Tutorial – Waterfalls

Waterfalls are very common. What’s more beautiful than a waterfall pouring down a mountain side? It’s the perfect backdrop to any ride or park.

I think, most people can make a simple waterfall – however…what I am going to show you is how to create a better one – using a technique and method that not even the makers at Frontier knew you can do…


Cast your mind back to the  Flattening in Increments tutorial. We are going to use this technique to create the base for the waterfall . Firstly…we want to raise the land in the are we wish the waterfall to be. Use any tool like for this (such as the ridge or hill tool). Now, flatten the top.

Shot0769Try and make sure that there is enough room at the top and that you have a flattish edge where you wish the waterfall to be.

Now we need to create two bodies of water. One at the top and one at the bottom. So, lower the ground at the bottom, and as in the flattening tutorial flatten out your water body. Perhaps make a river?


It may be wise to reduce the size of the flatten tool for more accuracy.

Now create a body of water at the top of the ground too. Carefully, get the body of water so it is as close to the edge as posible.


In the image above you can see that the body of water is right up to the edge of the side of the ground.

We have to do the bottom. Again, using the flatten tool, we want to ensure that there is one tile between the top and the bottom. This is the key. One tile between each heights.


The image above shows my waterfall. There is one tile (highlighted in red) in between the two. Now we just have to add the water!


I’m going to do a bit of terraforming to mine first. Being careful (and using a small brush) I’m going to roughen up the side of the upper area.

A little bit of tropical terrain painting – and here is the final result. Just added the water and now…the magic button.

Select the waterfall body, click on the upper water body and then the lower and there you have it. A gushing waterfall!

So why is this better than the waterfall I showed at the start?

Three main reasons:

  1. The terrain under the waterfall isn’t flat as in the first image. It has a steep slope – which looks better in my opinion.
  2. You can texture it. You can blend your textures into the 1 tile gap. In the waterfall above you have a choice of what? 6 different textures. In this method you can use all of favourite textures and blending them. You can also use terrain conforming walls and fences!
  3. In the first picture you have a simple waterfall. In our waterfall, after you’ve added your waterfall – reselect the waterfall tool and click the top and then the lower body. Some times you can add two or three more waterfalls to to the same spot. This means your waterfalls look a lot bigger and powerfull. Unforuntatly for me this didn’t work in my example – but in some cases RCT3 will led you add multiple waterfalls.

You should have your beautiful waterfall now.

Here’s another little hint. If you try adjusting the ground around either body of water you will get an error message as shown.


However, don’t click any button – keep on terraforming and ignore the message. You can still edit the terrain!

So here’s my final waterfall!


Park Of The Week – Abletudus Island

Abletudus has been on a mini terraforming roll. In the last few days he has uploaded  three parks onto the application.


Curious, I had a downloaded them and I had a look around. The parks all feature some great terraforming but they all share the grass terrain (some rock textures along the cliff edges would look great :p).
But, one park in particular intrigued me. That is: Abletudus Island. Surprisingly it is one of the few ‘Grass’ Islands and it’s terrain is truly unique. Using the ‘flatten’ tool Abletudus has created a layed island that gradually climbs – almost like steps. Building on here will be very interesting and very unique.

In fact – provided no one beats me to it – I plan on creating a project here myself!

Shot0719Despite the lack of texturing, the park is a blank canvas. We are all capable of adding some rock texturing here, some sand on the beaches etc. We can terrain the park as we choose.

The flexibility doesn’t end there however, Whilst taking the screenshots, I decided to adjust the water level and discovered another level to this park. The layers meant that you can adjust the water level higher around the park – decreasing the size of the island but massively changing its shape.

With the Terraforming change prior to V1.2s release creeping up – Abletudus has certainly been practising with his parks.

You can find this park under Island, Medium, Grass


Tutorial – Flattening in Increments to create Islands

If you’re going to terraform or even building on terraformed maps – you need to know about increments.

In RCT3, you can raise the ground by small amounts a time – in fact, lift a floor tile as little as 1cm off the ground. This allows you create beautifully smooth and realistic landscapes. However, raising the ground by 1cm a time has a problem – scenery can only be raised 1m at a time.

The tile on the left is raised less than a metre. SInce scenery can only be placed on exact metres (for eg 0m, 1m, 2m etc) the wall is floating,

The tile on the left is raised less than a metre. SInce scenery can only be placed on exact metres (for eg 0m, 1m, 2m etc) the wall is floating,

Quite often, when working on terraformed maps you may find scenery floating above the ground. That is because – although the ground looks flat…it isn’t an exact metre (may be 1.1m say).

This is where increments come in. Increments allow you raise or lower the ground in increments of 1m. Therefore, when you adjust the ground using the increments you are guaranteed not to have floating scenery.

You can raise/lower the ground in increments or even flatten the ground. Flattening the ground…does as it says…flattens the ground – but if you flatten with increments it ensures that the ground is suitable for building rides/scenery.

Top: flatten tools Bottom: raise/lower Note: the tools that adjust in increments have contour lines around them...

Top: flatten tools
Bottom: raise/lower
Note: the tools that adjust in increments have contour lines around them…

The flatten tool is a very useful tool for creating areas of flat ground suitable for building on. One of my favourite uses is to create a series of tropical islands. That’s what I’m going to show you now.

Firstly, cover your park in base texture. Perhaps mud or as in my example sand. Go to one edge of the map and using any tool lower the ground a little as shown in the image below:

Lower The Ground On One Edge

Lower The Ground On One Edge

Now select the ‘Flatten In Increments’ tool and click and hold the mouse at the base of the hole you made. See how the ground is flattened to that depth?

Flatten The Hole You Made

Flatten The Hole You Made

The next part is the fun bit. Holding the mouse down move it across the map, creating islands as you do…

This is a really easy way to create a series of island. And note, that since we flattened the ground in increments it will be easy for us to build in the water – which may prove useful if the islands don’t provide much dry land!


Continue flattening the ground to create islands

Continue flattening the ground to create islands

In my example, I’ve just done a small part of the map. But once you fill it with water you’ll find you’ll have a series of islands. Of course, you may want to spend a little bit more time than I did to ensure they look better.

Once you’ve added some water, perhaps add some patches of grass on the island?
Experiment with textures. If you look at my Black Fire Swamp on the application – that was made in the same way, expect – instead of using sand – I used tarmac.


As I hope you’ve learnt from this tutorial, increments provide a great way to edit terrain to create a perfect base to build upon. Hopefully you’ll understand why you get floating scenery and more importantly…

…You should have a nice terraformed island map!