Cliffs - mostly what we have now, though some smaller cliff meshes emerging from the hills would look cool too. Every clifftop should be either:
- covered by small _04 rocks
- covered by 04_130 - 04_141 rocks
- covered by overgrown rocks/boulders
there are two main designs responsible for the look of Druadach's slopes: flat rocks and overgrown rocks.
One way of ending cliffs' chain (appreciated especially around region's borders, given how similar structurers can be seen in Markarth county as well), often met as a thing on their own as well, on many slopes of the Reach. Remember to put flat/small rocks by their bottom and at least few instances of MGE grass atop them here and there. These rocks/boulders should always be made to transit smoothly with the landscape - as a general rule, don't use them as solitary rocks, uncovered by surrounding grass/dirt. That being said, few small overgrown rocks found in rock groups from time to time are a nice touch as well.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CClU5hq.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/0AL56Zn.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Ch0dTUE.png[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/aNRlLuA.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PR5YJuo.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Llpf0Fn.png[/hsimg]
Can be used on their own...
together with overgrown boulders...
or to cover texture-painted rock breaches.
Either way, make sure to keep 40-80 percents of the mesh underground - more natural look is reached by using more small rocks next to each other, rather than covering big area with scaled up fewer rocks.
Apart from that, as another general rule, rarely use big rocks in isolation from the cliffs. Using small or overgrown rocks, or even putting more than usual amounts of flora is a way to fill up cells in this region.worsas wrote:Rock usage: Each slope should either consist of a cliff or be cluttered with grass or dirt boulders/rocks and many small rocks. The top part of Grass/dirt boulders and - rocks should always stay connected to the surrounding terrain. The bottom part should accompanied by rock groups. The grass/dirt boulders with the flat lower side should be preferrably accompanied Sky_Terrain_Rocks_04_03-04 or Sky_Terrain_Rocks_Grassy_04_03-04 depending on whether we have a dirt or grass- boulder. Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grassy_04_36 or Sky_Terrain_Rock_04_122 are possible additions to those flat rock groups. grass- or dirt rocks with a higher lower side are accompanied by less flat rocks. The lower side of grassy terrain edges can be decorated with bitter coast moss. Also, there should be a significant network of exterior caves found in this region.
Rock bridges - they belong to this region, but they shouldn't be very frequent. Sided with cliffs, they help creating that rough, canyon-like look. Sky_In_Cave_Rock_04_21_1 looks good too; remember to hang some stalags/moss here and there from them.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/zvf2YTC.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/2885BBK.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/SHlxT3m.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/0cFrEUd.png[/hsimg]
We don't want standard rock arches in this region's layout (excepting a few around Vorndgad forest, I suppose), but there are few designs in which those meshes come in extremely handy:
1. Creating quasi-boulders out of landscape on the clifftops - I find 086 rock especially handy in this case, it rotates well to create interesting shapes. Using landscape rather than boulder mesh allows to put some objects on it and vertex paint around them, which is good for more detailed and more fitting vanilla standards look
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/zkGBBMg.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/r57WPva.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/iPqZaVl.png[/hsimg]
2. Diversifying rock bridges usage - we have but one standard mesh for a rock bridge. In some cases using an arch mesh instead of it can bring well-appreciated diversity.
3. Building entrances to exterior caves - that's where small arches, like 04_108 or 04_109 play first fiddle
They can be also used to create some interesting rock formations on the cliffs wall, as seen here:
A COOL way to enrich cliff's face/make cliff end or turn in a way that looks natural. Most of our big rocks don't look that good though, so be careful here. Sky_Terrain_Rock_04_127 is a safest bet here probably, but as it's rather big mesh, it shouldn't be used too extensively, if only for optimisation sake.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/MGaAyes.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PhzPSqL.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/tZgt91o.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/GWeNFMz.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/QnQLvsS.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/21lMDs7.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/zt5U2Sq.png[/hsimg]
Rock_04 Texture breaches
A fast and effective way to deal with cliffs' bulkiness I came up with just recently.
Use Tx_Skyrim_Rock_04 land texture preset in our data to create a shape next to a cliff or a rock mesh. Do not use vertex painting to underline any rock meshes it touches, instead try to make that landscape "climb" upon surrounding rock meshes, similar to how we deal with overgrown rocks/boulders (the landscape here can be way less smoothed, though). Use vertex painting anywhere that rock texture directly meets grass/dirt/snow.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CuDXJcA.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/VbfMEzj.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/uPhr7Wb.png[/hsimg]
D. Exterior caverns
Some more thoughts to elaborate on/correct that:berry wrote:E. Natural caverns
I think it should be our ace in the hole in this region. Whether it is natural burrow just below the ground, secret Reachmen amber stash, underwater pond or hidden passage to Hagraven cavern - we should have plenty of that. They aren't that hard to create once you have an idea and they should be interesting to player. I would like to have something like that hidden in like half of the cliffsides in this region.
Use sky_in_cave_rock_04_narrow & other in_cave meshes, use roots & flora_bc_moss as well here.
1. As I said in my claim thread, we shouldn't use them just whenever it is possible. Most of all they would quickly become boring to a player, plus it wouldn't make sense to see dozens of them in one part of our mod and then hardly any anywhere else.
