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June 13, 2021, 09:47:14 AM

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Author Topic: c.p.'s Arboretum  (Read 4909 times)

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Offline c.p.

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c.p.'s Arboretum
« on: March 31, 2019, 11:56:56 AM »
So I decided to start a thread for tree controller and terrain type stuff, to keep things somewhat organized, and separate from my other two threads (BAT and Lots, and Maps).

For continuity, here is my previous flora-related post from my Bat and Lot thread:
So once I got the MMP functional finally (with Andreas' help), the shadows cast by the game were the next problem, as they created a ring of shadow around the dune which looked horrible.  I tried setting the shadow strength to zero, getting rid of the shadow properties, adding an IsGroundModel property and setting it to true and false, and none of this had any effect on the shadows.  What I finally ended up doing to get rid of them was to add an additional model 0 reference to the RKT4 property (I just used the smallest model of this set), and put it first (only the first model 0 casts a shadow).  Since it is smaller than the dune, the shadow it casts is hidden by the larger dune model.

One of the dune models is too dark and needs to be re-rendered, but otherwise, it finally came out about as expected: the clipping is noticeable, but bearable, in my opinion.  I'm thinking I'll try making another set of dunes that are basically more solid squares of beachgrass, and widen the spacing of these ones slightly and use them as transition from the more solid beachgrass to plain beach, and see how that looks.  But this is how it is looking so far:



New Post:
So my first version of solid beach grass dunes didn't go so well.  My first try involved keeping the LODs close to the shape of the actual models, like this:


But this is how it looked in-game:


Not too good!
So, for my second version, I redid the LODs, like this:


And this is is how they look in-game (top right):


Much better!

I attached the sand dune and dune grass models and MMPs to this post.  My long-term goal is to use them in a god-mode tree controller, but that is a long way (years) off.  They may or may not change before the final version is released.  So if you use these, keep them where you can find them to delete later.

Next is transition from beach grass to inland shrubs/trees.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 12:00:01 PM by c.p. »

Offline Simmer2

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 07:11:28 PM »
You are doing a great job Brian  &apls

Love the way it overlaps the road edges, just like in reality!

Nick
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Offline c.p.

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 12:18:02 PM »
Thanks Nick :)

So here are some pics of the transition from dune to shrubby Oak and Baccharis.  I think I need to tighten the spacing of everything slightly.  Also, I noticed in zoom 2, the dune grass still looks pretty bad, so I'll have to redo those again with new zoom 2 LODs.

Fall:


Summer:


with road:


Next, I think I'll try making an intermediate transition, with fewer shrubs and more beach grass/dune, so the transition is more gradual.

Offline mattb325

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »
It's really beautiful  :thumbsup: and beach transition areas are still always challenging to create in SC4, so this will be a welcome addition

Offline c.p.

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 01:05:33 PM »
Thanks Matt :)

It turns out in my version of BAT and BAT4Max (which is a very old one) couldn't use custon LODs for zoom 2 or zoom 1.  (I don't know if this is true of newer versions also.)  Anyway, it meant I had to make some changes to the maxscipts in order to use my custom LODs for those zooms for the dune grass.  I don't know if this will be useful to anyone or not, but here are the changes that needed to be made to both the BuildingMill.ms in gmax/BAT and the CPBuildingMill.ms in Bat4Max (before exporting LODs obviously).  The red text is what needs to be added.  (Don't miss any parentheses!)


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Function:   FnGetLODNodes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
fn FnGetLODNodes &lods =
(
   FnCreateLOD_3_4_5()
   
   local tempLOD1
   local tempLOD2
   
   -- creat a box that is the bounds of the LOD3 shell to use as the shell for lod 1 & 2
   if ($LOD1 == undefined) then
   (

      tempLOD1 = box width:($LOD3.max.x - $LOD3.min.x) length:($LOD3.max.y - $LOD3.min.y) height:($LOD3.max.z - $LOD3.min.z)
      tempLOD1.position.x += $LOD3.min.x - tempLOD1.min.x
      tempLOD1.position.y += $LOD3.min.y - tempLOD1.min.y
      tempLOD1.position.z += $LOD3.min.z - tempLOD1.min.z
      tempLOD1.name = "TB2_TempLOD1_Box"
   )
   else
   (
      tempLOD1 = copy $LOD1
      tempLOD1.name = "TB2_TempLOD1_Box"
   )
   if ($LOD2 == undefined) then
   (
      tempLOD2 = box width:($LOD3.max.x - $LOD3.min.x) length:($LOD3.max.y - $LOD3.min.y) height:($LOD3.max.z - $LOD3.min.z)
      tempLOD2.position.x += $LOD3.min.x - tempLOD2.min.x
      tempLOD2.position.y += $LOD3.min.y - tempLOD2.min.y
      tempLOD2.position.z += $LOD3.min.z - tempLOD2.min.z
      tempLOD2.name = "TB2_TempLOD2_Box"
   )
   else
   (
      tempLOD2 = copy $LOD2
      tempLOD2.name = "TB2_TempLOD2_Box"
   )
   

   lods = #($TB2_TempLOD1_Box, $TB2_TempLOD2_Box, $LOD3, $LOD4, $LOD5)
   
   -- need to make sure that all the shells are there
   
   return true
)


In addition, I've begun a god-mode brush for this dune stuff.
Here is Zoom 2, (plopped entirely with the god-mode brush):


Offline alejogc13

Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 01:20:49 PM »
You have inspired me to go back to work on my beach mod  &apls


Offline Simmer2

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 01:22:28 PM »
Great going &apls

This will revolutionize the beach side of the game  :thumbsup:

I'm still not using Max but I'm saving your post with the extra coding for future reference.

