Jump to content
CorinaMarie

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

134 posts in this topic Last Reply

Highlighted Posts

1 minute ago, CorinaMarie said:

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SC4_Terraformed_in_Game_zpsvgs2ocv4.jpg

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

Sc4_Region_View_zps0ngbib94.jpg

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

SC4M_Map_zpseq52gr8s.jpg

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

SC4_Region_View_SC4M_zpskghzxjyu.jpg

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

SC4 Mapper can be downloaded from SC4 Devotion.

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

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

Simtropolis.SC4M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

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

So, for 5x5 large map file:

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

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

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

Share this post


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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    30 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

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

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • 5 minutes ago, RobertLM78 said:

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

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

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

    Or 5 x 5 smalls would be:

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • On 14/04/2017 at 8:36 PM, rsc204 said:

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

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

     

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

    63-01-Main-Screen.jpg

     

    Then I clicked the Create button:

    64-02-Created.jpg

     

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

    65-04-GBlur-15.0.png

     

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

    66-06-Gray.png

     

    Then rendered in totally vanilla game and added Maxis trees:

    67-06-RVT.jpg

     

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

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

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    5 hours ago, huzman said:

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

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

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • 1 hour ago, RobertLM78 said:

    Reminds me of fracplanet .

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

     

    1 hour ago, jeffryfisher said:

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

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

     

    1 hour ago, jeffryfisher said:

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

    For me they are parcels.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

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

    For me they are parcels.

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

    Edit to fix dyslexic moment  ;)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    15 hours ago, jeffryfisher said:

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

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

     

    14 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • @huzman and I just had a PM convo in which he made the following discovery when rendering from a grayscale image:

    68-img0469.jpg

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

     

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

    69-img0472.jpg

    That changed the gray to 555555 hex.

     

    The new render looks like this:

    70-img0473.jpg

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

     

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

    71-img0474.jpg

     

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • On 08/05/2017 at 7:12 AM, RandyE said:

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

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

    72-Terrain-Properties-Exemplar.jpg

     

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

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

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    On 02/09/2016 at 6:50 PM, Cyclone Boom said:

    I'm definitely going to give this a try at some point.

    OK, guess what?

    326 days later, that point is finally now... *:read:


    So starting out with this:

    01-Cloud Source.jpg

     

    Cloud Map 1

    The initial test render came out a bit plain. So I decided to add a stream that ended up widening into a river cutting through a canyon. I found the reason for this was since it was a high elevation, and anything coloured pure black will render as water at the lowest possible height. After some trial & error, and a generous helping of Gaussian Blur I quite liked the end result of the jagged cliff edges. I then lowered the Gamma Input Level, added a small lake, and gave the terrain a bit more definition in parts (using the Burn tool, with selected blurring in focussed areas).

    The greyscale:

    02_01-Cloud Greyscale.jpg


    Region preview:

    03_01-Cloud Map.jpg

     

    Cloud Map 2

    Next I thought to use the same cloud formation and try a more basic approach. All I did this time was use about 15.0 of Gaussian Blur, and reduced the Gamma Level to around 0.60, lowering the land. Other than that, keeping the source image untouched:

    04_02-Cloud Greyscale.jpg


    To my surprise, this came out rather well (of course, after experimenting to find the appropriate amount of blur and Level adjustment). As can be seen below, this created a nice waterfront with a bay area. The narrow strip of land connecting the mainland happens to be just wide enough for an avenue. Or equally it'd be tempting to terraform this and allow watercraft into the inlet:

    05_02-Cloud Map.jpg

     

    Another cloud pic:

    06-Cloud Source.jpg

     

    Cloud Map 3

    After the usual procedure, for this I also did some extra editing:

    07_03-Cloud Greyscale.jpg


    The waterway I painted with the Burn tool to deepen the level (using a soft brush to try and replicate an artificial harbour area). Since it fits in better over there, I also moved the mound over to the middle right (cut, paste, smudge and blur). Then also raised it up somewhat and created a cliff face so it looks more interesting / realistic than a flat hill.

