Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

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berry
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Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:52 pm

TERRAIN

A. Cliffs

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
while the bottom of the cliffs in most of the places should be either surrounded by small or big rocks, or by a smaller cliff formation.

B. Hills

there are two main designs responsible for the look of Druadach's slopes: flat rocks and overgrown rocks.

Overgrown terraces

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]

Flat rocks

Can be used on their own...

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/L7XXH7a.png[/hsimg]

together with overgrown boulders...

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/L4M1ovF.png[/hsimg]

or to cover texture-painted rock breaches.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PHxNvtx.png[/hsimg]

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.

C. Rocks
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.
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.

Rock bridges

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]

Rock arches

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.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/g7ww1Nj.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/aSSOmjn.png[/hsimg]

3. Building entrances to exterior caves - that's where small arches, like 04_108 or 04_109 play first fiddle

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/t1sP6mx.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/exTpHIi.png[/hsimg]

They can be also used to create some interesting rock formations on the cliffs wall, as seen here:

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/haVHQp8.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/C55BAhM.png[/hsimg]

Big rocks

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]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/TuFydN1.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/dj1FbSa.png[/hsimg]

D. Exterior caverns
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.
Some more thoughts to elaborate on/correct that:
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

FLORA

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.

A. Trees

Sky_Flora_Tree_Leaf_01_X
Sky_Flora_Tree_Leaf_02_X
Sky_Flora_Tree_Pine_04_X
Sky_Flora_Tree_Pine_05_X

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.

B. Bushes

Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_01_01
Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_05_X
Sky_Flora_Bush_Pine_01_X
Sky_Flora_Bush_Pine_02_X

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)
Silver palm
Dragynia
Vicar herb
Shadow Fly (supposed to be rather rare. Likes dark places. Said to be favored by hagravens)
Cave lichen (in exterior caves)
Mushrooms:
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.

D. Grass

We are aiming for a bushlands look here. Refer to reference chart below to see grass types and proportions.

OTHER TRAITS

A. Water
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.
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:
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.
Then there are those fantastic wetlands in the Western Canyon, fulfiling visual needs for water around them.

B. Bee hives

Plenty. Each grove comes with at least one, there are some to be found in open dirt/hills as well.

C. Flora_bc_moss

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. :D

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/23I6Fo7.png[/hsimg]

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]

INSPIRATIONAL PICTURES

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://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/57399663.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://bi.gazeta.pl/im/4/10272/z10272604Q.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://karolka1995.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/kji.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://ankipodroze.pl/img/poznaj_polske_nietypowo_1.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]
Last edited by berry on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Scamp
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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by Scamp » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:45 pm

Looks really splendid, good work. I love how the height differences and the maz-y design reminds me of the West Gash and Roth Roryn, you're definitely establishing the right connection to vanilla concepts here.

I wouldn't use the water meshes too often, personally. They don't work well with MGE XE water shaders, which almost everyone uses.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by roerich » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:46 pm

Really good work on this!

The only thing i have to criticize right now is the addition of giants to Reach proper, and especially them living in symbiosis with Reachmen. If anything, the Reachmen should hate the giants, and long since driven them out of the Druadachs. They are more common elsewhere in Skyrim and especially in the Velothis.

Edit: will answer in length later, I don't have time right now and haven't read everything yet.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by Yeti » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:49 pm

These all mostly look like reasonable guidelines to me. I would say no to having giants this far west, though. They hail from Skyrim's frozen interior, and should only appear in small numbers on The Reach's eastern borderlands. The giants also wouldn't get along well with the Reachmen. In our lore, the Nords revere them, and they should be strongly tied to Nord mythology and ancestry.

Reachmen could have domesticated Minotaurs guarding some of their camps. They would show that the Reachmen are so far removed from Tamriel's civilized societies, that they can coexist with wild beasts that no outsider could ever hope to tame. Perhaps they could use their ritual magic to keep them under control, or drug them with herbal remedies?

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by roerich » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:05 pm

Seems like we agreed upon that. :D

Before we add any new layers to minotaur lore, we should check with Infragris and SaintJiub at P:C. I like the idea of drugging them.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by Yeti » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:24 pm

Our Minotaurs are clearly different from the ones introduced in Province Cyrodiil. A more wild, northern variety that is only tangibly related to the ones in the south. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to ask them for their thoughts. 8-)

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:38 am

This is quite a thorough outline. All of those suggestions on landscape features (hills, groves, natural caverns) and the way of implementing them, sound great to me. We should definitely carry all of those things over to the grassland areas north of your claim. I would, however, like to discuss the usage of rocks and plants more in depth.

