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Author Topic: Arden Tree Controller Help Desk  (Read 157449 times)

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Offline ivo_su

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #240 on: November 18, 2012, 07:00:19 PM »
Bravo vortext, wonder square with beautiful flora around it.

Offline FrankU

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #241 on: November 19, 2012, 06:53:47 AM »
A mixture of MD like images and modding stuff can definitely be an interesting thread to keep an eye on. Especially when both the images and the modding projects are interesting, and that is certainly the case here. So keep on doing what you like to do and show us when you think we should see it too.

claps!  &apls

Offline RickD

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #242 on: November 19, 2012, 07:13:00 AM »
The new River Controller seems to be a a great improvement over the pre-release one. Adding the grass, shrubs and flowers covers my main complaint about the testing version. It looks fantastic now.
My name is Raphael.
Visit my MD: Empire Bay (My old MD: Santa Barbara County)

Offline Gugu3

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #243 on: November 19, 2012, 09:52:35 AM »
Amazing pic Vortext!

Offline vortext

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #244 on: December 09, 2012, 03:43:41 PM »
@Noah, ivo_su, Gugu3, thanks!

@Frank, always a pleasure when you stop by, thanks for the kind words!

@Raphael, even though with the benefit of hindsight I already knew most of the weak spots, the feedback still proved quite valuable.  :thumbsup:

~

A small update today to let you fine folks know I'm still going at it.

*click pics for full size*





The oak forest still has the least density, despite mixing in single ash trees. However I like the oaks too much to disband them.








After testing EpicBlunder's controller I figured mixing seasonal trees with evergreens actually is a pretty good idea.
 



Coast controller with optional meadows, my favourite shot so far.


So yeah, basically I've gone over each and every brush - at least twice by now - to adress density and behaviour. At the moment I'm reworking the Preference tables and I'm pleased to say the end is in sight. About time as well because frankly I'm kinda fed up with it - especially because I've got a number of new and exciting projects lined up. Here're some sneak peeks of what's going on behind the scenes.


A collaboration with SimCoug$%#Ninj2


Wait, did I started BATting?!  $%Grinno$% So anyone wants to take a guess who created these beauties then?!  ;)


The most intricate texture I've made so far. Pretty sure there's some redundancy in there but I'm quite pleased with it. Still a mystery though why the height map doesn't play along nicely with flipped elements.  &Thk/(

Finally two personal notes. First of all; I really like my new CML! Thanks to whoever decided to reward me one and many thanks to the person who designed it as well, it turned out great! Though I'd like to point out my avatar actually depicts Mark Twain helping out in his friend Nicolai Tesla's laboratory, not Albert Einstein.  ;)

Secondly I seem to be plagued with health problems lately. That nasty cold was gone only a few days when suddenly my wrist acted up, which turned out to be RSI. Luckily it's my left wrist and I'm right-handed so I can still get stuff done, albeit at a slower pace (copy / paste anyone?).

That's it for now, stay tuned for more!  &opr

« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:47:07 AM by vortext »
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Offline Indiana Joe

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #245 on: December 09, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »
Can't wait to see that flora controller released; and I like the barns.

Hope you feel better too!

Offline whatevermind

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #246 on: December 09, 2012, 04:34:49 PM »
 :o Those trees!!! So beautiful! Glad to see work continues on this, and I can't wait to try it out.

So, Twain and Tesla...that must have been quite the pair!  :D

Offline Swordmaster

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #247 on: December 09, 2012, 05:14:55 PM »
Perseverance is an art, my friend. And if you're getting tired of it, don't be afraid to ask some folks to help out, or even let it rest for a while. Some time off one particular project will light up your mind (and your wrist).

So far the brushes look good, but as you may understand it's hard to judge that from afar. Only when using it will the true value become clear.

And you collaborating with Simcoug? That should produce some interesting things. . .  I don't think he can BAT, but I may be wrong. The barns remind me a little of DaveN's work?

