Tutorials:Creating A World That Doesn't Suck - Roads and Sidewalks

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Creating A World That Doesn't Suck

Planning | Compatibility | Basics | Roads and Sidewalks | The Grid | Lots | Buildings and Road Layouts | Sculpting | Objects, Bridges and Effects | Terrain Painting | Distant Terrain | CAW and S3PE | Custom Content | Glossary



Working with Roads and Sidewalks(Not Complete)

Roads are a crucial part of any world because they allow for sims to get around using bikes and cars. Some users compare the road tool to Photoshop and Illustrator's pen tool, and it is true, it is rather similar. You have 4 points along a road section. An end point, an angle arm, another angle arm and another end point. Manipulating these points is the trick to getting great and naturally curving roads. Its not really something that can be taught via a text guide, so for a reference, I have created a video on the subject.

[ Curving Roads and Sidewalks by TVRdesigns]

Tip #6 - You can make roads with custom textures, these will be covered later on.

Road Grading

An example of a road flickering (click for full size.
Sunset Valley's bumpy roads (click for full size).

Road grading is an important part of placing roads and sidewalks in CAW. If you do not grade your roads, they will flicker when you are in-game. There are examples of this in Sunset Valley. Another very annoying issue that presents itself when a user doesn't grade their roads is also present in Sunset Valley; bumpiness. As you can see in the photo to the right, this issue would make for an excruciatingly funny driving animation, but for actual playability and aesthetics, it is insane, if not completely unrealistic. Grading your roads fixes this issue. Open up the tab located next to the actual roads tool and examine the modes that it presents you.

  • The most common tool that you can use to grade your roads is the Smoothen Road tool. When this is selected, you can click on a particular road and it will level itself so that it is smooth. You can also click the little circle next to Connected Roads for the tool to level every road that is connected to the one that you click.
  • The Limit Road Grade function is a rather unspectacular one. Basically, you input how many tiles you want the slope to last for and it smooths your road so that it ascends/descends in that amount of tiles.
  • Finally, the Flatten Road button can be used in conjunction with the Smoothen Road tool to make roads completely level. Place the mouse at the level of the road that you want to level the entire road to and click.

Tip #7 - Make sure that you don't accidentally have 'Connected Roads' selected when you are using these tools. If you use it accidentally, the difference may not be completely apparent until after you have saved or you cannot use the Undo button to go any further back.

Along with the above modes, you are given Options for each mode that are very useful for getting that nice grading.

  • The Speed and Quality slider can be used to change the factors that are involved when you grade your slope. For smoother slope, use the "Quality" end of the slider whereas, for a slope that cars can go up or down faster on, use the Speed end. However, most roads can be graded just as effectively by using the default setting.
  • If you want to have more, or less, tiles affected by the grading tool on either side of your roads, you can change the settings in the Road Edge Parameters box at the bottom of the Road Grading Tool tab. The numbers are exact in game tiles, just like everything else in CAW. The tool is set to 3 by default, but you can go as high as you want. This can be useful if you are wanting to sculpt cliffs along a road that is going up hill because it can give you more room to work with.

Creating the Perfect Slope

Creating the perfect slope may seem a difficult task when you first start using CAW's grading tools, but eventually you learn of ways to use the tools to your advantage. For instance, there is a technique I use that I refer to as a 'stepping' technique. Basically, before I smooth a road, I get the flatten tool from the Terrain Editing panel and I level out a slope so that there are different levels to it. For a reference, see the picture.

File:TVRcaw TVRcaw roadgradingperfectslope-1.jpg
An example of my 'stepping' technique in use (click for full size.

This may seem rather odd but what it does is that it forces the grading tools to smooth the sections in between your 'steps' and thus, you can manipulate the slope making it however long you want it to be as well as changing where/when the road slopes.

It is important that you remember that you shouldn't 'grade' roads or make roads using the smooth terrain tool. This will result in the flickering glitch that is mentioned above in this section of the guide.

Creating and Importing Custom Roads and Sidewalks

Roads and sidewalks are a very important part of creating a world. Without either of them, your sims would have much more trouble getting from place to place.

Creating A World That Doesn't Suck

Planning | Compatibility | Basics | Roads and Sidewalks | The Grid | Lots | Buildings and Road Layouts | Sculpting | Objects, Bridges and Effects | Terrain Painting | Distant Terrain | CAW and S3PE | Custom Content | Glossary

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