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SimCity 4 General Discussion and Tutorials => Tips, Tricks and Tutorials => Tutorials on Custom Content Creation => Topic started by: Lowkee33 on September 12, 2010, 01:54:32 PM

Title: Exemplars Related to Terrain
Post by: Lowkee33 on September 12, 2010, 01:54:32 PM
This is a description of the Exemplars related to terrain.  For now it describes the Terrain Properties Exemplar, and the Weather Tuning Parameters.  Eventually, I hope to include Lighting, Fog, Mountain Clouds, and Shimmer exemplars, but their effects/functionality are not yet known to me.

This tutorial is subject to change:  Last update: 4-29-11
The Weather table has been updated
Theory on using the weather properties will be added soon

    -Closer to making a cheat lot than pathing.  ::)  This is less of tutorial and more a database of what these properties do.

    -Ilive's Reader.
        The TGI's of the needed exemplars has been given.  It is recommended that you find them in SimCity_1.dat and copy/paste them into the "blank" file and save that to the plugin folder.  Or you can "add to patch" and then "create a dat" using the Patch Manager.  However you do it, the point is to leave SimCity_1.dat unmodded. 
    1) The Terrain Properties Exemplar (;msg=344387;topic=11691.0#Terrain)
    2) The Weather Exemplar (;msg=344387;topic=11691.0#Weather)

Section 1) The Terrain Exemplar

-The Terrain Properties Exemplar - TGI: 6524284A, 88CD66E9, 00000001

-This exemplar holds nearly 60 properties related to terrain.  I originally made the whole list, but I think this works much better if the only the most important properties are examined.  In the end I took out the Shore Cliff Properties.  Although it would be great if these were made to work, I don't think they belong here.

For quick modding ideas, Blue = Water, Red=Cliff, Green=Beach:

Name--Definition - My words or definitions from Reader
Water Depth for Max Alpha--In meters, this value is when Water becomes opaque (solid)
Water Min Alpha--The Alpha level of water at sea-level, the visibility of the water texture
Water Depth To Color Gradient Factor--The rate that water become opaque.  Does this override the Max Alpha Setting? 
Water Night Color Adjustment--"Modifications to the RGB of water at night"
Sea Level--The level, in meters, that sea level exists.  (default=250)
Max Terrain Height--The height, in meters, that terrain can be formed.  Flat land will be created here.  Tearing is observed around 5000 meters, and by 6500 meters the terrain can no longer be seen.
Min Terrain Height--The lowest elevation terrain can go. Default=20, and I suppose this makes a nice sea-bed
Image Import Scale Factor--"How many meters correspond to one unit of gray scale value in meters".  For map making purposes. Largely left alone due to the 16 bit .png fix
Default Terrain Height--The height of the terrain when one makes a new "plains" region.
Temperature Range Factor--Ranging anywhere from 0 and up, this property defines the rate at which the 32 texture altitude layers are moved through.  Large numbers mean a slower progression.  This property can be used combined with the Max Terrain Height to create like effects of terrain textures
Number Initial Erosion Passes--"Number of erosion passes at initial terrain creation time".  The strength of these passes is defined in the INI
Number Hydraulic Iterations Per Initial Erosion Pass--Same as above but for water.
Number Wind Iterations Per Initial Erosion Pass--Same as above but for Wind
Max Normal Y for Cliff--A value between 0 and 1, this defines when a cliff texture is used.  0=never
Terrain Raise/Lower Amount--The amount, in meters, that terrain is raised via god-mode.
Min Water Depth For Deep Sea Bed Texture--Depth, in meters, where the deep sea texture is begins
Max Water Depth For Sea Bed Texture--At this depth the texture is not used.  It is assumed that water will be opaque at this point
Terrain Texture Tiling Factor--"100 meters of terrain corresponds to this fraction of texture in farthest zoom".  In other words, smaller values will stretch the terrain textures by larger amounts.  (Good for those HD textures)
Max Beach Width--"How far from water (in cells) does the Beach extend"
Max Beach Altitude--"How high above the sea-level (in meters) does the beach extend".

