Menu

LEX File Exchange
EA Support Files
SC4 Wikipedia
Network Addon Mod
Dependencies
Chat

Author Topic: Arden Tree Controller Help Desk  (Read 157755 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline greckman

  • Forums Mayor
  • *
  • Posts: 198
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • I'm Towncrafter, and emus are cool
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2011, 09:36:30 PM »
Being a builder of rural areas and farms, I really like this project. The fences along the street is a great touch and will come in very handy. I also am glad this will be a functional network and not just eyecandy. And that news from Alex is awesome.
Keep up the good work, Vortext.
CLICK to see my MD on SC4D: Towncrafter's World - The Cities and Towns of greckman

Offline noahclem

  • Administrator
  • Forums Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 5875
  • Total likes: 716
  • Reputation: 16
  • CL:
    Resident Reindeer
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2011, 08:52:59 AM »
Nice progress vortext.  &apls   This is definitely continuing to be an exciting project. You've certainly created a nice scene testing the situation. Btw, love the "dirty meadows"  :D

Also, glad you liked the bridge tutorial. I'm very happy if it's useful.  :thumbsup:

Offline Evillions8

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2011, 12:39:19 AM »
Will there be a blank base texture for any of these SAMs?

Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2011, 02:14:36 PM »
@Lowkee33, smart move to make the end piece a straight. I use network enabled lots to get the strees to end somewhere. (just in case you were wondering, yes, growables can be network enabled too, which has its pros and cons). I've also been thinking about using offset props to create driveways but then again, learning how to bat would be something else all together and I'm afraid I wouldn't get around to actually playing. Which I rarely do anyway since I'm bit of a perfectionist, your advice has been taken into account ;)

@Tarkus, I've sent you a PM some time ago but haven't heard back yet. In short I was wondering if you know the standard procedure to colour correct the wide curves, which JoeST said you would. Also I would like very much to get my hands on an 'empty' SAM range. And in general I've been thinking for some time now about what sam V4 should include (wide curves, all possible diagonal intersections etc.). Really want to discuss this with you or another NAM team member.

@greckman, thanks glad you like it. And it would be awesome indeed if my modest attempt at modding would turn into a proper sam someday  :).

@noahclem thanks, be sure to keep an eye out.

@Evillions8, not sure if I understand what you mean by a blank base texture. If you're referring to the sidewalks I've used, these can be found in the CP & bsc vol 2 texture packs. Except for the dirt top, that one is from a texture pack found on the internet, free to use, which I have modified. Alas I've had no luck finding it again, so you have to wait for a release, if ever  ::)   

update


As you can see, all wide curves are completed. Accidentally I've colour corrected some twice, which is why some look so dark. But it's okay since I'm not happy with them just yet, especially the unzoned ones can be improved upon.


It's a maze!  :D Added dirt tracks into the existing textures, which was somewhat tedious to do. And I can already tell you it must be done again. Because although I had lined up the diagonals and straights, it hadn't cross my mind this would not guarantee the tracks to run parallel with the underlying dirt top. In other words, the tracks do sometime cut corners. Needless to say, this must be corrected.


Head-on collision! This occurs too frequent, must have another look at the T21 patterns. 

Still on the wishlist is to add the purple-blue overlays shown in the first post, for medium & high wealth. As for the fences, after Kwakelaars remark about looking like a race track, I came to wonder if two carriages in opposite direction could pass each other. It turns out they can, if only just barely. Now a little voice in the back of my head won't stop nagging, it's too narrow, it's too narrow. .  $%Grinno$% 

On a side note, I'm still searching for a region to put all this to the test. What I want is a large region (60x60 km or so) with some riverbeds (either ingame water or for ploppable), a decent mountain range and still enough flatland to develop. Suggestions anyone? 

And leaving on a personal note, after prolonged unemployment I've landed a new job two weeks ago now, which is great but it sure takes a huge chunk out of the day :D Things are coming along nowhere near as fast as I would like them to. But rest assured I'll keep on going. That's all for now, please leave me a comment and 'till next time, cheers.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 03:44:50 PM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2011, 11:39:36 AM »
Looking good.  The curved fences look a little strange, but I guess that's how it goes. :)  You might have issues with the IR zones getting fences, how does traffic get in?

Too many downsides for TE (for my own lots I would say).  I had a TE windmill, but then didn't like traffic going into the 1x1 driveway.  The last straw was a slope issue.  It seems that the TE connection has to be flat land, and so it does strange things.

