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    Switching over to Blender from TSM

    Well guys the time has finally come that I switch over to the dark side! I have been dreading switching over to another modeling program for some time now but I think I have finally come to the conclusion that is in inevitable at some point! I have been using TSM for years and very comfortable with it but it has come to my attention that it is highly outdated and its time to switch over to something better suited for my models.

    Being that my friend Josh just recently switched over and many other modelers I know have also made the switch I have decided that it is time that I make the switch as well. That being said it will be a big learning curve but it's better to start now then later!

    This will also allow me to work with more modelers that use Blender along with make my models even more detailed in the future. Looking at tutorials and YouTube videos it seems the building process for Blender will be much quicker then TSM and hopefully in time I will be able to crank out models much quicker then I did before once I get the hang of it.

    I have learned that you need to change with the times otherwise you will be left in the dust and I am always one for change but like MSTS to Open Rails it took me quite awhile to switch over but the time has come for me to learn the ways of Blender and use it moving forward with my projects.

    My only concern and the reason I have not made the switch is the fact I do not want to start all over when it comes to my models and wish there was a way to import them to Blender but not sure if there is a way to do so?

    I am hopeful that others will give me guidance and help if I need it as I make the switch and if anyone would like to give me any pointers it would be greatly appreciated!

    Brandon

    #2
    Good luck. I chose to start out with rebuilding from scratch because that repetition is how I learned (and then promptly forgot because I stopped using it for about a year).

    If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Eric! I just feel its time to make the switch and time for me to start moving away from TSM. Josh has already done so and we both feel if we want to continue to work together on things we need to use the same modeling program. Sure it will be a pain to learn the new software and I am sure I will still use TSM from time to time but I also feel learning how to use Blender wouldn't be such a bad idea for myself.

      Brandon

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        #4
        I have been using TSM for many years now so was interested in your decision to move on to Blender. I am wondering whether the time has come for me to do the same but would like to know more about the advantages of using Blender as opposed to TSM.

        Martin

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          #5
          If I may relate my experiences, someone asked me the same question on another forum.

          I have been using TSM for a few years with good results, but I have noticed that as my locomotive models got more complex, TSM seemed to struggle with exporting to the sim. I would have anomalies - "flying polygons" - which spoiled the model. I got over this for a time by using Freight Animations to add further details. Also, when modelling a 3d cab, the amount of zoom available in TSM was not enough to get into the small details on switches and controls. Again, I worked around this by scaling parts up by a factor of five or ten and then shrinking them down when finished.

          These things made it attractive to try out Blender, since I had read and seen good results from other modellers. As with any new software, there is a learning curve, but it does help if you have experience with 3d modelling with another tool like TSM or Gmax. At least you then know what you are looking for - even if you can't find it right away! The starting point for me was to work through a simple tutorial, of which there are plenty on youtube. That got me used to the user interface and layout. Once I had built my first simple shape and exported it successfully into Openrails, I was ready to try something more complex. The big breakthrough for me was when an experienced user converted my unfinished model from TSM to Blender. That gave me a head start.

          Blender has some really useful features. For instance, if you want to focus your view on a particular component, you can select it by clicking on it, and then press . on the numpad, and the view automatically changes and zooms to that part. If the area around a part is crowded, you can press / and all other parts except the one you have selected are hidden. Transparent parts, like windows display correctly too on the model.

          Texturing in Blender is a bit daunting to start with, but once you get the idea that each part has a "material", which has a texture image associated with it and properties that can be chosen- like transparency or shiny-ness, then it becomes easier. Several parts can use the same "material" and hence use the same texture image.

          You can set up the workspace with 3 orthogonal views and a 3d view, like TSM or Gmax , but I don't, since you can get a side, top or rear view easily with one mouse click, and use the whole screen.

          There are only a couple of things that I miss from TSM. One is the ability to text edit an animation, and save that to use on another part. The other one is the ability in TSM to have a Background image to guide the modelling. There is a way to do this in Blender, but it's not as good in my opinion.​

          Cheers,
          Geoff

          Comment


            #6
            I still use TSM and since 90% of my model creation is bridges & viaducts I will probably stay with it although in general I agree with the comments of others about making the change. I resisted going to TSRE until this year and now I have done the track on two routes for others, with TSRE and I am finishing some of my own routes that had track, previously laid with MSTS/RE with TSRE.

            Jerry Sullivan

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              #7
              If you know someone with a functional 3DCANVAS, they can help you migrate your shapes from TSM (DST) to 3DS (which Blender can import and spit out a BLEND FILE for you)
              http://www.railsimstuff.com
              Just Blender now, 3DCrafter only when I have to.
              formerly The Keystone Works (All Permissions Granted)
              https://github.com/pwillard/MSTS-replacement
              sigpic

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mrmosky View Post
                Texturing in Blender is a bit daunting to start with, but once you get the idea that each part has a "material", which has a texture image associated with it and properties that can be chosen- like transparency or shiny-ness, then it becomes easier. Several parts can use the same "material" and hence use the same texture image.
                Texturing is where I've gotten tripped up the most. I've been spoiled by the Sketchup paint bucket, and being able to stretch/pin/flip with a click or two.
                If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Once you have a clue how it *really* works... it is deceptively easy.
                  http://www.railsimstuff.com
                  Just Blender now, 3DCrafter only when I have to.
                  formerly The Keystone Works (All Permissions Granted)
                  https://github.com/pwillard/MSTS-replacement
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you! I have already been watching some tutorials on how to use Blender! Looks fairly straight forward once you get the key commands and everything else down!

                    Comment

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