Terra It 2

Another Terra It has been released.

I make a map live for you all to see.

This week it’s a park requested by ToofPik. Let me know of you requests on this post.

I hope the pictures better. I tried repositioning  adjusting the colours and settings on both the camera and my TV. If this gets popular I shall invest in better a quality setup.

Hope you enjoy!

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…

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Tutorial – The Art Of Textures

When it comes to texturing, there are three types of texturers: Those who do it right, Those who do it wrong. Those who don’t bother.

It’s a shame that a lot of people fall into the later category. Texturing is fantastic at adding detail to a ride. It’s also great to accompany scenery and to create the atmosphere. Texturing doesn’t have to take long –  infact a lot of my base texturing takes seconds and is rushed.

Before I start a map, I zoom out as far as RCT3 allows, select a size ’1′ brush and choose 3/4 textures and randomly drag my brush over. It’s messy, It’s random, It’s quick — but it is 10x better than not bothering at all!

Set the brush to size ’1′ zoom out and randomly cover the map in a few textures. You have a nice base to build on and it took seconds.

So what textures are good to use? That is up to you. Come up with your own blends, be artistic.I have written a little bio about each listing my personal uses.

It is also worth using a small brush set at size 1. Colour one tile a time. May seem like it’ll take a while but once you know waht you are doing you will be very surprised how quickly you can texture,

The Grasses

grasses

1) The standard default grass. Very useful as it complements most styles

2) Grass with Flowers. Nice to ad some colour to your grass. Make it look lush. I use this in large quantities when doing ‘bright’ tropical rides since its makes the grass look very colourful and healthy.

3) Rough Grass. A great grass that works for mountains or hill sides. Also works perfectly with dark rock when used for mountain slopes and cliffs. Use anywhere where the grass would be unhealthy – up in the mountains, peaking through the snow, in the middle of the destert. Its dark and dull colour also works nice in a spooky map.

4/5) The last two grasses are nice to add bold lush green. If you want healthly grass this is perfect. Blend it in with the grass with flowers and perhaps grass 1). Due to the health of this grass, I avoid using it alongside mud or the rougher grass. Sometimes I use it highlight hills.

Muds

mudds

1)  Cracked mud. Use this for your dry deserts. I have used it for a rock face since the texture can look almost rocky.

2) As with most muds blending it with grass works nicely. However, for a desert is great. Be sure to mix all of these muds together. They all work well together.

3) Dark sand. This is also great for a desert. it’s a lot softer and lighter than other mud. I use this for underwater areas such as rivers or sea as well as for softing the other muddy textures.

4) Used a long side the dark sand, the Light Sand is a nice beach texture for more generic beaches. It is light but works well alongside the dark sand and/or the lighter sands. It’s good to blend the more golden sands with darker/mud textures.

5) Grass and mud. Nice to add some colour to your mud textures. Also works great on grass to add some mud. I  often use it blended into most textures. I have used it to spray under trees to help emphasis forests or along river banks.

6) Mud. A wet mud. Probably not wise to use to against dry mud – a bit of an unrealistic contrast. However, it’s texture is simialr to the pink and grey rock textures so it blends well with them or to enable a smooth transitation from rock to mud/grass. It also blends with the riough snow to help the transistion from snow to grass/mud. Since it’s wet it looks look on river or lake beds.

Rocks

rocks1) Rock and Snow. Whilst the obvious and biggest use for this is for snowy mountains, this texture looks amazing when blended with rough grass for a cliff face. Despite its name ‘Rock and snow’ it is a good all round rock texture.

2) Probably one of the most commonly used textures. This dark rock is a greta texture for most themes. However, like all textures, advoid repetiion. This texture works great belnded with all other rock tetxures. Even try it with the pink rocks!

3) A pink rock. Use alongside the other pink rock to help vary the texture. Also great with the grey rock (6) and the wet mud since all three have the same texture.

