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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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So why do they use two posts for the sign there? In order to minimize the chance that it will be knocked down if someone crashes into the sign? Admittedly, those posts don't look more stable than what I'm used here.

(they usually don't come with cute girls, though ;) )

EDITErrr, Andreas... maybe the sign is so stable because of the assistance it is getting from the young lady in holding it up.  Could be possible, eh? -DE


Great work there on the third part of your fine terraforming tutorial!
Also great review of September 2008! :thumbsup:

EDITThanks, bat!  Huge congrats, btw, on making it in the next little bit to 1,000 posts over at Capporth City [linkie].  I've been a huge fan for going on the two years you've been running it, and can't wait to see what you have for us next. -DE

Ryan B.

Andreas, dual posts are usually used to support larger-sized signs, which are used in areas where increased attention is required.  For example, in my neck of the woods, there were several serious accidents at an intersection near Albion.  The state route (31) was the through road, and Eagle Harbor Road had stop signs.  There are now two very large stop signs on each side of the intersection, all held up by dual posts.


Quote from: homefryes on April 20, 2009, 09:19:06 AM
Hi, Lora ... actually, there are occasions where a double-posted stop sign are found and warranted, usually at rural intersections where the speed limit is high, at high-accident intersections, or perhaps at a "T" end of an expressway as shown below.

North end of SR 11 at SR 531, Ashtabula, Ohio (courtesy of Street View at Google Maps

-- Don

edited for incorrect verbiage

actually there are two stop signs there because the road splits in two, one for right turners and one for left turners. so each separate lane has a stop sign on the left hand side...
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....


Quote from: Andreas on April 20, 2009, 09:32:18 AM
(they usually don't come with cute girls, though ;) )

That totally needs to be T21-ed. :D


EDITSee comment to Jon (bakerton) above re being illegal in 38 states. -DE


Alex are you saying to dress up the current gibberish signs we have in sc4 we need a cute model lol  :D :D

Don't forget the SC4D Podcast is back and live on Saturdays @ 12 noon CST!! -- The Podcast soon to Return Here Linkie


The bigger the signs are, then more supports are required. It's in the USA's MUTCD somewhere for the exact specifications. I've only seen a few double-posted stop and speed limit signs myself. They are usually on busy highways or areas that have a lot of high winds, such as large areas of Eastern Washington. It's mostly desert over there with lots of flat areas and canyons. Perfect for funneling winds and letting storms race across the landscape.

You can call me Jan, if you want to.
Pagan and Proud!


David, if you are reading this and the other posts, I have two requests, 1= Ploperize the new stop sign and 2= ploperize the cute girl. I have seen two post stop signs and other signs mainly in rural areas of America as they are used to hold up large signs and to withstand weather, accidents, and winter plows as they tend to hit things on the side of the road. On the other note, some of the game and batted signs need to go HD. The stop sign looks great. JKB

EDITI'm in touch with both Ryan (burgsabre87) and Matt (threestooges) about getting the new HD sign props into the gaping maw of the PlopperizerTM, Jon.  As for #2, last time I checked that was illegal in about 38 states. -DE
I figured it was, but I ment it as a joke David hehehehe.
beam me up.... please!
I am the lurker that hides in all the corners and you can't get me out. You may try, but you can't.Please call me Jon or Jonathan.


Ok, now here's a challenge for anyone out there who makes this sort of thing.

What about SNOW FENCES?  Anyone who has driven across the American west or midwest has seen these...they look like bleachers without seats, set in maybe 50' sections and about 100' off the road to the windward side.  For folks who have never seen them or who can't imagine wht thier purpose would be, they are located in what are known "wind tunnel" locations where the wind is known to regularely blow the snow across the road, often in large drifts or "snow dunes".  The snow fence is tall enough to stop the wind-driven blown snow from crossing or impeding the roadway and is also tall enough to create a snowless zone on it's leeward side.  Let me see if I can find a link or a pic to show you.


No pic, but some links to explain the basic physics. 

As for the stop signs, I am now convinced that yes two post stop signs do exist.  But they are always, in USA, on the right hand side of the road, not the left.  Well, unless it's a one way road, maybe.  Then they might be on both sides of the road. 

