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Author Topic: Map Tutorial: SC4Terraformer (Hand made-terraforming 16-bit)  (Read 17548 times)

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Heblem

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Map Tutorial: SC4Terraformer (Hand made-terraforming 16-bit)


SC4Terrafomer is one of the best tool for SC4 map making, provided by our friend wouanagaine with this tutorial will be useful for make, transform, convert your whole region by your own, also with this program you can get DEM files into SimCity 4.

Obviously youll need SC4Terraformer v1.1 (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download) for to follow all tutorials.
 
This is a complete tutorial related to SC4Terrafomer, includes tricks and tips for terrain editing even for editing. I hope you enjoy terraforming!

This tutorial includes the next 9 sub-tutorials, please pick one of your preference:
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Make a blank map!
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 1: Know the program.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 2: Make your map shape.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 3: Define coastlines.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 4: Make a mountain.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 5: Detail your map.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 6: How to export a region to a SC4M file.
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Result preview! Download the Tutorial Map!




« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 06:14:11 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

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SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Make a blank map!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 09:21:55 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Make a blank map!

Generate your region map, this like a blank sheet of the program that you'll need for start editing! what we going to do its a config bitmap...  You can either use SC4Terraformer or landscape designer to generate it, I suggest you to use landscape designer step (option B) because you can easily do your own city limits of your config bitmap.


Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)
-Landscape Designer (optional if you want to generate form landscape designer, please download here if you don't have it, you have to register at Simtropolis Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.

Option A: Using SC4Terraformer
Open SC4Terraformer (remember to use alt+tab to change views of programs)
Pick any region you want (doesn't matter which one, its just for to open the program)

Please wait until it loads...

Just click ok to the window that appears...

After you done, click on file, create a region.

A new window should pop up again, please pick your new region name and click ok...

Your region should be done, you can start using the program! (remember that the city tiles all be small, so you have to edit your config bitmap for to change it)


Option B: Using Landscape Designer.

Open landscape designer and pick on config bitmap creator.

Click on file, new config bitmap...

A new window should pop up, thats where you specify the region size, 257x257 pixels means a 1x1 large city tile, so i'll pick 1025x1025 pixles, so that should be a 4x4 large city tiles. You can pick any size you want ;)

At this point you can start making your config.bmp as you want. I suggest you for just quick bitmap use edit and fill win large cities (if you want large cities otherwise you can pick small or medium)

After you done click on file and save config bitmap.

A new window should pop up, move on to your documents/SimCity 4/Regions and create a new folder with second mouse click, new folder.

Name the folder as your the name of your new region!

After you done, open that new folder you made and give a new name above of the config, IT MUST BE config.bmp! and save!

After you done, just close the program! and open SC4Terraformer with that new region folder you made...



« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 09:33:34 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

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SC4Terraformer Tutorial 1: Know the program.
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 11:53:22 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 1: Know the program.

First tutorial of SC4terraformer, at this step you should know how this program works and get ready for to do your first hand terraforming map!


Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


SC4Terraformer main program view:


Left side tool bar:
-Configuration tools:
These tools are useful for view preference like show the city tiles lines or if you made a mistake you can re-undo here!

-Global tools:
These tools changes the whole region map, like raise it or lower it depending of what you want.

-Zone tools:
These are one of the most important tools of map editing, most of the time we going to use these for create and modify.

-Universal tools:
These tools are not useful at all at the moment, if you're looking for a new brush, you can make by yourself a new brush from a png at the library of the program, make your own brush if it needed ;)

-Brush tools:
Like god mode from SimCity 4, but this one for SC4Terraformer. These tools are useful for making fine details.


Upside tool bar:
-File: as any program you see, includes options like save, open, create, close, etc you should know whats about, but lets take a look to show overview and take a picture...

-Show overview: that option generates a 2D image of your region, useful to showcase the entire region, and give an idea what about and how is that one.

-Take a picture: As the name explain it, take a picture of the are that are you looking in the terrain, nothing special, other way is taking a imp pant button at your keyboard.

-Help: well nothing of help here, but just some author notes, information of the program like the version and credits to testers, etc but nothing more.

Brush options tool:
-Radius: Set your brush size, depending of what youre working on, less size for details and more size for quick working.

-Strength: The strength is the time that takes to generate or create the terrain, if more is the strength the quick the terrain generate, lower the slower it generates, usually you work at full strength for fast work, but if you require of fine details then use less strength.

-Min height / Max height:
This tool is useful to set your height in a position you want to work on, for example i want to work in a height over 700 meters, so you should scroll the min height to about 690 and the max height to about 710, so youre working in that height area in specific (690-710), if you pick a valley creation tool, if you make a hole your min height will be 690 (if you put that valley tool in a terrain at 500, it raise up to 690), otherwise if you pick a mountain tool your max will be 710 (if you put that mountain tool in a terrain at 1,200, then it make a hole to 710 of max height)

The View:
This is where you can see on what you're working on and what you doing, but i'll explain here how to move around, rotate etc.

