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Author Topic: VIP Terrain Mod  (Read 4178 times)

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Offline APSMS

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2017, 02:09:37 PM »
I'm not sure how I feel about all the pebbles on the sandbars, but like you said it's optional, and I have to agree that the results are stunning.

The basalt sand (black beach) with that lounge chair on it, reminded me of this for some reason:



The blending of the rock textures, along with the details in the grass, make this feel much like an HD version of c.p.'s mods, which I remember distinctly for the wide variety in ground texture scenes that could be made with them, and which I missed when I switched to the HD mods currently available.

Very cool stuff here, and of course HD is exciting, but even if it wasn't it still looks amazing.
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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2017, 02:09:37 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline kelis

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2017, 10:53:42 AM »
The rock texture is perfect !! I think you did a great job and the idea of desaturating the textures is great, now they looks more realistic...
about the beach, mmm... I like both, for sure you have to include more than one texture... I mean create a folder where people can choose between more than one type of texture for the beach...

I'm waiting for the textures, I've created a new japanese map just to use with this map  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2017, 10:53:42 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline c.p.

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2017, 10:12:31 PM »
The grasses and flowers look great, and I love the variety. :thumbsup:

Also thanks for adding the trees, people, animals, etc to some of the pictures.  They're actually better than roads anyway for getting a sense of scale (and more appropriately primeval too).

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2017, 10:12:31 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Badsim

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2017, 08:21:27 AM »

Clickable to full sizes


Hi ,

After the usual 6 months long hiatus , I’m back at work to finish that damned  VIP Terrain Mod …  %bur2$

During last March , I’ve had to face multiple problems ( overscaled textures , tiling effects with some zoom levels ) and a lot of things have changed since the previous sets of pictures , but after serious headaches testing various properties and testing tens of TextureMap table combinations , I’ve been unable to progress enough to send a beta version to the 3 official testers before the end of March … now I’ve decided to process differently : here is a link so everyone can download and test it , like it works for the time being :

Outdated version / Link removed 20/10/17

Warnings : Of course this HD terrain Mod requests Hardware rendering selected , you must have only this Terrain Mod with this Water Mod , this Rock Mod and this Beach Mod in your plugins folder ( they will be optional in the end , like  the snow level currently High ), secondly , this Mod isn’t made ( so most probably not particularly proper ) for urban environments nor flat maps …a virgin  region ( steeper is the relief , better it is ) is highly recommanded . And do not forget that this a beta version : for example , I’ve locked the seasonality until I’ll master the TextureMap table on that subject matter ( That’s not something I appreciate particularly for the current Terrain Mods available so that’s not my highest priority … ) . Happy testing while I’m waiting for your first observations and suggestions here . Should be back , working fully  at it again , in 2 weeks …  ()stsfd()

Cédric.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:51:57 AM by Badsim »

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2017, 08:21:27 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline mgb204

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2017, 09:39:19 AM »
WoHo... Cedric is back  :bnn:

And a nice reminder of the forthcoming new addition to the HD terrain mod options, which looks beautiful even in it's beta state. It's a nice balance between the brighter Appalachian and darken Gobias' mods that gives it a real European feel for me. I'll be delighted to test it out as soon as possible. In fact I have an Empty region I've been messing with I hope will be perfect for that.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2017, 09:39:19 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline bladeberkman

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2017, 01:52:50 PM »
Beautiful work! Great choices and attention to detail.  :)

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2017, 01:52:50 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Girafe

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2017, 02:42:52 PM »
Welcome back  ;D

Will try that during this week end  :thumbsup:

 &apls &apls &apls
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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2017, 02:42:52 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline 911Diva

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2017, 03:50:57 PM »
Awesome rock textures!!  &apls &apls  If I knew how to beta test I would be happy to help!!!!  ()what()

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2017, 03:50:57 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Handyman

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2017, 04:40:06 PM »
Happy to see you back.
Downloaded, will try it tomorrow.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2017, 04:40:06 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Handyman

