Converting outfits to SSE CBBE BodySlide

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Overview

This is a guide made by Jeir [1] and docteur87 [2]. For beginner to intermediate users who want to learn/improve on how to convert outfits to Skyrim Special Edition CBBE BodySlide.

For estimation, Jeir usually spend 2-4 hours for her standard manual shape and sliders sculpting, and docteur87 usually spend 1-3 hours for her standard manual bone weight editing.

Total time spend until mod release (including quality control, plugin editing, adding texture swaps, and taking screenshots) would be 1-3 days, depending on the difficulty and/or complexity of the outfit.

 

General Steps outside Outfit Studio

1. Convert meshes to SSE format using SSE NIF Optimizer [1].

2. Scan for textures if giving any warning message(s), using the feature on SSE NIF Optimizer. Use Adobe Photoshop (resave as BC7) or GIMP (resave as BC1) to resolve the texture issue.

3. Resave the .esp as form 44 using Creation Kit:

File -> Data.

Double click the oldrim plugin until it’s crossed.

Click “Set as Active File”.

Click “Ok”.

File -> Save.

4. Make sure the body slots in the .esp as following:

Main outfit (that has body reference): 32 - body (full), 34 – forearms, 38 – calves (for Armor Addon); 32 - body (full) (for Armor).

Gloves: 33 – hands (for both Armor Addon and Armor).

Boots: 37 – feet (for both Armor Addon and Armor).

Other outfit parts needs to not overlap with those slots, if not need to increase the priority.

IMPORTANT: make sure the slots match for nif and plugin. If not, they will not appear in game!

5. Exit Creation Kit.

6. Open xEdit. Load the plugin.

7. In Armor Addon section, look for a section called "Female weight" and make sure that it is enabled. If not, right click on it, and choose Edit, then choose Enable.

8. Exit xEdit.

 

General Steps in Outfit Studio

1. File -> New Project.

2. Reference: From Template. Choose the reference needed (Body, Hands, Feet, or convert).

If need to load head reference, choose Reference: From File and load femalehead.nif (need to extract from Skyrim - Meshes0.bsa). This is particularly useful for outfit with high collar.

3. Next.

4. Outfit/Mesh: From File. Browse the _0.nif, or _1.nif, depending which shape is closer to the sse cbbe body.

5. Finish.

6. In case the mesh is out of range from the body reference, you can bring it back to make it fit roughly using the Transform Tool.

7. Fix the clipping. Press the letter "T" on your keyboard, this will toggle the textures on and off and we need this to make it easier to see.

8. Generally, use the inflate brush with default brush setting. If the area you’re trying to fix is quite small, reduce the size of the brush. Sometimes you need to use deflate and smooth brush as well.

9. Under Meshes tab, highlight the meshes of the outfit. Do not highlight the reference (green).

10. Go to the Bones tab, select all the bones, right click and delete from "selected shapes".

11. Go back to the Meshes tab, right click on the meshes and copy bone weights.

Default radius is 5. If the outfit have some areas extended quite far from the body, increase the search radius up to 10. Any after 10 will pick up bones that are not supposed to be there. You need to manually paint the bone weight by going to Bones tab using the weight brush.

12. (Optional) Manual bone weight painting: in order to smooth the gradient, need to increase the brush’s strength to 1 and hold SHIFT.

13. Slider -> Conform All. Delete unneeded sliders using Delete Slider. Need to visually check them first beforehand.

14. File -> Save project as. 

Type desired file name in Display Name.

Output File Name is the targeted nif file.

Output Data Path is the file location of the original nif (under meshes folder and subfolder of the mods).

Choose Low/High Weight Output.

Click “To Project” button right next to Display Name.

Slider Set File -> rename it to general name of the outfit.

Shape Data Folder -> rename it to general name of the outfit.

Shape Data File -> this can be the same as Display Name, or different.

For example:

https://imgur.com/a/JtV5Fr8

 

Main Outfit

- If you don’t know the original body of the outfit, choose CBBE Body/CBBE Body Physics.

- If you (think you) know, use the conversion reference.

- Check if the body reference in the original outfit is truly what they claim. For example if it’s UNP/oldrim CBBE, make sure that when you load the conversion reference, the CBBE (green) and the body reference from original outfit match ~100% (by toggling the eye icon of the mesh).

- Delete the original body reference. Make sure only CBBE (green) is the only body. 

- If it match, then just proceed with the conversion reference.

Slider -> Conform All.

move the slider to 100%. (or click on the icon, will auto move to 100%)

Slider -> Set Base Shape.

Reload the CBBE Body reference with "File -> Load Reference".

