.
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 45

Thread: How far the hobby has fallen

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Canada, Ontario, Ottawa
    Posts
    13,144
     

    Default

    I have TS19 amongst other versions of Trainz. I even have some payware with PBR textures and to be honest I can't see any major difference between those assets and ones made for earlier versions using traditional tools.

    I note in the screenshots the best of the TANE screenshots are extremely good. I suspect it's similar to FLAC recordings, when compared those at the CD level and those at a higher digital rate with high quality headphones very few can tell the difference between the two in blind tests with classical music.

    One concern I do have is reskinning a PBR textured asset. Is it possible without some fancy software to modify the PBR textures?

    The other concern is yes we get some churn in content creators but I'm seeing people who have been creating for a long time abandoning content creation for one reason or another and this matters. There is a learning curve to making content and those content creators who have been around a long time have a bit box and the knowledge to create content more easily to a higher standard than the less experienced creators.

    Then we get into DRM, I'm expected to create content for TS19 that I might not be able to use in the future? Perhaps TANE is good enough.

    Tutorials on the wiki are mainly for 3D MAX rather than Blender so aren't really accessible. N3V's documentation and wiki has been reset a number of times so adding to it is it worthwhile or will it get thrown away as has happened before?

    Interestingly enough someone approached me about a problem with one of my assets very recently. Made 12 years ago it works perfectly in all versions except for TS12. The coach has simple textured windows. They own TS19 but prefer to use TS12.

    Interesting questions and I don't think there are any simple answers.

    Cheerio John

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    United States of America, Delaware, Dover
    Posts
    2,383
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    I have TS19 amongst other versions of Trainz. I even have some payware with PBR textures and to be honest I can't see any major difference between those assets and ones made for earlier versions using traditional tools.

    I note in the screenshots the best of the TANE screenshots are extremely good. I suspect it's similar to FLAC recordings, when compared those at the CD level and those at a higher digital rate with high quality headphones very few can tell the difference between the two in blind tests with classical music.

    One concern I do have is reskinning a PBR textured asset. Is it possible without some fancy software to modify the PBR textures?

    The other concern is yes we get some churn in content creators but I'm seeing people who have been creating for a long time abandoning content creation for one reason or another and this matters. There is a learning curve to making content and those content creators who have been around a long time have a bit box and the knowledge to create content more easily to a higher standard than the less experienced creators.

    Then we get into DRM, I'm expected to create content for TS19 that I might not be able to use in the future? Perhaps TANE is good enough.

    Tutorials on the wiki are mainly for 3D MAX rather than Blender so aren't really accessible. N3V's documentation and wiki has been reset a number of times so adding to it is it worthwhile or will it get thrown away as has happened before?

    Interestingly enough someone approached me about a problem with one of my assets very recently. Made 12 years ago it works perfectly in all versions except for TS12. The coach has simple textured windows. They own TS19 but prefer to use TS12.

    Interesting questions and I don't think there are any simple answers.

    Cheerio John
    TANE SP4 looks really good.







    TANE SP4 is my Trainz stop of this ride. Not impressed by PBR and TurfFX in the routes. All the old route stuff looks great in TANE.

    Harold
    Last edited by hminky; September 9th, 2019 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    United States of America, Wyoming, Evanston
    Posts
    245
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KotangaGirl View Post
    I do know that if I'd started out with TS2019 instead of TS2009 I wouldn't have started doing reskins and creating my Uk pre-grouping era rolling goods wagons and coach models most of which are now on the DLS. I'm a very small player when it comes to content creation so my opinion most probably doesn't count for much, but the fact is by working to TS2012 specs I can make reasonably good looking models using freeware software and techniques that mostly involve a lot of hand drawing and persistence. I simply could not afford to buy the software needed to make TS2019 models and then I would need to learn how to use it which would be a problem for me since I have cognitive problems due to narcolepsy.

