West Weald and Elsweyr development

135 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

As previously discussed in the thread, the West Weald is of particular interest to me because it's on my doorstep, so to speak, and I need to arrange for a smooth transition between Cyrodiil and Elsweyr.

This is complicated by our respective plans for the geology of the provinces - limestone in Cyrodiil and sandstone in Elsweyr. The original Oblivion West Weald used some very heavily mossed rocks in the south and east which I thought could buffer the transition between separate underlying rocks. I'd already made a set of West Weald rock meshes based on the TES4 ones, and I've finally gotten around to making the textures. I recoloured a couple of (CGTextures) rock textures to match that of bsklimestoneslab0x from BSAssets, added a moss layer and made corresponding sandstone versions. Ideally there should be an extra fringe of moss around the rock meshes but that can be added later if I get around to it.

That left me with a set of 8 rocks each for

dry West Weald

wet (mossy) West Weald

dry Elsweyr

wet (mossy) Elsweyr

Since Wellpapp suggested a green Maple for the West Weald, I decided I liked the bskCyrodilSugarMaple series. 

So I've now put together three region generator presets to cover this area (at the moment) :

This covers some dry West Weald (North West), Wet West Weald (Centre) and Wet Elsweyr (South). I've not yet added the dry Elsweyr, which will come in higher and further south.

The current test has around 200 cells populated - no details like flora or small rocks. I'm using 

BSKLEDirt01

BSKLELeaves14

BSKLEMoss01

as well as versions of my rock textures as ground textures. I also retexed the rock grass.

The result seems a little slow on FPS, so I may need to reduce the tree density a bit - not sure. I find my setup's not as fast as it should be given the spec of my machine so it may just be that.

Anyway, here are some screenies from my latest walkabout

Questions to consider:

Are these resources right for the area?

Shall I carry on working on the Cyrodiil side as well as the Elsweyr side?

Are the bskCyrodilSugarMaple resource intensive / should I change?

Can / should we try to get away with less trees that this?

If everyone's happy with the rocks, then I suggest we use the same sets to transition the whole way round the Rim behind Bravil and on down into County Leyawin.

Edited by morcroft
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Posted

I love it! Although I think that from Bravil southward the color scheme should get a bit darker and gloomier, with more shrubbery and vines. Namely because that area is kind of where the actual 'Black Marsh' begins. This isn't even really necessary on the west bank of the Niben, but personally I'd prefer it. The east bank needs it.

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Posted

I agree, Mizreg. I meant that we could keep the same rocks, but change the flora gradually to be darker and more swampy as we head south. Plants will look just as good on either limestone or sandstone - it's getting the transition between rock types to look good that was concerning me.

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Posted

I would be thrilled if you were able to continue working on both sides of the border. What would the best way to handle this be? Since BSAssets is dependent on BSTamriel, we would probably need to merge this plugin to BSCyrodiil (and, eventually copy all the data over to BSElsweyr). I did a partial gen in the area around Leyawiin, but I've got no qualms about deleting that out and overwriting it with this. The preset looks fantastic. Just let me know when the work is ready to merge, I guess.

Wellpapp, does that sound good to you too?

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Posted

I'm usually against region generation, but this looks pretty good, so I say go ahead. But I do think you should use some different textures. Create new landtextures and give them a 'WW' prefix, so we can change them later.

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Posted

Would a recolored sugar maple work as a placeholder for the red Japanese maples we see scattered throughout the West Weald? Everything else looks great though, IMO.

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Posted

I'm usually against region generation, but this looks pretty good, so I say go ahead.

I'm glad you like the preset - it's not perfect of course but as long as the player can walk through with no more than "meh, not much interesting here" (as opposed to "this looks crap") then it does its job.

I figure there's about 500 Cyrodiil cells that can be generated with this collection of presets and the same again in Elsweyr with a couple more variations - so it's a huge area created to a first pass quality level. I appreciate all the arguments against region generation and I'm afraid they're all trumped by two factors: time and resource. We will never fill the map by hand.

Let's get the machine to do the heavy lifting and save the artistic talent for improving the parts that matter most first.

