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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I think it is a good idea to temporarily house a few of the site tutorials here until they can be updated and properly installed in the website. They've been unavailable for a while, and people have been requesting them. (One person, anyway, which is more than enough for me).

Exterior Modding:

Haplo wrote:
A new, full-blown tutorial/guide on how to create and edit exteriors(or landscaping) for Morrowind by Haplo. You'll never need another tutorial for exteriors, guaranteed!

Table of Contents
- Landscape Editing Tool & Basic Editing
    1. Editing Raw Landscape
    2. Applying Ground Textures
    3. Vertex Shading
- Roads
- Landscapes/Wilderness Creation
- Cities/Towns
- Lighting
- Pathgrids (Under Construction)
- Tips/General Advice (Under Construction)

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Landscape Editing Tool & Basic Editing
The most important part of creating exteriors is knowing how to do it. To access the tool that allows you to edit exteriors, make sure your Render Window(top right window in the Construction Set) is active, and hit the 'h' button on your keyboard.



As you can see, there's a lot to this window, and it can seem overwhelming at first, but once you've used it a couple times, you'll become very comfortable with it! This little interface will become integral to working with exteriors, so make sure you pay attention, and don't be scared to refer back here whenever you need a refresher course!

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1. Editing Raw Landscape The first section of this window, called "Height" includes some very important things. First, the edit radius. When you hit the 'h' button, you probably noticed a big red circle appear in your Render window. This edit radius shows the section(and how much of the cell) you are about to edit or affect.

A) The lowest size your radius can shrink to is 1 unit, which should almost never be used, 99% of the time. The largest allowed size for your radius is 30, which equates to roughly an entire cell (minus the corners, the edit radius being a circle, after all). You will usually use higher numbers (20-30) when you need to raise a lot of land(for instance, creating an island or a new continent).

Load a random cell in the CS(Balmora, for instance), and click and drag your mouse pointer with the landscaping edit radius enabled to see what it does. You can always press ctrl + z(The universal "undo" or "step back" command) if you mess up or do something you didn't mean to. Change the value in your edit radius box in the Landscape Edit Settings window to see what kind of different results you can get.

B) Edit Falloff % determines how sharp of a slope you will get when raising or lowering land. Higher percentages will result in sharper angles, and lower amounts will result in smoother transitions. Change the % along with the radius size for your own experimentation.

The two boxes "flatten" and "soften" come in very handy. If you check the flatten box, and click anywhere in the render window, it will flatten all the landscape within the edit radius. Great for starting plateaus or just getting a lot of basic land raised quickly. If you check the soften box, anywhere you click will have its falloff percentage lowered, essentially "smoothing" the terrain and erasing any sharp edges within the red circle.

If you kept smoothing your landscape, you would eventually theoretically get completely flat landscape. It's great for when you raise some land to create a hill but it's a bit drastic, and you want a more realistic transition. Try it out a bit on a hill or a valley to see what exactly happens.

C) The third box, "Show Edit Radius", is pointless. If you uncheck this box, the red edit radius circle disappears so you don't know how large your radius is or how far your changes will affect the landscape. I always leave it on, because the only reason I can ever imagine would be that unchecking it would increase performance when using the Construction Set, but in this day and age it's completely unnecessary.

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2. Applying Ground Textures The second section, "Texture", is for applying land textures(creating paths/roads, farmland, underwater regions, or whatever). It's often called "painting". We'll start with an explanation.

A) The little text window there(with headers "ID", "Used", and "FileName") shows you all the ground textures available for you to use. The "Used" header is useless unless you're into boring, useless statistics. The "FileName" header is also pretty redundant, as they are mostly all the same as their IDs, except they all start with the prefix Tx_. You can select(single-click) a texture you want to apply and right-click in the Render Window(hold down your right mouse button, click, and drag if you want to apply the texture to a large area) to apply your ground texture. Textures can only be applied one block at a time, but clicking & dragging is possible.

B) You can (sort-of) view a preview of the ground texture you've selected before you apply it in a box to the right. I say sort-of because it's usually far too dark and small to distinguish, and can't really be viewed well on most of today's monitors.

The "Add Texture" button is pretty self-explanatory, so I won't go into detail about that.

C) When applying ground textures, make sure you use region-appropriate textures in their proper locations. Don't mix Molag Amur(MA) textures with Ascadian Isles(AI) and Bitter Coast(BC) textures.

