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Spectral Dragon

Student thread, robcbwilson (Spectral Dragon)

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I am taking a look at this right now. I will be back soon and edit this post when I have finished looking :)

Alrighty, looks like you need light sources for your fires, you need to put an actual entrance into the cave (it's not good to see outside of the shell unless it's the sky,) your cooking station causes some items to fall off when I activate it (and the fire is too small imo, it would be better served over that campfire I think,) and other than that I think some journals and fun item placement and chests would round this out pretty well.

Would you like to learn about lighting now? We can really give that cell some solid character with some solid lighting.

Edited by Spectral Dragon

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I am taking a look at this right now. I will be back soon and edit this post when I have finished looking :)

Alrighty, looks like you need light sources for your fires, you need to put an actual entrance into the cave (it's not good to see outside of the shell unless it's the sky,) your cooking station causes some items to fall off when I activate it (and the fire is too small imo, it would be better served over that campfire I think,) and other than that I think some journals and fun item placement and chests would round this out pretty well.

Would you like to learn about lighting now? We can really give that cell some solid character with some solid lighting.

​Thanks for looking at my .esp. I will add an entrance to my cave and fix up my cooking station (made sure the objects didn't bounce around on the table), guess I forgot to do the same for it. I will also move it to the big fire. I will add some more items dotted around and also some more chests. I am pleased that you didn't find any texture seams or holes in the roof or floor, spent ages plugging them all up and adding boulders etc :D

I would love to learn more about lighting, as you can see from what I added I don't know much :)

 

 

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I revisted my cave, decided to further define the character of my bandit occupants. I chose what type of bandits they would be and researched on the internet what they used and how they operated. I took that back to my cave and made a number of tweaks to the clutter (as well as adding some more). Will be interesting to see if you can determine what type of bandits mine are through my clutter. I have uploaded more photos  http://imgur.com/a/uDvc2

 

My esp is attached, let me know what you think :)

Cave.esp

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Basically, there are meshes with shafts in them that open up to the sky. Try replacing a hallway piece with a similar piece but one that has one of these shafts in them. You can replace a mesh directly by selecting the mesh and hitting CTRL+F, then selecting the mesh you want to replace it with in the second drop down menu. Alternatively you can tab over and type in the name of the mesh in that window that popped up.

Since you are doing a very small dungeon, we are going to go for quality instead of quantity here. One of my suggestions is to select every mesh in a single room and turn off Snap to Grid and Snap to Angle: in that window I show a picture in above, deselect snap to grid AND snap to angle and save that setting. Then, rotate it in two directions so it isn't neat and pretty anymore. I suggest rotating it to look like the back of the room sank.

Obviously this isn't going to fit perfectly, but try to place it as close as you can to the hall entrance. You will need to find some rubble and rocks to fill in the gap and make it look like the room went off kilter.

When you are done with that go into "All" in the object window and in the filter type in "coc" and place a COC Marker in there. This will allow you to use the console to teleport to your dungeon ("COC YourDungeon" in the console when you are in the game). Take a look around and note anything that looks wrong. As well if you see meshes being used repeatedly you can replace some with different versions with CTRL-F. If you cannot load your dungeon then remember newly created esp's are not selected by default so activate them first before going in there.

This may take a bit of getting used to as you need to understand the naming conventions and how the ruin pieces interact with each other. I would take special note of the roof of each piece as they will give you the most trouble, as those need specific meshes to be placed next to the other to work properly.

Finally, I think we should teach you some advanced usages of lighting templates to make these dungeons extra special and to show you that we need to place some water in there as well. At the end of the hall on the bottom of the dungeon in the last picture, instead of capping that off try to make a cave that goes downward into a small room that is tilted downward using the cave set. Place some water in that room where you think it's appropriate and we can move on to Cell Lighting.

I will leave you with these instructions as well which I wrote for FrostWyrm:

o 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!

The above is a lighting guide I gave another student, it should work perfectly for your small setup!

I took a look around your dungeon again, I am much happier with your clutter and we can get into advanced cluttering later. For now I think you really need to focus on lighting: there is cell lighting, and there are objects that act like lightbulbs in the creation kit. Work on your cell lighting first as that will greatly affect any bulbs you put in.

Later today I will try to remember to put up a guide on bulb placement.

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The above is a lighting guide I gave another student, it should work perfectly for your small setup!

I took a look around your dungeon again, I am much happier with your clutter and we can get into advanced cluttering later. For now I think you really need to focus on lighting: there is cell lighting, and there are objects that act like lightbulbs in the creation kit. Work on your cell lighting first as that will greatly affect any bulbs you put in.

Later today I will try to remember to put up a guide on bulb placement.

Thanks for posting this, I will get cracking on it and hopefully have something for you to look at by the end of the weekend. Glad you liked the clutter, there were other small things I would have liked to add but couldn't find them in the CK (masks and other props for my highwaymen).

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Had a go with the lighting template, have to say I am not sure how the colour comes through in the light but thought that the effect that you can create with the fog was great. I went for a green fog and a really dark light effect in my bandit cave. I also changed the bulb that I used for the candle to a flickering one and thought it looked really cool in game. I have posted a bunch of screenies. Let me know what you think, looking forward to the next step which I think is bulb placement followed by advanced clutter :)

http://imgur.com/zUzewqQ,FBQNChH,uvX9unG,VTtd6vr,Cg7wUzt,29g4lS8,4moLrV2#0

Added the .esp file, coc aaRWcave to take a look in game.

Cave.esp

Edited by robcbwilson
Adding .esp file

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I will be taking a look at this sometime today and giving feedback as well as the next step :)

Any luck with the next tutorial? Really looking forward to adding my name to the list of Arcane University graduates and getting cracking building something :)

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Any luck with the next tutorial? Really looking forward to adding my name to the list of Arcane University graduates and getting cracking building something :)

Might happen sooner than you think.... I will pm you sometime tomorrow. 

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Cool, look forward to it :)

Ok, in basic terms you have passed the beginners level design course. 

Should I add you to morrowind and start teaching you advanced stuff or should I start teaching you advanced stuff before adding you? 

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Ok, in basic terms you have passed the beginners level design course. 

Should I add you to morrowind and start teaching you advanced stuff or should I start teaching you advanced stuff before adding you? 

Cool :ninja:

Please add me to Morrowind so that I can get a feel for it all, while I learn the advanced stuff. It is all very exciting :D

 

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Ok, in basic terms you have passed the beginners level design course. 

Should I add you to morrowind and start teaching you advanced stuff or should I start teaching you advanced stuff before adding you? 

Any luck adding me to Morrowind? How are the advanced tutorials coming? :)

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Any luck adding me to Morrowind? How are the advanced tutorials coming? :)

I will be adding you on Monday.... I want to work out a claim with you via pm. Sorry for my absence, I had no internet for a week :(

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I will be adding you on Monday.... I want to work out a claim with you via pm. Sorry for my absence, I had no internet for a week :(

Wow, no internet for a week! I was without it for a day earlier in the year and that was painful enough :wacko:

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