The Weather Tuning Exemplar

-The Weather Tuning Exemplar  - TGI: 6534284A, 7A4A8458, 1A2FDBCB

-Two variables effect what terrain texture is displayed:  Temperature and moisture.  The temperature simulation in SimCity 4 is largely turned off, the only thing remaining is that high altitudes are colder than low ones.  Various properties relating to the temperature simulation have been omitted from this table because of this.  See Max Height and Temp Range Factor in the Terrain Exemplar (above) as these are the only temperature/altitude related properties that have an effect (that I know of). 

Name--Definition - Mostly my understanding of the properties
Weeks for Complete Moisture Simulation--Appears to have no effect.  January is one extreme of moisture levels, and July is the other.  All other months have a "sister" month in which the moisture is equal (example: March and November).  Changing this value to a large number did increase game performance.
Sea Moderation Radius--Assumed that this is the distance from the sea that moisture is changed by the amount of...
Sea Moderation Factor--Assumed to be the amount that moisture is changed by the sea.  I have not seen these values do anything.
Yearly Ambient Moisture--This is the base moisture level of January.  By defualt, January is wet and july is dry.  Making this value negative has January dry and July wet.
Yearly Moisture Variation--At one point I had this figured out, but right now am at school and can't get a presice definition.  Suffice to say, setting this to "0" will turn the moisture simulation off.
Yearly Moisture Variation Factor--See above
Moisture Hill Factor--The greater the slope, the greater effect wind has on making it dry.  This property is the factor at whcih this drying effect is applied.  A value of "0" removes this effect.  Wind generally travels from east to west, so the east side of a hill is drier.
Valley Moisture Boost--A slope can also be considered a valley, at which point it recieves this moisture boost.
Moisture Valley Slope Threshold--A slopes of this value or greater, the terrain is considered a Valley, and recieves said moisture boost.
Moisture Variation Scale--Not Tested as it happens during rendering.  A large value change did not appear to have an effect.  However, flat land is randomly spotted with dryness, and this property may be related
Moisture Dither Scale--See Above
Wind Perturbation Range--This number is an angle.  During the year, wind direction will arc from 0 degrees to this value and back.

Two properties included in Ingred.INI are not in the Maxis Exemplar.  These properties appear to change the direction of wind, but I have not had success with them.
Note: In order to see the texture changes you will have to change your zoom level.

-The attachment at the end of this post is the moisture data view.  It will override the Power Data View (perhaps the least useful, as we can count to 4).  The color ramp covers all of the moisture levels, so as you change the Weather exemplar it will become more and more handy.  (It is the same moisture for a tree controller, so that helps too).

Using Gizmo's Rain Tool I have seen that the rain increases moisture and that high moisture eventually increases the sea level.  I have not seen the sea level ever go down, nor have I been able to increase the sea level using only changes to the moisture settings.  That last sentence is something I want to change.

As far as Gizmo goes, the rain tool also comes with the lake tool.  The lake tool has two effects: Lowering land height and adding water.  One can set the strength of the first effect to 0, and basically have a rain tool that will not raise the sea level to terrain ruining heights (it also is much easier on the graphics card). 

My theory on why it can't be saved is that the moisture simulation runs during loading the city.  When it finds no rain it finds no lake.

If you have any suggestions for what could make this better please don't hesitate to say so.  If you have a better idea of what some of these identities do then I will add them to the tutorial.

Another big thanks goes out to CP (Cycledogg) for the textures, and to Ennedi who's various posts taught me how to do all of this.  Thanks to CasperVG who told me about the Moisture Data View, and Cogeo who helped me with the color ramp.

Edit 2022-12-27 by Tarkus: Restored attachment.
Title: Re: Exemplars Related to Terrain
Post by: KatHuntoon on May 14, 2011, 07:30:22 AM
Very Useful! . . thanks Lowkee
Title: Re: Exemplars Related to Terrain
Post by: bryan1998 on June 10, 2011, 07:51:13 PM
Argh!  The TGI's don't exist!  Any help?
Title: Re: Exemplars Related to Terrain
Post by: apeguy on September 27, 2011, 12:13:35 PM
What is the default value for "DefaultTerrainHeight", without any terrain mods installed? The reason I'm asking is so I can change my terrain mod so that the starting height for new cities is the same as it would be without the terrain mod.
Title: Re: Exemplars Related to Terrain
Post by: Lowkee33 on October 01, 2011, 02:11:46 PM
300.  That is what the Yucatan and Infinite beach mod is set to as well.  I don't know of any mods that have changed that value either.  Not sure I know what has happened that your is different.   &mmm