Replies: 34 (Who?), Viewed: 25379 times.
Page 1 of 2
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 5:26 PM
Default Terrain Show! (show off your terrain and tips!)
So I just started terrain painting and while some of it looks really good I'm also terrified of other parts.

So I figured I'd start a terrain show! I'll show off my terrain pieces and tell you how I did them and you can do the same back. Eventually we'll all become terrain experts!!

Also, make your post funny, I'm bored and need entertainment :D.


Bare Patches
I figured my sims would also die of boredom if their world was all grass and then some sand etc...so I hardly ever paint at full falloff/opacity. This allows for a quick paint to resort in realistic looking bare patches!



Which also look good from a birds eye view...



And makes beaches look interesting.... HOWEVER I think I cloned the wrong sand so I have to redo that.




Dirty Rocks
I figured my sims would probably try to harm themselves if there was so much raw rock around, so I started using like opacity 3 and clicking around on it a tonne of times to make it "dirty". I also did the reverse!



I tried it out with sand, dark sand, and dirt :D. I dunno about the CAW rock though, it all looks upside down to me! But at least with some dirt/sand on it, it looks like it might be real upside down rocks :D.



My CAW also skips around a lot so putting it on super low opacity and falloff and then going nuts over a large area of rocks usually turns out well for me.




Giant Grass Monster
None of you have seen my back yard, but put it this way: You mow the lawn down to an inch and it grows almost a foot in 2 weeks. Not to mention, it's THICK. I don't know why but I promise you we're not feeding it steroids, or water for that matter.



So I figured sims should ALSO be hounded by the giant grass monster! So I try to put a lot of little tuffs of grass in places. I only have two places to show you though unfortunately.



You could say that the grass monster is trying to eat this mountain! I made those rainbow flowers but I forgot to randomise them so there's a very distinct diamond in them. I fixed the file but I havent fixed the CAW part up yet lol.




tl;dr: I'm a fan of blending.

Jade Elizabeth (Alundra)
Just call me Al
Advertisement
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#2 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 6:23 PM
What an excellent idea, I'm always looking for tips to terrain paint better!

My number one tip is to make sure the 'individual layers' bit is ticked, as that ensures all terrain paint of a single type is contained in one layer, so you can export the alpha of the layer. This allows you to edit it in a photo editing program, which can sometimes be more flexible than in-game editing, especially when you want to change the opacity of one part of a large area of paint.

My style of painting is much like yours, Alundra- I like to use a brush with low opacity (2-5) and a large falloff (60%-ish) and then quickly click-click-click to build up layers. Some effects I've recently made are as follows:

Rocks! That's a terrain paint pilfered from Barnacle bay, it matches some of the CAW rock objects rather well. Base texture is green, the rock and sand is sprayed over it, as are lighter and darker greens.


I like the effect under the rabbitholes- that's a dark green (almost black) grass texture with a paving texture sprayed on top at low opacity. Some of the dark green shows through, making a 'dirty paving' look.


That gulley has darker green grass sprayed in the terrain indentations, along with bits of dirt texture, to pick out the details. The lighter areas are highlighted in paler green/yellow grass, and some rocky bits.


For my abandoned farmland, I used low opacity ploughed field paint sprayed over grass. The darker bits behind the barn are a marshland texture, one of Martine's I think.

The grass textures in all above images are extracted from Twinbrook, I like how depressing they look!

My post wasn't that funny, so I'll include a joke for comedic value, it's from a cracker I pulled yesterday!

What happened to the hyena who swallowed an Oxo cube?
Top Secret Researcher
#3 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 7:57 PM
Very pretty!

I like using the terrain textures to paint shadows on my land and to follow the contours. For example, steep areas probably would be rockier or sandier, unable to hold the grass as well as flatter areas. A trough in the ground might be washed out, with loose gravel.

I don't have any pictures in my photobucket at this moment but I find that painting with a background and then splotching on low opacity paint works well and gets rid of obvious tile repeats.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 8:17 PM
Nice WORK!! :D

I havent gotten into layers that extensively yet...I've sort of got one layer for paints and that's it. How do you do your layers? Do you do one per type of terrain, one per level, or just one per change of brush sort of thing? Or maybe I'm all wrong lol.

I never thought of highlighting/shading with terrain paint. That's an excellent idea...unfortunately for me, with teal grass and purple dirt, that's a lot of extra cloning I have to do LOL.

I'll have to give the alpha exporting a go and see what I can achieve with it...sometimes CAW makes things really difficult.

LOL at your joke. I'm such a fan of corny jokes it's not funny. They make me laugh every time XD.

@rian show us some pictures!!! I'll put more up in a little while, I'm going to let some others post too :D.

Jade Elizabeth (Alundra)
Just call me Al
Top Secret Researcher
#5 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 8:32 PM
I grabbed some pictures.

