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Found 562 results

  1. Tour of Africa: Southern Africa

    The tour of Africa continues on as we visit the rolling hillsides of southern Zimbabwe. For as far as we can see, small villages dot the landscape - and the locals have lived in mud and thatched roof huts like these for thousands of years. Small plots of farmland are seen throughout the countryside - providing the locals just enough for them and their families. As we move west, we venture through a very different kind of landscape: the swampy marshlands of the Okavango Delta. This massive inland delta is unlike any other place on earth - and the wildlife is equally incredible. You can find massive herds of elephants, wildebeest, lions, zebras, and countless other species - so we get on a boat and get as close as we can. Further west is one of Africa's natural wonders - the harsh Namib Desert. You won't find too many settlements here, as the elements are far too inhospitable - but you still might find the occasional mining village, as this region is one of the world's largest diamond exporters. The former diamond mining town of Kolmanskop in southern Namibia had an unfortunate fate - once a rich little village, the entire area was abandoned once larger deposits were found closer to the shoreline. Nature soon took over, and many of the houses here are starting to fill up with sand. While today, the entire city remains a popular tourist attraction - its unknown how long it will last until its completely lost to the Namib. We move back south into South Africa - and we're sure to visit one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire continent - the vineyards of Franschhoek. Centuries old farms complete with Dutch architecture makes this one of the most charming places we visit on our tour - and there's few ways better way to spend a weekend than going out and tasting some of the local wines. Further south is where you'll find the legislative capital of South Africa - Cape Town. With a population of nearly 4 million, this is one of the largest metropolitan areas in all of Africa - and much of the city is surrounded by townships (slums). The locals have to deal with poor housing conditions and poverty - not to mention the polluting factories that dump waste right into the surrounding rivers and streams. The defining feature of Cape Town isn't an office building or any other man made structure - but instead the stunning Table Mountain that serves as one of the world's best backdrops. Its stunning any time of the day - but when the clouds and fog start to roll over the top and into the city, there's few places that are as magical. Travel some 700 miles east along the Drakensberg Mountains and you'll uncover another one of South Africa's incredible natural wonders... Tugela Falls majestically cascades some 2,972 feet down The Amphitheater, a stunning geological feature which contains some of the world's most impressive cliff faces. To get here will require days and days of hiking - but considering its widely regarded as having some of the world's greatest views from the top - its certainly worth it. The world's second tallest waterfall certainly doesn't disappoint - and it serves as the perfect end to our tour of Southern Africa. (Animation is completely untouched besides the border, no photoshop or editing.) (Sorry about the 12MB gif too. I couldn't get it much smaller without losing quality.) Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Johannesburg" Big thanks to @NielsC007, @TMTS, @sucram17, @Akallan, @BC Canuck, @Elenphor, @mrsmartman, @SC4L0ver, @mattb325, @kschmidt, @Tonraq, @GoKingsGo, @Marushine, @kingofsimcity, @Namiko, @weixc812, @Toby Ferrian, @TekindusT, @Fantozzi, @raynev1, @nRVOUS, @bobolee, @RandyE, @Fargo, @Yarahi, @Jonas_Chaves, @Manuel-ito, @scotttbarry, @mike_oxlong, @CorinaMarie, @RobertLM78, & @_Michael for all the likes!
  2. Tour of Africa: Johannesburg

    Our Tour of Africa begins with one of Africa's most iconic cities - Johannesburg. With nearly 4 million people in its metropolitan area - this is South Africa's largest city, and has one of the best skylines in all of Africa. With a unique combination of various architecture styles and plenty of famous landmarks to boot - there's plenty to do and see here. The famous Orlando Power Station was in use for nearly 50 years - but since the late 90s, its been transformed into a tourist center, with colorful murals painted on its walls and base jumping becoming a popular activity. To make it into the city itself, one of the most traveled routes is over the Nelson Mandela Bridge - completed in 2003, its one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Construction of the bridge was quite tricky, as it directly runs over 43 different rail lines - but construction was completed without disrupting any of them, and its been a popular tourist attraction ever since. At night, this bridge turns into a spectacle - for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the bridge's lighting system was upgraded extensively, and a new rainbow colored scheme was installed. If you can make it here at night - the striking color show will certainly be worth it. We've made it into the CBD - and there's no better time to see the city than during a beautiful South African sunset. Despite a little fog and rain - the landmarks here are still quite stunning, like the Carlton Centre. Completed in 1973, its been the tallest office building in Africa ever since. At night is when the city really begins to come alive, however. The streets of Johannesburg are typical of any other African metropolis - there's people and cars filling every last inch of pavement. It may be chaotic, but the life and energy of these streets makes visiting this city a special experience. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Introduction" Thanks to @Namiko, @GoKingsGo, @Yarahi, @Tonraq, @juliok92012, @AlexSLM520, @RandyE, @raynev1, @mike_oxlong, @Odainsaker, @scotttbarry, @nos.17, @mattb325, @matias93, @mrsmartman, @bobolee, @Fantozzi, @Marushine, @_Michael, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, & @Toby Ferrian for all the likes!
  3. Riverview Part 3

    Here is part 3 of Riverview covering the farms, some small businesses, and some nature for your viewing pleasure. The Golf Course which once was a farm and belonged to Farmer Dan, who sold up and ... moved here with his family and his horses. Retirement suits him just fine! Just down the road are his daughter and her husband, who own the stables in town. One of the dairy farms Here is the small shopping area plus in the back is the distribution centre for the farmers. The farmers market is just in front of the strip mall. You can also see some industry. Some businesses that service the farmers - Bank, Post Office, Corner Gas, a church The big supermarket Barby's Honey Farm. Note the Stall where she sells honey and flowers - all organic of course. A bit of housing near the farms A small overview The lake with the trail around it The creek that feeds the lake (don't know how to do a mosaic yet)
  4. The Simtopian Dream

