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Thread: A Guide to Effective Mapping (WIP)

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    A Guide to Effective Mapping (WIP)

    A . G u i d e . t o . M a p p i n g !

    (A Work in Progress)

    Hello, and welcome to the Guide on how to make maps and much more! I am your host.... Char! ;D

    I have moved this mapping guide to this new thread for organizational purposes; here is a link to the original guide: How to Map Effectively

    Goals of this Guide:

    -To teach the basics of mapping.
    -To show different mapping techniques.
    -To give hints on various mapping styles.
    -Help you develop your mapping skills.



    Before I begin this guide, I would like to give you some information about myself!
    Though I am making a guide to mapping, I am not a perfect mapper myself, and I am definitely not an expert. BUT, mapping is definitely a passion of mine, and I love to see new mappers grow and learn the ropes. So as my mapping skills develop and I learn more, I hope to expand this guide, and extend what I have learned on to you! And if you have any tips and ideas to how I can make this guide better, feel free to give your input; I would love to hear it!


    Update Log
    Updates will be dated and recorded here.

     
    Nov. 23rd, 2011 - Began writing Guide
    Nov. 26th, 2011 - Created Example Houses
    Nov. 27th, 2011 - Submitted Guide, Made organizational/technical changes, few player advice additions
    Nov. 28th, 2011 - More organizational/technical changes, more player advice additions
    Nov. 30th, 2011 - More organizational technical changes, more Common Errors, Added Perception section, added more to cliff section, and more mapping advice.
    Dec. 4th, 2011 - Height Perception section was added. (Under Perception)
    Dec. 21st, 2011 - Shadow section was added. (Under Perception)
    Jan. 10th, 2012 - Perspective view was added (Under Perception), updated ToC, fixed errors.
    June 21st, 2012 - Moved Topic, added separate segments for organization, and reworded sections.
    April 30th, 2013 - Updated guide to housing center and added a title.
    July 28th, 2015 - Finished adding each section.



    Table of Contents:
    THE TABLE OF CONTENTS LINKS TO EACH SECTION FOR EASY ACCESS.
     
    I. Understanding the Editor
    -Commands
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    A. Where things are
    a. Terrain
    b. Attributes
    c. Music
    d. Save House
    e. Take Screenshot
    f. Exit
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    II. Layer by Layer Mapping
    Analogies
    A. Ground
    a. What it is.
    b. Tips
    B. Mask
    a. What it is.
    b. Tips
    C. Mask 2
    a. What it is.
    b. Tips
    D. Fringe
    a. What it is.
    b. Tips
    E. Fringe 2
    a. What it is.
    b. Tips
    F. Attributes
    G. REVIEW!
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    III. Tileset Rundown (Terrain)
    A. Tileset 0
    B. Tileset 1
    C. Tileset 2
    D. Tileset 3
    E. Tileset 4
    F. Tileset 5
    G. Tileset 6
    H. Tileset 7
    I. Tileset 8
    J. Tileset 9
    K. Tileset 10
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    IV. Attributes
    A. Types and What they do.
    a. Blocked
    b. Notice (Map Editor only)
    c. Heal (Map Editor only)
    d. Guild Block (Map Editor only)
    e. NPC Avoid (Map Editor only)
    f. Sign (Map Editor only)
    g. Kill (Map Editor only)
    h. Level Block (Map Editor only)
    B. Settings
    a. Map Grid
    b. Attributes
    c. Drag and Place
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    V. Animation
    A. How they work
    a. Water
    b. Normal Items
    c. Rain/Snow
    d. Other Examples
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    VI. Perspective
    A. Waterfalls over Cliffs
    B. Objects beside Cliffs
    C. Height Perspectives
    D. Perspective View
    E. Shadows
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    VII. Biomes
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    VIII. CLIFFS ( <3 )
    A. Height Consistency
    B. Attachments
    C. Connecting Cliffs
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    IX. Common Mistakes
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    X. Creative Techniques
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    XI. Advice
    A. Observe
    B. Explore
    C. Get Inspired
    D. Ideas
    [hr:2i4p68mi][/hr:2i4p68mi]
    XII. Thank You for Reading

    All of these things may not be added yet, and there is definitely more to come. So keep an eye out![/left]



    Now to get things started!
    To get to your house:

    Step 1. Pelibird Building
    To begin, you either need to be in your house or be using the PMU Map Editor. You can access your house by entering the Pelibird house located in the SouthWest part of town.
     
