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  • Ground Clutter - the easy way

    In Trainz "Next" (official name still to be announced) it will be possible to use a modified "Paint brush" to scatter detailed "Clutter layers" onto the terrain. This system will provide several advantages over the current methods.

    To date in Trainz you would need to place each object one by one around your route or use copy/paste with the obvious limitations of a rectangular tool and a repetitive pattern as the outcome.

    With the new Clutter layers you add one or more objects to your Clutter layer and start painting wherever you need it.

    The items are placed based upon adjustable configuration parameters such as density and random rotation.

    Clutter layers take advantage of a new material type called m.clutter. This material type has the special property where meshes fade in and out at distances you specify, thereby avoiding any "popping".

    This sneak peek video shows a Clutter layer with a several m.clutter assets in use (apologies for the visual quality of this video - Youtube has decided to output a rather blurry version which looks nothing like our original).

    Here is a screenshot showing many different assets used in multiple clutter layers to give maximum detail up close to the camera.



    To ensure the full benefits of this system, it will require your clutter objects to have LOD and share materials in a texture atlas. We'9;ll be providing some fairly tight guidelines to ensure the best possible performance outcome - and as you can see, some spectacular results as well!

    More to come on clutter soon."
    *information is also subject to change as we continue to develop this new system.
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Dinorius_Redundicus's Avatar
      Dinorius_Redundicus -
      World building will change radically for the better once all these advancements (PBR shaders, height-mapped textures and now clutter mesh painting) are in place. Dare I dream about what else you might have in store - vertical splines, overhanging cliffs in the ground mesh, sea water with surf?
    1. clam1952's Avatar
      clam1952 -
      Looking forward to this!
    1. 22alpha's Avatar
      22alpha -
      Yes, yes, yes. Did mention yes? Looking forward to this and many more enhancements. Excellent work.
    1. EverTrainz's Avatar
      EverTrainz -
      It looks like N3V is vigorously updating TANE to be on par with TSW... At this rate Trainz would have the upper hand by the time the new content creation features are utilized and routes updated.
    1. PerRock's Avatar
      PerRock -
      Haven't we had clutter textures in the past? I clearly remember a grass texture that had 3D grass that got cluttered around when you painted it.
    1. Pencil42's Avatar
      Pencil42 -
      Yes, but I'm guessing this is independent of the ground texture. The old clutter meshes tended to disappear at a fairly close range, also.
    1. clam1952's Avatar
      clam1952 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PerRock View Post
      Haven't we had clutter textures in the past? I clearly remember a grass texture that had 3D grass that got cluttered around when you painted it.
      And it looked dreadful, no comparison with what N3V are planning.
    1. davesnow's Avatar
      davesnow -
      This will be nice. Will add even more realism to a fantastic game.
    1. euromodeller's Avatar
      euromodeller -
      Wow! just Wow!
    1. PerRock's Avatar
      PerRock -
      Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
      And it looked dreadful, no comparison with what N3V are planning.
      I only know of one that ever got made, and it was by Auran... Someone could have made a better looking one. It was also pre-LOD (or at least pre-mainstream use of LOD), I'd think with some LOD it would stick around longer.

      peter
    1. ClintClassic's Avatar
      ClintClassic -
      A much-needed improvement to the redundancy currently present within our routes... as much as we all try to hide it!
    1. Pencil42's Avatar
      Pencil42 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PerRock View Post
      I only know of one that ever got made, and it was by Auran... Someone could have made a better looking one. It was also pre-LOD (or at least pre-mainstream use of LOD), I'd think with some LOD it would stick around longer.

      peter
      There were several. Dmdrake made some, for one. Lod was hard-coded, and cut out way too soon - it was a jarring transition. We did have LoD back then; there was even an in-depth tutorial on how to set up a locomotive with it in the '04 CCG.

      This looks like an improvement; I'm looking forward to it.

      Curtis
    1. applegathc's Avatar
      applegathc -
      Holy jumping Jesus.
    1. BRClass66's Avatar
      BRClass66 -
      The words Amazing and Wow just don't express this news enough.
    1. ARhian7's Avatar
      ARhian7 -
      Fantastic.
    1. GustavoMagalhaes's Avatar
      GustavoMagalhaes -
      i never was very interested in creating routes in trainz but this simplified method might have a beginning
    1. cressjl's Avatar
      cressjl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dinorius_Redundicus View Post
      World building will change radically for the better once all these advancements (PBR shaders, height-mapped textures and now clutter mesh painting) are in place. Dare I dream about what else you might have in store - vertical splines, overhanging cliffs in the ground mesh, sea water with surf?
      Well, I am still impatiently awaiting the day that I can create the world in which I want to live, and then to step into it and stay there!

      It looks like they are getting closer!
    1. Vern's Avatar
      Vern -
      Excellent development - not quite autogen but a significant improvement over current methods for applying fine detail.
    1. MTH_ELECTRIC_TRAINS's Avatar
      MTH_ELECTRIC_TRAINS -
      Looks great! This will greatly improve adding foliage in bulk or even in small amounts to routes.
    1. illinoiscentral's Avatar
      illinoiscentral -
      We've sure needed this, Tony. I can't stand taking HOURS to place individual rock and grass pieces. The splines available look cheap, so I place individually. It will be so nice to simply paint this stuff on like textures.

      Cheers,
      Woody