    In the upper right, I made the water with a gradient effect to simulate increased depth. There's also a basin type area which would be a prime location for housing with a view of both the south and north:

    08_03-Cloud Map.jpg

     

    One more snapshot of the British summer:

    09-Cloud Source.jpg

     

    Cloud Map 4

    For this I kept it straightforward and followed the pattern of the blue sky to paint the water. First using the textbook method of using the Acrylic brush. Then the Burn tool to make the more gradual elevation change for the river banks:

    10_04-Cloud Greyscale.jpg


    Simple yet effective, and I think the end result ain't too shabby. Especially the cliff face from cutting through the hillside:

    11_04-Cloud Map.jpg

     

    Cloud Map 5

    For this I used the same source image, but thought to mix things up a bit. So I flipped it vertically and rotated clockwise by 90 degrees. Then wondered what would happen by inverting the colours. Sure enough as expected, the lowlands and the highlands exchanged roles:

    12_05-Cloud Greyscale.jpg


    A few nice natural lakes were formed, and it's just asking for a bridge through the middle there:

    13_05-Cloud Map.jpg

    Note: All in game renders show the Appalachian Terrain Mod, with the 'Silt' variation of SHK Brigantine 2.0.


    If they're useful to anyone, here are the source bitmap greyscales:

    CB Cloud Map Greyscales-1.zip  (573KB)

    (Each is 769x769 to create a 3x3 large tile region. The included config.bmp works with all of them.)

     

    One thing I've tried to bear in mind is making the landscape features fit in each tile. This required some minor editing in GIMP using the Smudge Tool with varied levels of Strength/Opacity. Adjusting the Levels really is a very powerful tool, as each increment can completely transform the landscape. I didn't delve into any of the other myriad of tools, but I suspect there are other ways of similarly manipulating the heights.

    Should I release these properly, I'll need to deepen some of the water levels. Without painting water manually, a limitation I've found is the depth may not be great enough to allow ports or other land/water structures to be built. Editing by hand it's tricky to get this right while still preserving the integral shape of the terrain.

    As lots of experimenting was required for the finer editing, I found SC4Terraformer very useful to get an instant preview. This allows each BMP to be imported and viewed in the expected rendered form. You can zoom around and view different elevations, and really get a feel for how everything fits together in the individual tiles. It's also quite accurate I've found when compared to the actual render. But keeping in the spirit of the CORIMAPS method, I only used GIMP for editing, as much as Terraformer would've made the task of refining much, much easier.


    I must say this was a whole lot of fun. With the entire concept, what I find most fascinating is how in terms of patterns and form, nature in the sky somewhat correlates to nature on the ground. You can take a picture of something miles above, yet through some simple editing it can unmistakeably represent terra firma in a world of pixels on a computer screen. So if you're reading this and you haven't already, I'd encourage everyone to give it a try. *:8)

     

    @CorinaMarie

    Speaking of maps, I noticed you've uploaded some splendid new ones with mention to a 'planet generator' method (e.g. Mons Lacus & the Jr edition). Given the innovation of CORIMAPS, I'm really interested what heights your newly discovered technique can reach.

    So, how exactly did you go about that? *:???:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • @Cyclone Boom

    Nice maps! I'm happy to see someone else giving this method a try. *:)

     

    10 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

    ... the Burn tool to deepen the level (using a soft brush to try and replicate an artificial harbour area). ... (cut, paste, smudge and blur). ... So I flipped it vertically and rotated clockwise by 90 degrees. Then wondered what would happen by inverting the colours. ... the Smudge Tool with varied levels of Strength/Opacity.

    And I see you've experimented with various tools. *:thumb:

     

    10 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

    As lots of experimenting was required for the finer editing, I found SC4Terraformer very useful to get an instant preview. This allows each BMP to be imported and viewed in the expected rendered form. You can zoom around and view different elevations, and really get a feel for how everything fits together in the individual tiles. It's also quite accurate I've found when compared to the actual render. But keeping in the spirit of the CORIMAPS method, I only used GIMP for editing, as much as Terraformer would've made the task of refining much, much easier.