    Guide to Pelipper Building


    Step 2. Housing Center
    Once in the housing center, enter the hole and click "Visit my House".
     
    Guide to "My House"

    and ¡Voila! You have arrived at YOUR PMU HOUSE! And that means the fun is just beginning!

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    I. Understanding the Map Editor

    I. Understanding the Map Editor

    First things first; the commands of your house are:
    /edithouse - This command opens up the map editor. (only in your home)

    /leavehouse - The command that allows you to leave any PMU house.


    Now you know the basic functions to get started, but it is important to understand each part of the map editor to map to your full extent!


    A. Where things are and what they do

    a. Terrain
    [spoilerTerrain Image:1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    The area on the left is the terrain portion of the map editor. Terrain refers to any mapping tiles you may be placing. To begin mapping, click the tile on the left you want to use, then click a tile on your map to place it there.

    Tip: By holding your mouse and dragging it across your map, it can place that tile wherever you take your mouse. This allows for quicker additions.

    There are 11 different tilesets to choose from; each tileset holds different types of tiles. (Such as Dungeon, Indoor, Overworld, Background, etc.)



    b. Attributes
    [spoilerAttributes Image:1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    The area on the left is the attributes portion of the map editor in game. The only attributes available in game are blocks. To use them, just click on the tiles on your map you wish to block; if done correctly a capital B should appear on the tile. As the name hints, any tile where the block is added, that tile is then barred for players to pass.



    c. Music
    [spoilerOpening Music:1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    To open the music selection, scroll over the "Mapping" button in the bottom left corner, then click the button labeled "Music" at the top of that bar to make the selection window pop up.



    Music is an often forgotten part of a house, but I believe it adds that extra bit of flare to it, bringing the theme and house together. There are many different songs to choose from, so it should not be too much of a problem selecting a song that fits your house.



    d. Save House
    [spoilerOpening "Save House":1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    If you would like to save the house you are working on, click the "Save House" button. This saves your progress, closes the map editor, and allows you to explore your house freely.
    If there is a lot of lag, saving a house may take a long time. Though, its a good idea to save frequently in case something causes you to lose progress.



    e. Take Screenshot
    [spoilerOpening "Take Screenshot":1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    To take a screenshot of only the house, without the chat/sidebar/other accessories, click the "Take Screenshot" button under "Mapping". You have the option to include grid lines and attributes as well, but players, including you, will not be in the screenshot. After you select which kind of screenshot you want to take, it will open your PMU files where you can then select where to save your screenshot. I would suggest going into you screenshots and giving it a separate name. You can then move it from there later.

    Another way to take screenshots is F11. This will take a screenshot of the whole client (chat, sidebar, etc.) as you see it. And it does include the players in it. This does not work while the map editor is open though.

    To access these screenshots open "My Computer" then follow these directions:
    The Folder is in C: -> Program Files -> Pokemon Mystery Universe -> Client -> Screenshots

    If you want to show the screenshot to other people you can just upload to an image hosting site, and post the direct URL.


    f. Exit
    [spoilerClicking Exit:1gbejh9n][/spoiler:1gbejh9n]
    To exit the Map Editor you can click the button "Exit" under mapping. This will delete all the progress you have made since opening the Map Editor. So, if you have nothing to save, or wish to delete what you have been working on, the exit button is your friend.

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    II. Layer by Layer mapping

    II. Layer By Layer Mapping
    Layers Under:

    I have heard several analogies used to describe the layers of housing to help people understand the concept better.
    But the bottom line is: Work your way from the bottom up. You are building a house; you cannot make a roof before you have a floor. When you begin your map, you are basically starting from nothing.


