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Thread: Night lighting

  1. #16
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    The whole mechanism for point lights is already in the game,
    back in the days it was limited to....trains
    and rightly so, it's a train simulator after all.
    now with our super pc's, it could be considered to add it to more asset types

  2. #17
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    Hi All
    Night lighting/point lighting/etc is something we definitely want to do in future. Unfortunately it does require a lot of other changes to occur in Trainz to make it work efficiently, as point lighting can very quickly cause performance issues (remembering that most games that feature this, either limit how many lights are shown, or have very specifically made art to avoid performance issues).

    As a few have noted, using invisible traincars to generate light effects has a large impact on performance due to the number of light sources. In general it's recommended to avoid having more than 2-4 light sources in a scene at once, which should generally be enough to cater for several trains in a scene at once.


    Right now, the best options for lights that I have found are to have a 'nightmode' mesh, with a good emissive texture. If you set your parameters map as a '.hdr' file, you can increase the intensity of the emissive channel's colour (using the slider in the colour picker in photoshop to increase the 'brightness' of the colour), making the emissive texture glow much brighter, and have a bloom effect around the edge.

    Personally I've found this to be more effective than adding 'glow' meshes (ie a starburst coronas or similar), both on locomotives and a few nightlit assets I've been testing it on.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDiamond1964 View Post
    So we both agree the speed tree program was a bad idea.
    Unfortunately, there's very few options for good tree generation in games. Billboards simply don't cut it up close in modern game engines, especially if you want realistic lighting and shadows.

    This leaves you with the choice of either SpeedTree, or manually generated trees (with manually generated LODs). The latter becomes extremely difficult and time consuming, and has it's own set of issues (including performance issues), and generally still requires the use of specific software to actually generate the art well.

    There's a good reason that SpeedTree has become an industry standard, it's fast for creating trees with LODs (including automatic generation of billboards), has a lot of preset trees to start from, and provides methods of rendering trees more efficiently than standard objects.

    There is a way N3V can have best of both worlds by keeping it simple. They have done it before. However it's not for me to tell N3V what or how to do things. After all, I'm the same guy they banned, mocked, attacked and kicked out of their think tank groups...who am I to say anything. It's just really obvious to anyone that the content creation community side of Trainz is slipping away fast.
    There's nothing stopping creators from making trees without SpeedTree. I'm not sure how actually having SpeedTree included prevents you from making your own trees the 'old' way (ie using other tools, or via 3D creation).

    One new addition (I'm not sure if it's actually been published tbh, as it was designed for Trainz Mobile in this case, but when I get some time I'll try to do a writeup for it) is the addition of a new material for camera facing billboards, .m.pbrcamerafacingmasked. Note that this is a masked material, so you cannot use blended alphas with it (they will become masked alphas automatically).

    This is setup the same as pbrmetalmasked, but allows flat planes to be camera facing.

    As to banning of people, I won't comment on specific cases. However we absolutely avoid banning users unless we absolutely need to, and generally this is a result of multiple infractions. It's even rarer that we will permanently ban members, and this is generally due to either very poor behavior, or using a second account to evade an existing ban.

    However we absolutely expect all members to follow the rules outlined in the Code of Conduct, which does include being polite and constructive toward other users. If members cannot follow the relatively simple rules we have, then we may have to take further action.

    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.

  3. #18
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    When are things made?
    -when it does not exist
    -when it's not good enough


    Example
    Since when are people making changes to the mainmenu?
    since SP2, USA-themed pbr showoff items is not for everyone
    ergo it was not good -> people start to modify


    Maybe the trees are good enough atm. (for me they are)
    what lacks is spline versions, so you can replace older spline trees.


    I agree that making content is harder now,
    but the fun thing is all old ways just still work.
    So all you ever learned is not lost.
    The great thing is you can keep on learning and in your own pace,
    which is essential for me, keeps the grey matter alive and makes Trainz so much fun.


    Don't care much for politics here.
    if i like something i say so, if I don't also, take it or leave it.
    Some things I say will be understood/implemented later :-)

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZecMurphy View Post
    Hi All
    Right now, the best options for lights that I have found are to have a 'nightmode' mesh, with a good emissive texture. If you set your parameters map as a '.hdr' file, you can increase the intensity of the emissive channel's colour (using the slider in the colour picker in photoshop to increase the 'brightness' of the colour), making the emissive texture glow much brighter, and have a bloom effect around the edge.
    Regards
    How can it do? I look for that in photoshop but i think that it is not a image format.
    Maybe in 3ds MAX?
    Other unknown way is to open the fbx mesh file with textpad or similar and change one of the values.
    I don't know which value is it, but a good friend of mine (he is retired of Trainz 3 years ago) could change this value for increase the emissive effect but now, he don't remember this value. I investigated for a long time but never found that.

