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Thingfishs is having a B.A.T Downunder (wanna take a look)

Started by thingfishs, November 11, 2009, 11:33:22 PM

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Alright, the day has finally arrived, I have my own thread.
As I've said elsewhere I've been a long term player of SC4, but as a ppc mac user was unable to partake in the creation of content. But now I can. :thumbsup:

First of all thanks to tooheys who just over two weeks ago suggested I take a look at the Lot Editor http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=9194.0 to obtain some of the props I was after. A door was opened. So I learnt to LOT and decided to make a version of the family business, Shottesbrooke Winery. I made a LOT of some vineyards which I was happy with, then went about trying to find a prop resembling the main winery building, and my dream started to vanish, or more to the point I was faced with the daunting task of learning to BAT. But as always the fear of the unknown is always worse than the reality. Though I've got a long way to go, I've been able to create a model and get it functioning into the game, that looks more like Shottesbrooke than anything I was going to find.  So for me, I am already happy.

However I would like to make it better. Please keep in mind that I've only just started doing this, this is my VERY FIRST BAT. As far as texturing goes I've hardly done anything, and that's one area I want some help with. Also how to make realistic gutters. How to apply different textures on different faces of the same object. What's the deal with the giant diagonal on the roof?
But more than anything at this point how to best go about constructing the top of the main building's roof. The x and y measurements of the building are from the blueprints, but I've had to guess with the rest.

So here it is, Shottesbrooke Winery http://www.shottesbrooke.com.au/, the family business from Mclaren Vale in South Australia.

and my rudimentary impression


Hi thingfishs, this is looking very nice so far. However, the last 2 pictures show that there is still plenty of work to be done, and I hope you also add the barnstyle thing on the roof. I see you've photo-textured it, on the doors, which looks nice, but there are certain traps that one can fall into if this method is overused.

Hmmm, the roofs and eaves need some detailing, I think, and the textures in general need some work.

This is a very, very promising start. You're doing a good job so far.
SimCity Aviation Group
I miss you, Adrian


thanks joelyboy,
I've battled on, and though there's some progress to show, there's some steps back as well. It is quickly becoming apparent that texturing sucks, I mean, is challenging. I've been learning to adjust the textures on the different walls independently via the gizmo tool, but that seems to be causing other problems. I'll get there...


Yes, it is apparent that the textures still need work. However, it is definitely improving.

@Moderators. You could move this into the TD Creations, please.  :)
SimCity Aviation Group
I miss you, Adrian


Your winery is coming along nicely. :thumbsup:
Texturing is always the most difficult part of any bat. It is often better to make a texture for the whole roof or wall in a photoshop like program, than adjusting textures in the BAT itself. Then you can ad a gradient and other things to your texture and it will not repeat when you use it.


Awesome work Thingfishs.  :thumbsup:

Hope we can get this over to Team Downunder soon...

Those textures need some work, but the actual BAT is wicked cool... (Yes, I did just say that  ::))

Havva good one,
737s, Air Force, Australia... what next?

Earth quake

Really good start thingfishs
These textures are perfect but you should clarify the texture of the door. :thumbsup:


Thanks everyone for the comments.
Earth Quake, what do you mean by clarify the texture of the door (is clarify a technical term or do you just mean to make clearer, please clarify ;))
Well I can't say I've done much else today, but what are sundays for? Therefore I have another update, and my first within the confines of my new Australian production headquarters, Team Downunder. :thumbsup:
I decided to scrap the texture I was working with and try something else. It was initially "overexposed?" when brought into the game, but a little work in photoshop got it looking ok. The lines are facing the wrong way on both buildings (for drainage into the gutters) but I'll figure it out. It's still not right (too blue & too clean for starters), but I prefer this version to the last. Also I have started working on the tanks. (a couple of them have their lids off.)

However now there are black diagonal lines invading. Possibly something to do with the lighting setup? Or saving my city after I exported it and continuing on?
Does anyone know what that is?