But I do think you should use some different textures. Create new landtextures and give them a 'WW' prefix, so we can change them later.

First approximation textures only at the moment - and yes: all wrapped up in their own bskLWWxx land texture forms.  There are plenty of iterations to go before we call this finished!

That reminds me - I retextured the sugar maples, made them greener, more saturated. I should upload it to Git.

I hope you haven't over-done it. In my opinion many of the BSAssets trees (and some ground textures) are oversaturated already.

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Posted

I'm usually against region generation, but this looks pretty good, so I say go ahead. But I do think you should use some different textures. Create new landtextures and give them a 'WW' prefix, so we can change them later.

Morcroft is much better at region genning than I am, so that probably helps.

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Posted (edited)

This is the first of a series of cliff meshes I intend to use all the way round the Elsweyr border from Arenthia to Leyawiin. I've posted this over on the Bravil thread for context, since it's the proposed backdrop for Bravil.

At about 2.5 cells wide at full scale this one is the largest planned and I've made it in both dry and mossy sandstone versions. For the whole Rim I expect to use the mossy version at the lower level by Cyrodiil, then transition to the dry version higher up. This is both versions stacked:

  

gallery_82_266_59923.jpg

I don't think this particular mesh will get a mossy limestone version, I'm doing that with most of the meshes for the West Weald but I think it's too big and sandstone-shaped to use there. It will get used after the transition to sandstone happens on the Elsweyr side of the border

And a few more screenies

Edited by morcroft
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Posted

It's pretty red - I think it's the default lighting. Ideally I'd like different lighting schemes to make it to look fairly muted from the Cyrodiil side where it has the green for contrast, but redder (pretty sure it's a word) in the badlands.

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Posted

At about 2.5 cells wide at full scale

Be careful with such huge meshes or transition from LOD state to full mesh can happen very close to player and be ugly to say the least. Better to split it into separate parts. Nice rock by the way ;)

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Posted

Hmm. Interesting point. I was figuring on having several landscape statics of a similar size to the vanilla ones. Certainly don't want to split meshes into tiled pieces as that will defeat the object of large easy-to-place units.

I was planning to make two lod-levels as per vanilla. Is the problem just mesh resolution or the cut-over to LOD textures?

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Posted

As you know the game loads a cell and +2 cells away from player in any direction by default, so lets say 2.5 cells.

Your mesh is 2.5 cells wide. In the worst case when player approaches a reference from the side where the actual mesh is (depending on it's rotation of course) the transition would happen almost in place before player. No matter how good your LOD mesh is, even if it is a full copy of original, a lot of flickering and ugly seems guaranteed. Not even mentioning an issue with low res LOD texture.

Bethesda splits all their meshes for a reason, I doubt there is even a single mesh wider than a 1-1.5 cells in vanilla assets.

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Posted (edited)

I take your point but ...
 
I was originally looking at the vanilla MountainCliff01 as a reference - it's 1 cell deep and over 3 cells long so my mesh is shorter, and there are many instances of that in game so I'm presuming it doesn't cause problems. MountainPeak02 is 2 by 2 cells - so narrower but deeper than my cliff.

 
Here is a gallery of the main mountain meshes against my new cliff:
 
gallery_82_266_69205.jpg
 
Clockwise from top left:
MountainCliff01; MountainCliff02; MountainCliff03; MountainCliff04
MountainPeak01; MountainPeak02
MountainRidge01; MountainRidge02; MountainRidge03
MountainTrim01; MountainTrim02; MountainTrim03
 

Thanks for pointing this out, though. I think my mesh is probably OK - but it's at the upper end of OK. I'll need to make several more mountain meshes for Elsweyr and the West Weald border so I'll treat 2 x 2 cells as the upper limit from here on.

Edit: Don't know that I agree with Wellpapp: from a quick random sampling of a couple of dozen instances, MountainCliff01 and MountainPeak02 (the big ones) seem to be used mainly at close to 1.0 scale. I'd be reluctant to upscale any mesh very far anyway because of the texture problems that causes.

Edited by morcroft
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