That tree-ish picture, is that all the layers you've used in that texture? Or what base materials you used to get there? My texture work is limited to going through it pixel by pixel, adding some GIMP effects in the process. But you seem to be a bit of an. . . Einstein in it? :D


Cheers
Willy

Offline Gugu3

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #248 on: December 09, 2012, 05:19:20 PM »
Amazing Votext!!!love the look of your tree controller!!!!as being one of the tester of your previous attempt I can say this one seems to be exceptional! &apls
well done
cheers
Gugu3

Offline epicblunder

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #249 on: December 09, 2012, 05:32:21 PM »
After testing EpicBlunder's controller I figured mixing seasonal trees with evergreens actually is a pretty good idea.

 ;D

About time as well because frankly I'm kinda fed up with it - especially because I've got a number of new and exciting projects lined up. Here're some sneak peeks of what's going on behind the scenes.

At this point, i know that feeling well.  Also, i really like the effect of your meadow, and the larches interspaced with the other evergreens.

Offline vortext

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #250 on: December 13, 2012, 05:12:49 PM »
@Indiana Joe, thanks - I can't wait for it either!  ;)

@whatevermind, yes indeed, I imagine they must have had quite some interesting conversations. And glad you like it!

@Willy, thanks for the sound advice but it's precisly because of other projects I want to get this over with.  :)

Besides, tweaking brushes really is a matter of personal taste, not something someone else could do for me (and I wouldn't want to burden anyone with it anyway). That said, I might need some help with the Read-Me. As for the tree-ish screengrab, you're looking at the workspace in FilterForge which I use to make textures from scratch with noise & patterns generators and basic shapes. The barns aren't made by DaveN btw, take another guess.  ;)

@Gugu3, thank you, I'm pleased you noticed improvement as well!

@epicblunder, thanks!

~

I've made good progress last couple of days and the Coastal controller is just about ready. There're a few transitions and brushes I'm not quite satisfied with yet but I'll leave those for now and get the River controller back in shape - as I've basically picked it apart.  ::)

*click pics for full size*
Subalpine forest, once again with meadows. Given it all depends on the terrain, it's always surprising to see how the controller is gonna turn out. Rather decent in this particular tile. ()stsfd()


So besides subapline meadows I was wondering if I should incorporate some more - since they'll be optional anyway. After reworking the preferences table I had a few empty slots and it turned out I had some old meadows laying around as well.


And there you go, more meadows. In the regular Coast controller these plains are filled with forests - hadn't had time for a side-by-side comparison pic yet.


Coastal area in summer and autumn.




Finally two regional overviews. As said before I'm not happy yet with some of the transitions - especially between the seasonal and evergreen items.




That's it for now.  :)

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Offline Swordmaster

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #251 on: December 13, 2012, 05:48:57 PM »
I'll comment on the views up close; the other ones are looking great from what I can see.

Pic #2 is quite fantastic, but I'd like to see it in fall. Did you mod the green grass so it turns brown in fall? Or is pic #3 from the same brush? I'm not sure about the grass in that one; I never use that MMP since it's a little too shiny. Certainly in fall. The brown patches are great, though.

But you're right, all of this comes down to personal taste, and I still think your brushes are much better than mine.

Cheers
Willy

Offline vortext

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #252 on: December 13, 2012, 06:04:39 PM »
Pic #2 is quite fantastic, but I'd like to see it in fall. Did you mod the green grass so it turns brown in fall? Or is pic #3 from the same brush? I'm not sure about the grass in that one; I never use that MMP since it's a little too shiny. Certainly in fall. The brown patches are great, though.

Pic #2 and #3 show the same brushes indeed. I'm not too sure about the 'shiny' grass in fall either. It now serves as a muted verion of the ALN white flowers but maybe I'll have it revert to brown grass instead.
And yes, the green grass turns brown in autumn. I'll release a seasonal 'golden oldies' mmp pack to go along with the tree controllers. Included are ALN gras and the various wildflowers, in addition to PEGs weeds and flowers.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:10:48 PM by vortext »
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Offline mattb325

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #253 on: December 13, 2012, 06:11:00 PM »
This really is amazing work that you've done and I hope that it doesn't exhaust you too much  :P, but I know how tedious the reader can be...I actually really like the seasonal transition in the last pictures, even if it is a little harsh between the deciduous and evergreen lines, but there is enough mixing of the two types to be believable.  &apls

Offline sunv123

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #254 on: December 13, 2012, 06:37:40 PM »
I think that it looks very nice, the line in the transition isn't that unrealistic, the look of that looks similar to this pic of Mt. Washington in the U.S

Provo, a city apart Updated July 4.