    D'aww... that's sweet, but a combination of tools is also in the spirit of this method. *;) Perhaps the clouds and preliminary tweaking in GIMP would be a good base to start from and then use Terraformer for the final touches.  I'd say whatever method gives the best end results is the way to go. (I wrote this guide originally for peeps who cannot run any of the 3 major mapping programs.)

     

    10 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

    I must say this was a whole lot of fun.

    Woot! I'm glad to hear this and maybe a few other peeps who've said they might give it a try will post their creations here too. *:yes:

     

    10 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

    Speaking of maps, I noticed you've uploaded some splendid new ones with mention to a 'planet generator' method (e.g. Mons Lacus & the Jr edition). Given the innovation of CORIMAPS, I'm really interested what heights your newly discovered technique can reach.

    So, how exactly did you go about that? *:???:

    That would be the Planet Map Generator. I used the online version for those two maps. Here's the initial screen when you go there:

    5978910c37648_01InitialWebScreen.jpg.498061e35ca5123797e1e4bf9230df33.jpg

     

    Then I adjusted these settings:

    • Seed = 14937910
    • Width = 1000
    • Height = 499
    • Projection = Square
    • Colour Map = Greyscale

    And then clicked the Make Map button:

    597891719014e_02ChangeParameters.jpg.bba047e0702995a45c8e4cf0cfb357c6.jpg

     

    Next I right clicked in the image and said: Save Image As:

    597891980cbe4_03SaveAs.jpg.de42423610d0d734701080bffbc89632.jpg

     

    I entered the seed number as my file name so I'd know what I'd used if I wanted to re-generate it:

    597891cc6c20c_04SaveFileName.jpg.31c6a7e99073b30a70c5ef5fcbd06716.jpg

     

    Then I pulled it up in GIMP:

    597891ead3e2c_05OpeninGIMP.jpg.1aa4a80a4bae9d96f52c4209ea564408.jpg

     

    Scaled it to 2049 x 2049:

    5978920a71de1_06ScaleImage.jpg.53ea010eb10139260ce1893e943c7211.jpg

     

    Added Gaussian Blur of 15.0:

    597892264c5a7_07GaussianBlur.jpg.113ed2b3b5116552a4604d4a3a8eb8dc.jpg

     

    Adjusted color levels to 0.63:

    59789247685bf_08ColorLevels.jpg.2bd317331252a158b8d87786cc27d58e.jpg

     

    Converted it to true Grayscale:

    59789268bde35_09MakeGrayscale.jpg.33880359f8667805bf3f61bc8ba70dde.jpg

     

    And I saved it by overwriting the original since I'd already experimented and found all the numbers to use for tweaking:

    597892a04a94f_10Overwrite.jpg.8a45f8864f0066fda63b6ac8410ec70d.jpg

     

    Then I selected if for rendering in the game:

    597892ceeed46_11SelectFileinGame.jpg.b3bf78f1f9c08a34ad2e0fd2679449b0.jpg

    ^ Yes, it's in another folder for writing this up since I already have my Mons Lacus which I'm playing. *;)

     

    Then I waited whilst it did this:

    597893117b30f_12WaitWhileitRenders.jpg.679902fba44f2229a1c306bce2305b35.jpg

     

    And here it is when it finished:

    5978932c25f2e_13RegionasSeeninGame.jpg.d6605fd10eb503027d25b63df5300814.jpg

     

    Using the Region Census program, here's the whole thing:

    5978935c7ca40_63RV.thumb.jpg.38b72d1e3e839e3fdff005f7234f6f84.jpg

     

    And the final version with Maxis Trees:

    04-14937910.jpg.466d2a952f66d70246695d62

     

    Subsequent to making those two maps I've downloaded the offline version. It doesn't have the limitations of the online one and I've discovered even more cool stuff I can do with it. It's funny you asked about this cause I've actually been working on a front end script to generate bunches of random maps to make it easier to select the best seed numbers to use. Also, I've created my own custom color table to closely resemble the topography map in the mini map of the All Off and Zones data views in game. (I find that useful for planning the overall major transportation network.)