  5. #20
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    As for the speedtrees, maybe it was good choice to stick to it, but wasn't there way how to support both v5 (32bit) and v6 (64bit) speedtreees at the same time? Switching from v5 to v6 killed many maps and some great creators. Furthermore N3V just didn't care about cost of modelling program at the creator's side at all. As for the billboards, jankvis for example showed that it might be very precise and perfect looking using right techniques, I was trying to create same good looking 2D trees, but I desperately lack technical support for that from the N3V side. Nobody willing or able to answer some technical questions which should be available to the community automatically. As for the nightmeshes, I have bad experiences with them, so far I didn't determinate if they replace day mesh or cover day mesh on the night scene. My experience is such, that sometimes night mesh doesn't switch on in dark or starts to flicker randomly. Some may say I use obsolete Trainz version (TANE) but none is able to confirm, that it won't occure in new version too. N3V is communicating with the creators community very strangely from the beginning, sometimes creators have to use guessing, time consuming testing ot whatever else instead using clear technical support infos from the production company. Also priorities of the N3V are sometimes really strange and what SUX most is when they brake some functionality from the previous versions in the new one.
    Last edited by JAGG; May 11th, 2021 at 05:03 PM.

  6. #21
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    Here are some Pics showing what the Lights are doing in Surveyor.
    While in Driver Mode the Police Car Lights look great as long as you are in the Driver Mode and in the Cab View, you then can move out of the Cab View with the Keyboard arrow Keys and see it from other angels, but when you exit Driver that Car Lights go bad to very poor again. This was the only way I could get my point across to the Devs. The Alpha Textures do not combine with the Primary Textures in Surveyor.
    Primary=floodlamp.tga
    Alpha=floodlamp_alpha.bmp
    This does not work correctly in the Trainz 2019 as it did work in the Trainz 2006 Perfectly.
    jjeff1955
    https://i.ibb.co/HpMC8bN/In-Diver-View.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/h1PJz7R/Surveyor-View.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/6D3b1VX/Yard-Flood-Lamp.jpg



    I apologize for the Large Pics but this is what came from the Image Links.
    Last edited by jjeff1955; May 11th, 2021 at 08:10 PM.

  7. #22
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    Default Thanks for letting me know.

    I got it connected finally to the image link.
    I hope the Developers see these, and maybe realize that there is a serious bug with the night Lights in this 2019.
    Cheers.
    jjeff1955

  8. #23
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    Hi All
    Hopefully I can answer a few of the questions posed in here since my last reply

    How can it do? I look for that in photoshop but i think that it is not a image format.Maybe in 3ds MAX?
    Other unknown way is to open the fbx mesh file with textpad or similar and change one of the values.
    I don't know which value is it, but a good friend of mine (he is retired of Trainz 3 years ago) could change this value for increase the emissive effect but now, he don't remember this value. I investigated for a long time but never found that.
    I've been looking at making a tutorial for this, unfortunately I've not had enough time to do so yet. Hopefully soon

    However the basic steps are:

    1) Open your parameters map in photoshop
    2) Click on the 'Image' menu at the top of the screen
    3) Go to 'Mode', and click on '32bits'
    4) Click on your primary colour in your toolbar (ie how you would set which colour you are going to paint with)
    5) Set your colour, then adjust the 'intensity' slider. I find that 1.5-3 stops works well here (you might need to play with this a little to get a good effect).
    6) Close the colour picker window, then paint (or fill) the colour where you want it on the emissive map
    7) Click on File, then Save As
    8) Under 'format', select 'Radiance' (it will list '.HDR' as one of the available formats)
    9) Name your file the same as your normal parameters map, but make sure the file is showing '.hdr' at the end
    10) Save the file

    In your asset, place the '.hdr' file in the same location as the regular version of your parameters map, then change the .texture.txt file for your parameters map to point to the .hdr file.

    Generally, if you use this on a nightmode mesh, I would recommend having a dedicated texture/material for the lit objects so that you can make it relatively small.

    I will look to do a proper tutorial with screenshots, and possible also a video tutorial variant as well, to hopefully make it easier for people to try this out.

    but wasn't there way how to support both v5 (32bit) and v6 (64bit) speedtreees at the same time
    Unfortunately you can only have one SpeedTree plugin in a game, and the 32bit version cannot be used within a 64bit game. The option here was to either move to SpeedTree V6, or just drop SpeedTree entirely.

    Furthermore N3V just didn't care about cost of modelling program at the creator's side at all.
    This isn't at all true. As I noted previously, it's entirely possible to make trees using other tools. They just won't be SpeedTree assets. There are tree making tools out there for blender, and 3DSMax, and other tools that can make quite reasonable trees. But they of course won't be able to take advantage of the features/functions developed by SpeedTree.

