TARDIS - A Trainz Asset Repair Management Tool - Part 5

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Edit: Under Revision


Cleanups concentrates on specific issues experienced in beta testing. The variability of asset configuration and the many legacy asset non-compliance to specifications makes it difficult to provide a generalised approach to automating REPAIR. Scripts here may be of interest to those contemplating trying their hand at scripting. These scripts are integrated with the TARDIS superscript. As Andi06/PEV extend/refine Asset X functionality, some of these may prove redundant. All scripts are text files that can be viewed in a text editor such as Notepad++. Some of the Cleanups folders can only be accessed via Scripts \ Run Script on tagged assets. This has been done to keep the higher level menus uncluttered where there are significant scripts in the group.

Asset X Keyboard Shortcuts and Navigation

Asset X provides an extensive range of keyboard shortcuts. TARDIS mainly requires the use of CTRL+T Tag All assets and CTRL+U Untag All assets. It also makes extensive use of Asset X builtin text editors where full automation has not yet been achieved. PEVTools are used to convert images and PM meshes, instal shadows, and view text and images. Please read the relevant Help files for Asset X and PEVTools.

CTRL+F and F3 provide a simple find function.

How to use TARDIS

Your main REPAIR and UPDATE tool is the TARDIS superscript and its associated sub-scripts.

1. But first you need to select and Open for Edit the assets of interest in CM Main View. For more specific focus use CM Search Filters. Read TCN article on Custom Search Filter development for design of your own. I will post examples on the public forum, and incorporate some of my custom filters into the TARDIS manual at a later date.

2. Now launch Asset X and use Asset\Load or Asset\Reload features. Provided you have correctly setup the paths and files in Options, Asset X should now load the target assets. A list will appear in the Asset Pane (top left).

3. In order to use any TARDIS script it is necessary to tag the targetted assets in the Asset Pane. You may select assets individually by clicking your mouse in the boxes. For batch mode it is preferable to mouse click on any one asset name (not the box) and use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+T to tag all and CTRL+U to untag all. There is no facility to highlight and tag a lesser group.
It is recommended you start small with one or two assets, and work up to larger batches as your knowledge and confidence increases.

4. On the AssetX Scripts menu select 'Run Scripts on Tagged Assets...'. A new window will open with the top level menus including the TARDIS suite. Select TARDIS then TRAINZBUILD. Select a particular Trainz version and Open. Asset X will then run the batch file on the tagged assets. Progress can be seen by the indicator on the Outline Pane (top right) and also by file name on the toolbar at the bottom of the display. On completion a log file will be displayed if you have selected this option. Log files may be observed visually or printed out. You can also View Errors and Warnings in CM Main View before committing to determine the new defect status as perceived by your Trainz build and CM validation. This will be different from the red and yellow icons displayed until you Commit. If satisfied then Commit.

5. Initially I recommend you only use the TARDIS - TRAINZBUILD – TARDIS LEGACY.axm superscript. However you may wish to carry out further REPAIR or UPDATE using the wide range of scripts available in other TARDIS menus. Again I caution you to start small. More Haste Less Speed is the caveat. At this stage it is wise to start small and observe the effects. Remember that CM is the final arbiter of whether you can use the asset in Railyard, Surveyor or Driver.

6. ALWAYS check in the game that the REPAIRS/UPDATES still work and are visible. Be especially careful with animated assets, generally bogeys. TS12 has RAILYARD but this is limited to KIND Traincar assets. TANE has an excellent Preview Viewer accessible from within CM that replaces Railyard and can be used on a wider range of assets. You miss this step at your peril. Asset X and TARDIS are not perfect. They are still under development. Similarly CM doesn't report all Errors or Warnings. In fact it doesn't check for all the wide range of defects that can occur.

Extending TARDIS to FUTURE Trainz Versions

At present TS12 SP1 HF4 (TB 3.7) and TANE TB 4.3 have been released. It is cautioned that as with TANE, parameters may change in future releases. Extending TARDIS functionality to meet new validation requirements will be an ongoing task.

Main areas are:

a. Missing tags and provision of default values. Note that if the creator did not include some tags that are compulsory from TB 3.4 onwards then CM will report them as errors (red flags). Below TB 3.4 these same tags will be reported as warnings (yellow flags). Some tags go through this transition at lower TBs, predominantly TB 2.9. Be especially aware that tag asset-filename red flags above TB 2.7 and all those category-class and thumbnails missing from legacy assets also red flag.

b. Missing dependencies. No script provisions at this time.

The TB 3.7 scripts have been thoroughly tested appear and are integrated into TARDIS. TANE is a 'Work in Progress'.

Some experimental scripts are in Development but are not failsafe. They remain in their respective folders as placekeepers, but the links are remmed out in TARDIS Navigation.


Images2TGA enables conversion of *.texture files to *.texture.txt and *.tga files. A trawl function is available on the Asset X Tools menu. However, you may have some difficulties in getting this feature to work on more than one file at a time. I recommend you include an OpenWith batch file in Trainz (Currently not available in TANE TB 4.3). This will allow you to use this application from CM Main View.

Asset X has a script method for running Images2TGA as a batch file. Make sure you have the latest version. Do not use Texture2TGA as this is obsolete. TARDIS has provision to utilise the batch script method. However, it significantly increases batch process time on less capable PCs, but I have improved throughput in this release. Can be remmed out in TARDIS Basic.axm by placing a semicolon at the beginning of the row.
Images2TGA now has additional functionality to correct most ‘uniform color’ warnings. The more difficult ones will have to be manually amended to modify 1x1 pixel padding, and compressed textures prior to using Images2TGA.


PM2IM's main function is to convert PM meshes to IM. A trawl feature is available on Asset X Tools menu. WIN 7/8/10 limitations and workarounds may apply.

Asset X has a script method for running PM2IM as a batch file. TARDIS has provision to utilise this. However, it significantly increases batch process time on less capable PCs, but I have improved throughput in this release. Can be remmed out in TRAINZBUILD Superscripts by placing a semicolon at the beginning of the row.

PM2IM has additional functionality to remove unsupported textures and provide specular correction. These functions are not available in batch mode but can be applied to individual IM meshes via the FileList Pane (bottom left).


Asset X provides for both no shadow and an invisible mesh, and use of the Quickshadows mesh. Quickshadows is accessible from the FileList Pane sub-menu. Some mesh-table processes are able to incorporate a shadow mesh entry in config file but not in all cases. There is no separate script method for shadows. The latest version of Quickshadows has an additional capability to produce a simple shadow with a lower polygon count, and an improved low polygon shadow using pmreduction techniques. This has been added to counter a perceived performance hit in the game when full shadows are used. TANE has a different lighting schema and Quickshadows is not used.

Part 6 - http://forums.auran.com/trainz/entry...nt-Tool-Part-6

Updated February 5th, 2016 at 07:51 PM by ianwoodmore

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