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CorinaMarie

C.O.R.I.M.A.P.S. - A Tutorial for SimCity 4

108 posts in this topic

19 minutes ago, APSMS said:

Other test would be trying to load the images directly, either by right-clicking "view image" or seeing if you can access normal photobucket.com period, away from ST.

That's your best workaround. Probably just the embedded re-direct that's a problem.

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9 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

(I don't even know what that is.)

I meant Pocketbucket.com.

8 hours ago, APSMS said:

Sounds like an ISP issue to me; etc...

Could you explain ISP to me ?

On the other hand, I can see the images of @Haljackey, in the "show-us-what-you-are-working-on" thread.

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1 hour ago, huzman said:

Could you explain ISP to me ?

ISP = Internet Service Provider.

@APSMS is suggesting something there, such as their settings, might be what is blocking you from seeing the pics I've hosted on PB (PhotoBucket).

 

1 hour ago, huzman said:

On the other hand, I can see the images of @Haljackey, in the "show-us-what-you-are-working-on" thread.

He uses Imgur and not PB, so that tells us you can see pics hosted at that site. Did you see the topographical maps pics I posted a few posts back? If not, that's more indication that it's related to PB. Is there a chance that you flagged the PB site as an always block? Like in Ad Blocker Plus if you are using Firefox. Or some other version of site blocking?

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Thanks for your quick answers. I solved the problem by reinstalling FF. "Big Problem, Drastic Solutions". I even caught some images that I missed. Yeah !!!

Really appreciate the dedication you give. So here is the continuation of my heights research : here I eliminated the 83 level. As you can see, the 84 level goes right into the water but harbors are hard to place. I used the leveler "gentle slopes to beaches"  but still no luck.

 

Nova Região.zip


  Edited by huzman
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Glad the FF reinstall worked, but it would have been helpful to you if you could have put your finger on the blockage. Now you may be exposed to other problems.

For the curious, the blockage could have been an addon like AdBlock, but it could also have been a FF bandwidth control setting about loading images. The most tricky blockage I have diagnosed was when a security tool added a couple hundred entries to my hosts file, redirecting a bunch of "known scam sites" to a null IP address.

All those domains were then unreachable, and the cause of the blockage was like 3 layers deep down in the Windoze system folders. After having two years to forget about those host file entries, It turned out that one of the black-listed domains also hosted some legit traffic that I wanted to see.

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13 hours ago, huzman said:

So here is the continuation of my heights research : here I eliminated the 83 level. As you can see, the 84 level goes right into the water but harbors are hard to place.

I downloaded your new region and I've loaded your 83-84-3.bmp grayscale. I then use the color picker eyedropper and here's what I see in both of my imaging programs:

Gray%20Color%20Pick_zps1j0iaejh.jpg

I'm confuzzled as to why none of the numbers seem right. I'm expecting to see 84 in there somewhere since I sampled the lightest gray in the center of your image. Yet, obviously, they render to the right height in game.

o.O

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10 hours ago, jeffryfisher said:

For the curious, the blockage could have been an addon like AdBlock,

That's what I suspected. But I think PhotoBucket  is partially involved. When I first came here, PB was snowing me with pub/spam.

 

8 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

I'm confuzzled as to why...

In actual painting, there are several ways to obtain a specific color. Of course Digital Coloring is completely different, but perhaps the same principle holds.

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2 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

Although, I make use of Ordio's SCRACC utility for doing the config files.

Looks quite interesting. I edited a linky to Ordio's program into my initial post to draw attention to it as a fourth alternative option. I haven't installed it myself, but am I correct to presume one could load their own grayscale in SCRACC and then make the config.bmp?

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On 2/23/2017 at 10:42 PM, jeffryfisher said:

Now you may be exposed to other problems.

Right on, brother ! It's a real can of worms. But since I can see those Pocketbucket pix, I don't mind too much correcting those glitches.

CorinaMarie : what are you using to open the "simcity_1.dat" in text form ? And what do use for the topographical maps ?

