Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Variable Car and engine numbers?

Collapse
X
Collapse
First Prev Next Last
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Variable Car and engine numbers?

    Does Openrails have any capablity of applying car/engine numbers at runtime? (Number is not part of the texture)

    I think they do this in Train Sim World for Engines/Cars. I think Trainz does it for Cars and Engines. Run8 does it for engines.

    Functionally what this does is, say you have a single model of an SD40-2, you can drop 10 of these on the railroad and each will get a different number.

    This is most noticeable on TSW USA routes - they'll have a train full of covered hoppers, all identical, but the sides will read different numbers.

    #2
    No, not available.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the confirmation Jack. Cements my plan to migrate to Run8.
      Cheers
      Duncan
      Share your videos with friends, family, and the world

      Comment


        #4
        The problem with variable car and engine numbers as it's done in the other sims is that you can only do it with a portion of the mesh assigned as a decal to have the numbers mapped to. MSFS has this same functionality and nobody uses it because the position of registration numbers varies widely from airline to airline. Similarly, the position of reporting marks varies widely from railroad to railroad. You'd need to export a new model for every single variation on reporting mark position.

        In OR, since you can have as many child shapes as you want on a model, it's much simpler to just assign a decal shape with a large mesh area where the painter can position the reporting marks to account for different positions. You need a model that's set up correctly to do this, though, and you need to understand editing textures to edit car numbers.

        This has an added realism benefit: In the real world, car and locomotive numbers aren't random. Groups of cars are assigned into discrete number series by the railroad, and these cars carry RFID tags that are scanned by trackside equipment such that the railroad always knows where each car and locomotive is. Real trains are built from discrete cars with discrete numbers assigned to discrete locations. Using the decal method allows the painter to produce a sampling of road numbers from a number series. A consist can then be built with those road numbers and the activity maker can assign these cars to a train with appropriate destinations for each car. This is much closer to how things work in the real world. You still get the benefit of not needing carbody textures for each road number while maintaining the realism of sending the right car to the right place.
        sigpic

        Comment


          #5
          Random car and locomotive number assignment by the sim is a stupid idea, and it's just a lazy way for sim developers to avoid creating unique rolling stock. Take a look at real world trains. Each car or locomotive looks a bit different--different weathering, differences in lettering, etc. If one really wants to do renumbers, it's easy to do with just some cursory training in how to handle texture files and photo shopping programs. By creating "new" textures for a renumbered loco or car, one can also delve into adding custom weathering, etc.

          Comment


            #6
            I've been thinking about this lately.I don't know if OR can support this feature,The reason I wanted to solve this problem was that the vehicle was very repetitive.We do this to minimize duplication of vehicles

            Comment


              #7
              Dynamic numbering may also require more drawcalls than rendering a decal texture per car does.

              My take on this is the numbers on the cars and trailing or passing locomotives don't matter to 90% of the people playing the game who never leave the cab, or just enjoy watching the scenery rolling by with the train in the middle of it.
              Last edited by eric; 04-20-2024, 10:28 AM.
              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


                #8
                Having seen how some creators have already tackled dynamic-ish numbers with freight animations (Erick's free BNSF gondola being one example) gave me some ideas to expand the FA system to serve as the host for an actual dynamic numbering system.

                It would be trivial to add a token that serves as a list of road numbers that could be selected randomly, then assign those numbers to freight animations. Of course, you'd still need a separate FA for each number decal but that would reduce the number of .eng/.wag files regardless.

                The actual smart solution that I don't know if I could implement would be to take in textures (likely a texture atlas) as a 'font' and have the user define the position and orientation of text boxes in 3D space where those numbers and/or letters could be added. Might need to check how other games do it (TSC, Trainz, even Transport Fever come to mind). It's possible this might need to wait for a more modern shape file format.
                ​​​
                ​Contributing to ORTS on GitHub as SteelFill

                Comment


                  #9
                  Lots of good info here, thanks for all the replies!

                  Erick C - are you saying it /is/ possible?

                  wwhall - I was thinking of this from a memory optimization perspective - If a rail yard has 4000 cars in it and they are all different, then would they all use different texture files that need to be loaded into video memory at the same time? And would this translate into a requirement for a video card with more VRAM, or would it become a limiting factor in the sim (ie you can load up to xx different textures, after that they must be swapped from disk on each frame?)

                  Eric - Makes sense for cross country stuff. I like yard work and locals, and wondered what the impact was with 4000 cars in view at the same time if all of them came from unique objects vs re-using the common parts.

                  pschlik - It's an interesting mental exercise right??? I don't know enough about rendering graphics to know what's better- I do get the feeling other sims use a font and render that way, as apposed to sliding pre-rendered squares into position, but honestly, that's not a terrible idea either. Would be the kind of thing I'd benchmark if I was in the weeds with this kind of thing and hand the knowledge.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    With 4000 cars, I think it's going to be hardly noticeable with the cars having the same numbers. Then again, All I use is TS and my own stock, and I hardly notice if the cars are repetitive with more than 100 in a yard.

