Tutorial – Perfect Forest?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a tutorial but since they’ve been very popular – I thought I’d do some more.

Here’s something I’ve been meaning to do for sometime – forests. There’s loads of rides circling around the RCT3 world that are set in the forest and many look like this:

Shot0074To me this isn’t a coaster in a forest – it’s a coaster surrounded by trees. There’s a lot more to a forest/jungle than trees.

One thing to be aware of is contrast. Big objects look bigger when next to smaller objects. Small objects look smaller next to big objects. I remember by ‘black’ blazer for high school – it looked black – until you held it against something that was black and you saw that the blazer was actually dark purple. Contrasts emphasis’s the differences and this can be applied to creating forests.

Forests look denser when next to clearings. Having clearings in your forests or gaps in the trees will make the areas where there are trees look a lot denser. Theseclearings don’t really need to be blank. Put lots of foliage in there…Instead of trees…add plenty of shrubs – rocks etc.

Shot0077

In my example I even added some terrain texture.

The next thing to be aware off is the proximity of the trees to the coaster. Having the trees right up next to the coaster has many disadvantages – namely – the field of view is really reduced. When you’re on the ride especially on the ground level all you can see is trunks. Pull the trees back away from the coaster and you’ll see a lot more trees and the tree tops.

Shot0078

Remember: Are you building a coaster through a forest or are you building a forest around the coaster? Trees don’t naturally grow in lines. In nature – straight lines don’t exist. Make sure that your forest doesn’t have straight lines either. Stagger the trees – it looks a lot more realistic….

Shot0079As you can the trees around the ride have been pulled back and there is a lot less straight lines.

Forests also have undergrowth. Bushes, plants, shrubs – growing on the floor under the trees. Now the trees are pulled back, you can add these to where the trees used to be. Laying the area in front of the trees gives the impression that this undergrowth continues throughout the forest.

Adding different textures under the trees, rides, undergrowth and clearing highlights the differences between the different areas.

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As I said…trees don;’t grow uniformed. They don’t grow next to each other in perfect lines. Delete a lot of these trees and leave gas between them. This will look a lot more realistic. Add some more trees too. Add different textures, different styles and different heights. This will look a lot more realistic.

In dense forests, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot fighting for your eyes attention – loads to look at. Loads of different plants, trees, etc. Make sure your forest does the same. Lots of textures, lots of different things going on. You can add rocks coloured flowers etc.

In fact, if your ride is really cutting through the forest, add some tree stumps to where trees once were.

Another interesting thing is to raise the height of the ground for the trees furthest back. In theatres, the seats at the back are normally higher so people can see over the heads. Do the same here so the trees at the back can still be seen.

Shot0081In my opinion, this looks like a more realistic and dense forest than the first image. Remember I used in game scenery for this – imagine what it would look like using CSO?

Hope you find some of these hints useful :D

 

 

 

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