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Author Topic: MouseBats  (Read 31852 times)

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Offline Jmouse

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MouseBats
« on: September 13, 2012, 09:00:18 PM »
Iíve been working in the dark silence of the NUTs private board for quite some time now. So I decided itís time to give the community a sneak peek at what goes on in the padded shell.

Iíve lived in pleasant surroundings from childhood to the present, but thatís where the similarity of my work to RL ends. Be forewarned, I am attracted to rustic structures, peeling paint and rough-hewn logs. Youíll see no breathtaking cathedrals here, no luxury hotels and no ritzy homes.

But rather than bore you with what you wonít see, I hope to entertain you by showing what you will see.

This is the anchor structure for a State Park; its working title is ďThe Lodge.Ē


At this point, I shipped it off to my good friend and teammate vester to do the night lighting. This is the visible work he has done on the project so far:


The contributions heís made that you canít see are tweaks to the model itself. In doing so, he showed me some shortcuts I can use and share with you. The first thing he did was reduce the poly count from nearly 200,000 to a modest 50,000 or so. A high poly count is arguably one of greatest drawbacks to working with individual logs instead of one solid texture.

When vester is finished with the night lighting, he will send the model back to me and Iíll consider finding someone brave enough to tackle the lotting.

Now, letís get on with the show. The structures Iíll be showing you here are/will be part of the State Park set. Hereís a little log cabin Ė a guest house Ė Matt (threestooges) featured here in Greenacre (42.02). I have decided to redo it for several reasons, so thatís the project weíll start out with.



Eek! Pink and blue logs? Not for long, but I hoped the contrasting colors would help you understand how this thing is put together one log at a time Ė with a little help from the array tool. ;)

Hereís a cut-away view showing the interior walls. These serve no purpose other than to prevent light leaks. In this case, prevention is a whole lot easier than fixing a problem later.



Now for the fun part. I have about 150 textures in my ďLog fileĒ in four different lengths ranging from 3530 to 883 px long. All of them are 300 px wide which works well with a log (cylinder) radius of 0.25.



Hereís the cabin Matt usedÖ



Öand hereís the replacement:



There are still a few details to add like bargeboards and roof junk, but I decided to go ahead and show the structure at this stage anyway. There will be at least one more Ė and probably two more Ė cabins to add variety to the set, and they will be parks.

I have a couple of other multi-structure projects on the stove, but theyíre so highly specialized, itís unlikely they would be practical for general use. Iíll show them if anyone is interested, though.

Iím looking forward to reading your commentsÖ :)
Joan

Offline Aaron Graham

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 09:09:26 PM »
Lovey creations, I love the texture work. Keep it up. :D
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Offline threestooges

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 11:07:34 PM »
Awesome! Greenacre has a Jmouse original! I like the re-texture, and I'm glad Vester could clear out some polys. That'll lead to faster renders, less chance of problems down the road when increasing the complexity of the model, and will probably result in a more streamlined project.

Great to see these things outside the MouseWorks. Lockheed, eat your heart out.
-Matt

Offline Flatron

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 04:29:21 AM »
Now that's nice!
Makes we want to say sth. like :"I go aspen!"

Offline FrankU

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 04:54:57 AM »
Hmmm, these sure are loghomes! Looking good Joan!  &apls

Offline Shark7

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 10:45:30 AM »
Nice Lodge and cabins.

