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 – 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!

Park Of The Week – Deserted Oasis by Matt9537

Normally I would refrain selecting my own work for picture of the week. However, an exception is going to be made here I think.

A large set of islands stand in the tropical waters.

A large set of islands stand in the tropical waters.

The reason – this park came from a set of backups I made and it’s a park file that was lost. When I opened it, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what the file was about – and boy was I taken aback.

I know I used to run a Terraforming shop many years back. This file was newer. However, I didn’t know why I created it or even remember doing it! It was with about dozen other terraformed parks that – when created were instantly put aside.

They are now on the systems so that they will get some use.

Regrettably, I must confess, the terraforming skills in this park (and the others alongside it) were far superior to my current skills (at least in my opinion). What surprised me more was the size of these parks. Considering a standard RCT3 park is 128×128 – this park was almost double that at 230×230!!

A waterfall pours from a mountain into a river that makes its way to the sea

A waterfall pours from a mountain into a river that makes its way to the sea

The size, the detail and the beauty of the park has inspired me to up my game when it comes to terraforming. This, and the fact I was surprised by own abilities makes this my park of the week.

At 230x230 it's one of the biggest parks you can make on RCT!

At 230×230 it’s one of the biggest parks you can make on RCT!

It’s a large, tropical map with rivers, sets of island, mountains and a waterfall

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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