    My concern is that the content creators like myself are simply going to get left behind and the technological barriers in making anything to TS2019 standards are going to act to reduce the numbers of Trainz folk who can actually successfully make models for TS2019. I have criticised TS2019 on these forums, but I do like TS2019 and I can see it's potential. I said in one forum thread that TS2019 is how TS2012 should have been and I've used TS2019 to successfully rejuvenate some of my favourite legacy routes, however the fact remains that when I make anything I use TS2012 to do it.
    I have to agree with the gal from NZ on this; no way I can afford the commercial software programs for the generation of PBR textures. I don't know if there are orther programs free or less expensive programs for the making of PBR textures (I haven't followed those discussion yet because I've not had to) but since I have a goal to learn Blender (and did buy a Blender 2.80 guide) I will find out. And, yes, all my content has been made for Trainz version 3.7, i.e., TS12, so it will be a bit of leap to get to TS2019. Oh, yeah, keep those 2.80 tutorials coming!

    By the way, last year I was invited to join a content creation group. My reaction was, 1) flattered, 2) horrified that the person thought my talents worthy of inclusion in said group, 3) reflection that I should up my creation game and improve my modelling (which I think I have), 4) and why in hell would someone want to pay for my simple creations! I, of course, politely refused the offer mainly because as my son said, "Dad, why do you want to make your hobby a job?"

    I tend to make any effort I undertake a "job" in a lot of ways particularly if I'm doing something for a person or group (there's that sense of obligation driven into us). Working in the oil & gas industry at facilities where a contingence could make for a very bad day in a heartbeat (and did several times) tends to wear a guy out over the years hence my decision to retire for good at 57. Some people live to work but I worked to live so no "content creation" job needed for me; hence my license on my content saying it's freeware to be distributed by N3V only with changes by my permission only unless otherwise stated.

    I've hammered out a few new assets in the last month or so after almost a year after my last uploads to the DLS. Last year's work to remake my old content and new content with LOD pretty much burned me out on Trainz for many a month. So everyone is warned that I'll have some more simple assets available in a short while. They have been made with gMax so, again, nothing special but will fill a niche.

    And thanks, Tony, for the efforts to make sure freeware remains freeware (again, I'd be horrified if someone was required to "pay" for something I created).

    Anyway, just my thoughts. Take care,
    Don Bennett Evanston, WY USA Windows 10 T:ANE Deluxe 94829 TRS2019 100240

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Crewe, Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    15,043
     

    Default

    I think How far the Hobby has Fallen is overly negative and will result in yet another moaning thread, it would be more appropriate to say How far the Hobby has changed, bearing in mind that some view that it has got better and others don't.

    Change doesn't suit everyone, it never has it never will and people are entitled to have different opinions. Some things I'm not over fond of, some I am OK with. We get these negative threads after every change we get, however most of us are still here, what does that realistically tell you?
    Malc


  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Massachusetts, Haverhill
    Posts
    25,546
     

    Default

    I too have been here awhile, having started this journey back in December 2003. I became fully involved by 2004 as I let my fledgling N-scale layout become a spider city due to many reasons. As we've seen N3V has changed and I think matured from the early days in 2006 when we thought we weren't going to have Trainz anymore after the Fury fiasco that did Auran in. For this I commend Tony and the crew for a much more cautious and focused growth, although, there were some bigger issues and shakeups along the way so after a bit of teething problems and a lot of hard work, we are where we are.

    Things have changed as they say and not just in the company, but the product as well. It wasn't all N3V making the changes just for the sake of making changes because a lot of these updates came out of the demands the user-base put on the company for a better product. The users wanted the fancy bright colors and deep shadows. They wanted the procedural tracks with the movable points, and all the other fancy stuff including the parallax texturing with the glistening reflections and lens-flare effects on the models. These models are not as "easy" to make as the older style is that's found in previous versions. I can understand the content creators now getting a bit upset, especially the older longtime creators, but that's part of the progress. The younger generations are now picking up the CC-gauntlet, and we're kind of where things were when the early Trainz versions came out as far as TRS19 goes, but at the same time we're lucky because we still have that vast library of older assets that still work. If someone still wants to make assets at the TS12 level, then why not. They work perfectly fine and look quite nice in TRS19.

