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Author Topic: ÆRDEN ~ a proper winter update  (Read 187307 times)

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Offline vortext

ÆRDEN ~ a proper winter update
« on: June 01, 2013, 12:31:03 AM »



Hi there and welcome to my Mayor Diary. Below you'll find the table of contents for your browsing convenience, or you could just start reading from here onwards. Either way, enjoy!

DateContents
June 1 2013Introduction to ÆRDEN
June 8 2013Replies & a few words on Seasonal Flora Timing
June 15 2013the Zodiac
June 22 2013Replies & old gifs
June 28 2013Replies to the Replies
July 6 2013Potyomkins' Travel part 1
July 21 2013Replies & seasonal mmps
August 10 2013Potyomkins' Travel part 2
August 31 2013Replies & more mmps
September 21 2013Texture Talk
November 3 2013Potyomkins' Travel part 3
November 14 2013OSITM Feature: Blast from the Past
November 26 2013OSITM Feature: Replies & more
December 1 2013OSITM Feature: Enseade
December 24 2013Texture Talk 2
January 8 2014Replies
February 12 2014Texture Talk 3
April 12 2014Current Affairs
May 12 2014Replies & Tidbits
June 1 2014One Year Anniversary
June 15 2014Replies and then some
September 4 2014Historic Harbor Release!
September 13 2014Replies & sidewalk compliant props
October 12 2014A brief geological history
November 3 2014Potyomkins' Travel: Arrival
November 29 2014Replies & Cobble Stone retexture update
December 15 2014Even More Replies & Stuff
February 12 2015a Year of RCI Development
April 4 2015Current Affairs & Random Pics
April 27 2015Base Textures Released!
May 10 2015Replies & Hybrid T21 lots
August 13 2015The Prop Pox Chronicles
September 13 2015Grass & Dirt overlay textures released!
November 24 20154-in-1 OSITM: Traelonisk: Ye Olde Tile
November 26 20154-in-1 OSITM: Traelonisk & the Terraformer Trick
November 29 20154-in-1 OSITM: Traelonisk - Work in Progress
November 30 20154-in-1 OSITM: Traelonisk - Mosaic Mania
December 31 2015Replies and even more replies
April 10 2016Current Affairs
April 17 2016Replies & more BAT stuff
May 4 2016Yet more Replies & BAT stuff
June 15 2016Traelonisk - Teaser . . sort of. .
June 25 2016Replies & Proper Teaser
July 3 2016Replies & BAT Talk]Replies & BAT Talk
September 21 20164th year
September 28 2016T21 mod & pic comp ramblings
October 21 2016Replies! And picture competition musings
November 1 2016Traelonisk ~ Mosaics
January 8 2017Traelonisk ~ Growing!
January 29 2017Replies
March 4 2017Replies & more growth
November 4 2017an admittedly long overdue update
December 22 2017winter update
January 14 2018a proper winter update


Now, I've got plenty of ideas for this MD and perhaps even more to say on what to expect but first things first. Without further ado I present you Ærden, in mint condition.




Please allow some time for this rather large gif file to load. Also, click to see full size.

Currently in its third iteration, Ærden is a bit of a Frankenstein as it consists of three different regions, each of which was selected for certain geographical features. See, despite the enormous amount of regions already available none were to my liking, which is kinda indicative for how I go about things. ;)

Anyway, the region as a whole has been manipulated a number of times to make for perfect building grounds, in theory at least. In practice. . . well, frankly I've yet to develop a decent region so only time will tell how far I'll make it this time around.

That's not to say my goals are any different, which is to create a thriving European metropolis and the hinterland, following natural-growth principles over a time-span roughly from the 11th century to the Interbellum.

In addition, I've got a few projects lined up in order to realize this grandiose region, which brings me to the next point. Over time I've found playing, lotting and modding kinda go together for me. So besides pretty pictures there'll be no shortage of wip pics & side-projects and as such, this MD will in part be a continuation of my former thread, Street Geekery. For those unfamiliar I'd suggest to take a look to get an impression.

Alright, since it's quite a wall of text already with very few pictures, I'll discuss other ideas for this MD on a later date and instead provide you a sneak peek of what's to come in the near future.





