Creating My Own Landscapes
Recreation of LICA woods footage:
I have taken an image that I took whilst in the LICA woods when I was filming for my practice and attempted to recreate this within the Skyrim creation kit, developing a modification *plugin that used all objects and textures from Skyrim itself. After placing all of the ground, snow, leaves, bushes, wood and trees myself from scratch, I then activated the *plugin within my Skyrim game to explore it myself. I took care to pay attention to every detail in as much depth as I could, even focusing where the snow was on the ground due to the melting of it away from the left side of the image. Below is the original image aside screenshots from the creation kit, and footage I have filmed in Skyrim at the modification. If you have played Skyrim, this recreation is currently where Riften used to be after I stripped out the preexisting city and built on top of it.
On the outskirts of the map in Skyrim, there is very little, as the majority of cities and civilisation settled within the centre of the map. This made the outskirts perfect for me to create my own small forest, covered in snow and with a mist. To do this I placed all of the trees and mist by hand, creating an eerie isolated feel to the forest. I am still learning and beginning with the software, which is why this is not as large as it could have been, however, it was all that was needed in order to record the necessary footage below.
On the edges of the map, there is a cavern that has plenty of natural light and foliage inside in order for it to still be a part of the surrounding landscape. Instead of creating my own landscape this time, I still wanted to keep the majority of the world that I inhabit, therefore I stripped everything out of this cavern, except the trees, bushes, and nature. Below are some screenshots of the cavern before I removed everything, and afterwards. I also manipulated the light source that would fall into the opening with the large tree, determining it would be best to come from the opposite side to what it was originally on in order to light my videos better. I found this part quite exciting as it reminded me of when I film in reality, in order to get the lighting right. The natural appearance of the cavern meant that there were multiple aesthetically pleasing aspects of the cavern to film, meaning there were multiple videos produced.
As my skills with the creation kit developed further, I decided to strip out an entire complex of a castle in Dragonsreach, and build on that land. What was left was very minimal, with hardly any rocky terrain or landscape left behind, meaning I began building my mountainous surface with intermittent patches of grass, in keeping with the general design of Skyrim itself. I then placed various trees on the terrain, attempting to create as natural a design as possible, varying the design of the tree as well as the rotations and heights of the trees. I believe the outcome of this design was successful as it does look very natural in keeping with the aesthetic of Skyrim and it’s usual appearance of landscapes. I also enjoyed the act of climbing the terrain to the top to look out over the landscape and inhabited the world for a longer period of time than others, exploring it further and inspecting different angles to film from as I hadn’t limited myself to filming from one place with one angle. I actively explored the terrain to find places to film alike to my actions when I film in Skyrim usually.