As for the props, my thought process was the same as yours.  However, no need to Bat.  There are models in NAM that are flat planes, and the texture applied is the same shape/size as a transit texture (a top down perspective).  Cogeo gave me some help, and eventually I got it good enough for me.  Thread Link.  I feel like there is enough info in that thread to get it right, but feel free to ask.

Offline thingfishs

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2011, 07:35:37 PM »
Brilliant work vortext &apls
As a regular SC4 player I love them, but they are also perfect for the SimMedieval project (marsh actually pointed me here). I have no complaints, in fact they're better than I would've hoped for - my only wishful request (and I know it's fair task), is to make 22.5 etc ones (dirt FAR basically). These would make creating realistic medieval towns & cities a LOT easier. Just a thought but regardless, I think these look fantastic.

Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2011, 07:35:06 AM »
@ Lowkee33, as for the traffic getting in, that's where the network enabling comes into play. Just made a prop family with all sorts of fences to go on IR lots. And yes, the connection must be made on near flat ground. Though once it's there, it can handle slopes pretty well. Also thanks for the link, I must try it yet but it looks very usefull, not only for the street mod. 

@thingfishs, thank you. I didn't know about the SimMedieval project and it looks very promising. Hopefully things will pick up again since I'm kinda short on historic / rural buildings myself. As for the FAR side of the streets, there is only one such piece available that I know of (in the rural roads plugin) and I can't get it to work . .  I would applaud anyone who makes FAR pieces for streets and be more than happy to do some texturing for it, but until then we can only wish for it.

Small Update

This will be slightly off topic but I consider this my personal thread so it's okay I guess  :D
Last couple of weeks my attention has been geared towards other things than the street mod. For one I've searched for and found a region. It's the Barcelona area made by dobbdriver / drunkapple and measures 60-something x 60-something km (can't remember exactly and too lazy to look it up  :)). Here it is.



Needless to say, it took a while to get all the trees in but I'm pleased with the result. It's actually my first proper region since re-discovering simcity. Now this beauty needs to be developed in style, so I've begun making new farm fields. After all, it would be somewhat of an eyesore to see the streets, which are in HD, run through dull maxis fields. Here's a little sneak-peek.



Yup, high-definition, multi-fish texture farm fields ()stsfd() Stay tuned for more.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 07:47:44 AM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline marsh

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2011, 08:06:40 PM »
Beautiful region. Out of curiosity what tree controller is that?

Those farm fields look great too. I have yet to find a farm field set that I feel blends in well with the maxis ones. (SG ones did but the seasonal part ruins it making random fields everywhere) Maybe these will be the ones I finally use. Who knows. :P


Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2011, 01:22:00 PM »
@marsh, I've used two actually. The coastal area, extending some 4/5 tiles inland, is done with Meadowshire river. The rest with Italia coast, both by cp of course.
Thanks for the heads up on the blending issue, haven't looked at it yet since I use a maxis blocker.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 01:24:39 PM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2011, 10:29:24 AM »
Hi VortextI think this is the first one  :P

I have to say, what do you mean by HD textures?  SimCity can only display 128 pixels on a tile.

Can you show a zoomed out/gridded picture of your fields?  They are very interesting, but I can't tell what I am looking at (base texture/overlay/terrain).

It looks like your blades of grass are 4 meters long, something I constantly battle with while making terrain textures.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 12:07:29 PM by Lowkee33 »

Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2011, 12:36:55 PM »
@Lowkee33, true as it may be simcity can only display 128 pixels a tile, as far as I know a texture which measures 256x256 instead of 128x128 makes quite a noticable difference.



This is what I mean when I say HD.

As for the scale, keep in mind the ALN fences are rather large heightwise and the same goes for the carriages.  I'm trying to match the field textures to those.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 12:40:05 PM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2011, 02:43:28 PM »
Going to bring alternate results here.  ()flamdev()  :)

I think the issue is when you went from a 256 texture to a 128 texture.  Depending upon compressions your pixels may blur into each other.  SC4 does not do this, it only ignores pixels that it can't display.  I made a 256 and 128 checkerboard textures, and the result is: This.  The 256 is on the left, but both textures count 128 pixels in-game.  I would expect that if the 256 texture was displaying more pixels, it would look almost plain gray.

As for the fences, they are 2 meters tall, so that is a little big I would say.  The carriages I believe Picture.  I would say that is the smaller of carriages posted in your crash picture. 

Sorry if I seem like a jerk posting pictures, I don't mean to be.  The topic is interesting, so I at least report on the reasons why I think what I think. 

« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 02:45:39 PM by Lowkee33 »

Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2011, 04:33:15 PM »
@Lowkee33, you're not being a jerk in anyway, in fact I think it is rather interesting. Though I'm no graphics expert I'm well aware of the differences in compression, this one was chosen for dramatic purposes  ;) However, even with the best compression rate for the 128 texture, the 256 texture on the left still looks a bit more crisp to me.   



Of course one could apply additional filters to the 128 texture beforehand but it doesn't make it any better. I've run rather extensive tests to see what looks best in game and thus far 256 pixel textures take the cake. Though technically the game may display 128 pixels for both textures, not displaying half the number of pixels from a 256 texture apparently yields a better result than to display all the pixels from a 128 texture. Which somehow seems to make sense, at least to me ::)

With respect to the carriages, the LOD boxes are 7 meters high. Of course the actual prop is slightly smaller but still nowhere as small as the one you linked to. Another way to demonstrate the overscaled nature of things is to take the fence as a ruler. Given it is 2.3 meter high, I would judge the back wheels to measure 2 meters at least.



But you're right the grass in the sneak peek pic is too large, it was only a proof of concept concerning the multi-fish textures. Here's another sample to show what I'm aiming for.   



« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 07:48:05 AM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2011, 08:37:34 PM »
First, thanks for the heads up about MultiFsh.  It allows for multiple layers to be on the same FSH, meaning that textures can be random.  Before, this was a long process.

No expert either, but I feel like the bicubic is for expanding images.  The best thing I could get is to use no compression at all.  I bet if you were to remove every other pixel, you might get the same thing from a 128 as a 256.

The 256 textures do look better.  I know there are a few high-detail ones in the BSC packs, perhaps compare to those.

The only issue I can see is file size.  You turn something near 25kb to 100kb.

I use Texture Maker.  A great program, I learn a little bit more about every time I open it up.

Offline vortext

  • Administrator
  • Forums Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 3364
  • Total likes: 576
  • Reputation: 23
  • CL:
    Street Smarts
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2011, 08:48:42 AM »
For starters a quick word on the compression issue, I work with photoshop and it doesn't allow a picture to be resized pixelwise without compression. So I prefer 256 textures given they look better and are easier to work on when it comes to details.

Now taking turn in seeming to come across as a jerk: are you sure simcity can only display 128 pixels a tile, e.g. is this hard coded in the .exe or something? I ask because in your checkerboard picture the 256 texure has a different interference pattern compared to the 128 texture, though this may be due to viewing angle / lot orientation in-game.

As for the file size, to my knowledge textures are among the least resource intensive stuff in simcity and even with 256 textures, the .dat files are still small compared to proppacks or modelfiles. I see little issue with this unless one is playing simcity on a 10-year old pc.

On a side note, I don't make my own textures but work with what I can find online, there are some pretty decent texture packs which fit my needs and are free to use, modify and redistribute. But you seem to have a skill providing me with interesting links, I've downloaded the texture maker and it looks like a lot of fun  :)

Multi-fish textures are a effective means for more variation / randomization yes. They work for both base and overlay textures, not for transit textures unfortunately. Don't have a clue about terrain textures, so maybe you could give it a try. The only tricky part when it comes to farm fields is to make multiple textures which can be tiled interchangeably, otherwise it looks like patchwork. I do this by starting with a 512 texture, tile it twice so the edges as well as the centre match up (hard for me to explain this, hope you understand what I mean). Next cut it up into four 256 textures and rotate /flip each one a few times, ending up with 16 variations in a multi-fish texture.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 08:59:07 AM by vortext »
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Offline Deionn

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2011, 06:52:05 PM »
Very, VERY nice textures, and I love how you've used c.p.'s textures to create a street mod, I have to say, I'm going to use the method of the farm fields to create a different variety in my creations.

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2011, 08:49:30 PM »
are you sure simcity can only display 128 pixels a tile, e.g. is this hard coded in the .exe or something? I ask because in your checkerboard picture the 256 texure has a different interference pattern compared to the 128 texture, though this may be due to viewing angle / lot orientation in-game.

Pretty sure.  I can at least say the difference between the two textures is viewing angle.  Terrain textures can be spread out.  The default textures are 256x256, and they take up a 2x2 tile square in zoom 4.  I am making 1024x1024 textures, but  this just means that I have to spread them out more.  For my terrain, a texture is 8x8 tiles large in the closest zoom.  It's not any more HD.  What the larger texture means is that I can have a lot more variance within the texture, because it doesn't tile as much.

