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CorinaMarie

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

108 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, CorinaMarie said:

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.

The grayscale height-map could be 8-bit and 256 shades of gray, but it must also be 'indexed' specifically as a grayscale image otherwise SC4 will simply render a flat region. 

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SC4_Terraformed_in_Game_zpsvgs2ocv4.jpg

Here is a single large tile I terra-formed by hand using SC4 terra-forming tools.  In City View.

Sc4_Region_View_zps0ngbib94.jpg

Here is the single large tile in Region view.  Now I load the Region into SC4 mapper and create an .SC4M file.

SC4M_Map_zpseq52gr8s.jpg

Here is the tile loaded into SC4 Mapper and printed out as a .bmp file which could potentially be converted to a grayscale.

SC4_Region_View_SC4M_zpskghzxjyu.jpg

Here is the .SC4M file used to re-create the region with the single city tile.

SC4 Mapper can be downloaded from SC4 Devotion.

http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2880

The demonstration above is to show how we can create terra-formed regions in SC4 with our own hands using the terra-forming tools in SC4 and then save them with SC4 mapper and share them.   below is the SC4M file created from my tile that I hand-made.  

Simtropolis.SC4M

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11 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

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. 

I don't get the same results... 64x5+1=321 in my calculator.

Also, how do you do 64x(5x4) ? You are talking about "5x5 large map file", so where does the 4 come from ?

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The 4 comes from the fact that one single large tile requires 4x4 pixels in the config.bmp. So when you have a region that is 5 large tiles wide you multiply the 5 times 4 to get the number of pixels wide the config.bmp needs to be. So rearranging that formula:

5 (large tiles) x 4 (pixels) = 20 x 64 (in-city tiles per pixel of config.bmp) = 1280 + 1 (for whyever it needs a plus one) = 1281 pixels for the grayscale.

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30 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

5 (large tiles) x 4 (pixels) = 20 x 64 (in-city tiles per pixel of config.bmp) = 1280 + 1 (for whyever it needs a plus one) = 1281 pixels for the grayscale.

Huh... learn something new everyday.  I thought that was supposed to be because a large map is 4km x 4km, but you're explanation seems equally reasonable.  Either way, the formula works!!   *:D

(Haha - 'for whyever it needs a plus one'... I always thought that was a bit weird too, though I'm sure there's a good reason for it) 

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5 minutes ago, RobertLM78 said:

I thought that was supposed to be because a large map is 4km x 4km, but you're explanation seems equally reasonable.  Either way, the formula works!!   *:D

I'm not sure if I read my explanation in some other thread or not. Like you say, either way works. Taking this a little further here's the same for medium tiles. Let's say I want 5x5 mediums instead of large tiles.

5 (medium tiles) x 2 (pixels) = 10 x 64 = 640 + 1 = 641

Or 5 x 5 smalls would be:

5 (small tiles) x 1 (pixel) = 5 x 64 = 320 + 1 = 321

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2 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

5 (small tiles) x 1 (pixel) = 5 x 64 = 320 + 1 = 321

Aha ! It just cleared something : "tiles" is a synonym for L, M and S Cities, as well as meaning pixels, if I got that right. That's why I got 321 in my post above. Merci.

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19 hours 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.

For anyone looking to make their first maps this is true as stated in my original post. If you want something better, check out the links to those programs in said first post. The method(s) outlined in this thread are for those who enjoy working with alternative ways to create SC4 maps.

 

Speaking of alternatives, here's a variation of the same theme. Go to donjon's Fractal World Generator page. Here I've selected my own settings:

01%20Main%20Screen_zpseb66zgjf.jpg

 

Then I clicked the Create button:

02%20Created_zps1otxmgip.jpg

 

I then did a Right-Click on the image and selected Copy. (If you do a Save-As you get a .gif file.) I then pasted the copied image into a new file 1026 x 513 pixels. Next, in GIMP, I scaled the image to 1025 x 513 and added Gaussian Blur of 15.0:

04%20GBlur%2015.0_zpsnpvkear3.png

 

Converted to Grayscale and adjusted brightness to -35 and contrast to +20. Saved as a .bmp format:

06%20Gray_zpsjawkfbhm.png

 

Then rendered in totally vanilla game and added Maxis trees:

06%20RVT_zpsqzcx8dug.jpg

 

I believe it turned out rather well for such an inferior map making method. *;)

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1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

For anyone looking to make their first maps this is true as stated in my original post. If you want something better, check out the links to those programs in said first post. The method(s) outlined in this thread are for those who enjoy working with alternative ways to create SC4 maps.

