Hi everybody, here I am, back with an update.
I spent these doing some research and thinking about a method to apply before diving into the project.
The main questions are:
Here's what I came up with:
- How big is the world I want to create and how to keep everything on scale
- How to achieve consistency while laying out the terrain (what are the rules to follow?)
- Flat or concave???
- How to populate the terrain with large amounts of rocky areas and woods and how to keep a low poly count
- how to organize the assets (build everything in a single .blend file, or create more blend files to be merged in a single scene)
- Bonus: Versioning
1- The creators of GoT opening said in an interview that the idea was to set the sequence on a 10x10ft diorama. So I would stick to that and make a 3x3m terrain. Proportions and distances will be set while drawing a pencil and paper version of the map.
2- As you can see from this reference, the terrain is made of thin, stacked layers of wood. The rule then is to build the main parts of the tarrain using several layers on top of each other. The rue is to use only horizontal and vertical faces and keep the same thickness on each layer. Rocks and terrain features will be added later. See reference
3- The original GoT opening map is built into a concave surface, (see same reference) as it would be on the inner side of a globe. I would love to do that because the effect is great when the horizon is visible in the frame.
I think that it will be a very difficult task. Stacking layers of wood on a flat surface is easy, but i have no idea on how to do that on a curved surface. Any idea?
4- The easiest way I’ve found to create the wood layers is by drawing curves from a TOP ORTHO perspective, transform them to mesh, then extrude along the z axis to create thickness.
This leads to a problem when I want to add stones and pines as an hair particle system, as shown below:
Example 1: this was made by drawing the curve to set the shape, then using the curve as a knofe project on a subdivided plane. By doing that I can then weight paint on the subdivided plane and set a vertex group on the particle system which will put the rocks where I want.
The disadvantage is that the plane doesn’t keep the neatness of the curve (as you can see in the red circles) and the face count is high.
Example 2: This shows the problem that occurs when using the curve converted to a mesh: the outline is perfect, buth the subdivision of the surface is horrible, and cannot be painted properly.
Example 3: This example uses the extruded curve as the actual terrain, while the rocks partycle system sits on a hidden subdivided plane.
Which of this 3 approaches do you think is the best? Does anybody have more suggestions?
5- The idea is to set a scene with the complete terrain, particle system, cameras and lamps and then 4 more blend files with the 4 “castles” and their animations, which once finished will be imported in the main scene.
Do you recommend this approach?
6- Bonus: in order to keep everything nice and tidy, I want to use a versionign system that allows me to keep track of the changes I make to every blend file, texture etc…
I think Mercurial is the right tool do do that. Since I’m on Windows and I like GUIs I’m using SourceTree, which is free and available also for Mac and Linux.
A good tutorial on Mercurial (although a long one) can be found here:
Inthe next days I'm going to sketch on paper a credible map of the world and I hope to come up with a definitive workflow for the terrain, in order to begin modeling it.
Thank you for the suggestions you may wish to provide!