    Here's a sample of that for a different map I've uploaded to the STEX:

    942669825-(6x6Lg)-04-SC4Topo-1.jpg.3538c

     

    So, I wonder if a new tutorial topic for the offline version of Planet Map Generator would be of interest to anyone?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Wow, that's seriously cool. Thanks for the detailed explanation. *:)

    That looks like a really powerful method, creating such a realistic and varied terrain all still without requiring fancy editing. For one I'm now already familiar with GIMP's blur & level adjustments, so as with editing clouds it appears equally straightforward.

     

    11 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

    So, I wonder if a new tutorial topic for the offline version of Planet Map Generator would be of interest to anyone?

    If the online version is anything to go by, I'm sure it would be of great interest. I particularly like the sound of a batch generation method, as inspiration isn't always easy to find in plentiful supply. With a program doing the hard yards, it'd provide an excellent platform to later add any finer details. I've always thought fantasy maps are great because there's no rules, and the sky is quite literally the limit to creativity.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Cori, quite awhile ago you had made a table showing the grey scale dimensions for a variety of large tile map sizes.   I don't have a copy of, I think you PM'd it to me, but can't find it.  The table made it easy to look up the correct dimensions for the grey scale for rendering maps in various large tile configurations.   If you know the one I mean and still have it, can you post it here as it would be a useful resource.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks, that's the one.   Its really weird just after I wrote the request I followed you to the thread you were reading about regions loading too slow and it was right there too!   Good to have it here now as in this thread are many resources specific to map making.  Its good to have this thread fro general reference. So thanks again.  *:thumb:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • 8 hours ago, RandyE said:

    Its really weird just after I wrote the request I followed you to the thread you were reading ...

    Not weird at all. I'd bookmarked my post there in case I ever wanted to re-find the table so as soon as I read your post I went there, copied the linky to the image, and popped back in here to post it. *;)

    Edit: If you want your own offline copy of it, feel free to right-click and do a Save As...

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    11 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

    Edit: If you want your own offline copy of it, feel free to right-click and do a Save As...

    Going a bit further... I am going to make a set of blank regions each with their own blank indexed greyscale bitmaps, I'll make between 4-8 of some of the more common sizes.  The greyscales will be blank so the download won't be too big.  

    I'll add a couple of versions with coastlines and water connections, but no mountains --all on lowest flat terrain.   So I need the smoothest gradient from water to land that will allow placing water transportation anywhere, but will also allow placing seawalls where desired. 

    Then there's the problem of rail and road bridges creating those ugly humps.  The rail lines are difficult to get high enough to allow ferries to pass under.   Any and all ideas on this project are welcome and appreciated.   What common region sizes do you think would be best?   Large Tiles: 1x1, 2x2, 3x2, 4x4, etc.

    Oh most importantly, can I include your table in my upload package --with credit of course, or should I just link to your post above?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
  • Original Poster
  • 1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    So I need the smoothest gradient from water to land that will allow placing water transportation anywhere, but will also allow placing seawalls where desired.

    I haven't tested with sea walls, but if you've rendered any of my recent maps on the STEX and you like how the shore to water is for placing seaports and ferries and such, here's the code I'm using for that. (This is part of a secondary loop thru every pixel after the Guassian Blur routine.)

    if (FinalMap[i][j] == SEA - 0) FinalMap[i][j] -= 3;
    if (FinalMap[i][j] == SEA - 1) FinalMap[i][j] -= 4;
    if (FinalMap[i][j] == SEA - 2) FinalMap[i][j] -= 5;
    if (FinalMap[i][j] <= SEA - 3) FinalMap[i][j] -= 6;

    As my limited testing showed if I let it just taper off gradually the water wasn't deep enough at the shore to place those docks. (And yes, I know I don't have to subtract zero, but it makes the code line up prettier.)

    The other thing to watch for if you are doing more than one city tile is that land at 84 and to some extent at 85 will develop weird sand/water puddles at the borders.

     

    1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    Then there's the problem of rail and road bridges creating those ugly humps.