    We have that choice. Do we really need to use those textures with jellyfish-guts? I really don't think so and I avoid them. Seeing individual grains of ballast at a scale that's far larger than boulders floating in clear jelly, is not quite what I think we should have. This is one area that needs a lot of work by both N3V and the content creator. At this point I'm not sure who because I don't know enough about the technology to determine that, but anyway we don't have to use them if we don't want to.

    We are lucky in that we can still run older content alongside the new stuff. This is unlike other programs, including "the other rail sim", our purchased DLC and our vast libraries of downloaded assets from the very rare DLS we have, still work and work quite well. With other programs, including commercial ones, stuff is tossed away when the program is updated. IDV does that with Speed Trees. I just looked at the program and they're now up to Version 8 (I think), and have gone subscription at $20 per month. Where does that leave us should we want to get into tree making? I surely don't want to spend for a monthly subscription to find out that my trees won't work because they moved on.

    The fact that we can still run older product versions too on our systems concurrently with the new ones is a boon. I too go back to TS12 as needed, and have even installed and ran TRS2004 and TRS2006 (with issues). I took my older routes I created in those versions and walked them up and into TRS19 via TS12. I laughed at them because of my efforts that I thought were so great in those days, but in them I saw the roots of something good and adopted bits and pieces of the old and worked that into the new.

    I don't think the quantity of daily uploads to the DLS has declined so much and is more of us becoming pickier about our selections as well as us thinking about whether we need yet another road spline, fence, or locomotive that's all similar to what we have installed. I know, speaking for myself here, I peruse the daily downloads and there are days when I find a lot of high-quality assets and days when I don't bother because I don't need another of the same.

    With that said, nothing is forever as my Nan used to say so enjoy it while it lasts however long that is.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  6. #21

    Default

    Must say TANE SP4 is looking quite good. Hopefully not too long before the general version is released. Think that is my current "backstop" for Trainz even if it does make me a former customer...
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Crewe, Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    15,043
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DWBennett55 View Post
    I don't know if there are orther programs free or less expensive programs for the making of PBR textures
    Two free programs for PBR stuff, Awsomebump and Materialise on N3V's software page https://contentcreation.trainzsimula...gory/software/

    Chasys Draw free graphics suite that does layers etc, from playing with it, plenty good enough for Trainz stuff.

    Tattoo a free Mesh skinning tool, not tried it but supports TGA and 3ds and obj

    Free add-ons for Blender appearing gradually.
    Malc


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    United States of America, Wyoming, Evanston
    Posts
    245
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
    Two free programs for PBR stuff, Awsomebump and Materialise on N3V's software page https://contentcreation.trainzsimula...gory/software/

    Chasys Draw free graphics suite that does layers etc, from playing with it, plenty good enough for Trainz stuff.

    Tattoo a free Mesh skinning tool, not tried it but supports TGA and 3ds and obj

    Free add-ons for Blender appearing gradually.
    Thanks. When I finally dive deep into Blender 2.80, I'll definitely check these out.

    Take care,
    Don Bennett Evanston, WY USA Windows 10 T:ANE Deluxe 94829 TRS2019 100240

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    564
     

    Default

    @Tony
    Quote: “there are dozens of tutorials here: https://contentcreation.trainzsimula...egory/scenery/

    I have never seen this webpage before. Go figure! Play around a bit to see how I might have stumbled on it. Can’t seem to find a link trainz Onlinr (http://online.ts2009.com) or Trainz Portal (http://www.trainzportal.com/). Can find it by goggling “Trainz Content Creation”. Guess I have never done that before. Perhaps this is something others have missed?

    @narrowgauge
    Interesting perspectives. As a creator I tend to think of hobbyist and entrepreneurs. But, of course when it comes to Trainz itself, for hobbyists it is a simulator however for most users it is a game.

    Perhaps what is a challenge for N3V is that gamers tire of the game sooner. Once you have played it and “won” what else it there? Creators find a whole new world to explore beyond Trainz itself, the world on 3D graphics, for which Trainz provides an outlet to explore.

