The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered. Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

The next chapter in the highly anticipated Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the makers of the 2006 and 2008 Games of the Year, Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Luftahraan Modelling #1 - 26/01/2015

About Luftahraan with 5 comments by Arkaash on Jan 26th, 2015

Hello everyone! Today I have an update for you from DoubleFelix, our primary architecture modeler. He would like to talk to you about his experiences modelling for Luftahraan and, in particular, the processes behind his model of Sovereign Hall.

Hello, I’m Doublefelix, Archon Entertainment’s newest modeler, and I would like to welcome you to the first episode of my Modelling Corner series where I say a few words about and post images of my creations for Luftahraan.

This is the new version of Sovereign Hall, Luftahraan’s keep, which is my biggest contribution to the mod so far. The creation process took one and a half months from start to finish, yet that time was but a breeze since I was following my passion for modelling in video games. The keep is easily twice as big as it was before, something that began to raise concerns when it comes to optimisation. The triangle count is about 40K which is comparable to the entirety of Windhelm Palace’s exterior. In order to raise the polygon budget of the castle, special care has been taken to ensure that the neighbouring buildings are less graphically demanding. Similarly, the detail of the keep itself is concentrated only in places normally visible to players, with only basic geometry used for areas that they are unlikely to reach during normal gameplay. Als,o to ease the size of the mod and gain performace, there are no custom textures employed in the keep (save for the custom banners).

Now, enough on the technicalities - let’s dive into the design. The city of Luftahraan is an independent Kingdom set between two major powers, Skyrim and High Rock. In order for it to have remained independent all these years, the city’s major structures and fortifications have needed to be impressive enough to humble any potential besieger.

The castle is very old, dating back to the 1st Era of Tamriel, when it was established as a base of operations for Luharaan and his expedition as they sought to settle around the tower. No more than a fort then, the building was expanded and rebuilt multiple times during its extensive history. This justifies the use of various textures and designs since available materials and craftsmen changed as the years went by. As Luharaan was of Nordic descent, I went for a style closely resembling that of Windhelm Palace. Since Windhelm is one of the oldest human settlements in Skyrim it was a perfect reference to how something from the 1st Era would look.

Everything began from the simple concept sketch on the left. Sharp arches stack on top of each other, and form arrows pointing up, emphasizing the verticality of the structure. The soft and round ornaments are left as a minority to the hard edged elements to give the impression that relatively crude methods of construction were used. Finally, the whole structure is elevated on high foundations to emphasise the Sovereign’s superiorty over all of the denizens of Luftahraan.

In terms of formal architectural style, I have been inspired by the German Gothic period of architecture. Most of the upper sections are taken directly from the top of Windhelm Palace. I think that that element is very nicely designed but because of its unfortunate placement, it goes unnoticed by the majority of the players - I for one only noticed it when browsing Creation Kit’s assets library. It went through only minor changes, mostly for optimisation’s sake (deleting unnecessary detail). This borrowing of elements from existing structures serves two purposes. First it saves a lot of time on development, and second it ensures that the new model matches Skyrim’s existing art style.

Keep_screenshot_3.jpg

An important part of my modelling pallet is an all-axis variety. What I mean is that a wall should not be simply flat and two-dimensional, even when it has a detailed texture - it should also go inward and outward. For example, whenever another texture or element is used in the Keep, it is either protruding or receding by at least a small amount. This technique emphasises the difference in styles, making the object that much more interesting and giving the model its distinct silhouette.

I have been a part of Luftahraan’s development for around two months as of the time of writing, and I find it to be the best decision I’ve made in a while. Working for a project like this with other people is highly motivating, which leads to more asset creation. It’s a great field to experiment with modelling techniques as well as to learn the necessary steps to ensure that the end result is playable. Eventually myself, along with fellow modellers Tepa and Yurtex, will recreate the majority of the city in order to make it more unique and a more spectacular place.

Next time, DoubleFelix will talk about some of the houses he has built in the city, and how he has adjusted some of the buildings and fortifications around the city to match the style of the keep.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 292)
Guest
Guest Jan 17 2015, 6:47pm says:

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Goat‪
Goat‪ Jan 16 2015, 5:54pm says:

Skyrim's story of terrorizing dragons is very unoriginal and overused out of a majority medieval fantasy stories as it's been done many times before with minor differences.

I remember reading something about Bethesda losing their original story writer so whomever they had as the replacement was surely an amateur who couldn't even think of anything very creative which hasn't been done many times before, otherwise it's because they wanted an easier to create story to cut development time a little.

I can understand bringing back dragons for monster variety but not at the expense of a original story, Daggerfall Morrowind and yes even Oblivion had more original stories compared to Skyrim's, I haven't played Arena so I can't comment on it.

I don't mind if you wish to vote me down, I am entitled to express my opinion just the same as every one else is. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Dec 18 2014, 2:37am says:

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Guest
Guest Sep 5 2014, 10:06pm says:

no idea how to download a single mod help plz and I im looking for weapons armor and magic for skyrim

0 votes     reply to comment
LordGuido
LordGuido Sep 11 2014, 7:17am replied:

steam workshop...
just press the huge green button subscribe if you see a mod you want.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lordkarranyi
Lordkarranyi Aug 26 2014, 6:33am says:

is there a crusader mod ?

+2 votes     reply to comment
maxammo
maxammo Aug 27 2014, 9:12pm replied:

Try looking at Skyrim Nexus, there you will find one.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Broly(TrunksEdition)
Broly(TrunksEdition) Aug 14 2014, 10:28pm says:

is there an actual download?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DonBre
DonBre Jun 11 2014, 8:02pm says:

Bought it right the way when it came out $60 still worth it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Guest Apr 26 2014, 3:28pm says:

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
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Highest Rated (18 agree) 10/10

Skyrim is what Elder Scrolls is supposed to be. Gone is the flowery sunshine of Cyrodiil, and instead we get cold, barren Skyrim with snowstorms and people and environments that could really fit into the Middle Ages or a natural Fantasy World. As a person who's been modding ES since Morrowind and playing since DAggerfall in 1996, I can only see this game as a natural and excellent heir to the series. Take it from me - Skyrim is Greatness!

Nov 11 2011, 12:22pm by Antiscamp

Lowest Rated (11 agree) 5/10

Some may claim I'm trolling, but I'm not. I seriously didn't find much entertainment value in Skyrim, and I'm glad that I was playing it on loan rather than having actually bought it. It's Oblivion with a new coat of paint and some better conversation bits. It still doesn't have much of a main story, and the sword play is still questionable at best (Kotaku's one writer said the same thing a few weeks ago). I could go on -- but I think this'll probably get voted down anyway so what's the point? Also…

Dec 8 2011, 12:57am by TheUnabridgedGamer

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Released Nov 10, 2011
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