Mightygoose, I am often challenged to remember right from left, used to drive/race in road ralley's and my navigator was always screaming at me "your OTHER left".  But the stop signs shown in the pics I am seeing here are all on the right hand side of the road, facing oncoming drivers, who are driving on the right hand side of the road. 

EDITAhhh, snow fences.

Very common in the US plains west of the Mississippi, where state highway departments put them up where swales cross major highways and other areas where drifting snow is a problem.  They can be huge structures, and I've seen them over a mile/1.6 km long.

That would be a great mini-project for someone like Matt (threestooges) or Jess (jestarr) to tackle in some spare time.  There's nothing like adding to the inventory of landscape furniture.

I need to go back through my old pics of the area around my grandparents' farm in southern Indiana from the 1960s and 70s.  I would swear that it was common practice for the IDOT to put up huge two-stanchion (sign standards on steroids) stop signs on both sides of the roadway at rural major road intersections.  If I can't find a pic, I'll PM someone there and see if that was/is true or if my mind is just going
. -DE


Quote from: thundercrack83 on April 19, 2009, 11:30:35 PM
Hi, Lora!

I'm not quite sure if it's what you're looking from, but Update XV and Update XVI of my MD, Commonwealth of Marathon, may work for you.

Hope this helps!


Dustin, this does help yes, for future needs and I have marked the tutorials.  However, my situation is a little different in that I have no built structures in my region yet, just raw landscape.  And, my region is, like David's, 256 city tiles in size.  I am not totally daunted by the idea of opening each individual city tile and creating a screenshot, then marrying all the screen shots together into one unified map. I was just hoping there might be some kind of shortcut I was unaware of. 

I also really admire David's use of softly fading pastels to help illustrate changing contours of his region's lansdscape.  I have USGS contour maps for my region and have been hoping there would be some way to use those maps to create gradients in base map colors, so I wouldn't have to trace 1600 square miles of contours by hand in Photoshop.  I am a deeply anal person but I am also an effeciency lover...I don't like using a rock to drive a nail if I know there is a hammer I can put my hands on.  I know the tools are out there to do what I want to do, but finding them and figuring out how to use them is my challenge.  Actually, finding them is my challenge right now. 

I will save and bookmark your tips.  Thanks you for the encouragment.


EDITNo shortcut that I'm aware of, either, ma'am.  I recollect that it took about two weeks to assemble the 3RR map from screenies- I'll go back to that period in 3RR-ST and take a look.  As for the pastel colors, those are straight from the game "map box."  My terrain map tutorial is here [linkie]-

sadly this is a bunch of fairly hard work as well, although creation of the contour lines is to some degree automated.  You might have hit, by the way, on a good motto for the region: "3RR- Driving nails with whatever rock is at hand since 2006."  Later, Lora
. -DE


left hand side... oops....
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....


We'll pick this up where we left off a little less than a week ago.

Before we get started, though, I'll note that we've completed our recap of September, 2008, here [linkie] and it is ready to go for your viewing pleasure.

...see you back in a bit...

* * *

Okay, so we are going to take a little detour from where we left off in Part Three [linkie] so that I can introduce you to something I see as probably one of the biggest developments in ploppable surface water since jeronij created the first transparent PW a little over a year and a half ago [linkie].

Being able to create "water" in the game at higher elevations than SC4's "water table" has long been one of the Holy Grails of the user community.  It is essential to any reasonably accurate landscape terraforming.  I won't take the time here to address the drawbacks of the solutions to this issue thus far- anyone who has followed 3RR over the years has seen the struggle we've had creating PW streams- and we've never been able to do a satisfactory PW pond or lake.  Until now.

Let's start the tutorial with a nice flat expanse of game terrain- completely level in all directions.


Next, from the "Miscellaneous Transportation" Mayor Mode submenu, select smoncrie's "Hole Digger for Rail" lot, as shown below.

...what, what!  You don't have smoncrie's hole digger lots?  Yes, you- the one looking in the monitor with the sheepish expression.  Shame on you- you have no idea what you've been missing...


smoncrie's Hole Digging Lots are here [linkie].  They are an essential tool in the serious terraformer's toolkit.

Pick a gridsquare out in the middle of your flat and level terrain and plop the hole digger lot we just selected...


...resulting in this.  Now, if you've never used these before, you are probably scratching your head wondering when it's going to blow up and dig that hole.  The rest of you can skip a few pics ahead- we'll catch up with you.