    Somewhere I've seen what height the ferries need. With that number of meters divided by 3 plus, say, 84 for fully above water would give the grayscale color needed to prevent the humps. Now, it doesn't need to be that height right at the shoreline. It can be further back and the terrain tapers down to each shore. You can then build the bridge with the end parts being over the land and just the middle over water.

     

    1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    What common region sizes do you think would be best?   Large Tiles: 1x1, 2x2, 3x2, 4x4, etc.

    I agree with using only large tiles. I'm pretty sure that's what most everyone wants. As for how many, it'll really depend on what the person downloading wants if for. Is it a quick map to safely test some new content? Then 1x1 large tile would load the fastest. Otherwise I'm not really sure what to recommend. From my experience checking download numbers of my STEX maps the larger the region the higher the download count. I suspect the reason is that if someone is going to spend months building up a region they don't want to suddenly find they are out of room.

     

    1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    Oh most importantly, can I include your table in my upload package --with credit of course, or should I just link to your post above?

    Yes, ofc. Feel free to include it directly. Linking to it is just another hassle for someone and it has the possibility of disappearing. As I mentioned before when you were writing your guide and using a few of my images, just put them in there directly. The goal is for it to be as convenient for the end user as possible. Everything I post here on ST is free to use however anyone wants including posting it on another site as long as I'm given credit for the creation of it. I just don't see any reason to try to protect something I'm already giving away. *;)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for the info Cori, I'll reference back here.  I'm going to start with one large tile with a straight coastline and just break it down layer by layer going through the vertical pixels one at a time.  So I'll generate a test sample of the results and post it here.   So this will be done in plain vanilla no mods, but I hope at least determining the baselines will help.  Then I'll try to get the minimal heights for transport and seawall placement, ferry height, and minimal for rail and road bridges.   The only user content used will be the Stanley Seawalls.   So the objective I mentioned before is being able to 'draw' a region like using a pencil.   That Guassian Blur filter is quite the miracle worker for smoothing between the lines.    I think the water placements prefer a bit of a vertical 'cliff' to hang off and I've noticed the ferries especially like to be as far out over water as possible else the automata won't appear.

    23 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

    The goal is for it to be as convenient for the end user as possible. Everything I post here on ST is free to use however anyone wants including posting it on another site as long as I'm given credit for the creation of it. I just don't see any reason to try to protect something I'm already giving away. *;)

    Thanks.   I'll have to write another mini tutorial on how to use it, so that will give me another excuse to make more HTML *:yes: 

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    16 hours ago, RandyE said:

    I'll try to get the minimal heights for transport and seawall placement, ferry height, and minimal for rail and road bridges

    I saw mention somewhere recently that UDI also has a minimum depth of water for boats not to run aground.

    I don't know if anyone cares about UDI (I gave up on it because I just can't train my fingers to operate the controls correctly), but I thought I'd add it to your list of elevation-sensitive game features.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, jeffryfisher said:

    I just can't train my fingers to operate the controls correctly

    Me neither. I just gave up on them although I know I'm giving up a lot of goodies. Must try those missions somewhere though.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an Account  

    Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  

    Register a New Account

    Sign In  

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


    • Similar Content

      • By Cyclone Boom
        A Neat Little Tool to use with the "Raise the UI Mod"
        Here is a tutorial explaining how to automatically raise SimCity 4's user interface (UI) when switching to windowed mode. This may specifically be useful for those who wish to alternate between running SC4 windowed and in full screen.
         
        Please Note
        To achieve this, it requires copying and saving simple command line scripts (.cmd), and adjusting relevant paths.
        The problem being, when running the game windowed and with a custom resolution, you may notice the taskbar inconveniently overlays the UI like so:


        To workaround this limitation, in Windows it's possible to use the "Auto-hide the taskbar" option from Taskbar Properties. This does what it says, and makes the taskbar hidden from view when not hovered over. However, this requires toggling back the setting once exiting the game. So while that works it's not the most ideal solution since to run the game windowed, it may be desired to have quick access to the taskbar at all times.
        A means of fixing this is by raising up the UI slightly. Then the taskbar can still be seen in full view while not obscuring the lower-positioned menu options in the game. A useful mod which does exactly this is the appropriately named Raise the UI Mod.

