Info for map makers (wip)

This document will guide you through the process of optimizing your map for use with the Seasons mod from RealismusModding.

The process consists of one or more of the following steps that will be described in detail bellow.


  • Adding a snowMask to tell seasons about areas where snow should not be added. If your map only uses giants default trees and bushes and you are content with the default tunable values from the seasons mod this might be all you have to do.
  • If you have vegetation or other objects that you want to change textures as the seasons progresses you will have to configure texture replacements.
  • You have the ability to customize how growth and animals work to fit the region of the map.
  • You can customize the weather to fit the region of the map.
  • You can add a lake plane to lakes and rivers.
  • You can configure specific objects to be visible only in some seasons.

To help you test your map there are 4 console commands:

  • ssResetGrowth resets all growth
  • ssAddSnow adds a layer of snow
  • ssRemoveSnow removes a layer of snow
  • ssResetSnow removes all snow on the map
  • ssSetVisualSeason <season> sets the visual season, where is autumn, summer, winter, spring.

Seasons integration

Texture Replacements

The texture replacement system is actually a material replacement system so if you want you can change things like shaders and shader parameters between seasons.

Note: Even though it is season dependent, the autumn, spring and winter textures might be shown earlier or later, depending on the temperatures. The trees could be bare for longer after winter if the temperatures have been too cold.

To be able to replace textures in the game, the textures need to be loaded into materials. To keep them around they have to be bound to a shape. At last there is an XML file that defines what shapes are used as replacement in each season.

Like any other XML-part we have in Seasons, there are two ways to get new replacement visuals in the game: by adding it to the map or by making a separate mod. Ideally, a map maker incorporates it into the map. If that has not been done it is possible to make a Seasons Texture Mod (STM), as can be found on our GitHub for a couple of popular maps.

This procedure is a little tricky and I can recommend using a map with custom texture replacements like “Dusty Cove” by DustyDave available on the modhub as an example. You can use data/textures.xml and the files under resources/replacementTextures in the Seasons mod for examples of what’s possible. Take it slowly and methodically doing one season for one material at a time and get that working before continuing to the next.

Except for seasons_textures.xml you could use different file and directory name as long as you edit the files accordingly but I will not point out where to do those changes but rather stick to one way of doing it in this example.

Adding texture replacements

By default, Seasons will replace textures for all default FS17 trees. If you have trees that do not have replacements (for example, FS15 trees, or CPF bushes), you can add your own replacement textures.

  • Create a folder resources in the top level folder of your map.
  • Create a textures folder and subfolders in it for each season like textures/autumn, textures/spring and textures/winter. This is where you will store the season specific texture files.
  • Copy replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d and replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d.shapes from the directory “resources/replacementTextures” in the seasons mod to that resources folder.
  • Edit replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d so only the skeleton remains as follows:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
Do not ever open and save this file in Giants editor, you will loose data and mess ut then file.
It references textures in the game directory that the editor will not find and thus remove.
<i3D name="untitled" version="1.6" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="">
    <Export program="GIANTS Editor 64bit" version="7.0.5"/>
    <!-- Autumn -->
    <!-- Winter -->
    <!-- Spring -->
    <!-- Autumn -->
    <!-- Winter -->
    <!-- Spring -->
  <Shapes externalShapesFile="replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d.shapes">
    <!-- Autumn -->
    <!-- Winter -->
    <!-- Spring -->
  • Create a file seasons_textures.xml in the toplevel folder of your map mod and edit it using a text editor as follows obviously using values for shapeName, secondaryNodeName and to as appropriate for your map and placeholder.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no" ?>
<textures materialHolder="resources/replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d">

Steps for adding a replacement mapping

  • Start by opening the map i3d file in a text editor windows and the replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d in an other.
  • Open the map in Giants editor and find an object of the type that you want to add seasonal textures to. Take note of both the object, and the actual mesh that you want to modify.
  • Search for the objects name in the i3d file and locate the actually mesh that you want to modify. Take note of the value after materialIds, say XXX.
  • From the top of the maps i3d file search for materialId=”XXX” and copy from <Material…> to </Material> and add that in the <Materials> section of replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d.
  • For each of the fileIds refferenced in the material section locate the corresponding <File… > line by searching after fileId=”XXX” from the top of the maps i3d file. Copy those lines over to the <Files> section of replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d and replace fileId in both File and Material definition with the same unique value. Normally there are thre file refferences that needs to be handled Texture, Normalmap and customShaderId.
  • Copy the texture file that you want to modify to a directory under the resource directory and make the modifications you want to it.
  • Modify the filename attribute in the <File…> line corresponding to the texture file so it points to you newly created texture.
  • Add a block as the one below to the <Scene> section of the replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d. nodeId should be a unique value and materialIds should be the same as the materialId you defined above. Leave the shapeId and the rest of the value alone. Select a good name for the object.
    <Shape shapeId="1" name="XXX" visibility="false" nodeId="712" materialIds="412" distanceBlending="false" />

Note that file names are relative to the location of replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d so you might have to prepend them with ../maps/ or something similar to refference unmodified files in there original location. To reference paths in the games installation directory such as shaders or unchanged normal maps use relativePath=false and give a path relative to the directory where the game is installed.

It’s a good practise to prefix all Shape names with some prefix like a short form of the map name to make them unique and sufix them with the relevant season to make things easer to follow.

Now you have created the material holder with material to use for the replacement, time to define the actual replacements that we want.

Add a line like the one bellow to block for the correct season in seasons_textures.xml.

<texture shapeName="XXX" secondaryNodeName="YYY" to="ZZZZ" />

An explanation of these attributes:

  • shapeName The name of the map object to search for. (You can find this using Giants Editor.)
  • secondaryNodeName The subobject to search for below the above, can be the same as shapeName if there is no hierarchy. This is used to replace LOD1 of birch_stage1 even if other objects also have meshes named LOD1. (You can find this using Giants Editor.)
  • to The name of the shape as defined in the material holder. (This is your Shape name from replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d)

  • You can also do replacement for foliageLayers by using XML like this instead of the <texture…. > tags
<foliageLayer name="grass" to="grass_winter" />

An explanation of these attributes:

  • name The name of the FoliageSubLayer to search for. (You can find this using Giants Editor.)
  • to The name of the shape as defined in the material holder. (This is your Shape name from replacementTexturesMaterialHolder.i3d)

Custom weather

It is possible to supply a custom seasons_weather.xml with the map. In the 12 periods (period 1 = early spring, period 12 = late winter), there are three temperatures values to be specified (min, mode, max). Min and max values are not used at the moment, but needs to be given. The mode of the temperature is monthly average daily maximum temperature. So if you take the average of the daily high temperature for all days in January in your 20-30 data series you get the value for mode for January.

probRain is the daily average probability of occurrence for rain probClouds is the daily average probability of occurrence for overcast and has per definition to be higher than probRain mu and sigma are mean and standard deviation for a probability distribution that is used to determine the duration of a rain event.