    _____The Simtopian Dream Simtopia features several recent models by our SC4 CGI artists, mostly commercial and residential towers, using the IRM for industrial support, and including a wide selection of floral MMPs for landscaping. I focused mainly on tall buildings, landscaping and layout, painting 2.5 GB of plugins on the SC4 canvas while running the simulator at cheetah speed in heavily-modded mode. I wanted to study how tile-sets, custom content growables and ploppables function in the simulator. In the lower right corner of the Simtopian Dream banner region is the Sky2222 on a small tile, it is the tallest fictional building I've ever found on the STEX. _____Region View _____The Eve of Simtopia Simtopia is a utopian idea inspired by civil design and philosophy as early as 320 BC in the Mediterranean. Based on the concept of justice, engineering continues to enable construction of modern architecture, civil and technological facilities worldwide and in space. Development continues toward the world conceived over 2300 years ago. _____The Dawn of Simtopia In the Gaian hypothesis as in ancient Greek mythology, the Earth is considered a living whole and Life and Cosmos are an intregrated system. Thea, meaning 'divine light', the daughter of Gaia, the mother of light, raises the city platform to begin the Simtopian day. Concrete, steel, and glass, the essential building materials of the modern world and as models rendered in SC4 reflect a high precison of their color, texture and form. The buildings are designed to be both beautiful and functional, and engineering continues to improve their strength against forces of nature as well as balancing with delicate biotics of nature. _____I. The City Life In the heart of Simtopia are the venues of civics, culture, sports and entertainment. Busy harbours and streets are kept clean by the use of hydrogen fuel and electric power. Simtopia is heavily-treed with a variety of parks and cultural sites. Factories are kept small and spaced between stores, offices and housing. A fresh-water creek meanders through town to the sea from a small mountain where physics and astronomy research facilities are placed around a public planetarium used for entertainment and education. At night Simtopians attend stadiums for sports and shows, the planetarium displays a live view of the night sky projected by a large radio telescope that filters through the city light. The model used for the large radio telescope is based on the 305 meter Arecibo Radio Telescope, the Nexis Space Ears. (A similar 500 meter radio telescope was more recently constructed in China.) Art museums, libraries, theaters and archives are arranged in walking distance like on a college campus. Elevated Inter-urban freeways connect major commercial, residential and industrial centers, buffered by tall trees, many of the tall, well-lit landmarks provide easy navigation through the city. _____II. The People Places The freeway loops around the largest stadium, a model of the air supported Tokyo Dome with a capacity of 55,000. Tokyo Dome is similar to BC Place stadium in Vancouver which has since replaced air support with a retractable roof. A busy main seaport surrounds the outdoor Bailey's stadium, a fictional building in the corner of town with major highway neighbor connections. Simtopia is well connected to neighboring cities which are yet to be developed. Yurtec Stadium is a functional commercial venue in the tourist district where Don Miguel's world famous Lighthouse Restaurant and Deppiesse's Diner can be found. The city zoo now converted to a petting zoo with small herbivores and Llamas is surrounded by hobby farms and wineries, and a farmer's market, contributing to agricultural tourism on the city's edge. A monorail train arrives at the station where visitors can begin a walking tour of the agricultural estates. _____III. Building the Dream On the other edge of town light manufacturing and high tech. begin stretching out from the freight rail station. Apply yourself to the technologies and industries of Simtopia, all applications are well-received and duly processed for the benefit and benevolence of civil society. Build a world, make it more beautiful and strong than all chaos and waste. Suffer with the light and strive against the darkness. Those are my offices there in the H1 Tower to the left. The floor spaces of the highrise are very wide, each floor requires many technicians co-ordinating several applications of knowledge and skill. _____The Simtopian Dream Credits for the building models would be quite extensive, so I will mention only 5 model makers who have most recently contributed many excellent buildings to the STEX: Diego del Llano, JP Schriefer, Kellydale2003, Jasoncw, and Mattb325, whose works appear prominently in many of the scenes above. Mods used in the building of Simtopia: UtilityRadius TrafPollution Modd Super Demand Mod Abandonment Dilapidation Modd 1.2 Cousin Vinnie Ordinance No Fires or Riots Mod ReZonePlus v1.1 RH Rewards Unlock SFBT Street Tree Mod (v1.0) Industrial Revolution Mod Blvd Park and 1x1 Anti-Pollution Grass 2.0.0 Terrain, Water and Flora used for Landscaping: Sudden Valley by Gobias Sidewalk NY Slab, Stanley Seawalls, B98_Beach_Extend, BrownRockForeshore, GB Vancouver Island Beach, San Francisco Water, TropicalMossyRock. BSC Props Jeronij Vol 02 Trees, CPT 8 and 9 Tree Models, Girafe trees, flowers and shrubs, NVBC marina, coral and rocks. Ship Props: Medieval Sailing Ship 1 Cargo Ships 1 Powered by: Radical Water Pump and Pollution Reduction Cosmic Neutrino Background Energy Presented by community.simtropolis.com
  5. DukeLand

    Version 1.0.0

    17 Downloads

    I made this map manually in SC4, Terrain for Terrain, the name is DukeLand in honor of my dog Duke, who passed away Friday 08/08/2017 I hope you like it, with any mistake, let me know. The images are from the beginning of the construction, I will let you see the end result as a surprise
  6. Regional Fire Station

    Version 1.0.0

    229 Downloads

    The Regional Fire Station covers nearly an entire large city tile with moderately strong fire-fighting strength. If placed in the center of the large tile its radius reaches close to the tile edges. This station would also fit well in appearance and strength as an airport fire station. Plop Cost: 5000 Protection Cost: 400 Center Strength: 250 Radius: 2000 Total Dispatches: 8 Dispatch Center Strength: 200 Dispatch Radius: 2000 Exterior Strength: 200 Air and Water Pollution, Garbage, 5, 3 Located under fire stations in the civics menu with a bright red engine icon. All Maxis props and lighting, no dependencies. To install copy and paste the Regional Fire Station folder into your User\Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins folder. (delete the readme and preview files).
  7. Tour of Africa: Introduction

    So for my next series of updates, I have something a little special planned. Over the last couple months, I've been slowly accumulating a large collection of African scenes - and it's finally starting to come together. With nearly 40 different scenes (the pics below are just a small little teaser of what's to come - the tip of the iceberg ), it's going to be like nothing I've ever done before - an unforgettable tour of just about everything the continent has to offer. We'll start off the six-part series by taking a look at one of Africa's most iconic cities - Johannesburg. From there, we'll stay in Southern Africa, exploring a variety of natural scenes - including one of Africa's most famous wildlife sanctuaries, the Okavango Delta. Along with the world's second tallest waterfall - Tugela Falls. Animations are going to play a pivotal role in this series - it's going to be quite the sight From there, we'll head east - getting to visit East Africa and the beautiful Indian Ocean along the way. With a number of unique wonders like the Tsingy stone forests - visiting Madagascar is also must. It's off to Central Africa from there - where we'll get to explore wild Africa at its finest along with a number of natural wonders. Algae-rich lakes such as Lake Logipi attract countless lesser flamingos - and when they migrate, it makes for one of the greatest sights on the continent. We'll then head out to West Africa - visiting a number of small rural scenes, like the ones found in Rural Congo. And we'll wrap up in North Africa - after traveling through the Sahara, we'll get to see one of the continents greatest landmarks, the Pyramids. Additionally, as you might expect - there hasn't been a great deal of African themed custom content to work with. Because of this, custom content creation has been absolutely vital to this series. I've been creating various BATs from scratch on a massive scale to make some of these scenes possible: WIP: If anyone's interested in some of the stuff I'll be using over the next couple of updates, feel free to PM me. I don't know yet though how long it will take me to upload some of this stuff, there's still lots of various odds and ends that I need to sort out and I've been extremely busy with my CJ/MD as of late. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Bohemia" @Jeffrey500 Thanks! Bohemia is certainly one of my dream destinations Might be a while though before I find the time to upload this stuff so feel free to PM me if you're interested in anything. @mike_oxlong Thanks I've been slowly accumulating a whole bunch of pics really since the beginning of the year and I'm finally finding the time to put them all into proper updates. @dabadon5 Thank you for the comment! @Simmer2 @_Michael Thanks for the kind words! @JP Schriefer Thanks for the comment! @tariely Thanks! I had to do a lot of fiddling around in 3dsmax to make sure the models were just perfect, glad you liked it @raynev1 Thanks raynev! @Akallan Thank you! When I first saw that village I knew I wanted to do the update. It's so magical! @RandyE Thanks for the comment! I was thinking the same exact same thing when I was working on those. I actually got started on a Yosemite update a real long time ago (late May of last year I think? Never made much progress on it though.) and whipped up a really fancy national park themed banner like the ones you mentioned. Perhaps I'll have to give a couple US national parks another go in the future @TekindusT Thank you! @jmsepe Thanks for the nice words! @kschmidt Thanks for the comment! Those houses were actually just released on the LEX, check them out here @Namiko Thank you, glad you liked the animation I've been trying to work more of those in to my updates here recently. And big thanks to @Toby Ferrian, @Fantozzi, @Jeffrey500, @mike_oxlong, @Tyberius06, @Simmer2, @matias93, @bobolee, @kingofsimcity, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, @CorinaMarie, @_Michael, @RandyE, @JP Schriefer, @SC4L0ver, @Marushine, @huzman, @Manuel-ito, @raynev1, @Akallan, @nos.17, @MushyMushy, @mrsmartman, @AlexSLM520, @Silur, @kschmidt, @juliok92012, @Elenphor, @Yarahi, & @Namiko for all the likes!
  8. Scenes From South America

