Part of the interface where the user can select what vegetation is planted in which environments.
Display of information about 1 square meter of Dinosaur Island.
Here are a couple more screen shots showing the interface for building Dinosaur Island. We want to make it as easy as possible to create new islands, with different terrain and plants from different ages.
This is important to remember: Dinosaur Island will be released in 3D. However, all the tools for creating the island, placing vegetation, creating different environments and terrains, and selecting and placing dinosaurs is done in a ‘top down’ 2D interface because – and trust us on this, we’ve had years of experience working on models and simulations – it’s just a lot easier to do it this way.
Now that the island is done, the different terrains and environments are done, the vegetation is planted… it’s time for the dinosaurs!
How we plant on Dinosaur Island; screen capture of the planting interface.
It’s spring on Dinosaur Island and that means it’s time to start planting! Above is a screen capture of the interface to add plants to Dinosaur Island, select the terrain / environment in which they grow (remember all the work on creating the terrain previously?), select images for the plants for their three stages of development (we have an agreement with xFrog who created these prehistoric plants, and, lastly, ‘plant’ this vegetation in the appropriate terrain / environment.
We’re looking at starting off with 20 different types of plants and trees. We will be tracking each individual plant, shrub or tree throughout its entire life cycle. We will also track its health.
The above screen capture is another glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ of Dinosaur Island. Most users probably won’t want to get this involved, but we need to have this capability to create different environments, with the appropriate flora, for the various eras of dinosaurs.
Things are progressing rapidly on Dinosaur Island. Next week: see the results of planting all these ferns, bushes and trees. And, after that, it’s time for the dinosaurs!
Dinosaur Island terrain displayed in false colors.
Above is a view of Dinosaur Island with the different terrain types displayed in vivid or ‘false colors’. Below is a view of the same terrain types displayed as a transparency over the elevation map of the island.
The terrain of Dinosaur Island displayed as a transparency over the elevation map.
Terrain type legend.
The color legend of the different terrain types is at left.
This is exciting news! Well, it is for us on the team because it means that we now have the tools to rapidly create islands and ‘paint’ with the different terrain types. This should be exciting news for you, too, because this means that users (like you) can create your own Dinosaur Islands, too!
So, what’s next?
We will be adding the interface so we can start ‘planting’ vegetation around the island. Every plant grows only in certain terrains. Now you know why we had to create the ‘terrain map’ of Dinosaur Island first.
You know what happens after we add the plants? We start adding the dinosaurs that live on the plants!
Ed Isenberg created this background using XFrog’s Prehistoric Plants collection.
The wonderful foliage used for the background on the Dinosaur Island site was created by Ed Isenberg using XFrog’s prehistoric plant library (click here to go to the XfrogPlants site).
This is a good example of the environment that we will create for Dinosaur Island. We know that these plants are historically accurate for various time periods. However, we aren’t paleobotanists, so if any of you visitors to the site are, please feel free to contact us because we certainly could use your advice.