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39 minutes ago, huzman said:

what are you using to open the "simcity_1.dat" in text form ?

I use iLive's Reader. There are two main versions:

The 0.93 version is more stable. The 1.54 version is needed for the more complicated exemplars. Some variables simply will not show in the 0.93 version.

 

39 minutes ago, huzman said:

And what do use for the topographical maps ?

I take a screen shot of the All Off data view, load it into GIMP, zoom in a bunch, and then crop out the mini map. I do that for each city tile and then paste them into position in a larger, blank image. (So for my 4 x 4 large tile region I make the new file be 1024 x 1024 so all 16 images will fit.) It's a tedious and time consuming process, but I love the end result so it's worth it to me.

Topo%20Map%20Crop_zpstli9u6cz.jpg

 

And for reference, @huzman is referring to this pic back on page 2:

Spoiler

Topo%20Map_zpseb5alxeh.jpg

And I then use the line tool to create pseudo grid lines cause the seams between the stitched images are not perfect.

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52 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

I take a screen shot of the All Off data view,

I take it to be from inside the iLive's Reader. While writing this, I downloaded all the iLive's Reader files.

You know ? I spend more time downloading and installing things than actually working on them. It's getting a little boring.

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2 minutes ago, huzman said:

I take it to be from inside the iLive's Reader.

To make my topo map I take all the initial screen shots in the game itself (with the data view open).

 

3 minutes ago, huzman said:

You know ? I spend more time downloading and installing things than actually working on them. It's getting a little boring.

It's good to gather all the tools you might want to use. Just toss them in your toolbox for later.

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9 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

...am I correct to presume one could load their own grayscale in SCRACC and then make the config.bmp?

You betcha!  :D

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On ‎2017‎-‎02‎-‎25 at 3:52 AM, CorinaMarie said:

fourth alternative option

I think I just discovered a 5th alternative option.  I was getting back to making grayscales and also using SC4 Mapper tonight.  I never realized this before, but I can terra-form in-game, then load the region in SC4 Mapper and export both an .SC4M file and an RGB bitmap.   The bitmap can then be converted to a grayscale --indexed 256 8-bit bmp.   I'm going to have a lot of fun with this discovery.  I'll be editing my map files and including links back to this thread as it is now the active repository of map-making knowledge for SC4.

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On 2/25/2017 at 4:49 AM, RobertLM78 said:

Ordio's SCRACC utility

Phooey. This seems to have suddenly gone missing. Says the Members Webspace has been retired. Thankfully I got a copy of it when I did and I archived the help page too.

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6 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

Phooey. This seems to have suddenly gone missing. Says the Members Webspace has been retired. Thankfully I got a copy of it when I did and I archived the help page too.

Dang... that's not the first time that's happened recently.  About a month or two ago, the best mirror of SOMY's (http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/somy000/) stuff is no longer up either.  There is the other site, http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/somy000/, as of yet, I haven't figured out how he's separated the large zip files (apparently I can't 'cat' them back together - and he probably used something on Windoze).

Does anyone know Ordio?  It would be nice to have the utility uploaded somewhere else.

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To go back to gray mapping and levels tests AND since it has been a while, here is recapitulation of things :

Gray Mapping : for the time been, this is the way to go for me. But in most -95%- of the maps, placing harbors are impossible to lay. (I found gray maps of harbor cities here and there, and in many of the harbor problem was incredible, if not impossible.) Even on a single level of a 84 level in a map, the difficulty persists. The only solution I found is using the "Smoothing" tool in God's Mode on the beaches, after generating the map. In maps with different levels (84-85-86, etc. or 84-94-104 and so on) the smoothing tool is also good to create nice smooth transitions between levels, in the hills even steep ones (84-104-124 and such). The hick is that one has to smooth the whole region, daunting...

I kept a few screen shots of cities that are not saved in the game. They show the three harbors placement, roads going up hill showing default low level residences (I mean placing one residence, holding it down for a second or two, and a largish grid shows up. Two reasons : How close to the water line houses will be built and using the land 'as is'. The Pix show one half of the landscape smoothed out, the other raw terrain. (you get some really weird results like that.) Those pictures are not ready to upload as of this writing, but if there's enough interest in them...

