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    • CommentAuthorSir Argo
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2017 edited
    I bought the World Builder bundle a few days ago and I've been experimenting with FT3. So far, I'm very pleased with the results. I have a couple questions that I couldn't answer by reading the documentation or by searching the forums, but let's face it, searching the forums is only as effective as your search criteria--so that is likely to be my fault.

    Q1 - Is there an easy way to "Show Gaia" for land (elevation > 0) but "Show Altitude" for the ocean (elevation < 0)?

    I like the Gaia view because I'm more interested in seeing a depiction of the biomes (forest, desert, tundra, etc) on land, but I am not interested in seeing the topography of the ocean floor. I'd rather see just the surface of the water. I was able to get the effect I want by selecting elevation below 0 and saving that. I loaded the file, which I dubbed a "mask" into Gimp, deleted the land portion, and gave the water portion a blue gradient fill. I then loaded the image back into TF3 as an overlay. It's exactly what I want, but I just think there should be a way to get the same effect without leaving TF3.

    Q2 - How do I get finer detail?

    I was working with World Settings / Editing / Editing Size = 4096. I decided I wanted a higher resolution and tried setting it to 8192 and got the error that the max was 8190. I decided to drop it back down to 4096. I then realized that I'm not entirely sure what the editing size really does. In the documentation, it shows a dialog for Edit / Preferences that has two fields for max horizontal resolution and max vertical resolution, but in the actual program, those two fields do not exist. When I go to save the map as a .png, I am prompted for a resolution, but that also doesn't tell me if I'm getting more detail, or just a pixelated zoomed in map. So the question contains a couple pieces. Between editing size and print resolution, how do I get finer detail in the map?

    Q3 - Why is water so hot?

    When I look at a climate map, the hottest part of the planet is the middle of the ocean. I'm not a meteorologist, but that seems wrong. Do I have a setting somewhere that I skewed? When I try to adjust the climate model, the ocean is always the hottest part of the planet. Is that right?

    Thank you.
    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2017
    Q1 - No. The Gaia shader is purely for getting pretty pictures. It in unaffected by the computed climate type and also unaffected by any editing changes that you may make to temperature and rainfall (you may or may not have noticed that the Gaia view puts lots of yellowish stuff reminiscent of deserts right along the equator). I would recommend using something like the "Textured Climate" or "Image Climate" to get information about biomes on your map.

    Q2 - FT has two main concepts related to altitude resolution: the resolution of the fractal function and the resolution of the editing. The resolution of the fractal function is largely fixed and dependent on the precise fractal function chosen as well as the settings for that function (it typically starts to lose detail on the order of a few miles when using the default "Ridged Multifractal" settings and can go as far as a few feet when using the "RMF with Perlin's Improved Noise" function). When you start to paint information onto the map, you are painting into an image whose size is controlled by the editing resolution information found on The Map>>World Settings:Editing page. The number entered defines the horizontal extent of an image map used to edit each of offset, roughness, prescale offset, rainfall and temperature information. You can see how far each sample on that map will affect by looking at the "Resolution" page. The limit of 8190 was chosen to provide sufficient room in the system to hold each of those image maps, a selection, and some undo information without running out of memory.

    Q3 - I will be charitable here and describe FT's climate model as "limited". It doesn't model any heat or moisture transport via water or wind. Here on Earth, oceans are constantly mixing, which moves heat from the equator to the poles and keeps the ocean from getting particularly warm. On an FT world, each block of ocean heats up nicely, but doesn't move that heat anywhere else. My intent with the FT climate model was to provide a marginally plausible starting point for users to do their own updates. A lot of folks want to believe what FT tells them, though, and get some pretty strange patterns as a result.

    If you haven't seen it, I recommend taking a quick look at before you get too much farther. The discussion might offer some assistance with understanding some of FT's features and limitations.