Select the rail tool by pressing the [ R ] key.  Position the tooltip over the hole digging lot...


...press the left-mouse button and drag in the direction the tracks on the lot are headed in (it doesn't matter which side).  Go out six or seven qridsquares...


...then release the left-mouse button.


As you can see, the lot and track extending from it are now in a depression that is deepest near the lot.  Position the demolition tool over the whole area by selecting it with the [ B ] key then left-button dragging the tooltip.


Let up on the button and- KA-BOOM!

...I love that part...


Now you have a nice, clean sloped trench.


Select the rail tool again and position the tooltip over the first gridsquare on the grade up from where the hole digger lot used to be.


Left-click to place a single rail tile.  Notice how, as when we've used this technique before, the gridsquare under the tile becomes flat and level.


Next, plop individual rail tiles all the way to the end of what used to be the upgrade of the trench.


When you are done, the trench will have a flat, level bottom covered with rail tiles.


KA...  okay, okay- I've had more than enough fun for one tutorial part already.


The flyout info from back when we selected this particular hole digger tool said we'd wind up with an eight meter deep hole (see pic #2).  Do you believe that?  Let's check just to be sure.

Press the [ ctrl ] and [ X ] keys to bring up the Game Parameter Adjustment ("cheat") box.  Type in terrainquery just as we did before...

...a bit of review never hurt anyone...


Through the magic of image editing, we can see that hovering the terrainquery tooltip over the bottom of the trench and then over the plain around it at the top gives us a difference in the y variable of exactly eight meters.  Smart guy, that smoncrie fellow, eh?


Now, go to the Build Water Systems Mayor Mode submenu and select 3RR-JRJ Ploppable Water- the 9x12 (giant economy) size.

..."ha!", you exclaim.  We can't do that, because we don't have it...

Thought you had me, eh?  Well, check this out [linkie].  Unzip the files into a folder called Ploppable Water Table Beta in your My Documents SC4 Plugins folder, fire up the game, and- well, there you do have it.


Position the lot placement tile as shown, making sure the arrow points in a direction aligned with the bottom of the trench...


...and plop it.

Heh!  No garden hoses up my sleeve!

As you can see, the "water" you just plopped fills up the bottom of your trench.  The bottom two meters, to be more precise, because that is how "deep" we've modded this particular PW lot.


Remember a bit ago when we checked to see if smoncrie was really correct when he said his hole digger lot would give us an eight meter deep hole?  Well, you can decide whether you believe me when I say that there's now a water table six meters below the surface everywhere inside the dashed blue outline.


Skeptics, huh?  Well, select the Gouge Valleys Mayor Mode tool and position the tooltip three gridsquares to the east (left) of the lip of our trench.  No need to reduce the size or force of the tool, because we may be drilling to China.

...or, if you're in China, drilling to wherever you Chinese folks drill to...


Hah!  Just about six meters down, what's this?!  Why, it's the eastern (leftmost) edge of our ploppable water table.


Similar holes dug in the other three cardinal directions reveal the same result.  So, you have now created a 9x12 gridsquare area where, just like with the game water, if you dig down far enough, you'll hit water.


"But what impact does that have on the surface?", you sagely ask- having been probably burned before by things in this game with strange underground effects.

The answer- absolutely (through the miracle of modern MODding technology) none.  You can plop trees over the water table.


Build roads over the water table.


Even plop tall buildings...

...although I hear that the Smith Tower folks have placed an emergency order for sump pumps...

There's absolutely no surface impact.


How does the water itself behave?  Well, if you can plop something on game water, you can plop it on this PW.

Like lily pads.

...And no, no.  You don't have those yet.  But they are coming...


Like rocks.  Notice that the rocks, as they are wont to do in RL, rest on the bottom of the trench.  Rock are funny that way...


How about culverts?...

...Yes, these are coming your way, too.  Chris's (chrisadams3997) great large culvert was left to its own devices unattended for too long and had twins...


In fact, you can have it all- just like with game water.