    Our journey to South America begins in Baños, Ecuador - located in the Eastern Andes, this popular tourist resort town offers lots to do. From restaurants, hot springs, waterfalls, and plenty of other activities to keep you occupied - its an excellent destination for anyone wanting to get a taste of the region. We won't be staying here long though, as the neighboring Amazon awaits.. While Baños may be located in the Andes Mountains - it's also known as the "Gateway to the Amazon" due to its close proximity to many of the Amazon River's tributaries and streams, offering a direct route into the jungle itself. We rent a boat from one of the locals, and we're soon on our way - into the dense, humid climate of the Amazon rainforest.. We travel deeper into the Amazon, and it might be hundreds of miles before we reach the next town or village. The locals here live simple lives - while some are tucked away so deep into the forest that they haven't been reached yet by civilization - others live on the shores of the Amazon and its tributaries with limited contact. We get a chance to meet a group of them, high up on their stilt houses - the brief glimpse into their lives and customary rituals is quite fascinating. In this part of South America - much of the local economy depends on important natural resources such as oil to keep afloat. Lake Maracaibo, located in northern Venezuela, has been vital for the locals - outside of the Middle East, this is one of the world's largest oil producers since oil was first discovered here back in 1914. Much of the land surrounding the lake is surrounded by endless fields of oil pumpjacks - they've quickly become a common symbol of the region. We head back into Brazil and the next stop will be a common sight in many of the major cities. From São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro - favelas dot the outskirts and creep up along the mountainous hillsides. The people here might not have a lot - but they make the best of their situation for them and their families, creating makeshift houses from whatever they can find. Some 1,000 miles west is where you'll find our next destination - one of South America's greatest cities, Buenos Aires. The mighty obelisco rises some 221 feet above the surrounding Plaza de la República and the spaciously wide 9 de Julio Avenue - commemorating the founding of the city back in 1536, its one of the main landmarks in the city and one of its premier destinations. Our final destination takes us back to the Andes - and although much of the land here is inhospitable and harsh, there's still a number of small, charming villages and towns that you'll want to check out. The small village of Tocanao in Chile stands on the edge of the Atacama Desert - despite the lack of rain (this is the driest area on the face of the planet) - the people here have adapted quite well, making the most of a few small streams that run close by. The bell tower here dates from 1750 - built from volcanic stone, its a unique landmark that's quite striking. Note: For this update (and others) - custom content creation has been vital. I've been creating custom road texture sets (this is only a small portion of it - there's about 20 or so for the Banos pic), BATing various small buildings from scratch (1, 2,), making HD water textures, and much more. I don't know if any of this stuff will make it to the exchange soon as there isn't any documentation, a number of small things still need to be fixed/improved, and I've also been extremely busy with my CJ lately. In the meantime though, if anyone is interested in these then just send me a PM. Additionally, about the last update - the obscure BATs were not photoshopped in (that would be waay too much photoshop in my book) - they're all ingame BATs I got from 3d warehouse. The Petra pic used a bit more photoshop than usual - I made it a long time ago when I was still messing around with PS - but the pic still uses an ingame BAT from 3d warehouse with some extra effects around it (added lights, made the cliffs look better.) Anyways, if I'm doing a scene and I need something from 3d warehouse, I'll import it into 3dsmax, render it, and use it as a prop in my scene. They are like any other BAT you would use. I already wrote a number of moderately in-depth guides on this in my other "South America" update here - I might consider doing this again (more in depth) if there's enough interest. Also, all of my scenes with the crazy road textures are really just a big flat prop (ingame props, not some sort of crazy photoshop effect. That would be an excessive amount of photoshop in my book). I'll make a big texture, place it on the prop in 3dsmax, render it, and use that prop in Lot Editor. So it isn't some sort of post processing effect, these are ingame props, no different than any other prop you would use. I already made a guide on this here in my "Year in Review" entry (the Pisa picture) so feel free to check it out. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Previous Update: Ancient Ruins - Pt. II Big thanks hanks to @Fantozzi, @kingofsimcity, @RandyE, @_Michael, @MushyMushy, @Jolteon, @CorinaMarie, @Yarahi, @mrsmartman, @mike_oxlong, @Manuel-ito, @matias93, @tariely, @raynev1, @Dgmc2013, @GoKingsGo, @Ducio, @Namiko, @Akallan, @Oerk, @scotttbarry, @Bastet69008, @schokoladeneis 1, @mattb325, @Elenphor, @Krasner, @juliok92012, @JP Schriefer, @Don_Pato, & @sucram17 for all the likes!
  9. Natural Wonders

