Pixels and Polys - AC4400CW 1


what's a normal map?
"Post to your Blog" it tells me above... I don't really know how to do a blog, nor am I a great writer with a lot to say. You could ask most people who know me personally and they would say I am quiet most of the time. So here let me try to use a few images and words to show some work that has been progressing - albeit slowly.

Most Trainz enthusiasts who enjoy US motive power know that we don't have a GE AC4400CW in a high-detail and modern form. There are some older models, but as time moves on so does the average sim-gamer's demand for high immersion graphics and models that are detailed accurately. We were all happy with much less 15 years ago but not today. Even for myself, as time moves on I find that I like my own creations less and less. This is why things at JR get dropped after a few years - they no longer meet requirements to be the hot items and the older things get the less I like to release more of them. Take for example the ES44 at JR. It is one of the oldest models, and while it was fine in 2009, it is almost embarrassing to me now. Even the JR dash 8 and 9 are from 2011-2012 and are falling behind. In early 2017 when I set out to start a new base for modern GE models I committed to stick as close as possible to the real thing, and to make the meshes as clean as possible so that the end result will last longer. You see, I feel that even though I have been doing 3d modeling and CAD for years, I always progress and get better at it - at least at this point that makes me feel like I can still learn to be better at it.

After gathering information for many months (years?) I finally sat down one day determined to make the famous GE widecab (the right way)

The first parts modeled - 10 Feb 2017

"That went well, so let's start this" I thought. So the next day I set out creating the main frame rails, the two large I beams form the main structure of most contemporary diesel locomotives. I also began to measure out body components at this point.

11 Feb 2017

Now I am starting to get "the vision" - I know what I want to see and how I want to get there.

14 Feb 2017

15 Feb 2017

Certain models I start tend to be testing grounds for new ways to do things. For whatever reason this particular day the radiator section was on my mind. In the real world this part interests me because it is complex and has much depth, both of which are a challenge to do in a real-time virtual 3d world.

16 Feb 2017

Then I turned to the window gaskets, something that I had wanted to put more detail into for some time.

18 Feb 2017

Then other work got in the way, and this model was pushed back. It wasn't until May that I began working on something related - the trucks (bogeys). I didn't do a lot of in-progress images of those, or if I did they are misplaced. These do fit on the older models, but I created them under the new and more correct model I had been working on here.

25 May 2017

Test fitting.

26 May 2017
Same thing, more or less. The idea was to have trucks that could pivot at the center to reduce rail and flange wear. As far as I know, they're mostly a headache. I believe CP just replaces them with regular trucks when they wear out.