        Which upon installation in Plugins, will solve the problem like so:

         
        However...
        What if you'd then wish to play the game full screen, or often swap between both modes? Perhaps doing so would be useful if needing convenient access to other programs while playing. But later would like to change over based on your monitor configuration, or to benefit from the reduced memory usage in full screen. At least from testing, I found there was around 18% less system RAM used in a fully loaded large tile.
        This can be done manually by moving the mod in and out of Plugins when needed. But in terms of automating the process, that's where my little command line scripts may come in handy. Should that sound of interest, keep on reading on...

        Note: This is really intended for those comfortable working with batch files, and so this may not be the ideal solution for everyone.
         
        Prerequisites
        SimCity 4 Deluxe / RH installed and patched at least to the EP1 update. Digital versions other than Origin should come fully pre-patched. Although Notepad or a plain text editor will do the job, I recommend using Notepad++ to benefit from syntax highlighting. A Windows operating system (this has been tested on Win 7). Download the Raise the UI Mod created by @warrior. A local folder created outside of Plugins.  
        Setting Up
        First of all, the initial step is to decide where you'd like to store the mod when not needed. This will be a holding folder and can be anywhere outside from your Plugins folder. Then when running the game windowed, it'll be moved into your Plugins so then the UI is raised accordingly.
        So either create a new folder, or copy the path of an existing folder where Raise the UI Mod.dat can be stored.

        A simple way of copying the path is by right clicking the location bar in Windows Explorer:

        Then click the "Copy address as text" option as highlighted.
         
        At the top of both scripts (which we'll get to in a moment), there are 4 adjustable options:
         
        File=<File Name> Description: This is the file name name of the mod, so needn't be changed unless renaming the actual file. E.g.
        File=Raise the UI Mod.dat
          PluginPath=<Path> Description: The location inside your Plugins folder to contain the mod. This can be in the root or inside a subfolder structure of your choice. Unless modified it should be the one in Documents. Leave out quotes since those are added in the main body of the code. E.g.
        PluginPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins
          HoldPath=<Path> Description: Here is the location of the holding folder where the mod will be stored. Use the "Copy address as text" method described earlier to make sure this is correctly specified. It can be set anywhere of your choice, providing the folder is fully accessible. E.g.
        HoldPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Hold UI Mod
          TheGame="" "<Game Location>" <Shortcut Parameters> Description: It wouldn't be any use without starting the game itself, and that's what this option does. Here there are 2 variables which can be tailored specifically. The location of the game's executable file, and also the parameters (switches) used to set a custom resolution, toggle windowed or full screen, force SC4 to run on a single core, skip the intro, or any other such options.
          E.g. Disc based game:
        TheGame="" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1600x900x32 -w
          E.g. Digital game from GOG:
        TheGame="" "C:\GOG Games\SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1600x900x32 -w

          For a custom resolution, this must be specified to the desired screen width and height. The above examples represent my own monitor's size of 1600x900 pixels. The x32 at the end is the bit colour depth, which in normal circumstances can be safely left as is.
          Those using Steam or other launchers may need to experiment with workarounds to start the game directly for this to work.
          The empty quotes ("") at the beginning are required since they pass a null title in the command. However the rest of the command can simply be copied over from an existing desktop shortcut Target line, with the format being identical.  
        Note: Where applicable for it to be valid, the <Account> path must be changed to the name of your user account.
         
        Windowed Script
        Here is the script for running the game windowed.
        It does the following:
        First checks whether Raise the UI Mod.dat is located in your Plugins folder. If found, the game is started using any parameters specified.
          If not present, it moves Raise the UI Mod.dat from the holding folder to your Plugins, before starting the game. Should the file not be found in the holding folder, a message pops up in a command window making that known.  
        For Example   (Modify custom paths as needed)
        @Echo Off Set File=Raise the UI Mod.dat Set PluginPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins Set HoldPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Hold UI Mod Set TheGame="" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1600x900x32 -w If Not Exist "%PluginPath%\%File%" ( If Not Exist "%HoldPath%\%File%" ( Start "" cmd /C "Echo %File% not found in: &Echo( %HoldPath% &Echo( &Pause" Goto :End ) Else Move "%HoldPath%\%File%" "%PluginPath%" ) Else ( Goto :StartSC4 ) :StartSC4 Start %TheGame% :End Exit
        Important: For the game's parameters, it's essential the -w switch is used, or else the game won't be told to run windowed.
         
        Full Screen Script
        Here is the script for running the game in full screen.
        It does the following:
        Checks whether Raise the UI Mod.dat is located in your Plugins folder. If found, it moves the file back to your holding folder, then starts the game. If not found, it just starts the game, also using any parameters specified.  
        For Example   (Modify custom paths as needed)
        @Echo Off Set File=Raise the UI Mod.dat Set PluginPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins Set HoldPath=C:\Users\<Account>\Documents\SimCity 4\Hold UI Mod Set TheGame="" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1600x900x32 -f If Exist "%PluginPath%\%File%" ( Move "%PluginPath%\%File%" "%HoldPath%\%File%" ) Else ( Goto :StartSC4 ) :StartSC4 Start %TheGame%
        Important: For the game's parameters, it's essential the -f switch is used here, or else the game won't be told to run in full screen.
         
        Saving the Scripts
        Both work by saving them as command line scripts with the .cmd file extension. This can be done using any plain text editor, including Windows Notepad.
        Personally as hinted above, I would recommend Notepad++ for the benefit of the code syntax highlighting. It also handily comes with many other features for manipulating text, featuring a powerful find & replace tool with regex ability (advanced search mode). But in terms of what's required here as a simple copy, paste and save to file, these are just little extras which you may find useful for other projects in future.

        The end goal is to have both scripts saved, ideally for convenience to the same folder.
        For instance:

         
        The actual task of saving is very simple. I'll describe the steps for both Notepad++ and Windows Notepad using the windowed mode code. However as this part may well be self-explanatory, feel free to skip the following instructions and continue onto setting up the desktop shortcuts.
         
        Using Notepad++
        OR
        Using Windows Notepad
         
        Creating Desktop Shortcuts
        To run either of the scripts, it's possible by navigating to their folder and double clicking on them. This will do the job just fine. However for accessibility and since it's probably what you're already familiar with, I recommend linking each via a shortcut placed on your desktop (or wherever is convenient).
        Then there will be two shortcuts – One referencing the windowed script, the other for full screen.
         
        Step 1 of 3
        First make a copy of your existing SC4 shortcut.
        Or if you don't have one already, go to your game's installation path and open the Apps subfolder. Then right click the executable file ( SimCity 4.exe ), and in the context menu choose: Send to > Desktop (create shortcut). Then make a duplicate copy so you've got two exactly the same.

        Rename accordingly to whatever you'd like them called.
        For example:


        For the next steps I'll explain the process with the windowed shortcut. Repeat the same for your full screen one...
         
        Step 2 of 3
        The next task involves editing the Target path in the shortcut.
        Right click and open the Properties. Then remove the current path pointing to the game's executable. This is no longer needed because the script does this part, along with passing the parameters to set a custom resolution and toggle between windowed or full screen modes.
        Then paste in the path to the script like so:



        Note: This can be easily obtained by navigating to the script, holding the Shift key, then right clicking and choosing the Copy as path option.
        If you copied in a path which didn't contain spaces, the quotation marks will automatically be removed from the Target line upon saving and opening the shortcut Properties. Those are only needed to preserve a path should there be any spaces included.
         
        Step 3 of 3
        Click Apply, then OK and close the shortcut.
        Repeat for the full screen shortcut or vice versa.

        At this point it's good to go, but there is an additional adjustment possible should you wish...
         
        Addendum
        A big thanks to @CorinaMarie for inspiration behind this idea, helping me with technical aspects, and also sharing many valuable suggestions along the way.

