North Shore, days 3 & 4

Things are moving along nicely with the aerial shots. Having finally worked out a good set of summer textures, yesterday and today was all about creating the fall and winter sets. Normally, I skip spring textures and just use the summer versions, as they’re very close to summer for a project like this.

Fall was fairly straightforward. I replaced some of the greens with tan, generally desaturated the entire image just a little, and replaced my masked-in summer trees with fall variants.

Winter is always more challenging, and this time was no exception. In this part of the world, the stock winter and hard winter textures depict a snowbound landscape. To insert snow into my shot, I copied my base fall layer and renamed it winter. Then I replaced more of the greens with tan, and desaturated all the colors except the sand a bit more than fall to give everything that dormant vegetation look. Then I created a white layer over the top of my base image and gave it a mask. Stepping to the layer below, I copied the image and pasted it into the mask, then inverted it. This made the dark areas in the base photo appear snowy, with melted spots for the light areas. (see below) Finally, I added noise to the mask until the snow had a grainer look. Then I played with the brightness and contrast of the mask until I had what I thought was a pretty decent blend of ground and snow.

The resampling process took over 3 hours for this set of files with seasons included. Once I was done, I turned to the autogen annotator and added swaths of forest where appropriate, and the beginnings of the beach community on Plum Island, which you can see especially well in the winter shot below.

The pics I’ve attached are of the base photoshop files for fall and winter, and in-sim screenshots of the same. Now that I’ve got the seasons in hand, it’s time for the mind-numbingly dull task of adding in all those autogen buildings for the beach town and Newburyport itself. It always looks great when I’m done, but man is it ever fiddly work do to.

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