INTERIOR SHOWCASE GUIDELINES FOR TAMRIEL-REBUILT
Before you begin developing your showcase, take a look at these guidelines. This thread serves as a way to prevent some common mistakes before uploading a plug-in. It's a lot easier to read this than fixing the same errors a dozen times over. There is a lot of information here – so be sure to come back and re-read the various sections while you are making your showcase. They'll make more sense as you work with the Construction Set.
TR – Tamriel Rebuilt
MW – Morrowind
TES – The Elder Scrolls
CS – Construction Set software
First and foremost: When modding for TR, we only use vanilla content (Morrowind, Bloodmoon, and Tribunal) for our work. Additionally, you may use anything from TR_Data, the newest version of which can be downloaded from our Downloads section (scroll down to "Modder Resources"). (Even if you have TR_Data already, please check if it's up to date!)
NOTE: (Before doing the following, BACKUP your current version of MW ) It is highly advisable for you to use a mod-free version of MW to create your showcases, and subsequent work, for TR. If you have anything in the meshes directory (.. Bethesda Softworks\Morrowind\Data Files\Meshes) or the textures directory, please move them someplace else, or create a fresh install of the game. The TES:CS will use these files instead of those in the Morrowind/Bloodmoon/Tribunal and TR_Data bsa files. Some mods have changed the shape of some of the objects so that they no longer match the originals. A list of acceptable mods will be forthcoming.
Interior showcases should be either a 2-story building or tomb (a minimum of 3x2x2 pieces in size), or a cave (see notes below) with changes in elevation (a minimum of 12 cave pieces used). The style of the building does not matter, but since we are done, for the time being, with the Telvanni area of the mainland, Telvanni interiors are no longer being accepted.
Cookie Cutting means copying an existing interior (such as a Bethesda one or any interior from TR) or any part of it, and using it as your own. This is NOT acceptable. This does not mean that you can not look at other interiors to see how items have been used or what items are acceptable within your interior or even get ideas for your showcase. If you see something you like, go to the “Object Window” in the CS, find the object(s) there and drag it into your showcase. Finally, note that most of Bethesda's interiors would not pass a TR showcase review, so don't copy their stuff.
Gridsnap is an essential part of constructing interiors from scratch. We want to see if you can use gridsnap well, and if you can make hard-to-gridsnap pieces work properly using it. It's the raster button, with 4 horizontal and 4 vertical lines, in the tool bar area of your Construction Set. All interiors use it, except those that have prefabricated shells. Keep it small so we can fix all the errors in a timely fashion. Typical values for grid-snapping are 64, 128, or 256.
We call objects floating if they aren't resting completely on a surface. This is quite easy to deal with. Just press 'f' and, most of the time, the item will fall down to the surface. This doesn't work for some lights; you must lower those manually.
Many MW furniture pieces, and some TR pieces, require pressing "f" twice for it to sit flat on a surface. Always check that large pieces of furniture (tables/bookshelves/etc..) are lying flat on the floor before placing other objects on top of them. It's sometimes a real pain to fix everything afterward.
An object is bleeding if a part of it is within another solid object. For example, a chair can be stuck in a floor. To deal with most of these, raise them above the surface and press 'f'. Or just move it out of the other object.
Proper rotation of objects is vital for creating great interiors. That is why it is a requirement for all interior showcases to use furn_de_p furniture. If you look closely, you'll notice that objects such as de_p bookshelves and tables are not flat, and therefore simply placing an object over a de_p surface and 'f'ing it down is not acceptable. Try double clicking the item and adjusting the X, Y, and Z rotation values accordingly, until it rests naturally on the uneven surface. Remember; practice makes perfect.
When placing items on top of furn_de_p furniture, it is helpful to go into wireframe mode ("w"), to see the triangles that make up the piece of furniture. Try to position objects (misc/statics) so that they sit on only 1 (one) triangle of the piece of furniture. Once you have the object over one triangle, press "w" again to return to normal mode and rotate accordingly. Very large objects (i.e. open books, platters) are very difficult to position properly on furn_de_p furniture because they never fit on just one triangle. These items are best placed on floors, beds or shelves
WARNING: We now have flat versions of de_p furniture in TR_Data; these start with TR_furn_de_p. Do NOT use them in your showcase! They're fine in actual interiors (particularly when you're putting potions or otherwise fragile stuff on them), but your showcase needs to be proof that you can work with the rough models too.
Checking To See If An Item Is Floating Or Bleeding:
TR is pretty strict about items bleeding into one another or floating. We like our interiors to be as realistic as possible. Most items should rest perfectly flat against each other (some exceptions are sacks and clothing). In order to check to see if items are sitting flat on each other, left mouse click the item sitting on top of the other item. You will see the selection box (the red/green/blue lines). Where the two items meet, you should see 4 lines that make up a square (usually these are the red and green lines). These 4 lines should appear as dotted or dashed or sometimes they will flicker on and off as you rotate the view. This usually indicates that the item is sitting perfectly flat on the other item. If the lines are solid then the item, on top, is most likely floating. If the lines are missing, then the item, on top, is most likely bleeding. If some of the lines are missing, then the item, on top, needs to be rotated more.
