Content of the article: "Skyrim SE Test/Prototype: Animated Horse Mane + Tail (HDT-SMP)"
Hi! I'Ve been working on a little mod test/prototype to bring working mane & tail physics into Skyrim, similar to the physics hair mod KSHairdos and others and using HDT-SMP to get it working with Skyrim SE.
There is no published mod or anything yet, just this video, but essentially, this adds physics to the mane & tail on the horse mesh, using HDT-SMP. I use a simplified collision mesh for the hair to keep the performance hit minimal hopefully (the collision mesh for the mane, forelock and tail looks like this: https://imgur.com/a/GzL1ZQt the green mesh is used to calculate the collision as a proxy, this is then linked to the higher-res hair meshes). To have collision with the horses body, so the mane & tail dont just drop through the mesh, I currently just use an invisible copy of the vanilla horse mesh (grey-white in the screenshot).
One neat thing about using XMLs to define the physics is you can easily change some parameters on the fly without remodeling the mesh or anything, for example the length of the mane/tail: before vs after. You could also make the tail a little higher-set, for example.
If this works out, I would like to make the mod as compatible as possible (there are some limitations) and release it as a replacer for the vanilla model. I will likely need to make an .esp to add the different mane colors, as they are custom textures and don't use the vanilla ones. Also, the actual model itself is really WIP and I would like to redo the whole thing as there is awful clipping at points and this is more of a thrown together mess to test the concept rather than, uh .. clean topology and stuff, see the gap between the tail and the body 😛
- The horse texture mod used in the video / screenshots is Realistic Primitive Horse Breeds by KrittaKitty, https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/57456/ , this specific one is the Haflinger texture, I thought it fit well with the mane & tail 🙂 For comparision, here's what the normal mane/tail looks like in the mod: https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/110/images/57456-5-1408881939.jpg
- The model for the horse body itself is vanilla Skyrim, the mane, tail & forelock have been modeled by me (using 3ds MAX). The textures have been created and rendered in Blender.
- If you're interested in the collision models: the simplified collision mesh in the screenshot is skinned with additional bones added to the horse skeleton, they're at the same position the little nubs are in (they're actually just the 3ds MAX Bone objects converted to a mesh). HDT-SMP drives the physics on the bones, controlled by the simple collision mesh, and the bones are then skinned to the slightly more complex hair mesh. This is so there's no bugs and stuff with overlapping planes and to hopefully reduce the performance impact.
- The XML file used can be found here: https://pastebin.com/QjMirPuu
If you have any questions, tips, feedback, etc. go ahead!
One question: In the video before I use the command "teofis", the bloom effects that Skyrim SE added make the tail and mane glow super bright. Does anyone have an idea how to fix that, besides making the texture darker or turning off Bloom in an ENB?
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