As per the Skype meeting today, we're looking into doing some visual updates on the Thirr River Valley to make it a little more alien and a little lest west gash meets grazelands. To that effect, we're looking for concept art or mockups of how the Thirr River Valley could be a little more different, without having to actually redo all the exteriors. The valley is expected to be a fertile region, though not inclined to much farming, fairly friendly and open to beginning level players. It is rocky and of course the river is its main distinguishing feature.
Ideas that were tossed out at the meeting:
Making the areas have more of an orange and green color scheme
Retexturing the ground and rocks accordingly
Changing the thick canopy trees into corkbulb trees or modifying their models (see this thread)
Texture updates to the thick canopy trees to reduce the leaf density and make the bark a little more alien
Removing some leaves from the thick canopy trees
While the Thirr River Valley is not expected to change wildly, ideas and inputs in the form of concept art and mockups would be welcome.
Copied from the skype meeting notes here:
Exterior Changes: generally, nobody seemed to want to make extreme changes to the region. A few changes were discussed, however:
-giving the TRV a different colour palette, specifically the vegetation including landscape textures but probably not the rocks, to make it a little more alien and differentiated from the Ascadian Isles. Specifically a green-orange palette.
-in general improving the NDIB tree textures to make them look more at home in Morrowind. (The leaf textures look a bit too solid, for instance, and the trunk appears to lack vertex shading).
-possibly tweaking the models of the NDIB trees, for example giving them corkbulb-like growths on the trunk, trying to cut down on polygons maybe by removing some of the leaves at the top.
-possibly adding or replacing old vegetation with new vegetation models.
-possibly add a few trees nearer but not right next to Old Ebonheart, for example on the grassy ridge to the southeast or near the infirmary.
Last edited by 10Kaziem on Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
As there were only a few of us able to make it to this week's skype meeting, we'd really like other people's opinions on this idea. So if you have a few minutes to explain your thoughts, we'd love to hear it.
The main idea was to do some tweaking, but not major updates, as the region already looks pretty good and we don't want to redo it, but rather do some minor changes that enhance the atmosphere. The main changes discussed were some texture changes (which are relatively easy to do). The only difficult change would be any changes to the tree model, which has not been confirmed, hence the discussion.
For me it is clear that the current n-dib trees need to change. They look worse than vanilla trees.
Altering and stressing the trunk shape of the trees is something the region can visually only benefit from, while at the same time changing, possibly reducing the ugly foliage.
If you change the bark texture, perhaps aim for a similar color tint as I have used it in my experiment, I think it will look and feel much more coherent in the end. This is mostly an overhaul of the assets, not very much a thing of the already-excellent exterior design.
But perhaps larger versions of the vanilla corkculbs as Melchior has made them, could still get added in in company of their smaller vanilla counterparts. I think that might look extremely nice together. And I think it wouldn't take extremely much effort. Possibly a thing of 1 or 2 hours of placing container plants at most.
Ah, I'd completely forgotten that we hadn't already adopted your changes. That explains things. If you still have them around, please do upload them here; they'll almost certainly be a better base to work off of than our current trees.
And yeah, I do think that adding the Melchior trees is worth considering, and shouldn't require too much work. (I'd be willing to add them myself). I suppose the question of whether they'd look right for the region would probably best be answered in this thread.
This all seems like a very good idea and a much needed adjustment.
I'm travelling, currently, and don't really have the time to follow discussions here, but I actually have some alternative corkbulb-trees done. Based on the MK-concept art, they are larger, rootier and more bulbous.
Looking at Melchior Dhark's trees again, I'd rather use them as a source of inspiration and make our own Corkbulb trees from scratch. As he pointed out himself in a post here, his trees really do favor a tropical climate. I have a mental picture of what I'd like go with instead - something more bulbous with tiny wart-like growths spawning from the main trunk. I'll try to whip up a concept soon-ish.
It's worth pointing out that these wouldn't necessarily need to be exclusive to the Thirr River Valley region.
