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This thread is discussing the following file:

Default Replacement Tracks - Option 1 (ATracks)

File date: 2024-05-23 19:00:00
Downloads: 720

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  • qballbandit
    replied
    Hey Paul, great stuff - thanks! I also used the BlendTexDiff edit and really appreciated the results.

    Leave a comment:


  • RobGuru
    replied
    Originally posted by eric View Post
    There's not, but you could probably make one based on the dynamic track profile.

    My licensed copy of Dynatrax no longer functions, so it hasn't been very high on my list.
    Where can you get Dynatrak from?

    Leave a comment:


  • paulytechnic
    replied
    Originally posted by eric View Post
    Yeah, I've noticed that, and have tried a couple different things but haven't landed on a good fix. The shadows are legit, and I suspect that the reason they're not appearing on dynamic track is that it may have been designed in a way it doesn't cast a shadow.

    The problem is exacerbated by the USTracks textures and how alpha's are defined. The edges are alpha'd as you'd expect, but the ballast around the ties is also alpha'd out, which means it has to be drawn as three separate objects (slope, top, slope).

    As three separate objects, there's no edge to un-crease or apply smoothing to. It might be possible to make it more of an arched curve, but that's going to increase the poly count for each shape.
    That makes sense, and I feel that increasing the poly count for each shape would not be enough of a benefit to justify the hit on resources. So, since smoothing the ballast for the replacement shapes isn't really feasible right now, a good alternative would be to modify the dynamic track profile so the harder shadows are consistent with the replacement global shapes. (Again, I don't think they look bad, but I'd much rather that everything looked consistent so you couldn't even tell which track is dynamic and which isn't).

    As mentioned before, such modifications are a bit beyond my expertise. But with some experimentation and a lot of fumbling, I think I stumbled on a solution. It looks like the "Normal" values control the lighting of the surface. So I replaced these values for the ballast slopes with values "borrowed" from one of the replacement shapes.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	TrackProfile_NormalValues.png
Views:	804
Size:	13.3 KB
ID:	2307172

    Are these the "correct" values? I have no clue...I'm just fiddling in the dark here. But the results in Open Rails are good, and dynamic track now seems to have consistent shadows as all other track...

    Click image for larger version

Name:	US3vsDfltRepl_NewProfileShadow.png
Views:	139
Size:	1.19 MB
ID:	2307174

    So here's yet another Track Profile update for the USTracks default replacements...

    [ATTACH]n2307173[/ATTACH]

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    There's not, but you could probably make one based on the dynamic track profile.

    My licensed copy of Dynatrax no longer functions, so it hasn't been very high on my list.

    Leave a comment:


  • NW 2156
    replied
    Eric,

    Is there a readily available Dynatrax profile?

    I've got a couple routes that are heavy with dynamic track that I'd like to convert fully to the new fine rail.

    Thanks.

    Robert

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    Yeah, I've noticed that, and have tried a couple different things but haven't landed on a good fix. The shadows are legit, and I suspect that the reason they're not appearing on dynamic track is that it may have been designed in a way it doesn't cast a shadow.

    The problem is exacerbated by the USTracks textures and how alpha's are defined. The edges are alpha'd as you'd expect, but the ballast around the ties is also alpha'd out, which means it has to be drawn as three separate objects (slope, top, slope).

    As three separate objects, there's no edge to un-crease or apply smoothing to. It might be possible to make it more of an arched curve, but that's going to increase the poly count for each shape.

    Leave a comment:


  • paulytechnic
    replied
    Originally posted by eric View Post

    Found 'em. There's an additional texture and layer that wasn't included in the original profile I got from Doug.

