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mooncactus
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[WIP] Redoran Building Exteriors, by Mooncactus and Plasmax

Right, let's get this thread rolling. Plasmax and I have been entrusted with recreating the buildings seen in Ald 'ruhn, a predominantly redoran town in Vvardenfell. We've been asked to produce something between what they look like in Morrowind and Dragonborn, and most importantly stick to the 'redoran' theme very closely. That being said, we and other developers have agreed that there is definitely room for more detail where these buildings are concerned. Not to say that we plan on going nuts; there is something nice about the simplicity of the redoran architecture, however we feel that we can emphasize the design and detail without going too mad. 

I was discussing this with Taj and Robbin yesterday and a lot of good ideas were created. One thing we all noticed was that the culture and history of House Redoran isn't shown much in their architecture, or in their surroundings in general. So, we came up with a bunch of things that us artists can bare in mind to create a richer redoran 'feel' to Ald 'ruhn, and possibly other redoran areas of Vvardenfell:

- bone and ceramic decoration (shells in particular, redoran loves armored creatures) - warrior culture - old warrior heirlooms, war trophies - historical prints, tie-dyes and mosaics of important historical events, glorifying ancestors - ceramic wall tiling - Redoran fine art being carved from glass formations taken from volcanic deposits - glass deposits around red mountain- ald'ruhn mass produces glass items for morrowind? -  a lot of their decoration would be geared towards honoring their ancestors or their  accomplishments as warriors, a lot of weapons and armors on stands. Rough, minimal art - redoran are a very functional, battle-ready house who like to stick to the old ways of their ancestors - they hold honor and heritage in very high regard -Remember key attribute for each house: Hiaalu=wealth, Telvanni=magic, Indoril=religion, Redoran=war.   As you can see these are rough notes but you get the idea.   I've started modelling the outer wall for Ald 'ruhn. People have been talking about making it a closed off town (which I think isn't a bad idea since you'd have thought the redoran council would've sorted better security after Morvayn manor got fucked), so I've modelled it so that it can be quite big if need be- but incase people change their minds it can also be scaled down a bit.      I've stuck closely to reference from Morrowind, but incorporated a bit more of a 'reinforced' design to it. As said above, the redoran are into their shells and bone, so I thought a stacked shell look might be quite neat. If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them, and I'm always on the lookout for more reference :) back to work!

Edited by: grumpycat on 12/08/2014 - 18:00
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Here's the texturing so far.

Here's the texturing so far. There's still more to do, like adding cracks and chips to reveal the brick underlayer. I'll be doing a couple of different textures to break up the repetitiveness too. Right now I'm not sure about the shell-like crevices I've sculpted, so I may look over those when I'm less tired. It would also be nice to get some opinions from you guys about it :)

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Cool! These buildings really

Cool! These buildings really needed an overhaul, can't wait to see them finished :D

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Hey Moon. Hat to kill

Hey Moon. Hat to kill ur buzz, but textures will be UV'd to tileable textures.

Its a little different to texturing sunder because you have to carefully Cut seams for the texture to tile correctly across the mesh. Using tileables has numerous advantages - it maintains visual consitency across assets, the textures do come out higher resolution in game, and its far less taxing performance wise.

Shout out to Rav for giving me a hand with my stuff too :)

For example, take a look at the textures below that i have done for the basalt's on Azuras Coast. I sculpted the texture in zbrush using some tiling methods (i can point you in the right direction if you want to have a go). Then textured it in PS. I made the low polies in Maya, and overlapped the UV shells ontop of each other. Also, see where there is a straight line across the mesh? I had to tile the texture across the mesh twice to achieve the correct resolution in game, this meant separating it into two pieces and having them match up seamlessly.

If its all good, i would like to sculpt up a texture for you. Perhaps we could work together (Eloth has get me onto the Ald'ruhn ground textures).

 

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mooncactus wrote: I've

mooncactus wrote:

I've stuck closely to reference from Morrowind, but incorporated a bit more of a 'reinforced' design to it. As said above, the redoran are into their shells and bone, so I thought a stacked shell look might be quite neat. If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them, and I'm always on the lookout for more reference :) back to work!  

I'm not so sold on the armored look of the walls. To me it seems like unnecessary detail - detail that doesn't really serve a practial purpose.

I remember we discussed alot about how the culture uses a lot of ceramics and clay in their architecture and design. I think the same applies here. To me the walls themselves would be constructed from materials that are abundant to the area - rocks as an inner structure, then a clay 'loam' covering. This of course wound get weathered and worn by the weather, so some of the underlying structure will be showing through.

