Replies: 12 (Who?), Viewed: 22527 times.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 18th Feb 2010 at 5:06 PM Last edited by ashillion : 20th Feb 2010 at 10:38 PM.
Default How to use Terrain Textures / DDS files in CAW.
You don't have to put them anywhere special really. You see when you set each terrain in your CAW layers... (by browsing to them on your computer where ever they are) CAW will save a local copy in the Folder here.

My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\LocalWork

I find it easy to find terrains by having them in sub-folders in my source textures folder found here

My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\SourceTextures

Like this

My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\SourceTextures\Badlands

My Documentss\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\SourceTextures\Eruption

and on and on.

I'd like to build a world, a better world.
Guess I'll start here...
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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#2 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 5:46 PM
Note: It MAY be best to install all terrains in the Source Textures folder.

If you set a terrain in a layer and edit it latter, (this is often the case with road file parts) If the original file is not in the source textures folder it CAN and OFTEN does disappear.

This seems to happen to sub-folders of Source textures as well.

I still think it best to place the folder with the Downloaded packs name as it's name in the source textures to keep order, as you can end up with many many files in there. and when building roads, its easier to find the right parts if they are kept separate.

Still it is all a matter of working style, and degree of download-aholic sufferance.

I'd like to build a world, a better world.
Guess I'll start here...
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 20th Feb 2010 at 7:05 PM
I hope it's ok to ask this here as I really did'nt want to start a new thread concerning textures but I have a problem with what appears to be too much contrast. I took the original default grass texture and just slightly made it darker however when I applied it, it looks nothing like the original which appears to be smoother. I saved it as a DXT 5 ARGB 8bpp Interpolated Alpha with No Mip Maps checked, am I saving it wrong? It looks like it is sharpening the texture drastically.
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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 20th Feb 2010 at 10:19 PM Last edited by ashillion : 20th Feb 2010 at 10:36 PM.
you need mip maps. that is where the zoom info on the terrain is.

also they are 32 bit. but a jpg or psd or whatever are 16 bit or 8 bit. Moving from one to the other in whole or in part can cause this "bright" or "dark" effect.

This is a thing i am still grasping myself.

Lets see if i can put all "I *think* I know" into some usable form.

CAW uses "chunks" to apply a "terrain texture" to the world. Each of these "chunks" are effectively 2048x2048 and each of these terrain textures are 1024x1024.

When we place a terrain texture into a "layer". CAW will now stretch the 1024x1024 "terrain texture" over the whole "chunk" in which we paint that terrain.

Each "Chunk" can only (or should only) have 8 terrain textures stretched over it. ANY spot of a terrain texture in a "chunk" causes an "invisible" "layer" of the terrain texture over the WHOLE "chunk".

Now these Terrain Textures "out of the box" open as dds 32 bit files for me in photoshop by default. A Psd file (what i like to work in) is 8 bit or 16 bit. so when making changes to an existing terrain or making a new one well... your technique as good as mine at this point.

My Flagstone is a complete remake of a the EA flagstone. It looks like it "almost" but is seam-less tiled at 512x512.

As road tile files are 512x512 to match the EA terrain a 256x256 piece of the terrain must be cropped then re-sized to 512x512. Now this ruins most "seamless" complex terrains as they have seams everywhere now.

This is why i set out to make some all new terrains that will be the same size and look but not the same ones.

hope that helps. some anyway. maybe someone with better understanding can tell us better or more.

I'd like to build a world, a better world.
Guess I'll start here...
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 22nd Feb 2010 at 4:17 AM
Thanks ashillion that did the trick, I saved it "with" mip maps and it seems to come out rather normal now, no more over-sharpening.
Theorist
#6 Old 22nd Feb 2010 at 4:30 AM
Quote:
If you set a terrain in a layer and edit it latter, (this is often the case with road file parts) If the original file is not in the source textures folder it CAN and OFTEN does disappear.


Nah. I use sub-directories for my textures all the time. I have roads in a section unto themselves, then my roads divided into even more sub-directories by set. Then I have an entire directory just for the textures that are extracted from WA, and another directory for the textures I've made, including sub-directories in there for textures to use with a specific world.

The only time anything disappears is when I make it disappear. I'm all the time editing textures. You just have to remember where you put the new one so you can link to it instead of the old one.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#7 Old 22nd Feb 2010 at 8:29 AM
sorta true but on windows 7 if i have a directory outside the main drive it will not maintain the link. opening the road edit will drop the images that are not local.
i.e. on the same hard drive or partition.

I'd like to build a world, a better world.
Guess I'll start here...
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 10th Mar 2010 at 11:03 AM
just a little thing: where can I find the in-game textures folder more exactly?
Scholar
#9 Old 10th Mar 2010 at 1:08 PM
Program Files/Electronic Arts/ CAW/user tool data source textures

In game texture folder, that is if 'in game' means the CAW textures.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#10 Old 12th Mar 2010 at 8:37 PM
not all the textures "in game" are included in the CAW program. some (most) are in the thread post in the forum.

http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=385025

but a couple where not extracted into the collection.

I'd like to build a world, a better world.
Guess I'll start here...
Scholar
#11 Old 15th Mar 2010 at 11:40 AM
why don't you offset, rather than cutting it down then resizing. I'm referring to the bit above where you say the images have to be cut to 258 then resized. Just use offset to do it and you won't get a seam
Theorist
#12 Old 19th Mar 2010 at 6:30 PM
Quote:
Sorta true but on windows 7 if i have a directory outside the main drive it will not maintain the link. opening the road edit will drop the images that are not local.
i.e. on the same hard drive or partition.

Well, you didn't say that part to begin with. Why not just drop your textures into a sub-directory of the Source Textures directory (the one in the My Documents area)? It works a treat!

Quote:
just a little thing: where can I find the in-game textures folder more exactly?

I know I'm late in replying to this, but the My Documents part of C-A-W is where C-A-W defaults to when looking for textures. (All you have to do is add a new texture to see where it's looking for them to be.) That's where I have all of mine added in a rather elaborate sub-directory set-up. There is also a directory with the same textures in the Program Files area, but C-A-W doesn't default to that location for its textures. I figure it's a good back-up, since none of the images in the My Documents area of C-A-W are what they were to begin with, because I've resized every one of them to 512x512 for the smaller file sizes.

Quote:
As road tile files are 512x512 to match the EA terrain a 256x256 piece of the terrain must be cropped then re-sized to 512x512. Now this ruins most "seamless" complex terrains as they have seams everywhere now.

I agree with Fluttereyes. Why would you want to crop then re-size? Just resize the images, they will still be tiled over the exact same area as they would at the larger size.

There is one really good reason to create completely new textures, though, and that's because the artists at EA did an absolutely lousy job at trying to create textures with as little obvious tiling as possible. I have spent hours reworking textures just to get rid of the tiling. It's not just the ground textures, either. The same holds true for many of the patterns used with the design tool.
Scholar
#13 Old 19th Mar 2010 at 7:06 PM
Misty, you misunderstood me. I meant where he says resizing ruins the seamless nature of the .dds. That's because the person doing it doesn't understand how a seemless texture works. If you use offset after resizing (if you must resize) then it will regain it's seamless attribute. There are tutorials to be found to help learn how to make a pattern seamles through google, there's a great photoshop one but I can't remember where it is. Especially good for people who actually make their own patterns and terrain textures and handy for that resizing thing. You can't just cut something up and stretch and mess with it and expect it to remain seamless, it doesn't work like that
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