I just noticed you started this thread.  Your first BAT is looking great.  I can't help you with any of your problems, because I don't know anything about BATting, but it looks like you're off to a great start.  And you've joined what looks to be a promising new team.  Congratulations!   :thumbsup:
"If you want to have cities, you've got to build roads." - Cake

See all my lots on the STEX
And see my parking lot projects thread here and my mayor mode ploppables thread here

Earth quake

Thingfishs, I wanted to say "make clearer the door". It's an error of translation of me (and a error of the translator :-[)


do you mean the big brown door with the bricks around it, or the grey sliding doors?

Oh and thanks Jeff, you've been a great help in general (and are doing such a good job with the other area I was first inclined to dabble in, being MMPs of course ;), that I was virtually forced into BATing.)


I actually liked your first texture better, it is more clear what kind of material it is, but that is really your choice. :)
You can chose the alignment of your texture in the roll-down under UVW- mapping, you will then need to adjust the length, width and height of your texture afterwords.


Hmm, was just going to post what kwakelaar just said--the first texture is better. Closer in color and overall effect. I'd just pass it through PS and reduce the contrast 10-15 percent to calm it down a bit.

You should also make versions for each element--and add gradients to accentuate the planes.

Also, give your roofs longer eaves (overhangs); the RL bldg has them and you'll get more interesting shadows going on.

The bldgs are very minimalist in RL, so don't delete any details, like the flat ribs that run along the roof edges, or that long thin triangular gable attached to the clerestory of the main block--they're simple enough to model and will add more interest.

good start! :thumbsup:


thanks gottago and kwakelaar, I really appreciate the technical advice, and I have come to agree with your judgement.
Even though the second texture was sampled from the building's roof itself and seems to match the overhead photo reasonably well, it still just doesn't look right. I reduced the contrast as suggested which has definitely helped. Also the alignment for the top sections is now correct, however the sides on some are now a bit screwy.

As for your second line gottago, I suspect my answer might be in there. I'm brand new to the whole concept of 3D modeling so I'm still catching up with the terms. When you say make versions for each element, do you mean for each object or each face of each object. (a gmax glossary would come in handy) As for adding a gradient does that happen in photoshop or gmax?
I have also added the triangle to the top, I mean I have attached the triangular gable to the clerestory (thanks for expanding my vocabulary) But I've just noticed now it seems to be floating slightly. I also made the very top more pronounced and with bigger eaves.

Also I am going to try and fill in the rest of the main production area shown in this photo (but simplified!)

There's several sets of aluminium (aluminum) stairs and other bits and pieces here; I thought someone may have already made something like these for an industrial or otherwise prop pack. Does anyone know of any?


Hi Thingfishs

That is really starting to come along nicely, the corro can be very tricky as it is rather shiny. but stick with it and welcome to the team..



Looks much better :thumbsup:

I should have been more specific about "versions"--what I meant was that you're going to have to make a different texture for each element of your model from your original corrugated texture. That way you can control their scale and placement and give them gradients and weather them a bit to kill the "brand new" look. A bit time-consuming, but essential to getting everything uniform and coherent. (Good textures are in many ways more important than the model itself for getting a good result, and you'll end up spending about as much time on them as the modeling.)

Easy way to do it: look at the dimensions of your roof planes, walls, etc., and make a proportionally scaled texture for each of them in PS, 1 to 1. Then in PS you can add a subtle gradient overlay, darker on the bottom, to give more 3-dimensionality to the model. Gascooker has a great tutorial in this in the ST omnibus <a href="http://www.simtropolis.com/omnibus/index.cfm/Main.SimCity_4.Custom_Content.Using_Photochops_Doge_Burn_to_Fake_RayTracing>here.</a>

Once you've done that, you can weather the textures a bit with some streaks and dirt colors near gutters and at the base of walls, etc.

As for the gable, just extend the walls and let them push through the surrounding areas. Gmax doesn't care if you overlap elements; in fact it's a good practice to do so to avoid light leaks later when you do nightlights. (That is, the end of one element can go partway into another in visible areas; you don't want them popping through walls, etc.)


