I was wondering if you were all aware that EA (in the CAW Help pdf) recommend to keep to a maximum of 8 textures per chunk, to keep performance good. To view the chunks in your world, click this:
Blue chunks show areas with 8 or less terrain paints:
Any areas with more than 8 will show in red:
I don't think having the odd area with 'too many' terrain paints will matter too much- I had a few chunks (like where I painted farm fields) that exceeded this recommendation in a world I made, and it played just fine. But it's something to consider, to keep your worlds playable for those on lower-end machines.
Here's why I work like that: if you have lots of areas of highlighting or shade using one particular colour, like I do in my world, using individual layer mode means that each time you spray the same paint it will be put on the same layer. So, you can spray colours over or under each other, according to where the paints are in the layers window (in mine, the dark green is beneath the light green, so the light green sprays over the dark.)
Also, you can export the entire layer to an alpha- so you can edit that, which gives more control that you have in game. I'll show you:
Here's a hill which I highlighted with light green, but I did it too much. It's too light!
I want to erase some. So, I can do that by clicking this:
Visualize layer will show the alpha of the layer- white shows where there is paint, black shows where there is no paint, for the layer/ terrain paint you have selected.
If I set my colour to 0 as in my image, you can erase sections, like this:
But, as you can see, my areas of highlight (light green) all join up, across my entire world. So if I now go back to individual layer mode, you get what I call a 'tide mark'- you have a completely erased area, and you can see that there is a sharp line where it meets with other areas of gradiented/ semi-transparent paint.
Even if I erase using low opacity brushes, you get the same. It's fine for individual areas or small blobs of paint, but if you just want to change a very small area of a larger expanse, it's useless.
So, instead export your layer:
By right-clicking on your selected terrain paint. Save it somewhere as a PNG:
Open it in your Photo Editor- I'm using an ancient copy of Photoshop, but GIMP (which is free) will do just fine.
It's hard to see the part you want, my world looks nothing like that in reality! But I found the bit I'm interested in, it's here:
All of my blobs join up, which is why it's hard to erase in game.
So, in my photoediting program, I choose the burn tool to make things darker:
Using a large brush with a feathered edge I can 'fade' areas of paint, or erase them completely by making them darker. I won't get a hard line because of the feathered brush I use.
If you don't want to use the burn tool, you could just as easily select the area you want to darken with a feathered select tool, and then change the darkness/ contrast of that area. Same effect, since we are working in black and white!
Now, save that image, when you have darkened/ lightened the bits you wanted to change. Now go back into CAW and import the edited alpha:
Remember to right-click the correct terrain paint!
Give your PC a few moment to re-render that, and you'll see the terrain paint magically change in front of your eyes:
My hill is dark green again, with no harsh lines!
I'm sure you can think of other ways you could use this!