About This File
MAXIS TREE HD REPLACEMENT MOD
1 - INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW
Hey folks, you might not be aware of this, but this file actually marks my 100th STEX upload!! I think this justifies a little interruption of the usual IRM fare.
I've been tinkering with such a mod for at least 2 years, but up until recently I had always run into a brick wall because there were simply not enough suitable tree models available. This is really harder than you might think because a tree must have the following characteristics to replace its Maxis counterpart:
- similar height (so it covers about as much as a Maxis tree would, but doesn't interfere with anything)
- similar diameter (so it doesn't cut into adjacent structures and will fit wherever the corresponding Maxis tree fits)
- LOD centered on the trunk and not the crown (so the trunk isn't off center and ends up next to a planter, bed, or dirt circle instead of right inside)
- lack of branches near the ground (so it won't cover entrances, benches and other stuff that's supposed to be under the tree crowns and not buried under twigs and leaves)
Finding trees that fit the bill is really hard, but I'm positive that I finally did it. While this choice may not be perfect, I'm confident it's one of the best options available while I'm writing this. To my knowledge, while there have been noteworthy and admirable mods in the past, this is the first one that replaces all Maxis trees on lots and along streetsides/roadsides with 100% HD flora made by girafe and Orange_o_, two BAT masters whose flora props raised the bar considerably and set the standard these days IMO. It bugged me that so many Maxis trees - SD at 2003 quality level - were still to be seen everywhere when we already had modern, crisply rendered, high-definition flora for pretty much everything else. Well, not any more!
This upload consists of three components - the base pack and two optional bonus packs. Here's a breakdown of these three components and what they'll do:
THE BASE PACK - this is the actual mod. The bonus packs work as extensions of this mod, i.e. they require this base pack as a dependency. It does the following:
- It will replace all Maxis trees on lots with beautiful HD trees. Lots already existing in your city will automatically switch to the new trees. Whatever grows or is plopped subsequently will show the new trees in place of the old Maxis ones.
- Besides, it will replace roadside trees that occasionally show up at the sides of streets and roads (T21's for the tech-savvy among you).
- All Mayor Mode and God Mode flora in the city map will remain unaffected.
- However, the Mayor Mode tools (menu icons) for setting Maxis trees are removed. Why? Well, if you use this mod, the tools will actually plant the new HD replacements for the Maxis trees. This is superfluous because you need the corresponding tree packages as dependencies anyway, and these come with far superior and more flexible Mayor Mode tools, which will show up in your menu instead.
- For those of you who don't like palm trees, the pack contains an optional palm tree override. If you decide to use it, all Maxis palms will not revert to better HD palms, but to cypress trees instead. They are similar in terms of dimension, and I think they also offer a nice flair that conveys the same feeling as the palms did - a wealthier area, warm climate... If you still don't like that, I'm afraid you'll have to pretend those tall and slender trees are actually poplars. I won't tell anyone, and I don't judge you.^^
- The growing lot flora will also be replaced, but with full-grown trees. It would have been possible to recreate the effect of flora growing taller over time (just like the Maxis flora does), but unfortunately, the game will only display the shadow for the first, smallest version. Hence, as the tree grows to full size, the shadow of the sapling will remain. Apparently this is a game limitation.
BONUS PACK 1, A PLUGIN FOR THE SFBT STREET TREE MOD - this is the first bonus pack intended for those of you who use SFBT's Street Tree Mod. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that mod, it adds streetside parking and streetside trees, and it is highly modular and versatile. Several tree sets come with the mod (e.g. for Maxis and for Cycledogg trees), and depending on which of these tree sets you keep, the corresponding trees will appear. You can mix and match freely, use either set, any combination, or even all of them at the same time.
This is what the bonus pack included in this upload will do:
- When used in conjunction with the SFBT Street Tree Mod, the contained files should replace the original files that made Maxis trees appear.
- Maxis_Street_Deciduous_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat - replaces the file "SFBT_Maxis_Street_Deciduous_Trees.dat" and ensures that HD trees will grow instead of Maxis deciduous trees.
- Maxis_Street_Pine_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat - replaces the file "SFBT_Maxis_Street_Pine_Trees.dat" and ensures that HD trees will grow instead of Maxis pine trees.
- Maxis_Street_Palm_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat - replaces the file "SFBT_Maxis_Street_Palm_Trees.dat" and ensures that HD palms will grow instead of Maxis palm trees.
