As Seen on the Official Forums
Hi :D I've been asked enough times how to create a highway system that I thought I'd post a tutorial about it. The only requirement is that you need Late Night for the neighborhood deco that came with it. Otherwise, your highway won't look very complete. :(
Here's what you'll be able to create:
Nice, yes? Let's move onto Step 1.
Step 1: Creating the Road Texture
This is the easiest step. You simply need to ensure your road and sidewalk texture is the same. Doing so makes the road look like it has a shoulder lane (instead of a sidewalk).
-Create a new road
-Go to User Tool Data/ Source Textures and choose the same .dds image for both the road and the sidewalk
-You may also want to use ashillion's CAR: Create A Road Urban Pack
Tip: Make sure you use "nosidewalktile" for your sidewalk normal
Step 2: Laying the Roads Down
Make sure you turn the grid on. The roads need to be straight. When making bends (which are kinda tricky, and will be discussed later) is the only time you should place connecting road pieces off the grid.
-Place one road. Make it fairly long, but not too long. We'll have to adjust it later to fit the railing.
-Place another road right next to it. Make sure they don't overlap, and don't leave any space between the two roads.
Tip: Sims will still be able to drive on these roads, they'll simply "switch lanes" onto the adjacent road (just like on a real highway lol).
Road Bends (To Be Covered Later)
Step 3: Laying Down the Railings
Simply line your railing up along the side of road. Don't bother playing with the rotate tool (it's a mess), use the property browser.
--Type "retain" in the filter to quickly grab the retaining wall. Look through these for the one you want (There are three highway retaining walls of different sizes). The size you choose will impact where your exits will be and how many you'll have.
--Try to line the railing up along the side of each road. Make sure the highway sign is facing the right direction!
--In the property browser, change the Y-Position value to 19 or so (this number varies according to elevation). You'll probably have to pull the railing in closer, so do that as well. To get a precise value, play with the X-Position until it's lined up perfectly.
--Now drag the road out until it matches the length of the retaining wall you used.
Tip: When placing the retaining wall, press down on the pointer, rotate your object, and let go when it is lined up to avoid using the property browser. This is just like using the ALT key in-game. When using the Property Browser, edit the Rotation Y value to change the direction of the railing.
After placing the railing, it may be tricky to grab the road again:
--Create a new road and click on it (you could also use a pre-existing road).
--Now, make sure your pointer is in "select" and not "move" mode (look up at the top-left of the screen, you want the box with the pointer highlighted).
Voila! The pointer should now ignore the highway railing, and select only roads that you point at. But as soon as you click on the railing again, it will ignore your road, so remember this tip.
Step 4: Highway Exits and Overpasses
This is perhaps the hardest step, because it requires both imagination and basic sculpting skills to pull-off a decent exit ramp.
Example: Cliff Before Smoothing Edges
--Place an intersection piece
--Sculpt a mound near the highway, and smooth it out. Make sure it's not too high (or it will look strange). You could also create a valley as your exit ramp.
--Connect a road piece to the intersection and make sure you use proper road grading (22 is a good number for most exits), and do not smoothen connected roads or your highway will be ruined.
Tip: Use a wide brush without alot of falloff for your exit ramp. Also sculpt the hill about 5 cubits away from the road, and gradually smoothen this out.
Now for Overpasses:
This is a simple technique. After you've drawn the hill you used for your exit ramp, use the flatten-gentle brush to extend this to the place of your choosing. At this point, simply plop a bridge over the highway and voila! It's so simple, it sounds almost complex on paper, but you'll do great!
You should now have the beginnings of a highway system!
As Seen on the Official Forums