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Thread: I'm a noob with a very ambitious project, seeking help

  1. #1
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    Default I'm a noob with a very ambitious project, seeking help

    Hello Trainz community

    My goal is to create a 3d scale model of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The prototype for this project is the Pacific Harbor Line (PHL), a switching railroad that services both ports and connects the ports to BNSF and UP. For more on PHL, see https://www.anacostia.com/railroads/phl

    This is kind of a crazy project to undertake, given that I am new to the whole model railroading scene in general and Trainz in particular. I am at the front end of a very steep and long learning curve. Nonetheless, I have been here before with other projects, so I know that all problems can be solved eventually somehow.

    I am looking for any members of the Trainz community who would be willing to act as mentor or adviser, whom I can ask dumb questions and get some guidance.

    I am the developer of the Naval Gaming Education Center (see https://navalgaming.com ) and this is part of that project. I have done some work using Transport Fever, but I believe that Trainz would be a better platform to accomplish what I am envisioning.

    This is a hobby project, but I like to connect my hobbies with the real world. The grand vision is to create a 3d model of the ports that is interesting, immersive and educational.

    I am also planning to create a YouTube channel with videos that will document the development of this project and showcase the finished product.

    For more about me, see https://jimbursch.com

    I can be reached by email: [email address removed] or of course you can reply here, or private message me.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by oknotsen; October 10th, 2019 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Email address removed

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi there, if I were you I would start small, like one baseboard at a time or even just a smaller project altogether. Also you should look up approach medium on YouTube he's a route builder for the site JointedRail I myself have learned a lot through watching him. And if you ever need a beta tester I'd be more than happy to help.-MK
    How Tomorrow Moves

  3. #3

    Default

    Two tips:


    1. Keep in mind that "Rome wasn't build in a day". These projects take a lot of time. Even small projects, assuming you want to do it good. Many large projects have never seen the light of day because people simply gave up. Start small (like maybe just a tiny part of the harbor) and then slowly extend. Cities take time to build.
    2. Ones you have the game, look up my content.
      • I build a lot of assets that could help you create the Alameda corridor (follow this link for more details; probably not accessible till you have a version of the game registered to your account). If you are missing assets for this corridor, can share pictures and don't mind having to wait a few months, I will even consider adding the parts I apparently overlooked.
      • Once you are a bit farther away from the harbor, you might end up wanting to model Naval Weapon Station Seal Beach, for which I made a bunch of assets already (follow this link for more details; same access requirements).


    ... but start with getting a version of the game (... and register it to your account) .

  4. #4
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    Default

    You need to register your game so it will show up next to your username

  5. #5
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    Welcome to the forums Jim.

    I too recommend starting small at first even if your very first project is fictional. The purpose of this fictional route is for testing and learning how to use the tools. In addition to building a test route of your own, we also recommend downloading and opening up other people's routes. You can download routes directly from the Download Station (DLS) into the program using the built-in Content Manager. Once downloaded, open up the route and look around at how they did things. Each person has his or her, mostly his, own style of doing things. In the end you'll develop your own, but use this to get ideas on how to do this.

    For real world projects, we highly recommend a third-party program called TransDEM. TransDEM has its own learning curve, but like anything else like it the results are what you are looking for. TransDEM, which is available for about $35 thereabouts, allows you to import DEM-data files from the USGS National Server and then place actual orthographic photos, or US topographic maps in place on the surface. Once compiled together, the software will allow you to export everything as a route ready for buildings, roads, tracks, and everything else. With the package together, you can then use the map on the terrain as a template to place the tracks, roads, and objects because everything is now a 1:1 scale.

    http://www.rolandziegler.de/StreckeU...ansDEMEngl.htm

    We will all gladly assist you with your route through the forums here, and for some of us with a bit more time on our hands, we maybe can assist you offline.

    But before we do any of this and provide more help, we do recommend you ensure your program is registered on the N3V servers. By registering, your software will link up to the forums here and display the program next to your name on a timeline. The purpose is twofold. First it ensures to us you're not trolling (Not that I'm saying you are or not), and secondly it will ensure we know what version of Trainz you are using. With so many versions, although quite similar in some cases and features, there are subtle differences with how somethings are done and how things work or not so knowing which version you are using will ensure we can provide the best advice.