    Our world is full of incredible natural wonders that keep us in awe. Today we're going to take a tour around the globe (except Antarctica - that's probably going to be a separate update down the road ) - visiting a few of the most unique and stunning natural wonders our planet has to offer. Note: this update contains a few gifs (4MB and 6MB) - it was difficult to get them any smaller. Africa Danakil Depression - Ethiopia Our first destination can be found in the hot, humid climate of northern Ethiopia. The alien like world of the Danakil Depression is known for its incredibly colorful sulfur pits - and also being the home of the hottest temperatures on earth. With temperatures reaching as high as 125 degrees, you won't be able to stay here long - just long enough to load up your camel with salt and continue on with the journey. Asia Sigiriya - Sri Lanka On the small island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia is where you'll find our next location - the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. This stronghold was selected by King Kasyapa of the Ceylon civilization back in the mid 400s CE as a new capital - and it was truly ahead of its time. The original structure featured a massive city perched on top of the rock, with expansive gardens and trails leading around the entire structure. Little of it remains - but it continues to keep tourists in awe to this day. Australia Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Northern Territory When you think of Australia - one of the first things that comes to mind is its stunning Uluru (Ayers Rock), dramatically rising some 1,142 feet out of the outback. Uluru is the original aboriginal name for the area - and it has no specific meaning behind it. They believed that the rock has a great spiritual meaning - and was created at the dawn of time. To this day, those visiting it are urged not to climb the rock out of respect to these beliefs - and taking photographs of certain areas is also strongly urged against. Europe Holuhraun Lava Field - Iceland We're traveling to the Arctic for our next destination - the volatile and unpredictable Holuhraun Lava Field. This lava field is the size of Manhattan and its been growing at an unprecedented rate - and its also been spewing out a record-breaking amount of lava and sulfur dioxide in recent years. Hiking is surprisingly allowed here - but make sure you watch your step, especially with lava that can reach temperatures as high as 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit. North America Nares Strait - Canada/Greenland Border We're staying in the Arctic for our next sight - and you'll find the stunning Nares Strait located on Greenland's wild west coast. This pathway to the North Pole is lined with dramatic fjords and mountains - and with some of the most inhospitable temperatures on earth, every trip is an adventure. South America Devil's Throat (Iguazu Falls) - Brazil/Argentina Border Our tour wraps up with one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in all of South America - the majestic Devils's Throat of Iguazu Falls, located on the Brazil/Argentina border. This is a sight unlike any other on earth - water cascades from 3 different angles down nearly 300 feet of sheer rock, creating a thundering splash that can be heard for miles around. This is nature at its best - and its a destination that you won't want to miss out on. Note: a lot of these pictures required extensive custom content creation, and although it may look like it - there actually wasn't that much photoshop being used at all. The Iguazu Falls & Danakil Depression gifs are completely unedited - the in game animations were recorded using ScreenToGif. For those wondering where I got Sigiriya, it was downloaded here and imported into the game as a big BAT - some small editing was done though at the top to add things like better looking trees. Ayers Rock was made using the in game terraforming tools, but had a couple edits to the terrain mod and the clouds. As for the pics from the Arctic - the main use of photoshop was adding reflections to the water (in the Greenland pic), giving the lava a little life/making it glow a bit (the lava itself is real), and adding some mist/clouds in general as well. I created an entire set of textures for those pics - consisting of two parts. First one being just a simple terrain mod - consisting of fairly basic cliff/ground texture mods. Here's a demonstration of some of the base textures/cliff textures at work. Secondly, I also finally figured out a while back how to create overrides for the JENX terrain paints: 1, 2. And again, these aren't some sort of photoshop effect or whatever, they're just overrides of the in game terrain paints. For those interested, here's the pics completely unedited: here and here (the lava is usually supposed to be used at day, so I had to make some enhancements for the night time image.) So yeah, there's finally legit lava + glaciers in the game There's still plenty of work to be done and they don't have proper icons yet so they're sorta hard to use, so it could be a while for a release on anything. But as always, if anyone is interested in something then please PM me and I can send you what I've completed thus far. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Scenes From South America" @TekindusT Thank you! I really went all out on that Buenos Aires pic - took forever but it was worth it! @Bojci Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate the kind words @Dgmc2013 Thank you, appreciate the nice comment @tariely Thanks for the kind words! I'll try to incorporate more little tutorials and whatnot into my entries from time to time - and to show how I make them come to life. @mrsmartman Thank you! I'll hopefully try to do a few more of those in the future to show a bit of what goes into my scenes @IL. Thank you! Although I've done some very heavy photoshop pics for fun in the past, it's important to keep things in moderation. Photoshop had a minor role in the update - mainly for things like mist/clouds/rain effects, adding filters to give some of the pics to give them a unique character, and to also do a number of small cosmetic edits like adding power lines to the MMP'd poles in the Tocanao pic. All the buildings, MMPs, lots etc are real in the pics - containing a bunch of custom content I created along with creative uses of existing content. @GoKingsGo Thanks for the wonderful comment! @raynev1 Thanks for the kind words I've been thinking about it recently and I might try to fit them into some sort of prop pack along with some of the other models I've been working on. If you want them in the meantime though, feel free to PM me @Fantozzi Thanks for the nice comment As for the buildings I used in those pics, I believe I used the following: a rusty shack from Simmer2's prop pack vol3, some shacks from the fordoniak prop pack vol2, and the main buildings were from RDQ's prop pack and from Wallibuk's collection on the STEX. I used some of Maloskero's stuff too - he graciously sent me a decent amount of BATs that haven't been released yet though, so I think a few of the buildings in the pic might not be available yet. But I believe he is working currently on getting the other blds on the STEX here soon. Also, one last note - a few of the buildings I used had their roofs recolored to orange/red to give them a bit more of a South American flavor - hopefully that shouldn't be an issue though @Namiko Thanks! Yeah, that scene is hard to beat I'm gonna keep the updates coming too, I have a loooot of stuff I need to publish into updates.. @Mymyjp Thank you for the kind words! It would be great to see some more updates - I really enjoyed your work @Akallan Thanks for the comment! I've actually thought about Nordic countries, but the lack of BATs is a big issue. Especially the stave churches - I could texture one pretty good but unfortunately my modeling capabilities are lagging behind. I've found enough stuff though for Ancient Egypt so that's definitely going to happen @JP Schriefer Thanks for the nice comment as always @f3cs Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! @_Michael Thank you! I usually do big, massive scenes - so I wanted to change things up a little and do a few zoom 6 scenes like the Amazon river one, glad you liked it @dabadon5 Thank you! With each update, I really want to convey that feeling of being on a great adventure across the globe - so it's nice to hear that @RandyE Thanks for the comment Randy! It's quite amazing what we can create using the canvas of SC4 Finally, big thanks to @Jolteon, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @Fantozzi, @MushyMushy, @Dgmc2013, @tariely, @matias93, @Marushine, @mike_oxlong, @mrsmartman, @bobolee, @kingofsimcity, @Krasner, @_Michael, @bladeberkman, @Francis90b, @GoKingsGo, @raynev1, @Namiko, @mattb325, @scotttbarry, @Akallan, @JP Schriefer, @RandyE, & @APSMS for all the likes!
  10. Bohemia

    Located in the western Czech Republic, Bohemia is a region full of picturesque landscapes and charming villages. Few are as delightful as Hrensko - and its where we'll begin our tour. Founded back in the 15th century as a trading settlement on the Kamience gorge, its turned into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. Hrensko also serves as the entrance gate to Bohemian Switzerland National Park - but be sure to take in the village for a day or two before sailing down the Kamience gorge. The Kamience gorge cuts through the heart of the park, and riding a slow sailing boat down the river is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The steep cliffs are quite incredible, but remain quiet until our tour guide finds a rope attached to the other side and gives it a huge pull... The Umelý vodopád (artificial waterfall) comes gushing out of a small crack at the top of the rock cliff - creating quite the splash and the perfect photo opportunity. We emerge out of the gorge and start making our way through the heart of the park. After a few hours, we finally reach one of the most stunning tourist attractions in the area - the striking Pravcická brána, the largest natural sandstone arch in Central Europe. In 1826, an inn was built here and has remained a popular spot ever since - after a hard day of hiking, there's nothing better than a good meal here. Be sure to take advantage of the many paths that wrap their way around the arch to get a great view of the landscape - but remember that the top of the arch has been out of bounds since the 1980s due to heavy erosion from tourists. Our last destination in Bohemia is the impressive Pravcický kužel (Pravcický Cone) - one of the most imposing structures in the entire park. For the thrill seeker out there, its the premier destination in the entire park - but only the bravest of climbers would dare to take on these sheer cliffs in the dead of winter... During summer however, when things are a bit more manageable - rock climbers from all across Central Europe will take on the cone. For those who can scale up these challenging cliffs - hundreds of feet high with little to no room for error - they will be rewarded with some absolutely incredible views from the top. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Bohemia - its truly a timeless beauty. NOTE: In order to make this update, I really had to put my BATing skills to the test. I modeled and textured these BATs completely from scratch (1, 2, 3 - pictures taken from the Lot Editor window) specifically for the update - if anyone would like to try the models out for themselves then please PM me Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Natural Wonders" @IL. Thank you for the comment! @BC Canuck Thank you I actually hadn't heard of the Danakil Depression either until recently - but once I first saw the mesmerizing colors I knew I had to give it a go. @tariely Thank you for the kind words! Yeah, I'm planning on releasing a bunch of stuff here at some point. I'm going to be insanely busy with my CJ for a bit as I get out a lot of older updates though, so probably once things settle down. But in the meantime, if there's anything you're after in particular, feel free to send me a PM and I'll see what I can do @mattb325 Thank you for the nice words! @elavery I just checked it out - quite stunning. The cliffs and lack of proper BATs though would be a concern, but I'll think about it in the future Thanks for the suggestion. @Mymyjp Thank you, glad you liked it! @gaiskerein Thank you for the comment and kind words! @TekindusT Yep, 100% certified photoshop free Thanks for the comment And finally, big thanks to @Manuel-ito, @RandyE, @matias93, @AlexSLM520, @bladeberkman, @Brooklyn81, @CorinaMarie, @tariely, @Odainsaker, @huzman, @mattb325, @scotttbarry, @nos.17, @_Michael, @Marushine, @Tonraq, @Jolteon, @Tyberius06, @jakis, @Fantozzi, @raynev1, @Elenphor, @Andrey km, @Yarahi, @bobolee, @SC4L0ver, @juliok92012, @Silur, @mayor11, @mrsmartman, & @Jonas_Chaves for all the likes!
  11. I'm curious to know where people get their ideas for cities, towns, rural areas etc. Do you use Google Earth? Your own part of the world? Batters' lots set an idea in motion? Other CJ's? Sometimes I run out of ideas to make something a bit more unique - things start to look the "same". Let me know what inspires you.
  12. 1. Fieldsborough once had fields. Not any more. The city planners have taken Mayor Brownstone's demands very seriously : as little grid as possible ! 2. 3. 4. Although there are still pockets of griddy resistance here and there. 5. Not wanting to be outdone, Aldergrove (where the groves of alders have long since disappeared) also tried its best to comply : 6. Although building diagonally still escapes the vast majority of contractors. 6. There too, as you can see above, a few farms hang on. But it's a losing battle, 7. The MacKinnon flower farm. (Imagine living there in the spring and summer, perfumes wafting on the breeze... and the deafening buzz of buzzy bees.) 8. 10. Last but not least, the further away from Mont-Valin and Middletown, Elmsborough has seen its growth shaped by the railway that goes through it, forcing the planners to give up a little on their ungridding fervor. 11. But they still made a valiant effort. 12. 13. 13.However commerce and some mansions owners still like a good, simple grid... 14. The school and one of the town's clinics : 14. There is one medium shopping center, at the edge of town... 15. ... but the Ste Ermenegilde church hasn't ceded an inch of its propriety -- the cemetery has been relocated, though, and the space converted to the town plaza. 16 Many ancient farmhouses have been converted : 17.The last big farm, half of what it was in its glory days, before the railway came :
  13. Hi all. I have two questions: 1. This thing about the automatic construction of streets when I zone is (for me) an irritating element of SimCity 4. These default streets doesn't fit into my overall plan and design for my city, so I always end up constructing roads myself before I zone small blocks step-by-step in order to avoid the appereance of these streets. Is there anything one can do in order to turn it off? 2. My second question is in relation to my first question. I live in Europe, and our landscape (both countryside and urban) doesn't fit well into SC4's landscape. As most of you know, European cities doesn't consist of square planned city streets, so if I would like to create something that looks more European (for instance with curved roads), I have to delete these automated streets everytime. So my question is: Does anybody know of - perhaps a mod - that can help me make the game look more European? I'm thinking about buildings, streets, city layout etc. My initial thought is that a mod like this is impossible since it would interfere directly with the .exe file. However, SC3K did a great job in creating European-styled buildings, so perhaps somebody has thought of something similar for SC4?
  14. Riverview Part 2