D) If three or more textures meet then you will most likely get an ugly seam on the ground at the point of intersection. Eliminate this by either fixing your textures so only two meet, or by placing a static (a rock or a tree, for example) over the seam. You can also use vertex shading (covered in the next section) to take care of this unsightly issue.

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3. Vertex Shading:
Vertex Shading is used to color your landscape, darken it, add shadows, and helps to add the final touch to smooth, realistic, and vibrant landscapes.

A) To customize your Vertex Shading settings, click the "Select Color" box for one or both of the boxes in the "Vertex Color" section of the Landscape Edit Settings Window. Choose a preferred color by whatever means you like(some like to choose from the large paint palette, while others prefer specific, numbered settings).

B) Usually, brown and green are the most common colors chosen by modders. Go with realistic, earthy colors (Neon or "hot" colors are never a good choice, and black should be avoided unless specifically noted), and sometimes greys. A good idea is to keep one of the Vertex Shading boxes as white, so you can erase erroneous vertex shading as needed; when applying 'white' as vertex shading, any previous vertex shading will be erased.

To apply vertex shading, check the box 'edit colors' at the right side of the "Vertex Color" section of Landscaping interface. Now you can left-click on your landscape to add vertex shading, or right-click to erase it (if your second box has white as its selected color).

Some common vertex shading RGB values are listed below:
Road Shading-
R: 121
G: 121
B: 121

Static Shading-
R: 68
G: 61
B: 53

Underwater Shading-
R: 140
G: 147
B: 136

Naturally, feel free to tweak these values to get colors that look best to you. Another tip is that the lighter the region palette (snowy regions, for example), the higher your numbers should be. Swamps, likewise, should use lower numbers for darker colors.

C) Stacking vertex shading is possible as well. What I mean by this is that if you have yellow vertex shading applied to an area, and go over it in blue, the shading will appear green, a mix between blue and yellow. This is also called color mixing. When mixing colors, always apply the lighter shade/color first. If you apply it last, it will look bad!

D) Be sure your vertex shading matches your statics; if statics are moved around then be sure to update your vertex shading so that you don't have illogical appearances. The purpose of vertex shading is to smooth the transition between static and landscape, ground texture to ground texture.

Don't just plop statics down on the ground and leave them naked, either; use vertex shading (brown, not black) to add a weathered feel or the illusion of shadow.

E) Always try to avoid black, blue, pink, purple, orange, or yellow shading in exteriors. Instead, earthy greens and browns should be used. An exception is under freshwater rivers or lakes, or near grotto entrances with custom lighting; then some blue greens are allowed.

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Roads:
Many modders think adding roads to their exteriors is nothing more than throwing down a texture and adding a rock here and there, but it's actually very tricky to do correctly. An expertly made road can really shine through what might otherwise be a very dull mod.

A well-made road/path consists of a few important things:
    1. A reason to exist! And a logical route through the cell(s). (Is it logical that someone made a road here, or would it have made more sense to go the other way, for example.)
    2. Using correct textures! You don't want to use a wasteland road texture in the middle of a forest.
    3. The road needs to be lower than its immediate surroundings (as if worn down by constant wear and use).
    4. A vertex-shaded "outline".
    5. Detail (and optionally, some points of interest) along the way.
A) Roads aren't made just to fill empty landscaping, they need a reason to exist. If there are two towns that need connecting, or a mountain range you hate traveling around, adding a road is the perfect idea. The shortest way to get from Point A to Point B is a straight line(as far as we are concerned), so be sure to keep that in mind when adding paths. The shortest route possible is always the most preferred one when building a road.

B) A lot of roads suffer from what I like to call Straight Road Syndrome(SRS). Not to be confused with the whole Point A to Point B theory I just covered, SRS is when roads have 90-degree turns, long straightaways, no curvature, and are otherwise boring, lifeless, and unrealistic.

Prefabricated roads(as they appear when full of 90-degree turns and blatant straightaways) are a real turn-off as far as immersion goes. Tamrielic road-builders aren't perfect; they won't be making uninteresting roads, and you shouldn't either. Curve your roads whenever you can, and add vertex shading to either side to give it a rough sense(more on that a few lines down)

C) If you are using a map as a guide, follow that map as closely as possible when creating your path. Nothing is worse than trying to use a road while following a map when they don't match.

