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Thread: Why such limited assets for Clutter layer?

  1. #1
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    Default Why such limited assets for Clutter layer?

    Using only what comes with TRS19 I found a great bush/grass, 'Grass 9n Seasonal' and 'Grass 9o Seasonal' which would be great in a clutter layer on my route. But they aren't even in the list of assets you can choose for a clutter asset yet lots of the other grasses are.

    So are you saying assets have to be set to be able to used as a clutter item and you couldn't just use any asset at all? This seems like a major drawback as who is going to update their assets to allow clutter?

    Is this the config line that defines if it can be used as clutter?
    custom-category-list "FXCLT"

    It's a bit disheartening that a lot of the great grass and bush assets that came with TRS19 can't be used on one of the main new features.

  2. #2
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    That's correct. Clutter assets are not standard Scenery assets. This is something that we considered carefully during development for the reason you describe, but ultimately decided that there were more differences than similarities.

    Specifically, in favor of keeping them as the same asset type:

    * You would have a lot of assets that you could use for clutter.


    In favor of having them separate (which is what we opted for):

    * A very large percentage of the existing scenery assets don't make sense as clutter assets, meaning that users would have to filter through tens of thousands of assets just to find the handful which are actually suitable.

    * Clutter is very sensitive to modeling efficiency, so the vast majority of scenery assets would perform exceedingly poorly.

    * Clutter is visually sensitive to LOD, meaning that special techniques must be applied and/or extreme must be care taken when producing the assets.

    * The expected use-case for clutter is very different from the common use-cases for scenery asset, meaning that most scenery assets are optimised to different quality/performance/draw-distance metrics than most clutter assets.

    * Many techniques which are suitable for one-off scenery assets are not suitable for rendering tens of thousands of clutter instances.

    * In order to maintain high performance, we run the clutter system on a separate thread. This means that a number of techniques that content creators may expect to be available (such as, but not limited to, scripting) are simply not available to clutter assets.


    In short, while it would allow you access to a large array of additional assets, the user experience would be very poor, and there would be few real advantages.

    chris

  3. #3
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    I should probably also stress that we don't consider clutter to be a replacement for manually-placed scenery objects, much as we don't consider TurfFX to be a replacement for clutter. Each approach has its own merits and its own use-cases. There are certainly edge-cases where the various techniques may be equally suitable, but there are also cases where each one is clearly superior to the others.

    chris

  4. #4
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    In addition to the points above, the Trainz wiki provides details for content creators to make suitable clutter assets. It the same way that we provide a few different track resources, and users create hundreds of variations, we expect clutter asset selection to grow over time.
    Tony Hilliam

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalkr View Post
    That's correct. Clutter assets are not standard Scenery assets. This is something that we considered carefully during development for the reason you describe, but ultimately decided that there were more differences than similarities.

    Specifically, in favor of keeping them as the same asset type:

    * You would have a lot of assets that you could use for clutter.


    In favor of having them separate (which is what we opted for):

    * A very large percentage of the existing scenery assets don't make sense as clutter assets, meaning that users would have to filter through tens of thousands of assets just to find the handful which are actually suitable.

    * Clutter is very sensitive to modeling efficiency, so the vast majority of scenery assets would perform exceedingly poorly.

    * Clutter is visually sensitive to LOD, meaning that special techniques must be applied and/or extreme must be care taken when producing the assets.

    * The expected use-case for clutter is very different from the common use-cases for scenery asset, meaning that most scenery assets are optimised to different quality/performance/draw-distance metrics than most clutter assets.

    * Many techniques which are suitable for one-off scenery assets are not suitable for rendering tens of thousands of clutter instances.

    * In order to maintain high performance, we run the clutter system on a separate thread. This means that a number of techniques that content creators may expect to be available (such as, but not limited to, scripting) are simply not available to clutter assets.


    In short, while it would allow you access to a large array of additional assets, the user experience would be very poor, and there would be few real advantages.

    chris
    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalkr View Post
    I should probably also stress that we don't consider clutter to be a replacement for manually-placed scenery objects, much as we don't consider TurfFX to be a replacement for clutter. Each approach has its own merits and its own use-cases. There are certainly edge-cases where the various techniques may be equally suitable, but there are also cases where each one is clearly superior to the others.

    chris
    It does make sense, just a little disappointing that some of the good built in grass assets aren't selectable and you'd think they would be perfect for clutter.

    I'm not a developer so I don't understands the amount of work that goes into things, however with such a tool i'd have thought there would be a better way to select the scenery asset, (using filters like we can in the other panels). That would have solved your problem of having too many assets in it if it was easy... but I know nothing!