Well, that's it for this part.  We'll start looking at basic fine terraforming techniques with the new PW in Part Five [linkie].  Thanks for your interest in this.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


I think the most epic picture (thinking about nature) from the past is that shot with the waterfall next to the bridge, at that high up. They seemed to cut water from terraforming short, every game up from 2000 to 4 to Creator, but I won't go on about the SC games above number 4. It just goes to show to the original makers of this game, go - "Huh, is that what we could of done when we made this game while these guys not getting paid did it better?" I have a bad feeling someone in EA thought- "this a city builder, not a nature preserve, and if they want that, they will have to buy other Sim games."

And I wish I could do HD props, but that is far then what my system can handle, and Idvger, there actually were stop signs on two poles on the left sides of the two way road in the U.S. city I live in, but the rural area. I don't know why they put those on either across the road, on the opposite side, or even 4 in the exact middle of the intersection! That makes left turns difficult.



Many thanks for the link to the terrain map tutorial, but I was only able to find parts one and two, for the making of the maps.  I scanned forward another 10 pages and never found part 3, in which you show us how to annotate the map with text, lines, symbols, etc. 

But, having now read parts 1 & 2, I am wondering if maybe I am not jumping the gun a little bit in wanting to create my own set of similar maps.  I have not yet begun to detail my newly established region via terraforming and now think maybe I should wait to create terrain maps until after the detailing is complete.  I have lakes and rivers and streams to yet add (in fact all my above sea level water) and shorelines to soften/erode, and mountains to weather.  The major contours will change only slightly, but I don't want to back myself into a place where, having done the work once early on, I end up having to redo it again further down the road. 

Also, is there a reason why you used screenshots of the data map using (or so I am assuming) the Gadmin Printscreen software (which I have also downloaded and installed, great tool!) instead of using the in game camera tools?  I captured data maps of my old region using the game camera tool and got pretty good result with them, as I was able to zoom way down to the actual data map itself and not capture the entire game screen.  Or, is that what you did (getting old, I don't remember how you advised capturing the data map from the game)?  If so, perhaps we could think about editing that step/tool/process into the tutorial? 

Also, while I know how to create new files and cut/paste the captured data maps into it, how do/did you make the overlaying grid? 



Hello again!

I don't know if it's cool for me to post again when mine was the last post but if I'm breaking any rules, let me know and I promise I won't do it again.

I also don;t know if it's appropriate for me to use this forum to ask questions about what I am hoping/trying to do with my own CJ over on ST or not, so if I am committing a secondary faux pax, let me know.

Regarding my desire to maps road map type maps of my region, I spent all day yesterday and last night taking game shots of my 256 city tiles, but I did not use screenshots, I used the in-game camera that I brought up using Ctrl+Shift+s, once I had the Data Map displayed.  Today I spent using Photoshop, cutting and pasting them into a single new map, got 1/2 way through.  If anyone's curious, jump over to ST and see the result.

The major worry I have now is the tremendous relief my region presents, even in the game data maps.  I have very tall and very steep mountains, which in the Data Map view in game, casts shadows over the nearby landforms.  I know that no matter what graphics programs I am using, it will not realize these are shadows, they will just see the shadows as areas of color (or lack of same).  I worry that if I follow the steps in the tutorial you directed me to, that my landscape may become horribly distorted due to these shadows. 

So my question is, is there a way to turn the shadows off?  So that they don't show up in the game Data Map views?  I looked around in my preferences and didn't find anything that jumped out and bit me.  Am I worrying unnecessarily?  In creating the terrain map I have over the past few days, I have gone in to very close zooms and see that the shadows have color values that appear to be contour driven. 

At this point in the development of my region, I am not creating anything other than a base reference map.  I'm not trying to do anything fancy, as there is a lot of work to do on the region before it is ready for the level of detail your tutorial explains how to achieve.  But I am thinking ahead...and want to make sure (or at least as much as possible), that I don't end up having to create dozens of terrain maps of 256 city tiles at various stages of the region's development.  I can handle making two, maybe even three, but after that I think I'd probably go screaming through the streets of Seattle. 

Any advice, suggestions, comments...would be very appreciated.



I've always really liked gizmo28's water flora, and in particular the lily pads.

But I've never used them, because they are horribly oversized- probably a scale 10 feet/3 meters across.

Oversized until now, that is.