    We also worked with members of the community to provide them with access to SpeedTree, unfortunately not a lot of trees resulted from this. We also offered to several other creators to work with them to provide access to SpeedTree, and they chose not to proceed further with us.

    As for the nightmeshes, I have bad experiences with them, so far I didn't determinate if they replace day mesh or cover day mesh on the night scene.
    Nightmode meshes should 'cover' the day mesh (ie they should sit over the top of it, a bit like an overlay). You may need to push them out a few centimeters so that they don't flicker. This is one that can take a bit of tweaking to get right, as you don't want it to look too much like it's floating, but if it's too close then it can cause flickering. You also need to check LOD, as if a recessed window modes 'outward' in a LOD then nightmode mesh may become hidden. In this case you'd need to make the nightmode mesh sit outside the lower LODs, which could cause it to float a little on the higher LODs.

    My experience is such, that sometimes night mesh doesn't switch on in dark or starts to flicker randomly.
    This generally means that your nightmode mesh is too close to the regular mesh, and hence is either being hidden by the day mesh, or is flickering between the day and night mesh (ie it's rendering both surfaces in the same place). Try pushing the nightmode mesh outwards a little and see if it helps.

    Note generally nightmode meshes work best when you have only the 'glowing' objects in them, so the lights themselves, and any lit windows and similar. Creating light cast onto walls or floors may not work as well, since you are overlaying the nightmode rather than replacing the day mesh.

    [qoute]N3V is communicating with the creators community very strangely from the beginning, sometimes creators have to use guessing, time consuming testing ot whatever else instead using clear technical support infos from the production company.[/quote]
    Currently we provide the https://contentcreation.trainzsimulator.com/ and http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...TrainzDev_Wiki websites, plus our Trainz discord server, and these forums where creators can find information.

    Via both the discord server and these forums, we do our best to answer questions where possible. But of course, it does require the question to be asked. If someone else answers the question then we may not reply, as the question was already answered (all I'd be doing is re-stating what was already said).


    N3V needs to make it easier for the content creator, not harder.
    In all honesty, game art has never been simple. And we are dealing with game art, no matter how you want to look at it. And we are selling a game to the public, and simply put if we don't keep progressing with game technology then Trainz will not continue going; this is both with the 'trains' side of Trainz and with the art/visuals side of Trainz.

    However in all honesty, a lot of recent changes should make it a lot easier once you get used to them (and for new users, they won't need to re-learn from old habits).

    A good example of this has been the move from a basic single diffuse, and maybe a simple reflection texture, back in the Trainz V1.3/UTC days, to the introduction of normals maps in TRS2004, through to the tbumpenv material introduced in TS2009 (actually TS2009 SP1 from memory), to the new pbrmetal type materials in TRS19.

    Personally, I spent a lot of time learning the tbumpenv material so I could take as much advantage of this as I could. But I will admit, it is not the easiest material to work with as you need to tweak both the 'reflection' and 'specular' maps; and you can end up quite a way off what you should have if you aren't careful

    The funny thing is, apart from combining the relevant maps into a parameters map; the PBR materials are a lot easier to work with. Instead of going 'how much reflection do I want' and 'how much specular do I want', I go 'is this exposed metal' (the metallic map) and then 'how shiny is this area' (the roughness map). Both are much easier questions to answer, and you'll tend to tweak only one of those textures till it looks the way you want.

    Actually, the parameters map is really just 4 different questions in one map:
    Does this area glow (emissive)
    How shiny is this area (roughness)
    Is this area light or dark under ambient light/shadow (Ambient Occlusion)
    IS this area exposed metal (metallic map)

    And we know that PBR is a big change for everyone, but at this point is it a relatively standard setup in the games industry, and there is a lot of information available on it. But, there's also nothing stopping you from using the legacy materials as well; but you need to keep in mind that legacy materials use various conversion algorithms to convert them to PBR when in TRS19. The 'tbumpenv' is the closest to PBR (it's actually the legacy version of PBR, but lacks the emissive and AO channels and has the specular map inverted compared to the roughness map ). On the other hand onetex is the furthest from PBR, as it lacks all but the diffuse texture (and possible some specular values, depending on how it was exported), and so the conversion will need to make a lot of assumptions to make it work, and as such it won't always work perfectly.

    Today, we have several very good tools available for texture creation which can simplify the work on creators. There's Substance Painter, Quixel Mixer, and a few simpler tools like Materialize, and probably more I've not seen myself (I seem to recall 2 or 3 others being discussed on these forums). Personally I've used Quixel a bit, and the latest update seems to have improved it a lot since I last used it, and is currently free to use! Substance is very common these days and has a lot of tutorials, but is paid.

    These take pretty much all of the guesswork out of texture creation, and can simplify a lot of the previously harder texture work. The main thing is that they are a change to your workflow, which means you may need to spend some time learning to adapt to them. But in all honesty, these tools have become so common in the industry because of how much they simplify texture creation, and how much time they save.