And with that the very first entry draws to a close. Onward to the next, when we'll have a closer look at pristine nature. 'till then, Erik
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 09:22:22 AM by vortext »

time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

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ÆRDEN ~ a proper winter update
« on: June 01, 2013, 12:31:03 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline woodb3kmaster

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 01:48:55 AM »
Just two pictures so far, but I can already tell that this MD will be a real treat, Erik. I can't get enough of that region view - at first, I was so busy examining all the geographic features on the map that I didn't notice the changing seasons, but boy, when I did... :o

The second picture is also very well done, and it looks like I'll learn a lot from following Ærden that I'll be able to use in Nyhaven. Suffice it to say that you've already earned one fan in me, my friend.

Looking forward to more soon!

Feel brand new. Be inspired.
NYHAVEN - VIEWS FROM WITHIN
Nuclear City - 5/8

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 01:48:55 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Kergelen

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 05:03:50 AM »
Finally, vortext goes MDing!

This MD promises to be unique and fantastic considering that starts on the 11th and the work you have shown on the Street Greekery.
Both the gif and the picture are truly beautiful. &apls

The region is a good mix: mountains, flat lands, delta and wetlands.


                                    Links to SC4 websites

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 05:03:50 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Swordmaster

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 05:35:40 AM »
Okay, I think we can all close up shop now and sit with arms crossed on chairs waiting for your next update. Somebody rename Recently Published to This Is Where Vortext's MD Is, please.


Cheers
Willy


(And really, the gif, how did you do that?)

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 05:35:40 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline art128

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 05:37:15 AM »
I saw the region, I was impressed. Then I realized it was a gif. My jaw dropped.

Absolutely fantastic start.

Looking forward to what you have in your pockets!
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 05:37:15 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Shroud

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 05:51:21 AM »
Beautiful pics! I really look forward to your MD Erik.

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 05:51:21 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline sc-4

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 06:12:56 AM »
You're region GIF is fabulous.
I just can't wait to see more :D

Call me Ludo

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 06:12:56 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline metarvo

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 07:51:13 AM »
Nice work, Erik!  :thumbsup:  It looks like this will be an interesting region with the varied terrain.  In the close-up shot, the wagon trail looks good.  I look forward to the next update.

Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 07:51:13 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline sunv123

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »
Alright, an MD from Vortext!

Lets see what amazing flora work you have in store for us... :D

(and that's one heck of a region :o)

Provo, a city apart Updated July 4.

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline epicblunder

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 08:49:21 AM »
This is going to be good  ;D

which regions did you use to cobble together yours?  I feel i should recognize the mountains on the left.  And the river delta looks really, really familiar but i can't place it. 

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 08:49:21 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline nbvc

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 11:56:37 AM »
Great start. &apls

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 11:56:37 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline eclipticalstorm

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 01:22:27 PM »
Oh my!  Your region is incredible and your natural landscapes are breathtaking!  I can't wait to see more!!!

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 01:22:27 PM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline FrankU

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 04:04:58 AM »
I always liked Street Geekery and something tells me this MD will be even more interesting.
Nice start.

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 04:04:58 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Gugu3

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 07:22:39 AM »
Very exciting project &apls

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 07:22:39 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Online kelis

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 09:11:59 AM »
Your region looks really good my friend !! I wish you a good luck with your new project and I hope that we can enjoy a lot with it. The picture is amazing too.

Great start my friend, keep up the good work  &apls &apls

# Jonathan
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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 09:11:59 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Simcoug

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 12:03:35 PM »
An MD by Vortext?  At first I didn't believe it.  But then I saw the region pic changing seasons in front of my eyes  :o
I look forward to seeing how you transform this region over time (centuries!). 
Now... where's my popcorn.

(PS - I second Willy's remark... how did you do that .gif!?!)

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 12:03:35 PM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline benedict

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2013, 08:21:51 AM »
Fantastic opening of your MD. I really like your title image and font.

And congratulations, you've debuted at number one on Ben's Top Ten.
Click on the banner to celebrate!

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2013, 08:21:51 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline 89James89

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 04:15:24 PM »
lovely region and I'm very excited to hear that your going to be growing it as a natural growth log as they are by far my favourite style of Mayor Diaries.

The image with the cart and all the sloped forest looks amazing as well good job.

Looking forward to more.