I already mentioned the topic of non-cliffy slopes/hillsides in that other thread. It may seem like a banality, but I'd like there to be a homogeneous way of how these slopes are made in this region setup and what rocks are added to them. If we know we want to have grass/dirt boulders on non-cliff slopes we should be adding them to all of them and make no exception. Then again, I like your hill-cliff transition above, which is without grassboulders on the non-cliffy slope itself.

I think similar with regards to Sky_Terrain_Rocks_04_03 and Sky_Terrain_Rocks_04_04 that have been rarely used in the Reach except by me in a few spots. We should either use them consequently on all slopes of a region setup or leave them entirely. (The Reach in TES V had very many of these)

A third question arises on whether to use grassy blank rocks (Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grassy_04_...) in grassy terrain or not. I have used those plenty instead of the regular 04 blank rocks in my grassland claims as they looked better in combination with the lower side of the grass rocks. I only switched to the regular 04 rocks when entering pure dirt terrain. There should be a unified way of using or not using them.

---------------

On usage of plants: I have had an idea floating in my head about differentiating the grassland of the Druadach Highlands from the grassland of the Aldkarth Lowlands a bit more. How about saying that the Druadach Highlands is more of a bushland with a high density of bushes and shrubs aswell as minor groves, whereas the grassland in the Aldkarth Lowlands remaining more of a pasturage.

If we did it that way we could also think about featuring bushy container plants (wrothgarian grape, holliberries, silver palms, vicar herb, trembleweed, apple trees?) more prominently and make flowers and mushrooms much rarer here. Opposed to that the Aldkarth lowlands could mostly feature wild growing wither wheat and bigger flowers like Dragynia, Persarine and Shadowfly. Honey Lilly and Taragetis I mostly envision as forest flowers.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:31 am

Thanks, everyone :)
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.
I can definitely agree with that in regards to still water meshes from sky_act_ex_water, I think pools and rapid streams are fine though. Perhaps once we are close to realease, we can prepare some bumpmapping for our water meshes, as an addon? I think by the way we should enter the market with more popular mods addons already ready (Graphic Herbalism, NoM, Animated Morrowind and Window's Glow come to mind), but that's digression.
(...)giants/minos matter(...)
That's what I get for not reading enough lore topics :P thanks for claryfying that, Roerich and Yeti. No giants here then, I will edit first post later. I think Reachmen having domesticated minotaurs would be a nice touch if not used too extensively. Perphaps we can as well apply to them that symbiosis idea? That would authenticate why the Reachmen couldn't care less when player is being chased around the village by the minotaurs :P I don't think though we should flesh out mino's personalities and give them unique names (at least not without PC's counsel). We should save that for giant.

By the way, do we have a masterplan for wereboars yet? I had neat, Reachy quest idea about them, I will post it soon. I think it will fit this region well.
worsas wrote:I already mentioned the topic of non-cliffy slopes/hillsides in that other thread. It may seem like a banality, but I'd like there to be a homogeneous way of how these slopes are made in this region setup and what rocks are added to them. If we know we want to have grass/dirt boulders on non-cliff slopes we should be adding them to all of them and make no exception. Then again, I like your hill-cliff transition above, which is without grassboulders on the non-cliffy slope itself.
I agree we need unificated standards here. How about:
  1. all smaller hills should be made with Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grass_03_ usage, though it may be subtle in most of the times. Plus, they would better fit that bigger, cliffy hills that way
  2. terrain_boulder_dirt_ should be used rarely, I'd use that mostly to create shelves with rocks/dirt flora on cliffs when needed.
  3. terrain_boulder_dirt_10 & grass boulder shouldn't be used often too, but sometimes we might want to create with them sth like that:

    [hsimg=]https://dnaexplained.files.wordpress.co ... crpped.jpg[/hsimg]
worsas wrote:I think similar with regards to Sky_Terrain_Rocks_04_03 and Sky_Terrain_Rocks_04_04 that have been rarely used in the Reach except by me in a few spots. We should either use them consequently on all slopes of a region setup or leave them entirely. (The Reach in TES V had very many of these)
I'm sorry, I don't understand your point here. Are they conspicuous so much they don't fit?
worsas wrote:A third question arises on whether to use grassy blank rocks (Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grassy_04_...) in grassy terrain or not. I have used those plenty instead of the regular 04 blank rocks in my grassland claims as they looked better in combination with the lower side of the grass rocks. I only switched to the regular 04 rocks when entering pure dirt terrain. There should be a unified way of using or not using them.
I went with something similar, though I only used grassy rocks in aproximity of grass rocks. I don't think we have enough grassy rocks models to have only them used on grass landscape, i.e. over half of region whole area, but we should use them more often than anywhere else. Plus I think they are must have on hillsides and in groves.