                    As mentioned, it does seem like a very lazy method for additional cars, then what's the point of those of us that still produce repaints or models if they are all going to be one generic car with numerous numbers and no flavor of weathering differences? Even the TSW looks pretty lazy with this, especially when the numbers aren't even the right fonts used.

                    I personally think there may be other things to bring into ORTS that are a bit more important than this, but, who am I to say I suppose. Most of what I say gets brushed aside anyhow.
                    -Shawn K-
                    Derby Rail Shops
                    Maine Central Mountain Division: 20% Track, 10% Scenery.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by CSRX View Post
                      With 4000 cars, I think it's going to be hardly noticeable with the cars having the same numbers. Then again, All I use is TS and my own stock, and I hardly notice if the cars are repetitive with more than 100 in a yard.

                      As mentioned, it does seem like a very lazy method for additional cars, then what's the point of those of us that still produce repaints or models if they are all going to be one generic car with numerous numbers and no flavor of weathering differences? Even the TSW looks pretty lazy with this, especially when the numbers aren't even the right fonts used.

                      I personally think there may be other things to bring into ORTS that are a bit more important than this, but, who am I to say I suppose. Most of what I say gets brushed aside anyhow.
                      You could put the weathering in the freight animations, as well as things like grafitti and what-not. And we would still need our artists to give us renditions of the car from different roads and different eras.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by shadowmane View Post

                        You could put the weathering in the freight animations, as well as things like grafitti and what-not. And we would still need our artists to give us renditions of the car from different roads and different eras.
                        I think with ORTS and how well it handles high poly models, it's time to step away from freight animations. Regardless of ORTS allowing to have many of them at one time. Of course, granted I still use a F/A here and there for ditch lights, or lumber loads, but still. I personally don't think this variable car number or engine number method, is a step in the right direction for ORTS.

                        What Erick Cantu has done, is fine. Sometimes I remove those numbers though, so I can my own personal lettering and numbering as needed, which I have done with several cars of his set up for my fictional railroad. I also had to remove them, as they weren't lined up as CSXT has them set up for their centerbeams. Essentially, you can look at it two ways. One way being quick and lazy to have one specific car or engine have various numbers and be a bland old boring car or engine, or you can make it super complex with various locations of the numbers and letters, freight animations until the dog comes home etc.

                        Personally, I like what we have now, and to be fair, modern days with large hard drives, a 4kb wagon file with an 80kb shape file, shouldn't break the bank. If it does, perhaps it's time to clean out some of the old and very out dated rolling stock, for something new and fresh, like the many options from TrainSimulations, Erick Cantu, Tiger Trains/Toronto Mainline Trains, and the new offers eventually coming from BLW/ZT.

                        Even Scott here in the forums has some amazing up to date steam engines.
                        -Shawn K-
                        Derby Rail Shops
                        Maine Central Mountain Division: 20% Track, 10% Scenery.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by CSRX View Post
                          Even Scott here in the forums has some amazing up to date steam engines.
                          I need to find some of those steam engines.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by CSRX View Post
                            With 4000 cars, I think it's going to be hardly noticeable with the cars having the same numbers. Then again, All I use is TS and my own stock, and I hardly notice if the cars are repetitive with more than 100 in a yard.

                            As mentioned, it does seem like a very lazy method for additional cars, then what's the point of those of us that still produce repaints or models if they are all going to be one generic car with numerous numbers and no flavor of weathering differences? Even the TSW looks pretty lazy with this, especially when the numbers aren't even the right fonts used.

                            I personally think there may be other things to bring into ORTS that are a bit more important than this, but, who am I to say I suppose. Most of what I say gets brushed aside anyhow.
                            Hi Shawn K - please don't confuse a question about if ORTS has a feature, with a request for the feature!

                            Coming from other sims, I was curious how things worked for ORTS - I've noticed many car kits for sale with specific, individual numbers, and wasn't sure if that was a hold over from MSTS, or if it applied to OpenRails as well.. This discussion is purely one of interest - each sim's chosen different paths to take, and I'm sure for different reasons.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by pschlik View Post

                              The actual smart solution that I don't know if I could implement would be to take in textures (likely a texture atlas) as a 'font' and have the user define the position and orientation of text boxes in 3D space where those numbers and/or letters could be
                              Thats essentially a sprite. It's how mile markers are rendered. Not difficult in concept, but it'll eat up CPU and GPU cycles.
                              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

                              Working...
                              X