Quote
As for the file size, to my knowledge textures are among the least resource intensive stuff in simcity and even with 256 textures, the .dat files are still small compared to proppacks or modelfiles.

Yeah, I think I was off, 5kb, not 25kb.  It gets pretty deep into my own opinions about things.  I have about 100mb of base/overlay textures, and probably 20mb that I will ever use.  I will have to make my own as the terrain mod gets closer to completion.   


Quote
Don't have a clue about terrain textures, so maybe you could give it a try.

I never thought of that, hmm.  I will give it a shot.  Jeeze, if that works I might rethink some things.

Texture maker is incredible.  I am pretty sure you can do what you are saying with the Translate functions.  Functions can also be scripted, meaning you can set it to flip something vertically, horizontally, and the both with one click.  Haven't figured out how to split textures in a script, but you can go from your 512 to 4 256es in a click in the menu.  The scripts also handle batch processing.  If you just made 16 textures and they are all a little too bright, you can write a "make darker" script and process them all at once.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 09:22:05 PM by Lowkee33 »

Offline dedgren

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2011, 10:45:34 PM »
Quote
Clearly a little edgy, but making everything prefect does get in the way of playing the game.

I think SC4 was where the phrase "The perfect is the enemy of the good" originated.  Actually, "the perfect" is simply the enemy of ever getting anything done at all.

Vortext, nice work!  A K-point for that, and one for you, too, Carl (Lowkee33) for continuing to think outside the SC4 box.


David
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 10:48:40 PM by dedgren »
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I atenít dead.  ó  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

Offline Gringamuyloca

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2011, 11:22:35 PM »
 &bis& dedgren!

@ Vortex & Lowkee33 ... it seems you two have attracted the (IMOP the well deserved) attention of a master!  &apls

@ Dedgren - So nice to know there is a bit of time in your life to check in here David! May there be hope in RL.  ()flower()

Sorry for the hijack.. my excitement could not contain itself!  $%Grinno$%

Tamara

Offline Tarkus

  • Administrator
  • Forums Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 11472
  • Total likes: 5052
  • Reputation: 73
  • NAM Team Tankadillo
    • NAM HQ
  • CL: Dr. PuzzlePiece
Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2011, 12:26:21 AM »
@Tarkus, I've sent you a PM some time ago but haven't heard back yet. In short I was wondering if you know the standard procedure to colour correct the wide curves, which JoeST said you would. Also I would like very much to get my hands on an 'empty' SAM range. And in general I've been thinking for some time now about what sam V4 should include (wide curves, all possible diagonal intersections etc.). Really want to discuss this with you or another NAM team member.

My apologies for the lack of response on my end :-[, and I'll give it a long overdue go now.

As far as color-correction, unfortunately, there isn't really a standard procedure.  Every NAMite who works with textures has different methods and settings they use to accomplish it, and there's periodically debates about the efficacy of them.  My current process I'm using on the textures for RealHighway Version 5.0 in Photoshop CS5 is to create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, setting "Lightness" to -15.  I picked that technique up from Shadow Assassin, and it tends to work fairly well.  Before, I had a solid colored square I was using as an overlay, which I used on the TuLEPs and some NWM textures--this method proves less effective when dealing with lighter or darker textures than the Maxis norms. 

It is also worth noting that the game actually applies textures to puzzle pieces and model-based transit items in their true colors.  The draggable items are actually darkened slightly by the graphics engine.  It is an oft-repeated misconception that they actually get "lightened" on models.

As far as getting a SAM range, we've still got a few sitting around. :)  All that needs to be done to enable them is to remove a semicolon that sits in front of the AddTypes line for the starter piece in RUL 0x10000000 in the NAM Controller file.  I don't think Set 10 has anything planned for it right now--if you change the sixth digit on the IIDs for all the textures in the 0x5E5##### range to "A", they'll work with that starter.  I have pieces of a set jplumbley had been working on with squidi when there was an effort toward a SAM V4 back in 2009 that I'd like to get in place for Set 6.  I'll have to get back to you on the wide-radius curves, however, as they're sitting in the Rural Roads Plugin (which will most likely get ripped apart if/when there's a new SAM) and I don't have that side of things memorized.

We're currently in the latter stages of getting a NAM release cycle together (the NAM itself, plus a new RHW and a new NWM), so we'll probably need to have that sorted out before we start any efforts in earnest toward SAM V4.  I did a bit of work last year on adding some additional intersection support--you can see those results beginning on Page 71 of the SAM Development thread, to get some idea as to where we're headed.  Fractional Angles might also be up for consideration.

-Alex