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2017, 04:08:22 PM »
This is my first HD terrain mod and I have to say I'm lovin it.
Have been running it in my sandbox city for a few days, I have not had any problems, or anomalies, as yet.
If it does not misbehave I will be moving it to my currently active city, where I can check it out more thoroughly.
Nice Work  &apls

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2017, 04:08:22 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline mgb204

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2017, 03:52:26 AM »
Finally had a chance to really test the terrain mod today, after my initial tests didn't work out, the region was simply too flat to make any meaningful conclusions. So I setup a new region, using the Qadisha map (linky), which has a nice balance of hilly terrain and a mountainous area, along with some bumpy plains and a good coastline.

The most immediate thing that comes up when rendering the region is simply how much of the map is covered in snow, too much IMO. Using the region census tool, I've made a region screenshot:


Click for full size                                                                                                       

I've done a number of things to attempt to illustrate the problem. So the actual map reaches just a smudge under 3,000m in elevation, which is pretty much identical to the "MaxTerrainHeight" property by default. But this is a high-altitude snow version, such a figure probably is OK for snow with lower altitude maps, but it's quite far off ideal for high altitude snow. I've therefore doubled this to 6,000m in the terrain mod to produce this image, and still the snow appears from 2,000m upwards, covering a large part of the upper elevations. The red area (highlight added in PS), shows where the snow line was with the default setting of 3,000m. I've also deliberately kept some of the tiles without rendering them, so the height-map elevations show. Allowing you to compare those to the boundary tiles and see how things match up.

Of course for optimal usage, most players will typically want to manually configure such settings, so there is no perfect answer to what setting to use. But I think if you intend to offer some Low/Med/High variants for the can't mod/won't mod crowd, I'd consider maybe 4,000m/5,500m/7,000m for those variants.

I eventually settled on 8,750m myself, which seems to provide a close approximation of what the map developer intended. Although that's probably a little extreme from the perspective of a default setting. After a bit of terraforming to improve some areas to work better with the terrain settings, I get this:



Generally speaking the grass and rock textures are simply sublime, I can't really fault them. Although given my preference for lower-elevation terrains I'd personally prefer to see the darker greens appearing lower. But that's not really something I expect you to change, there is nothing wrong here. Similarly I can't fault the water mod, the colours work really well and I like the greenish hue where the sun reflects upon the surface.

Snow is something that's really hard to get right for terrain textures, but it feels like a giant amorphous blob of snow covering the mountainous areas. I'm not the most artistic type, the best way I can explain it is, that it lacks that certain something in terms of detail. Compare my shot to the download page of the map, which is how the BO (Berner Oberland) terrain snow looks. Your textures seem to cover some of the detail in of the outcropping of the mountain. I think these textures could potentially benefit from some improvements and I would consider looking at the differences between yours and the BO ones to see the differences. To be completely fair, this is an area where many terrain mods don't really look right either, so I'm guessing it's not so easy to get perfect. But a few tweaks to help the contours and edges of the terrain to better stand out in snow-covered areas would really go a long way to improving things. In any case, it's not a deal breaker in any way.

I'm noticing some seams showing in z1/z2 for the beach textures, I've tried to capture them as best as I could. Another thing you may wish to take a look at:





Otherwise though, again I can't really find fault with the general look and feel. Now I've got the basics out of the way, I'll play a little with the region and maybe come back to you. But I'd already say this is coming along very nicely indeed and I'm fairly certain I will add it to my list of terrains that I use.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2017, 03:52:26 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Badsim

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2017, 08:54:14 AM »
Hi ,


Robin : Firstly , thank you for the enthusiast Welcome Back .  ;)

Such detailed report about your first tests isn’t surprising from you and , once more , thank you to take some of your precious time  :thumbsup: . No doubt : you’re the best interlocutor I could dream of ,  considering your early interest for that Mod and your own Moding abilities . :)

