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Spectral Dragon

Student Thread: FrostWyrm

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Hello FrostWyrm, if you don't mind I would like to start you on a dungeon. You can pick any kind of vanilla/DLC dungeon you like but we will be making a new one from scratch.

If you don't have the floating grass fix or the ability to load multiple masters you can save yourself some time by downloading my skyrimeditor.ini file here: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/38180/?

I have a few questions just so I can see how much of the creation kit you are familiar with:

  1. What did you use to learn the CK before?
  2. Are you familiar with snap to grid and snap to angle?
  3. Do you prefer using keyboard shortcuts or icon shortcuts?
  4. Do you have any screenshots of anything you made before?

I would like to start you off with a mid-size dungeon which we will build completely, then in the same .esp file make an exterior worldspace which you can landscape, then hood that dungeon up to. Some suggested dungeons that cyrrodiil uses would be green cave, imperial fort, and the mine tilesets.

The first thing you will need to do in the overall scheme of things is obviously make the shell. I personally like to start at the entrance to a dungeon and work my way around from there. If making a fort, keep in mind this is a place where people live and work and you should make rooms and hallways in a layout that reflects that. While building try to make plans for each room IE one room is a barracks and one is an armory, ect.

Almost every dungeon set that is vanilla can use snap to grid 128, however if you need to fine tune some pieces you can use snap to grid 64, 32, 16 ect.

Here is a bit of further reading in case you want to study on your own time (not required, but it will speed things along if you read these:)

www.creationkit.com

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I already have your modified skyrimeditor.ini file. (got it just before making the post in the application thread)

What did you use to learn the CK before?

Mostly just played around with it, but I also used Bethesda's dungeon tutorials.

Are you familiar with snap to grid and snap to angle?
Yes, I am familiar with snap to grid and snap to angle as well as how to change the grid/angle in the preference settings.

Do you prefer using keyboard shortcuts or icon shortcuts?
I often find myself switching between the two, but I mostly use Icon Shortcuts.

Do you have any screenshots of anything you made before?
No, unfortunately I just recently got rid of my old works. (There were a few medium-sized dungeons and some failed exterior work.)

Sorry if communications is slow, I live in Australia so we will be on at completely different times, for example, you posted your above comment at 04:36 AM here.

Got a question about the dungeon: Will I be Navmeshing and adding NPC's or is it just making the dungeon (I'm assuming that I will be cluttering)

Edited by FrostWyrm

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You will be doing the whole kit so to speak, navmesh, placing enemies, ect.

We will be going through this in the standard steps I outlined in my tutorial:

1) Make the cell (Assuming you know how to do this.)

2) Make the shell of the dungeon

3) Make the lighting template of the dungeon

4) Clutter the Dungeon

5) Navmeshing

6) Optimization

7) Enemies

8) PM Wellpapp and 1Shoedpunk with the finished product so you can join Cyrrodiil.

Since you have dabbled in the creation kit this is likely to go decently quickly.

Let's pick a tileset. Let me know what tileset you want to use, and make the shell of the dungeon. Don't clutter or use lightbulbs yet because I will be having you change it up when you are done, however I would like you to use pieces which show the sky so I can later explain emittance to you.

When you are done with your shell I want you to turn snap to grid and snap to angle off (very important they are both off,) then pick a room. Select all relevant pieces of that room and rotate them on both the X and the Y axis.

When you are done with that fill the resultant gap with debris/rocks/rubble to make it look like it tilted naturally.

After that if you want to skip ahead a bit we will be working on lighting next: If you are familiar with lighting templates then excellent, if not I will be teaching you a hell of a lot.

The creation kit wiki has a small but extremely incomplete tutorial on lighting templates: http://www.creationkit.com/Bethesda_Tutorial_Lights_and_FX(Read it all or just skip to lighting templates.) We can also get into image spaces which are far, far, far more powerful and tasty things.

Give me a screenshot when you are done. Don't be afraid to host it on DC here.

Edited by Spectral Dragon

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Sorry, another quick question before I go ahead and do too much, how large do you want the dungeon to be? (for example, how many rooms)

Starting work on the dungeon now using the Green Cave Tileset.

P.S: I've also started to read your level design tutorials.

______________

Edit: Punctuation

Edited by FrostWyrm

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Shell is complete,(also places some cliffs and dirt mounds) will post screenshots soon.

________________________________

Quick Question: Are we allowed to sign up for multiple sections in arcane university? Because I'd  also like to sign up in the 'implementation' section to learn some scripting and quest design.

Edited by FrostWyrm

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Shell is complete,(also places some cliffs and dirt mounds) will post screenshots soon.

________________________________

Quick Question: Are we allowed to sign up for multiple sections in arcane university? Because I'd  also like to sign up in the 'implementation' section to learn some scripting and quest design.

Yep, you can. Not sure how many teachers we'll end up with but certainly you can.

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You can post screen shots in the Gallery and include them here. Click on upload then create a new album, then upload your files. You can then include them here using the My Media button in the editor tool bar.

Thank you for the explanation, will do this from now on.

Edited by FrostWyrm

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As a bit of criticism I would make more then one pathway and some dead ends somewhere in here. Caves don't always have a single path to follow.

Once you do that, I think it's time to create your lighting template.

go to the cell window, and double click your cell OR right click and edit the cell. You will get a series of tabs, and for now I would go to the lighting tab.

gallery_4900_312_154481.jpg

Now, this can be tricky to work with at first (it can be extremely touchy,) but the general idea here is to create the correct atmosphere. In this case we have a temperate cave which is underground.

There are three ways to go about this at this point: you can pick a pre-made lighting template and use that, but that's not what I think you should do. You can edit a custom lighting template here as well, and that will work if this is the only dungeon using the lighting template. The third option however is the one I want you to go for, simply because you will learn the most using this method.

So, go to this here in the Object Window and rightclick => duplicate one of these. Which one doesn't matter.

gallery_4900_312_142497.jpg

Double Click on your duplicate and this window will pop up:

gallery_4900_312_258124.jpg

Now, this is an easier format to work with then your Cell Edit Window. Everything is right here and even if you have done all this in your Cell Edit Window, You can use that drop down menu in the middle to select your cell and click "Get values from cell."

The first thing you should do is set your ambient lighting. For cyrodiil it will be a very slight greenish yellow, however you don't want to green or yellow to be too prominent. First Click on select Color and this window will pop up:

gallery_4900_312_35989.jpg

Now, select an appropriate color. I would personally make it dark and keep the saturation around 20'ish. Saturation controls how much the color actually effects the lighting in this case. Lum controls how bright the lighting is. Hue is best left alone unless you are very familiar with these kinds of color selection applications from the days of microsoft paint and such.

One thing I like to do is make my directional lighting darker then my Ambient to kill it off, so what I would do is once you get the color you want select "Add to custom colors." This will save this color for this session of the creation kit (but not future sessions.)

Once you have your color and have it added to custom colors hit "ok." Two things after this really quick: hit select color under directional lighting, click on the color you just saved and darken it, then hit ok. In the Directional Ambient section select "Set From Ambient." (I suggest you play around with this to see what these do later, or I can explain in a later post.)

Now, we have fog to deal with. Fog can be tricky but here is the basics:

  • NEAR: Where your fog starts
  • FAR: Where your fog ends
  • POW: how powerful the fog starts on the NEAR setting
  • MAX: how powerful the fog is for the FAR setting
  • Clip distance: to be honest I never figured out what this was for 0.o

If you want to kill the fog in your dungeon then set both near and far to ridiculously high levels. If you want only a little fog then I suggest you play with the POW and MAX settings. I also suggest you play with the near and far settings to get a feel of the distances these actually start. I never did figure out what units these were measured in but I believe it's the same units used when moving pieces in the Render Window.

Next, select the color of your fog and your done. Usually this will be a even grey color.

That's lighting templates for you. Now in the object window click on your duplicated template once, hit F2 and rename it appropriately. When you are done hit "no" then "yes."

Now you can see the effects of this in the Render window by having your cell loaded and hitting the "A" button with the render window selected. The creation kit might trick you a bit because it won't always render directional lighting correctly and it doesn't account for fog at all.

Now, this is a drastically important step: Save, then test this in game and adjust until you get it right. You will see what I meant by this being touchy very quickly!

We can also get into image spaces if you like which I highly suggest: they are very powerful, a lot of fun and absolutely necessary if you want to work with places underwater.

Edited by Spectral Dragon

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Screenshots of updated dungeon:

Overhead View:


Angled View:


Random Picture:

 
I will get in-game screenshots after I'm done with the lighting.
Edited by FrostWyrm
  • reaction_title_1 1

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More Screenies: (Havn't got lighting working yet)

Cave entrance:

 
More Pics:

 
Large Room:

 
Sorry about the shitty graphics, I don't have the best computer to work with.
Edited by FrostWyrm
  • reaction_title_1 1

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Still playing around with the imagespace, but this is what i've got so far,

 
^^Before^^

^^After^^

^^After Again yay^^

I slightly lightened it and added a very slight greenish tint.

Also, I don't know why but the screenshot makes it look a little bit darker than it actually is in-game.

_______________________________________________________________

ahh, nobody knows how tempted I am to sign up for the modelling section as well... will do that eventually, when I've finished here and in the implementation section.

Edited by FrostWyrm

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Time for clutter, this is often the most time consuming part. This is where you often tell a story in a dungeon without using words.

You need to try and keep the following in mind:

  • If there are humans in the dungeon, it should look lived in.
  • If there are nature creatures in there, you should clutter appropriately
  • Use what makes sense for your idea for the cave.
  • Try not to have too many empty areas.
  • Things like pillars and such count as clutter, use these well.

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