So to conclude : I'm giving up on the whole thing. It was taking too much time from actually playing. Let's not even talk about transportation frustration with the NAM options or even with the vanilla flavor of roads, avenues, highways, trains, monorails, et all. But that's another topic.

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@huzman You have certainly given this a lot of time and effort. If it's not working out how you like then whatever alternative you find that is better is the way to go. Btw, have you tried any of the three programs I linked to near the beginning of my first post? I know lots of peeps like them. I pretty much came up with this idea here for two reasons. First, I mostly wanted to understand how the original game worked with grayscale map import and rendering. And second, there were some peeps saying they could not run the other programs so they didn't have an alternative.

Feel free to post your pics here and discuss the techy parts of what is good or bad. It's all about learning and sharing that knowledge with others. *;)

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I've found that for regional editing tools, SC4Terraformer covers a wealth of sins. My Republic City map (from Legend of Korra) was initially created in grayscale by painting over a map of the city that I found online. I then imported it into Terraformer and further smoothed out all the rough spots.

I think it needs another go around to be proper quality (sampling from some other real-world maps would go a very long ways to perfection, but I'm not setup for it at the moment) but in getting the map into the game I don't think I did so bad. It's worth noting that the map was considerably worse before Terraformer and would look nowhere near as smooth if I'd tried to only use the tools available in the game.

I might also mention that whole thing took me about two months, if I remember correctly.

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10 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

Btw, have you tried any of the three programs I linked to near the beginning of my first post?

Yes mademoiselle, I have all of them, but I have used them very little as I'm a little confused on how to use them. But I shall persevere !

9 hours ago, APSMS said:

SC4Terraformer covers a wealth of sins

Yes, and it is also truth about the others. Too bad I didn't get to download the

On 3/19/2017 at 7:52 PM, CorinaMarie said:

Ordio's SCRACC utility.

 

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2 hours ago, huzman said:

Too bad I didn't get to download the Ordio's SCRACC utility.

I believe it now falls in the Abandonware category. I'll attach it here with the caveat that if Ordio does not want it to be available it will be removed. The file is a Windoze .msi installer file. I've also included an archive of the help page. It's in the Mozilla Archive Format so you will need Firefox and that addon to view it. (It's not required to use SCRACC.)

SCRACC.zip

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3 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

Right up my alley. Muchas gracias señorita.

As for some results of my feeble tries, here they are in a bundled zip. Some explanations : some file names may be misleading, as some images show BOTH the  'smoothed' out in one side (mostly North) and the other (south) is left as is. The placement of the three harbors is rather obvious. The roads are meant so show inclination and easy transition from level to level. I extended the roads down the beaches to see how far they could go. Then the long roads with R grids. It is the same idea : show smoothness in one side and the rough rendering in the other.

(I just noticed that I'm repeating myself "a wee bit" -as used by a estimated colleague-) but is all in the clarification of things. One last thing: The topography for land starts at level 84. Water is deep at level 40. No feathering, no antialiasing, just hard edge levels. And that was a pain the neck. That and @CorinaMarie's 'B&B' (Burn and Blur) techniques is my next step.

Hope to having contributing something useful. I reached max uploading size -4MB- so the others will be in a next post

Fanta-Both1.png

Fanta-NO-terra3.png

Fanta-terra.png

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Cori,

(1)  What is the largest map/region which can be made for SC4 in terms of bit map dimensions?

(2)  Do you know of some Web site similar to Google Maps, but that would allow grayscale topological maps?

This is what I have found.  Seems a bit of installing, but once you got it done, you can get a grayscale for any location earth for an SC4 region.

https://www.matterhackers.com/news/how-to-3d-print-a-map-of-anywhere-in-the-world

Too bad I wish I could just click on something in Google and print topological in grayscale.

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8 hours ago, huzman said:

As for some results of my feeble tries, here they are in a bundled zip.

