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Billboard Image Types and Sizes:



Many people early on in their RCT3 experience have no idea what sorts of images should be used for billboards. They can be pictures of anything you like but the images should be formatted in:



.jpg,

.bmp, or

.png.



They should also be:



of a low resolution (at 72 or 96 pixels per inch),

small in size (no larger than 500 x 500 pixels), and

ideally be optimized for web view to make them even smaller in filesize.



Because they are for billboard use they should fit comfortably (not precisely but without obvious distortion) into ratios of (h x w):



1 x 1,

1 x 2,

1 x 4,

1 x 8,

2 x 1, and

4 x 1.



If you're using the in-game custom stalls those billboard images will need to fit comfortably into ratios of:



1 x 2.5, or

2.5 x 1.



In the billboards menu one needs to actually select a billboard before any of the images available will display. After selection you can always select the billboard you want to use and the image you want on it before placing it in the park.



For suggestions as to where on your system you should store your billboard images check out our topic here.


The game engine seems to put a low priority on the links to our billboard images. In a sprawling busy park that's running full tilt and flat out the game engine indicates this low priority on the billboard images in that the game will drop the link it has with a small percentage of the images you have already placed on your billboards and will at such times also have trouble identifying the images you have placed in your My Documents\My Pictures folder.  It will gray out those images and list them as "unsuitable."  This is a temporary problem and when this happens you will need to replace the image on the billboard after the park file has been closed and then re-opened (the image won't re-link on its own). Although the game has indicated the images in your folder are unsuitable this is a temporary error, your images are just fine and can still be used when you re-open your park file.



Billboards Return to Displaying the Default Image:



Occasionally we'll develop a park that includes billboards and, without so far having had any billboard problems, as the park progresses we will suddenly find some of the billboards are no longer displaying the images we want and have returned to displaying the default Frontier image. If you're suddenly having this problem in a park where this hasn't before happened then chances are, between the time your billboards worked fine and the time you have noticed this problem, you've added a great deal to your park.



In a sprawling park that's hugely busy RCT3 will occasionally crash when we try to add another billboard image.



You can simply ignore your returned-to-default billboards, playing your park as regular and making sure to check any billboards before taking screenshots.



When your park has arrived at the point that adding images to billboards causes your game to crash this should tell you that your CPU, RAM, graphics card and game engine are choking on all the park you are feeding them and that it's definitely time to minimize the park, use Park CleanUp or to reconsider an upgrade to your graphics card.



Billboards Switching Custom Images:



There is another billboard problem that sometimes occurs and that happens when there are several dozen billboards about your park. This problem will ordinarily be observed when you are looking over something else in your park and while viewing your park it's noticed that one of your billboards is displaying an image that you yourself didn't place on it.



FlyingDutchman7 tells us that this problem is caused by the billboard objects that have been placed into our parks originating in our scenery menus as opposed to their originating from the billboards menu. To add to the problem many CS makers have been deliberately avoiding flagging their objects to place from the billboards menu because that menu only displays items on an individual basis and can quickly become cluttered with the installation of only a few CS sets that come with billboards.



There is no fix for this and the only way to remedy the problem is to revisit your billboards and change all the images back to the ones you want. However rather than each time randomly replacing the images you want on your billboards you would do well to be aware of the fact that the billboards drop the link to your images in the same sequence each time. The first few times you replace your images you will notice before you’re done replacing all of them that some of the images have again switched. It’s a good idea each time to keep notes of the sequence in which you replace the switched images until you get to the point where you can easily replace them all in the same order each time without any of them switching back. Once you’ve achieved that you have identified your ‘switch back’ sequence.



After that the billboard images will continue to switch but you can minimize this problem by referring to your switch back sequence which makes it convenient to replace your images. We have observed that once you've several times followed the same switch back sequence the billboards will switch images less frequently, and have in a very few parks stopped switching altogether.