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Project ROCK


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Posted

Hey guys!

I decided to start a project! And I invite all ambitious modellers, especially those using sculpting softwares.
The thing that bothers me the most when watching Bruma trailers and Cyrodiil screenshots are the rocks!
I never liked Skyrim's rocks. They just don't have any realistic shapes. Neither are they aesthetic nor have they any recognition value. Well, not in a good way.
Cyrodiil with Skyim rocks looks... like Skyrim. That miiiight be okay for Bruma, since it is at the Skyrim borders. But we want to give the rest of Cyrodiil a really unique look, so we really should get something new, something better than that.


So, here's the plan, dear fellows!
...
Let's sculpt some awesome rocks!
Yeah.



Everyone is allowed to post some awesome rock-photos as well. We need references. Awesome references.
Inspiration:
http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125857
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/18-zbrush-sculpted-rock-brushes
 

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Posted

We should have at least the same amount of rocks as Skyrim has (5 large rocks, 4 medium rocks, 3 small rocks, 8 cliffs, 6 mountain cliffs, 3 mountain trims, 4 large rock piles, 3 medium rock piles and 4 small rock piles) to get enough variety and all that. Cyrodiil (and I guess Morrowind and Hammerfell too) will need limestone-like sedimentary rocks.

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Posted

Looks like we have our work cut out for us...Not sure which ones are highest priority. We probably wont have any new rocks for the Bruma release but I cant stand seeing our landscapers work with the same stuff over and over. Opened the oblivion meshes folder and we got these rocks:

 

Camoranparadise > 22 meshes

 

Colovianhighlands > 40 meshes

 

Goldcoast > 7 meshes

 

Greatforest > 73 meshes + 2 texture variants of all those rocks.

 

Jeralmountains > 42 meshes

 

Ledge > 8 meshes

 

ms14 > 6 meshes

 

Oblivionplane (not sure if needed)

 

Water > 67 (just texture variants of rocks that are already made

 

Westweald > 35

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Posted (edited)

For coordination purposes - you may know I've been working on rocks for Elsweyr and the West Weald. Admittedly, it would probably have been quicker to make rocks the old fashioned way - you know, with geology - but anyhow.

For regular-sized rocks, I based a set of 8 rocks on the Oblivion West Weald set. I've done a yellowish grey version with varying amounts of lichen and moss that I'm calling limestone - though that's still open to interpretation. These then multiply up because there are dry, lichenous and mossy variants.

You can see an earlier version of my West Weald rocks in
http://www.darkcreations.org/forums/topic/6222-west-weald-and-elsweyr-development/?page=4

I'm using the same set in a sandstone version for inside Elsweyr, which I'm interpreting as being essentially a huge sandstone layer over the top of Cyrodiil limestone. In addition, I've a growing set of meshes to use for the layered sandstone throughout Elsweyr. Samples of that are best seen from Joop's landscaping:


gallery_82_9_97200.jpg
gallery_82_9_828105.jpg


These meshes have since been updated, though. The logic of all this, and some pointers on what I've done for using semi-transparent moss / dirt laters, is in:

The transparency layer stuff was new to me when I did this, and it's made a very big difference.

The big plan is to have the same West Weald rocks used through both the West Weald itself and also to form the foundation of the Rim along the western border of lower Nibenay (west of Bravil) and County Leyawiin. The multilayer meshes allow the "moss" effect to bridge the boundary while the underlying rock transitions sharply.

In Oblivion, the West Weald had a very distinctive look - it didn't use the same Great Forest meshes used everywhere else. Maybe we need to keep that distinction - or maybe the West Weald is part of a broader geology and we need to either replace my West Weald rocks with something else (as long as it's compatible with the texture mechanic) or use them over a wider area than I'd originally planned.

So - I have Elsweyr under some sort of control, but the blending into the West Weald currently relies on the common meshes. At the same time, the large-scale Elsweyr Mountain meshes are completely wrong for limestone cliffs in the West Weald - so I've been sort of resigned to having to make some equivalent meshes - especially for the very high and steep escarpment north of the Strid. If there's a decent opportunity not to have to do that myself and leave it to a faster modeller then I'd grab at it, to be honest.

Edited by morcroft
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Posted (edited)

Limestone Cliffs:  

1014071_1444d07d.jpgEtretat_Cliffs_8.jpgYorkshire_Dales-3915290.jpeglimestone_cliffs_and_forest_by_inkydigit

 

I request that you don't get into Karst Forest ALA China too much as that is a planned environment of Morrowind.  

Edited by Spectral Dragon
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Posted

Could use a lot more sharp edges! ;-)

It's really awesome to see that a lot of you guys are helping here!
I will start sculpting soon, but I have plenty of other work at the moment xD

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Posted

Great texture - but really needs a corresponding one without the sedimentary layers. Without it, the top of that rock will look very wrong.

Also, what size are we using for textures? I've been treating 2k as the absolute maximum. A 4k texture is over 10MB and there's really no way we can assume that kind of space is available in vram.

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Posted

Great texture - but really needs a corresponding one without the sedimentary layers. Without it, the top of that rock will look very wrong.

Also, what size are we using for textures? I've been treating 2k as the absolute maximum. A 4k texture is over 10MB and there's really no way we can assume that kind of space is available in vram.

I'm also using 2k max for almost everything, but Joe tells me 4k can be used for large rock meshes.  This can of course be scaled down to 2k, but since I had source material of high enough resolution, I went for 4k because this isn't getting released in 2015 or 2016. Final texture resolution for these things can be decided at release, depending on current standards in that distant future...

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Posted

I'm also using 2k max for almost everything, but Joe tells me 4k can be used for large rock meshes.  This can of course be scaled down to 2k, but since I had source material of high enough resolution, I went for 4k because this isn't getting released in 2015 or 2016. Final texture resolution for these things can be decided at release, depending on current standards in that distant future...

Fair enough to make at this resolution if you can, but I think we have to assume 2K will be the limit even with hardware that's currently quite high-end. As you say, it can always be scaled down.

Not so much of an issue with raw stone, but when adding moss or lichen the scale of the texture has to be quite large to prevent it looking either like a bunch of cabbages or very tiled. I'm deliberately making "mountain" pieces with a slab texture that tiles on a much larger scale than regular rocks, but at 2k the intention is that they don't get seen from too close up. 

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Posted (edited)

Nah large meshes like rock cliff meshes have 1k textures in base Skyrim. The High Res Texture Pack makes them 2K I think. Checking now.

Edit: Only one texture, rockset_n.dds has a 2048x2048 texture.

The Serious HD Retexture mod makes the mountainslab normal maps 4096 and Skyrim HD - Landscape Lite makes the mountainslab diffuse textures 2048 though.

I bet that texture you made will look just fine at those dimensions Escha.

Edited by Joseph Crowell
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Posted (edited)

I thought 4k was way over? Like, 2k was the top. Skyrim's are like 1k or 512.

There are 2k rock textures in the High-rez DLC. 

If we are going to be using 4k Textures, we need to require a plugin that fixes Skyrims memory leak issue IE ENB or ENBoost, as well as the memory patch fix from either Sheson or SKSE to fix the small memory bandwidth. Otherwise you will be getting black textures in a matter of ten minutes of play, regardless of your rig.

IMO rocks could benefit from a scaled UV and 2k textures rather than using 4k textures. Same effect, better performance.  Admittedly quite a bit more work, though. 

Edited by Spectral Dragon
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