And absolutely nothing wrong with rustic...so much more appealing than a concrete jungle.  :thumbsup:

Offline art128

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 10:51:21 AM »
Beautiful work on the lodge and cabins, Joan! The cabin replacement is really really nice! Love the work with each lodges, like how it's done IRL. Just don't really like the base wood texture (white and grey) but still looking quite good!
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Offline noahclem

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 11:57:27 AM »
Looks a lot like I remember it--which is a beautifully crafted, niche BAT that I would love to find a place for  ;)   I'm so glad to see these outside of our "dark and silent" private hangout  :D   The log by log methodology you've used to craft your BATs and the excellent textures bear witness to time and care put into these little treasures. Looking forward to seeing a bit more here  &apls &apls

Offline Jack_wilds

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 03:07:44 PM »
all that work and the rough hewn look and the aged appearance AND national park ready ...its all just too luvly... good stuff for a lake side camp place  :) and what do U have for the 'specialized' line of work what demand/service do they provide the sims?... U have roused my mousy curiosity  ???  :satisfied:
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:10:41 PM by Jack_wilds »

Offline Jmouse

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 10:06:22 PM »
Lovey creations, I love the texture work. Keep it up. :D

Thank you, Aaron. Itís always great to know that fellow BATters like the work.

Awesome! Greenacre has a Jmouse original! I like the re-texture, and I'm glad Vester could clear out some polys. That'll lead to faster renders, less chance of problems down the road when increasing the complexity of the model, and will probably result in a more streamlined project.

Great to see these things outside the MouseWorks. Lockheed, eat your heart out.
-Matt


Thank you for stopping by and posting a comment, Matt. I couldnít have come this far in my work without your patient help, encouragement and constructive suggestions. Our ďcreative relationshipĒ started several years ago with my very first experience at BATting - the Mouse House. Remember that!
;)

Now that's nice!
Makes we want to say sth. like :"I go aspen!"

Thank you, Flatron. You seem to picture the finished State Park in much the same way I do. I like that!

Hmmm, these sure are loghomes! Looking good Joan!  &apls

Thanks, Frank. Iím glad you like the work.

Nice Lodge and cabins.

And absolutely nothing wrong with rustic...so much more appealing than a concrete jungle.  :thumbsup:

Thank you. We definitely agree on the idea of rustic vs. concrete. :)


Beautiful work on the lodge and cabins, Joan! The cabin replacement is really really nice! Love the work with each lodges, like how it's done IRL. Just don't really like the base wood texture (white and grey) but still looking quite good!

Thanks for your comment, Arthur. Thatís exactly the kind of opinion I was hoping for when I decided to go public with some of my work. I may have overdone the deck boards, but the original deck is much too pale. I would like to see more opinions on that Ė and any other aspect of the texturing.


Looks a lot like I remember it--which is a beautifully crafted, niche BAT that I would love to find a place for  ;)   I'm so glad to see these outside of our "dark and silent" private hangout  :D   The log by log methodology you've used to craft your BATs and the excellent textures bear witness to time and care put into these little treasures. Looking forward to seeing a bit more here  &apls &apls

Thank you, Noah. When I first saw a photo of The Lodge, it stole my creative heart. I knew right then that nothing but my best effort would be good enough. The structure here is actually the third version Ė the first two just werenít quite up to par. BTW, I made the roofs by hand, too, using one, two or three rows of tiles about eight tiles wide. Any visible seams were then covered by single tiles. But I have promised myself that one of these days Iíll create something simple that isnít part of a complex set. Do you think that day will ever come?


all that work and the rough hewn look and the aged appearance AND national park ready ...its all just too luvly... good stuff for a lake side camp place  :) and what do U have for the 'specialized' line of work what demand/service do they provide the sims?... U have roused my mousy curiosity  ???  :satisfied:

Hi Jack! Thanks for stopping by. Iím not entirely sure I understand your question, but Iíll take a stab at answering it anyway. The cabins will be parks because they just wouldnít look right in a neighborhood, so the park effect should benefit the sims. The Lodge will likely be CS$$ or maybe a landmark with jobs. It has also been suggested that it be a reward, so Iíll be looking for some expert advice on which choice is best.

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. They are very much appreciated.
-Joan


Offline nedalezz

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2012, 04:06:13 AM »
Wow Joan - that is some spectacular work!

I am also attracted to rustic structures and furniture - this is beautiful stuff!