 See the sketch i did below as a *rough* example. This will take only two (maybe three) tileable textures, and modeling wise it will keep it at a reasonable poly count. If its ok i might mock up a wall to show you an example :)

I keep mentioning it to quite a few people, but try researching into Naughty' Dog's texturing methods. The artists for Uncharted 2 & 3 have released some very insightful tutorials and run down's of their environment texturing pipeline, and i would highly recommend looking at them. Bradford Smith is a good person to google.

Gimme your thoughts Moon.

 

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So ignore the

So ignore the horrrrrrrendously sub-par model and texture.

But it conveys how i would go about doing the walls. From here i would go about giving the top of the walls a slight decorationn, perhaps even put some supporting wood or bone beams poking through. I would also fix the shape of the tall side supports - perhaps the tops of them could be segmented like in your idea. the inner structure could be a large bone pole, with stone built up around it then covered in loam.

This is where tiles could come in. Simple and not too many, maybe circling around the top of the walls or end supports. Break the large flat areas with little details.

I would also model some rocks poking out of the wall. two or three dotted around. 

Bah i have too many ideas.

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i should also say that when i

i should also say that when i mean clay, i mean a ashy composite that simulates clay :)

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Inspiring stuff there

Inspiring stuff there robbinsmoth :)

I had a couple of tiling rock normal maps lying around from a previous project, so I chucked them on the Fighter's Guild building. Just as a first test.

 

I liked your rock texture so I tested it out too, hope you don't mind :) Which z brushes do you like for rock sculpting so far?

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Damnit Squally, cannot unsee

Damnit Squally, cannot unsee this now :P

 

I know this is incredibly early, however since we're on the topic of texture; 

 

http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131229104640/elderscrolls/images/5/5d/Ald'ruhn_Fighters_Guild.png

 

Notice how smooth the stone/clay appears to be at both extremities compared to the center point of the building? 

 

Don't forget the windows! Otherwise this is an amazing start - loving everything here already :)

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plasmax wrote: Inspiring

plasmax wrote:

Inspiring stuff there robbinsmoth :)

I had a couple of tiling rock normal maps lying around from a previous project, so I chucked them on the Fighter's Guild building. Just as a first test.

 

I try to stick to as few brushes as possible :) these are literally the only ones i use: Standard, Move, Clay Tubes, hPolish/TrimDynamic.

I also usually put some alpha detail in too. Usually i will grab an image of some rock (or whatever is appropriate), run it through crazybump to generate a heightmap, and displace a plane in zbrush with it. I might spend an hour or so touching it up, but the end result is a detailed alpha that i will use in many projects.

Your stuff is awesome too! Good to see you know what your up to with textures. We should definitely keep in contact as i will need your talents :)

Try nail down a good loam/clay wall tiling texture in zbrush. Get super hi-res with it if you can, and i can show you some PS tricks for texturing :)

http://i.imgur.com/5NGwDiN.png

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...how long was I asleep?!

...how long was I asleep?! :D

Thanks Robbinsmoth. In truth I didn't realise we were doing it this way but I'm glad you told me early on, that wall was a quick job anyway :D I like the one you've done, I'm gonna nick the design and make a couple of variations ;) I must admit I still like the one I modelled but I may be able to find another use for it somewhere along the line. 

I'm quite happy about making tileable textures, it's fun and makes things a lot easier :D me and Plasmax are Zbrushing together. He's going to do the stone outerlayer for the wall, whilst I'm doing the brick underlayer. Dis gun be good :D

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Perhaps you could reduce the

Perhaps you could reduce the scale and male it some sort of fence?

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This looks great, I am not

This looks great, I am not sure if this would fit the lore, but I got a little idea and I won't mind if you just say: NO.

Here it is: What about making a quasi-leather roof bit on the wall, so it would serve as a shelter to beggars during ashstorms or even to people who need to travel during them. 

For the lack of finding better image, please take this only as a humble example. The roof piece is what matters. The construction could be made of bone spikes or whatever...

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ideally we need the aldruhn

ideally we need the aldruhn walls to be like moon's original, but stacked in CK, for various wall heights. The size of the wall means its best to have a tiling texture, but we can perhaps model in the odd crack and add AO through vertex colours

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Nice idea Rav. How do you add

Nice idea Rav. How do you add AO through vertex colours? Does this mean it's possible to sculpt and retain detail for unique models while using tiling textures?

