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Thread: Tips and Tricks-Surveyor

  1. #1
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    Cool Tips & Tricks: Surveyor

    There's a lot of Tips and Tricks I have learned about Surveyor in Trainz since I arrived here. There is so many threads with stuff like this in them its hard to find exactly the right tip or trick you need for your job.

    So post your Tips & Trick for Surveyor here! You can always learn something new and this is the right place.

    I hope with the start of this thread you will all use these tips and/or tricks to create more realistic and entertaining routes for the community, not as there is enough already!

    Please, dont ask where you get this or that here. Please contact the Tip/Trick poster by PM to solve your issues or problems/questions. It makes this thread a bit neater and easier to find the Tip/Trick you really want. Also, no comments on stupid stuff!! This is an information thread not a "Hi, whats the weather in your area today?" thread. All off-topic posts like this will be deleted.

    I would also like to thank AJ_Fox for stickying this thread for us so its easy to find. Thanks AJ.

    Many Tips/Tricks can be found on the Trainz Wiki as well. A lot will come from here. When posting here please make a note if you do/dont want your tip/trick in the Wiki. (Link to Wiki Thread: http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=22690)

    I might as well start with two good tips.
    1) Rotate you textures in big areas not small for realisitc looks.
    2) When creating water with different heights close together make sure the water doesnt touch otherwise it will act as one big water mass.

    Now lets see some Tip & Tricks!!

    Cheers,
    Adam
    Last edited by titaniclover; July 9th, 2008 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Fixing up the post a bit...
    73's,
    Adam Wiethuechter; KC2RXO

  2. #2
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    Ok a few from me:

    - Don't use the undo button to delete a spline, chances are TRS will crash

    - Where possible, lay your track in the direction the trains will be travelling. This helps the AI as it "prefers" track which is laid in the direction of travel. For the same reason, do not use double track as a) it makes the AI think it's travelling the wrong way and b) it makes curves very difficult to build (and for certain countries it's the wrong spacing anyway)

    - Leave the signalling till last, as laying a signal and then laying more track ahead of it can cause problems with the AI.

    - Trackmarks. If you have a long stretch of track or you find the AI constantly takes the wrong route at a certain location, lay a trackmark down on the path you want the AI to take and then tell your trains to "Drive Via". I find that placing a trackmark a full braking distance before a signal and telling a train to "Drive Via" prevents the AI from trying to take control of points which are beyond the signal and it will instead wait for the signal to clear.

    - Choice of track. Experiment! There are thousands of different types of track available in TRS and on the DLS. It's sad to always see people putting so much effort into the rolling stock, scenery and buildings used on a route and then to have the visual effect of all that ruined by using the default tracks which were built-in to the original Trainz and have been available for six or seven years now. Surely I'm not the only one who thinks this?

    There are plenty more but I'll leave that to the others

    Cheers,

    JB
    Last edited by jivebunny; February 18th, 2007 at 02:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Combine multiple buildings together to make them fit the situation

    Always lay a base texture (I use green) incase you miss an area of the main textures.

    Copy/Cut/Paste. Period!

    Before you release a route try to run most common scenarios to make sure the AI/signalling actually work and check for any trackwork that isn't right.

    Use as many photo's as you can to see how things are really done to make routes more prototypical.

    Try to add one unique area to your route, ie. a different sort of factory or industry that you haven't seen in another map.

    Try to look at routes from different geographic areas for inspiration, for example if you model USA then look at Euro/UK routes and vice-versa.
    Stuck at the bottom of the world!

  4. #4
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    Default Tips 'n Tricks

    I was sent to the tutorial referenced below and it has become my bible. I didn't know track had direction. Download & read it. It's clear and concise. Written in people language not techie stuff.

