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Thread: HD Terrain Discussion Thread

  1. #1
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    Default HD Terrain Discussion Thread

    In case you've missed the announcement, HD Terrain is coming to Trainz! I know the words get overused, but this is a real gamechanger!

    More details can be found on the Trainz Plus website.

    If you have questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you.
    Tony Hilliam

    NEED HELP? Check these links:

    Trainz Plus Features |
    Support Portal | Surveyor 2.0 Guide | TRS19 FAQs | Trainz Wiki

  2. #2
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    This sounds very exciting. I almost don't want to work on my route anymore and wait until HD terrain is available! It will be a game changer for sure. Not only being able to create terrain very close to the tracks but also the improvements to texturing sound awesome.
    One thing that is not too clear to me from the article (probably because I am not very well informed on all the latest graphics technologies) is whether we can take advantage of HD terrain via tessellation without being forced to use PBR textures? My experience with the latter so far in Trainz is very negative and I avoid them completely. although I do note that the article suggests that there will be improvements here also.

  3. #3
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    Very exciting news there Tony.

  4. #4
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    All good news, though for those of us who prefer the retail version, it seems likely to be a fair way off in the future.

  5. #5
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    The conversion from existing routes works pretty well already. Just how much tweaking will be required post conversion depends on quite a few things and we’re working through those now.

    The PBR (more accurately “parallax height map”) texture issues are pretty much avoided with HDT. We’ll be providing more information and vision as we fine tune things and prepare the necessary materials. The displacement mapping solves the jelly effect when viewing parallax side on rather than top down.

    For those who aren’t currently members of Trainz Plus, I guess they just need to decide if they’re interested in supporting a hobby that costs less than $1.50 a week, or prefer to wait a while and get the benefits some time later.
    Last edited by Tony_Hilliam; November 18th, 2022 at 04:47 AM.
    Tony Hilliam

    NEED HELP? Check these links:

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    Support Portal | Surveyor 2.0 Guide | TRS19 FAQs | Trainz Wiki

  6. #6
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    I was excited to read about the terrain upgrade, but then I read this arrogant statement

    "For those who aren’t currently members of Trainz Plus, I guess they just need to decide if they’re interested in supporting a hobby that costs less than $1.50 a week, or prefer to wait a while and get the benefits some time later."

    So my $69.99 that I paid for TRS22 up front with, doesn't support and help you improve things as much as those that pay monthly do? plus I voluntarily pay for a FCT to help keep you in funds so you get even more money from me to keep you going.
    By paying up front you have the money in the bank, by paying monthly you don't, you have to wait and hope that the member renews his subscription.
    I think that we owners of TRS22 without subscription are getting a raw deal, I feel like we are being treated as second class members rather than valued members that provide you with advanced funds.

    At least give us the terrain tool as an aupgrade.

    Graham


    TCWW & Trainz.de

  7. #7
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    Hi Graham. As you probably know, words on a page are open to interpretation (so no arrogance was intended).

    However I never said we didn’t want support from people purchasing the product, just that people had a choice to make.

    Rephrased, my comment states that there is choice between a small amount per week (paid monthly or annually), or an amount paid at lesser intervals, but with a time delay.

    If you’re paying for an FCT and buying Trainz, you’re possibly paying more than you need to.

    The subscription option does offer us greater confidence in future revenues which does allow us to invest in more staff. We’ve been adding a new staff member each year since we introduced memberships.

    We understand it’s not an option everyone will choose, but if they did, we’d probably double our staff and increase the pace of new feature releases.

    Please don’t be offended that we’re trying to run a business and make a better product to appeal to more people. Memberships are the future of SaaS for a reason - it gives companies more certainty.

    And I reiterate, $1.50 a week is a small amount. It’s cheaper than any TV streaming service and a fraction of the price being paid to your ISP each month.

    It is not being forced upon you, but again, don’t be offended that it’s available.

    can we please now allow this thread to focus on the title being the new HD terrain and move membership discussions elsewhere.
    Tony Hilliam

    NEED HELP? Check these links:

    Trainz Plus Features |
    Support Portal | Surveyor 2.0 Guide | TRS19 FAQs | Trainz Wiki

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    HD terrain and move membership discussions elsewhere.
    That's a bit rich Tony as you rode in the thread displaying the benefits of membership on a virtual sandwich board Ah, but have now edited that out I see.