 

Update, still very WIP. Using a tileable texture:

 

Made a tileable loam texture in photoshop and then sculpted a normal map in zbrush using the al_normal_map matcap. Looking for a way to push the resolution beyond 2048 and 1mil polygons without destroying my computer. Exporting a larger document size seems to give blurry results.

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DAYUM

DAYUM

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Reference http://www.imperia

Reference
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-15

If I can suggest something, I'd say that those building need:
A) dunmeri graffities (words written on the sides of the building, just like in the one on the top of the page)
B) everything insect-related is used to build those constructions, hence the insect legs as a pillars, insect substances used as a cement, or clay
C) a lot of small stained glass and circular windows

That's just my idea. What do you think?

PS. I also think that what Bethesda did in Dragonborn (texture on redoran houses) looks really nice.

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  In probable case I didn't

 

In probable case I didn't suceed in explaining what I was up to, here's plain Gimpwork, sorry for the ultra-noob work, I might end up drawing it with pencil tommorow, as today it's really late.

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Right, re-done the outer wall

Right, re-done the outer wall to people's preferences. I'm still keeping the other one for other stuff that will come later, but here's the new one. I'm gonna make a couple of different mesh variations so it doesn't look repetitive (I'll probably edit this one too), but the textures are tileable this time. There's a brick texture and a stony texture. The normal maps still need work and the diffuse colour isn't saturated enough but it's still a work in progress. 

 

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Can we just make one of the

Can we just make one of the houses into a giant croissant now? Please?

Anyway, while I was reading this post I was glad to see so many quality artists working on the project. I haven't been around very long but I loved Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and Morroblivion so I thought I should see if I could help out with Skywind. 

The stone textures for the main portion of the houses look pretty good, but I was curious about the curved spikes that come out of the sides and toward the front. Since so much in Ald'ruhn is build from the remains of living creatures I've always pictured these homes as being made from giant bones, specifically some form of vertebra in this case that had been packed and build around with dried clay/mud/volcanic ash in a kind of adobe building. 

http://img3.etsystatic.com/000/0/5497101/il_570xN.65342595.jpg

 

Tl;dr: Should the curved spikes be a different material than the main building structure?

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Infermium wrote: Can we just

Infermium wrote:

Can we just make one of the houses into a giant croissant now? Please?

As the home of a Breton baker?

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LOVE that prototype so far

LOVE that prototype so far plasmax. Some wear and tear is definitely in order for Redoran so the tiled textures are really cool and give a lot of detail to those structures. Maybe it's the texture doing this effect, but I like the lined detail on the inside of the ''dome'' around the dome. It gives a very skeletal appearance to the building which I find very fitting. 

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So i talked to Sik about his

So i talked to Sik about his concept design - and the design that Moon probably modelled off for her first mock up. 

I was mistaken in saying that the walls should be made of loam and stone. While we will use those material elements, i've heard from a few people that we should take it back to the Ald'ruhn theme of bone. 

this is Siks concept: http://i.imgur.com/BsVDmyr.png

And this is my interpretation: 

I've taken the bonemold/exoskeleton approach and used the segmented layers. I broke the uniformness up by changing the heights of the layer - it looked far too flat otherwise. I've also added in the awning idea and a lamp post. From here i would fix the top part and sort out a texture scheme, maybe add some edge decoration etc etc.

Moon, i don't wanna steal your shine, so if you want to take the model off my hands then your welcome. 

It's also probably best we sort out a proper design scheme to stick too. We need to all come to a general consensus as to how the buildings are going to look - ie what materials go where and what purpose do they serve. We need to get some concepts out, model + Tex a house and lock it down. Then that can be a point of reference for the design scheme.

Rav, Happy, eloth - back me up here. 

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Ok, clearly we've got THREE

Ok, clearly we've got THREE people working on this. I'll gently remind people that there are other buildings to work on. Hlaalu anyone?

I do like the robbin/siki concept. Could be used for Velothi?

 

I also like the idea of potentially having some vines crawling up the walls as seen in below. Give that aged look to a place. Oh and the insect poles for awnings are a must!

Also if we can aim for higher walls, this will actually help with smoother running in the city (less to render outside of the scene). So I really like the idea of massive everything.

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I know its a little off topic

I know its a little off topic but is anyone going to make some of the clothes seen in this picture?

I really like the foreign feel to the clothes seen in the image. And that guard's armour has to be a variant :)

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Kirkbride states in his

Kirkbride states in his concept art for the redoran buildings. "Basic brick & clay on reinforced resin frame"

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Boom

Boom

didnt have time to model the right one properly. Have to go. Bus leaves in ten. Bye!

Discuss discuss discuss.