James

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 04:15:24 PM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline vortext

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2013, 04:43:08 AM »
  &bis& Thanks everyone for the amazing response!!   &bis&

Really, I feel humbled and frankly, a bit overwhelmed. Of course I expected some interest but not to debut at #1 in BTT, which is soley thanks to you!  &apls

Now you'll have to excuse me as I promised the next entry would be a little sightseeing tour throughout the region. However, it's not quite ready yet but at the same time I couldn't let this moment just pass by. So for today it'll be replies and by request a few words regarding the regional gif. And there's another seasonal gif at the end to make up for the false advertising.  :-[



* * * imagine fancy replies banner here * * *



Just two pictures so far, but I can already tell that this MD will be a real treat, Erik. I can't get enough of that region view - at first, I was so busy examining all the geographic features on the map that I didn't notice the changing seasons, but boy, when I did... :o

The second picture is also very well done, and it looks like I'll learn a lot from following Ærden that I'll be able to use in Nyhaven. Suffice it to say that you've already earned one fan in me, my friend.

Looking forward to more soon!

Thanks Zack! It'll be my pleasure if you take away some inspiration from my dabblings.

Finally, vortext goes MDing!

This MD promises to be unique and fantastic considering that starts on the 11th and the work you have shown on the Street Greekery.
Both the gif and the picture are truly beautiful. &apls

The region is a good mix: mountains, flat lands, delta and wetlands.

Finally right?! Don't pin me down on the 11th century though. At first it just said from the Medieval Age onwards. However I realized this term alone spans a millennium, so then I picked a century more-or-less at random! As for the region, you've basically reproduced my wish list! ;D

Okay, I think we can all close up shop now and sit with arms crossed on chairs waiting for your next update. Somebody rename Recently Published to This Is Where Vortext's MD Is, please.


Cheers
Willy


(And really, the gif, how did you do that?)

Oh, it'll be a long time before rails are introduced, let alone RHW or a modern seaport and I really need some good examples beforehand!  ;)

I saw the region, I was impressed. Then I realized it was a gif. My jaw dropped.

Absolutely fantastic start.

Looking forward to what you have in your pockets!

Thanks Arthur both for your kind words and the k-point. Guess all the effort that went into making it already paid off!

Beautiful pics! I really look forward to your MD Erik.

Thanks, glad you already liked that one picture!  :D

You're region GIF is fabulous.
I just can't wait to see more :D

Thank you, stick around for more!

Nice work, Erik!  :thumbsup:  It looks like this will be an interesting region with the varied terrain.  In the close-up shot, the wagon trail looks good.  I look forward to the next update.

Thanks! You're right, there're a lot of interesting places, some of which I even haven't explored yet!

Alright, an MD from Vortext!

Lets see what amazing flora work you have in store for us... :D

(and that's one heck of a region :o)


Hope todays gif is to your liking! The region isn't that big, I'll post specs some other time, too lazy to look it up now.  ;)

This is going to be good  ;D

which regions did you use to cobble together yours?  I feel i should recognize the mountains on the left.  And the river delta looks really, really familiar but i can't place it.

I hope so!  :D The river delta is taken from Salt Lake City, rotated and some features erased. The mountains in the lower left and right side are from Agia Triade, which actually served as the foundation before severe cropping took place between 2nd and 3rd version. Mountains in the upper left corner are from Alps #13.

Great start. &apls

Thanks!

Oh my!  Your region is incredible and your natural landscapes are breathtaking!  I can't wait to see more!!!

Thank you!

I always liked Street Geekery and something tells me this MD will be even more interesting.
Nice start.

Thanks Frank, I hope eventually the region will reach modernity as I'm kinda looking forward to using your Dutch farms & rewards! Maybe I'll just relot them though.  ;)

Very exciting project &apls

It sure was exiting to start with! :D

Your region looks really good my friend !! I wish you a good luck with your new project and I hope that we can enjoy a lot with it. The picture is amazing too.

Great start my friend, keep up the good work  &apls &apls

# Jonathan

Thank you Jonathan! Glad to have you around and I have this feeling our regions will have similar features. Polders anyone?!   ;)

An MD by Vortext?  At first I didn't believe it.  But then I saw the region pic changing seasons in front of my eyes  :o
I look forward to seeing how you transform this region over time (centuries!). 
Now... where's my popcorn.

(PS - I second Willy's remark... how did you do that .gif!?!)

There you go!  :D

I'm kinda curious myself as to how far things will progress. If history teaches anything, it is I've a tendency to start over every once in while.  ::)

Fantastic opening of your MD. I really like your title image and font.

