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Thread: Retaining classics like the UP9000

  1. #1
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    Default Retaining classics like the UP9000

    The post by josephlaban asking for someone to make some new steam locos, [see Wanted: ATSF Steam] created a concern in my mind, not about asking for new creations, but about the importance of not losing the quality Steamers we already have, because those earlier and great creators are no longer about or into Trainz
    There are many good steam loco’s out there but how many are likely to gradually become unavailable because their creators are no longer about or have the time, inclination or skill to keep them up to date to each new update of Trainz.
    Will the new younger members of this community have the time and skill to create new loco? Personally I have my doubts given the society they live in today where everything is expected to be available or done by someone else.
    I mainly run steam locos and those of us who do must take our hats off to those creators who have spent long tedious hours creating steam locos. [They should be rewarded in the Trainz hall of fame if there was one]
    While the creators art work results in the quality of the appearance and detail, the second and often overlooked criteria but just as important, are the loco’s physics and E spec. This is what makes our realist looking loco’s ‘chuff’ synchronise with the wheel revolutions, the smoke ‘puff’ at low speeds, the in cab controls and brakes work properly, boiler pressures and safeties controlled and sound like the real thing. I have purchased many locos of excellent visual quality and appearance, but the espec is ‘not good’ and the loco doesn’t sound or run realistically.
    An artist who can painstakingly create something like a beautifully detailed and realist Challenger or Berkshire is not necessarily the engineer, who can calculate and set up the e spec & physics to make it run and sound authentic. It is a different skill.

    And that brings me to the point of my post.
    As its time consuming and demanding to create a new loco, I’m very concerned that some of the older quality locos, may be lost to Trainz because the physics and espec are not or cannot be updated to the newer game by the original creator. Some of it is textures etc. and some of it the physics. We are lucky that Ben Neal allowed Phil Skene and Bill69 to keep his e-spec s up to date and Pendolino who let Bill 69 update the 2006 Challengers to TANE for his private use.
    One of the locos that may be lost however is the UP 9000 series by Shane Penman, known as The Cowboy This is a great steam loco, quality art work, and there are many posts on this forum that reference it. I understand it was built originally to 2004 or 2006 standard and has been upgraded to 2009 or 2010, but not to Ts12 or to TANE although some people have modified their copies to work in TANE but it is no longer available on any website

    There was a post somewhere on this forum a couple of years ago by The Cowboy himself, [Shane Penman] in response to an enquiry, who said he wasn't able to upgrade it to the new standards and if I recall correctly, he said he had no objection to anyone else doing it as long as they still credited him with the creation of the loco itself. [Not hard. Just keep his kuid number and put an edit in the config file of who updated it.]
    I can’t find it again and unfortunately didn't retain it, and when I searched for it again recently found there were 614 threads with reference to the UP 9000. So didn’t pursue it. Phil Skene may have a copy of the post as he runs this loco in some of his U tube vids. Phil?

    However unless someone can find this post again and then legally update the loco we will lose it. As Shane was from the US possibly one of the US Trainzers knows him and can contact him to get it sorted so they can be legally available again. From memory his posts seemed amicable and he didn't seem like one of the types who wanted to hinder progress.
    The Following is from one of Shane’s posts where he thanked people after one of the earlier upgrades:

    This project and upgrade is indebted to my beta testers, Eric Whitmore, Tony Weber, Terry Bryson and Gary Hoorn. Eric's expertise and knowledge have been invaluable to making the models more authentic. The beta testers need a big round of thanks for finding all the little mistakes that I overlooked. Finally hats off to PhilC and his scripting that has helped to make the locomotives much more realistic. To thank PhilC, please visit his website and purchase some of his fine locomotives.


    If any of these guys are still involved with Trainz then perhaps you can PM me Shane’s contact details, particularly his phone number or email so that I may call him.
    My suggestion to Shane will be that if he will agree, then one of the e spec and update gurus could perhaps bring the loco up to TANE standard and make them available again, through N3V.
    As they were payware, I think they should remain so, even if they are updated by a third party, and can be sold through N3V who take a percentage for their handling etc. with a majority going to the original creator, or his family/descendants’.
    If ‘retired’ creators and N3V don’t agree to set up some system like this where N3V or similar can act as the sales coordinator and intermediator then some of these classics will be lost and for no good reason other than an inability to work together.
    The important thing here is that we need these older creators to give the OK to newer experts update their creations, to bring them up to date and made available to the modern player without concerns about copyright issues. A protocol for credit and recognition for all parties would be easy to establish. We need to get over this so that we don’t lose quality work.
    I will be away from home this next week but look forward to someone able to PM me with Shane’s phone number to try to help keep these magnificent locos available in the Trainz roundhouse.
    A you tube Video of a model UP 9000
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSK78tlH4I8
    Last edited by nimec; March 18th, 2017 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2

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    If it is on the DLS, the CRG can take a look at it. They can do a bunch of technical fixes.
    If not, let's hope some skilled creator considers it interesting enough to give it a shot.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimec View Post
    [Not hard. Just keep his kuid number and put an edit in the config file of who updated it.]
    Only possible if the original creator has provided their account details to the person who wants to do the upload, and that person has an installation of Trainz that is configured with that user ID.

  4. #4

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    It's ironic that in a sim/game where you're supposedly able to re-live any era of railroading that we're now also facing issues of preservation of older trains.

    Not exactly a joking matter to be honest. Without a doubt we should treat content creators' work and copyright with dignity and respect, even more so in a small community dependent on user-generated content like ours. However with an increasing number of veteran creators leaving us/Trainz or otherwise no longer creating, it is time to look at preservation options that can both benefit both the community and content creator, the abovementioned one such example as are "hall of fame" users like Connyxy and Sporbust.

    Just some ideas;
    If the creator or someone closely related is still contactable, we could offer a reasonable payment (pooled from users who are interested in that particular model) in exchange for rights to update and re-release the model while of course keeping original credit. Could be perhaps $1~200, or we could let him/her name a price. This way he/she benefits while the content gets to live on instead of fading into the past. Upload to DLS only.

    If the creator is no longer contactable, we could send a token payment to his/her family as thanks, update and re-release the model. The re-release license can state that no further changes/reskins are allowed other than to keep it up to date with the latest version of Trainz. The model thus continues to be available in modern Trainz, in a controlled and respectful manner while still retaining the intended spirit of the original creator instead of being a free-for-all "now that dad ain't around" illegal-sharing horrid-billvu-reskin sh!tshow. Again, DLS only.

    Thoughts?

  5. #5

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    I have Shane's UP 9000 series working in T:ANE.

    I'm willing to share, but if and only if someone can obtain Shane's authorisation.

    And, yes, they are great locomotives and yes I agree with the sentiments of the original poster. It seems such a pity to let these masterpieces languish.

    Phil

  6. #6
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    I wish it were that easy.

    Most of those locomotives were probably made before Level of Detail (LOD) requirements. Without going into the detail, to make these locos fully complaint for TANE SP2 validation, you need the original source (GMax/3DS Max/whatever) in order to create the lower poly models. You could, of course, just create those lower level models from scratch but whether the original textures will work is another issue. It might be easier to build the whole model from scratch. That does away with any permission/copyright issues.

    I like making steam locos and the big disappointment for me with TANE is the lack of support for developing steam engine specs in Test Track. That was one of the reasons I put my money into the Kickstarter campaign but certainly not the only one.

    To give you an estimate of how long it takes to build a steam loco, I've been working on the same loco for over two years. I'm still trying to get a decent texture for the body. I also get distracted on other issues so it is mostly my fault.

    A steam loco needs LOD for its body and for any attachments that exceed 300 polys. 300 polys/tris is not very many. This means you have a very complex config.txt. The aim is that, when the loco is viewed in Asset Preview, the draw count is down to one. This isn't easy to achieve unless you know what you are doing.

    What might be useful is a nurturing program for younger, or even older, potential creators to help build their own locos.

    Paul


  7. #7
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    Personally I HATE the LOD system. In chase view you get track that changes about one hundred feet in front of the loco, bushes and scrub that changes as you pass it, passengers that suddenly appear as the train enters the station, etc. etc. etc. There is no way this looks realistic. It looks so artificial that it puts me off and I think there should be a way of switching LOD off.

    Cheers,
    Bill69
    If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
    Start with a small country.



  8. #8
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    Hey phil. Can I see a screenshot of Shane's 9000's?
    Brandon
    Reskinner, Route Builder.
    THE MILWAUKEE LIVES ON!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC64...rbKLXYGz9uJ6zQ

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill69 View Post
    Personally I HATE the LOD system...I think there should be a way of switching LOD off.
    Hi Bill, what you describe is entirely not the fault of LOD systems but rather how well the creator has modeled the illusion of detail with much less polygons on the "further" models. You would not notice any change in the model's appearance unless scrutinizing if it's done perfectly. Here's a quick overview of how LOD works if you don't know. This is absolutely essential to the smooth running of Trainz or any game. You can switch it off, but I guarantee doing so will bring your computer to its knees loading even the most basic routes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainz_12_fan_100 View Post
    Hey phil. Can I see a screenshot of Shane's 9000's?
    http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=cowboy+trainz+up9000

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicky9499 View Post
    If the creator or someone closely related is still contactable, we could offer a reasonable payment (pooled from users who are interested in that particular model) in exchange for rights to update and re-release the model while of course keeping original credit.
    Your inability to contact someone is not a basis for deciding that they want to sell it to you. You have to have their explicit permission.

    Like leaving $200 in an envelope on the pavement makes it OK to drive off in their car!

  11. #11

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    "Hey phil. Can I see a screenshot of Shane's 9000's?"

    I don't have any screen shotz. I do have a video (full screen / 1080p) that dates pre-T:ANE so it does looks a bit flat compared to what can now be achieved in T:ANE:



    Here too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q_0sxivEaQ

    Phil

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicky9499 View Post
    Hi Bill, what you describe is entirely not the fault of LOD systems but rather how well the creator has modeled the illusion of detail with much less polygons on the "further" models.
    Not entirely true. The way that Trainz handles specular and reflection means that it is usually not possible to make a surface in one plane look the same as a surface in another plane. Since lower LOD levels must have fewer polygons, then the planes used in the model must change, and it is often not possible, no matter how skilfull the content creator, to make that change smoothly. The problem is particularly apparent with track, where a LOD level change will alter a sleeper by eliminating the z-height. So a surface that the driver was looking at which was nearly perpendicular to their line of sight becomes a surface that is in the same plane as the line of sight. The resulting change in displayed image cannot be adjusted for by alterations to the images used while still keeping other views of the track consistent.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorDan View Post
    Your inability to contact someone is not a basis for deciding that they want to sell it to you. You have to have their explicit permission
    Fair point. It would be wise to try and contact the remaining contactable veteran creators soon-ish and work something out before it's too late.

  14. #14
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    Well, a week has passed, but no none has PM’ed me with any contact details for The Cowboy, Shane Penman. I see there have only been about 629 people who have viewed the post so perhaps the title was not attention catching enough.
    Thanks to those who agreed with me. It’s good to know others appreciate what we may loose, not only this asset but possibly other quality ones as well unless we find a way of retaining them.
    I’ll try another post with a different subject title and see if I can’t reach some of the guys Shane mentioned or rouse up others who know him.
    They will be out there but may not visit this forum very often.

    The new post will be titled :Seeking the contact details for The Cowboy, creatorof UP 9000



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