    @johnwhelan
    Quote: “…to be honest I can't see any major difference between those assets and ones made for earlier versions using traditional tools.”

    Also my observation. I would like to see some further discussion on this topic, perhaps some examples, e.g., comparison pictures in game. For example, I have viewed Trainz - Content Creation - #33 - Convert Old Ground Textures to PBR / Parallax (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDKXWd4zOV4) many times and tried use height maps to get the effect nut to no avail. Frankly, I still don’t understand how a height map is supposed to simulate parallax given that the usual definition of parallax is “the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions”. Just one example of the complexity of PBR that I think needs more discussion and examples of its application.

    I am still creating for TANE and then, perhaps, importing into TRS19. I am still trying to work out the advantages of PBR (see above), Blender 2.8, and all of the new Blender add-ons.

    I only recently discovered that my routes, the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Mountain Subdivision circa 1887 and the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Mountain Subdivision circa 2010 can look good in TRS19 if I reset the diurnal color data thanks to the post

    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...S2019-vs-T-ANE, which popped up again on the forum on September 1, 2019 thanks to CitMusJoe and posts that followed. Makes on wonder how new users are fairing with figuring out Trainz and, in particular, TRS19. But then again maybe it is just getting old and not being with it!


    Cayden

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Alabama, Birmingham
    Posts
    2,689
     

    Default

    The "Trainz Wiki" link at the top of this page takes you to the main page. Links for content creation is on the left and also further down the page in the text.

    Hmmm, seems like the official wiki has not been updated to link to https://contentcreation.trainzsimulator.com/


    I'm NOT a big fan of using a wiki to replace a proper manual.

    William
    Last edited by wreeder; September 9th, 2019 at 01:25 PM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bordeaux, France (on holiday)
    Posts
    7,996
    Blog Entries
    30
     

    Default

    I appreciate Cayden's concerns but I don't completely share his views. I believe there has never been a more exciting time to make models:

    1. We can now make models and export or import in FBX format. There are quite a few free, cheap and expensive tools we can now use. Even Windows 10 has a built in FBX editor/viewer. It doesn't understand Trainz materials but it is still useful for viewing models.
    2. PBR. The concepts are not as difficult as you may think but the production of the required textures can be expensive. I've been looking for cheap solutions for well over a year. But things are looking up.
    3. Blender 2.8 is going to be a game changer and I believe we will be able to paint models and produce Trainz PBR materials. But not yet. This is another issue I've been looking at.

    I don't write full tutorials bit I do write, and maintain, simple "get you started" tutorials for the Trainz WiKi.

    The Discord channels have largely taken over from the regular CC forum because answers can be provided much quicker. The channels feature some very talented, and some not so talented, creators. I usually have it running in the background.

    Yes, things are not as they were. I wasn't making content back in the TS04/TS06/TS09 days but it's obvious to me that today's creators are standing on the backs of giants who paved the way. I like to think those giants would like us to continue their good work.

    Paul


  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bordeaux, France (on holiday)
    Posts
    7,996
    Blog Entries
    30
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cayden View Post
    ...
    Also my observation. I would like to see some further discussion on this topic, perhaps some examples, e.g., comparison pictures in game. For example, I have viewed Trainz - Content Creation - #33 - Convert Old Ground Textures to PBR / Parallax (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDKXWd4zOV4) many times and tried use height maps to get the effect nut to no avail. Frankly, I still don’t understand how a height map is supposed to simulate parallax given that the usual definition of parallax is “the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions”. Just one example of the complexity of PBR that I think needs more discussion and examples of its application.
    ....
    Recently, I watched an Allegorithmic candidate tutorial for their new, still in beta, Substance Alchemist. As I recall, the tutorial showed how to extract height data from a simple texture texture. i.e. An image of a real cloth texture. The tool allows you to vary the height and see the effects onscreen. You can get some rather weird results.

    The tutorial is out of date with the latest beta and much of that is in the interface which made the tutorial difficult to follow.