    See my bottom of my original entry for comments on the likes. Here is another entry from Riverview. This covers some of the downtown and surrounding area. I hope you all like and enjoy. 1. Town Hall and The Regal Theatre 2. 3. A department store, boutiques and other businesses, along with some housing 4. Another viewpoint of downtown. 5. The hospital, Safeway, and an office complex, and the ubiquitous Starbucks... 6. Another park that services more housing. 7. More housing with a playground/park. I see I missed a spot ! 8. Housing without the grid. 9. 10. An overview. 11. Apartments/Condos with another park. (I like my parks!) 12. 13. Here's the lake with a path and part of the creek. 14. The High School. 15. Housing beside the school. 16. A stable and paddock for the horsey set. 17. 18. Mayor Carol's house away from it all. 19. Meet Buttercup and Daisy, the cows. Carol also lives with chickens "The Girls", a dog named Kat, and two cats, named Molly and Mouse (so named for the "gifts" she brings home ;-0...) 20. 21. She really likes the creek - nice and peaceful. 22. Overview of the farming community. I'll be coming back to that next week.
  15. Moscow

    For anyone going to Moscow, a trip down the heart of the city is a must. We begin our journey with a drive down Tverskaya Street - the most well-known road in all of Moscow. This crowded shopping district has existed since the 12th century, and the streets are lined with historic architecture wherever you look. Even with some light rain, its Russian charm is still undeniable. As we make our way around the city, the rain begins to pick up considerably. Endless rows of commie blocks dominate the surrounding landscape - their bleak repetitiveness serves as a fitting backdrop to the elements. October brings the first snow of the year - creating a beautiful atmosphere around many of Moscow's most famous landmarks such as the Lomonossov Moscow State University. Completed in 1953, its imposing facade has served as the perfect symbol of Moscow - a powerful city that serves as the financial, political, and economic capital of Russia. Once the calendar crosses over into December, temperatures plunge into the negatives as the entire city turns into a winter wonderland. Moscow is one of the coldest major cities in the world - with temperatures as low as -44F being recorded, it takes a lot to brave these months. While it may be cold outside, it's not cold enough to stop us from visiting one of Moscow's most famous tourist attractions, Red Square. Few places on earth can boast such a collection of historic buildings in one location - with the Kremlin, State Museum, St. Basil's Cathedral, and many more within walking distance. Once the seasons change and the elements begin to clear up, a beautiful, sleek city emerges. Despite still being in construction, the Moscow International Business Center (Moscow City) boasts one of the most impressive skylines in all of Europe (and in the world). Its one of a kind collection of skyscrapers on the banks of the Moskva River include the Federation Tower, City of Capitals, and Naberezhnaya Tower - all of which are equally stunning. While Moscow may be known for it's past historic architecture, Moscow City makes it clear that this is also a city with an eye on the future. NOTE: Two of these scenes (Moscow City & Red Square) feature a handful of sketchup models from sites like 3d warehouse, as there were no close replacements for certain buildings I needed. These are real models imported into the game with 3dsmax, they are like any other BAT you would use. Some editing was done though to add effects like extra nightlights and snow. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "2016: Year in Review"
  16. Ancient Ruins - Pt. II

