top left,
File then Import
Take a look at Files of Type you will see a list of the different files that 3ds max is able to open, within that list you will see the Above Netimmerse/Gamebryo (*.NIF.*.KF) This will be the only one, we will use in the entirely of the tutorial.
Now to easily navigate to where your files are located, Click the folder with the up arrow.
After clicking it a few times, You will eventually see the below and will be able to navigate around!
Now, I won't go over the steps for a Photoshop or GIMP install.
Now you can follow the below guide written by a member of the community.
- Creature Conversion (Note: Some info seems to be incorrect, creatures may work but some issues may arise)
Note: I archived the below on Wayback Machine for future reference if the sites go down.
- Animation Data for Oblivion (Just a collection of notes)
- Stormfront Studios Tutorials
- Animation tutorial by Seph
- Creating Character Animations (Blender Specific)
- Setup New idle Anims for NPCs
- Mr. cellophanes Oblivion Animation Templates (Nexus Mod for Anim)
- Animation Tabs
- Combat Style
- Morph Anim Tutorial (Japanese)
- 3ds Max: Custom Creeatures (CS Wiki)
The (idle) & (walkforward) animations need to be set to Loop Sequence
Note: unknown behavior will occur if they're not looped
Stormfront Studios has a very good page with all the information needed on Loop & Clamp Sequences, Extremely useful for Creature Conversion Tutorial "Preparing Animations:" section.
Links to Old Forum Posts, Might be useful
If you have the time and skill? Anything, Modern Bethesda games use the very same engine Oblivion uses but heavily modified. If you see an animation or creature that you want to see in Cyrodiil. Well it's most likely possible to recreate it ;) Somebody did backport a Skyrim walking animation to Morrowind..
- Q: Why can't I use a modern version of 3ds Max, such as 2012, 2016 or 2020?
- A: Well, the Niftools were never properly updated for modern versions of 3ds Max as such many features are simply broken. Animations are ONLY possible/tested on v7 - 8, v9 will not work due to a flaw. Older versions such as 3ds Max 4, 5 might work but untested.
- Q: Can I use a Motion Captured Animation? (Proof)
- A: Yes, This is entirely possible although difficult
Adding new Weapon Types? It seems to be hardcoded just like Skills..
Misc Archived Forums for Oblivion Info