Offline Jmouse

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2012, 05:34:21 PM »
Thanks for your comment, Nedal. Iím glad to know there are at least a few others who share my passion for rustic structures. ;)

So it is in this spirit that I show off my other two projects in progress. I divide my BATting time between them, and this helps keep the interest level high.

I realize that some of my work will appeal to only a small portion of the community. Thatís just fine since imaginative playing styles and custom content have kept SC4 alive and well for nearly a decade. For example, I have nothing short of immense admiration for BATters who create and share intricately-detailed cathedrals, but I donít have any of the structures in my plugins folder. They donít fit in with my idea of how I want my city and towns to look. Itís a little like looking at classical art work. We can appreciate it even if we wouldnít want it hanging in our homes.

So without further adoÖ




This will not be a set of mobile homes, it will be a set of trashy trailers. We have plenty of slums on the LEX in the form of apartment buildings, but there are some areas of the U.S. where trailers like this represent the same thing in a more southeast American way.








This is the first structure in a set which will be suitable for a theme park. When I lived in Texas, I always enjoyed visiting a little city-owned park which featured vintage structures rescued from the ravages of weather and vandalism.

So once again, itís all a matter of individual imagination and playing style that makes these BATs useful Ė or notÖ
-Joan

Offline threestooges

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 12:45:15 AM »
I like they mobile homes. The one thing I would suggest for them is that, while I like the texture on the side and the texture on the roof, they don't work together that well. If the roof is that dirty, the sides of the homes should be a bit grey as well from dust and dirt. If you want the factory-fresh look like the siding has, I'd say tone down the roof dirt a bit. Looking good though.
-Matt

Offline Girafe

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2012, 03:51:12 AM »
It's a really good job Joan :)
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Offline nbvc

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 04:22:37 AM »
Great BATs.  &apls I agree with threestooges, the texture of the walls are to clean compared with the roof.

Offline nedalezz

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2012, 04:55:07 AM »
That is a beautiful BAT, in its own right!

No, its not flashy and its not elegant, but it is beautiful :)

Offline noahclem

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2012, 09:35:08 AM »
As you know, I love these trailers in particular  &apls

I like they mobile homes. The one thing I would suggest for them is that, while I like the texture on the side and the texture on the roof, they don't work together that well. If the roof is that dirty, the sides of the homes should be a bit grey as well from dust and dirt. If you want the factory-fresh look like the siding has, I'd say tone down the roof dirt a bit. Looking good though.
-Matt
Not to pick on Matt but I wanted to comment on his suggestion. Since it is much easier for leaves, rust, and dirt to gather on a roof and people maybe more likely to clean their walls, which neighbors can more easily see, a pretty dirty roof with fairly clean walls isn't necessarily weird. That being said a little dirtier texture on the sides could be nice.

About the nightlighting: as I may have mentioned before I hope you'll do Darknight renders of these. It's hard to guess a number of how many people are using Darknight these days but I'd say among MDers at SC4D that post night pictures it's a pretty strong majority. You'd have to ask someone more knowledgeable than i about the work required for that but I get the impression it's not too big of a deal.

The second building is looking excellent and it seems you've brought the same level of detail to the project. Great work  &apls

As for your question about whether you'll ever create something simple that's not part of a set--I suppose anything is hypothetically possible  $%Grinno$%

Offline Shark7

Re: MouseBats
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2012, 10:42:10 AM »
Again, nice buildings.

