Tutorial #2: Cloning Time Master’s Terrain

OK, we are going to produce a version of data\art\area_specific\end_of_time\terrain\part_02 with more than four disks. Start by making a copy of the terrain folder and its contents and then open it in NifSkope. Set the textures directory to data\art\area_specific\_textures if you haven’t already.

Rotate the terrain and zoom in on the disks. By examining the block list and clicking on parts of the disks, you can see that each disk consists of the main disk, a ring, the centre disk, roman numerals and depending on the disk, some additional objects. Let’s focus on the disk where Pan and his Nymphs can be found cavorting.

You’ll note that the naming convention Irrational used in this terrain is a little idiosyncratic. Clicking on objects is your friend.

We’ll start by cloning the disk. Click on it. Note that 262 NiTriShape is highlighted. Left click on its parent, cog_terrain_03. Right click and select block,copy branch. The disks are attached to the scene root. With no animation to concern us, there is no problem cloning additional disks onto the scene root. Left click on the scene root, right click and block,paste branch. A new node will appear at the bottom of the block list. You don’t see anything new as it has exactly the same position as the original. Rename this new node something unique, cog_terrain_13 say.

Now to move it. Right click on cog_terrain_13 and select transform,edit. Make a note of the starting x,y and z values. Change an x value and watch the disk appear. Adjust the x and y values until you are happy with the disks location. Note the final co-ordinates.

Calculate (by simple subtraction) the difference (offset) between the starting position and your chosen ending position for both X and Y. Move a disk by units of 100 is helpful.

Now select the outer ring, object07 of pans terrain. Make a copy of this, paste it into the scene root and name it objectx7. Right click and select transform,edit. Carefully adjust the x and y co-ordinates by the offsets you recorded. This will reposition the copy ring by exactly the same amount you moved the disk.

Repeat this procedure for as many of the additional disk objects as you care too. If you like, repeat it for other disks, or even the same disk multiple times. Be careful to ensure that all new NiNodes have unique names as you create them.

Save your work, place it in a mission and try it out. You might want to carefully copy lines in the level.txt file for timesmasters terrain to duplicate all the impobjs onto the new disks. Another reason to record all the offsets you used..