D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


Oversized or downsized ()what()

I know I'm the Portuguese and you're the "English" on speaking/writing terms, but I'm a bit confused. Enlight me please $%Grinno$%

EDITSilvio, gizmo's original-sized lily pads are shown in the second pic.  I once said somewhere, without meaning any offense, that they were the "aircraft carrier of SC4 water flora."  I think that they are a beautiful BAT- now I just need to MOD them a little bit further so that they will appear more closely together.  That's an incredible job, btw, on those photo-realistic cliff textures [linkie]. -DE


I'm no expert on the flora, but have the pictures simply been inserted in the wrong order?

Am finding the tutorial useful. From part 1, I particularly like the idea of the very slightly raised road over the culvert. This is very subtle but will I am sure give a realistic and life-like effect to the game. Must try it out soon.

back to the lurking...


Have been playing around with streams, culverts and raised roads tonight. I wasn't sure if it was acceptable to show pictures were, so I have added a couple to the Show Us Your Rural Areas thread: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=97.msg241066#msg241066.

EDITOh, no- please feel free to post pics here whenever you take anything at 3RR and expand on it.  Where else do you think I get my next good idea from?  Seriously, as someone said here a long time ago, it's impossible to hijack something that isn't headed to any particular destination in the first place. -DE


Quote from: Rayden on April 23, 2009, 09:20:58 AM
Oversized or downsized ()what()

I know I'm the Portuguese and you're the "English" on speaking/writing terms, but I'm a bit confused. Enlight me please $%Grinno$%

Well Silvio I believe David ment that it was too large before he gotten his hands a new tool by cogeo [linkie me]..

Don't forget the SC4D Podcast is back and live on Saturdays @ 12 noon CST!! -- The Podcast soon to Return Here Linkie


:::putting on her Botanist Hat:::


any of the species of freshwater plants of the family Nymphaeaceae, comprising eight genera native to the temperate and tropical parts of the world. All members of the family are perennial except for the genus Euryale, an annual or short-lived perennial found only in Asia. Most species of water lilies have rounded, variously notched, floating, waxy-coated leaves on long stalks that contain many air spaces. The stalks arise from thick, fleshy, creeping underwater stems that are buried in the mud. Some water lilies also have submerged leaves.

The showy, fragrant, solitary flowers are borne at or above the water surface on long stalks that are attached to the underground stems. Each cuplike flower has a spiral arrangement of its numerous petals. The flowers of most species have many stamens (male reproductive structures). Some flowers open only in the morning or in the evening to attract insect pollinators. The fruit is usually nutlike or berrylike. Some fruits ripen underwater until they rupture or decay, and the seeds then float away or sink.

The genus Nymphaea makes up the water lilies proper, or water nymphs, with 46 species. The common North American white water lily, or pond lily, is Nymphaea odorata. The European white water lily is N. alba. Both species have reddish leaves when young and large fragrant flowers. The leaf blades of N. alba have a deep, narrow notch. Other species of Nymphaea have pink, yellow, red, or blue flowers; many kinds are of hybrid origin. The lotus of ancient Egyptian art was usually the blue lotus (N. caerulea). The Egyptian lotus, N. lotus, has toothed leaves and long stalks that rise above the water's surface to support white flowers that bloom at night and stay open until midday.

The genus Nuphar, with about 10 species distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, includes the common yellow water lily, cow lily, or spatterdock (Nuphar advena) of eastern North America. The yellow water lily has submerged leaves that are thin and translucent and leathery floating leaves.

The largest water lilies are those of the tropical South American genus Victoria, comprising two species of giant water lilies. The leaf margins of both the Amazon, or royal, water lily (V. amazonica, formerly V. regia) and the Santa Cruz water lily (V. cruziana) have upturned edges, giving each thickly veined leaf the appearance of a large, shallow pan 60 to 180 centimetres (about 2 to 6 feet) across and accounting for its common name, water platter. The fragrant flowers of Victoria have 50 or more petals and are 18 to 46 centimetres (about 7 to 18 inches) wide. They open white toward evening and shade to pink or reddish two days later before they wither, to be replaced by a large berrylike fruit.

Water lilies provide food for fish and wildlife but sometimes cause drainage problems because of their rapid growth. Many varieties have been developed for ornamental use in garden pools and conservatories.

See pictures of the giant water lilies here:


Lora/LD, taking off her Botanist Hat

EDITThanks, Lora.  I don't know how temperate folks would consider Alaska, but here in South-central, we get vast expanses of them on our numerous small lakes and ponds.