4) A grey rock. A very unique texture. It is very light and almost has a blue tint. Use with the other light grey rocks for a great effect.

5) Pink Rock. Normally used in desert or tropical maps. Blend with the other pink rock or sand/mud. Also works well with the dark rock.

6) As with the other pink rock (3) use with wet mud and three blend together well. Also use it as a base for the dark rock. Mix it in for great effect

7) This doesn’t really have much of a texture. A great texture for a base of a mountain. Also good to soften the texture. Due to its light colour I’ve used it alongside snow to reduce the brightness of the white.

Snow

snow1) A rough snow. It has a very strong texture. Use for snow scenes or place small amounts on the mountain tips. Blend with the wet mud or the rock-snow.

2) Ice. A pale blue cool colour. I use it for waters edges or for underwater scenes to make the water look colder. Ensuring the water is shallow with ice underneath makes the water look very cold!
3) A simple snow texure. Doesn’t have much of texture. Getting snow that doesn’t look bare and just white is difficult. Use the other snow textures as well mud and rough grass to help break up the white.

Sand and Tarmac

Sanf1) Tarmac. Normally used for paths or roads, however, as a texsture it is powerful. Used sparinlg tarmac can be used to darken any landscape. Use it on mountain peaks to darken them, or in mud/rough grass to make things look dark. Works well in spooky landscape or as a base of a volcano. I have used it in shallow water to give the water a darker colour. I also like using it against pink rock.

2) Plain sand. Plain, but good for beaches. Pehaps belnd some other sand in (including the light/dark sand we saw earlier)

3) Blend with sand. I also use it for underwater or to highlight hills.

4) Sand with stones. Blend with the sand. Good for underwater. I have also used it against dark rock, since the colour and tetxure of the stones in it works nicely with other rocks.

Examples

Here are a few parks I have done as well as a description about the textures.

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For the base, I have used a light sand. Using my messy base technique I have randomly mixed in some cracked mud and darker sand. Since it features a river, the area nearer the river has grass with flowers to show luch areas. The rock is just dark rock. Since the mountains are small, I don’t think the dark rock is over used.

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In this mountain range, the lower area was a rough grass, to show tougher, less healthy grass. Over the top I have mixed some grass with mud and some normal grass to give the grass some colour.

The lake and it’s bank is wet mud.

As for the mountains I have used rock and snow. On the peaks I have added snow. To break up the repitetion I added some dark rock and some lighter rocks.

The snow is a blend of smooth and rough snow. I have added snow underneath the trees on the grass land. Adding textures under trees helps emphasis them.

FrightNight

Not one of mine, but this in game park uses a base of normal grass and some mud. The borders of the cliffs use rough grass with a mixture of dark rock and rock and snow. You can see how effective the rock and snow texture can be when used without snow.

GhostTown

Another in game map. This had a base of light sand. Near the cliffs, dark sand was added. The mountains have a blend of the pink rock.

 

A final note on texturing, take your time intialy.

Do not waste your time. The less visible an area is the less time you should spend working on it. In fact, the area around the immidate ride is all you should spend much time texturing.

Have fun!

Tutorial – Avenging The Contours!

If you’re familiar with walking and maps you will know about contour lines. If you don’t, contour lines show the height of ground as well as the gradient. The closer the contour lines are together the steeper the incline.

RCT3 has contour lines and using them may prove very useful - especially in terraforming. They provide an easy way to determine height as well as gradient. In the image below, there is a small mountain range. On right image I have turned on the contour lines and we can see the gradient of the hill.

Shot0724So, how can we use these contour lines to aid our terraforming. For a starter, we can determine what is smooth. From the image on the left you can see that the central area of the range is fairly smooth – perhaps suitable for paths to be run up it?
However, when we turned on the contour lines we can see that not as much land is as smooth as we thought. The contour lines will help us determine the gradient and find out where will be suitable for building on.

