Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How To: Taking SimCity to the Next Level

This section of the blog is how to advice on where to find some of the best 3ds models for SimCity to how make the game even more realistic to gmax tutorials.

Updated 7/6/08

-Giant List of SimCity Tutorials and Videos

Simprograms.com has some great tutorials for SimCity players. Check out their long list of SmiCity tutorials and videos.

-How to Create Custom Automata for SimCity 4

Fellow Simmer Vester_DK has written some great articles on anything and everything relating to how to make custom automata for SimCity 4. You can read them here.

-How to Create Custom Queries

Here's a handy tutorial about how to make a custom query for all the modders out there. Download the UI Editor Tool and then follow this tutorial.

-3ds Max Video Tutorial

Since BAT uses Gmax and Gmax is very similar to 3ds Max (with some features removed) I've found some videos which will help people getting started with the basics of BAT.

1. Getting Started with the Interface

2. Customization of Interface

3. Edit Mesh

4. Edit Poly

For a complete tutorial on how to make a building in BAT from scratch refer to the Simtropolis Omnibus section's BAT tutorials.

-How To Make BAT's for SimCity 4 in Sketchup

I've gotten a number of requests about how to make custom content for SimCity. The most obvious way to do this is with the gmax add-on for SimCity 4, BAT. BAT is based off of Gmax which is similar to 3ds Max minus a couple of additional features. If you've never made anything in 3D before Gmax will be a little difficult to get the hang of and your early work won't be as accurate as you would like. Many people who don't have 3D skills put requests in the BAT Request Thread only to have them (mostly) ignored. Or they wish they could have the great skills of their favorite BAT artist. Now they can.

A simple 3D modeling application that I'm starting to model my buildings in is Sketchup. Sketchup is almost like a 3D drawing tool and it is very easy to use whether your a beginner or a longtime 3D modeler. Even someone with no 3d modeling expeirence can make a fairly decent building in about an hour. You'll have to render your building in BAT (BAT for Max is preferable if you have the money to spend on 3ds Max); by using Sketchup to create your buildings you can cut down on the time it takes to make.

You can download a free 30-day trial version of Sketchup at www.sketchup.com

Here's some great video tutorials created by the author of Sketchup for Dummies to get you started with making 3D creations in Sketchup for SimCity.

1. Making a Quick Model in Sketchup

2. Understanding Edges and Faces

3. Using SketchUp Components

4. Select and Replace

5. Putting It All Together

Once you've created your model in Sketchup you can export it in a format that can be imported by BAT, 3ds. Go to File-Export-3DS. You're model should now export to your chosen destination and you can import it into BAT, texture it and render it for SimCity 4. Sketchup even has a network link to Google's 3D Warehouse where you can download 3D models.

-Nightlighting Tutorial

So you've got your building ready to go after days or weeks of hard work. You may have created it from scratch or converted it from Sketchup by following my tutorial. All that needs to be done is nightlighting.

Here's a simple nightilghting tutorial to finalize your buildings.

Happy BATting!

How to Get Sketchup Models into SimCity

This tutorial explains how to use Sketchup models for SimCity.

Download tutorial-94.97 KB.


confused somebody said...

How do you exactly export a google sketch up model in to the BAT? When I "export It" it says error not a correct file or not a model or something. Can you help me?

ehanson said...

Hi confused somebody,

Did you download my tutorial on how to convert Sketchup models into 3ds format?

You need to convert the model into a format that can be read by gmax.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Does the tutorial explain how to put the models into simcity without pro? And that when I download the tutorial I can't open it.

ehanson said...

Yes, the tutorial explains how to export models from Sketchup without the Pro version. (Using the 3ds exporter)

In the tutorial I explain how to import KMZ files using Blender.

Hope that helps,

Anonymous said...

ehanson, I use sketchup to create buildings for simcity and when I get it into the BAT, I'm having touble with night lighting... I have to use the lights like target spot and for some reason it goes straight through the building and shows up on a wall or corner on the othe side of it. How can i fix this?

ehanson said...

Make sure your night windows are enabled by checking the enabled box in the BAT toolbar and the global intensity is set to 1.

Also, you can adjust the setting of the brightness of a night window from .1 to 1. Make sure it's bright enough so you can see it.

If that doesn't work refer to the nightlighting help thread at Simtropolis:


Also be sure to check the Omnibus at ST for help: http://www.simtropolis.com/forum/categories.cfm?catid=140&entercat=y

Hope that helps,

Anonymous said...

I created a building in sketchup and exported it .3ds and imported it to SC4 BAT and it worked fine. When I went back to edit my building I used components from the 3D Warehouse to add roof junk to my building. I exported it worked good. Then I try to import it in SC4 BAT and I get an error and then BAT closes. Can I not use components that others have made in my sketchcup design?

Anonymous said...


I am trying to take airplanes from sketchup (which are used in Google Earth) so that I can lot them in sc4 with the B.A.T. Like you said, I imported the .kmz files to Blender v2.42a (because it handles google earth files). However, the model doesn't show up! Please help

EDU said...

hiii i want to create my own buildins on simcity rush hour,but i work on mac. have some possible??

ehanson said...

Hi, I'm not sure if BAT is compatible with Mac. Pretty sure that it isn't though. BAT runs on Gmax so you'll want to take a look at this fourm posting:

Hope that helps