    I'll have a fix out sometime in the next week or so.
    Wow, that's great! Thank you, Eric! 😎

    I just noticed something else this evening, which isn't really that big of a deal, but I thought I'd share my observation anyway. When compared to Dynamic or regular US3 tracks, the UStracks Replacement shapes seem to have a "harder" shadow on the ballast slopes. It's most noticeable in the dawn/dusk hours when shadows are at their most extreme, in both OR and Shape Viewer. You can see the difference in the screenshots here:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	US3vsDfltRepl_Shadow1.png
Views:	178
Size:	1.08 MB
ID:	2307019

    Click image for larger version

Name:	US3vsDfltRepl_Shadow2.png
Views:	584
Size:	712.0 KB
ID:	2307018

    It's been quite a while since I've done any kind of modeling, but I believe it's "poly smoothing"(?) that normally would reduce the crisp, defined edge. I'm not sure if it's possible for the script generating these shapes can do any kind of selective poly smoothing or not. If so, it might help the look since ballast/gravel rarely has such a sharp edge. However, if it's not possible, I completely understand, and it really doesn't look that bad (just different).

    Another option might be to update "something" in the TrProfile.stf to disable the smoothing, so the dynamic track can have a consistent shadow as everything else, but I'm afraid this is a bit beyond my manual-editing expertise.

    Just thought I'd throw this out there! 😉

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    Originally posted by paulytechnic View Post
    replacement shapes seem to be missing the spike heads
    Found 'em. There's an additional texture and layer that wasn't included in the original profile I got from Doug.

    I'll have a fix out sometime in the next week or so.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	capture_500723.jpg
Views:	505
Size:	147.8 KB
ID:	2307004
    Last edited by eric; 07-01-2024, 07:47 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • qballbandit
    replied
    Thanks Paul, easy enough!

    Leave a comment:


  • paulytechnic
    replied
    I usually use Notepad since it's readily available & simple, but most any text editor will do.

    Leave a comment:


  • qballbandit
    replied
    Hi, may sound like a pretty ridiculous question to some of you - but, what utility is best for opening and editing the .stf (trackprofile) files,please?
    Very much appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • oper190
    replied
    Just checked my install of updated tracks, USTrack vers. and found the same.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Open Rails 2024-07-01 02-33-33.jpg
Views:	391
Size:	115.2 KB
ID:	2306964

    Normally don't get this close to the rails to realize no spikes.

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    Originally posted by paulytechnic View Post
    Also, the replacement shapes seem to be missing the spike heads from the original UStracks design, while the dynamic track still displays them...
    I'll take a look. There's another layer for the spikes that should be there.

    Leave a comment:


  • RobGuru
    replied
    How to convert US3 to Dynamic?

    Leave a comment:


  • paulytechnic
    replied
    Originally posted by pschlik View Post
    A bit late, but I updated the UStracks version of default track replacements I was using and the track profile on dynamic track is not matching the shape of 'actual' track sections. (The track closer to the camera is regular track, the further track is dynamic)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	r6szyhn.png Views:	653 Size:	1.51 MB ID:	2305320

    I also notice some flickering, though I'm not sure if it's plain old z-fighting, at a distance on the dynamic track sections which makes them clearly stand out from regular track sections.

    The Atracks set doesn't have those problems, so I'll be sticking to that for the moment despite the hit or miss nature of the original track textures.
    I too am using the latest UStracks version and have noticed the dynamic track profile is different (specifically the ballast slope), even with the latest track profile. I fiddled with the UStracks profile and think I've come up with something that matches the ballast "better" than before (attached), but I'm not sure it'll ever be 100% perfect due to the variations of the different pieces it connects to. The main issue seemed that the ballast slope wasn't sunk quite deep enough. I also resolved the flickering issue with distant dynamic track by changing the "Dark Ties" ShaderName to BlendTexDiff instead of BlendTexADiff (this was an issue I encountered with the standard version of UStracks as well).

    LODItem (
    Name ( "Dark_Ties" )
    TexName ( "US_Track3.ace" )
    ShaderName ( "BlendTexDiff" )
    LightModelName ( "DarkShade" )



    Also, the replacement shapes seem to be missing the spike heads from the original UStracks design, while the dynamic track still displays them...

    Click image for larger version  Name:	2024-06-30 23_28_59-Window.png Views:	4 Size:	1.23 MB ID:	2306936
    Last edited by paulytechnic; 06-30-2024, 10:44 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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