Author Topic: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial  (Read 3372 times)

Darkelfguy

  • Administrator
  • Modder Emissary
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
  • Karma: +20/-0
    • View Profile
Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« on: July 30, 2015, 04:48:58 PM »
So I've noticed a lot of modders, even veteran modders, are having trouble figuring out how to make path grids in the Construction Set, so I thought I'd make a quick picture-based tutorial to try and help everyone out with using this particular feature of the CS.

First things first, what is a path grid and what is it used for? Basically, a path grid tells NPCs and creatures where they can walk, providing paths around an environment where they won't get stuck or run into things. If you've ever played a mod with interiors that lack path-grids, you'll notice that the AI has a tendency to run into objects or walk into walls or get confused and run around in circles. Path grids help prevent this, though given Morrowind's somewhat limited AI, you can still expect some quirks even with path grids in place.

It should be noted that even empty interiors need to have path grids, because the player could potentially have a companion with them, or have their sleep interrupted by the seemingly omnipotent Dark Brotherhood assassins that can track down the player in even the most unlikely of places.

Creating a path grid is very simple, when you open the Construction Set, you'll notice a grid-like icon with red dots next to a light bulb on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen.

You can see it in the above screenshot. Click on it and a small pop-up will appear.


Go ahead and checkmark the box that says "Save User Points" since we'll need that for later, but DON'T close the box just yet.


Now, right-click anywhere on the render window to make a little blue node to appear. This node indicates a point on our path grid. You can keep right-clicking to make more nodes appear and you move them around as you would any other object.


See the yellow lines in the above screenshot? That indicates a path between two nodes. To create a path, while selecting one of the blue nodes, hold down the left CTRL button on your keyboard and left-click another node. This will create a path between the nodes that an AI such as an NPC or creature can then use.


Now with any environment, you're going to need a fair number of nodes and paths to paint an area for the AI to traverse. Put path grid nodes in logical positions and then connect them together with paths, allowing for any combination that makes sense. Remember, the AI will use this, so its best to have a semi-spread out path grid with clear-cut paths for them to use.

Also, don't worry about placing NPCs or creatures directly on a path grid in the CS. AI will naturally look for and find a path grid nearby to traverse, so they don't need to be directly on the grid in order to find it later.


Finally, once you're done with your path grid and satisfied you've covered all your bases, hit the save button. And that's it, your interior now has a path grid and the AI probably won't run into walls quite so often anymore.

That concludes the tutorial, but if you have any questions, please post them below!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 04:52:46 PM by Darkelfguy »
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

Turelek

  • Community Secretary
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 05:17:58 PM »
Thank you very much this is a nice tutorial!

Foyer

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 04:18:33 AM »
Thank you very much this is a nice diet pills tutorial tutorial!

Great tut, thanks very much!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 07:06:34 AM by Foyer »

OzKing

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 03:53:37 PM »
This is really good to know.. I'm making my first mod and information like this is difficult to find!
I have a few questions.

What are the red boxes for? Does that mean a grid that is not being used?
Also is there a way to get a specific path grid to be followed?
Are the NPC's that are close to that area bound to that path?
I was thinking perhaps the NPC Wander option means how many "units" or steps an NPC can travel within its Wander AI function.
Does anyone know what Granularity refers to? It's in the Path Grid [Generate Default Grid] box and has options ranging from 128 - 4096.
So I have a ship that I want my NPC's (Captains, Sailors and deck-mates) to stay on. I'm using the native Galleon ship and have followed
the steps in this tutorial. Unfortunately, the NPC's do not stay on the ship and many of them disappear to who knows where LOL.
They have a mind of their own! But either way, I'm having so much fun now that I've cracked open the TES Construction Set and I'm looking
forward to learning more.