    HD terrain looks great, and when TRS22 can display HD terrain that will be an incentive for me to upgrade. As a matter of interest, will all the exciting new features be available for the macOS version as well?
    Last edited by amigacooke; November 18th, 2022 at 07:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    How soon can we expect to see this feature?

    Will it work in both surveyors? Or just S2.0? I'm still going back and forth between the two as I adjust to the new way of building.

    Thanks, excited for this feature.

  10. #10
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    Sounds really great that HD terrain
    Thinking about tunnel entrances for a start, or not having to use splines to do steep terrain tricks
    This could be the item/feature that makes TRS22 unique


    Questions:
    -Does it have to be on a full route or can you select 1 baseboard or even better a marquee section of a few tiles?
    -How does dighole work with this? can you select tiny parts to be removed (think about tunnel entrances)
    -Once converted to HD, is it possible to revert back to 10m, 5m grid system?
    and what happens if you do?
    -Will routes/sessions made with this work for non Trainz-plus users or even TRS19SP5 users?
    -How does Smooth Spline Height work with this? For years it affects too big an area (without being able to adjust)
    -How does it affect frame rates?
    -Does it behave the same on any PC/Mac or graphics card?
    -How does it affect texturing (less jagged edges) ?
    -Will placing turfX be more precise with this?


    Good development! (don't forget about finishing the others)
    greetings GM

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucem56 View Post
    How soon can we expect to see this feature?

    Will it work in both surveyors? Or just S2.0? I'm still going back and forth between the two as I adjust to the new way of building.

    Thanks, excited for this feature.
    According to the page he links to this is a S2.0 only feature.

  12. #12
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    Questions:
    >>
    And answers...

    -Does it have to be on a full route or can you select 1 baseboard or even better a marquee section of a few tiles?
    >>
    Select one or more at a time. It takes a few seconds per board.

    -How does dighole work with this? can you select tiny parts to be removed (think about tunnel entrances)
    >>
    Full dighole support is being worked on currently

    -Once converted to HD, is it possible to revert back to 10m, 5m grid system? and what happens if you do?
    >>
    Yes, but the process isn't 1:1 in either direction, it's a "best fit" approach. Fine-tuning this will be part of the external test phase.

    -Will routes/sessions made with this work for non Trainz-plus users or even TRS19SP5 users?
    >>
    It will be compatible for TRS22 users. TRS19 are already a couple of format generations behind.

    -How does Smooth Spline Height work with this? For years it affects too big an area (without being able to adjust)
    >>
    The width of the smoothing was a limitation of the grid size. Because there is a lot more data to handle, the operation will be slower, but once it's polished it'll give much better results.

    -How does it affect frame rates?
    >>
    It is much faster due to single-pass rendering, but then slower due to displacement and shader effects. Overall performance is about the same.

    -Does it behave the same on any PC/Mac or graphics card?
    >>
    Better on a Mac, and will be better on DX12 than DX11 once that is introduced in 2023.

    -How does it affect texturing (less jagged edges) ?
    >>
    HUGE effect. The old system was limited to a 5m x 5m minimum texture size, with blends across into the next grid. This system works down to 0.12m.

    -Will placing turfX be more precise with this?
    >>
    Yes.
    Tony Hilliam

    NEED HELP? Check these links:

    Trainz Plus Features |
    Support Portal | Surveyor 2.0 Guide | TRS19 FAQs | Trainz Wiki

  13. #13

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    With the smooth spline update, gone are the days of retaining walls that have a faked upper level ground plane

    but with that, is the ground going to be stretched vertically (textures projected vertically down) or will the textures be projected to the normal of the formed tesselation?

  14. #14
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    I’m very glad to see this update. Water courses and tunnels should be more natural.

    What is the options going to be for importing terrain with the increased resolution? Displacement bit maps, DEMs? Will there be documentation on the new resolution so third parties can make utilities? I would like to try to do my own utility.
    Trainz 2022 on Ventura. M1 Macs
    T Driver 3 iPhone SE2 iOS16

  15. #15
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    @Tony, I agree it sounds very exciting hear about HD Terrain. My question here would be how much does this new feature impact on existing hardware?. Andrew
    Last edited by poolboy; November 18th, 2022 at 06:33 PM.

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