These are the main button that you'll use at your keyboard:






 
 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 11:58:53 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

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SC4Terraformer Tutorial 2: Make your map shape.
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 12:49:23 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 2: Make your map shape.

It's import to know how your map will look like, to get an idea of what youre doing, for example i've made this simple paint draw for to give an idea of what i'm looking for and try to recreate it at sc4terrafomer.

dark blue: river/lake
blue: sea
brown: land
dark brown: mountains

sorry for this poor draw... (you don't have to do the same, if you can remember your own imagination then do it  :-[)

Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


Step A: Make the shape map from the image (or your imagination)
Now lets make the shape of the map, just to divide which will be land and which is the sea or rivers...

-First of all, zoom out all your map until you can see almost the whole region.

-Go to Zone Tools and pick Make a Valley.

-Set at your brush options tools like I have above...


-Start making the sea at the area you want... until you get something like this...


-You can start making also the main rivers (don't do yet small details), just reduce the radius at your brush options tool.


You can detail you map shape as you want, but don't do small details yet or those gonna disappear later when you smooth the terrain.

Don't forget to save your changes (file/save)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 07:40:24 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

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SC4Terraformer Tutorial 3: Define coastlines.
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 02:03:16 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 3: Define coastlines.

At this sections we going to detail the coast line, giving the water elevation and smoothing some beaches.

Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


Step A: Elevate the coastline shape.
This will make the coast not so steep ad we have it, we going to smooth it a bit...

-Zoom in to the coast line.

-Go to Zone Tools and make a hill.

-Set your brush options tools like I have above.


-Go on on the terrain and elevate the underwater cliff to make it less steep. Until you get something like this...

-You can either change Radius size to bigger one until you change it. Go on and do the same process to the whole coast line, including rivers. This could take to you some time.


-After you done, you should got something like this...


Step B: Smooth the coastline.
Now we going to smooth the coast..

-Now go to Zone Tools and smooth. Set your brush options like above...


-Set over the coastline until you get all clearly...


-Go on until you get something like this...


Step C: Define the beaches
Ok, now a last detail... we going to define the beach a bit wide than the current one...

-Go to Zone Tools and click on Make a Valley.

-Set your brush options tool like i have above...


-Again go over the coastline like this...


-Again go to smooth and set again like this


-Now your beaches should look like this, repeat to all the coast and you done!

Don't forget to save your changes (file/save)




Heblem

  • Guest
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 4: Make mountains.
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008, 04:20:41 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 4: Make mountains.

This tutorial will explain an easy way for to do mountains, in my style  ;D


Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


Step A: Make mountain bases.
At this step we going to make the mountains bases, just like a piramid... here a dreaw to get an idea what we going to do..


-First go to zone tools and make a hill.

-Set your brush options tools like i have next to...


-Draw your mountain base over the area you want...


-Now reduce your brush size and set like i have next...


-Repeat the same, but now over the mountain base...


-Again the brush size.. and into the next step...




-Maybe the last step...




-And there still room for another one, or maybe two or more... go on  ;) remember to reduce your brush size in smaller areas, not necessary you need to detail every corner...


-Repeat the same process if you want for another mountain in the region.

Step B: Smooth all the "piramid"
Easily at this step we going to use the same brush for smooth the whole mountain.

-Go to Zone tools and select Smooth.

-Set your brush settings like this...


-Go on over the terrain, until you get something smoothed like this...


Step C: Define the mountain
We going to give a mountain a realistic apparency, just by elevation some zone, (almost exactly what we did at coast tutorial)

-Go to global tools and select make hills...

-Set your brush size to make an estimation of the cliff size of the first base...
At this case this is the setting of the first base of my mountain...

 
Go over the entire base until you get it clear, like i have next...


Repeat the same thing to the next steps until you get the whole mountain, please be patient because this probably could take some time for to complete... your mountain should look like this...


Step D: Smooth again...
Again we going to smooth the mountain, to those unrealistic areas, not all the moutain, just some areas that you consider that looks odd or too sharp...

-Go to Zone tools and select Smooth.

-Set your brush settings and go over the base and smooth a bit some places like this one...



Go over the entire base, not really useful at top... until you get something like this...


Step E: Detail the entire mountain
We going to use a different tool to detail the mountain and give a realistic look to it, we will make some more erosion around the mountain...

-Go to zone tools and select Make a SteepHill.

-Go over one section of the mountain and make various small "arms" to it, with the same tool, take a look careful for the differences...




Repeat the same process to the whole mountain, be patient at this one... you should get something like this one..


