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Morena Tully

Teraforming tool improvement suggestion

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As an avid terraformer, one thing that has really bugged me over the years, is how some little bits of land, when you are making hills, and especially shorelines, have a sharp, unnatural edge, and no amount of smoothing fixes it. The smallest size you can select to try and refine is simply too big for fine tuning for a perfectionist. The 3X3 size I will guess is directly related to how the ground is set on a grid, but if it were possible to get a size 2X2, or even just 1, it might be possible to smooth these jagged bits out? In the picture, the sharp part is roughly the size of "1" in the 3X3 if that makes sense..

I am aware of terrain height differences often having  a major effect on what the ground will and will not do, but I get these sharp edges even with the most careful, gradual sloping. I am certain I'm way too picky, and 99% of the population never even notices these things, but the ability to shape land has always been a beautiful thing to me. For imperfections to be unfixable puts me in "Monk" mode :D

Anyway, just a hopeful suggestion to give us a bit more capability to get things just how we imagine

e0a5b3d3540dc9f1656cbbf409b2a53d.png

Edited by Morena Tully
picture issue
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i vote for this

making little water streams on small parcels that flow on a diagonal can be pretty grrr!. I often end up sticking objects over the pointy bits. But... I know they are there

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A higher resolution surface patch and height-field is probably long over due.

Although I would prefer they get replaced with something new that allowed for more complex shapes and general geometries. Perhaps something involving smooth voxels. They can be used to make the ground, with caves, tunnels, or something far more complicated and allow region builders to rough up a lot of 'swiss cheese' volume without needing to rez dozens of janky mesh sections.

 

Edited by CoffeeDujour
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Oh gawd, being able to make caves without having to try and camoflage with fakey prims/mesh above has been on my wish list forever! I'm just starting small with what I'm begging for now though... lol

I'd love so much if what you say there ever got put in SL though! So many possibilities.

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Here's a possible suggestion that I use that might be of benefit to you.  I am by no means an expert on this but it does work for me, although 'your mileage may vary" as they say.  When terraforming I use the raise or lower option depending on preferred end result and I 'overbuild it' initially.  In other words, lower or raise it more than the preferred end result, maybe even making it larger and wider for the first pass.  Then, go back using the smooth and/or flatten option to sculpt the land in the shape I'm shooting for.  I use the smooth option a lot, sort of like painting with an airbrush to get an overall shape to gradually slope.  Sometimes it might take a couple passes at raising and lowering and often it's initially much larger than preferred, but by working it I get a feel for how the land wants to move and I coax, nudge, prod it along in the desired shape.  When I do large terraforming over an entire region once I get the shape and slopes as close as possible, I set the bulldozer to a larger broader size and at a much lower, more gentle strength setting, then lightly and very quickly make passes over the broader area, all the while closely watching the intended area.  This, for me at least, works to ensure a smooth, gentle transition.  I, like you, try to be a perfectionist and little sharp edges are just wrong in my opinion.  I like a natural look and feel to it.  It takes a little practice and fiddling sometimes, but the end result is rather pleasing to the eye and a joy to walk upon.  Another little tip/trick, which you might already know, works nicely for terraforming underwater.  Using the keyboards SHIFT CTRL ALT 7 keys at the same time will toggle the water on or off so you can see and work under the water more quickly and efficiently.  This is an old tip from a Mole that surprisingly a lot of terraformers still don't know.  I can't count the endless hours I spent underwater and lowering the water then adding it back trying to get the shapes I wanted over many years, before I finally learned this age old trick.  Good luck.  :))     

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All very good techniques that normally work very well, but when making a lot of intentional dips and knolls to try and replicate what nature does, the parts you don't want smooth slopes are hard to pull off. The picture below is the sim in my OP, and while the formations may look lovely and natural, when walking around at eye level, those little points are everywhere, and the only way to make them go away is by changing the shape to a smooth, even hillside. I've pushed, pulled, nudged my heart out and gave up. Speaking of pull, that's annoying too, to work one section and get it right, then see a section 5m away you never touched suddenly grow a point... gaaaa! I hope they do *something* eventually about all the little land headaches like this. I won't hold my breath though.

Varied, nature terrain.png

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Oh, I agree with you Morena, 100%.  In cases like you mentioned, I use the method I previously described and then go back with the bulldozer set to a small size and vary the strength according to how I envision it.  Sometimes it's a very small size setting with a strong setting for strength and little touches on the mouse to 'dig' that hole or whatever.  Not an easy feat at all and rarely exactly how I want it, but sometimes, just sometimes I get lucky.  That way I get the smooth broad based parts where desired and some smaller more defined areas where also desired.  Yes, it is very difficult, no question.  With some practice and several retries sometimes I can actually get very small, well defined holes, nooks and crannies where desired to give it that natural feel.  Usually I spend way more time doing what you describe that it takes to do all the rest of the terraforming.  What you are describing is one of the more difficult things to do in terraforming, for me at least.  That's where I place my stones, rocks and plants to hide that ugliness that I wasn't able to accomplish.  As previously stated, most people never even notice and they think it looks brilliant, but we know. hahaha

 

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