    Even with the list as it is, it is a little bit overwhelming as you have to select and apply to see the changes each time.

    I do hope creators take advantage of these features and it 'takes off' unlike the old clutter textures we had which noone seemed to use.

  6. #6
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    Grass 9n Seasonal' and 'Grass 9o Seasonal are SpeedTree Assets so, I stand to be corrected? but I doubt they would be suitable as SpeedTree isn't mentioned in the construction info, so presumably clutter can be created without spending a couple of thousand quid on the SpeedTree paraphernalia.
    Malc


  7. #7
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    I am right on the cusp of this thread, I can see the great potential of the 'clutter' effect, and how it is totally different from ground effect, like splines, textures. It is a totally new realm. In time it will be the norm, and like mentioned above, there is not a lot of it yet, but it will become more. It will take the new creators to make it happen, it is good, and it will happen. The advantages will be in the long run a much more appealing user experience like never seen before.


    Next year it will be less than $10 USD to have the best of the best and hopefully everyone will like it, and I am going to build my next house on Mars.
    If it's not broke, don't fix it.


  8. #8
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    Have you tried using the 'Add Random Scenery' function to produce a clutter effect? I found it by accident this morning when I was working with trees but you can put literally any item into the list, define an area you want to fill with said objects and it will then generate what you request. I don't know how using normal items will look as I've only personally tested with trees, but that will probably give you a head start at least?

  9. #9
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    How do we filter, either in Content Manager or Surveyor, for assets that are suitable as clutter?
    T:ANE SP3 build 94829 and TRS2019 build 98592
    Win 10, i7 5820K, 3.3 GHz, 32GB ram, GTX 980Ti, 2x512GB SSD

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinorius_Redundicus View Post
    How do we filter, either in Content Manager or Surveyor, for assets that are suitable as clutter?
    From the lack of response, I assume there's no filter to pick out assets that are viable as clutter. Great.
    T:ANE SP3 build 94829 and TRS2019 build 98592
    Win 10, i7 5820K, 3.3 GHz, 32GB ram, GTX 980Ti, 2x512GB SSD

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinorius_Redundicus View Post
    From the lack of response, I assume there's no filter to pick out assets that are viable as clutter. Great.
    Why not just use the selection list presented when you add something to the clutter layer?

  12. #12
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    In CM I searched for clutter, these are installed..

    <kuid2:661281:96116:2> Grass 5a - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96108:2> Grass 1a - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96109:2> Grass 1b - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96135:3> Grass 1i - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96111:3> Grass 1d - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96112:3> Grass 1e - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96113:3> Grass 1f - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96114:3> Grass 1g - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96115:3> Grass 1h - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96118:2> Grass 5c - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96119:2> Grass 5d - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96121:2> Grass 5f - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96122:1> Grass 5g - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96129:2> Grass 7b - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96130:2> Grass 7c - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96131:2> Grass 7d - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96133:2> Grass 7f - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96134:2> Grass 7g - Seasonal - Clutter
    <kuid2:661281:96124:1> Plant 6a - Dandelion - Seasonal - Clutter

    Nothing else in DLS.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    Last edited by euromodeller; February 12th, 2019 at 03:39 AM.
    Graham,
    EM Modelz


  13. #13
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    Nice list, BUT it’s only based on luck.

    I was rather clumsily asking what fundamental property qualifies an asset as "Clutter" and whether CM can filter for that. Or to put it another way, how does Surveyor "know" that one asset is viable as clutter, while another one isn't? Betting that the name contains the word "clutter" is not going to be a reliable search method because it's not based on fundamental properties.

    Looking at the config of one of those clutter grasses, the one tag that seems relevant is this;

    custom-category-list "FXCLT"

    I'd guess that CM is completely unequipped to detect that tag in the same way that it can't filter for seasonal assets either. Makes it hard to properly manage these special types of assets if we can't easily separate them from regular scenery content in CM. Personally I think CM is quite weak in this regard.

    Going a bit deeper, there must also be some performance criteria (on things like LOD) that must be met before an asset can legitimately be given the FXCLT moniker. I wondered what those criteria are, but have since found the extensive notes on this topic in the Wiki.


    .
    Last edited by Dinorius_Redundicus; February 12th, 2019 at 02:29 PM.
    T:ANE SP3 build 94829 and TRS2019 build 98592
    Win 10, i7 5820K, 3.3 GHz, 32GB ram, GTX 980Ti, 2x512GB SSD

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