Edit: on second thought I think we should use grass boulders and grassy rocks more often when it comes to cliffs. Grass boulders nicely patch the inevitable breaches that happens when using grass overgrown rocks on hill edges, and grassy rocks should be used as transition between grass rocks and cliffs. Check it:

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/SZKFWBg.png[/hsimg]
worsas wrote:On usage of plants: I have had an idea floating in my head about differentiating the grassland of the Druadach Highlands from the grassland of the Aldkarth Lowlands a bit more. How about saying that the Druadach Highlands is more of a bushland with a high density of bushes and shrubs aswell as minor groves, whereas the grassland in the Aldkarth Lowlands remaining more of a pasturage.
Sound good to me. Additionaly it is how things already look like in my claim's valley. Perhaps we can use Sky_Flora_Grass_04_01 more often in Aldkarth Lowlands as well, aiming for that look for MGE users?

[hsimg=]http://lh3.ggpht.com/-5Gd3faj0Juo/UjWm8 ... imgmax=800[/hsimg]

edit: though I think we may be better with leaving such saturated colors for Whiterun country
worsas wrote:If we did it that way we could also think about featuring bushy container plants (wrothgarian grape, holliberries, silver palms, vicar herb, trembleweed, apple trees?) more prominently and make flowers and mushrooms much rarer here. Opposed to that the Aldkarth lowlands could mostly feature wild growing wither wheat and bigger flowers like Dragynia, Persarine and Shadowfly. Honey Lilly and Taragetis I mostly envision as forest flowers.
+ 1 here too. I think it may be a good idea to separate another group of organic flora in list above, or even two groups? Organic flora - rocksides together with Organic flora - groves? Small flowers and shrooms would all go there. We shouldn't really place them in open space, that looks wrong without MGE grass.

By the way, does anyone have any opinion on what road texture should we use in that region? I'd appreciate suggestions here as I have to put some texture on road in my claim. Tx_Skyrim_Rocky_Dirt_04 doesn't do the trick.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by roerich » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:50 pm

berry wrote: By the way, does anyone have any opinion on what road texture should we use in that region? I'd appreciate suggestions here as I have to put some texture on road in my claim. Tx_Skyrim_Rocky_Dirt_04 doesn't do the trick.
Worsas has made a new road texture with three variants that will be in the next data. 8-)

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:23 pm

By the way, does anyone have any opinion on what road texture should we use in that region? I'd appreciate suggestions here as I have to put some texture on road in my claim. Tx_Skyrim_Rocky_Dirt_04 doesn't do the trick.
Download the latest Skyrim-Data and try out Tx_Skyrim_Dirt_05. It was specifically made for dirt paths. There will be a further update in a not too distant future with other additions.
I can definitely agree with that in regards to still water meshes from sky_act_ex_water, I think pools and rapid streams are fine though. Perhaps once we are close to realease, we can prepare some bumpmapping for our water meshes, as an addon? I think by the way we should enter the market with more popular mods addons already ready (Graphic Herbalism, NoM, Animated Morrowind and Window's Glow come to mind), but that's digression.
That would be a good thing at some point in future. I'd not like to spend much attention on that, until we have a somewhat large playable area finished.
By the way, do we have a masterplan for wereboars yet? I had neat, Reachy quest idea about them, I will post it soon. I think it will fit this region well.
Not yet. The biggest problem lies in the fact that there is no easy, straightforward way of implementing a further werecreature. The Druadach highlands would be a fitting region and all of the foresty areas in Haafinheim and The Reach.
I agree we need unificated standards here. How about:

1. All smaller hills should be made with Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grass_03_ usage, though it may be subtle in most of the times. Plus, they would better fit that bigger, cliffy hills that way
2. terrain_boulder_dirt_ should be used rarely, I'd use that mostly to create shelves with rocks/dirt flora on cliffs when needed.
3. terrain_boulder_dirt_10 & grass boulder shouldn't be used often too, but sometimes we might want to create with them sth like that:
I don't know, honestly. Looking at our existing exterior areas again, I realise that in all 3 claims me and the 2 claims Scamp has worked on (it was increasingly the case with Lestats exteriors aswell) in Reach core areas, we have filled literally each slope with either Sky_Terrain_Boulder_Grass_03 or Sky_Terrain_Boulder_Dirt_04 (the grass or dirt rocks playing a secondary role) and there weren't really slopes without them.