D) Once you've got your road texture applied completely, and you have a nice, flat, SRS-free road from Point A to Point B, the tricky part can begin: making it look real. Here's your road so far:



Open up your Landscaping interface (Press the 'H' button, remember?), select an edit radius of 3 or so, and lower the entire road, section by section. You may overcompensate, and lower it more than you actually want; we'll take care of that with the smooth tool in a second.

Now your road looks like this:


This next part is important to do correctly: Check the smooth vertices box, and single-click separate sections to raise the road and its edges back to "normal", while making the transition between high and low more realistic, and a bit more gradual. It's important you don't just click-and-drag along the entire road, or you're likely to just get a flat road again, and no one likes flat roads. Make sure your radius is on the edge of the road, not half on, half off.

Use this screenshot for a visual example of what I mean:


Now, use the same technique on the road itself, but with an edit radius size of 2, instead of 3. Again, don't click-and-drag, but make individual clicks separately. If needed, undo your last click.

You should be here-ish:


Almost done! Next, we get to add vertex shading to the edges of our road. This is a must! Since your road has been lowered a bit, the edges will be a little shady, and rugged around the edges where the cobblestone (or simply dirt) meets the grass/wilderness.

The grey color chosen in the screenshot below is just a default color; brown is infinitely better than grey when used in grassy areas:


You now have a complete and finished road! It looks professional, realistic, and smooth. Congratulate yourself on a job well-done. Time to add some detail along the way, and some points of interest as well, if you like.

Add trees, container/non-container flora, rocks, various traces of human presence(barrels, broken wheels, etc), and stuff like de_railing pieces. Check out existing roads made by Bethesda for inspiration or ideas.

A good measurement is every couple of cells for a unique feature, whether it's a cave, a bandit camp, an inn, or just a nice view. One of the biggest parts of the Elder Scrolls games is the breathtaking views they afford. Don't make your mod an exception to this wonderful rule!

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Landscape/Wilderness Creation:
Coming Soon!

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Creating a City/Town:
First we'll start simply by raising some land(often referred to as "pulling" some land) off the coast of Vvardenfell a ways. You can raise a small section of land above sea-level, select the flatten option, set your radius to 30, and click-and-drag around a bit to quickly raise a cell or two's worth of land for editing.

See?:


Now, you need to decide what kind of town you want to build, how large, and its general layout/design. By kind of town, I mean the architectural tileset(and relating in-game to a specific faction). There are several to choose from, but I'm going to be using Hlaalu for the purpose of this tutorial, simply because it's common, straightforward, and easy to use.

The size is important; while Balmora was four cells large, it didn't take up the entire cells, and the buildings were fairly spaced out. One cell packed with buildings is going to be larger and busier than Balmora, believe it or not. For the design, I'm using a simple horseshoe design. You can choose whatever layout you like.

So, let's get started. Go to your object window and click the 'static' tab. Single-click one of the entries and start typing: ex_h

The reason for that is to automatically skip down to the exterior Hlaalu models. The first one should be "ex_hlaalu_b_01". 'Ex' stands for exterior, 'Hlaalu' isn't abbreviated, 'b' stands for building, and '01' is just signifying that it's the first of several exterior Hlaalu buildings in the list.

You can click-and-drag these entries to the Render Window to see what they look like, then hit the "X" key to delete them if you don't want to use them yet(or ever). I'm going to take building #5 and set it down on the ground. You can "f"all it(a handy tip) to the ground by hitting the "F" key on your keyboard. Then hit the "T" key to zoom to a top-down view of your building. Hold shift and move the mouse to move to your preferred viewing point.

You should be here:


But wait! Your house looks strange, with the door frame (doors are separate from their buildings, by the way. They have their own tab in the objects window!) several feet above the ground. That's because this mesh (and most of the Hlaalu buildings, if not all) has a foundation included, to allow for more versatile use in more precarious places. Simply hold the "Z" key and click-and-drag your house down until it's roughly here:

All of your Hlaalu buildings should be lowered to about this point. You now have your first building/house! Time to add some more (I usually add doors later for large settlements; it's much more fun to create a town all at once, anyway)!

You can vary the buildings as you like, but here's what I've ended up with. Ignore the ground textures, doors, clutter, and walls for now, those are added later. Remember, if you need to rotate an object, simply select it, right-click-and-drag until it's set to your liking.


Now for doors. Zoom to a front view of one of your buildings so you can see the empty door frame. Now go to your Object window, and find and click the 'Door' tab. Click any of the entries and hit "H" to skip to the proper doors. Hlaalu_loaddoor_ 02 is the one you want. Click-and-drag it to the Render Window.


