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Tweaking the land type editor

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Tweaking the land type editor

Postby Aaron » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:24 pm

Hi Everyone,

I've just made a little tweak to the parameters page in the land type editor, which hopefully should make it a bit easier to use. The new dialog looks like:

Image

The old dialog can be seen here.

The main differences are:
  • You can edit the distribution parameters using slider bars. These are clamped to the range of -1...1, but you can manually enter values outside these ranges in the edit boxes if you really need to.
  • The edit boxes are white with grey text for zero values, pale green for positive values, pale red for negative values, and bright red for invalid values. My thinking is that this makes it easier to tell at a glance which parameters are being used, and what their impact will be. For example, in the above image, curvature and salinity have no effect (white), whilst water decreases the score of the land type (red), and gradient and base score both increase the score (green). Does that make sense?
  • The altitude range has been changed from four altitudes to two altitudes and two ramp ranges. This should be easier to use, but I'll still need to explain the meaning of the ramp ranges (later...). I may yet add check-boxes to enable/disable the alt ranges too.
  • The noise settings are now hidden behind a button. This is partly because I ran out of dialog space, and partly because I hardly ever use noise settings in land types.
  • The 'help!' button links right to the on-line userguide for the land type editor, which I'll update shortly.
Is anyone opposed to these changes?

Cheers,
Aaron.

PS: These changes only affect the user interface. The actual climates are unchanged, so there will be no compatibility issues.
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Postby Madcowthomas » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:29 pm

Oh wow, that is sharp and straight to the point. :)
From the mad cows desk to yours,
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Postby metalliandy » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:31 am

looks nice :)
Good work aaron!
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Postby Aaron » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:39 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the feedback. I've gone ahead and included this change in the latest dev build of L3DT Pro (v2.5a build 8 ). In addition to the changes shown above, I also added check-boxes for the min/max altitude settings. This means we no-longer have to use crazy values like -10E10 / 10E10 for min/max alt (as seen in image above) when we don't want restrictions on the alt range.

Another addition is a new climate called 'Simple' that has only three land types: grass, rock and sand. This climate should server as a good starting point for users wishing to learn how to make/edit climates. Previously the simplest climate included with L3DT was 'arctic', which contained 6 land types.

Cheers,
Aaron.
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Postby Aaron » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:05 am

Hi Everyone,

Another thought: do you think it would be more comfortable to use this dialog if all the coefficients were -100...100, rather than -1...1?

Cheers,
Aaron.
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Postby metalliandy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:06 am

Yea i think it would be more helpful for new users or people that are new to CG in general, that may not be used to inputting decimal numbers .
Though the only difference would be you would type, for eg. -98 rather than -0.98 right?
Would you still be able to add halfs like -98.5 etc?
You should add a feature that turns the terrains crust golden brown when you enter 3.14 :wink:
lol
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Postby Aaron » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:14 am

Hi metalliandy,

Yes, the only difference is that the number displayed is 100 times larger than before. In L3DT's internals I still use the small decimals. And yes, you can still input decimal values like 123.456. I've included this in the latest dev build, uploaded moments ago.

Cheers,
Aaron.

PS: Mmmm...I do like Pi, particularly in the apple and rhubarb variety.
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