I think you should follow that as I don't see us tearing them down in all existing places and the areas scamp has worked on (Druadach Highlands B) should have a certain resemblance to your area. This is a different, already existing hill-cliff transition in an area supposedly using the same region setup:
[hsimg=]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... sition.jpg[/hsimg]
This example makes me want to propose that the hill-cliff transitions should feature the terrain edges aswell.

These three small galleries show the different ways slopes with terrain edges have been laid out and cluttered with rock groups in the past:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z3d4oph92ubw ... sFVLa?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/487govsiuqwx ... o0aEa?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bi67kcusidnj ... HOBha?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think we should mostly move away from A and either use the B or C way of cluttering them in the Druadach Highlands. But I'd definitely request that we don't introduce another majorly different way of doing them.
Edit: This is also something we should take into consideration with regards to the Falkar Foothills and Markarth. Either we keep using the boulders on slopes or we abondon them for the way of doing slopes seen in Roerichs Markarth claim.

Edit2:
I'm sorry, I don't understand your point here. Are they conspicuous so much they don't fit?
Nope, they actually work pretty well, I think. For me it is mostly a question if we should keep using these or similar flat rocks in company of terrain edges on slopes. Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grassy_04_36 or Sky_Terrain_Rock_04_122 are examples of a similar, flat rockshape. I might be too anal about this question, though.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:44 pm

I am cleaning my claim file as we speak and will update it later. It is far from being finshed yet of course, but it will be easier to use it as a reference in discussion. Plus I'd love to hear your impressions from seeing it in game :)
Nope, they actually work pretty well, I think. For me it is mostly a question if we should keep using these or similar flat rocks in company of terrain edges on slopes. Sky_Terrain_Rock_Grassy_04_36 or Sky_Terrain_Rock_04_122 are examples of a similar, flat rockshape. I might be too anal about this question, though.
I get it now. Yes, that could look nice, but I agree it's binary matter here. We either go with them or try something else for hillsides.
I don't know, honestly. Looking at our existing exterior areas again, I realise that in all 3 claims me and the 2 claims Scamp has worked on (it was increasingly the case with Lestats exteriors aswell) in Reach core areas, we have filled literally each slope with either Sky_Terrain_Boulder_Grass_03 or Sky_Terrain_Boulder_Dirt_04 (the grass or dirt rocks playing a secondary role) and there weren't really slopes without them.

I think you should follow that as I don't see us tearing them down in all existing places and the areas scamp has worked on (Druadach Highlands B) should have a certain resemblance to your area. This is a different, already existing hill-cliff transition in an area supposedly using the same region setup:

This example makes me want to propose that the hill-cliff transitions should feature the terrain edges aswell.

These three small galleries show the different ways slopes with terrain edges have been laid out and cluttered with rock groups in the past:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z3d4oph92ubw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... sFVLa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/487govsiuqwx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... o0aEa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bi67kcusidnj" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... HOBha?dl=0

I think we should mostly move away from A and either use the B or C way of cluttering them in the Druadach Highlands. But I'd definitely request that we don't introduce another majorly different way of doing them.
Edit: This is also something we should take into consideration with regards to the Falkar Foothills and Markarth. Either we keep using the boulders on slopes or we abondon them for the way of doing slopes seen in Roerichs Markarth claim.
Actually I was refering to cliffsides of the big hills ("Dover ones") and small hills, the grove ones, sorry for confusion. I haven't thought that much about gentle sides of massive hills yet. Those are valid points. I say we should go with something much alike B, though I'd like to have them smoothier, calmer.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:14 am

I just got to editing the first post, so it describes the Druadachs the way we see them currently, half year later. Let me know if there's something I missed.

I know we are close to finishing this region now :D but I don't think this summary is superfluous at all, we can use it as a base for discussing different, unfinished regions.

