Creating an Exterior Worldspace

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Creating an Exterior Worldspace

Note:It is assumed that the reader has a basic understanding of the layout of the creation kit and how it works.

This Tutorial covers the creation of a new worldspace and the basic functions of editing a worldspace. It is not a fully comprehensive creating/editing outdoor spaces guide and is meant for beginners.

Creating an exterior cell is different than creating an interior cell, especially at the beginning of the process. This tutorial will explain how to create a new exterior world from scratch. It will cover what some of the options are, how to build landmass, how to add grasses and textures to your landmass, and how to test it in game.

Creating the new Worldspace

In the creation kit, exteriors are divided into world spaces, the biggest being "Tamriel," (which is the outdoor expanse of Skyrim.) Unlike interior cells you cannot edit or make new world spaces from either the object window or the cell view window.

In the main creation kit window, you will see "File, Edit, World," and so on. Click on "World," and in the drop-down menu click on "World Spaces."

A large window will pop up showing all of the world spaces. From here you have two options for creating a new world space:

Option one: Right click anywhere on the list and hit "New"

Option Two: Right click on a world space and hit "Duplicate."

The difference between the two is minimal, if you click new a window will pop up, type in something you will remember and which is not the same identity as anything else in the creation kit. What you are typing is a way for the game and the creation kit to identify the world space. Note this is not the name of your worldspace in game, we will get to that later.

If you hit duplicate, you are going to want to select it and change the formid into whatever you want it to be, again something that isn't already used by the creation kit.

Note: making your formid and worldspace name similar will allow you to find it easier if you exit the creation kit and come back to your mod later.

You now have a new worldspace. But it's not quite that easy, we still have to change it in this window so that it is the way we want it.

Editing your new Worldspace

You have a basic worldspace, and at this point it might be wise to click ok so that the creation kit will register that you have a new world space in the cell view and render window.

In the cell view window you can click on the drop-down menu and select your worldspace. Notice there is a single cell called "Wilderness." For those of you who are making a large worldspace (like myself.) it is worth noting that the cell coordinates for this cell is 0,0. Knowing which coordinates each cell is becomes useful as you go along. If you are making a small world this isn't as useful.

It is my suggestion to rename your original cell before doing anything else. Select it by clicking on it a single time, then press F2. If you have specific plans for this cell then name it something appropriate, but for now calling it "coccell" will do, as you can always rename it later. (Note that is might be a good idea to name this to something appropriate before linking it to any interior cells later on.)

Now you can double click the cell to load it into the render window. You will see either a bunch of water or a lot of land. If you clicked new it will be water, if you duplicated another world it could be either.

Read this before you do anything else: If you look around in the render window, and you happen to go to another cell, the creation kit will automatically create a new cell for you. For those of you who want small, easy to load worlds you want to keep this in mind.

So, we have a bunch of land and a bunch of water. One is on top of the other. We can now change this to suit our needs. Click on World => Worldspace again. Select your world.

In this window you see a bunch of options. This Link will explain what those options do. I will go over over these briefly as well.

Name: This is the actual, in game name of your worldspace. If you want your doors that link to this worldspace to reflect where you are going, you need to fill this in.

Parent Worldspace: Select "None" if you want to optimize your worldspace the way you want it, or, if you know of a worldspace that looks and feels the way you are going to want this worldspace to look, select that one.

Under the "sharable data" box we have:

Use LOD data, use Land Data, Use....... all of these boxes are above their corresponding, manual input options. If you have anything other than "None" selected in "Parent Worldspace," you have the option to import that data into your own worldspace.

LOD Water Height: Why this option is here I don't know, but this is the height any long distance water is going to be viewed at.

LOD Water Type: This is what your water is going to look like at a distance.

Default Land Height: the height of your default land. This is how high it is before you edit it in the render window.

Default Water Height: Same as above only for water. No, there is no way to remove the water permanently that I know of.

Water: The type of water when viewed up close.

Climate: Controls what you see in the sky and the weather that occurs in your world space. Select one appropriate for it's location and climate. I would suggest either Skyrim or Default.

Map Stuff: I haven't played with this yet, but this basically allows you to upload your own map and gives the option for cloud formations over it.

The rest of these options are either self-explanatory or advanced options which I am not familiar with. For now, select your music, and if you only want the world space to be so large, click fixed dimmensions. If your worldspace is small, click small world to help with loading.

