Fallout 4 - Converting Models from 3DS Max to .nif

This brief tutorial will show you proper methods to convert from 3Ds Max to the Fallout 4 model format known as .nif. A video covers everything that will be stated in this brief tutorial.


  • 3DS Max 2013 (Strictly version 2013)
  • Nifskope
  • Creation Kit
  • Bethesda's .nif Export Tools
  • Elric
  • Patience

Found in your Creation Kit Download Directory under the folder called 'Tools'. If you do not have them, redownload.

In no way will I be able to troubleshoot model creation errors.

Let's assume you have created your model and finished your UVMapping / Texturing process. You need to duplicate all the objects you've made and combine them into one object called c_objectName.

c_objectName can be anything you want to name it.

This c_objectName is going to act as your collision object. A collision object is an object that the player can run into. If you do not add a collision the player will walk through it or in other instances it may fall through the ground. Hell the object may even become completely non-place-able.

See below for proper naming implementation:

Now I have two objects. My normal object which happens to be named 'Sphere001' and c_object

Go to the 3D view and select all of the objects on-screen after combining all the duplicated objects.

In the above image you can see that I have both objects selected. Now we need to assign a specific material to these objects. Open the Material Editor Hotkey: M. This can also be called the 'Slate Material Editor' as it's the most familiar version I use.

On the left-hand side there should be BSLightingFX. Drag and Drop onto the grid in the center and assign the material.

Your object should now be completely white.

Ensure that all of your objects are Editable Polys before going any further.

Then ensure that you have both objects selected. We are now going to add in some Physics stuff for collision purposes.

Navigate to Havok Content Tools at the top. Go to the physics tab then Create Rigid Body with Proxy(s). See the image below for an example.

Now we can assign the type of collision and what debris show up when damaged. If you have more than one object you need to assign 'Rigid Body' to all of those objects. Basically just copy and paste your 'Rigid Body' modifier onto the other objects.

Rigid Body should always have a mass(kg) of 60.

The c_object is the only model that is going to have the 'Shape' modifier.


Give it the shape type of 'Mesh'.

After we're going to assign the type of material. If you go to the hammer icon and click on 'More...' you should be able to find 'Collision Group' in the listings. Once you find that you need to assign the Object Type of static. Then assign a material to your object.

Make sure that you select all and apply.

Once you've done that your model is ready to export.

File -> Export -> Gamebryo Format  

Setup a folder for unprocessed files and place it in there. You should also setup a processed files folder. These will both be used by Elric. These may need to be inside of your Fallout Directory if you run into any issues.

When you open the export process do the following:

File Export Script PE Static Art -> Edit -> Select BSHavokProcess Plug-in -> Select Edit Plugin -> Uncheck Create Compressed Mesh Shapes  

Now we're going to load up a program called Elric. You need to setup Elric to use the proper settings. My settings were located in the location below.

This is something that you should only have to do once.

Go to the very bottom and click 'convert files' select the file you exported into your 'Unprocessed Folder' and it should convert automatically.

If not press yes or force it to convert or whatever you have to do.

In the Elric directory you'll find a 'Processed' folder.

Open it and open your model with Nifskope.

The first thing you want to check when you open Nifskope is to see if everything exported properly.

You should have: NiNode

  • Collision (bhkNPCollisionObject)
  • BSTriShape (Optional)
  • Additional BSTriShapes

That's it! Your model has been converted over. You can also assign materials by doing the following.

Expand your BSTripShape and assign a .BGSM to the name txt.



Good luck out there and I hope this helps avid modelers who would like to begin modeling for Fallout 4.