FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

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[Modder's Resource] Mega Guide to Modding Final Fantasy XV
By MicroKnightmare and 6 collaborators
If you have ideas or knowledge to make this guide more useful, please message MicroKnightmare to be added as a contributor. Kupo.

Discord server for FFXV Modding:
https://discord.gg/54vRRy8

Mod Organizer error codes and how to fix each one:
https://github.com/davoodinator/ff15doc/issues/4
   
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Getting the Right Materials and Tools
TOOLS FOR EXTRACTING THE GAME MODELS AND FILES

Here are the materials I personally use to mod Final Fantasy XV. All of these materials can be extracted with ffxvScout by Jon (sayhiJON) and Noesis 3D Model Viewer. Links to those tools below.

Skeletons/Armatures for Noctis Replacement Mods:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/123cqIpxDuENHdAMA6SziWb56NH3I0QNI?usp=sharing

(More skeletons to be added...)

ffxvScout (originally Project EARC): https://sayhijon.com/ffxvscout-3/

Noesis Model Viewer: http://richwhitehouse.com/index.php?content=inc_projects.php
Noesis .BTEX plugin: http://forum.xentax.com/viewtopic.php?p=137657#p137657

Or you could use QuickBMS (a multipurpose game archive extractor) to get the source files.

QuickBMS: http://aluigi.altervista.org/quickbms.htm
QuickBMS Script:https://zenhax.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2826&start=80#p32136

All of these tools I will include in a .zip file and a as a .7z (7zip file) file on Google Drive:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/123cqIpxDuENHdAMA6SziWb56NH3I0QNI?usp=sharing
Working in Blender and Common Issues to Be Aware of
Blender is not only free, it's Open Source so anyone can make versions of it with different features. This guide is based on the current Steam version of Blender, 2.79. Once you have this version, you can go to your Library > Blender > Properties > Beta and opt in to 2.79a which has some useful bugfixes and compatible improvements.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/365670/

(Nothing much in this guide will currently work in the latest, 2.8 versions available from blender.org because the Blender Internal Renderer has been removed in favour of Cycles/EEVEE and there is not yet - July 2018 - an FFXV-compatible FBX importer/exporter for that.)

There is a "fixed" version of the FBX import/export add on for Blender 2.79 and 2.79a, which gets rid of the "white glow in the night" issues on FFXV mods you make: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/420703061946925060/468093822132420618/io_scene_ffxv_fbx.zip

To install this fixed FBX plugin, do not unzip the file! In Blender > User Preferences > Add Ons there is a button near the bottom, "Install add on from external file." Click that and point at the .zip.

Then still in Blender > User Preferences > Add Ons, make sure the FFXV FXB one is now enabled (ticked) and the standard FBX one is disabled (unticked).

If you want to load any of the SE Samples, in order to use their armatures on your character mod, you need to change a setting during the FBX import or the bones will all be rotated by 90 degrees, which looks like this:


In the Armature tab during FBX Import, switch the Primary Bone Axis to X and Secondary to Y (opposite of defaults):


SE Samples should then load in with the bones looking more sensible, like this:


While working in Blender, know that it is VERY restrictive in terms of what you can and can't do with materials. You can't use the Cycles Render material nodes, you have to use Blender Internal (Blender Render) mode:


Some more info on materials and textures is in later sections of this guide.

Use these FBX Export settings:


You'll want to have Path Mode to Strip Path so the FBX will only retain the filenames of your textures. THIS IS THE CAUSE OF MOST OF THE ISSUES WITH MOD ORGANIZER NOT RECOGNIZING TEXTURES OR IT'S PATHING!

In the Armature section, make sure to untick Add Leaf Bones. This is likely to cause the weird "spidery fingers/scissorhands" effect. Change the Primary and Secondary Bone Axes to X and Y (the default is Y then X, the opposite).

You can make a preset of your export settings so you can easily set them again everytime you need to export from a new .blend file.
Importing and Rigging XNAlara and Custom Models
Weight Painting in Blender
PREPPING THE MODEL

Your model needs to be posed with arms out and slanted down, not out at 90 degrees - like the letter A not letter T. (We say A Pose and T Pose.)

If your model is not in "A Pose" and it has no armature, like if you imported an .OBJ format model, you could add some temporary bones to tweak it. You can use the Rigify add-on for Blender, which is installed by default but not enabled - enable it from User Prefs > Add Ons. Or just add one or two quick and dirty bones that match your model's current arm position.

If you have imported a model that has an armature/skeleton already, you can use those bones to adjust the pose to correctly match the SE Samples.

Import a character .FBX from the FFXV Mod Organiser Samples directory into Blender, ideally into another Blender Layer.

When importing the sample .FBX, in the Import FBX tab make sure you have the following settings:

Under Import FBX/Armature, uncheck Automatic Bone Orientation, and set Primary Bone Axis to X Axis and the Secondary Bone Axis to the Y Axis.