    For the second part of our tour, we begin by traveling to the Middle East to take a look at one of the world's most unique set of ruins - Petra. Founded by the Nabataean civilization as early as 312 BCE, this ancient sandstone city flourished for centuries - and the construction of the Treasury in the 1st century CE was a time of considerable growth and prosperity for the civilization. By 106 CE the Roman Empire captured the city - while Roman influence can be seen throughout the complex, they still thrived as a trade center for many more centuries. Eventually though, the Romans moved their trade capital from Petra and the entire city faded into obscurity and was abandoned shortly afterwards. The ruins have remained a mysterious landmark since then - in fact, the whole facade of the Treasury is riddled with bullet holes after Bedouin tribesmen tried to break in, hoping to recover riches inside. To this day, the entire complex remains a popular tourist attraction in the area - be sure to visit at night when the entire complex is lit up by a stunning display of candles - its one of the most magical experiences imaginable. For our next iconic ancient ruin - we're traveling to the rural farmlands of southern England. Stonehenge was built between 3200 and 2000 BCE - making it by far the oldest ruin on our list. The druids who built this megalith used ingenious methods to move these rocks around - and although its not entirely agreed upon, most believe that some sort of earth ramp was used to lift the stones into perfect position. There's no better time to visit here than during midsummer sunrise - the stones themselves align to it perfectly, making it a magical experience that's one of a kind. We'll be taking an extended look at the Roman Empire next - and there's no better place to start than the famous Roman Forum in the heart of Rome. This impressive set of ruins was once the heart of the city, with the likes of Julius Caesar and other important Roman leaders once crossing these grounds. After several sacks of Rome though that led to the fall of the empire during the 400s CE, many of the rocks and stones were plundered extensively, leaving the entire complex a shell of its former self. Excavations and restorations began in the 18th century - and although much of the original structure is long gone, you can still get a glimpse of what these walls once held. Our next stop within the ancient Roman Empire is the famous Colosseum. First opening back in 80 CE, its size couldn't be rivaled - more than 50,000 people could watch the many events that were held here. Aside from the gladiator fights - the Colosseum was used for just about everything and remained an important site in the empire for hundreds of years. While much of the structure has been lost to time or plundered by enemies - there's still much of it remaining, making it one of the most popular attractions not just in Italy - but also the world. Our final archeological site is none other than the famous ruins of Pompeii, Italy. This ancient Roman city was founded between the 6th and 7th century - and continued to grow and flourish as an important trading center for centuries. However, in 79 CE, nearby Mount Vesuvius exploded - covering the entire city under a blanket of ash and pyroclastic materials. Although most of the town's inhabitants survived (nearly 80% evacuated before the eruption) - an estimated 2,000 people still lost their lives on that fateful day. After a series of excavations starting in the 1700s, the entire city has became a massive tourist attraction and one of the world's premier archeological sites. NOTE: Pretty much all the models in this update were downloaded and imported into the game from sites like 3d warehouse, as there were no close replacements for certain buildings I needed. These are ingame models imported into the game with 3dsmax, they are like any other BAT you would use. Besides the Petra picture where I added the lights and made the cliffs look a bit better - there was very little photoshop used at all. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Rest of replies for "Ancient Ruins - Pt. II (Preview)" @tariely Thanks for the kind words Yeah, I'd agree with you there, I could have probably added a couple more cars (I really wish there were more FA car props out there though). But, let's just say it's an early morning in Rome for now @mike_oxlong Thanks! Surprisingly my plugins folders aren't that big, but that's mainly because I have about 8 of them by now and I just swap them out constantly. Even if I could share my Plugins folders (I don't know if the admins would be down with that.. ).. you'd probably spend more time trying to navigate through my messy menus than actually playing the game @JP Schriefer Thanks! Glad you liked it. Petra has to be one of my personal faves so far And finally, big thanks to @scotttbarry, @AlexSLM520, @GoKingsGo, @Simmer2, @mrsmartman, @Akallan, @Odainsaker, @RandyE, @bobolee, @JP Schriefer, @tariely, @tonyr, @Manuel-ito, @_Michael, @Jolteon, @raynev1, @Fantozzi, & @kingofsimcity for all the likes!
  17. Hello all. This subject is something I have thought about for a long time. I love all kind of city building games, but SC3000 has always been my favourite. Why is this? Well, other than some childish nostalgia I think map size has a lot to do with it. I have played a decent amount of SC4, but I have always been frustrated about the small map sizes. I know you can build large regions in SC4, but these regions consists of smaller independent maps that are rendered independently. This has always irritated me with SC4, since I never had the feeling that I was building something very large in one picture. I know the map size in SC3000 isn't very large either, but I do think it is easier to build a metropolis like city in one map in this game. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If there is something I have missed about SC4s map sizes, I would love to hear. SC4 is such a nice game, the graphics are awesome and way more realistic than SC3000. The community and downloads has always been bigger and better for SC4, so I would love to make a switch to the game, but I never think I will unless one can build large cities in ONE map. Do you guys know something that I don't?
  18. Southeast Asia

    Our journey to Southeast Asia begins with a trip through the scenic, mountainous landscape of northern Vietnam. For thousands of years, terraces have turned these hillsides into effective farmland - with rice being the staple crop for many. For as far as the eye can see, these terraces stretch on into the distance - a never ending showcase of simple, rural beauty. Our next stop is the mysterious Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island in The Philippines. Some 1,776 brownish-red hills dot the landscape for miles around, and a variety of wild myths try to explain their existence. Some legends state that the hills are the leftovers of massive pebbles thrown by giants many eons ago. Others believe that the hills have a cosmic connection, with each hill representing various stars and planets. No matter what the explanation, they still leave us in awe. The crater lakes of Kelimutu in Indonesia are one of the more remarkable destinations on our journey - the lakes are just as stunning as they are mesmerizing. The mineral rich water that fills each of these lakes changes color many times throughout the year, so each trip is truly a unique experience. Despite the ominous steam that emanates from the lakes, the volcano has actually been dormant for quite some time. Our next stop is the largest Buddhist monument in the world - Indonesia's Borobudur. Rain or shine, it's a truly impressive structure - we're amazed by the sheer quantity of artifacts on display. With over 2,500 relief panels and 500 Buddha statues lining the exterior, we've never seen anything like it before. Reaching the top brings incredible views of the surrounding landscape - but more importantly it signifies the end of a pilgrimage for Buddhists. As we start to head back north, a can't miss destination is Thailand's Phang Nga Bay, tucked away on the west coast of the country. With over 40 limestone islands jutting hundreds of feet into the air, it truly takes your breath away. We grab a boat and find a secluded beach on one of the islands - no better way to spend the day! As our journey begins to wind down, we make sure to visit one of the iconic landmarks of Southeast Asia - Cambodia's Angkor Wat. The world's largest religious monument never fails to disappoint - you could spend years exploring this vast complex. While the views from the outside are truly impressive, the interior is a different story. To our dismay, we find out that much of the complex has been looted in recent years, with bas-reliefs and relics fetching high prices on the black market. It'll take a little exploring around to find the rooms left in pristine condition - but it's certainly worth it. Our final stop is none other than one of the most impressive archeological sites in the world, Myanmar's Bagan. Over 10,000 pagodas were built on this vast desert plain nearly a thousand years ago - with a little over 2,200 remaining today. Despite constant earthquake damage (the ruins are built directly on top of a fault line) - the locals continue to rebuild these treasured ruins time and time again. No trip to Bagan is complete without a hot air balloon ride - despite the steep price, the incredible views for miles around make it a once in a lifetime experience. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Moscow"
  19. Lake Bogoria, Kenya

    Located in the middle of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Bogoria is home to one of the world's largest populations of lesser flamingos - every year millions of them migrate to it's algae infested waters. The lake boasts some of the most impressive wildlife in all of Africa - hundreds of species of birds call the lake home, and you might even see a couple zebras if you look hard enough. Geysers and hot springs dot the shoreline, creating a truly unforgettable landscape. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver
  20. I have being fighting with these glitches for the last couple days. I haven' loaded anything recently, they just appeared (disappeared) all by themselves. The bad thing is that they are hampering my game something serious. Also, the little panoramic image of Paris in my signature disappeared too. But I already fixed that.
  21. Ancient Ruins - Pt. II (Preview)

    Ancient Ruins - Pt. II (Preview) Our tour of the ancient world continues on.. after taking a look at a number of famous ruins from Central & South America in the first update, we're continuing on into Europe & Asia in Part II. I'm putting the finishing touches on a few more Roman ruin scenes so I hope to get the full update out soon... but here's a little bit of what I've done thus far: The Colosseum Petra by Night Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Ancient Ruins" @_Michael Thanks for the comment! I have a lot in store, hope to get it out soon. @TekindusT Thanks! That scene and model was a real pain to make, but I think it turned out quite nicely @kingofsimcity Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! I still have a trip or two left to "AncientSimCity" after this update.. so stay tuned @juliok92012 Thank you! @younghappy Thank you That sounds like quite the incredible trip I imagine! I didn't think that anyone would have been there before - that's pretty cool. Always neat to hear that it measures up to the real thing Thanks again to @Golhbul, @Akallan, @mike_oxlong, @Bastet69008, @aegian, @Simmer2, & @JP Schriefer for all the supportive comments! And finally, big thanks to @Golhbul, @kingofsimcity, @Manuel-ito, @Akallan, @scotttbarry, @tonyr, @raynev1, @RandyE, @Jolteon, @Fantozzi, @_Michael, @juliok92012, @mrsmartman, @mike_oxlong, @nRVOUS, @Jonas_Chaves, @Bastet69008, @aegian, @Marushine, @Oerk, @Elenphor, @Yarahi, @bladeberkman, @bobolee, @sucram17, @TMTS, @SC4L0ver, & @PHBSD for all the likes!
  22. Mont-Valin : Agrestan

