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Selecting Your Terrain Textures






Hillside On The Lake has been designed to give the appearance that the climate is alpine. The lack of snow about suggests that it’s summertime. The trees tell us that we’re near the upper edge of the tree line. The coniferous trees confirm that this is a cool, mountainous environment while the deciduous trees add interest in addition to telling us that this is a moist climate that gets enough rain.






The deciduous trees placed at this elevation are a bit of a stretch on reality but one of the reasons RCT3 is so enjoyable is that we can each create our own worlds for our park guests to enjoy. Without actually duplicating a coaster or copying a park that’s located somewhere in real life this is one of the ways in which I like to add a touch of reality to my game. The trick to giving our own RCT3 worlds credibility is to wander a little from reality without straying too far from it.






Although this article is about terrain painting the information in the previous two paragraphs is the sort of information we should consider if we’d like to paint terrain that coordinates with and complements our park. The following slideshow shows where I’ve made several terrain replacements in Hillside On The Lake. The exact same park used in each example conveniently highlights the pros and cons of each selected texture.






As these slides are accompanied by notes the slideshow has been set up so that it requires the viewer to use the forward/back toggles to progress at his own speed.







The same slideshow is presented here without the notes and minus the texture example overlays






As seen in these slide presentations, by using this method of terrain painting and being selective with the terrain textures applied we can easily add ambience to our park, control the visibility of the water in our lakes & seas, and enhance or decrease the level of caustics displaying on our sea beds.






Texture ideas can be found by browsing images on the internet then downloading and editing any which you think might be suitable.






If you’re painting a blank, terraformed landscape, or have already built your park and want to give it the finishing touch this information will help your landscape to work well with both your park’s location and its appearance.






Outside Our Park’s Boundaries






While it is possible to match our carefully chosen TexMod terrain re-textures with the textures that display outside the park boundaries, as you’ve just observed in the previous slideshow it isn’t always possible to match all of them closely. The more TexMod terrain textures we include in a TPF the less likely it is that our selected terrain texture replacements will exactly match the textures that come outside the park boundaries. In this next example park we’re going to use three terrain textures, one of which has replaced the in-game tarmac terrain texture, and two of which have replaced snow terrain textures. None of these three outside-the-park textures match each other or go with the background chosen.






The park to be built on this landscape is to be a Central American or South American forgotten tomb, lost temple themed park. An appropriate mountainous backdrop has been added to the landscape and we’ve selected three suitable terrain textures.






Image 53, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

I’ve spent five minutes with a 15x15 brush loosely indicating some curves on this 64x64 terrain just to illustrate how these textures would look outside the park boundaries.






Image 54, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

Image 55, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

What a mess! These dreadful results are enough to turn us off using these terrain textures but there is a fix. What we’re going to do next is select a fourth texture. The requirements of that texture are







that it somewhat resembles the three already chosen, and


that it also gives a color outside the park boundary that more closely matches the chosen backdrop.






Discovering which of your TexMod terrain retextures fits the bill will require a little experimentation on your part. You may want to save your progress so far prior to experimenting your way towards your selection should you get carried away with trying out different retextures.






We’ve selected our fourth texture and now we’re going to paint it onto the terrain with a 1x1 brush only along the outside edge of this park, as marked out by the red squares in this next slider.













How To’s: Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping, Slider E Thumbnails Collage: Park Edge Terrain Painting - For Illustrations 56 & 57

If you hold your brush close to the park boundary it will be convenient to drag this texture into place while keeping your brush inside the red squares shown above so you won’t need to dab on the texture one tile at a time.






Having done that, now we have an even color outside the boundaries of the park in addition to the color that’s there being more suitable for the chosen backdrop.






Image 58, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

Image 59, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

Terraforming After Terrain Painting






Of course, this landscape would be more suitable for the planned park with some terraforming. We’ll simply raise our hills and punch in the depressions to match the curves already placed.






After ten minutes the mountain tool, the trough tool, and the terrain averager have given us a terrain that’s shaped nicely. Be sure you use the mountain tool with light touches.






Image 60, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

With our terrain shaped, and then later on when our park has much more going on in it we’re not likely to notice there’s a single tile border painted around our park in a slightly different texture – in fact we would be hard put to notice that now! This example also demonstrates that we can paint the terrain and/or fine tune the terrain textures before or after terraforming. Terraforming is always best done on a park that doesn’t yet have any scenery placed in it.






Were this park to develop further there would be plenty of opportunity during its progress to fine tune the texture painting and perhaps add three or four additional terrain accent textures.






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Giving due attention to selecting appropriate terrain textures and by carefully terraforming to enhance our efforts, we can give our landscape and our completed park a cared for, evolved, and lived-in appearance. You’ll be able to give your park the impression that your Park Designers told the Accounts Team what they could do with their ledgers!






By following the information outlined in this article I’m certain that you too can achieve these same results using this convenient method of terrain painting.

Image 61, How To's: FTA's Terrain Painting, Page 3

To view the album, click on a thumbnail

To view the slider, click on a thumbnail

Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 23, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 25, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 27, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 29, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 31, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 33, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 35, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 37, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 39, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 41, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 43, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 45, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 47, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 49, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons Slideshow D, Thumbnail Image 51, Terrain Painting - Artistry In Landscaping: Terrain Comparisons