However, one of my biggest uses is that of texturing. Since we can see the gradient it’s great to use them as a guide to texture. For example, the the more lines and the tighter they are the more mountainous we need to make our texturing. For example, applying a light rock texture across the lines in the centre with a darker texture to the areas that are steeper.

Any other uses?
A big use is for rivers or other bodies of water.

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From the following image we have a simple river. Applying details to the river bed such as

scenery or texture can be difficult whilst there is water in the river. If we remove the water and enable the contour lines, the contour lines show a line which we use to reflect the depth of the water.

I’m going to use apply some mud texture to the base of the river and some muddy grass to the sides of the river. Using the line it is easy to know when to stop each texture.

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Now we have nice textured river. Perhaps some rocks or some underwater plants would be nice. Using the lines we can get a great idea of the depth of the water.

No may be a good time to introduce the terrain avenger. This tool, is used to smooth terrain. It’s great for smoothing hills. It’s great for taking out areas of steep or rough terrain. It’s great for things such as rivers or oceans as you can create a gradual beach.

I’m going to use it for the river now to smooth some of the banks down:
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In the image below I have smoothed one side of the river. You tell that many of the contour lines have disappeared indicating that the edges are smooth.

The final result is shown below:

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As I said it’s great for making smooth beaches as the image below shows. The beach on the left has quite a sudden drop. However the one on the right is much smoother and realistic.

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Whether you find lots of use for the contour tool or not it is definatly worth knowing about. The avenging tool however is an extremely powerful and useful too for creating smooth hills, smooth terrain or smooth beaches.

Tutorial – Mountains without the Mountain Tool

In my opinion, the mountain tool in RCT3 is a poorly named tool in the game. The tool creates a tall spike  - I don’t know about you – I have never seen a mountain that looks like that. So many parks I have seen have had these spikes sticking out the ground.

Spike Mountain

Spike Mountain not my favourites

Now I’m going to show you how make mountains that (in my opinion at least) look a lot more realistic without too much extra effort.

For our mountain, we are going to use the ‘Ridge’ tool. This will raise the ground more evenly. I suggest making the brush fairly big –  perhaps around 30-50 squares in size?

Now just drag over the area you want the mountain to be.

Of course, it is missing the key feature that exists on mountains – the peak/s. For this, we are going to stick to reduce the size of the ridge tool to as low as perhaps 8? The lower – the sharper the peak/s. 

Our Mountain To-be

Our Mountain To-be

 We are going to use this smaller brush to ‘rough’ up the mountain. We are going to add peaks to the sides and the tops of the mountain. Feel free to  experiment. Be careful not to make the peaks too big. Increase them fairly slowly.

Rough The Mountain Up

Rough The Mountain Up

I have turned the grid on so you can see the final result of our mountain.

Now for the textures. There are a huge variety of textures you can use for the mountains depending on your desired effect or theme. In this example, I am going to use a standard dark rock texture. Cover the mountain in your desired base texture.

You may want to touch up the parts around the mountain with as shown in the following image.

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Using the squares you can see the areas where the ground is steeper than elsewhere. In the more flat areas we are going to add some grass.

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Apply grass to the areas where the mountain isn’t as steep

Now, for the peaks we are going to add some snow. Hopefully this should finish the mountain off nicely.

A hint for apply these textures. Set your brush size to one square in size and make sure you colour one square at a time. It may take a while – but the effect is worth it.

I have only used three textures in this mountain. However, using more textures may produce a better result. Spending more time adding the peaks or blending the textures will create a better mountain.

Of course, different environments require different textures and mountains with different shapes. For example, a spooky environment I like using darker textures (such as tarmac) with steeper and more pointy peaks.

The choice is yours!

And here is my finished mountain!

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Terra It 3 – Set Of Islands

I’m getting quite into my Terra It series.

Here’s the 3rd instalment  Now I’m using fraps and better audio recording features – so everything should be perfect!

A set of tropical islands – made in about 10 Minutes.

Leave a request on the video or on this post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnOhJl_v67o

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