Move it into the door frame, and align it so it looks like this:


Rinse, lather, and repeat for all your buildings. It gets tedious, I know. I've done it countless times, but it just has to be done.

Alright, now we need some protection from the various outlaws and monsters that are sure to be roaming outside the town, and we want the citizens to be safe! You'll need to switch back to the "static" tab in the Object Window, and find ex_hlaalu_wall_01. That's what we'll be using for the most part.

This following section can be a little tricky, so make sure you pay close attention! Scroll to the edge of your town, to where you want the wall/entrance gate to be.

Now, before you add any statics to the Render Window, go to File > Preferences. Check the boxes "Use Grid" and "Use Angle". Make sure the Grid Snap box is either 32 or 64. This is what you want for all gridsnap-requiring pieces (except for imperial walls, which just suck (a lot), and require a gridsnap setting of like 4, which is ridiculously low).

Click "okay", and drag your first wall piece into the Render Window. You'll notice, if you move it, it doesn't move unit by unit, but jumps from location to location, as if on a grid. Drag more walls out, and align them so they line up perfectly with each other(this is what gridsnap does, after all), height, length, and width-wise. You can select them all and drag them down to where they need to be in the ground. Corner pieces are named ex_hlaalu_wall_curve_01, and the entrance is ex_hlaalu_wall_gate_03.

You now have a walled-in town! The screenshot below shows normal walls, a corner piece, and an entrance.


Time to apply ground textures. For your first settlement, we'll use a road texture for the whole thing, with some non-road spots here and there. Open up the Landscape Edit Settings window("H" key, remember?), and in the texture sub-window, scroll until you find "WG_cobblestones". Select it, and then select your Render Window. Apply the ground texture to the area you want, and then go back to your Landscape Edit Settings window.

You now have a town complete with doors, walls, ground textures, and all the buildings you want. Time to add vertex shading!

In your Landscaping window, choose a nice brown vertex shade, such as R:113, G: 89, B: 72 (only an example), and check the "Edit Colors" box. Remember to set your edit radius to 2 or 3. Go through your town and add vertex shading around the edges of every building/section of wall. You can leave the gate into your town unshaded underneath it.

Now it's time to add detail and clutter. If you have a more urban setting for your city, worry about adding crates and other containers, along with items that might be found in a hustling, bustling town.


If your town is out in the wilderness, or in a more rural location, feel free to clutter accordingly. Remember, place items that would be useful to the people who live there; don't place caches of armor and spell scrolls everywhere just because you think they're cool. It's all about being "in character" in order to immerse the player into the game world!

A final note: there are different types of clutter. For example, you should consider "town clutter" and "personal clutter". Town clutter would be anything used in common, or without specific ownership. These would be crates with torches, or random crates found in alleys. Personal clutter is, logically, clutter owned by a person. A crate or urn outside a doorway, right next to a house, or sitting on a table on a balcony.

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Lighting:
And you thought only Interior Modders had to worry about this, didn't you? Think again!

Use lights properly, please; a forest doesn't need lots of light. One or two for a neat ambient effect is enough. In towns, you shouldn't go overboard but don't make it so dark you need the minimap to find doors! Use light sources like lamps, torches, etc. Make sure they are properly sunken into the ground, placed on a surface, or hung from some sort of a pole or rope.

For example, when creating an open dock for a town, make sure to add plenty of lights along the edge, so players know where to step, and so ships can make port easier:


When it comes to lighting house entrances and front porches, a furn_de_lightpost_01(for Dunmer areas) works great, with a light_de_streetlight hanging from it:


I mentioned ambient lights for forest areas... that's right. Certain things like mushrooms or underwater areas might give off a faint glow. See below for an example:


As you can see, just a little light where necessary is all you need. Another word of advice: the radius of a light is given in a number such as 64, 512, 1024, et cetera (the standard multiples of two that we often encounter in the computing world). A radius of 512 is surprisingly large, and 1024 is downright huge. Be careful you don't pick a light with too large of a radius.

The game renders lights much brighter in game than in the Construction Set, so if you lighten up your town or interior to look bright and cheery, it might turn out blindingly bright in the game.

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Pathgrids:
Pathgrids, too, are something people often forget are used in exteriors. Pathgrids are the paths that NPCs will take while wandering, running, or walking some where in-game. Without them, NPCs wouldn't know where to go, and could get stuck!