    Some helpful analogies Include:

     
    Pizza - Each layer of mapping is like a part of a Pizza.
    Ground = Crust
    Mask (1 and 2) = Sauce
    Fringe (1 and 2) = Cheese/Toppings (you can never go wrong with cheese)

    Anyways, to make a (classic) Pizza, you must have a solid bottom/crust. Obviously you cannot put the sauce or cheese on first. Apply that to mapping, you must begin with a solid base/GROUND.
    Then you begin putting the sauce on. As you do this, you see less and less of the ground. Again, you cannot put the cheese on before the sauce. You work your way up.
    Finally you put the cheese/toppings on, that is the final layer.
    Obviously whatever you put on last, is going to be on top.
    That is why it is good to work up in mapping, Fringe 2 is always going to be on the very top and ground is always going to be on the very bottom, no matter which way you put it.


    Clothes -
    Quote Originally Posted by Agunimon
    Let"s say the layers are like clothes.

    Ground - Your underwear.
    Mask - Your shirt.
    Mask 2 - Your sweater.
    Fringe - Your scarf.
    Fringe 2 - And your coat.

    Fringe 2 goes on everything.
    Fringe goes on Mask 2, Mask, and Ground.
    Mask 2 goes on Mask, and Ground.
    Mask goes on Ground.
    And Ground is the bottom layer.




    Here I will describe what should be done whilst mapping; layer by layer. With me making a map along with it to further illustrate the process.

    A. Ground
    As soon as you have an idea of what kind of house you are building and a plan to what it is going to look like, then you can begin the house. An easy way to do ground, is to pick one tile that is going to fill the ground for majority of your map. After it is picked, go under Layers and click the button fill.
    This should fill your map.

    Then for smaller parts that have a different ground, you can do that by hand. (like water or different sections).
    You should be done with your ground layer now. If you have water as any of ground, go ahead and complete the animation.

    Ground Example House:
     

    Here I chose the green/yellow grass tile as my main ground. Later I went and added some water ground tiles.




    B. Mask
    The Mask (1 and 2) layers are the layers you can walk on top of/in front of.

    This is where you begin adding the outline to your house. Where cliffs go, where rivers/ponds/lakes go, and sometimes grass.

    These are examples of how the Mask layer progresses.

    Mask A Example House:
     

    Do one section at a time. If you begin an outline of something (mine is the river), finish it. You can always edit it later.

    Mask B Example House:
     


    Mask C Example House:
     

    If you have the same tile in several places, do that at once, instead of continuously
    switching between tiles.

    Mask D Example House:
     


    Mask E Example House:
     

    Sections include different sections of cliff. Don"t start one cliff and go to work on another in the middle.

    Mask F Example House:
     




    C. Mask 2
    Mask 2 is where you begin to add in the details. More grass, trees, rocks, flowers, signs, bridges, logs, etc.
    When adding these things, make sure to have them scattered about, so they look random. The idea is to make it look as natural as possible! (unless of course its a map that has deliberately planted and placed things.)

    Mask 2A Example House:
     

    As you can see, I only did the bottoms of trees, large rocks, signs, and other large objects. This is because the tops are being saved for fringe.

    Mask 2B Example House:
     


    Tip: Scroll through different tilesets looking for things that fit your theme and map. Tileset 7 is an excellent one for outdoor maps.



    D. Fringe
    The Fringe layers are what you walk behind.
    Fringe is where you add things such as tops of trees, tops of rocks, fronds.

    Fringe A Example House:
     

    Do not think that all details are added in Mask 1 and 2. There are a few things that are one tile only or just meant to be walked behind that can be added in this tileset.

    Fringe B Example House:
     




    E. Fringe 2
    Usually I do not use Fringe 2. I only use it when I have more than one thing I need to Fringe on the same tile. So for whichever thing is suppose to be on top/forward you should make that Fringe 2.
    Sometimes there are 3 things that may fall on the tile that need to be Fringed, but when that happens, something needs to be moved.
    Also I would recommend Fringe 2 being used for Rain/Snow animations. This way it is on top of everything and you can erase it easily.



    F. Attributes
    In game, the only attribute available is Block.

    Do Blocks last. This was you can do it all at once, if you do them to early, you will add things/delete things and will have to change your blocks.

    Block Example House:
     

    Remember pathways in cliffs are unblocked and fringed.




    G. REVIEW!
    Always assume you have made a mistake. Walk around your house, look for small errors of any kind. They could be blocking errors or layering errors, etc.
    But do not just look for errors! Look to see if you have pulled your theme together well.
    You may have overloaded your map. (as I tend to do)
    Or under-loaded it, making it look just like an outline.

    Review Example House:
     


    Its always a good idea to get a second opinion. Get someone else to look around your house to give you a fresh point of view.



    Finished Layer by Layer Guide Example:
     

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    III. Tileset Rundown

    III. Tileset Rundown (Terrain)
    [spoilerWhere Tileset is Located:3cnjjyy7][/spoiler:3cnjjyy7]

    A. Tileset 0
     

    Mostly older non-PMU graphics. But it is mixed with a few general things (cliff, table, signs, houses, etc.)

    B. Tileset 1
     

    Mostly backdrops and backgrounds, but also has a few clouds and lightning animations.

    C. Tileset 2
     

    Rugs, small tents/houses/stands, windmill, fountain.

    D. Tileset 3
     

    Crystals and lily pads, pond items.

    E. Tileset 4
     

    Dungeon tiles and trap tiles.
    Remember that most dungeon tiles corners are separate. So you will have to put them on a different layer.

    F. Tileset 5
     

    Buildings Outside is the title. Non-PMU tiles, Castle type things.

    G. Tileset 6
     

    Non-PMU plants, trees, cliffs, waterfalls/water tiles, snow tiles.

    H. Tileset 7
     

    Popular PMU outside exbel type tiles of all types (except dark).

    I. Tileset 8
     

    Popular PMU houses, inside things, Poke dolls, flags.

    J. Tileset 9
     

    Few dungeon tiles, tileset 7 and 8 mix, dark tiles.

    K. Tileset 10
     

    Plants, colorful spots, hail, rain.

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    IV. Attributes

    IV. Attributes
    A. Types and What they do.
    a. Block

    As the name suggests, blocked tiles block/stop players from accessing that certain tile.


    b. Notice (Must be paid for)
    When a player walks across a notice, a "notice" pops up in their chat. There are two parts of the notice, the Top and the Bottom.
    c. Heal (Not available to players as of 2013)
    This tile will heal players HP only, not the PP.
    d. Guild Block (Not available to players as of 2013)
    Will only allow players who are a part of a certain guild to pass this block. It will act as a normal block tile to players outside of the guild.
    e. NPC Avoid (Not available to players as of 2013)
    NPCs (wild Pokemon) will avoid these marked areas. This is what is used on paths.
    f. Sign (Must be Paid for)
    A sign allows for 3 sections to add text. Press enter to read a sign from the tile below. Unlike a notice, the sign also acts as a block.
    g. Kill (Not available to players)
    As the name suggests, any player who walks on this tile faints.
    h. Level Block (Not available to players)
    This is the tile that is used in front of certain dungeons. Only Pokemon of a certain level will be able to pass this tile. This tile will act as a block to Pokemon below the lvl indicated.

    Other types will be added later.


    B. Settings (4th section of Map Editor)

    a. The Map Grid
    This allows the grid lines, while in the map editor, to be visible or not. When the box is unchecked, they are invisible.

    Tip: Remove grid lines while still in the map editor, to check on how things are progressing!

    b. Attributes
    This allows the attributes sign (Red Capital B for Blocked), while in the map editor, to be visible or not. When the box is unchecked, they are invisible.

    C. Drag and Place
    This allows you to drag your mouse across your map and place the tile. When unchecked you can only place one tile at a time.

    Tip: Use this when placing the same tile, such as cliff sides. It makes mapping much quicker!


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    V. Animation

    V. Animation
    A. How they work
    Basically how animation works, is taking one tile, then replacing it with another one, causing the effect of "it" moving.
    You know a tile has animation, when you see almost identical tiles with small differences.
    a. Water
    Pick one water tile: [img]http://i44.tinypic.com/117zmon.png
    then click the animation box:[/spoiler] [spoilerAnimation Box:1hdnab5h][/spoiler:1hdnab5h]
    Pick another different water tile:
    and you should have a working water animation! This works on any layer, but ideal for ground.
    When animating water, do not forget to animate the tiles that are mostly covered as well.
    b. Normal Things
    Same as water tiles.

    vs.

    For bigger images, you have to put all parts of the image, then click the animation button, and then put all parts of the 2nd image.
    Usually use Mask or Mask 2 for these.

    c. Rain/Snow (tileset 10)
    Take a "raindrop tile" and randomly scatter them across your map. Then click the animation box, choose a blank tile and click on all your raindrops, so they seem to be dissappearing.
    Then scatter more raindrops in places further down (still with the animation box checked).
    And you should have a raindrop animation! Usually use Fringe 2 for this.

    Example Rain:
    [spoilerRain1:1hdnab5h][/spoiler:1hdnab5h]
    [spoilerRain 2:1hdnab5h][/spoiler:1hdnab5h]

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    VI. Perspective

    VI. Perspective
    Your sense of perception is very important when you are mapping. You have to look through the eyes of your player to see what things would be from their point of view. If this is done, certain mistakes can be easily avoided.

    Here are a few examples to explain this point:

    A. Waterfalls Over Cliffs
    When a waterfall goes over a cliff, it is going straight down, unless you put stops in between. If you add something between the waterfall and the water where it splashes it must be small enough to go over. Adding more cliffs in between would be too large to just pass over without a stop.

    Tip: Also make sure the waterfall is the same height as the cliff.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:
    To a player, here the waterfall would appear slanted, shooting directly from the opening to the water. This is visually incorrect, if a stop in between were added, it could be okay.

    Correct:
    The waterfall is correctly passing down the cliff side without any large obstructions in its way, making it visually correct.



    B. Objects Beside Cliffs:
    When you have a objects beside a cliff, usually its side should be hidden. This is because that side would be behind the cliff, and therefore hidden from a player"s point of view.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:
    As you can see in the image, the left side of the tree is "in front" of the cliff. But because it is a square behind the cliff front, it should be "behind" the cliff.

    Correct:
    Here the tree side is correct "behind" the cliff and hidden from view.

    This does not only refer to trees though, it can also refer to: foam on waterfalls, larger rocks, plants, etc. Overall larger objects.


    C. Height Perspectives
    One way to emphasize how high up something is, is by making the bottom look like everything has shrunk. It is all perception; things have not really shrunk, but you have just used really small trees and made a very skinny river and such. It is a little difficult to explain, but this image should be enough explanation.

     

    See how I made the river look very skinny? This way it looked as if we were really on top of the clouds, and the river just looked small because we up at such a high height. Same goes for the trees.

    Here are a couple more examples of perception provided by Dandy.
    Such as how you can make the camera appear at a higher angle by making a high, mountainous map. Whereas a low one would just be plain flat.
    as an example;
    [spoilerHigh Perspective:2lugev9w][/spoiler:2lugev9w][spoilerLower Perspective:2lugev9w][/spoiler:2lugev9w]


    D. Perspective View
    Hight perspective is not the only way to manipulate perception. Another interesting one is distance perception.

    Here is a perspective view created by Riche:
     
    By using the variations in the sizes of the trees, one is able able to create effect of looking further and further into the distance. Also the river getting skinnier as it goes further up the map add to the effect.