@Sik: Good to know exactly what the construction is. I knew it was a brick/clay base!

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-LONG POST INCOMING-

[Statement Redacted]

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I HATE THE DRAGONBORN STYLE

I HATE THE DRAGONBORN STYLE OF REDORAN BUILDINGS!!! Oops caps lock was, oh well :|

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Agreed, I think it would be
Agreed, I think it would be better to have our own, like we're doing with the weapons and armor (assuming the modelers agree). Plus, it's best to keep off of the teat of Skyrim's recouces as much as we can so that we don't have to start over when TESVI inevitably comes around.
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I meant in looks. The

[statement Redacted]

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I feel like that should be

I feel like that should be put to a vote. Unless there's a specific reason to use the Dragonborn style.

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Because no matter which way

[Statement Redacted]

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Because no matter which way

Because no matter which way you look at it, Skyrim and Dragonborn are main installments. Making them look like their DB cousins would bring Skywind visually closer to Dragonborn and make playing this alongside the main game more visually and immersively cohesive. I've talked to Ravanna and Dragomir about it extensively. The new buildings will retain the color of the original, though.

Eloth and I completely disagree. Sorry fellas at this stage I don't want creative minds butting heads. Love everyones work, but we can only have one set of people working on this and Mooncatus and Plasmax were assigned, so are going to do the designs. There is too much confusion with so many artists having a say and no boundaries on who is doing the work.

Robbin and Sik, feel free to help with doing other designs that haven't already been allocated, like Hlaalu, Telvanni.

 

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Extremely sorry if I have
Extremely sorry if I have caused any confusion guys. Not my intention at all. I simply wanted to explore some designs myself. In the future I Will be sure to be less intrusive. Moon, plasmax, hope I didnt offend.
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Nothing to forgive dude :) we

Nothing to forgive dude :) we're all a team here, it's good to help each other out. 

Now for an update, I've been instructed by eloth on the kinds of walls that we need for the outer wall of Ald'ruhn, and here's what I have so far- A WIP gate/entrance, and WIP straight walls with guard towers. I'm working on corner pieces right now, so I'll post those up when they're ready :)

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holy shit these are great :D

holy shit these are great :D

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Thanks Rav :)

Thanks Rav :)

Little update- I made one of the corner variations I've been asked to do, a 90 degree wide bend

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These look great! :)

These look great! :)

So I take it we are beefing up Ald'ruhn a bit as well?

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Hopefully!

Hopefully!

New WIP, missing texture finesse and tons of UV fixes (and shader setup in nifskope). Spikes at front are blue because they have no texture.

Maya Screenshot:

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Aye! Unfortunately right now

Aye! Unfortunately right now the city is a CTD heaven so it will have to be closed off in order to make it into a playable state. This is a fantastic opportunity to give house redoran's architecture a facelift and it's looking amazing! 

 

THIS BUILDING IS SO HOT!!!

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Looks fantastic!

Looks fantastic!

One thing I'm not sure about is the bottom of the door. It has a flowery petal look (Elvish?) and I think it would be better to mold it more to the closed in style as the rest of the design.

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These are the current WIP

These are the current WIP textures we've been working on:

(ash texture courtesy of Ravanna)

@HappyChappy, you're definitely right there, thanks for the paintover :) *runs back to maya*

Thankyou all for your positive comments so far! We're busy bees right now :D

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Hope this is better. :)

Hope this is better. :)

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For the horn-like things that

For the horn-like things that come out of the sides, would it be possible to give them a few more polygons to make it look more rounded?

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Very nice. I would put

Very nice. I would put something else on the wall, rather than random faction and place names, though. Probably prayers or religious platitudes, such as those found in The Book of Dawn and Dusk.

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Thats better Mooncatus :)

Thats better Mooncatus :)

I wonder if we can extend the top housing part you have on door, to the rest of the walls? It would look esthetically more pleasing and actually if we put in turret holes, would be a better military strategy.

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Hey happy, wouldya mind doing

Hey happy, wouldya mind doing a quick paintover for me so I know what you mean about the turret holes? I'm putting the top roofy things on the rest of the walls right now :)

 

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happychappy wrote:

happychappy wrote:

Looks fantastic!

One thing I'm not sure about is the bottom of the door. It has a flowery petal look (Elvish?) and I think it would be better to mold it more to the closed in style as the rest of the design.

Why not a scarab, redoran's symbol, for the gate?

Yours Truly
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Also, on the subject of


Also, on the subject of decorative clutter, I picture shrines to the three, as the redoran house is bff's with the tribunal temple. This all looks so amazing!!!

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