Once you have the world the way you want it click ok. Note that sometimes the creation kit will not update itself in the render window. If this happens try selecting the render window and hit F5. If that still does not work, you must save your mod and reload it in the creation kit.

Some tips: if you are creating an island it is best to have your water level above land, if you are creating a landmass with no water it is best to lower the water to the point where it will never affect what you do in the creation kit. What I like to do is lower the water by about 50 to 200 below the land so that I can make lakes. If you want to do lakes and rivers you might want to lower it a bit lower as you want your river to run into a lake rather than be engulfed by it.

In the cell view window lets load up the space you renamed earlier and get to editing landmass.

Editing Landmass

The world is created, now we can get to the fun part of making it look the way we want.

Before we start doing that though, I highly suggest going into the Object window, selecting all, and typing in coc in the filter. Drag and drop the COC Marker that pops up into the render window. This will allow us to test the landmass in game later. (If while editing the landmass you cover the coc marker simply go into the cell view window, select it, hit T once, then hold Z and raise it up. You can raise it up above the floor and hit F to make it drop to the ground.)

Editing landmass is not the same as editing an interior: it's a whole different process which I will explain now.

In the creation kit window you will see a bunch of icons under "file, world," ect. The icon you are looking for shows a landscape, click on that and the landscape editor will show up. (Alternatively you can just select the render window and press the "H" key.)

If you hover your mouse over the render window it should be surrounded by a red circle. If there is no red circle make sure "Show Edit Radius" is selected in the Landscape Edit window which popped up a second ago. You can edit the radius of this red circle by adding different numbers into the "edit radius" box and hitting the button next to it.

Now, with your red circle over a piece of land and ONLY show edit radius selected, left click (and hold while dragging) and pull your landmass either up or down. What you will notice is that a pyramid shape will form. If you let go of the mouse it will set the height of the shape. Clicking anywhere on that shape will add another pyramid to the shape.

To my knowledge, there is no other shape the editor will let you use while raising or lowering your landmass. You can, however, soften the edges later so don't worry about being stuck with blocky pyramids.

Raise or lower a bunch of pyramids and play around with it, you will notice that you can get complex shapes by making pyramids on pyramids.

You will notice that it is rather difficult to make a flat surface this way. I will now show you how to flatten out the top of your new landmass. Click on "Flatten Vertices," and select the height you want your pyramids to flatten out to. Left click and hold down the button, and move the mouse around in the render window. You will notice that your landmass flattens out but stays at that height, and in fact if you go beyond the pyramids into your unedited areas (without lifting your finger off the mouse,) it will raise those areas to those heights as well.

Sometimes, however, we do not want a totally flat mesa and blocky pyramids, Deselect flatten vertices and select soften vertices. This time, you may want to click on the mouse rather than hold it down. Do this on any hard edges you don't want and notice that it rounds them out.

Now, this is all good for a small worldspace that won't take long to build, but there is another tool for those who are in a hurry. Select drawing mode, then hold the mouse down over a landmass and move it around. The longer you hold the mouse in an area the more it will draw up the landmass. By typing in a higher number in the box it will do this faster. If you move your mouse around it will draw up as you go along. Often this is a lot better than simply working with boring blocky pyramids although the pyramids themselves are useful for fine detailing your landmass.

But, once your landmass is where you want it, and then softened up, you have the problem of it being rather bland and lacking in detail. The next section deals in adding texture and grasses, but before that you can go into the game, hit the tilde key (~) (at least thats the key on US keyboards anyway, not sure what it is in other countries). and type in coc coctest (Replace coctest with whatever you named your first cell.)

You will notice that any cells that you have not edited the landmass on will not be set right. Don't worry, the second you change that it will fix itself.

Textures and Grasses

Make sure drawing mode is still selected for this next step.

With the Landmass edit window still up click on a name in the Texture list. In the render window right click a spot with your mouse. You should notice it changed the way that spot looked. You should be able to preview what each texture looks like when selecting it in the Landscape Edit window, next to the list.

If you selected a texture that has a grass attached it will also randomly place grass. If you don't want grass drawn in that area there will be a no grass version that you can select.

Now, left click on the area you just textured and hit "i". A window will pop up showing you what textures you used and where. From here, you can right click a texture, and delete or change it. This is useful if you made a mistake or use more than 6 textures in an area (which leaves a big black splotch instead of the intended texture.)

Now, some might not have grass show up in the render window but it will show in the game. This Article will tell you how to fix that. Always remember to back up your files before editing them directly!

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