Those pics look fine to me. I've personally never been concerned if I can immediately place a seaport or ferry on the existing rendered terrain. I use the mayor mode tools and do a wee bit of terraforming to tweak the area to make it ready to plop those. (Btw, I don't see a file attached to your post. I'm guessing you mean you reached the 4mb limit because of the attached pictures.)

For the streets and roads you might like the effect of using a Slope Mod.

 

2 hours ago, MarkShot said:

(1)  What is the largest map/region which can be made for SC4 in terms of bit map dimensions?

I don't know if there is an actual limit for rendering from a bit map. The largest I've created was 10 x 10 (100 total) large tiles.  The grayscale was 2561 x 2561 pixels. I've seen the generic version of the question how large can a region be and the answer is however big your comp can handle.

 

2 hours ago, MarkShot said:

(2)  Do you know of some Web site similar to Google Maps, but that would allow grayscale topological maps?

Offhand I don't know of a site. Back when I was learning about maps for SC4 I did read stuff about using Google Maps and also downloading Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from the Geological Survey site.  The thing with the DEMs is one has to convert them to a grayscale image and the data is byte reversed or something. (Been too long since I read about it to have the wording exactly right.) Anyhow, the process for the conversion from a DEM was definitely within my programming ability. I just never got around to doing it since I was happy enough with my Cloud Method. And too, I then got side tracked creating my Shoppes catalogues. And after that I got side tracked farming an entire region with those farms style like central Indiana. (You may have seen those pics in the Show Us thread starting on page 17.)

So, I really don't have any good answer for this second question. It is still of interest to me, but more like way later in the future.

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3 hours ago, MarkShot said:

(1)  What is the largest map/region which can be made for SC4 in terms of bit map dimensions?

Theoretically, you can go until your RAM runs out (that is, the program is no longer able to address additional memory).

I suspect the Los Angeles Metro Area is pushing the upper limit of practicality, even if you can go bigger. The map measures 37 by 24 (large city tiles), or 147.456km by 98.304km for a total area of ~14 500 sq.km (~5600 sq.mi), which IIRC is bigger than the actual LA county, although the map itself I notice contains bits of Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Ventura Counties. LA county extends much further northward.

Too big to be practically usable for sure. A lifetime of SC4 might not fill that map!

EDIT: I found a bigger map, with the caveat that there's less land:

122.88km by 139.264 km!

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Hi Cori, I've been using Windows 10 and Microsoft Office picture manager, I've got to the point of placing the greyscale image in the region but similarly to huzman, nothing happens. 

I:

Created a new confi.bmp to a modest 12x18 pixels, saved over existing.

Got a nice picture of some clouds of wikimedia, cropped the useless parts and resized the image using the forumla.

Put saturation to -100 to create a greyscale image.

Exported as bmp, saved it as "Grey2"

Opened up SC4, pressed CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+R, selected my cloud image and nothing happens.

Any advice on what's going on? Is it Windows 10 or the puny Microsoft Picture Manager?

 

Thanks

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The function to render greyscale maps from region view is exceedingly limited in terms of what it will accept. You'd be much better off using an application such as SC4 Mapper or Landscape designer to create the actual region heightmap. Armed with an export from these, you can simply select your new region as you would any other.

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1 hour ago, rsc204 said:

The function to render greyscale maps from region view is exceedingly limited in terms of what it will accept. You'd be much better off using an application such as SC4 Mapper or Landscape designer to create the actual region heightmap. Armed with an export from these, you can simply select your new region as you would any other.

From my experience it seems that everything needs to be absolutely correct, especially with the pixel size of the greyscale:

64 x LENGTH IN km + 1 = # PIXELS FOR GREYSCALE MAP

So, for 5x5 large map file:

64 x (5x4) + 1 = 1281pixels, or 1281x1281 pixels, since it's a 5x4 large map. 

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5 hours ago, armpit43 said:

Put saturation to -100 to create a greyscale image.

I believe this might be the culprit. Although that does change the coloring to a grayscale appearance, it is still likely in RGB file format. Look for an option to actually change the mode to grayscale.

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