    Tom
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's a tutorial for those new to the TRS2004/2006 Surveyor module. It deals with many aspects of getting your new route off to a good start. It covers such things as:

    Working with track and switches
    Making your turnouts look nice
    Controlling train speed through a switch
    An introduction to signalling
    Working with signals
    Installing bridges
    An introduction to portals
    Case studies in AI train operations

    We'll go into considerable detail on these issues, and most of the tutorials are now available as downloadable .pdf files you can print out at home.

    You can find the tutorial here: http://trains.0catch.com/tutorial.html

  5. #5
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    Here is a tip for moving Track marks.
    If you want to move track marks beyond spline points, use the move function for track objects (i.e. signals etc.) it works on track marks of all kinds.
    cheers,
    andyz

  6. #6
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    When you make Bridges note that grass does not grow under a bridge so use a dark colour such as "Dock Surface" or Ballast if its trackside.When you are making Fields note that a field is rarely ploughed right up to the fence.Try to orientate you fields so you can paint a rough grass texture to follow the line of the fence and paint the rest of the field your required colour.Always include a "Farm Gate" or "Open Farm Gate" in your field and paint a Mud texture round it , suggestive of Tractors or animals going through it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks..Here are another two.1) Remember that real Train Drivers wll not allow their trains to actually make contact with the Bufferstops/Rail Ends.Thus, although your siding rails may be shiny , the last few yards and -certainly- any track beyond the Bufferstops should be rusty since no trains ever run over it! 2} Likewise , Trap Points and Catch Points should never have trains running over the "dead" track so that track should always be rusty.

  8. #8
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    I'd just like to reiterate not using undo at all, it can mess up splines and other things as well. I must say that the rusty track stuff is a good idea, but some tracks do not have a rusty rail version.

    Another tip: Use the track straightening tool to make proper switches and don't make the diverge leave the mainline at too sharp of a curve.

  9. #9
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    Default Quick and Easy Mountains and Slopes

    This is a two step process. Use the Fill area tool in the "Topology Menu" on an area I call the pallete, just some base boards that I add to the route to create items to be copied for pasting elsewhere. I select "Hill" and fill an area at least three to four grid squares inside one full base board. It does not have to be square nor a full baseboard, just leave enough room around the filled area so later you can place all the copy lines at 0 elevation . If I'm after really big hills I use 4 base boards but again only fill up to 3 or 4 squars from the edge to leave the 0 level edge.

    Now the trick. In the "Tools" menu use copy and paste. Copy the "Hill" but be sure to have your copy lines just outside the raised area and at "0" elevation. This is important. Set the paste functions to heighth and RELATIVE. The relative is critical. This way you have no sharp edges on your pasted item and can overlap and compound with additional pastings to double the height of the new landform. By varying the original template from a gentle slope to sharp cone you can get almost any topography you wish. Also note that when you paste you can use half the hill by moving to the edge of a base board. That way your hills can start high at the edge of the route and slope down and in, acting as backdrops to the route. With a little bit of playing around you are just a few clicks away from mountains, hills, and slopes that cover entire base boards quickly and easily.

    Rick

  10. #10
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    I"ve had to lay out a few small forests on my "Real Life" route so most of these have been learned the hard way - I have had to delete my original efforts! 1) When laying out large numbers of trees always use the "Randomly rotate new objects" function in Surveyor options AND vary the height of the trees by using the Height button.2) When laying out Tree Splines , don"t lay them in straight lines - lay short stretches in criss cross lines so as to make them look less uniform.3)Always paint the forest floor a darker colour (e.g. Ger Forest) than the surrounding area. 4) For good measure use a sound file such as "Crows".

  11. #11
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    For Prototypical Routes:

    1) carefully look at the scale of the buildings your putting in your route. There are buildings on the DLS that are much too huge and way out of scale for modeling the real world. Rule of thumb- If a 200 ton diesel loco looks small next to a building in your route the building is probably too large and not to scale.