Here is a link to the model reference guide, to find out which samples are which:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zNmHCuumKLYpFHkW06hhpEibx4VkQHNohyxzpdGhObA/edit#gid=0

(Images coming soon...)

Aligning Your Model and Setting Bone Weights

Your model should now be aligned with the SE Sample's skeleton.

(No? Go into Pose Mode and rotate bones to closely match the sample's position. It doesn't need to be 100% accurate but get as close to it as possible. Then, apply the temporary skeleton's armature modifier to your model.)

Now, weight paint your model onto the SE bones (or transfer the weights from the sample model to your model if you can get that to work).

It's recommended to join your model into a single mesh before weight painting or transfering the weights. Afterwards, you can separate by materials in Edit mode. (ctrl-J)?

Your model should now move with the SE armature's bones in Pose mode, and if you used a temporary armature to get it into position first, you can now delete or disable that.

(Images coming soon...)

Manually Weight-painting to tidy up

You'll probably need some fine-tuning of how your model is weighted to the SE bones. Go into Pose mode, select and rotate bones - you will likely see some parts of your model acting strangely. This could mean that specific parts of the models are deforming incorrectly (i.e. not moving with the bone, moving with a different bone, etc.). This is to be expected.

Go into Weight-paint mode again, select a bone in an affected region of your model, weight-paint the areas that look off again.

Sadly there is no easy way to weight-paint and it's better explained visually. Watch some tutorials on weight painting in Blender 2.79, ie on Youtube, and determine for yourself what looks like a badly deformed mesh and how precise you can get it.

(Images coming soon...)

CONCLUSION

Once the rigging (weight painting) is done, you should be able to export your model (using the FFXV FBX add on, with primary axis set to X and secondary to Y as mentioned etc) and build it in the Mod Organizer.

If you get any error, it's most likely due to a period or special character in a name, the table of error codes and their fixes is up top and below.

Once it builds with no errors, you can test your mod in-game. If everything is working properly, then you are ready to submit it to the Steam Workshop (if you so choose).

It's as easy as that. Happy modding!
Getting Transparency to Work in FFXV
MATERIALS PREP

First, you'll need either Photoshop (subscription-based from Adobe CC), GIMP or Paint.net (both free) and the diffuse image for your mesh.

After you acquire your model or make your model from scratch, you'll now need to start prepping the Diffuse image (color image) of your model. First, make sure that all of the textures are saved as in the .PNG format for FFXV.

Example of a Diffuse Map (Left) and an Alpha map (right). When applied to the model in game, only the characters eyes will be visible (Black=Unseen/Not rendered, White=Seen/Rendered)

Now we get to the image editing:

GIMP METHOD

1. Start GIMP and open your Diffuse image.
2. If the image came with, or has an alpha channel built-in, remove it via Layers>Transparency>Remove Alpha Channel.
3. Go into Colors>Threshold and apply.
4.a. Here's where thing's get a bit tricky. if you want a part your model to appear, make that part of the texture WHITE. If you want a part of your model to be hidden or appear transparent, make that part of your texture BLACK.
4.b. If the texture is displaying the correct values, but reverse of the intended effect in Step 4.a., go to Colors>Invert.
5. Export the image as a .PNG file and name it something new so as to not overwrite the base Diffuse. Do not mess with any export settings.

PHOTOSHOP METHOD

1. Start Photoshop and open the Diffuse/Color image.
2. Ensure your active Layer is the diffuse (if using a multi-layer image).
3.Remove the color via: Image->Adjustments->Desaturate.
4. For simple images (i.e. hair textures for a character) you can directly turn these into Alpha channels by editing the Levels (Image->Adjustments->Levels).
Move the sliders on the far Left or Right closer to the center and you'll notice your image starts to go purely black and white.
Failing this you can draw on black and white using the Lasso and Edit->Fill (either black or white) or you may invert it via Image->Adjustments->Invert if you need to flip the transparency

When your happy with the result We'll be saving this as a Copy in PNG format (I suggest the same name as your Diffuse texture with "_alpha" at the end). Ensure you DO NOT save over your diffuse texture!


PAINT.NET METHOD

(To be added...)

Back to Blender

In the Materials tab, set Transparency to Raytrace and untick Receive Transparent under Shadows. Make sure the Alpha setting under Transparency is set to 0.00.

In the Textures tab, add the new Alpha texture you just manually created twice (the black and white texture bassed off the diffuse). On both, set the textures to use Alpha and set the Alpha mode to Straight. Under Influences, make sure the first instance of the alpha texture is set to Alpha = 1.00 and on the second is set to Intensity = 1.00. Both of these influences are under Diffuse.

After that, you're done! Try testing your model in game now and you should be able to see transparency on your mesh.

Concerning Hair Alphas and Transparency

Sometimes, if you're working with models that have hair covering the eyes, such as with bangs, you'll want to make hair that's partially transparent in order to see the eyes. This can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing, but luckily, there is a way.

1. Repeat the steps in Back to Blender, but this time, set the Transparency setting to Z-Transparency.
2. Keep everything the same in the Textures tab, but in the Influences section for both instances of the alpha, make sure you set RGB to Intensity.

Afterwards, that should be it for getting partially transparent hair. There are currently some bugs with this method such as weird overlapping shadows, though, and I'm currently working ona fix.
Getting Emissive/Emit/Glow working:
"Firstly I've not fully experimented with this, so I'm sure there are some additional options such as using alpha channeled image data as an Emit texture, but that is just a hunch. Here is how I did it for individual objects on my Blade of the Hexatheon, link can be found here if you wish to examine the effect: Steam Workshop Link
-Kyriya"

Note that it will only Emit a small glow during night or dark areas such as caves, Cindy's garrage etc. The glow and texture will be noticable when light from street lamps, invading imperials at night are near your glowing object.

Emit In Blender for FFXV:
1. Select go to your material in Blender and tick the following options:
Shading:
Emit values from 0.05 to 0.50
Translucency 1.000
Ambient 1.000

2. Add your diffuse/albedo/color texture (whatever you like to call it) as you usually do.

3. Add the same texture again or an emit texture if you specifically have one. Under that textures influence tick the following options in blender:
Emit: 1.000
Blend: Mix

Changing this value from 1.00 to less may have an effect on texture visibility if you wish for a more subtle glow. Failing this as i mentioned Alpha channels on a PNG may work too :) (These are untested) If you absolutely need to you could also try seperating or duplicating part of the mesh and place over an area you wish to emit on.

4. Finally changing color can be done via the materials diffuse/specular color. I changed both to be safe as both seemed to improve the overall color. I've included a picture here as I found darker colors to be more efficient in providing better/deeper colors.
Example: Picking a color that is lighter with result in a pale glow while picking a darker color will result in a brighter, more vibrant color of glow. In this example it is about mid-way and produces a vibrant orange during night.

5. Your emit colors should now work in dark areas within FFXV!
MicroKnightmare's Modding Method: A Quick Overview
In this section, I will detail my methods on how I personally mod FFXV. Cheers!


I'll be adding more to this section later.
Problems, Issues and FAQ
Consult the GitHub repository for more information on most common problems while modding FFXV.
https://github.com/davoodinator/ff15doc/issues/4

Most Blender questions are answered in this huge guide: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1429356299

Come and talk to other modders on Discord: https://discord.gg/Rcxy3mT
Modding with Maya
Hello!

I noticed there was a decent amount of questions asking how to mod using Maya. I had issues where my models were not rendering, scale issues, orientation, etc. Once I was able to fix all of those issues, I made a short video showing step by step how I was able to get my model to show and work properly inside of the game.

If you have any questions or requests for other tutorials please do not hesitate to ask. I'll help where I can!

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13 Comments
Noctis Caelum Nov 11, 2020 @ 2:29am 
Can you explain how to deal with FFXVBINMOD files?
i know kung fu Sep 26, 2020 @ 5:47pm 
can you mod the framerate to not stutter on steam
Zach Aug 5, 2018 @ 4:12pm 
I'd be interested in an outfit making guide, like how to make one out of assets from other games/other sources, like the ones Snacks and Wat have made for the boys
Ceroes Jul 26, 2018 @ 5:54am 
Also I am using the FFXV FBX add-on and made sure my emits were at 0 have tried them at full have tried shadeless nothing has helped with the intense glow at night just on the camera. I am using blender 2.79a as well....
Akuma Tenshi Jul 1, 2018 @ 2:20am 
can anyone make a tutorial how to get the moddels or what ever you use to make the replacement and outfits please
«SKGov»Sly (#StandUpOrDie) Jun 29, 2018 @ 12:04pm 
@MicroKnightmare, I'll look into it. Thanks.
MicroKnightmare  [author] Jun 29, 2018 @ 11:00am 
@«SKGov» Sly (#GetRidOfBolton)
If you're dealing with an invisble Noctis, look at the link in Issues and Common Problems. As for your first question, there shouldn't be any issue whether rigging with Blender or 3DS Max.
«SKGov»Sly (#StandUpOrDie) Jun 29, 2018 @ 7:20am 
Just one question... I'm mostly a 3DS Max user myself, and I have basic experience with Blender. Say if I wanted instead to port in a rigged model to 3DS Max and export that as FBX. The next thing I import it in Blender, will it be automatically rigged or do I still have to weight paint because the editors are different?

Edit: Or can it be done with 3DS Max? Because my first attempt was not the right skeleton obviously, but I didn't care. I just wanted to see how the static model itself looks ingame, and all I see is an invisible Noctis.
Glorious Gladio Jun 25, 2018 @ 6:42pm 
I hope you can really go into detail with armatures (properly assigning mesh to skeleton in blender, using armatures from the game correctly, ect.).
inkwhiz888 Jun 25, 2018 @ 12:32am 
really hoping that someone comes up with a guide to mod or better yet add gamepad control types.