I didn’t test my pebble beach texture  on large areas and at every zoom level - it would take ages for a single man to test everything … so you have spotted  a defective FSH for zoom 1 & 2 indeed , now corrected :



2


Late in March , I had to resize all my textures , while they seemed look good on a virgin region and virgin city tiles , the result was simply ugly when opening old ones with cities or villages  . I divided them all by 4 ( a lot of work and problems to keep them detailed and seamless ) … the snow texture excepted . Now that’s done :

3

4


I think that is it only a part of the problem though , currently the STEX is down so I can’t have a look at the download page of Qadisha map to compare . Anyway , I have another fresh snow texture to implement and test before to give you  a link to a new testable version , in the next 2 or 3 days …   

About the snow level , I’ll take into consideration your suggestions , that value depends of the TextureMap Table(s) and I took those of Orange’s Pyrenean Terrain Mod as basis , I’ll take some time to study what Lowkee33 made on that subject matter . On a side note , there’s only a few people playing with snow theme from time to time - not enough custom content , for sure … so , even if I had a secret hope to motivate our friend Girafe to take his snowy BATs set ( chalets , chairlifts ) up again , well , most probably can’t we dream that much unreasonably …   $%Grinno$% so , a single High snow level should be  enough . ::)

Once these first points fixed , I’ll take  into consideration your suggestion too about the greener grasses at lower altitude . I’m  not completely satisfied either . :-\

******************************************

Thanks for your supportive comments and Likes , this testable version has been downloaded 36 times so far  , so you can all still contribute to the discussion . ;D

Secondarily , I made a clear blue sky background with a more natural and soothing tint than Ennedi’s one (IMO) , you can download it at the end of this post and place/replace these 4 *.bmp directly in your Program Files/Maxis/Simcity 4 Deluxe/Plugins folder ...

Cédric.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2017, 08:54:14 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Handyman

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2017, 06:53:41 AM »
I have moved the mod into my current city and still no obvious problems have jumped out at me. I don't have the expertise of someone like mgb204 so I can't give you feedback based on anything other than my personal impression and I am impressed by how much better my city looks. I do agree with his snow elevation point. In fact I would like to have an option for no snow, if that's possible, instead carrying the grass/flower texture all the way up. I have included before and after pics of my city and a couple close up pics of the terrain so you can see for yourself if everything looks as you intended.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:59:40 AM by Handyman »

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2017, 06:53:41 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline mgb204

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2017, 02:36:20 PM »
You can alter the snowline, just see this tutorial for details of how. If you make it high enough, you'll never see those textures. But be careful not to go too high, because you'll loose some of the variation in the other elevated textures you do want. Just find the highest point of the region and adjust the figure upwards until the snow is gone, that will be just about right. Otherwise disseminating them from the mod is difficult.

Because regions are so varied and have different heights, there is no perfect setting a modder can make that will work for all. The first thing I do with any new region is tweak a unique terrain settings file to match it's characteristics. It's the only way to really be sure each region looks its best.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2017, 02:36:20 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Handyman

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2017, 07:18:31 PM »
Quote
You can alter the snowline, just see this tutorial for details of how.
Thanks, marked that page, give it a try later.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2017, 07:18:31 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Handyman

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2017, 05:23:12 AM »
That worked perfectly, no snow, grass/flower texture all the way up. Had to use MaxTerrainHeight of 6000.
Thanks again mgb204 &apls

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2017, 05:23:12 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline kelis

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2017, 10:40:30 AM »


• First Test - VIP Terrain MOD - By Kelis •

Hello everyone, I want to share with all of you my first impression about this Terrain mod. The first thing that I want to say is THANKS to BADSIM the creator to share with us this terrain Mod, the second is that I will share my opinion at this point and under my point of view... I tested the mod using the current map of my region, which means that maybe the impressions of other players using differents maps with different parameters couldn't be the same, anyway let's start;

##############################################################################

• THINGS THAT I DON'T LIKE:




- The first thing that came to me was the fact that I don't have low grasslands anymore... I am one of those players that set their region is the lowest level possible, just 1 point above the sea level. Why? I am creating a Japanese metropolis and that means that PORTS and Airports are in or very close to the water so my only way to can create all those places in a realistic way is with that level above the sea level.

