_Michael: Thanks! I spend a lot of my time expanding the city based on density transitions: high to medium, medium to low, low to medium, etc.
kschmidt: Diagonals zones coming off FA roads was done to a limited extent by someone else- they however zones diagonal houses on an FA road but I took a perpendicular approach. FrankU's Dutch Parks are highly versatile and can provide posh fencing, low density tree fillers and cool looking paths. The horse race is a bit small and the diagonal downtown section has a little too much repetition but... It passes muster! I do love slotting in railyards into my industry.
kelistmac: Cheers! I always go for large and gridbusting where possible- it's even possible to gridbust using strictly orthogonal streets and roads.
Simmer2: Thank you! Your LOTs and BATs go some way to filling in my railways, industrial zones and rural areas.
Entry 6- Creating Realistic Rural Settings
Building urban areas is one speciality of mine and I do love industrial areas, but where I flourish in is with rural areas. Using MMPs I can create an organic look to a grid system of fields, or do some immense grid-busting. Listen up as I reveal some methods for creating highly realistic rural areas.
The 101 of Realistic Rural Scenes is rural/urban transitions and vice versa.
You will need fences bordering the fields, woodland filler tiles (or MMP trees), low density areas and of course the grunge roads found in Bipin's Industrial Essentials help too!
The city border can be all sorts: housing, light industry, a school, a large facility, a utility complex, etc. What matters though is there being a clear division between where the urban ends and the rural begins.
One method is mixing in fields with RCI zones. So when you move to the city outskirts there are fields either penetrating into the city area or there are fields surrounded by city blocks, etc.
The other crucial thing to consider is SPACE.
The smallest field needs to be at a minimum approximately 200 metres wide. Like the field above its width is 12 tiles across- or 192m.
In the North of Pololomia I mixed in fields with industrial blocks. This can make building to the grid very interesting and thus rather Americanized. Remember: SPACE, fillers and clear rural/urban divisions.
It's perfectly normal to have an industrial estate or business park to suddenly emerge from the countryside and farmland. But these kind of areas often have a lot of green space, trees and again SPACE.
Rural/urban transitions come in all shapes and sizes. For instance the railway marks the separation between an outer city suburb and the countryside.
In the future I will show the full area and you will appreciate the layout, size and detail involved. In these teaser pics though and in this one we have a bit of MMP gridbusting. Gravel/tarmac MMPs can go in any direction, as can walls and flora- EXPLOIT THIS to the max!
The next big challenge of rural/countryside scenes are the fields themselves. DO NOT use plopped field/crop lots. These have little to no variation and so make the grid stand out like a sore thumb. Because of the fields variation/(organic irregularity) your eyes are drawn to the fields, thus rendering the orthogonal roads less obvious and intrusive.
But MMP fields -- and I have taken great inspiration and artistic license from Ln X here -- make fields realistic. Why? Fields are organic and plants are sprouting in a chaotic fashion. Laying down MMPs emulates this chaotic distribution and so the entire field becomes this large painting- subtle variation of one theme.
I will explain more about MMPing fields in a future entry- but the basic process is usually mixing two flora MMPs together to create a thick, detailed look.
MMPs can also extend lots which seem very confined. The industrial buildings in the centre have more presence because of the dirt truck stop. This is just one small example of how texture MMPs and vehicle MMPs can produce incredibly realistic scenes with only three or four MMPs being used.
Using Ilive's Reader and the Lot Editor, 1x1 residential buildings can be changed into parks with no base texture.
I'm only just beginning to explore this technique but the results produce astonishing off-the-grid images. The buildings are surrounded by MMPs which create the illusion of a large lot, but the reality is this- these are 1x1 park tiles which have a house in the centre and a transparent texture. For the longest time I have always wanted to do something like the above and finally my dreams are coming true!
Well... That wraps up this entry.
And next week another entry.