Cheers dobdriver, and thanks again gottago for the detailed info. Okay, well I've started having a play adding gradients and had more failure than success, but the ratio's improving. Often there was a too extreme change between light and dark, and the version on the main building is clearly still tiling (not to mention diagonal). I understand texturing is going to take some time to get my head around, so in the interest of sanity I have pressed on.

I have started, as I said I would, filling in the outside production area, and am quite happy with how it's progressing. I still would love some metal stairs if anyone knows of any.


The back right hand corner of the lot, seen at the bottom of the middle picture, contains the crusher pit. This is where the trucks back up to and tip in their load of grapes to start the process.
Actually I'm really happy with how this is looking (green tanks and other colour and texture issues aside) But please keep the advice coming.  :)


That is some awesome work...  :thumbsup:
and those textures have grown on me!

I think that this, as you're probably planning, would make an excellent Farm shed (House in place of a better word) along side a house and machinery shed would make an excellent farm pack... again, you've probably got this all worked out... anyway, it would be great to launch a Farming series, I know that Joel recently made some dairy farms for his MD, I did a few custom lots of Sugar Cane for mine... and I guess that livestock wouldn't be that hard to do... there are heaps of cow models out there (and sheep for the Kiwi's  ;)). Again, just my thoughts on the overall project.

The way you've redone your roof is excellent, it makes it that much more realistic. I think by Gradient they meant take the texture to Photoshop (or similar) and reduce the Gradient of the image; I'm not big on 'shopping', so that's just a stab in the dark.

Excellent work so far, hope to see more...

Havva good one,
737s, Air Force, Australia... what next?


thankyou Adroman,
I don't quite follow you there, I do intend for this to be agricultural, and I see potential in a farming pack. (warning: rant ahead)
Actually I want to make it a reward. I'm a big fan of rewards and don't think there are enough of them. The more of these there are the more unique every city will be. So if you build a farming city and plant enough vines (and maybe get enough workers?) then you will be able to build the winery. (This also reflects the real life story of Shottesbrooke where the vines were planted and the first wines released a full ten years before my step-father was able to raise enough capital to build the winery.)
Farming in my opinion often looks a bit unrealistic because it's too closely modelled on how cities are structured. You don't tend to have 15 types of crop in such a confined area, though you do tend to have 15 types of businesses. This way you won't have shottesbrookes popping up where they aren't wanted.
um... thoughts anyone?


Hi thingsfish, I see you're having problems with your textures. I'll try to explain again, clearer, how to go about handling them.

You've got your ur texture, a rectangle representing corrugated metal. Make it big enough to cover the largest element you have (I assume that's one of the large roofs) without tiling at the correct scale. It looks like your texture is already large, but if it's not big enough, you can use the PS rescale function to scale things up without blurring. Check the dpi and the image dimensions and note all that for later. Let's say the roof is 20x 40 m in gmax and your texture is 300 x 600 px @ 72 dpi, just to have some figures to explain with. Now, you have to make a different version of that texture for each piece of the building it's going to be applied to.

Say you want to make a texture for the smaller shed's roofs. Get the dimensions of one of them from gmax; say its 10 x 15m. Do some basic math and use a ratio to figure out how big the new texture should be. In this case, we know that 20 m = 300 px, so the new roof texture should be 150 x 225 px.

Click on your PS crop tool and set the resolution to the dpi you noted and the width & length to 150 px & 225 px. When you drag the crop tool it will automatically make a window of the proper dimensions. Double click and voila, you've got your base texture for the small roofs at the right scale. Rinse and repeat as needed, saving each version under a new name.

Now you can go back to each one and apply gradients and weathering as you see fit. Use layers until you're happy with the result, then merge the layers and save under a new name and keep the originals as .psd files with the layers because you'll undoubtedly have to go back and tweak various layers several times to get things right.

Remember to invert one of your paired roof textures in your uv map rollout so the gradients are mirrored. Obviously, don't use tiling with this method--apply them 1 to 1.

That's pretty much it for basic textures, thus ending my first tutorial  $%Grinno$%

Good luck with it!