    Your quote matches exactly how height is used. At most angles the effect can be stunning but at acute angles or too close or exacerbated height values it can look odd.

    Substance Painter uses some height information to render scratches, rust blisters, dirt, etc, and the results can look very realistic.

    I think height information should be used sparingly.

    Paul


  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Netherlands, for now in, Montreal, CA
    Posts
    5,118
    Blog Entries
    1
     

    Default

    Have also been on this ride for a long time. Used to make quite a few objects, mainly as Surveyor helpers but with a few "normal" objects thrown in as my needs required them. And that was the main motivation, I needed something and then shared it in case someone else wanted it too. Was never driven to profit from them.

    Back then, it seemed to be easier to create things although that may just be rose colored nostalgia. Still remember the thrill in getting bump mapping to work. At least the tools were free so the cost was only in time.

    Change is the only constant and Trainz is no exception.


    70337:
    TRS19 build 100240 and 103369 Win10 Pro 64 bit, i7-7700 3.6GHz 16 GB, GTX 1070 Ti

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia, NSW, Sydney
    Posts
    5,732
    Blog Entries
    3
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pcas1986 View Post
    Blender 2.8 is going to be a game changer ...
    I have had Blender on my computer(s) for several years now and I update as every new version is released. After each update I immediately fire it up and look at the user interface, get depressed and close it down. The new Blender 2.8 has redesigned the interface to something that even I can understand. I had a look at a few videos on the new interface and it now works in much same way as any other Windows software - no need to reverse your thinking on using the mouse for example and keyboard shortcuts that make more sense.

    I will actually give this version a serious go - no more depression!
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,326
    Blog Entries
    1
     

    Default

    Hi All
    From a creator perspective, I would personally say that a lot has changed but as far as I have seen it's been relatively stable (ie the bad and good are at least even, if not more good than bad IMO). I have seen a lot of people who lost interest over the years, and many others who have gained interest as well.

    That said, for content, there's been some big shifts. Most have been towards higher detailed, better performing, content. Some of these include GMax becoming less popular (due to no support from it's developers for about 16 years) and Blender becoming more popular, better use of LOD, better support for higher detail models and textures, and more.

    This has meant that, in many cases, content can take much longer to make, when using similar tools. OTOH there are many tools around, although not specifically 'Trainz' tools, that can help reduce this time as well. It doesn't quite balance out, but it still helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    One concern I do have is reskinning a PBR textured asset. Is it possible without some fancy software to modify the PBR textures?
    This is a question that definitely caught my attention. To a degree it depends on the asset, but beyond an image editor that supports editing channels, there's nothing special needed. If all you are talking about is 'repainting' a traincar (painted surfaces remaining painted, metal surfaces remain metal, etc), then it should actually be easier. PBR doesn't have the AO bake in the 'diffuse' (albedo) texture, so repainting this should be far easier than on non PBR assets since no AO is present. Actually there shouldn't be any shading (ie faked shadows or highlights) at all; just paint/weathering/etc.


    If you want to change how much shine is on an asset, then you would need to edit the parameters texture, which requires you to have edit each of the image channels. Photoshop can do this, and I'm fairly sure there's some other free tools that would help with doing this. That said, it's honestly not that much different to editing the specular or 'reflection' channels on a tbumpenv asset (or any other normals mapped asset, in the case of specular).

    So for the average PBR traincar reskin, in theory you might be able to get away with using very basic image editing tools to repaint it.

    As to the difference between PBR and tbumpenv (as the most 'advanced' of the TANE materials), this really depends on what you are doing. A lot of objects will generally appear quite similar, but you should be able to get better control over reflection and specular. It's also a lot easier to add, and edit, the AO with this being separate to the albedo.

    Personally I found it was easier to achieve certain looks with PBR. I definitely like what I can achieve with reflective surfaces on my steam locos. And a lot of details really pop in shadowy areas, as AO is now handled more realistically.

    Regards
    Zec Murphy

    Customer Support Rep
    N3V Games (Auran)

    *Please do not use Private Messages for support. Support can only be provided via the helpdesk, or via the forums.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •