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Thread: To procedural or not procedural? That is the questiong (re track anyway)...

  1. #1
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    Default To procedural or not procedural? That is the questiong (re track anyway)...

    I saw in a recent newsletter that N3V is working on some US prototype procedural track - something about "dusty track"?

    At the moment, I can't seem to find procedural track with:
    • good tie spacing and sizing (and slightly randomized tie lengths)
    • good ballast (and good colors)
    • tie plates and spikes instead of clips
    • wood ties (they didn't use concrete ties in the 1950's where the BC&SJ is set)
    • good LOD behavior
    • a ballast profile that doesn't look like it was created by a CNC milling machine.

    So I'm sticking with JR extra-wide ballast 132lb rail track and living with the interesting turnout tie configurations, manual guard rails, the funky LOD issue because up close it looks pretty good

    Does anyone know when to expect the new track? I'm hoping it shows up soon.

    Or should I expect to be using JR non-procedural track for a while?

    It matters to me because I want to use PBR sub-roadbed textures so they'll play nice with the PBR next-to-the-right-of-way textures when I'm using TurfFX (which doesn't play nice when there's a mixture of PBR and non-PBR textures on the ground) nearby. But the combo of PBR textured sub-roadbed and non-procedural track leaves ghost cavities at the ballast/sub-roadbed juncture. I'd prefer not to have to redo the sub-roadbed on 100+ miles of track more than once...

    FWIW I've tried using the Bulk Asset Replacement tool to change track from non-procedural to procedural and it said the assets weren't compatible. Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone used bulk track replacement to successfully go from non-procedural track to procedural track?

    Horace Fithers

  2. #2
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    Horace --

    I think you have answered you own question. If you want to use PBR textures (and I regard this as essential for any TRS19 route) then you must use the new PBR procedural track.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by horacefithers View Post
    FWIW I've tried using the Bulk Asset Replacement tool to change track from non-procedural to procedural and it said the assets weren't compatible. Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone used bulk track replacement to successfully go from non-procedural track to procedural track?
    I have successfully used the Bulk Asset Update/Replace Tool to change non-procedural track to procedural. There are a few things that it will NOT work with, for example:-


    • objects that are in a locked layer
    • bridge splines
    • tunnel splines
    • multiple track splines
    • consists/trains
    • objects of mixed types e.g. replacing splines with non-splines or replacing fixed track segments with normal track splines


    There is a Trainz Wiki guide to using the Bulk Asset Update/Replace Tool at http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...e/Replace_Tool
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  4. #4
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    The problem I have with procedural track is that it looks too horribly perfect. Like after every train that passes hordes of gnomes burst out from the undergrowth and put every piece of ballast back in place with mathematical perfection and polish the rails until they are utterly flawless. I replaced the nicely used looking Uk bullhead track I was using on one of my 19th century routes with procedural track and then changed it back again because it just plain looked wrong.
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  5. #5
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    I agree with the perfect ballast. Looks like it was made for a game (Hmmmm). In my case prisoners from the local pen came out with 20ft 2x4s and placed them exactly the correct distance from , and parallel too, the track. Then they "adjusted" the ballast to match a mid-line on the 2x4. Then they move on. A CNC was just to much $$$. A small donation to the warden's favorite charity was sufficient. Trainz = fewer artists and more graphics experts.

    Things are pretty, but too perfect.1950 was still a dirty time on the transitioning railroads. Belching, poorly designed engines, and the tradional coal/oil burners, left a definite mark on towns along the way. While skilled graphics artists create complex, and accurate, structures, they are perfect. No lumps, no bumps and, of course, no dirt. I lived and worked in Pittsburgh, PA. It was dismal and far from many of the elements idealized in Trainz. When you left the computer center, at the end of the day, there was orange dust covering your car. USSteel, a few miles away, provided that without charge. PS: the paint of that era also faded to dull in a few years. But it was a sane time.
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.3ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1060 4gb video card

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    I tried the protrack as well, but changed back to the "regular" track for the same reasons and use the JR narrow ballast version of the same track. I went as far as to modify the textures and conditions of the rusty track so I have some very rusty, bumpy track that works well for sidings and spurs. If I can get permission from Alex, I will upload this to the DLS. I used the JR Track US #132 Rusty. Replaced the ballast with the JR dirt, and then modified the track conditions to 1% to make the trains rock and roll on the very bad yard track. This scene is still WIP and needs grass and clutter. The track was just put down in this view.



    and here:





    But... The Protrack has its advantages. For a string of ties only, I took the LRW Flat bottom rusty track, and removed the rails, changed the ballast to that from JR Spur track to give me this here:

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JCitron; August 20th, 2019 at 10:06 AM.
    John
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  7. #7

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    The built in N3V Protrack (the ones prefixed TRS19) still suffer from the sparkle effect when viewed into the distance.

    The SAM TRK protracks are quite good though.
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    I thought the dusty track was a joke. Isn't that one of those awful tracks from TRS2004?
    1 track dusty and the worse 1 track wood US that every route builder insisted on using cause it was so low poly.
    It had a texture for ties and a 4 poly rail profile.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wreeder View Post
    I thought the dusty track was a joke. Isn't that one of those awful tracks from TRS2004?
    1 track dusty and the worse 1 track wood US that every route builder insisted on using cause it was so low poly.
    It had a texture for ties and a 4 poly rail profile.
    It's based on those ones, but modernized. It was about time to make track that replaces those ancient tracks. I made them so I would know.

    The dusty track I made is made with wooden sleepers that have a height map and some modeled detail so they look really good up close. Lods were tricky on them but I think they look really good now (thanks Paul). You have the option between spiked and the bolted ones (not sure about the exact terminology here), with ballast and no ballast options.

    What looks wrong about the ballast? Ballast textures are tiled so you need to create a texture that it is high resolution enough but can tile. In this sense it is more difficult to add detail that will look realistic and won't get cut off. One of my goals was to make the ballast match with the original as much as possible to when the tracks obsolete the old ones, they don't ruin the old routes that used them originally. Always open to feedback!
    Last edited by GDennish; August 20th, 2019 at 06:43 PM.
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    I'll still make the assertion that you have to use PBR textures and the new PBR procedural track. It has so much more impact, especially when combined with the TurfFX grasses:






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    I must admit to some confusion here. What is "PBR Procedural Track"? Is it different from the procedural track that has been available for TANE/TRS19 for some time now?

    If it is different from the "older" procedural track how do I locate it (a search for "PBR" gave only vague results) and is it available in NG42 format>
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  12. #12
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    The new TRS19 track has PBR textured ballast. Look For "TRS19 Track ... ."

    There is no NG42, but there is an in-built 30" gauge version that I used on my narrow gauge layouts, for example, "The Lilliput Logger":



    And "The Hoofhearted & Smelz":

    Last edited by philskene; August 21st, 2019 at 01:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philskene View Post
    The new TRS19 track has PBR textured ballast. Look For "TRS19 Track ... ."
    Thank you for that info.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by philskene View Post
    I'll still make the assertion that you have to use PBR textures and the new PBR procedural track. It has so much more impact, especially when combined with the TurfFX grasses:

    The down side is Phil if you cant use a Nvidia card, which us Mac users currently cannot do, it doesn't work.......:-(
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  15. #15

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    And without going into the detailed post processing settings, as noted above you get the silver sparkle effect on the TRS19 track in the mid to far distance.
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