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    American Southwest - Monument Valley, Part Four: Roughing Up Level Terrain


    Vandy

    This is Part Four of a five part tutorial on how to create an American Southwest terrain using SC4Terraformer. Within this tutorial are a number of "sidebars" -- that is, aditional explanatory information -- that cover the use of a number of the SC4Terraformer features and functions. It is recommended that this tutorial be done from Part One through Part Five so that the results obtained closely mirror the results of this multi-part tutorial.

    In this section of the American Southwest tutorial, we'll learn how to "rough up" the level terrain of our region and give it some character by creating hills, valleys, gulleys and semi-mountainous areas. Then, we'll create some specific terrain features such as higher hills, a knife butte and a couple of small chimneys.

    We'll be using the High Tableland Mesa created in the previous section as a "backdrop" for our roughed up terrain. If you've been following this tutorial and have been terraforming and saving into the same region, it's okay to use your saved region for this section. If you haven't been saving, you can either create the High Tableland Mesa to use as our backdrop or, simply work through this section on a level terrain. If you've been saving your work from each section of the tutorial in separate regions, you'll need to load the region in which you saved the High Tableland Mesa.

    Before we get started, I'll assume you have loaded an appropriate region to use for our roughing up the land section.

    I'm using the region in which I created a High Tableland Mesa and have positioned it so that I have the upper third showing with a large section of level terrain in front of it as shown in the below example:

    01_Rough_Land_1st_Pass.jpg

    Roughing Up the Level Terrain

    01) In the Sliders Window, set the Radius value to 15, the Strength value to 10, the Min Height value to 0280 and the Max Height value to 0300.

    You may need to adjust the Radius vaule dependent upon what is in the terrain you're using in order to not go over terrain features that may already be in your region. The Min / Max Heigh values will cause our rough terrain to stay between 280 to 300 meters (approximately 840 to 900 feet) and keep the roughed up terrain from going over 20 meters (approximately 60 feet) in height.

    02) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar, click on the Brush tools drop down arrow and selct the Cliff tool.

    03) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, start at one edge of your terrain (I started at the bottom of the mesa in the upper left-hand corner), click and hold the mouse button then randomly and somewhat slowly move the drawing tool around the level terrain in the region.

    04) Let go of the mouse button, position the drawing tool on a differnt part of the level terrain and repeat Step 03), above.

    05) Continue to do Steps 03) and 04), above, until you've covered all the level terrain in your region. If you wish to go over an area already done, that is okay. It will add a variety of terrain to your region. You should end up with soemething similar to the below example:

    02_Rough_Land_2nd_Pass.jpg

    It certainly roughed up the terrain, didn't it? Let's smooth it out some next.

    06) In the Slider window, change the Strength to 03. Leave the Radius and Height vaules at their current settings.

    07) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar, click on the Zone tools drop down arrow and select the Smooth tool.

    08) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, start at one edge of your terrain (I started at the bottom of the mesa in the upper left-hand corner), click and hold the mouse button then move the drawing tool around the roughed up terrain in the region until you've made one pass over all the roughed up terrain. It is up to you if you wish to make more than one pass over the terrain. I did not. You should end up with something similar to the below example:

    03_Rough_Land_3rd_Pass_Finished.jpg

    We're done! No, honestly -- we're done! Done with roughing up the land, that is...

    Now, lets create a few hills, a couple of small chimneys and then, I'll show you how to create a knife butte.

    First, some small hills.

    09) In the Sliders window, set the Radius value to 04, the Strength value to 04 and the Max Height value to 0400. Leave the Min Height value at its present setting.

    10) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar, click on the Brush tools drop down arrow and select the Hills tool.

    11) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, select an area on the terrain, click and hold the mouse button and V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y move it just a little in one direction.

    12) Let go of the mouse button and enjoy the hill you've created.

    13) If desired, repeat Steps 11) and 12), above, as many times as you wish to add hills to the terrain. You should end up with something similar to the below example:

    04_Rough_Land_Hills_1st_Pass.jpg

    If you don't want a "rocky" hill (a hill with a lot of grey mixed in the green), you can smooth it using the Smooth tool.

    14) In the Slider window, change the Strength value to 02. Leave the other settings at their current values.

    15) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar, click on the Zone tools drop down arrow and select the Smooth tool.

    16) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, position the drawing tool over one of the rocky hills, click and hold the mouse button and move the drawing tool over the hill.

    17) Let go of the mouse button and inspect your results. If you are satisfied, go to the next step. If more smoothing is necessary, repeat Steps 15) through 17) as many times as you wish to smooth the hills. It may be necessary to rotate the terrain in order to view all sides of the hills. You should end up with something similar to the below example:

    05_Rough_Land_Hills_2nd_Pass_Finished.jpg

    We're finished. You've created some random hills on your roughed up terrain.