2. Most of this caves should be really small, just a niche inside a cliff with few rocks/shrooms and so on
3. When going for bigger cave, always use for it's inside Sky_In_rocks or dark-painted outside rocks/boulders (such as Sky_Terrain_Boulder_Dirt_04_08). It really makes a difference.
4. Actually, don't use that many roots meshes. I think those should be reserved for interiors and to underline the uniqueness of some special spots (like that Reachmen under-cliff road from my first claim). Flora_bc_moss should be enough of the hanger in most cases
Druadach Highlands are supposed to be a grassy, rich in vegetation region. To differentiate them from other nearby grasslands, i.e. Aldkarth Lowlands and the Farmlands, we decided to go with a bushland look for them.
Use here and there dry/plain variants of these leaf trees as well, especially where the hills are approximating Falkirstad/Markarth (where it's colder) or Dragonstar's valley, that I think should be rather rough and mucky. Trees can be placed on their own, as well as create a grove, often used for sacral means by Reachmen. Corresponding stumps and logs are welcome as well, especially around the groves.
Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_01_01 and Sky_Flora_Bush_Pine_02_X won't look out of place in this region even if scaled up to 2x their scale, if those big exemplaries are placed sparsely. They shouldn't be very scaled up most of the time though. Sky_Flora_Bush_Pine_01_X and Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_05_X shouldn't be scaled up to 2.0, it won't look realistic. Scaling down any of these bushes even to minimal values is cool, on the other hand. Use lots of bushes in this region, I imagine about 15 (including container plants of bush subtype) to be the right amount for an average cell. Use more bushes in/around the groves.
C. Container plants
Wrothgarian grape (bush)
Holly bush (bush)
Trembleweed (can be used as a bush, if scaled up and placed on it's own in open space; if not, usually to be found in rocky/shadowy places)
Shadow Fly (supposed to be rather rare. Likes dark places. Said to be favored by hagravens)
Cave lichen (in exterior caves)
Black Spore Cap & Rust Russula - they can be seen growing in the groves, in exterior caves or on their own, in 3-4 shrooms formations among the grass.
We are aiming for a bushlands look here. Refer to reference chart below to see grass types and proportions.
I still agree with most of that, though nowadays I tend to think Sky_Act_In_Cave_Rock_04_Pool should be sufficient in most of the cases we need some water. Occasional waterfalls/streams won't hurt too much I suppose, but bear that in mind:berry wrote:In my opinion perfect way to highlight the difference between highlands A and highlands B is by using water meshes, we have plenty of them that mostly lie fallow right now. We can have mountain streams here, puddles in dirt paths (remember it rains often in Reach), small natural pools in rocks and some shallow ponds. Just subtle little touches here and there, nothing Akamora style. Use sky_act_ex_water series together with Sky_Act_In_Cave_Rock_04_Pool and vanilla waterfall meshes if needed.
Then there are those fantastic wetlands in the Western Canyon, fulfiling visual needs for water around them.Scamp wrote:I wouldn't use the water meshes too often, personally. They don't well with MGE XE water shaders, which almost everyone uses.
B. Bee hives
Plenty. Each grove comes with at least one, there are some to be found in open dirt/hills as well.
To be used often - in exterior caves, on trees' branches, on ruins, cliffs, rocks...
D. War testimonies
Remember how hard hit this region is, ruined Redguard villages don't exhaust the topic. Skeletons laying around may be considered a cliche in cRPG game, but they actually make sense in this brutal countryside. There can be few sights like this to be encountered among high scrubs by a watchful wanderer: edit: excluding photobombing flying black bears.
We just have to make sure they won't turn boring. And it's been 3 decades since there was a massive war ongoing here, so they shouldn't be very frequent in fact. Tx_Skyrim_Burned_Ground_01 land texture, often dark vertex-painted, should be used for any ruined place.
OBJECTS REFERENCE CHARTS
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/3v27pHt.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/DPEhQqm.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CwVruos.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/BMYYshp.png[/hsimg]
Some Google-found pictures I gathered for this thread half a year ago. Won't hurt anyone if we keep them, I suppose. They mostly present Polish Table Mountain or various landscapes of the British Isles.
[hsimg=]http://kobietawielepiej.pl/sites/defaul ... k=kRraHa6Y[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.globtroter.pl/zdjecia/polska ... lowych.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://s0.wklcdn.com/image_10/325252/29 ... 210356.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]https://dnaexplained.files.wordpress.co ... crpped.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... rosion.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.polskanafilmowo.pl/wsCMS/upl ... kaly10.JPG[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.gk.strefa.pl/cudze/gorystolo ... e/0332.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ernish.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]https://rossgardinersblog.files.wordpre ... 0x1440.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.globtroter.pl/zdjecia/polska ... karlow.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://w-droge.pl/images/gallery/bledne ... kaly18.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://mountainviews.ie/summit/382/_ser ... 0382-8.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhis ... otland.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.globtroter.pl/zdjecia/polska ... tolowe.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]https://oneworldofcolor.files.wordpress ... l-park.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://girlgonetravel.com/wp-content/up ... G_0976.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.survivalworld.com/images/she ... helter.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 102697.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://www.w-gorach.sylwesteroferty.pl/ ... tolowe.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2899/141 ... d7a3fe.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MjzclWxKhrs/U ... 142434.jpg[/hsimg]