    Note: if you have purchased Trainz via Steam, there's a possibility that the software didn't sync up properly. To ensure things get sync'd contact the helpdesk here: http://support.trainzportal.com/
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone for the terrific replies! This is very encouraging.

    I got TRS2019 through Steam, so I'll follow up with Support to get it registered here.

    I'll reply more fully later.

    Thanks again everyone! To get such quick and thorough replies indicates a solid, living community.

  7. #7
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    Yes this really is a good community.
    How Tomorrow Moves

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oknotsen View Post
    Two tips:


    1. Keep in mind that "Rome wasn't build in a day". These projects take a lot of time. Even small projects, assuming you want to do it good. Many large projects have never seen the light of day because people simply gave up. Start small (like maybe just a tiny part of the harbor) and then slowly extend. Cities take time to build.
    2. Ones you have the game, look up my content.
      • I build a lot of assets that could help you create the Alameda corridor (follow this link for more details; probably not accessible till you have a version of the game registered to your account). If you are missing assets for this corridor, can share pictures and don't mind having to wait a few months, I will even consider adding the parts I apparently overlooked.
      • Once you are a bit farther away from the harbor, you might end up wanting to model Naval Weapon Station Seal Beach, for which I made a bunch of assets already (follow this link for more details; same access requirements).


    ... but start with getting a version of the game (... and register it to your account) .
    Thanks @oknotsen ! Next time I'm in the area, I'll get you some on-the-ground photos of the Alameda Corridor

  9. #9
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    Based on good advice to start with a small project, I've started working on building a model of the Belmont Shore Railroad Club: http://www.belmontshorerr.com/

    The track plan is here: http://www.belmontshorerr.com/layout.pdf

    I have successfully imported the track plan using Basemapz: http://dhobh.net/Trainz/Basemapz/basemapz.htm

    and I have done some initial track laying, including assembling a roundhouse with a turntable.

    The Belmont Shore Railroad Club in located at Angels Gate Park which overlooks the ports of LA and LB.

  10. #10
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    Here's a video I made on the project:

    Naval Gaming Education
    https://navalgaming.com

  11. #11
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    Nice job, Jim.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  12. #12
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    Hi Jim. I liked your little video, so included it in our weekly newsletter. You look to be off to a good start with your Trainz hobby. There's lots to learn, so all the best in your endeavours.

    Here are a couple of links to places for more tutorials etc:

    https://contentcreation.trainzsimulator.com/

    http://online.ts2009.com/
    Tony Hilliam

    Got questions about TRS19? Click here for TRS19 FAQs

    Looking for answers to in-game functionality? Click here for help

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the video Jim. If you haven't already done so, download model layout routes and run them just to see what others and doing and the assets used. Since you are modeling something specific keep an eye out for any asset that you are interested in. Then go into surveyor, find the assets, and get their name and ID so you can download that specific item. Finding assets "cold" from just looking on the CM (content manager) is tedious and brings frustration. The good thing is, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here in the forums who might be able to point you to items that closely match what you are modeling. So I wouldn't be afraid to ask.
    TRS19-100240, Plus-103369, Plus Beta-104885
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  14. #14
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    To add to what 1611mac says, you can enable show KUIDs in Surveyor. There's a bit more to that description, but that's the gist. I'm not at my Trainzing computer at the moment to get the exact word or location. What this does is give you the ID numbers of assets that you select and get. You can then have not only the asset you are interested in, but also the ID number in one shot which you can then search for in Content Manager. After sometime, you'll then recognize assets and author's works as you work through Surveyor and look at other people's routes.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  15. #15
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    One thing; how will it be used? Will it be viewed from the inside the cab or outside the cab? If it's inside the cab then you want have to detail very far from the tracks. Ex. a town will be viewed from the tracks and streets etc. far from the tracks will need very little if any at all.
    Intel Core I7 8700K ,EVGA GTX 1080 ti,32mg 16Gx2,WIN 10 Home,ROG STRIX Z370E gaming

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