        There could be other uses with this or similar techniques.
        For example, to potentially expand and tailor scripts specifically to:
        Move another mod file in and out, such as the Diagonal Bridge Enabler. Control sets of custom content by moving multiple files in and out of your Plugins folder as needed. Have a multiple choice option in the command line for using certain shortcut parameters. Log the time when starting SC4 to keep track of how long you're in the mayor's office. Create incremental backups of your Regions before starting the game.
        So that brings this tutorial to a conclusion. Once you've saved both scripts and created the shortcuts, the game can then be fully enjoyed in either full screen or windowed mode with a simple double click. Hopefully this may come in useful and even inspire other possibilities. Be creative!
        Any feedback, comments or questions welcome.
      • By citybuilder234
        Hello,
        I'm building a metropolitan area in SimCity 4 which contains the cities of Townsville, Craterville, Power Line City, Hill Valley, etc.
         
        There are some city names I don't like in already built cities that have potential, but I don't like the names of the certain cities that I'm going to
        customize.
         
        Is there a cheat code in SC4 to change the name of an already existing city that's built? Please let me know.
         
        Thanks,
        citybuilder234
      • By mayorgreener
        Hello, I just saw this image and thought of sharing with the SC4 community.
        We can use this underpass system in our cities. I know many of you already use the NAM underpass though.
         
        Thank you

      • By MushyMushy
        I present to you Kogyo Waste Services, a neat little waste-handling company. If you need some trash gone, you know who to call....
        ---
        KWS is a fully-batted building/lot combo that fills a 3x3 I-D lot. It can help break up the monotony with its characteristic yellow roof and parking lot filled with yellow trucks. The building is a partially accurate rendition of this small industrial building in Osaka:

        Maxisnite and Darknite are both supported, and the bat features TruNite lights. Download the appropriate version depending on whether you use SimFox's Day and Nite Mod (or an equivalent) or not.
        -Installation: Simply unzip the the downloaded .zip file into your plugins folder. There aren't any extraneous files in the folder (like images) so you don't have to worry about deleting anything.
        -Building Plop: The building is listed as MM_JPN_ID_3x3_KogyoWaste in the Building Plop window. This requires Buggi's Extra Cheats DLL. Keep in mind that plopped industrial buildings will not generate freight truck automata.
        ---
        All stats automatically generated by PIMX.

        Many thanks to the various people who have helped me along the way, and I hope you enjoy this!
        -Mushy
      • By tariely
        Tariel-Kazuki Street Stalls v1 & v2
         
        I recenty uploaded the lost original, which I have been using liberally for years. With some problems, though, that I thought would be nice to save new users from, like missing props ; also, the pieces were not lighted, which is my personal bugaboo. Last but not least, I would have liked the v2 pieces to have some indication of direction, therefore I added some SPOT arrows in my relot.
        So here is a new version of Kazuki’s lots, trying to solve those little problems. I just licked them up and lit them and gave them new menu icons. All Hail goes to Kazuki for making them in the first place.
        You don’t need the original but it’s here.
        Those are neutral lots, eyecandy only.
        _____________________
        Dependencies :
         
        BSC_MegaProps_Gascooker_vol1.dat
        http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=397
        NetworkAddonMod_Props.dat :
        In NAM 32 and up
        PorkieProps-Vol1.dat
        http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/11421-porkie-props-vol1-european-street-accessories/
        PorkieProps-Vol2.dat :
        https://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/11420-porkie-props-vol2-seasonal-street-trees/
        RVTNightlights (included)
        SPOT_C-rc100.dat (for plopping directions)
        https://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/24509-spot/
        Tamorr_Family_Prop_v1.dat
        in Tamorr’s Resource 2.05 :
        http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/21940-tamorrs-resource/
        wmp_power_props01.dat  in WMP Power Lots :
        http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/26376-wmp-power-lots/
    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    ×

    Thank You for the Continued Support!

    Simtropolis relies mainly on member donations to continue operating. Without your support, we just would not be able to be entering our 15th year online!  You've really help make this a great community.

    But we still need your support to stay online. If you're able to, please consider a donation to help us stay up and running, so that we can help keep bringing SimCity players together to share our creations.

    Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

    Expand your city with the best from the Simtropolis Echange.
    Make a donation and get one or all three discs today!

    stexcollection-header.png

    By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

    Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

    Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

    More About STEX Collections