You can have the CS automatically do this, but sometimes it places markers in odd locations (on top of roofs), so go through and clean it up afterward. Or if you like to do things your own way, add pathgrids manually! You can do this by clicking the grid icon on the CS menu.

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Tips/General Advice:
Use the smooth tool wisely; jagged, spiky land looks terrible but every so often, perfectly rounded land can look unbelievable. Be creative, use statics such as boulders to create cliffs and overhangs that you would otherwise be unable to make with the landscaping editor.

Ever seen pictures of the CS that have these strange dotted yellow lines in a grid-like pattern running through them? Ever wondered what those were and how to make them appear? Wonder no more! To toggle these borders, hit the 'b' key on your keyboard. They form squares around each "cell". This will be handy for figuring out when you're in your cell and when you're crossing over to a new one.

Realism:
Make the terrain true to life; this is a fantasy world, but nothing too out of the ordinary(like a volcanic steam vent in the middle of a farm field.) should find its way into your exterior!

If the player needs to get somewhere, make sure he can. In other words don't make a road too steep to climb, or neglect to add a ladder or staircase when needed. Don't be afraid to be creative, either. If it is proper, you can use rocks jutting out of a cliff-side to make a 'natural' staircase, or use giant mushroom pods in a Telvanni city.

Placing Statics:
Don't be stingy, use lots of statics when outdoors! When I walk into the woods I don't see a tree every 50 feet and a rock every 30; make it look real. The standard accepted "minimum amount" for a land(any non-seafloor cell) cell is--on average--100 references. A healthy number is around 150-250. (The exact amount of each cell can be found in the Cell View Window, at the bottom right of the Construction Set)

NO Floaters! Please! Sink statics into the ground properly; If you need to use the x, y, and z rotation options then do so, that's why they're there. Nothing looks worse than everything in sight standing straight up, all rotated the exact same way; it screams of inexperience.

NO Gridsnap! Unless you're making something like an Imperial fort or a wall that requires gridsnap, stay away from it; Gridsnap in exteriors looks unrealistic. Make sure walls don't overlap (Yes, one of the times you will need gridsnap is for architecture pieces that aren't standalone meshes). Be sure to match them up so there's no spaces between pieces. Stagger things, don't space them evenly. Make a cluster of trees there, one by itself there, a cluster of rocks and a log there, etc.

Make sure your statics are properly placed! Things like rocks and certain building pieces can be and in fact should be bled together to make things look interesting.

Mix things up; repeatedly using the same three rocks over and over is bad, and looks boring and manufactured. Pull things from the whole list and rotate them in ways that make them look unique.

A list of helpful CS key commands is coming soon.

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I hope you've enjoyed learning how to create and edit exterior spaces for Morrowind in the Construction Set! If you have any questions, visit Tamriel Rebuilt's Forum and ask! Aside from modding, Tamriel Rebuilt is also a teaching community!



Interior Tutorial:

Haplo wrote:
A new tutorial on how to create dynamic and believable interiors for Morrowind by Thrignar Fraxix. You'll never need another tutorial for interiors, guaranteed!


Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been called upon from the depths of reviewing hell to teach you all how to make interior cells all nice and pretty-like. Though I will be lighthearted in my tone, I am dead serious in all that I say, so take none of this lightly. This is how it is done.

BASICS:
I'm going to assume you know how to make a file and load the requisite masters. The interior I am making is going to be a poor Hlaalu duplex/triplex in the ferry district of the Hlaalu capital, Narsis.

Select the World Tab, then Interior Cell. From here, select New:

Here I entered the cell name. The convention is TR_i#-#-***. The first number is the map, found in your claim ID. Second is the ID of that claim. Finally, the *** represents three letters that represent the house of the claim. (Red-Redoran, Hla-Hlaalu, Ind-Indoril, Dre-Dres, Tel-Telvanni, Tri-Tribunal, Imp-Imperial)

With the cell created, you will notice that the lighting values are odd. These are not good and need to be changed. Think about the exterior region in which your interior is placed. Either use your godly powers of deduction to create good lighting settings from scratch (don't), or find a similar vanilla situation, take the lighting settings from them, and edit to reflect the differences in mood between that interior and yours.

A little bit goes a long way with lighting, so don't overdo any changes. Also, I almost made a mistake here. Don't forget the "Illegal to Sleep" box if your interior is a building. (No one cares if the player sleeps in a cave)

Now what?