- Like the originals they are based on, these files can be mixed and matched freely. For example, if you select pine trees and palm trees, you'll get a mix of pines (well, their replacements) and palms. If you only use the files for deciduous trees and pine trees, you'll get all kinds of trees, but no palms. (This is independent from your selection for the main mod!)
BONUS PACK 2, AN OVERRIDE FOR SITHLRD98's T21 MOD - this second bonus pack is intended for those of you who may use the WideRadius Curves T21 Mod by Sithlrd98. These add sidewalk pavement, streetlights and trees alonside many smooth road & avenue curves as well as FA (fractional angle) road sections.
This is what the bonus pack will do:
- All trees will be replaced with HD versions from this mod
- Instead of the single tree that was used repetitively, randomised trees will now appear for a more varied appearance
Each of the three packs is in a separate download because most of you probably won't use all of the stuff mentioned here.
2 - USE
2.1 - BASE PACK
2.1.1 - Installation
Simply drop the files into your plugins folder. By default, they will unzip into a sub-folder called \Maxis Tree HD Replacement\. However, you can change this to pretty much anything you like. (It's a simple override of the default files, and anything anywhere in your plugins folder will override the game files because plugins load after the game itself).
By default, you will also get the file Maxis Tree HD Replacement_PalmsToCypresses.dat. This file is the one that will override palm trees with cypresses. If you want to see palm trees, simply remove that file. As with the other files, you can also copy it out of and back into your plugins folder as you like, switching back and forth between palms and cypresses.
2.1.2 - Deinstallation
Simply remove the file again. All affected trees will revert back to Maxis trees again, and the corresponding menu icons will no longer be blocked from your menu. No need to bulldoze anything.
2.2 - BONUS PACK 1 (for SFBT Street Tree Mod)
2.2.1 - Installation
First of all, you need to have the SFBT Street Tree Mod installed (see "Dependencies" section for link). Then, I suggest you locate the tree props folder of that mod (by default \SFBT\Street Tree Mod\Tree Props). This folder will contain .dat files for all the tree types that you select while installing the SFBT Street Tree Mod. Simply delete the following files from that folder if present:
Then copy any one, two or all of the following files from Bonus Pack 1 into the aforementioned folder:
- Maxis_Street_Deciduous_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat (for HD deciduous tree replacements)
- Maxis_Street_Palm_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat (for HD palm tree replacements)
- Maxis_Street_Pine_Trees_HD_Replacement.dat (for HD pine tree replacements)
You can leave the non-Maxis tree packs in there if you want. In this case, you may get a mixture of SD trees by Pegasus and/or Cycledogg and these HD trees, depending on what combination of packs you left in there.
2.2.2 - Deinstallation
Simply remove the file again, and replace it with any tree packs for the SFBT Street Tree Mod that you want to use instead. If you delete the files from this download and fail to replace them with any of the original files again, no trees will show at all. For deinstallation of the entire SFBT Street Tree mod, see the documentation included in that download.
2.3 - BONUS PACK 2 (for Sithlrd98's T21 mod)
2.3.1 - Installation
Place the included file anywhere in your plugins folder where it will load AFTER the original file. By default, the original file zzzSithlrd98 Wide Radius Curves Curves T21 Data .dat should be in a sub-folder named \Sithlrd98 WideRadius Curves T-21 Mod\. If you place the file from this bonus pack, zzzSithlrd98 Wide Radius Curves Curves T21 Data HD.dat, in the same sub-folder or in any folder that loads afterwards, the trees will change to the HD replacements.
2.3.2 - Deinstallation
Simply delete the file zzzSithlrd98 Wide Radius Curves Curves T21 Data HD.dat from this download again. It will no longer override the original trees, and these should revert to default Maxis trees again. Once again, there's no need to bulldoze anything.
3 - DEPENDENCIES
Obviously, this mod relies on the tree models made by girafe and Orange_o_. In total, Maxis uses 42 tree props plus 8 flora objects that rely on 15 different individual models. The following packs were required to replace them all:
- BSC - VIP girafe ashes (v. 1.0) by girafe
- BSC - VIP girafe beeches (v. 1.0) by girafe
- BSC - VIP girafe Canary date palms (v. 1.0) by girafe
- BSC - VIP girafe cypresses (v. 1.0) by girafe
- BSC - VIP girafe lindens (v. 1.0) by girafe
- BSC - VIP girafe rowan trees (v. 1.0) by girafe
- VIP orange fagus seasonal flora (v. 1.0) by Orange_o_
3.2 - DEPENDENCIES FOR BONUS PACK 1 - required for use with the SFBT Street Tree Mod
3.3 - DEPENDENCIES FOR BONUS PACK 2 - required for use with Sithlrd98's T21 mod
- WideRadius Curves T21 Mod 1 - this makes trees and streetlights appear; it is the actual mod.
