Skyblivion and Textures

ClearanceClarence
ClearanceClarence

Hello everyone!

I wanted to write a small article about the updated textures I am making for Skyblivion. I cannot write about the textures others have made since I don’t know a lot about them. As you know Oblivion is almost 12 years old at this time and as you can expect, the textures used are really, I MEAN REALLY, below where we want them to be currently. Sure, many of you may say that gameplay is more important than textures and I must agree with you on that one. After all the mechanics were what made Oblivion great in its day.

Let’s take a small trip down CC’s memory lane!

I remember playing the game so much on my Xbox 360 that I went through 4 copies over 6 years. The game was THAT good. And back in its day the textures were also amazing. I remember first reading about Oblivion in Play magazine published by Imagine Publishing back in 2008. I remember looking at the screenshots in the magazine while reading through it and thinking to myself that this game looks awesome. At the time I didn’t have an Xbox 360 or internet, so I could only dream myself away and my mind would take me to Cyrodiil. Eventually I got the Xbox and the game, and my parents didn’t see me for almost 3 months.  

Anyway, compare the textures to the standard today and you’ll know why we need to redo most of them. Currently we have about 4 – 5 texture devs on Skyblivion so work is slow and tedious, but great fun when we see our results in-game. I personally have been making textures for a while in Photoshop that I’ve published on the Nexus, but for Skyblivion we are all using Substance Designer and / or Substance Painter. I mostly use Substance Designer since the models I am making textures for is already done. Most of the 3D guys that are making new assets are using Substance Painter since it’s easier for them to texture they’re models in that software.

I have remade they Ayleid Ruins textures and there have been a lot of back and forth on those. To give you an idea of how many iterations of those textures it has been, the ayleid ruins textures are now on version 3.4 = or version 34, so a total of 34 updates have been made just for that set so far. To begin with I had zero experience with Substance Designer. At that time, the Texture dept. lead, Gorgulla helped me learn the inns and out of Substance Designer. After a while I started experimenting with the software and it didn’t take very long for me to become quite adept with it. I stared small, making stuff like metal and wood until I decided I wanted a bigger challenge. It was around that time I started working the Imperial Sewers, which looked good in its time but now looked like s**t.

The process of remaking the sewer textures were straight forward. First, I made the base shapes, added wear, added color, made the normal map and finally I added details. Detailing textures in SD is a work that never gets done. Many of the textures for Skyblivion will never be 100% done since there is always stuff we can do to make them better, but we must draw a line somewhere. As things are right now the Sewer textures is 99.875% done.

The biggest texture overhaul I have done for Skyblivion was as mentioned the Ayleid Ruins. I have worked on those since March 2017 so almost a year on and off. The texture set is big, it consists of 113 textures that will all need to be made in 4K. The originals were 1k and 512. Why make them 4K you might say? Yeah, I know your rig may not run it but don’t worry! ALL textures will be scaled down to 1k and 2k for those who want it! So, you can safely run this on your potato!

All in all, there is still a lot of textures to remake but we are slowly getting there!

Also, we really, REALLY need more texture artists with experience in SD or SP, if you don’t have it you are still wanted if you have any texture experience.

That’s all from me, sorry if the post became a bit narcissistic but then you know why I am not a writer.

Have a great day people
–CC

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