- If not, then you’re out of luck, you need to shape the outfit: 

use the slider(s) to make it fit roughly to cbbe se base shape, by moving the value.

File -> Make Conversion Reference.

Slider -> Conform All.

move the slider to 100%.

Slider -> Set Base Shape.

Reload the CBBE Body reference with "File -> Load Reference".

- Other way is to reshape manually using various brushes. This is what Jeir usually does in her conversions.

 

Sculpting Sliders

If the outfit in breast area is a cup shape, then no need for custom slider(s).

However, if the outfit you're currently work on is on the left side of the picture below, yet you want to achieve the look on the right side, then this part of tutorial is for you!

https://imgur.com/a/MiffjTK

- Open new project. 

- Delete old base shape. 

- Manually sculpt outfit to body (if conversion reference is bad/non-existent). 

- Delete nipple sliders. 

- Conform all...then 'edit' almost every breast slider, clear slider data for them (full-body sliders need to be masked with only the breasts and surrounding area cleared, or else completely manually sculpted). 

- Manually sculpt each one. Use brush size a little bigger than the breast size.

- Fix clipping on other sliders/clear slider data on sternum sliders.

- Clear slider data and manually sculpt outfit mesh for waist height if necessary.

- Create zaps.

 

Using Body Zaps

This is particularly useful to prevent clipping with boobs and butt. However, it will only work with the main outfit (that has body reference). Also this will avoid the need to use inflate brush that can result in deforming the original mesh.

- Have the body reference highlighted.

- Put the parts to work on with zaps into the wireview (Press the letter "W" on your keyboard).

- Select masking tool.

- Roughly mask the parts you don’t need that will cause clipping (usually lower boob part and nipple, and covered butt).

Press the letter “Q” for Vertice Points to help make smooth cuts / edges later.

Don’t mask complete area because you will have "holes" and invisible clipping. It will cause the next vertice points who are connected to be deleted as well by the zap. In other words, avoid near edges.

- Tool -> Invert Mask.

- Slider -> New Zap Slider. Name it what you want.

- Activate slider by pressing the pencil icon.

- Slider -> Properties.

As in this picture:

https://imgur.com/a/SgVb7iJ

 

Editing Bone Weight

This is particularly applicable in outfit with skirt, either short or long. Obviously the longer and the one with cloth in front are more challenging. Here are the basic rules:

- Press “T” to easily see the bone weight colours. If you want to go back, press “T” again.

- Always keep in mind which bones are logically to be applied to the skirt. You can’t apply the same setting to all skirt, as it depends on the style. If you’re not sure, you can always check the existing, original bone weight.

- Generally, the bones involved are Pelvis and Thigh in short skirt. Long skirt typically involves Calves as well.

- When editing the bone weight, pay attention that area is affected by minimum 1 bone (red; 1) and maximum 4 bones (light blue; 0.25). Total bone strength is normalised to 1 after you save a project. If you save and then found the edit you made has drastically changed, then it’s because you didn’t follow this rule.

Red = 1 (strongest). Means that part will stick to your body like second skin. Use this to avoid clipping. However this cause stretch if not applied correctly.

Yellow = ~0.75

Green = 0.5 (middle)

Light blue = 0.25

Dark blue = >0 (weakest). Use this if you want it least affected.

- Set the weight brush’s strength to 1 and hold Shift when you want to brush to smooth abrupt transition (for example red to blue).

- If you want to directly paint with certain colour and not as gradual, set the bone strength to what you want and tick this option before brushing:

https://imgur.com/a/lmMv7sb

- It is common to smooth bone weight transition in thigh area if the outfit has skirt. The centre needs to be green-blue, as shown below (picture is showing front side and showing thigh bone):

https://imgur.com/a/J2emrt7

- This is the common rule for skirt that reach until knee area, for the back side, make sure the bone weight are painted green and smooth it from green to blue towards centre, in order to avoid “splitting”, as shown below (picture is showing thigh bone):

https://imgur.com/a/CqF1sxh

- As for pelvis bone, you can see until the bottom it’s painted manually as green:

https://imgur.com/a/evMIplJ

- In case where the skirt is quite far away from thigh and only reach knee, it doesn’t make sense to apply thigh bones. Therefore, only use pelvis bones (painted as red) as shown below:

https://imgur.com/a/MmkuyRr

- For skirt that reach below the knee, then the rules are slightly different. As mentioned before, the bones involved are pelvis, thigh, and calves. In this case, pelvis play lesser rules and you only need to smooth it.

