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Armadillo track editing tutorial
Embeding Tree Trunks and Vegetation into the terrain
by mike_mccue

  This tutorial explains a simple method to get the base of your Trees and Vegetations embedded into the terrain surface so that they do not appear to float above the ground.



  This scene is a naturalistic setting that features very steep slopes. Its a dramatic look and its fun to work with this kind of terrain but many times you will find that the tree trunks and vegetation seem to float above the terrain surface. This small detail can be very annoying and it detracts from the impression that the scene looks realistic.



   Here is a detail of the base of a tree trunk as Armadillo's Generate Trees function has placed it on a steep slope. Notice the end of the trunk is exposed and a notch appears where the tree trunk and the terrain should meet. The bottom of the trunk is open so when you view a trunk like this from below it seems to disapeer. Its not a deluxe look.


Special Note:
  The following procedures use a Vegetation Placement Map so the tree shown here will stay in an exact place and it will be easy to see the changes take effect, but the idea behind the procedure is universal and will work with Random Automatic, Probability mapped, or Placement mapped vegetation placements. 


Open the project and select edit terrain.


   This project uses a Displacment Strength of 384.


   The first step is to temporarily lower the terrain.


   The displacement strength is set to 380 for this example.
  Experiment to get a good setting. Taller and steeper terrains require a greater change but if you choose a setting that is too low you may find that some of the smaller trees and shrubs get buried.


  The terrain has been lowered so now the trunk is really sticking out of the ground. Thats ok, this is the temporary part and we will fix all that in the next few steps.


  Select the edit enviroment tab.


  Confirm all the settings and reset the trees with the Generate Trees function.

  Armadillo handles tree generation a few different ways so be aware of what you are doing with this. Read the Vege tutorials if you need more info. Basically I am refereing to the basic differences between generating Random or Probability Vegetation which is a one step process and generating with a Placement map which is a multistep process.
   No matter how you place your veges they will be snap set to the lowered terrain when you are finished.


  When the process of generating trees is complete the Tree Trunk is lower and snapped to the lowered terrain. The trunk is still sticking out a bit just like the origianl settings.


Select the edit terrain tab.


   The next step is to raise the terrain by increasing the Displacement strength.


   Match the original Displacement Strength. This original setting in this example is 384


  Take a look at this. I think it looks a lot better.


Hot Tip:
  Its easiest to wait and perform this procedure right at the end of the track creation process. Any changes to the tarrain, vegetation etc can be worked out and then just when you think you are done you can lower the trees a bit.


  I hope you may have found this tutorial helpful in some way,

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