Here is my island terrain which is supposed to be like Newfoundland. So rocky but with very green grass on top of the rock. Not sure if these really show it well but I used a bunch of blobs with opacity set to 5% or so.









Here is my English countryside where I used the terrain for contouring.

Field Researcher
Original Poster
#6 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 8:41 PM
Everyone elses terrain looks better than mine .

Which is EXCELLENT news cause it means mine can be better . Which I actually wondered about lol.

Jade Elizabeth (Alundra)
Just call me Al
The other one
#7 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 9:32 PM
simsample, please tell me you're uploading that?! That Barnacle Bay texture....is it available to download anywhere and do you need to have BB for it to work?

Guys, rules are good! Rules help control the fun. ~ Monica E. Geller
Veteran Finn
retired moderator
#8 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 8:45 AM
Some pictures of my terrainpainting in the world I have in process:

The overview of the area done.. Taken in game. For some reason some of the plants don't show in high aerial shots, so the parts that have a lot of small plants looks just dirty patches :/


Here is a shot of the base grass that I have all around the world. It's made of 4 different paints, with very dark green on base.
Paints used:
- dark base grass that I recolored my self, painted to the bottom of all paints with brush settings */100/100.
- On top of that I painted patches with the clover paint, settings 5-10/10/5
- Then I blended it all with another grass paint I recolored, it's a tad darker than grass medium base provided by game. Settings 5-10/2/5. I didn't paint over the clover, just on the edges of that, so that it blends in.
- Finally I added some light with medium base grass paint, with same settings than on the previous paint.
- Under trees I blended some dirt, again settings were something like 5-10/2-5/5

With all blending paints I hardly kept the mouse button down when painting, I'm more a clicker So click click click..... add a million clicks, and the paint is done xD


Here is another spot of grassy area, closeup and further from the air:



Then I have a pic of the beach, where I have blended a lot of dark dirt, recolour by me, under the plants, to make it look a little muddy:



And finally, a pic of the area next to Wolfy Trail 4, a house in my world... It's a little dirtier than other places, cause the house is not taken good care with.


The brush settings are the same all around. It takes a lot of time to paint with very small settings, but I think it's worth it. I don't use individual layers, I just paint and blend
Screenshots
Veteran Finn
retired moderator
#9 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 8:54 AM
Here are some pictures of a totally different looking area, from another forever project that I have been playing with when having extra time.

A shot of a cliffside, with grass slowly taking over:


A swampy area, not all murky like swamps usually:


Close up on the swampy paints:


All the paints are recolors. On the cliffs I used 2 tones of asphalt, dark grass and dirt. On swamp I used 3 grasses and 2 dirts. The sand on the beach on one image is also a recolour, it's a tad darker that the sands provided by EA. The brush settings are pretty much same than on the previous post I made. If the system works, why change it


EDIT
I was a lazy-ass and uploaded the pics straight here instead of PB.. I have a bad habit of deleting pics when I don't remember what for I have uploaded them, so at least in this case the pics stay put on the post :P
Screenshots
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#10 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 11:05 AM
Beautiful painting, everyone! I'm going to try some of these out on my world- you are all making your grass look very realistic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by missroxor
simsample, please tell me you're uploading that?! That Barnacle Bay texture....is it available to download anywhere and do you need to have BB for it to work?

No, you don't need BB installed for it to work- I'll upload some of the textures I use later, when I get time. In the meantime, armiel just uploaded a bunch of textures to the CAW resources forum, take a look at those!

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.
Screenshots
Veteran Finn
retired moderator
#11 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 11:13 AM
Thank you Simsample! I knew about show chunk boundaries, but lol, never realised that red one ment too many used terrain paints

Oh, and thanks for "advertising" my paints too, saved me one post to do so myself
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#12 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 11:41 AM Last edited by simsample : 4th Jan 2011 at 2:07 PM.
No problem, Armiel! Thanks for uploading them!

I thought I'd show what I mentioned earlier about the individual layer mode. To work with individual layers just click this:


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!

Edit: Also posted here:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=430231
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 29th Dec 2010 at 2:52 PM
This is an absolutely great idea for a thread, thank you Alundra!

And thanks everyone for you pictures and tips, this will prove very usefull.

I have no picture or tip to add, just a link.
On the EA/CAW forum, Auntyelinds made a reference thread about ground and road textures. It's quite extensive and updated regularly (some of the links send back to MTS ).

http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/181739.page
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 30th Dec 2010 at 12:00 AM Last edited by Moria : 30th Dec 2010 at 12:01 AM. Reason: speelink
Some great tips here, and thanks for the thread, lots of good info. I think my big breakthrough was taking one of the light worlds provided by EA and then changing the terrain and working out how to use the supplied terrain paints to recreate the effect from the rest of the world, which was much easier rebuilding alongside "finished" stuff.