Thank you Brian.

Nick

PS. You get an extra K-point from me  ;)
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Offline fantozzi

Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 03:03:27 PM »
Everything is very old - the trees, the game, the scripts, me ... It's a sort of alliance. There's even no benefit from changing hardware. As I know everything about my pc and he seems to know what I want. New hardware and new software - they always need a lot of education until they obey and do as told.

Hopefully we will be burried together ... my computer and me. Like horse and knight. Sword and man.   

Offline mattb325

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 11:15:53 PM »
Awesome work on the godmode brush (and thanks for the script alteration!)  :thumbsup:

Offline c.p.

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2019, 09:44:38 AM »
alejogc13: thank you, that looks really nice (amazing actually) :thumbsup:

Nick: Thanks, and thanks for the K-point!

fantozzi: Thanks :)  I hear you.  I'd rather be buried with my imagination if I could, but alas . . .

Matt: thanks!


So a few additions.  One is a matching beach path MMP.  Another is an invisible path MMP to help de-jag the dunes, etc, at the edge of diagonal/FAR roads.

What prompted me to do this in the first place was I wanted beaches and marshes on the same city tile, and so wanted to use a marshy/grassy "beach" mod (i.e. texture) that would look good with the marsh areas (but look terrible as beaches), and to cover the beach areas with BATted beach and dune models.

So, to expand the godmode brush down to the water, I created another set of smaller, sparser dunes, as a transition, and a set of plain beach models, and another with some debris on them (which didn't turn out that great), and added them to the god-mode brush.  The bottom few screenshots use a "beach mod" texture that will work well with marshes, but you can't see the texture because it is covered with the god-mode plopped beaches.

This shows how the beach path and invisible path can be used to de-jag the edges of the dunes along diagonal/FAR roads.  The arrows show where to drag each of the paths.


And this is the final result after finishing up with the god-mode brush.  If I hadn't dragged the paths along the road, the dunes would have formed an ugly jagged edge following the game grid.


This just shows how the dune spills out over the road.  If you don't like this effect, it can be avoided by dragging either the beach path or invisible path along the edge of the road before running over the area with the god-mode brush.


The beach path, actually used as paths:


Summer, Zoom 2 (the underwater beach is MMP-plopped, not god-mode):


With a few houses:


Closer.  Because of the LOD shape, the sand spills under the fences, but doesn't take them out completely:
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:48:53 AM by c.p. »

Offline fantozzi

Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 04:32:22 AM »
This looks like in that movie where those two man with hair everywhere in the face drive with some Harley Davidson through the midwest. Wow.

Wow.Wow. &apls &apls &apls

Offline PaPa-J

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 12:47:42 PM »
The sand cover road is an awesome idea, I love it!
Lighten up, just enjoy life,
smile more, laugh more,
and don't get so worked up
about things.

Offline mattb325

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 04:42:53 PM »
Utterly brilliant job! The zoomed out pictures remind me of the classic American movies set by the sea...cape fear, jaws, etc  &apls

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 11:44:18 AM »


Simmer2
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Offline Tyberius06

Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 04:21:06 PM »
Jawsdropping pictures! Really nice work!  &apls &apls &apls
Those sandy paths are so realistic!
Awesome stuff!

- Tyberius
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Offline art128

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2019, 06:23:15 AM »
You're really going at it uh. Good stuff. The dunes over the road are quite nice.
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Offline manga rivotra

Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 03:02:22 PM »
I think the last 3 photos could easily fit into the Hall of Fame.
Wonderful work !  :thumbsup:

Offline c.p.

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2019, 01:33:03 PM »
Thanks for the comments fantozzi, PaPa-J, Matt, Nick, Tyberius, Art and manga rivotra :)

The following pics show the beginning of a god-mode marsh.  Eventually I want to make a gradual transition from the dunes to the marsh.  But for now, here is the marsh, with a hard edge against a scrub oak upland.







Fall:


Summer:


I also want to experiment with another set of marsh models with mud underneath (like I did with the sand under the beach grass).

Offline mattb325

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2019, 06:13:32 PM »
Wow, wow, wow  :thumbsup:

I absolutely adore the glimpses of water through the grasses.

Just stunning. That will become an instant staple in my plugins, that's for sure.

Offline Andreas

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Re: c.p.'s Arboretum
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2019, 03:53:35 AM »
You forgot at least one "wow", that's really spectacular! Also the sand dunes, those really open a whole new world in the game. :)