Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Step by step landscape

Here's a little post showing me sculpting a landscape in the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset for my upcoming module, just for anyone curious about the process.

Here's how it started. I took the flat plane, filled it with a sand texture (for the ocean floor), and sank most of it so that it left only a little island in the middle, and a mainland on one side. I put a tower and an NPC on it for scale reference. Then I added a water plane, laid down a little blue tint for later, and started smoothing the island. I caught some of this on video, due to an unintentional Fraps activation, so here it is:

I continued adjusting the height and basic shape of the island until it was approximately roughed out to the right size and shape. Next, I started going over it again with a smaller brush for finer control.

Here, I started picking textures for the island and laying them on. Once I had the basic areas sketched on, I used the texture swapper to try different combinations of rock, dirt, and grass, until I found a combination that looked pretty good together.

After that, I added rocks, grass, trees, and bushes, as well as a dock and some rowboats. I adjusted the water and atmospherics too. Here's a brief video showing the island at this stage:

Then I threw on some textures for the mainland. Since this is off in the distance and shrouded in fog, it's not important to have fine detail, so I used camouflage-style large blobs of colour.

And here's a screenshot of the mainland from the lighthouse island.


  1. Is this mod released? I don't recognise the island.
    We got lucky that fraps has a mind of its own sometimes. ;)

    1. I thought I would have it released by now, but my initial plans of doing a speed build rather quickly turned into a more detailed project as I learned more about the toolset and what I could do with it. The scope remains the same, but it's turning out to be a lot more lively and detailed than I had originally planned.

      I have 2 or 3 more areas to build, 3 more encounters to implement, and a couple of quests to fill out before I release it.

      You can follow my mostly-daily updates on this module in my development diary threads, on BSN or Nexus.