On the trashy trailers, you only need to put about 6 vehicles up on blocks on the lots to really complete the look.  That seems to be a running theme in run down trailer parks.  ;)

And I see you spent time in my home state, that probably explains why we agree on the rustic vs concrete thing. :)

Also, the run down shack...the town I live in has many of those too, though it is due to a lack of money to demolish them as opposed to actually wanting to preserve them.  :D

Offline Jmouse

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2012, 07:50:02 PM »
I like they mobile homes. The one thing I would suggest for them is that, while I like the texture on the side and the texture on the roof, they don't work together that well. If the roof is that dirty, the sides of the homes should be a bit grey as well from dust and dirt. If you want the factory-fresh look like the siding has, I'd say tone down the roof dirt a bit. Looking good though.
-Matt

Matt, Iím inclined to agree with you. Hereís the texture I usedÖ



Öbut the render destroyed the rusty spots. I have a few more possibilities I didnít use before because they looked almost like overkill. Iíll try them out tonight, though, and post the results tomorrow.


It's a really good job Joan :)

Thank you very much. And I think I know where I can find some lovely foliage to use when I get ready to make the lots. ;)


Great BATs.  &apls I agree with threestooges, the texture of the walls are to clean compared with the roof.

Thank you for posting. I agree with you and Matt both, and Iíll try out a few remedies to see what everyone thinks of them.


That is a beautiful BAT, in its own right!

No, its not flashy and its not elegant, but it is beautiful :)

Thank you, Nedal. A glance through the LEX tells me that ďit takes all kindsĒ to make a realistic-looking region, and thatís the beauty of SC4.


As you know, I love these trailers in particular  &apls

I like they mobile homes. The one thing I would suggest for them is that, while I like the texture on the side and the texture on the roof, they don't work together that well. If the roof is that dirty, the sides of the homes should be a bit grey as well from dust and dirt. If you want the factory-fresh look like the siding has, I'd say tone down the roof dirt a bit. Looking good though.
-Matt
Not to pick on Matt but I wanted to comment on his suggestion. Since it is much easier for leaves, rust, and dirt to gather on a roof and people maybe more likely to clean their walls, which neighbors can more easily see, a pretty dirty roof with fairly clean walls isn't necessarily weird. That being said a little dirtier texture on the sides could be nice.

About the nightlighting: as I may have mentioned before I hope you'll do Darknight renders of these. It's hard to guess a number of how many people are using Darknight these days but I'd say among MDers at SC4D that post night pictures it's a pretty strong majority. You'd have to ask someone more knowledgeable than i about the work required for that but I get the impression it's not too big of a deal.

The second building is looking excellent and it seems you've brought the same level of detail to the project. Great work  &apls

As for your question about whether you'll ever create something simple that's not part of a set--I suppose anything is hypothetically possible  $%Grinno$%

Donít worry about picking on Matt, Noah. I do it all the time and he doesnít mind! ;)

Now that Iíve gone public with my work, I can try out a few ideas and see what the reaction is. I think this is going to improve the end results quite a bit, and with luck, maybe my skewed-up vision of reality will appeal to more players. ::)


Again, nice buildings.

On the trashy trailers, you only need to put about 6 vehicles up on blocks on the lots to really complete the look.  That seems to be a running theme in run down trailer parks.  ;)

And I see you spent time in my home state, that probably explains why we agree on the rustic vs concrete thing. :)

Also, the run down shack...the town I live in has many of those too, though it is due to a lack of money to demolish them as opposed to actually wanting to preserve them.  :D

Thanks for your comment. Iíve seen many a car on blocks along with other sights to behold. I live outside the city limits now, but the nearby towns provide endless inspiration along that line.

Most of the structures in the park I spoke of are nicer than my shack. When I see something that interests me, though, I go for it. I can usually visualize using it in a way thatís a bit different from what Iíve seen in RL. And after all, thatís the beauty of creating custom content for our favorite game! ;)


Offline noahclem

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Re: MouseBats
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2012, 10:12:33 PM »
Hmm, the texture you showed looked about perfect. I guess it takes a few trials and errors to figure out what gets the right look in game and at that scale. This whole project makes me wish we had trailer park technology in Finland  ;D  I guess the winter is too cold and the heat too expensive for them to be economical. In any case I'll look forward to your "skewed up version of reality" which already appeals to me greatly  :)