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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:28 pm 
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Hi everyone, think it's been 3 maybe 4 years since my last post.
As hopefully you might remember, a few years ago, Colab Architecture, an architect firm that did some Environmental designs for Cyan, posted about a dozen or more concept art that detailed alot of D'ni architecture. The version of their website that hosted these images, is no longer available in current form, but fortunately, the images can be viewed here at: http://chiso.uruslasthope.com/
But now Colab have updated their website, and with it, they've posted high resolution version of this concept art :mrgreen:
Unfortunately however, not all the concept art is available anymore, and some of the links on the website are broken for the time being. So here is what is available.

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Looking at this now, this might represent the current Tokatoh square or perhaps some form of space in the City Proper.
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A better look at our beloved City Library
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As well as detailed plan of the upper floor. This certainly seems to be a very old layout of the Library, as the shape of the Library is completely different. However note 'Book of the Month'
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A larger and more detailed Palace.
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And the Palace seen from a Western Elevation.
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What is probably the Tokatoh square again.
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A detailed layout of Bevin, albeit a much older Bevin.
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Now this one I'm not sure is City Proper or Ae'Gura, but it certainly seems to be an interesting cutaway.
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And a look at part of the City Proper, something we've seen in 3D Concepts posted by Eric Anderson.

What all these images seem to have in common, is a greater range of detail and scale, something that was probably scaled back due to the limitations of the Plasma engine. Uru in many aspects, was ahead of it's time, and it's shame no one would be able to take a crack at crafting and rendering these Unreal 4, despite it's lack of support for large amount of Players.
I contacted Colab recently about perhaps posting more images and I hope they get back to me soon. In the meantime, enjoy :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:36 pm 
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Excellent find!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Thanks. Kaeebonrai gonna add them to Chiso soon. I do hope Cyan or Colab could add so more. The release of content art for MOULa was great, but I really wanna see the artwork Robert Grace did for DIRT/Mudpie. Particularly this one.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Shorah sarpendon2 and thanks for the heads-up! :D

Interestingly, either you left off two of the most intriguing new hi-res images, or they've been added since you posted. Both offer some fascinating insights and/or pose new questions about two of our most enigmatic bits of Ae'gura architecture. :)

[Reveal] Spoiler: The concert hall (seen from the lake side)
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[Reveal] Spoiler: The ferry terminal before the fall
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The architectural notes on both images are *very* interesting!! Looks like the ferry terminal in particular would make an excellent archeological study of D'ni architecture. :mrgreen: (This means YOU, ventris!)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:04 am 
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Thanks for letting us know these have been posted! Oh my fluttering heart be still! Colab pictures with readable notes! OoohOooooh! More Please Colab!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:16 pm 
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Very interesting. It looks like the end of the ferry terminal extends out over the lake! That means the lake level must have remained fairly constant or the D'ni had a method of keeping it that way.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:12 pm 
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These concept sketches obviously had a huge influence on Ae'gura's ultimate design.

But since they are concept sketches, we can't assume that their details have any one-to-one correlation with unknown/unseen parts of the D'ni we know today.

Great stuff, though, and I too hope we see more of these high-resolution scans becoming available over time.
Thanks CoLab!

(Direct link: http://colabarchitecture.com/project_categories/design-explorations/, click on "Cyan Virtual Enviroment"(sic) panel)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:35 pm 
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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
These concept sketches obviously had a huge influence on Ae'gura's ultimate design.

But since they are concept sketches, we can't assume that their details have any one-to-one correlation with unknown/unseen parts of the D'ni we know today.[/i]


Alot of the concepts now available as high res scans haven't changed that much in design. Much of the design change has been limited by Plasma. I do want to see more (I think Colab got my email asking for them to fix some errors in their slide) and I hope one day we may see Ae'Gura look more like this.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:26 pm 
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Hi Sarpedon2!

I'm not clear on what you meant by this:
sarpedon2 wrote:
Much of the design change has been limited by Plasma.

Would you expand on that, please?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:35 pm 
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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
Hi Sarpedon2!

I'm not clear on what you meant by this:
sarpedon2 wrote:
Much of the design change has been limited by Plasma.

Would you expand on that, please?


Given that Uru was being made at a time where 3d graphics were limited, and the scale of what the game engines could do and show, these environments were scaled down in size and detail. You only have to look at the sketches of the Palace and Ferry port to see this.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:37 pm 
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Okay, now I see what you're getting at here!

But I'm not sure the Plasma engine is completely to blame. Even though it was never the most efficient engine out there, and is now well over 10 years old, I'm pretty sure the major deciding factor in limiting data load was the limitations of clients' computers around 2002-2003. Modern machines can handle exponentially larger polygon counts and higher-resolution texures than at that time, and (to my experience anyway) Plasma itself doesn't choke when processing larger loads, as long as the client machine is up to the task.

This continues to be an item of discussion among URU agebuilders: how much consideration should be given to scaling Age data down to levels playable on older machines. Even recently, I've spoken with explorers who are playing URU on the same computer they bought when URU was first released. I don't have an easy answer for this, and of course it's up to the individual artists to make such a judgement call.

Regarding the concept sketches:
These were just that; concept sketches. As with many game projects, building and landscaping projects, and motion pictures, design artists are often given some of the very basic premises for how a place should work, then told to just go run with those principles to see what they come up with. Sometimes 75%, maybe 15% of the ideas that concept artists deliver ultimately becomes part of the end product. We can see that Colab's work was very visionary, and I too think it was brilliant stuff. But Cyan's reasons for using these ideas, or not, were probably pretty complicated at the time, with a lot of artistic/canonical/financial/political/scheduling interests pushing and pulling them...in addition to the technical limitations we've been talking about.

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