The solution is simple, just make smaller beaches and covering the rest of the land with a normal grass texture.



- Water and beach mod;

I do like the beach texture, even if those textures are more focused to imitate the banks of rivers or lakes, the true is that I like to see those textures in my Japanese beaches, but in any case the "beach bug" must be corrected, I guess you already know about that BUG in the beaches textures  :thumbsup:

Water mod is something that I like at the first time, but when I zoomed then I don't like it anymore, I think you should use the standard Orange Seine mod, and not that mix of those Waters Mods. The Brigantine water mod from PEG is cool, but I don't think it fits good with the other water mod from Orange.

##############################################################################

• THINGS THAT I DO LIKE:




The mix of textures that we can find around hills and mountains is very good and we the players can get very good result playing around them with MMP and trees.



The textures of the flatlands in the high levels of our regions is very interesting, I really like this texture !



ROCK MOD. I am fascinated with this Rock mod, I love the textures and I think they are just perfect  &apls &apls

##############################################################################

VIP TERRAIN MOD
- " The perfect terrain mod for High level regions " ( Some pictures from a temple located in the mountains of Japan )

Test Pic 1:


Test Pic 2:


Test Pic3:


# As you can see in these pictures, the result that you can get using this terrain mod is very realistic, but be sure to use a High level region, where mountains and rivers are the main element.

##############################################################################

- What I would like to have in this terrain Mod ?


Under my opinion the terrain mod that you showed up in the first page of this thread is the best one. (It is the one that best suits my style of play), and the reasons are these;

- 1; I like that green grass texture, the colours are vivid and they looks pretty good, with a lot of life in their colours.



- 2; Beaches are smaller, leaving space for the grassland in the lowest level of land and you wanted to share with us different textures for the beaches, I like both textures that you had in mind.



- 3; The high parts of the mountains and the hills look amazing, the snowy areas are perfect with those textures, I like the bright and the quality of the snow textures.



-4; The textures of grassy areas are perfect, without any doubt andunder  in my point of view the best textures ever created in Simcity 4, I just love them !!



##############################################################################

- Okay, so this is the first impression that I can share with you my friend. I really hope that you can finish this amazing terrain mod in the way that you more like,
in my humble opinion here we have one of the most amazing terrain mods of this game and I really think that when it is finish a lot of players are going to enjoy using this terrain mod in their regions. I don't need to say that you can ask whatever you want, I will test whatever you need or help with all things that you need. Thanks and greetings Cedric
:thumbsup:
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:08:05 AM by kelis »
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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2017, 10:40:30 AM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline mgb204

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2017, 03:38:02 PM »
- The first thing that came to me was the fact that I don't have low grasslands anymore... I am one of those players that set their region is the lowest level possible, just 1 point above the sea level. Why? I am creating a Japanese metropolis and that means that PORTS and Airports are in or very close to the water so my only way to can create all those places in a realistic way is with that level above the sea level.

The solution is simple, just make smaller beaches and covering the rest of the land with a normal grass texture.

It's even simpler than that, two very easy ways to "fix"/change this:

  • Simply start a tiny bit higher where land is shown and level the beach until you only have the balance between beech/grasslands required. Trust me the difference in height is tiny.
  • Alter the terrain settings from the default, where the "Max Beach Width" at it's lowest level is 0x16 currently. If you make that say 0x2 / 0x3, then the grass returns.

The difference between 1 and 2? If you go route 2, you are stuck with shallow beaches, no matter what you do. If you go with 1, provided the small height difference doesn't bother you, the flexibility for wider beaches is retained when you want them.