_________________ -Head of NPCs: Skyrim: Home of the Nords
Only thing I'd suggest is maybe less rocks, or rocks conjoined into bigger meshes with smoother collision boxes. For those with companion mods, or if we do any escort quests, those rocks are hard for the PC to walk over in places, and would be worse for NPCs.
While perhaps not the best thread for this, I think it's probably better to keep TRV visual discussions in one place at the moment.
There are two fairly tedious changes I would like to see implemented in the TRV; probably more tedious to implement (on the CS end, at any rate) than what has so far been suggested here:
The first I consider pretty necessary, it's only a question of when we want to do it: the mountains to the east of the TRV need to be palette-swapped from West Gash to Ascadian Isles. Rather surprisingly, this will even make the border with inDev look better, as inDev already uses AI textures for the mountains. There will only be one disconnected patch of West Gash mountains left in the range, in TR_Mainland.
The second may well be a bit contentious; I think that Veloth's pilgrimage route should be widened to two tiles instead of one. Walking along it, it just doesn't feel like Morrowind's most important thoroughfare at the moment; I can't really visualize the constant throng of pilgrims and carriages bearing the dead.
As is generally the case when I propose these sort of CS edits, I'm quite willing to implement them myself if nobody else is willing. Either way, at soonest I think these changes should only be implemented after the upcoming release.
As for the original proposals in this thread, I still intend to draw some concepts, but have been in more of an Indoril clothing mood lately, so there will probably be more concepts on that front first.
Edit: also, in reply to Kevaar, I do intend to test out a few things with pathgridding eventually; both for TR's copious rocks as well as for its copious forests. The three solutions that come to mind at the moment are, as you suggest, cutting down on the rocks; adding solid pathgrid support in exterior areas with a high object density; and making extensive use of collision boxes to at least smooth out the rock collisions, though I would not be surprised if the latter solution might not exactly improve performance, which tends to be high already where such collision boxes would be needed.
While chatting on IRC I tossed together a rough concept for this visual update. This represents what I consider to be pretty much the most extreme, which is to say my preferred, extent of the changes:
Ideally, the Mournhold plants and the ferns would be replaced with new flora, as their shade of green won't really mesh well with this concept, and to make the region stand out more.
Bearded Iris (top right concept): I adjusted the shape somewhat. One or two variants should do.
Saltstrap (bottom left concept): I'd missed that this was intended to be a Deshaan Plains plant, but this could just be a smaller variant. Three variants should do.
Weeping Veil (center right concept): I actually imagined this as a flower with translucent petals rather than a mushroom. One or two variants should do.
Timsa-come-bys are also used fairly often, now that I check. There are two instances of Meadow Rye which can just be replaced manually.
NDIB trees (working off of Worsas' file above): aside from giving the trunks a bulbous protrusion I think the canopy needs to be made denser on the horizontal plane without adding much vertical depth to it, so as to provide a full canopy with minimal performance impact.
Ground textures replacements:
AI_Clover - very dense lichen (pale green)
AI_Dirt - I think this one still works
AI_Dirtroad - should be very deep brown *edit: a brown shade similar to Tx_BC_muck.tga might work as well.
AI_Grass - mixed lichen (pale green), grass (orange mixed with green)
AI_Grass_02 - I think this one still works
AI_Grass_Cobbles - we don't use this one
AI_Grass_Dirt - dirt should be very deep brown *edit: a brown shade similar to Tx_BC_muck.tga might work as well.
AI_Grass_Rocky - I think this one still works
I also think the roads should use WG_Cobblestones after all, but that'll be a quick change.
Perhaps because it's in the form a drawing, which makes it difficult to compare the region's current look, but Gnomey's changes look too extreme to me for what is supposed to be modest tweaks to the region. The heavy use of brown colors also looks a off-putting to me visually. There's not enough green. That said, I love the proposal for what the canopy trees should look like.
_________________ -Head of NPCs: Skyrim: Home of the Nords