Thread: [Tutorial] Neti's Natural Mapping Tutorial
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Old March 3rd, 2009 (05:03 AM). Edited April 15th, 2010 by hashtag.
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Neti
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cologne, Germany
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Relaxed
Neti's Natural Mapping Tutorial

Hey guys. It's been quite a while since I've posted a Tutorial. But I think it's time to teach people how to map more natural, cause a lot of maps lack at naturality.

In the time I've been at Pokecommunity the naturality has become more and more important, espacially in the last time. Just look at the first maps of my hack Pokemon Legend of Fenju, the Tree Placement is really bad. Therefore I myself wouldnt rate them better than 6 or 7 out of 10 today. But when I made and published them people rated them 10/10.

But Tree Placement is not the only thing that makes a natural look: Mountain and Sea shapes are also important. Of course small things like flower and rock placement also count, but I wont go into detail on them in this tutorial.

So Let's Start!


  1. Tree Placement
  2. Water Shapes
  3. Mountains


Tree Placement

For making natural looking trees, there are 3 things that are important:

1. Diversity
Using only 1 type of tree is really odd, even the standard Ninetendo tileset gives you the option to use at least two different types. But I prefer and recommend to insert more trees. If you have no idea how to insert tiles, check my Tile Inserting & Block Editing Tutorial.
In the tileset Im curretnly workign with in the third region of my Hack (I will use that tileset for my tutorial), I have 4 different trees in the basic tileset:
One 3x4 Tree (the oen from viridian forest)
One 2x3 Tree
One 1x3 Tree (the normal one by Nintendo)
And one 1x2 Tree

2. Overlapping
In the following image you see all the tree tiles from my tileset:

As you can see, I use way more blocks for trees than nintendo does.
Thats because I have every single overlapping thats possible in there and that is IMPORTANT!
Probably THE most important (I use that word very often, right?) tiles are the following two:

They make it possible to conect trees diagonally and they are really easy to make in the Block Editor of Advance Map. Just cehck the following image and you will know:


3. Careless Placing
So you have the required tiles to make natural looking trees now, but how do you actually place them naturally?
The answer is really simple:
You MUST NOT have a plan.
Just place them with no care at all in the general shape for your map that is in your brain.
Check teh following image to see the probably worst placing ever:

Even if I rounded the corners and added a few other trees, it would suck!
Thats because the trees stand in rows, and seriously... No trees stand in rows!
So, how should you do it instead?
Just take the tree with the big block selection and click on the map at random places to create a shape:

You might have noticed:
This map will cause border problems
But that is not the point of this Tutorial, so let's just ignore this.
As you can easily see, the shape is not finished.
There are a lot of places where the palyer can go between the trees and the overlappings are missing.
Youll have to go and work your way through all the trees one by one to finish it.

My final result is this:




Water Shapes

When creating a coast, lake or river you basically do the same thing you did with the tree placement:
You just have a rough idea of what it will look like and then you start placing the tiles.

But with water its different, since you dont place a big block but single tiles.
The worst thing you can do is doing it correct from the beginning! That may sound a bit confusing, but ill show you what i mean:

See what I did:
I just slided my mouse over the map without caring about details to create a natural shape. Then i filled the left side of the map with water tiles.
The next step is to add the corners and correct water-border tiles where they are needed.

And dont forget to add add the correct sand tiles where the sand tiles are south of the water tiles!



Mountains

All in all, mountains are not so different from water shapes, but there are some specialities about them that you you have to care about.
First create a natural shape using the method you learned at the water shape part of this tutorial. But you should make it a bit more winded, thats will make the mountain look better.





Now add another level on to of the first one using the same method. Dont forget to use the correct tiles here! Also, the upper level MUST NOT have the same shape as the lower one!



As you can see i already added level 3 and 4.
Looks natural, doesnt it?
But you should go further and add small and big rocks. Not too many, but still quite a lot.



Et voila: Your mountain is finished!



The End

I hope this Tutorial will make people create more natural maps, cause now since it is explained to everybody theres no excuse for it anymore.
Another Tutorial is finished...
Special Thx to Disturbed who tought me how to place trees properly and to ZetKa who makes the best mountains ive seen so far
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