Offline noahclem

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #255 on: December 14, 2012, 01:52:07 AM »
Beautiful shots with the tree controller  :o   They're looking almost ready!

Offline Glazert

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #256 on: December 14, 2012, 03:25:39 AM »
When I first looked at the two regional overview pictures I thought at first that they were real-world photographs. You shouldn't require any convincing that your work looks realistic.

Offline vortext

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #257 on: January 24, 2013, 07:29:29 PM »
Hi there everybody, hope you all had pleasant holidays!

My year started very relaxed with a nice vacation, which gave me plenty of time for all kinds of simcity related fun stuff. Rather curiously though I spend less time online than I normally do. On second thought that's probably because I was too busy expanding my region!  ()stsfd()

Honestly though, with all this time on my hands I should've updated more frequent because while preparing this post, it turned out I had quite a few things to share so it's gonna be a looong read. Fear not though because there'll be lots of pictures too! And for convenience I decided to break it down in three parts. First are the tree controllers, next I'll be more-or-less bragging a bit and finally show other ongoing projects. Feel free to skip the parts you're not interested in. ;)

~

Allright, tree controllers. While I was putting the River controller back together I kept going round in circles again, up to the point I had enough of it. You see, there're these two moisture levels which when used together will cover anything from 40% up to 80% of the terrain. So one day I might have decided to use those two slots, only to be dissatisfied with it the next day and decide to leave those empty instead. Pretty frustrasting untill I realised I should just make a new controller with only these two spots and get it over with. After all, I already had a decent number of brushes. Of course I ended up using more than just those two spots but anyway, let me introduce you to the latest addition, the Inland Controller.

*click pics for full size*



No fancy shoreline or anything, hence the name.





As you can see it's rather straightforward, though I'm quite pleased how it turned out. Especially the higher altitude has a nice variety in firs.





And finally the regionview.


Before I forget, thank you Glazert, sunv123 and mattb325 for your kind words and encouragement concerning the transition, really eased my mind this time around!  :thumbsup: And of course thanks Willy & Noah for your comments too! 

Next up is the River controller which in general has the least dense forests, both in terms of the Preference table and the spacing of the trees.






Though if conditions are right forests will appear!






And thanks to a remark by Willy, the meadows now feature multi seasonal items. That is, some items change in springtime and again in summer, with a static winter/autumn item.


Early spring.


Late spring / early summer.


Late summer.


The carefull observer will notice I still have to tweak CPs bushes a bit. In addition I have to add Girafe's lupines into the alpine meadows, can't leave those out, can I?!  $%Grinno$%
Once that's done it's gonna be about time to wrap things up. I'll send the latest versions to the beta testers probably this weekend, so keep an eye out on your inbox guys. Also, if anyone else is interested in giving it a go, now would be the time to let it know!

~

Part two, then. As said before this will be the part where I'm just gonna show off a bit. Because after a carefull merger of three different plugins folders/lot sets and the respective dependencies (the part were things have gone horribly wrong in the past) I've arrived at a point where I can start to develop rural areas in a somewhat historic fashion, something I only dreamed of when rediscovering the game two years ago. Here're a few examples, straight out of the game, no mmps or anything.


Well okay, I did use some eyecandy and the trees were planted long time ago with one of the first iterations of the tree controller.  ;)



This then is lots only.



Here's the prove. ;)


The variety of lots hasn't seized to amaze me yet. Then again, there're over 300! Residential predominantly, which goes up to stage 4. Though there's a fair amount of industrials as well since I've lotted all the 'farms' as ID, only the fields are proper IR. Needless to say I'm pretty pleased with all this and and because of that, some more pictures.  :P


Obviously, I did use mmps in this case.



The Four Farmsteads, a small community on its own.