Calf bone

https://imgur.com/a/I6RZsdn

Thigh bone

https://imgur.com/a/OKhkkrO

Pelvis bone

https://imgur.com/a/vKe7BTq

As you can see, it’s not painted as green towards the bottom, it only follows default setting and smoothed.

 

Adding Physics to Outfit

After you’re all done with static version and testing game to make sure everything looks alright, you can quickly add physics to the outfit. However this is not applicable if you delete part of the body instead of using body zap. Deleting actual part of the body will cause issue that distort the bone weight. Therefore, using body zap is more advantageous!

- Open Outfit Studio, load project that you want to add Physics.

- Delete CBBE body non physics (marked as green)

- Import as nif CBBE body physics, right click, set as reference (will be marked as green)

- Position the CBBE the same as the previous CBBE you've deleted

- Go to Bones tab, multi-select the L, R Breast and L, R Butt

- Back to Meshes tab, select the meshes you want to have physics, right click, COPY SELECTED BONE WEIGHT, normal setting

- Save project as (by adding "Physics" name after it)

- Done.

 

Gauntlets/Gloves

- File -> New Project. Choose CBBE Hands.

- Delete any original hand reference.

- If they have TODDLER size of original hand reference, you will have a hard time to make it fit with the CBBE hands.

- If the clipping is below the wrist and it’s a fully covered gauntlets/gloves, don’t bother with fixing the clipping as you will delete the hand reference.

- Copy bone weight. Slider -> Conform All.

- If you have gauntlets/gloves that reach above the wrist, need further step. File -> Load Reference. Choose CBBE Body. This will automatically replace the hands reference.

- Under Meshes tab, highlight the meshes of the gauntlets/gloves. Do not highlight the reference (green).

- Right click -> Mask Weighted Vertices. (it will turn dark).

- Copy bone weight. Slider -> Conform All.

- Right click on reference body and delete it.

- Save project. 

 

Exposed Gauntlets/Gloves

- In this case you need to load the BODY reference first. Do the usual step first (fix clipping, copy bone weight, conform).

- Then File -> Load Reference. Choose CBBE Hands. Tick the option “merge new sliders with existing sliders”.

- Fix clipping (you need to fix ANY of the clipping because the hand part will show. Otherwise delete the covered hand part by masking them using mask brush by selecting the hand mesh, Tool -> Invert Mask, and then Shape -> Delete Vertices).

- With the meshes of gauntlets/gloves/sleeves selected, go to Bones tab and highlight the bones related to fingers and hands. No need to highlight the forearm and upperarm bones.

- Go back to Meshes tab. Right click -> copy selected weights. Conform all. Keep the hand reference. Save project.

 

Boots/Shoes

- File -> New Project. Choose CBBE Feet.

- Delete any original feet reference.

- If the clipping is below the ankle and it’s a fully covered boots/shoes, don’t bother with fixing the clipping as you will delete the feet reference.

- Copy bone weight. Slider -> Conform All.

- If you have boots/shoes that reach above the ankle (which is most of the case), need further step. File -> Load Reference. Choose CBBE Body. This will automatically replace the feet reference.

- Under Meshes tab, highlight the meshes of the boots/shoes. Do not highlight the reference (green).

- Right click -> Mask Weighted Vertices. (it will turn dark).

- Copy bone weight. Slider -> Conform All.

- Right click on reference body and delete it.

- Save project.

 

Exposed Boots/Shoes

- In this case you need to load the BODY reference first. Do the usual step first (fix clipping, copy bone weight, conform).

- Then File -> Load Reference. Choose CBBE Feet. Tick the option “merge new sliders with existing sliders”.

- Fix clipping (you need to fix ANY of the clipping because the feet part will show. Otherwise delete the covered feet part by masking them using mask brush by selecting the hand mesh, Tool -> Invert Mask, and then Shape -> Delete Vertices).

- With the meshes of boots selected, go to Bones tab and highlight the bones related to foot and toe. No need to highlight the calf and thigh bones.

- Go back to Meshes tab. Right click -> copy selected weights. Conform all. Keep the feet reference. Save project.

 

Group Manager

- Click on BodySlide.

- Click Browse. Load CBBE. Remove CBBE Bodies.

- Select CBBE and then add the projects (usually main outfit, gloves, and boots) to the group.

- Type on the empty box the name of group you want. For example: Witch of the Wild.

- Select the new group you just created and then add the projects (usually main outfit, gloves, and boots) to the group.

- Save as, with the project name you want. (don’t save only)

 

Mod Folder Structure for Release

CalienteTools
     BodySlide
           ShapeData
           SliderGroups
           SliderSets
meshes
textures
modproject.esp

 

References

BodySlide and Outfit Studio GitHub [1]