    2) there is nothing worse then driving your train over "floating track" that has a space between the track and the ground. When you are done laying all the track for your route, use the ground elevation tool to bring the ground up to your track. Don't bring your track down to the ground or you will lose the gradient you set for the track. Select the "ground up" button in the topography menu and gently tap your left mouse button to bring the ground up to your track. Keep doing it until the ground just starts to cover the edge of the track, then hit the undo button once to lower the ground one "mouse tap". Do this for your entire route. It is time consuming but the result is no more ugly space between your track and the ground.

    3) Iron and steel bridges should have abutments at each end. Iron bridges do not magically emerge from the ground. It looks very fake. Also, track does not hang in the air when connecting to a bridge. (Would you drive a locomotive over that in real life???) Place a stone or concrete abutment to give it that prototypical look. Or use a retaining wall spline to give the bridge an abutment.

    4) Try to keep your industrial complexes a realistic size. Set surveyor to use "real scale" and measure the buildings from Sanborn maps. You will find that most factory complexes in the real world are actually much smaller then they appear.

    5) In city areas, use textures that are kind of drab. Railroad yards and industrial sidings are very dirty, dark, unfriendly places. See the route "UK Somewhere" for an example of excellent example of texturing to give a route a "industrial look".

    6) Don't use "black" textures for forests floors. (Yuck!)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by leader2302 View Post
    For Prototypical Routes:

    1) carefully look at the scale of the buildings your putting in your route. There are buildings on the DLS that are much too huge and way out of scale for modeling the real world. Rule of thumb- If a 200 ton diesel loco looks small next to a building in your route the building is probably too large and not to scale.
    This is why ALL creations need to be made fiull scale, 1:1. That way they will fit in just fine.
    2) there is nothing worse then driving your train over "floating track" that has a space between the track and the ground. When you are done laying all the track for your route, use the ground elevation tool to bring the ground up to your track. Don't bring your track down to the ground or you will lose the gradient you set for the track. Select the "ground up" button in the topography menu and gently tap your left mouse button to bring the ground up to your track. Keep doing it until the ground just starts to cover the edge of the track, then hit the undo button once to lower the ground one "mouse tap". Do this for your entire route. It is time consuming but the result is no more ugly space between your track and the ground.
    If you still have gaps even after all that fiddlin', perhaps it is time to use track that has some below ground extension to fill in those remaining gaps.

    In the above image, you can see the result. The fill under the two tracks in the backgound is part of the track and was not added after the fact. It bridges the dip in the ground very nicely. Search for "1t spoordijk grind MRT" or 70337:38035 to try it
    ...
    [/quote]


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

  13. #13
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    Default Microsoft Virtual Earth

    Microsoft's Virtual Earth is sometimes a good alternative to Google Earth. In some places, its imagery is sharper and brighter than Google's and there is the added advantage of being able to see some locations (I'm assuming most are in the US) in bird's-eye view. It's good for visualising a situation in a way that you can't in Google Earth.

    A disadvantage, though, is that in the overhead view, (as far as I'm aware) you can't get the coordinate of a location like you can in Google Earth.

    A bird's eye view of an industrial area in West Sacramento, California:


    ...and this zooms in to:
    Last edited by graemeo; February 20th, 2007 at 08:00 PM.

  14. #14
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    ohh very nice im going to get it.
    i have google earth but the area where im making my route parts of it are totally messed up.
    this will come in handy.

    Edit: for some reason the area which i want to see will not show up weird....i cant get into birds eye view....
    Last edited by titaniclover; February 20th, 2007 at 09:52 PM.
    73's,
    Adam Wiethuechter; KC2RXO

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniclover View Post
    Edit: for some reason the area which i want to see will not show up weird....i cant get into birds eye view....
    Yeah, I probably should have made it clearer: the birds-eye view is only available for a bunch of cities, according to my understanding. If the area you're modelling isn't covered, then you won't be able to get it into the birds-eye view (and it gives you a message saying so, I think). Coverage isn't just restricted to the US, either: for example, here's a list of at least some of the locations covered in Europe.

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