We Click the Static tab and scroll down to the Hlaalu interior pieces. Statics are divided into many sub-categories by name which are listed in detail at http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=3837
Enable grid snap and angle snap:

Before we start, we want to check the exterior for this claim.

My claim is #7. That building is ex_hlaalu_b_12. You should always check to make sure your interior matches the exterior shell. You should also load up the actual exterior in the construction set and make note of the angle of the door for your building. Every interior needs a northmarker (found under the statics tab) and that north marker needs to point north. How do you find north? Simply take the z rotation of the exterior door and subtract from it the rotation of the interior door. This gives the angle for your north marker. Some sets might be special though, so be certain to make sure it lines up properly. If there are problems, switch the numbers you subtracted around and that should work.
If you are unsure how your claim should fit the exterior, just place shell pieces to fit the edges. Interiors are generally a little bit larger than their exterior. (More so with imperial forts and Indoril claims, but still not much). Another idea, if your exterior is strange. Look at other interiors with your exterior's shell. This is only a bad idea when dealing with Hlaalu claims. These often don't fit the exterior on a hilarious level. Generally we opt to do it right, though when it comes to Hlaalu guard towers, we begrudgingly accept Bethesda’s standard layout.

Looking at my claim, it appears it should be shaped as such. I based this off the interior for Ules Manor, ignoring the staircase at the back that I felt made the building too deep. This interior is supposed to have two or three homes inside. I can envision the splits in a way that would make for three homes.

I have made the splits here. Look through the pieces of each set and familiarize yourself with them. Some sets have special ceilings (Hlaalu, common, and Indoril) that you have to check. This is easy to miss, but important nonetheless. I won't go into specifics about the individual placement of interior shell pieces. I trust that you can handle that unaided. Doors are naturally under the door tab, and are specific to the tilesets. When placing doors in doorjambs, generally gridsnap gets them into place, however in my experience some doors have to be manually adjusted (Imperial non-loaddoors are the only ones I can think of offhand). Always check your doors to make sure they rest properly in the doorjamb.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will only show myself making one room. This should be enough of a demonstration.

A 2x3 room with a single square for the entrance. Probably the most important step of this creative process is deciding what you want to make. One of the residents is a Redguard abolitionist according to the claim description, but I think I will put him in another room. I think this will be the home for a small scum of the earth Breton family. (Two parents and an adult daughter) Throughout this interior, the furniture will be de_p, which can be found under the static tab. I'm going to place a few pieces to get the general layout of the interior going. de_p doesn't have a wallscreen, but you can use furn_de_screen_guar_01. I used a de_p_closet_02_de_fclot, which is a closet with female clothes, and de_p_chest_02_mclothes3, which is a small chest with male clothes, to show that this house is has more female residents than male residents. Beds can be found under the activator tab. The ones I used here are: active_de_p_bed_05, a poor double bed for the parents, and active_de_bedroll a single sized floor mat for the daughter. Rugs are Furn_de_rug_big_08 and furn_de_rug_01. There are shape and color variations around these in the static tab.

Next up is placing things on the surfaces. This isn't always much of a problem, but de_p furniture hates you and your loved ones. It requires special care. Below you can see a light_de_lantern_05_128_Carry (from the light tab) placed on a poor bookshelf. I had to rotate it a single degree to make it match the slanted lie of the shelf. Double click items to open up a window that allows for specific rotations. Note though that you shouldn't click save as that edits all instances of the item, dirtying your file.

Looking at the whole shelf, you can see that sometimes you will have to rotate more or less than a single degree. It should be done with precision and a careful eye. It isn't nearly as hard or tedious as it sounds.

I'm not going to fill this review with every instance of me placing and rotating items to fit poor furniture (that would be unnecessary and excessive), but it is always important to check everything you place. Also, try to make things interesting and give the NPCs personality. The Father is a terrible drunkard who fears people will come after him for the money he owes. The other roles are less defined, but they do feel like people.

The final step is to look over the finished product. Check how your placed lights look in game, as the CS doesn't always show things the same way, and overall make sure you can maneuver through the interior and that it looks good.