    Let's add a couple of small chimneys to the terrain. The steps to create the chimneys are exactly the same as the steps we've already done in Section 02 of this tutorial when we created our chimney spires. The only difference here will be in the height of the chimneys. I will detail the necessary steps for the small chimney's below. For all other steps in creating the chimneys, please refer to Section 02 of this tutorial.

    18) In the Sliders window, set the Radius value to 02, the Strength value to 07 and the Max Height value to 0405. Leave the Min Height value at its current setting.

    19) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar window, click on the Brush tools drop down arrow and select the Mesa tool.

    20) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, select a point on the terrain and position the drawing tool on it.

    21) Click and hold the mouse button and allow the mesa to rise to the Max Height setting then let go of the mouse button.

    22) Move the drawing tool just a little away from the chimney you just created and repeat Step 21), above.

    23) If desired, move the drawing tool to a different place on the terrain and repeat Steps 20) through 22) for as many chimneys as you wish to create. You should end up with something simiiar to the below example:

    06_Rough_Land_Chimneys_1st_Pass.jpg

    24) I zoomed in on the chimneys, flattened the tops, trimmed the sides and added a bit of base to them as detailed in Section 02 of this tutorial. If you did as well, you end up with something similar to the below example:

    07_Rough_Land_Chimneys_2nd_Pass_Finish.jpg

    Alrgight! We've made some hills a couple of chimneys and now we're ready to make a knife butte. Knife Butte is my term for a very thin butte. Typically, this type of butte has a wall of rock that is only a few meters in width and has the profile of a knife blade.

    Let's make our knife butte.

    25) In the Sliders window, select a Radius value of 03, a Strength value of 04 and a Max Height value of 0410. Leave the Min Height value at its current setting.

    26) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar window, click on the Brush tools drop down arrow and select the Hills tool.

    27) In the SC4Terraformer Main window, select a point on the terrain and position the drawing tool over it.

    28) Click and hold the mouse button and create a hill with one end higher and wider than the other end. You should end up with something similar to the below example (I've zoomed into the hill I created):

    08_Rough_Land_Knife_Butte_1st_Pass.jpg

    29) Move the drawing tool to the highest point on the hill you just create and not the height value shown in the lower right corner of the SC4rTerraformer Main window.

    30) In the Sliders window, set the Radius value 01, the Strength value to 10, the Min Height value to the height found in Step 29) minus 10 and the Max Height value to 0500.

    31) Rotate the terrain until you are looking right down the spine of the hill created in Step 28).

    32) In the SC4Terraformer toolbar, click on the Brush tools drop down arrow and select the Mesa tool.

    33) Position the drawing tool (it will look like a red dot at a value of 01) over the highest point of the hill.

    34) Click and hold the mouse button then CAREFULLY move the drawing tool towards you about one third the length of the hill making sure you stay on the spine of the hill. Release the mouse button.

    35) Rotate the terrain until the front of the hill is facing you.

    36) Place the drawing tool just in front of where the butte rises from the hill.

    37) Click and hold the mouse button then CAREFULLY move the drawing tool towards you for about one eight of the length of the hill making sure you stay on the spine of the hill.

    38) Rotate the terrain until you are looking at the side of the hill.

    39) "Fill out" the butte by placing the drawing tool on any low spots then click and hold the mouse button until the butte rises to the same level as the rest of the knife edged rock. You should end up with something similar to the below example (I've zoomed in on the knife butte):

    09_Rough_Land_Knife_Butte_2nd_Pass.jpg

    40) If desired, follow the steps in Section one of this tutorial on creating a butte to trim the sides of the butte, flatten the top and add a base. If you've done so, you should end up with something similar to the below example (I've taken this picture from the other side of the knife butte):

    10_Rough_Land_Knife_Butte_3rd_Pass_Fin.jpg

    Well! We're finished! We've learned how to rough up the terrain, added some extra hills and chimneys and how to make a knife butte. Here's a picture of what my example region looks like after this section of the tutorial:

    11_Rough_Land_Region.jpg

    Okay! We've finished the section on roughing up level terrain.

    Please note the steps I've given you in this tutorial are based on the way I rough up level terrain. They are by no means the only way that terrain can be roughed up. Please feel free to modify any steps in this tutorial in order for your own personal style to be incorporated when terraforming with the SC4Terraformer application.

    Part Five of the American Southwest Terrain tutorial series will explain how to create a dry wash or, dry river bed, and can be access by clicking on American Southwest Terrain - Part Five: Creating A Dry Wash


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