And congratulations, you've debuted at number one on Ben's Top Ten.

Thank you! Glad you like the banner, that pic actually provided the final push to start my MD as I thought it'd make for a good opening scene.

lovely region and I'm very excited to hear that your going to be growing it as a natural growth log as they are by far my favourite style of Mayor Diaries.

The image with the cart and all the sloped forest looks amazing as well good job.

Looking forward to more.

James

Thanks James! Natural Growth was quite the trend a few years back though it seems to have gone a bit out of fashion nowadays. Time to bring it back!  ;)





Right, that were a lot of replies!  :D Thanks again!!  :thumbsup:

Now, how to go about making a seasonal, regional gif?! There're a couple of things that go into it.

First of all you'll need to spend some time treeing the region, obviously. Secondly you'll need Sawtooth's Region Census to capture the entire region in the different seasonal stages. Finally you'll need to create a continuous gif out of the discrete stages. Sounds simple enough, though one can make it quite elaborate! ::)

Lets get started. Treeing a region is tedious no matter what, however, here're two tips which make it a little more convenient.

  • Download Whatevermind's Standalone Flora Brush as it covers the entire city tile at once.
  • Next figure out a way to lock the mouse button so you don't need to apply constant pressure (be wary of RSI!!)

Either weigh it down physically, like so.

Picture by Epicblunder.

Otherwise check if your mouse happens to have programmable buttons (mine does) and if so, see if you can assign some sort of lock function.

These two things combined will make for far easier treeing. In my case for instance, all I need to do is enter a tile, fast forward to 1 September, zoom out and hit the scrollwheel to start treeing, the entire tile all at once mind you! Then I leave it be for five minutes or so, come back and hit the scrollwheel once more to stop treeing. Easy, right?!

In fact a little too easy so once I had the easy-treeing-2013™ going I couldn't resist spicing it up a bit.  ;D

One thing that has always bothered me with seasonal flora is how seasons change all at once if you stick to September 1st as planting date. I wanted a more gradual change so after some consideration I settled for the scheme below.

Flora planted between
Fall starts on
Winter starts on
Summer starts on
July 4 – August 3
August 1st
November 1st
February 1st
August 4 – September 3
September 1st
December 1st
March 1st
September 4 – October 3
October 1st
January 1st
April 1st


Given these dates seasons will change over a three month span. In addition flora retains one full month of autumn and winter livery, in October and January respectively. It may not be a completely natural pace but we all know sc4 is a game of compromises.

To make things even more interesting, I also let the game run on rhino speed while treeing and paused occasionally to accentuate a certain month. And why stick to just one tree controller, when you can use all three of them, right?!  ;)

So all things considered, does it still take a long time to tree the region? You bet! And in addition, the next item on the agenda will take a while to complete, too.

To capture the region in various seasonal states, you'll need the Region Census which I assume everyone is familiar with. Typically the region will already be in autumn livery to start with, so that's easy to capture. Then you'll need to go into every tile, fast forward to December and save-and-exit. Once finished, use the Region Census to capture the regional winter state. Rinse and repeat for the regional summer state. In the end you'll have at least three regional overviews.

Finally, the time has come to create the gif. Each seasonal state you just captured will serve as a frame in the animation. You can use a cross-fade in between frames for smooth transitions. There're only about a gazillion tools to make gifs so I've no advice which is best. All I can say is if you happen to have Photoshop, specifically an older version which still includes ImageReady, then that'll do just fine.

And that's about it! To conclude for today, here's another seasonal gif.


Note how distinct flora patches differ in seasonal onset.

Alright, be sure to stick around for next update when we'll have a closer look at pristine nature (where did I hear that before?!). 'till then, Erik
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 09:42:50 AM by vortext »

time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

Sim City 4 Devotion Forums

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2013, 04:43:08 AM »

Re: ÆRDEN

Offline Swordmaster

Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 06:49:38 AM »
Ooh, mr Vortext got a fancy mouse, now now. ()stsfd()

Seriously though, I already have a hunch these won't be the last gifs we'll see (thanks for the explanation). Although, maybe make a video so you can add the sound of wind and birds? :D

Wonderful scene again. Looking forward to more. . . erm, pristine nature?


Cheers
Willy

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Re: ÆRDEN
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 06:49:38 AM »

 


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