Hm, seems that darn dog from Port Sint Clair is wondering about on my streets!  :D



Though it kinda works out in this particular situation, wide curves and T-intersections tend to get on my nerves when it comes to zoning & T21s.  &sly


That said, it's kinda amazing and a relieve really, to be able to play like this. Finally things have come together, which at times I wasn't convinced of at all. And for those curious and/or persistently enquiring (you know who you are); yes, I actually do have plans for a MD! Eventually . . , hopefully . , one day, if everything works out well, in the near future. Let's just keep it at sometime later this year, right?! ;D
Because right now I'm developing the country side and have other projects at hand, which brings me to part three.

~

Hi there, welcome to part three, other projects. :D

First of all, Xannepan send me his medieval houses a while ago and they are flat out amazing!







Plenty of variety, both in color and models so it should make for an excellent lot set when finished. And extremely slope tolerant too because of the custom foundations Alex made.

I've already done a fair amount of work but it requires a different approach than I'm used to, especially with regard to the building desc which leaves me with a nagging question.

Thing is I want to create 2x2 lots with multiple props on them, instead of one building per lot. So I've created desc files based on a small, invisible building which means to filling degree has to be ridiculously high in order to reflect the proper capacity (around 7500 for 250 folks). As far as I can tell, this is the correct way to do it but I'm still a bit anxious about it, especially with regard to the simulation. Does anyone know if a high filling degree has downsides with regard to the simulation? And if so, what is the proper way to it?!

Hope someone has an answer so I can move forward with more confidence. In the meanwhile, I've really taken a fancy to making textures. For one because imho CPs set, while extremely versatile, is too bright and saturated when used with the new HD terrain mods. Moreover I couldn't find any decent textures for Xannepans lots. Yes of course, there're SPAM and BSC textures but still. . . I feel like there's been way too little attention for LE textures.

At the moment I'm busy with a first set, which shouldn't be too hard to complete once I figure out how to automate certain aspects. In any case, Xannepan's lots will most likely feature new textures and the farms will probably have new pastures as well. Here're a few examples, needless to say it's all work in progress.


Garden textures are the hardest to make by far. The stone path has become quite extensive with two off-set widths and diagonals, too.



The basic texture set, anyone spot the outlier?!  ::) I want a number of these (~4) as base textures and use the remaining to create overlays, based on the alphas of the stone path in the previous picture.


A small selection of pastures then.





The tiling is pretty dominant, yes. However, it is on purpose because eventually I'll be making multi-fsh textures, in which case it's actually helpfull if textures have dominant features (look at some of Maxis' multi-fsh textures to see what I mean).


Finally I'm still fooling around with new textures for the GLR. Here's what I've come up with thusfar.


Rural GLR


Urban GLR


GLR in street


And how it pans out in game.





As for the avenues, I still like the texture I've shown previously (here) but needless to say it needs some serious attention to get the GLR part similar to these latest ones. But I'm curious to learn what you think, does this look about right? i.e. can you imagine something like this in your cities (both European and American, even Asian perhaps?).


~

Okay, note to self, update more frequent. Seriously, this took me way too long to compile!  :D In any case, you made it to the end, hope you enjoyed it!
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 02:44:08 AM by vortext »
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Offline Swordmaster

Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #258 on: January 24, 2013, 08:44:16 PM »
Interesting. (Bit of an understatement, but I'm a little tired.) Are you using density to control the lots? How about those entrance paths to the lots, are they overhanging props?

For that rural GLR, I would reduce the spacing between ties. At least I think so, as I don't know which look you're going for.


I'll be getting back to this when I've managed to sleep more than two hours ::)


Cheers
Willy

Offline Simcoug

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Re: Street Geekery
« Reply #259 on: January 24, 2013, 09:38:35 PM »
Amazing!  Back with a bang - that's the way to go.  Your lots are spectacular and full of neat details - and at over 300 I think you will be ok in the variety department  :P

Regarding the filling degree - I do the same with many of my lots (using a small blank) and what I've found is it's easier to just find some similar Maxis buildings and more or less copy the stats using Reader.  Like you I was nervous using a filling degree so high - in fact, I think I started using the maxis numbers because it seems like some of the PIMX numbers got sorta wonky when using filling degrees in the 1000s.  But that was a while ago, so I may be wrong.

I'm looking forward to your textures and those Xannepan buildings!  Great to see you back.