Replies: 6 (Who?), Viewed: 575 times.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 18th Aug 2021 at 4:35 PM Last edited by Borja20 : 18th Aug 2021 at 8:17 PM. Reason: Added images
Default Tips for natural-looking terrain paint/ground cover?
I don't know how to explain, but like... I'm finding it nearly impossible to make the border between the paint I'm using and the default terrain look good. How can you make it "blend" with the rest of the terrain?

I'm trying to make my clicks short enough so the paint is only half applied in the terrain, but it's taking me, no joke, more than 10 clicks to actually achieve it once. I wonder if it's just my mouse... Or if there's another way to do this.

I want to make a decent looking path with this terrain paint and this is a normal click, using the medium size to paint.

Sometimes, trying to make my click shorter, I can get this, which looks much better to me.

Or even this.

Right now I'm trying to replicate this path, but general tips would be appreciated.
Field Researcher
#2 Old 18th Aug 2021 at 4:44 PM
Edit: Oh, I'm so sorry, I just didn't see the forum section until now, was just so happy someone posted about building. I meant for TS4, so you can just disregard my post.

Hi. I'm not sure I understand you correctly, but what I do is that I choose a particular lot in a particular world to build on, aiming to place it there later in my save I play (I build in a separate user folder). That way I can make sure the terrain on my build/lot matches the terrain/world painting surrounding it, in theme, colour etc.

As for the tools doing it there are sliders for applying terrain paint very subtle, which is what I use, so it won't look so harsh and sharp. I also never paint up onto the border of the lot, and always make the terrain paint thinner close to it, to have a seemless border to the world. Applyiing several different terrain colours/themes on top of eachother, and differently applied is also a way of making it look natural.

Perhaps if you posted a picture of what you meant would help any misunderstandings.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 18th Aug 2021 at 8:04 PM
LOL, it's okay, but yeah, this is for TS2. But I guess pictures would help, I added some in the original post.
Also, with ground cover I meant terrain paint. I've just realized no one really calls them ground covers.
Be like the 22nd elephant with heated value in space- Bark!
retired moderator
#4 Old 18th Aug 2021 at 9:04 PM
Try doing it subtractively. So, place floor tiles to make the outline of the path, and fill in with the dirt terrain paint. Then remove the floor tiles and Ctrl-click with a trerrain paint at the edges to soften the outline. I find it easier to put down a lot of terrain paint and selectively remove it than place it accurately in the first place.

I will choose a path that's clear- I will choose free will
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#5 Old 18th Aug 2021 at 9:25 PM
I don't have any useful tips but would it help to know that the path in the 4th pic isn't on the default terrain? It's using the sparse and spotty terrain paint as the base. There's also some cc Maxis blends here by Liz that might go down easier (I like the idea of them but have never used them so can't say for sure).
Top Secret Researcher
#6 Old 19th Aug 2021 at 11:10 AM
I find that a blend of several, sparsely used terrain paints gives the best look - especially around lot edges. It works best if your game is lagging a little, too! Because then it's a bit easier to apply terrain paint sparsely.

Don't use tiles if you're making a messy garden pathway - I'd only use it for the dark bit in the upper left part of the path once you finish making the actual path. Use it for detailing for such paths.
Take the largest brush dirt paint you'd like to be the most prominent and only make one click over the future pathway, and repeat so that the big circle covers the entire pathway, but the circles themselves don't overlap. This will make the dirt "bleed" a little around it, making the transition a bit less sharp.
Take the medium brush same dirt paint and quickly dab over where the path is supposed to be. (If you're looking at the path top-down and the path is vertical, make an "N" with the dirt brush over the path.)
Then use the smallest brush and take some dark terrain paint (for example, Ocean Depths) and sprinkle little dots over the pathway, some bigger than others.
Then take the dirt one - medium or small - and dab that one as well.
Then take something light - sand, or grass - dab that on as well.
Then hold CTRL while painting to erase very small bits; to achieve the look of the grass below growing through the dirt.
And maybe touch up with some small dirt brushes once more. You can also use medium brush dirt to make those circles outside of the path a little more.

The point is to blend several terrain paints together, some more than the others, to create a more natural terrain look, as opposed to "yup, I dumped this dirt here. It's fresh. Boy I hope no one walks on it and spreads it on surrounding grass"
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#7 Old 19th Aug 2021 at 3:06 PM
Thank you all for the tips! That download by Liz looks good, but this one is a custom terrain paint, sadly. Mixing more than one different paint does indeed make it look the best.

I actually found an easy way to sparsely apply paint, better than your game lagging. Using the keyboard instead.
In Windows' Easy of Access settings > Mouse > activate the Mouse Keys thing.
Of course, you you don' have to use the keys to move the cursor, you can still use the mouse. But you can use the 5 key in the numeric pad to "click", and you basically get the result of the 3rd image! And you don't have to worry about holding the key for too long. It's great.
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