    Time to resume our little journey in the Mont-Valin region. North-East of Middletown, Agrestan has become a suburb of Mont-Valin, like Middleton and the other towns of the region, now amalgamated under the name of Mont-Valin, with only one Mayor, Arielle Brownstone (remember her ? the anti-grid Mayor.) Like the other cities, it was a quiet agricultural town, more like several hamlets separating big farms. That time has passed. it is now a bona fide town. 1. 2. Agrestan has taken to Mayor Brownstone's policies when building new neighborhoods. 3. 4. Some big farms did survive the onslaught of urbanisation : 5. 6. Not much industry but flourishing commerce : 7. 8. it's mostly East Agrestan that has stayed agricultural (the following picture will be from East to West) 9. 10. 10. Next time : A few shots of the other little towns, Fieldsborough, Aldergrove and Elmsborough.
  23. A SimCity 4 Tutorial Cloud Oriented Region Import Method Adding Painted Streams by CorinaMarie@Simtropolis In this guide I present a method to create a grayscale image from which to render a random rolling hills terrain map that has water streams and rivers added. Here's a random sample of a map I created using this method: Note: The following is merely an alternative method to create a semi-realistic, fictional region map for SC4. Before you waste any time reading this please be aware that the defacto standards for map making are: SC4 Mapper, SC4 Terraformer, and Landscape Designer. Use them if you want something better. Also, as mentioned by @RobertLM78 in a reply in this thread there is another one by Ordio called Simcity 4 Region and Config Creator. However, many peeps have said they cannot run those programs on later versions of Windoze or other OS's so what I'm presenting here is simply another method by which one can make a decent map with minimal time and effort. I'm using GIMP for this guide because it's free to anyone. Any good image editing program will have the same tools I use in this guide. The method is quick and easy. Initial Steps 1. Load your SimCity 4 Rush Hour or Deluxe game and create a new region. Name it whatever you want. For this tutorial I'll use Cloud Map. Exit the game, or at a minimum, exit the new region by opening a different region. This is so the existing config.bmp file is not in use. 2. Create a new config.bmp file. For this tutorial mine will be 12x12 pixels. See Config.bmp: How to Make it Yours if you are not already familiar with it. 3. Save that config.bmp into the new region folder you just made. (Overwrite the existing one.) 4. You should now have region.ini and your config.bmp in your new region folder. Making the Grayscale Image 1. Go outside and take a picture of some clouds. 2. Load the picture into a decent imaging program. 3. [Optional] Crop it if there are cloudless parts you don't want in the image. In Gimp it's the Rectangle Select Tool over in the upper left of the tools box. Or you can press R. Draw a box around the part you want to keep. Then go to the Image Menu and select Crop to Selection... 4. Scale the image to the appropriate size based on the config.bmp you will be using. As we learned in @Birdin's config.bmp guide we multiply the dimensions of config.bmp by 64 and add 1. So 12 * 64 = 768 + 1 = 769. The height and width are the same since my config.bmp is 12 x 12. Go to the Image Menu and select Scale Image... That brings up this Scale Image dialog box. First click the little linked chain to the right of the Width and Height boxes to break the chain. This tells the program that we are not concerned about keeping the cropped selection proportional to the original image. Type in the Width and Height dimensions that you calculated in the beginning of this step. For this tutorial I entered 769 in both boxes. Then click the Scale button. 5. Convert to grayscale. Go to the Image Menu and select Mode --> Grayscale. 6. Export the image as a .Bmp file. Go to the File Menu and select Export As ... When the export dialog box comes up, look in the lower left for the little bitty plus sign in a box by the Select File Type (By Extension) and click it. That will open up the File Type selection box. Scroll down and click Windows BMP image. In the upper left in the name box, type in Gray 1 in front of the .bmp. Note only the name portion is pre-highlighted in blue indicating what part to type over. (Brilliant programming imo.) Remember which folder you export (save) the file to. That's indicated by my arrow in this next pic. Mine is going into My Documents. Click the Export Button. The next dialog box has some options. I simply click the Export Button. (I believe one could select the Run-Length Encoded to reduce the file size. I haven't tested that, so I leave it unchecked.) And here's what I created: 8. Close all files. I personally do not let it save my original clouds with the cropping and changes so that way I still have my unaltered original. 9. Close your imaging program. (Or if your comp has plenty of memory, just minimize it.) First Render (These interim steps are what I did when learning. I skip them now I know what I'm doing.) 1. In SimCity 4, open the new region you created. Mine is called Cloud Map. 2. Press the magic key combination of Shift+Ctrl+Alt+r. This brings up the file selection box. 3. Drill down to where you saved your grayscale image file and select Gray 1.bmp then click Ok. 4. Now wait while the map is rendered. You will see Creating New City like this: And here's our first draft render. Note that it's way too choppy. We will fix that soon. The reason I did this preliminary render is to see what part is water. Tweaking the Grayscale Image 1. Reopen Gray 1.bmp in your image editor. We will paint in our rivers and streams before we smooth out the rough, choppy bumps. Select the Paintbrush tool and set it to Acrylic 05. Leave the size at 20 point for now. I selected Acrylic cause it adds a random pattern to the edges of what you paint. 2. Click the foreground color selection box. It's right under all the tools on the left. That brings up the Change Foreground Color choices. Type 40 in Red, Green, and Blue. Yes, I already hear peeps saying: Wait, that's too dark. Stay with me on this. 3. Now paint in streams / rivers. A twitchy hand actually improves the realism. 4. Now to smooth out the choppiness of the hills. From the Filters menu select Blur --> Gaussian Blur... This also blends the rivers and streams so that's why I picked color level 40 (which equates to 120 meters height after rendering but doesn't count the blur merging). This'll be an area to experiment on your own based on your original cloud picture. 5. In the next dialog box change the Blur Radius to 10.0. Or pick your own number. Higher numbers means more smoothing and lower ones give less. 6. Export the image as Gray 2.bmp. Here's my new grayscale: 7. And here it is rendered: The map is now ready to paint trees in game or load your favorite terrain and tree and other landscape related mods. Or, tweak it some more. Further Refinement 1. Let's say I want everything to be a little lower elevation to get a bit more water. From the Colors menu select Levels... 2. Then I adjust the Gamma Level to 0.85. (I derived this number thru trial and error for this particular cloud image.) 3. Here's the new Grayscale image I exported as Gray 3.Bmp: 4. Here it is rendered: 5. And then I painted Maxis trees in every tile: Edit 2016.11.02 I've discovered a couple new things. I started with this cloud picture: Then in GIMP I did the normal stuff outlined above and then I used the Burn Tool to lighten the banks of the rivers: And I blurred it after that. Here's the grayscale I created: Another new thing I noticed is having mods for terrain, rocks, water, and beaches already installed means the import rendering colors the region view with them so I don't have to go into each tile to do that. Here it is rendered: Then I did go in and paint Maxis trees as thick as the program would allow: ^ What I really like is the banks of the rivers seem more realistic to me inasmuch as they show the effect of previous flooding. Also my heavier use of Gaussian Blur means the map is much more friendly when using a slope mod to lay out the transportation network. Where to go from here 1. You can alter the gray shade of your paintbrush to a lighter one and paint along the sides of the streams to create gentler slopes if you like. It's best to do that before adding the blur cause the blur does a bunch of evening out. (See my edit above. Using the Burn Tool works even better for this.) 2. If your cloud picture has a much lighter blue sky you might want to play with brightness, contrast, or color levels to darken it before for you start any other part of the editing. Use the Color Picker Eyedropper to see what shade any given area in your grayscale is. Providing you have not installed a Height Mod with an alteration to the scale factor and/or sea level, grayscale 83 is slightly below sea level. Lower values are farther under water. Grayscale 84 is slightly above water. Higher values are then higher elevations up to a max of 255 (white). 3. Experiment with various options in the imaging program. Render and see what you get. Learning by doing is loads of fun. 4. Experiment with altering the moisture content as discussed here to change the ground texture appearance. 5. Extract the Terrain Properties exemplar from Simcity_1.dat and play around with the variables there like ImageImportScaleFactor and SeaLevel or the Erosion settings. And Lastly Feel free to post your map creations in this thread. Ideally, post both the final grayscale image and then a region screenshot. Reply with what you've discovered that might be useful to other peeps.
  24. Worlds on the Edge