Ok, now for last we going to detail some small hills around the mountain...
-Go to Zone tools and select make hills...

-Set your brush size to 30 approximate...

-Go over around the mountain, don't elevate it drastically... you can reduce the brush size if it necessary for details

-Your mountain should now look like this...


-Now for last, smooth all the hills you did around...


Thats it, you can do another mountain, repeating the whole tutorial 4. Thanks!

Don't forget to save your changes (file/save)







Heblem

  • Guest
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 5: Detail your map.
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2008, 06:16:59 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial 5: Detail your map.

For last, this tutorial will explain you some tricks for details for hills, rivers, cliffs and islands! lets take a look on what we going to do...

Red: hills
Blue: rivers/creeks
Brown: cliffs
Green: Islands


Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


Step A: Make hills.
Like the mountain tutorial, we going to make some more hills, in the selected areas of the map...

-Go to zone tools and select Make Hills

-Select your brush options like this...


-Go on and make something like this, near where you have rivers or creeks, make sure the leave a space for the rivers between it...




-Also elevate other sites of the map, like this corner where the cliff will be, just elevate it carefully, dont make it too step...

-Repeat at other places.

Step B: Make rivers/creeks
Now we going to define and detail some rivers at the map.

-Go to Zone tools and Make Valley.

-Reduce your brush size like this one... also strength


-Go over the spaces you left in blank and carefully drag it... you can reduce your brush size anytime you want...



-Smooth the area, if one closes, lower it again...


Remember to do the another rivers, doing the same process then smoothing...

Step C: Make cliffs on coasts
We simply going to make a cliff, don't laugh because this gonna be obvious  ;D 

-Go to Zone tools and Make Valley.

-At brush settings, get a good size of you brush to make a simple hole on coast... i have like this one...


-Go over and do like this one and you done!


-Repeat the same to another coast that you want (in my case as I specified in the draw)

Step D: Make Islands
For last, we going to do a simple island, similar like last tutorials... you'll know how  ;)

-Go to Zone tools and Make Hill...

-Set your brush setting like i have, its important to set your height as +250! (doesn't matter if it goes for a few points)


-Go over and make your island shape!...


-Smooth the entire island you did, remember to set your height as 0002 min and 6000 max...

-Now go to Zone tools again and make a hill...

-Set your brush as the size of the island edge cliff... (underwater) and go over the edges of the island... yu should get something like this...


-Again smooth the entire island...


-Now add some details to it like cliffs and some hills, and you done!

This is your final result, to get this preview go to file/show overview (control+v)

Don't forget to save your changes (file/save)








« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 06:28:24 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

  • Guest
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 6: How to export a region to a SC4M file.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 06:52:12 PM »
-SC4Terraformer Tutorial 6: How to export a region to a SC4M file.

Key tutorial to know how to export or share your map, this is important if you want to upload it to LEX or STEX or either if you want to save your map as a backup, you have to make a SC4M file for it... i'll explain here how to  ;)


Requirements for this tutorial:
-Windows (preference XP, thats what im using for this tutorial, if you are a macintosh user i dont know differences for both operative systems)
-SimCity 4 (preference Rush Hour or Deluxe, not sure how this works at normal SimCity 4)
-SC4TerraFormer (download here, you have to register at LEX Exchange for download)
-Microsoft FrontPage (if you have it for a small step, if not, jump it)

Notes from the author: Im using a spanish windows XP operative system, please follow this tutorial carefully and instructions.


Step A: Export your map to SC4M

-Go to global tools and click on Export (SC4M/16bit png)

-Browse and select the folder where you want it (in my case at desktop) give any name you want to it and select SC4 terrain files...


-Now another window should appear... if you want a credits information about your map, you can use a html file, if not the click on cancel, and it should be done!.


Step B Optional: Make your own html
-Download this Template Copyright file, if you want credits on your own map.

-Open Microsoft FrontPage, and open that file you downloaded.


-Optional: (you can either open the html file by note pad and edit the description, save it as <your document name>.html)



-Simply edit it... and put your own description about the map, author credits, etc...


-File and save it as HTML (put any name you want to it)

-Go again and repeat Step A and use your html file you did... then you done!


« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 07:06:11 PM by Heblem »

Heblem

  • Guest
SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Result preview! Download the Tutorial Map!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 07:24:59 PM »
SC4Terraformer Tutorial: Result preview! Download the Tutorial Map!


This is the result of all the tutorial: For to get this you need Region Census, download here.

Also of course, you can download the entire map here.
If you want a custom terrain mod like this one, please take a look to Map Tutorial: How to use a terrain mod (get it installed right)


Thanks for watching, I hope you liked the tutorials! you can post a comment what do you think about this? at discussion thread, thanks!

« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 06:16:50 PM by Heblem »