Obviously there's people on here who do stuff I could only dream of, but at least I don't just use one rock and one grass and one sand anymore

Regards

Graham
The other one
#15 Old 30th Dec 2010 at 12:09 AM
I knew about the 8 paint unofficial limit too but didn't know that the chunk boundary would turn red if you went over that....I've been wasting time trying to keep lists in my note pad of which paints I used in which chunks :facepalm:

As for your last post Simsample, possibly one of the most useful CAW related posts I've seen to date. Actually, I think I've learned almost everything I know about CAW from you, lol...you should compile all your hand tips posts together and submit them to the tutorials section. I get the feeling there's a lot more to CAW than I realised and that I need to start experimenting with right clicks more often. Thank-you so much for posting that.

Armiel paints downloaded, they look great, thanks

Guys, rules are good! Rules help control the fun. ~ Monica E. Geller
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#16 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 3:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by missroxor
simsample, please tell me you're uploading that?! That Barnacle Bay texture....is it available to download anywhere and do you need to have BB for it to work?


I uploaded those textures here:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=430245
Top Secret Researcher
#17 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 4:00 PM
Missroxor, that notebook might still come in handy. I had a red bounding box on one chunk and never did find out why. I ended up with the entire chunk covered by one texture and it still showed red.
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#18 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 4:21 PM
How did you erase them? If you didn't remove all traces then the chunk would still register as having paint on it. Did you visualize layer and delete it that way?
Top Secret Researcher
#19 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 6:29 PM
I did visualize layer and nothing happened. So I gave up. I think I had 9 layers total at the time so it probably wouldn't be a big deal..and it was a rather small world. I will try that when I go back to it. Right now I am working on another project that is taking up my time plus have a project for work that is going to take off very soon. Fun!
The Camera Eye
retired moderator
#20 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 7:41 PM
This could be due to database corruption- similar to the bug when you change the ground texture sometimes only to find that it looks like a brown blur in-game. Try deleting the _KEY resource.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#21 Old 17th Apr 2011 at 1:01 PM
I decided to scrap Hunaki, and started work on Hunaki La. I know, original right? I think I'm doing a little better with terrain painting but I'm still a long way off :D.

It's the same land mass and forms mostly, but on a bigger land, slightly edited to make some areas bigger or smaller, and it's painted with normal colours.

















[IMG]http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/215791_10150568288330377_707725376_18008218_5224442_n.jpg
[/IMG]

[IMG]http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/205562_10150568288490377_707725376_18008220_5818998_n.jpg
[/IMG]

[IMG]http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/206718_10150568288605377_707725376_18008223_3131168_n.jpg
[/IMG]

[IMG]http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/215163_10150568288870377_707725376_18008229_2598679_n.jpg
[/IMG]

Some areas in the shots arent painted yet. I used auto paint to begin with, for shits and giggles, and then painted over it. Kinda helped me see where things were .

Jade Elizabeth (Alundra)
Just call me Al
Forum Resident
#22 Old 17th Apr 2011 at 7:08 PM
So auto paint does have a use, lol.

Alundra, your paint makes me ashamed of the world sitting in my CAW files. Painting over large areas makes my creative spirit wither. Lots I'm ok with.
Just for mental reference, about how many paint layers do you usually use per land feature? Looks like you manage with two to four types of paint layers in most spots - unless there's a lot there and it's just so well blended I'm not seeing it.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#23 Old 17th Apr 2011 at 7:27 PM
Nah I use a base colour, then a highlight or shadow. Kinda depends on what I'm doing and how much attention I'm paying.

For the sand I did light as my base, then dark in the indents. For the grass I did dark, then light on the parts that werent indented..

I have a few chunk boundaries I need to fix up where I've gone from sand to dirt then rock, or I've got some rock where there shouldnt be any, but it's not too bad.


You can do it!! :D

Jade Elizabeth (Alundra)
Just call me Al
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 12th May 2011 at 2:51 AM
This thread is definitely a help for me. I get awesome looking terrains and end up trashing them because of painting. I just either do not have the patience or skills to make it look realistic. That link above with the different terrain paints available is a lifesaver. Maybe that was my problem: I had too few paints in my textures. I had only Martine's for the longest time. Maybe I can finish a world, maybe on a smaller scale. Thanks everyone for your screenshots to show me that it is possible to get good looking terrain.

Brady

Follow the creation of new worlds, lots and objects at my new blog, UrbanSims!
~Brady
Test Subject
#25 Old 18th May 2011 at 7:26 AM Last edited by preifor : 18th May 2011 at 7:43 AM.
What a hard work painting is! I think all create a world is too!
But I am unconsoled we don't have custom terrain distant beyond working edges to help us to set free our imagination.
Screenshots
Page 1 of 2
Back to top