    Storyboarding Using SimCity 4 Regions "A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storyboard In the region view above is a simple linear storyboard. Regions may be made up of 3 sizes of rectangular tiles and several elevations. SC4 space is scaled in 3-dimensions, technically referred to as 'trimetric' projection. Text can be entered as region, city, and mayor names, and text can be written directly on the tiles or as signs placed on the tile. --/-- Worlds on the Edge There are 6 large city tiles, one is used twice. Each city represents a condition of the world. All conditions are considered to exist simultaneously at any time. The story is arranged so that neither the past nor future are conclusive, but between each condition exists the possibility of either worsening or bettering condition, looping back or forward in time. Its a world in constant danger and great hope. On January 26, 2017, the Doomsday Clock maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was moved to 2.5 minutes to midnight, the closest its been since 1953, so we begin our journey with a view of our fractured futures... I. Fractured Futures II. Past Paradises III. Transitional Cultures IV. Civil Foundations V. Industrial Crisis VI. Utopian Skies VII. Engineering Imperatives This CJ entry does require a concluding commentary, and I've been writing and re-writing, attempting to grasp the complex of images and ideas I've presented. Storyboards are supposed to be concise and brief, giving only an outline of a story and a sense of its meaning and purpose. Art came long before science, culture, civil structure, industry and technology, the first order, and no other being than human beings that we know or can imagine, does make art. Robots can be programmed to make art, but true art comes from a deeper place than machine, animals can dance and sing, exhibiting great passion and character, but true art comes from a higher place than matter. So its 2.5 minutes to midnight in a world of great conflict and crisis on every level, from the beginning, all through, and to so far. Before the technicians, engineers, managers, and performers can do their thing to resolve the conflicts and crises, the artists must do their thing. The science department has informed the arts department we are down to a 2.5 minute warning before the end of the show and there is no further data. In the entire universe we may even be the only ones that made it this far. My first question in assuming responsibility and pulling artistic license is "How many time-outs do we get?" I've got 10 billion lines of code to process... --/--
  25. Ancient Ruins

    Note: I ended up doing more scenes than I was expecting, so it ended up being too big for one update - there will be a part 2 of this update coming out soon. Our tour of some of the world's most impressive ancient ruins begins with Mayans and one of their most famous sites - the ruined city of Chichén Itzá. From approximately 550 CE - 800 CE, the entire city remained an important ceremonial site - but it was eventually captured by the rival Toltecs in 987 CE. The Toltecs added their own structures and temples to the complex, until it was ultimately abandoned for mysterious reasons in roughly 1180 CE. While much of the city is long gone, there's still many sites worth checking out, such as the Plaza of a Thousand Columns and the Pyramid of Kukulkan. It's one of the most stunning destinations in all of Central America - and an experience you won't forget. We make our way towards the Caribbean Sea to explore another one of the Mayan civilization's most famous sites - Tulum. Between the stunning ruins, pristine beaches, and picturesque views of the Caribbean - its one of the most incredible landmarks in the area. Rain or shine, its a destination that's hard to top and certainly worth checking out. While the Mayans were certainly one of the most important civilizations in all of Mesoamerica - another influential site in the area predates anything they built by hundreds of years. The ancient ruins of Teotihuacan are just as mysterious as they are awe-inspiring. Who built it, and when? Although many are divided on the subject, its believed that either the Toltecs or Totonacs built it, back in the 3rd century CE - and it quickly developed into one of the world's largest cities. The Aztecs of Central Mexico incorporated the site into their own civilization nearly a thousand years later, and it eventually became one of their most important religious and economic sites. Today, the entire complex remains a premier tourist destination right outside of Mexico City - and the Pyramid of the Sun is a can't miss attraction. Africa is where you'll find our next famous archeological site - the ruined, walled city of Great Zimbabwe. Founded back in the 11th century CE, the Shona people built these stunning buildings as a royal palace for their kingdom of Zimbabwe - in fact, the very name "Zimbabwe" meant "stone houses" in their language. The whole area remained an important trading area for centuries, but was ultimately abandoned in the 1450s - and no one is completely sure why. We now move into South America - and the first stop is the ancient city of Tiahuanaco, located high in the Bolivian Andes. The Tiwanaku civilization flourished here from 100 CE to 1250 CE - and they were one of the most powerful civilizations in the entire region. Noted for their architecture, roads, sculptures, and other advanced cultural aspects - they were the precursor to the Incas and played a major role in how they designed many of their structures. Today, all that remains of this once great structure is a few gates, statues, and walls - but you can still tell that this was a civilization that was far ahead of their time. Our last archaeological site is one of the premier destinations in all of South America - the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu. This legendary site was believed to have been built back in 1450 CE, around the height of the Incan empire. For the next 100 years or so, it remained a sacred religious site for Incan leaders - and it's also believed to have been a royal estate for some of the most important rulers of the time. Despite its grandeur, this ancient city couldn't last forever - in the mid 1500s, the city was mysteriously abandoned, right around the time Spanish conquistadors made their way into the area. While there's no evidence the two ever interacted - its certainly possible that a smallpox outbreak could have wiped out the entire city. For nearly 400 years, the entire site laid in ruin, with nature overtaking its walls - until American archeologist Hiram Bingham discovered the site in 1911, with renovations soon underway. It may be tough to find on a map and even tougher to reach on foot - but for those who make a trip, its a once in a lifetime destination. Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already! -korver --- Replies for "Ancient Ruins (Preview)" @Silur Thanks as always Silur @mike_oxlong Thanks for the ongoing support, I appreciate it @JP Schriefer Thank you! I actually ended up doing so many that there will have to be a part II, so stay tuned.. @Ducio Thanks for the comment! Haha, that sounds like a great idea too @kschmidt Thanks for the comment! I hope my reply shed a little light on what that unusual structure was And finally, big thanks to @CT14, @MushyMushy, @scotttbarry, @RandyE, @Fantozzi, @Jolteon, @_Michael, @tonyr, @mrsmartman, @Manuel-ito, @kingofsimcity, @juliok92012, @Odainsaker, @JP Schriefer, @mattb325, @Elenphor, @Ducio, @kschmidt, @Dgmc2013, @bobolee, & @Pluispixel for all the likes!
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