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Getting Started with VNS 3: Roads & Buildings
Part 7D. Overlapping Terraffectors

1. Let's add a dirt road to take us into the development. Go to the Terrain Task Mode, right-click Terraffectors, and Add Component from Gallery.

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2. Load Dirt Road from the Component Gallery.

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3. Go with the default Ecosystem Elevation scaling option.

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4. Add the Cabin Road vector to the Dirt Road Terraffector and confirm.

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5. Save the project and render a Cabin Plan preview.

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6. Activate the Road view and render a preview. There are 2 functions of a Terraffector: to modify terrain and render Ecosystems. In the Road view you can see the interplay of both functions. Terrain-wise, the 2 Lane Highway Terraffector cuts into the Dirt Road. On the Ecosystem front, the Dirt Road Ecosystems are rendering on top of the 2 Lane Highway.

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7. Let's look at the terrain issue first. Go to the Dirt Road Terraffector Editor and General page. If you switch between the Dirt Road and 2 Lane Highway, you'll see they have the same Priority and Evaluation Order. The same Priority allows them to overlap, which is good. The same Evaluation Order means VNS flips a coin to see which affects the terrain last, in this case the 2 Lane Highway. You should never leave Evaluation Orders the same and let VNS roll the dice.

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8. We want the Dirt Road to fill in the 2 Lane Highway ditch. To make the Dirt Road evaluate last it needs the lowest Evaluation Order. It can't be less than 1 so go to the 2 Lane Highway and increase its Evaluation Order to 2.

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9. Save the project and render a preview. The Dirt Road affects the terrain last and fills in the highway ditch. Now for the Ecosystems placed by the two Terraffectors. Notice that the 2 Lane Highway Terraffector's Asphalt Ecosystem has render priority over the Dirt Road Terraffector's Gravel. The remaining 2 Lane Highway Ecosystems have a lower priority than the Dirt Road Gravel.

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10. Go to the 2 Lane Highway Terraffector Editor and Edit Cross-section Profile. Select each of the first three points and you'll see they have a Priority of 2. The fourth point rendering Gravel has a Priority of 1 and the last two points on the road shoulder have a Priority of 0. Move this profile to one side of the screen.

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11. Switch to the Dirt Road Terraffector Editor and Edit Cross-section Profile. Click and drag its titlebar to move it away from the other profile. Except for the last point, all nodes have a Priority of 2, the same as the 2 Lane Highway's Asphalt Ecosystem. Just like Evaluation Order, you should not leave Priority the same for overlapping Terraffector segments unless you don't care who renders when.

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12. We'd like the 2 Lane Highway Asphalt Ecosystem to have render priority over everything else. Go to its profile and increase the Priority of each Asphalt segment to 3.

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13. The 2 Lane Highway Gravel, ShortGrass, and TallGrass Ecosystems should have the lowest priority of all Terraffector-placed Ecosystems. The grass segments already do. Select the Gravel point and change its Priority to 0.

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14. We'd like the Dirt Road Gravel Ecosystem to have render priority over the 2 Lane Highway shoulder Ecosystems but not the Asphalt. Go to its profile and change all Priority values to 1 except the last one, which is already 1.

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15. Keep the changes to both profiles.

16. Save the project and render a preview.

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