Also, my apologies if that constant refering to hypothethical "you" along that post ended sounding condescending, it was easier for me to formulate thoughts that way.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:34 pm

I like it all. Your descriptions on rock placement, terrain and plant-usage are very detailled and well-made overall. Thankyou for taking the effort of wording and writing this all down, aswell as taking screenshots to make it more graspable.

One thing I'm not 100% happy with yet, is the density of bush placement. I think there should be far more bushes still, like twice or thrice as much as now. Most areas still look like just grassland with a few bushes rather than bushland. This would help to make the difference between Druadach Highlands and the farmland region, that will probably keep a similar rock usage, more apparent.

Edit: On a second look, I'm not sure, if I like the way of usage of the big rocks. All of the displayed areas would look better without them, in my opinion:
http://i.imgur.com/tZgt91o.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i.imgur.com/GWeNFMz.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i.imgur.com/QnQLvsS.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Both of these issues apply to my previous Druadach Claim aswell (so I'm faulty of exactly the same things). I would probably remove 04_127 altogether. I think there is already enough in terms of interesting, differing rock shapes in this region.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:05 pm

I would be against resinging from them altogether, they can do fine work complementing cliffs or mountains, take the one near your village or that one by the mountain here for instance. We just need to use them more cautiosly. I agree those instances you pointed out stick out from their surroundings; I got a little carried away when I discovered that mesh and spammed it around in a creative frenzy :D I'll see about it when I'm back on this claim.

Regarding bushes - agreed, using more static bushes can only help this region. I don't know how of an effort would it be for our modelers, but it would be cool to have a variant of Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_01_01, only tall, contrary to this one being wide. These two bushes, supplemented by the smaller ones, could then be used in place of most of the trees of this region (apart from groves) to strenghten that bushlands look (and further differentiate it from Falkar Foothills). In fact, having only Sky_Flora_Tree_Pine_04_X and dirt/plain variants of leaf trees to be found outside the groves in this area can be the right approach here. I'll try to play with that concept when I'm done with landscaping and back to detailing.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:08 pm

Everytime I come across Sky_Flora_Bush_Leaves_01_01, I see some oddities I would like to deal with anyway, but it should remain a main bush, as I still like its overall shape and character. Making a second variant is well possible, too, I think. I'm not 100% against 04_127. There are probably some instances where that rock may be of use. I made it myself at some point, for Falkreath originally.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:43 pm

An idea for now vacant village hill - a First Empire tower. It could be used nowadays (or it originally was erected for that purpouse) as a site for sky burials. Remaining bones could then be laid down inside the tower. Despite the gloomy atmosphere, a colony of wild goats have a fancy for the grass here too.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/wY1mKW6.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/wed1ZmI.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/b4BGWwF.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/xJO9H0N.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/7nze2Cl.png[/hsimg]

I have some doubts about this idea myself, foremostly this makeshifted building is likely too look bad in distant land. It would require lots of work too to get the interior fit it's shell.

edit: another idea could be to keep the way the canyon turned out, remove the vertical construction and instead dig a hole for a barrow atop the hill, similar to what Scamp did in his second mesa claim. We would be able to grab Roerich's barrow reference cell for it's interior then.

Either way, I think we should go with the barrow stuff here.

second edit: Ok, so I actually checked how would it look in distant land and it's not bad I guess. With the settings I have set I can't see it from Dragonstar or the hills around Markarth, but it looks good on closer distances. At any rate we could provide a list of statics for MGE distant land generator, labeling barrow meshes as "buildings".
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/v9lCKs7.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/67w8BmR.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PZYOdmu.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PfHZ8pQ.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/xWguDuq.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/s0Cd1Ed.png[/hsimg]

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:53 pm

The tower looks good to me.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by roerich » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:07 pm

Nice work as usual, berry

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by worsas » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:07 am

After some thinking I'd like to voice the concern that we have grown the bad habit of changing changed areas over and over again. I know, I said myself it would be a good idea to move the village to a different place and let's keep doing it, but in future we should make it a habit to call our reworked exteriors finished when we are through them and prevent ourselves from making further major changes. I feel we should try to be a bit more merciful to our own creations. If we had kept the village where it is or not, the final result would have been great eitherway.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by Yeti » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:17 pm

What Worsas said. Let's not get too caught up with nitpicking our work.

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Re: Region planning: Druadach Highlands A

Post by berry » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:25 pm

I replied you guys in the fitting claim thread. The number of pictures I've spammed here over these months makes this thread incredibly hard to follow. :D

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