Sacks are made of a burlap-like material (probably Wickwheat), which is easily deformed. Because we can not change the mesh of the sacks to fit every conceivable shape, we allow sacks (and pillows) to bleed a bit into their surroundings. This does not apply to cushions – cushions should not bleed into anything, nor anything into them.
Rugs are allowed to bleed into the floor (especially the really thick ones). Items place on a rug are not allowed to bleed into the rug. And items that are partially on a rug, must still have all legs resting on either the rug or the floor. It is highly advisable, for showcases, to have pieces of furniture either totally on a rug or totally off a rug.
Treat all cave surfaces as through they are solid rock. Typical misc/static/container objects should not bleed into the floor or wall of a cave. Exceptions would be beams, ramps platforms – large structural elements should bleed into the rocks. But remember, that the in_cavern_ramp(s), ex_de_docks_(s), and ex_common_plat_(s) do not have level boards and item placed on them may need to be rotated slightly to sit properly. The exceptions to this cave rule are mud and snow caves. Neither of which is allowed for a showcase.
Pointy Bottom Bowls:
These bowls are a real headache for most people. We ask that you, first, rotate the bowl so that it would sit on the surface as if the bottom was flat. Then you can bleed the bowl into the underlying surface. How much to bleed is up to you - but it must be consistent throughout the interior. I prefer to bleed the bowl until all the pointed bottom triangle are no longer visible. Just be sure to check inside the bowl and make sure the underlying surface does not show.
In TES III: Morrowind there are two main styles; Dunmer style and Imperial style. These should not be mixed, as Bethesda Softworks did not mix them. To tell them apart, look at their name in the editor. Dunmer objects have 'de' in their name, like furn_de_p_chair. Imperial objects have 'com' in their name, like furn_com_r_table. Some Imperial objects can be used in Dunmer interiors, however, such as bottles and sacks.
Furniture is also divided between rich and poor. These shouldn't be mixed either. You can tell which is rich and which is poor by looking at the color of the wood. The richer the furniture, the darker the wood. You can also read it in the name: _p_ = poor, _r_ = rich, _rm_ = middle class.
Interior Cell Settings: Lighting/Water Level/Illegal-to-Sleep-Here:
Most plug-ins in the showcase still have default light settings. This is seen as incorrect because default light settings are way too bright for interiors. This can be fixed quite easily. Go to the main menu option “World”, and click on “Interior Cell...”. Find your cell (if you have it loaded and have been editing it, it should be the first one to pop up) and then adjust the Ambient/Sunlight and Fog settings. The default sunlight settings are above 200, while most interiors should be beneath 50. Try to find another interior that is like your own and copy all the light settings. Also, be sure to check the "Illegal To Sleep Here" box. If your showcase has water – this is where you would adjust the height of the water.
TR files will have a dependency upon TR_Data.esm. TR_Data.esm requires both Tribunal and Bloodmoon. If you have both expansions, please feel free to download and use TR_Data.esm. It greatly expands the amount of materials and objects available to use in the Construction Set.
Please do not have dependencies upon anything other than Morrowind, Tribunal, Bloodmoon, or TR_Data. Thanks!
The Northmarker is a static that is used by the game to correctly orient the minimap. Please make sure you include one in your cell, outside of the actual interior walls!
Fitting the Exterior:
While magicka does exist in Tamriel, it's important to make sure that if your interior has an exterior shell, it fits! (NOTE: Interior tiles are bigger than exterior tiles; this discrepancy in size is considered OK.) If your exterior has a little square building, don't create a star-shaped interior for that building!
This is not that critical when making a showcase, since we do not require you to specify the exterior. However, when make buildings try to incorporate the stairs into your 3x2 shape, and keep 2nd floors or basements above or below the ground floor, respectively. In other words – you are the architect of this structure, could someone build it to your design?
While working in the CS, you will inevitably modify something that you had no intention of modifying. This may be static/misc objects or other cells. It is important that these minor changes do not appear in your showcase file. A file with such modifications is called “dirty”, and needs to be “cleaned” before submission to TR.
There are 2 acceptable ways to clean your file. The first is with a program called TES:Advanced Mod Editor (TESAME).
The links to TR and PES do not appear to be working. The file is below.
Open TESAME, then select your mod. Delete everything from it except the following: TES3, any object you made yourself (such as a note), and any cell you created/modified. The plug-in should then be clean. Don't forget to save it. To delete an item in TESAME, right click on the item. It should get a black background. Then you can press the “del” key or press the menu option “Items” then “delete”. And again don't forget to save (it doesn't ask if you want to save changes when you close the program), and I'd suggest using a new name – just in case you deleted something accidentally.
The second way to “clean” your file is with TES:CS itself. Start CS, and go to the menu option “File” then select “Data Files”, just like you were going to edit your file. Select the Master files that you used, and set your file as the “Active File” - just like normal. BUT, before you press “OK”, press the “Details” button. You should now see a long list of everything in your file. Now you can highlight the various items you'd like to delete from your file (don't select any REFR items under your CELL – this is the stuff you put in) and press the “delete” key on your keyboard. This will pop-up a “Mark As Ignored” window. Press “Yes” to ignore everything you've selected. Close the “File Details” window, and now click on “OK” in the “Data Files” window. This will load your file and ignore what you just selected to ignore. Now save your file, using a new name – just to be on the safe side - and your file is clean.
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