Ultimately, such changes are something people should be making to the terrain properties. As I mentioned before, there is no single set of perfect settings for every region or player. So as with much in SC4, if you want full control, you'll need to do some tweaking to get the results you are looking for. Blunder's guide is excellent, it really explains this well and ever since finding it, I've been using it's tips to optimise each map to my terrain controller, it makes a world of difference.

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2017, 03:38:02 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Akallan

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2017, 02:29:31 PM »
I want to thank you for the work you provided! It is incredible, I downloaded your Terrain Mod and I deleted the old ... It is beautiful, thank you a thousand times! ;D

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2017, 02:29:31 PM »

Re: VIP Terrain Mod

Offline Badsim

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Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2017, 07:35:56 AM »
Hi ,

To tell you the truth , the more I study how it works , the more I feel lost  ::) … too many parameters and , as far as I can see , no real direct parameter for the snow level ; I think SC4 hasn’t been conceived to play with snow ( or , at least that Moding part has been left unfinished like many other features ) . I tried to play with both the TextureMap table  and the MaxTerrainHeight value , that helps to raise  the snowline indeed , but impossible to know precisely the height of the limit you try to define  , and , finally , when I check up ingame the result with the TerrainQuery tool , I’m always surprised to find the snowline a lot lower than expected , or , in other terms , rising so slowly . I tried too to play with the TemperatureRangeFactor parameter , the most visible result ingame is that , while the snowline slowly rises  , terrain textures are displayed with a lot less variations …  at least is it logical , but less interesting to my eyes . The  Terrain Height Patches ( available on the STEX if I remember well , for my concern I found them again in one of my backup from 2006 ) mentioned by blunder , use different values for ImageImportScaleFactor ( "How many meters correspond to one unit of gray scale value in image"  , says Ilive Reader ... ) , yeah , one more parameter …  ;D ... after this week spent to test all this labyrinthine Moding made of  elevations , moistures and temperatures  , and nearing to get crazy  :bomb: , I came back to my original Moding . From that point , I do agree that the file I named VIP_Bs_HighAltitudeSnow should be named VIP_Bs_Terrain Properties and then in the Readme should be included informations  so any player will be able to change these terrain properties for snowline , width and height for beaches , water level and transparency  and cliff parameter in accordance with what they want individually ... in fact , the entire blunder’s tutorial should be included in the Readme .

Thank you very much , Jonathan and Handyman , for your reports , much appreciated  :thumbsup: . A new Terrain Mod is so complex to Mod and request so many tests that it doesn’t remain many time for me to spend here with you , so , special thanks for Robin , always ready to reply promptly and aptly to your questions ( more aptly than I could !  $%Grinno$%  ) .  &apls &apls &apls . Robin , I understand what you mean when speaking of a "blob effect" for the snow , but I think that rather than any snow texture , looking at the Qadisha map on the STEX ( and that’s hard to spot due to the size of the picture) , most probably Gobias used several snow textures , unfortunately his Mods aren’t available anymore so I can’t check this . :thumbsdown:

At the origin of that project and while I was using the Appalachian Terrain Mod from Lowkee33 , I found that flowery textures and erosion were missing , maybe have you seen that the textures.dat is named  VIP_AlpineTerrainMod_Textures ; « Alpine »  imply richly flowered pastures  , so this is what I’ve been able to implement ( full sizes and that's necessary ) :

01


02


03


04


05


06


07


08





Hope you like flowers !  :D Accessorily , you’ll find on these pictures a new optional sand beach , a new snow texture and a TextureMap Table displaying less screes . At that point , I just wonder if a Terrain Mod can’t be too good to match with all our non-HD custom content …  ::)

... It is incredible, I downloaded your Terrain Mod and I deleted the old ...

Thank you !  :) I think that , the same way , sooner or later you’ll throw away that first testable version …  ;D

That’s far to be finished , so « back at work » , giving no period that time for a second testable version .  $%#Ninj2

Cédric.

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Sim City 4 Devotion Forums

Re: VIP Terrain Mod
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2017, 07:35:56 AM »

 


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