Entering the room things seem good, but upon closer inspection I see two problem spots


The strange yellow lights seen in these two images (and highlighted on the chair) are a strange thing that you need to watch out for with light objects. Generally, like in the case of the mazte, it is because an object is too close to a light. The chair is a strange case I can't quite explain though, and serves to highlight the fact that you should always check your work. I fixed these problems by removing the mazte (three on one shelf was a bit much anyway for a house), and moving the chairs out. Though I am not going to upload screenshots to show the fixes, rest assured that they were made easily.

Some things I want to address that didn't come up during this tutorial:
1: custom objects. The simplest way to do this is to find another object with the desired model, click the name until it becomes a text box, then enter a new name (preferably one that makes it apparent you made the object). After you hit return, the CS will ask you if you want to make a new object or edit the old one. Select that you want to create a new object naturally. To edit the contents, double click the name of the object in the object window, then find the contents in the other tabs, and drag them into the container. If you want multiples of an object, and don't want to drag them all in, simply click the quantity number, turning it into a text box, and enter your desired quantity. After all of this, click save.

2: Cleaning files. Sometimes while modding, you might edit things you don't mean to edit. (Click save on an object you don't mean to, creating more custom objects than you actually need, etc.) Using TESAME, open your file. Going through the list, select any object you didn't make yourself, and then press the spacebar, then delete. Save your file, and then you are done. (Note, this isn't for interiors, but never delete land textures. It is so important that you don't do that when modding exteriors that it should be mentioned in an interior tutorial)

This concludes this tutorial. Remembering to place things properly, check your work, and be creative will ensure that you are successful in your modding. It isn't particularly difficult to mod well; just don't rush yourself.

Tutorial by Thrignar Fraxix



Pathgridding

Haplo wrote:
A quick tutorial on how to use pathgrids in Morrowind. Note that Oblivion uses the same pathgrid system and the interface in Oblivion's CS is identical.

Pathgridding for Dummies in Morrowind

<> A. Click on the Pathgrid icon or use World->Edit Cell Path Grid.


<> B. This will bring up a small window. Generate default grid isn't interesting, as it will make the same mistakes as the AI. Granularity defines the size of the squares created by the red path nodes (red == default) when a default path grid is generated. Save user points seems to have no purpose, user points are always saved anyway. You can check it just to be sure.


<> C. So, leave the path grid window open, and go to your render window.


Here are the rules of making pathgrids:
1. Path nodes can be selected and moved just like any other items.
2. However, they can't be rotated. (That would be useless anyway.) A right click creates a new path node.
3. Default path nodes are red, custom path nodes are blue. Moving a red node turns it to blue.
4. Path nodes can be deleted just like items, with the delete key.
5. In this mode, it's the selected node that is used as the pivot point when rotating/centering/etc. the view.
6. With a node selected, ctrl + left click on another connects both; or if they're already connected, disconnects them.
7. Pathways and path nodes are especially useful at places where the AI has trouble navigating. A flat, large, straight hallway without obstacles won't even need one, but a place with stairs, door jambs, ramps, and other obstacles will need a detailed grid.

A good example is the famous cavern of Addamasartus, near Seyda Neen:

As you see, the grid follows the ledge leading to the entrance. If you delete this in a test esp, then start a new game with that esp, you'll notice that the smuggler in the first piece won't react adequately. Attack her from the entrance with ranged weapons, and she'll charge straight at you and get stuck in the elevation. With the path grid, she knows that to reach the entrance she has to pass through the ledge.

<> D. Finally, once you've made the path grid for your cell, click on Save. This saves your path grid and closes the path grid window, returning the render window to its usual mode.

Pathgridding for Dummies in Oblivion

Everything works in pretty much the same way as in Morrowind. Automatically generated points are now orange, though, and the blue color is reserved for the "best path". NPCs will try to follow the best path to their destination.

To mark a path node as being along the best path, press Alt and click on it. Unmarking it works in the same way.

It is also possible to clearly separate parts of the cell with subspaces so that NPCs will know they can't reach it directly. This is important because the AI in Oblivion is able to go through cells, so they can try to find a way through loaddoors and other cells to reach the subspace.

Pathgridding for Dummies in the Future

Starting with Fallout 3, Bethesda has replaced the path node system with a navigation mesh system, so it is unlikely this tutorial will be needed for TES 5.

Tutorial by Gez




Added to Handbook by Kaziem on 4/10/16
Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:32 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Seneca37
Lead Developer
10 Feb 2014



Item Placement and Rotation Tutorial

[color]Added to Handbook on 4/10/16 by Kaziem[/color]



ItemPlacementTutorial.pdf
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Post Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:21 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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