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Rixer
April 25th, 2012, 06:25 PM
Living in New England (USA) and attempting to model a New England steam railroad in the 1940s poses a particular problem when it comes to making the right of way look real. The woods in New England are thick with underbrush. I found an easy way to model this and I'm sure I am not the first to do this. First, make your terrain lumpy, with small hills and gullies. Next cover the entire surface with a dark pattern. Periodically, put splashes of light grass to simulate sunlight making it to the surface in places. Now, cover the entire area with your favorite trees (no pines), the leafier the better. Here's the trick. Pull all those trees into the terrain so only a little of the top shows. This will leave a lot of space, so cover the whole area again with trees. In fact, include some winter trees. Pull those trees into the terrain. If necessary, repeat the process. I usually pull the trees in so about 20% of the canopy sticks out. At this point, you could add some rocks and dead trees. Finally, cover the area with your favorite trees (you can even include some pines) and you have great looking woods, especially at ground level. You can only see about 10 feet (3 meters) into the woods, but that is the point.

maruffijd
April 25th, 2012, 06:55 PM
That sure sounds like a New England forest to me.

JCitron
April 25th, 2012, 10:26 PM
Living in New England (USA) and attempting to model a New England steam railroad in the 1940s poses a particular problem when it comes to making the right of way look real. The woods in New England are thick with underbrush. I found an easy way to model this and I'm sure I am not the first to do this. First, make your terrain lumpy, with small hills and gullies. Next cover the entire surface with a dark pattern. Periodically, put splashes of light grass to simulate sunlight making it to the surface in places. Now, cover the entire area with your favorite trees (no pines), the leafier the better. Here's the trick. Pull all those trees into the terrain so only a little of the top shows. This will leave a lot of space, so cover the whole area again with trees. In fact, include some winter trees. Pull those trees into the terrain. If necessary, repeat the process. I usually pull the trees in so about 20% of the canopy sticks out. At this point, you could add some rocks and dead trees. Finally, cover the area with your favorite trees (you can even include some pines) and you have great looking woods, especially at ground level. You can only see about 10 feet (3 meters) into the woods, but that is the point.

Sounds like where I live too.

On the PC version, I use Speed Treez. There are also some Speed Shrubz too which look really nice as well so you don't have to pull trees into the ground. I texture my area first with all the different grass colors, earth colors, etc., until I get the desired effect for the area. I gather all the trees I want to use, then copy and paste them on the textured surface, without pasting the textures. I rotate the paste tool periodically so all the trees don't look like they're marching along in one direction.

You may not want to push trees into the ground because if you duplicate them and paste them, they'll end up floating above the terrain level. If you just copy and paste, they'll sit on the surface instead of floating.

John

Retro00064
April 25th, 2012, 10:40 PM
At least around where I live, the forest floor is NOT grass, but instead dead leaves. Not sure if it is the same in other places, but I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, how's grass going to get light in the middle of a dark forest?

I might have to try sinking some SpeedTrees into the ground to create ground cover in forests, but I'll have to keep in mind that there will be a lot of wasted polygons for the portion of the SpeedTree that's underground, and on my mediocre laptop, I'm already pushing it (and the frame rate below the level that many would probably consider the minimum acceptable frame rate).

Regards,

Zachary.

Dermmy
April 26th, 2012, 02:21 AM
Hi Rixer and welcome to the forums! Your system will work and will look brilliant. On a small test area the results would probably be operationally satisfactory. I'd be very careful though extending that system over a large area, you are using a zillion un-necessary assets. The sunken tree/bush idea looks great and gets used by lots of route builders, but I'd be restricting that to just the very edge of the forest. The low bushes simply aren't needed where the view is blocked by the first couple of rows of shrubs and trunks. You need to be constantly mindful of how many polys you are placing and whether or not they are making a difference to the route. What 'makes a difference'? Stuff you can see from the cab or from trackside cameras. Everything else is wasting resources...

Andy :)

Euphod
April 26th, 2012, 03:13 AM
I do like the lumpy forest floor though.

Rixer
April 26th, 2012, 11:12 PM
At least around where I live, the forest floor is NOT grass, but instead dead leaves. Not sure if it is the same in other places, but I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, how's grass going to get light in the middle of a dark forest?

I might have to try sinking some SpeedTrees into the ground to create ground cover in forests, but I'll have to keep in mind that there will be a lot of wasted polygons for the portion of the SpeedTree that's underground, and on my mediocre laptop, I'm already pushing it (and the frame rate below the level that many would probably consider the minimum acceptable frame rate).

Regards,

Zachary.
Hi Zachary,

The grass is used only to supply a light green color. It's not actually intended to be grass. Quite a bit of sunlight does make it to the floor of the forest. That's why I guess we have so much underbrush in our woods.

Jim

Vern
April 27th, 2012, 09:39 AM
Creating forests that don't chew up your PC resources is one of the bigger challenges in any train sim. Most important thing to decide, is if you're optimising for driving out of the cab or near ground level, you don't need to go too far back with the really dense stuff. 500 metres perhaps. Beyond that say 500 - 2000 metres progressively thin out the density. Out from 2000 metres you will probably get away with a suitable dark green texture painted on the hills.

pdwood
April 27th, 2012, 10:26 AM
Living in New England (USA) and attempting to model a New England steam railroad in the 1940s poses a particular problem when it comes to making the right of way look real. The woods in New England are thick with underbrush. I found an easy way to model this and I'm sure I am not the first to do this. First, make your terrain lumpy, with small hills and gullies. Next cover the entire surface with a dark pattern. Periodically, put splashes of light grass to simulate sunlight making it to the surface in places. Now, cover the entire area with your favorite trees (no pines), the leafier the better. Here's the trick. Pull all those trees into the terrain so only a little of the top shows. This will leave a lot of space, so cover the whole area again with trees. In fact, include some winter trees. Pull those trees into the terrain. If necessary, repeat the process. I usually pull the trees in so about 20% of the canopy sticks out. At this point, you could add some rocks and dead trees. Finally, cover the area with your favorite trees (you can even include some pines) and you have great looking woods, especially at ground level. You can only see about 10 feet (3 meters) into the woods, but that is the point.

Hi

It would be great if we could see a screen shot of the results? Can you show how it looks?

Thanks

pdw