    Here are some Pics showing what the Lights are doing in Surveyor.
    The banding you are seeing is due to the way that blended alpha channels (ie alpha channels that have grey in them) are handled in games, put simply game engines don't like them and very few games properly support them. However, make sure your anti-aliasing is set as high as you can have it, as this can make a huge difference to how alpha blended objects are rendered in Trainz.

    You may also need to try adjusting the 'compression' value in the .texture.txt file (see here: https://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/...ture.txt_Files ), as different compression values will handle alpha channels differently.

    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.

  9. #24
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    Thank You Zec Murphy! I copied your instructions into my notepad and will give that a go and see if I can Repair this Alpha issue.
    If that does not work I will let you know here on this Thread. The weird thing is, only in Surveyor this issue happens to the Drivable Carz.
    All of the other Lamps like that Flood Light looks poor in Driver also due to they are in the Environment not tied to the Drivable Code.
    Oh well, that is why I am here being a Beta tester for your 2019. Gives me something to do besides sit on my Hands.
    Cheers!
    jjeff1955

  10. #25

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    Thank you for your answer Zec! I will try it!

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZecMurphy View Post
    Hi All
    I've been looking at making a tutorial for this, unfortunately I've not had enough time to do so yet. Hopefully soon

    However the basic steps are:

    1) Open your parameters map in photoshop
    2) Click on the 'Image' menu at the top of the screen
    3) Go to 'Mode', and click on '32bits'
    4) Click on your primary colour in your toolbar (ie how you would set which colour you are going to paint with)
    5) Set your colour, then adjust the 'intensity' slider. I find that 1.5-3 stops works well here (you might need to play with this a little to get a good effect).
    6) Close the colour picker window, then paint (or fill) the colour where you want it on the emissive map
    7) Click on File, then Save As
    8) Under 'format', select 'Radiance' (it will list '.HDR' as one of the available formats)
    9) Name your file the same as your normal parameters map, but make sure the file is showing '.hdr' at the end
    10) Save the file

    In your asset, place the '.hdr' file in the same location as the regular version of your parameters map, then change the .texture.txt file for your parameters map to point to the .hdr file.

    Generally, if you use this on a nightmode mesh, I would recommend having a dedicated texture/material for the lit objects so that you can make it relatively small.
    I tried something but I don't have the bloom effect. Is it necessary to apply some post processing effect?
    I tried to apply your advice in a bulb of lampost. But the result is in the following picture:





    As you can see, only shows the orange color of albedo, but it does not have a glow or bloom effect.

    This is my parameters map in hdr format, with emissive (red channel) in white:



    Thank you for your help Zec!

    Regards!

  12. #27
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    Yes I am having the same issues, there seems to be a bug in the Game that does not work like it did in the earlier Versions of Trainz.
    I have also have tried with the HDR Lighting effects and the same results as before. T can clearly understand that the simple Alpha channels do not filter thru the Primary correctly as they did with the TRS 2004 and Trs 2006.

    Most Lamps are not PBR and just the simple Primary and Alpha Channels that are supposed to Blend together as per my Pics that I Posted Here.
    I have not checked other Versions such as Trs 2009 & Trs 2010.
    I do see that the night Lights seem to look a lot better in Trs 2012.
    Hopefully the next Surveyor 2.0 will be the Patch.

    All in all I still love this TRS2019 for all of the other Quality that it has.
    Cheers.
    jjeff1955

  13. #28
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    It is not a bug. Alpha blending was exchanged by "alpha to coverage" intentionally. They just broke what was working in the name of avoiding bad performance. They didn't offer spare satisfactory solution at the same time. They just cut it off. As they did with the highest resolution for example. They just cancelled it. In the name of avoiding bad performance. Users complained about bad engine core performance so they created special solution. A revenge for those screaming about performance. Instead of applying clear rules for content creators and strict restrictions for placing content into the game. Instead of providing clear and full instructions and manuals how to create the content to be valid and not hitting performance. Were they just lazy or not so self-confident or what made them to do so? I can't believe it was only cost related. It would be just extremely short-sighted then.... Currently Trainz iz not suitable for playing at night at all. Unless someone would like to suffer the poor visual experience.

  14. #29
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    why I can't acces/view page 3 of this topic to read the last 10 messages ?
    I've logged, and still, it auto-jumps to page 2!
    why ?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_Power View Post
    why I can't acces/view page 3 of this topic to read the last 10 messages ?
    I've logged, and still, it auto-jumps to page 2!
    why ?
    Good question. I have the same issue! I think it's time to reboot the forum server. Remember those days when things got goofy Lance Jago or Greg Lane would come along and reboot things to make the forum work again?

    EDIT:

    After posting this reply, I now only see two pages. ???
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 109641

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