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  • Trainz Dev Diary - Detail Map Ground Textures (sneak peek)

    Detail mapping allows a secondary texture set to be used as a modifier at a different scale, helping to provide both micro and macro detail in a single draw call.

    SNEAK PEEK VIDEO


    This is intended to be utilised in two ways:

    A heavily repeated texture, such as section of a brick wall or tiled floor or grass field, can have a macro (detail) texture applied to ensure that large expanses of the texture don't look incredibly repetitive. The macro texture does not provide much resolution (perhaps one texel per 50cm or worse) and so isn't substantially visible at near range, however when the material is viewed from some distance and the standard texture can be seen to repeat a large number of times, the macro texture becomes the dominant feature.


    In this scenario the macro texture would provide subtle color variation or height/normal changes to the otherwise featureless tiles.


    A texture which is adequately detailed so as to cover the entirety of its use case (for example, a brick wall on a house mesh where the entire wall is mapped to a non-tiled texture) or which is tiled but not so extensively that macro repeats are a problem (such as a tiling brick wall inside a house where only a few repeats will be visible and where the real-life application is in fact very repetitive) may use a micro texture to add detail at below the level present in the primary texture. The primary texture may (eg) resolve to one texel per 1cm, but the micro texture may resolve to one texel per 1mm. The micro texture does not change the overall appearance of the wall, but instead ensures that the wall texture does not appear blurry when viewed at close range.


    Detail mapping should not be blindly applied to every surface, but should seek to solve a particular problem. If the primary map is sufficient to solve the problem, there is no need to add a detail map and it is just a waste of performance. In some cases, detail mapping may allow the overall texture sizes to be reduced substantially (eg. using a 512x512 + 128x128 texture pair, instead of a single 2048x2048 texture) in which case it may be a performance win (or at least disk space win) in its own right.



    For more information on future Trainz development be sure to keep up-to-date at http://trainzportal.com or see all the articles and have your say forums

    All content creators wanting to start to look into the technique will find some initial information on the wiki
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. ish6's Avatar
      ish6 -
      Hi,

      I saw the video, and it's very cool -- I can do wonders for my Marsz layout with textures with such effects!

      Ish
    1. pcas1986's Avatar
      pcas1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ish6 View Post
      Hi,

      I saw the video, and it's very cool --...

      Ish
      Agree. Very impressive indeed.
    1. ClintClassic's Avatar
      ClintClassic -
      All these new things seem real cool! (While I'd think so) I'm just concerned -given the technology involved- if I'd be able to convert my route over from TaNE [like I was able to do with TS12] with "TRS2018" when it's made available!?
    1. Dinorius_Redundicus's Avatar
      Dinorius_Redundicus -
      A long-needed advance to overcome the tiled look. Is it intended that we can have both micro/macro detail and PBR effects in the one texture?
    1. pcas1986's Avatar
      pcas1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClintClassic View Post
      All these new things seem real cool! (While I'd think so) I'm just concerned -given the technology involved- if I'd be able to convert my route over from TaNE [like I was able to do with TS12] with "TRS2018" when it's made available!?
      I would expect so. It suggests we can make new ground textures and just overpaint any existing ground textures. Obviously, there will be a lag until creators make something with this new technology. Hopefully, those who have made recent ground textures will be able to update or produce a new asset from existing textures.

      What isn't clear yet is how much computing horsepower is needed to drive this. Once the TrainzDev members get their hands on it then maybe we will know.

      I'm guessing that the new ground textures may not be too onerous but the PBR stuff may be different.
    1. ClintClassic's Avatar
      ClintClassic -
      ... What isn't clear yet is how much computing horsepower is needed to drive this. Once the TrainzDev members get their hands on it then maybe we will know.

      I'm guessing that the new ground textures may not be too onerous but the PBR stuff may be different.
      Yeah, the PBR stuff should definitely require a good video card, if not a great one! What I do know is my current HP computer will not be able to run such advancements as these; at the modest settings I run TaNE. My computer is approaching that six year mark. "TRS2018" will likely come about just before I'd buy a new computer anyway. N3V Games knows many of us will be "up in arms" if we can't convert our routes over -so I should be ok (as you said); as well as from the technology side of the equation. But my bank account... well!
    1. EverTrainz's Avatar
      EverTrainz -
      Hope this is seen one way or another, but will this be available to splines as well?

      Most practical usage as such would be in track ballast splines as part of procedural track assets. It is painfully obvious when the track ballast texture begins repeating, so a detail map overlaid at a larger surface area would help tremendously with that.
    1. n3vpolsen's Avatar
      n3vpolsen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dinorius_Redundicus View Post
      A long-needed advance to overcome the tiled look. Is it intended that we can have both micro/macro detail and PBR effects in the one texture?
      Correct you can use macro (probably not micro on ground textures but it can be done) and parallax effects in the one "asset"... requires a couple of textures.
      More information will be released on the Trainz wiki about this but there is a little bit up there already.
      http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i..._Groundtexture
      http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...Material_Types
      http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/index.php/M.pbrmetal
    1. n3vpolsen's Avatar
      n3vpolsen -
      Quote Originally Posted by pcas1986 View Post
      I would expect so. It suggests we can make new ground textures and just overpaint any existing ground textures.
      You can use the existing asset and create a newer version with a height map and update it to PBR or;
      You can use the bulk replace tool to replace one or more ground textures with another or;
      ... of course manually replace them.