You misunderstand... I don't mean for creation of the actual map, I meant to export the "texture" or heightmap into an SC4 format I'd use SC4 Mapper or Terraformer. Simply because in practise it will iron out any issues which the in-game rendering mode doesn't handle.

I think your unique approach of creating the height maps is quite useful. Since it provides a nice random way of getting started, for those who don't have a specific source of inspiration as a basis.

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5 hours ago, huzman said:

"tiles" is a synonym for L, M and S Cities, as well as meaning pixels

In the BMP file, a (red) pixel is a small city-sector (or a 4x4 cluster of blue pixels is a large city). Therefore, these pixels really are the cities / tiles (which I call sectors).

I try to avoid using the words "city" and "tile" around here because they're each used for multiple things, sometimes causing confusion. Following the game's lead, "City" usually refers to one sector of a region. However, it is also sometimes loosely applied to a whole region or a real-world city that spans several sectors within a region (e.g. The "real" San Francisco in my life-sized SF Bay Area spans a dozen or more "cities").

"Tile" is often used to denote a "city" sector, but you'll also sometimes see it used for one tiny square covered by a lot or road (e.g. triple-tile wide avenues). I've taken to using "sector" to denote one mayoral slice of a region, and I haven't yet had to pick an unambiguous word for the little squares that define lot-size and road-width.

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1 hour ago, RobertLM78 said:

Reminds me of fracplanet .

Nice find. I've bookmarked that. I'm sure you noticed the linky on donjon's site to other versions of Fractal Worldmap Generator.

 

1 hour ago, jeffryfisher said:

I try to avoid using the words "city" and "tile" around here because they're each used for multiple things, sometimes causing confusion.

That's a good idea. In my own mind my region is a State and the city-tiles are Counties.

 

1 hour ago, jeffryfisher said:

I haven't yet had to pick an unambiguous word for the little squares that define lot-size and road-width.

For me they are parcels.

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1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

That's a good idea. In my own mind my region is a State and the city-tiles are Counties.

For me they are parcels.

I also consider city 'tiles' as something of a county or parish (or even prefecture - since my cities tend to remind me of Japan).    Parcel I think of as a tile.  But yeah, there are some ambiguities as Jeffry pointed out.

Edit to fix dyslexic moment  ;)

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15 hours ago, jeffryfisher said:

I try to avoid using the words "city" and "tile"

That's what I'm trying to avoid. But it's something other people are doing, hence my confusion. And now you add 'sector'. Whew !!!

 

14 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

In my own mind my region is a State and the city-tiles are Counties.

Oh right ! Tends to cloud the issue a little more. Why not 'Hamlet' for the S tile, 'Village' for the M one ? To me, the names for 'Region' and 'Cities' (S,M and L) are good enough. As long everyone observes it.

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@huzman and I just had a PM convo in which he made the following discovery when rendering from a grayscale image:

img0469_zpssoba1imb.jpg

The question (ofc) was: What is causing the borders to do that?

 

After some testing I believe it's caused by the specific shade of gray (545454 hex). He sent me the grayscale image and I tweaked it by adding +1 brightness using GIMP.

img0472_zpsw1kk5yxg.jpg

That changed the gray to 555555 hex.

 

The new render looks like this:

img0473_zpsterkrc4d.jpg

And while it did not get rid of all the anomalies along the borders, it is much improved.

 

Then I went back to the original grayscale and added +5 brightness which made it gray 575757 hex. Now they are all gone:

img0474_zpscepbzn7f.jpg

 

That does raise all the terrain just a wee bit, but I feel it's better than having those goofy gaps along the borders. *;)

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I'm just checking to make sure you have no terrain mods installed while doing these tests.  I have found that terrain mods can impact the default elevation.

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3 hours ago, RandyE said:

I have found that terrain mods can impact the default elevation.

Indeed. More specifically it's the Terrain Properties one:

Terrain%20Properties%20Exemplar_zpsnliw8

 

One such example that is this particular exemplar is the Beach Extend Mod. I once spent a few hours testing variations in a copy of the Terrain Properties that I had extracted from simcity_1.dat. I'd alter something and render a map. Alter something else and render. And nothing I changed made any difference. Well, it turned out that because I had the Beach Extend Mod installed too it was overriding my changes.

So yes, it definitely is something to be aware of. In my tests in my above post I did not have any altered copy of this exemplar. It's simply a matter of how the game renderer handles that particular shade of gray along the borders of city tiles.

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