If you want to see sidewalk along these smooth curves, you have the following options (only one is required):
White Maxis pavement:
Sithlrd98 AvenueCurves White Sidewalk Redone (avenue curves)
Sithlrd98 Road Curves White v2 (road curves / FA road sections)
Brown sandstone pavement (matching the SMP Sidewalk Reaplcement MOD 1):
Sithlrd98 AvenueCurves Sandstone Sidewalk (avenue curves)
Sithlrd98 Road Curves Sandstone v2 (road curves / FA road sections)
SAP Euro Asphalt (matching the Euro asphalt sidewalk mod by SAP23):
Sithlrd98 Avenue Cuves SAP Euro Asphalt Sidewalk texture (avenue curves)
Sithlrd98 Road Curves SAP v2 2 (road curves / FA road sections
Portuguese textures (matching the Portuguese texture set 1 by gn_leugim):
Sithlrd98 Avenue Curves Gn leugim Portuguese Texture (avenue curves)
Sithlrd98 Road Curves Gn leugim v2 (road curves / FA road sections
JRJ sidewalk textures (matching the JRJ Sidewalks Mod (v1.0) by jeronij):
Sithlrd98 WRC Sidewalk Texture Mod Jeronij Texture 1 (avenue as well as road curves / FA road sections)
NOTE: For any dependency hosted at SC4Devotion (SC4D in short), you must be registered on that site and logged into the site's download area, the BSC File Exchange, in order to see the download button. Please bear in mind that there are separate logins for the forums and for the file exchange. For those of you who may still be unfamiliar with the site: SC4D is another major SimCity community with lots of unique content, so you will not regret making an account there.
4 - FINAL WORDS
I'd like to dedicate this upload to the SimCity community as a whole. We all have been learning from one another, inspiring each other, and helping each other out for almost 15 years now. Whatever we do now benefits from stuff other people have done before us. We are really standing on the shoulders of giants these days, and I'm no exception in this respect. Just look at this upload:
- Maxis gave us the game we all love, and tools like the Lot Editor and the BAT,
- Sites like Simtropolis and their respective admin teams give us the place to come together and share,
- People like CowKilla and SimFox have been instrumental in making the use of 3dsmax viable for BAT,
- BAT artists like Girafe and Orange_o_ used this to great effect to model the wonderful trees I have been using,
- iLive and cogeo provided the additional tools that I have used to get these models to do what I had in mind,
- People like Andreas Roth and Equinox helped me take the first steps in those tools, getting me on the road to where I am now,
- rsc204 (a.k.a. MGB) taught me a method of making resizing overrides for existing props that I used to tweak the dimensions of some props,
- Due to all this, I merely had to put these foundations to good use and contribute my little part.
So at a first glance, one might say this is "my mod". But it really is 95% community effort, made possible by a community whose spirit has always been characterised by non-profit sharing. It is a pleasure to be part of such a community, and here's to hoping that it will remain strong for years to come.
That being said, extra kudos to flora masters girafe and Orange_o_ as well as T21 mod authors Andreas Roth and Sithlrd98 once again. You guys are awesome!
T Wrecks, August 8, 2017
NOTE FOR DOWNLOADERS WHO USE THE CASCADIA TREE CONTROLLER: @PaulSawyer kindly reported that he had problems with Maxis palms on roadsides not being replaced as they should by this mod. Apparently this problem could be fixed by changing the loading order. So if you use both the Cascadia Tree Controller and this Maxis HD Tree Replacement Mod and run into the same problem, try changing the order in which both mods load.
If you don't know in which order the game loads plugins and/or need help changing the load order, you will find information on that with a little forum search. If you don't find anything, don't hesitate to ask on the forums or send a PM my way.
What's New 1.0.1 View Changelog
- fixed two wrong dependency links in the enclosed readme (STEX description was fine)
- fixed some minor typos in the enclosed readme (STEX description was fine)
recompressed enclosed screenshots to decrease download file size by ~400 kB