    E. Shadows
    Shadows are a tough addition to any house. When adding shadows to a house, you must look first at the source of light. When adding shadows, looking at real life shadows for examples can help a lot to determine how large they should be and which direction they should go.
    For example, if the light source is all the way to the right, low in the sky, then the shadows will be long and going to the left.

    Example Image Explanation:
     

    On the right side of this image, you can see some shadow examples, though they are not very well done.

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    VII. Biomes

    VII. Biomes

    A. Mountainous
    Please check Section VIII for the guide to making a mountain-like map, as they are one of the most complex types to make.

    --other biomes to be added later--

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    VIII. Cliffs <3

    VIII. CLIFFS ( <3 )

    Personally, cliffs are my absolute favorite part of mapping, but sadly, they are the most commonly messed up thing.
    By themselves, they are pretty simple, but when you begin to complicate things and make them more intricate, that is when things begin to look ugly.

    When making cliffs, try to add some shape and form to them! When you look into nature, you do not see many square cliffs. You can apply to anything in your map really, square things are usually a big no no. Not only does it make your map seem more realistic but it makes it more interesting as well!


    A. Height Consistency
    The height of a cliff, (number of tiles high), must be consistent throughout that section.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:
    Because it changes to 2 or 3 in the middle of the cliff, the height is not consistent, making the cliffs wrong.

    Correct:
    All the cliffs are 3 tiles high, since there are no additions, this is correct.




    B. Additions
    Original Cliff Height - Attachment Cliff Height = New Cliff Height
    When you attach a cliff to another cliff, the attachment must the be the height that it subtracted.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:


    The bottom cliff edges are not the correct tile.
    Since the attachment cliff is taking two tiles away from the cliff, it should be two tiles high.

    Correct:


    Even if the attachment is not fully connected, the cliff height still needs to be subtracted from each cliff past that point.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:

    The cliff height should be 2 there, since the cliff below is taking away one tile height.

    Correct:

    This one correctly subtracts the height from the original cliff.



    C. Connecting Cliffs
    To connect cliffs by bridge, they need to be the same height.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:

    One cliff"s height is 4, while the other is only 2.

    Correct:

    One cliff"s height is 4, and the other"s overall height is also 4. So the bridge works.



    D. Cliff Corners
    Do not forget cliff corners!
    Missing cliff corners are probably the most common error associated with cliffs, which is also the easiest to fix. Whenever mapping cliffs keep tabs on your cliff corners, they can be very easily overlooked.

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:
    Every missing cliff corner has been circled.



    E. Cliff Holes
    Cliff holes are a good way to add depth to a house!
    When making a cliff hole, the back side (cliff height) of the cliff hole must be all visible, so the overall height of the hole is known.
    Example Image:
     

    A normal cliff hole is about this size.

    This is the smallest size a cliff hole can be, but I would not advise using one of this size. Usually the rounded corners of the cliff holes look better.



    F. Cliffs Facing each Other
    Cliffs should not be "touching" front to back; this is if they are, then they are not the same height, but the image makes it look that way. This just causes problems with perception.
    Basically it makes two cliffs of different heights, looks the same height.

    Example Image Explanation:
     
    Incorrect:
    One cliff has the height of one tile, while the other one has the height of 4 tiles, but still they are touching making them seem as if you could walk over them.
    When this happens you will have to edit your cliff edges to separate them.

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    IX. Common Mistakes

    VIII. Common Mistakes

    A. Cliffs
    Mistakes usually multiply when cliffs are in the equation. To see common errors involving cliffs, go under => VIII. Cliffs.

    B. Water Edges/Corners
    When you add bodies of water into a map one big thing that you need to watch for is water edges/corners.
    Because you adding a different ground into equation, it is easy to overlook the small things that are affected by the change.

    So when you add water, make sure you change the corners and edges to water ground as well! (And don"t forget animation there too!)

    Example Image Explanations:
     
    Incorrect:
    The edges and corners that have the incorrect (water) ground are circled.

    Correct:
    Here all the edges and corners have the correct ground. Not to mention they are animated.

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