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P40, P42, P32AC-DM for Open Rails - Lessons Learned & New Progress

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    #16
    Alright folks, going to lean on your experience again during the unwrapping process, once I am over this hump we are home free!

    So, this model has lots of crevices, where doors and vents sit. Since these units are pretty slab sided, I can mostly just "project from view" to lay out the front, rear, nose, and tail of the engines, but then I'm looking at all these crevice chunks side on so they get a bad bake in ambient occlusion.

    A "smart UV unwrap" leaves a lot of these pieces as separate chunks, which is not great for performance or for ease of painting. There's enough of them that having their own place on the template is going to make these very hard to paint. I also need to be conscious about the striping and other decals that may cross where these crevices are, so having them close to their real location on the body is important.

    Should I just project from view and disregard these internal faces, or is there a trick to this? I though about just unwrapping them face on and placing them inside the vents/door areas, but that's where the vents and doors need to go on the template to make sure stripes carry over properly without having to line things up. I know this can't just be a me struggle, so if I can get some guidance here for best practice I'll be in a great spot. You'll see that middle chunk of all those little parts, left over from the Smart UV unwrap. If the answer is just project the sides from view, the template will look a lot cleaner but at the expense of some of these areas. Thoughts?

    I've also recently learned that marking edges as sharp is bad practice, and instead better to add more edge loops to make a natural sharp corner. If I am redoing UVs anyway I'll take a stab at that, too. Full steam ahead, I can still see the finish line beyond this!


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      #17
      The project from view option for each side is much, much cleaner, but there are many edges in those crevice spaces sharing UVs so AO baking will probably show up just black there.

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        #18
        Once again I don't know what is 'best' but if my AO bake is creating black areas where I don't want them, I map either the underlying or overlying faces to another location on the map till the bake is clean.

        For crevice spaces that bake black and impact on vents and doors in front of the crevice, I normally map the crevice faces to their own unique area on the map. If they are going to use a lot of space I scale them down as most of that recessed 'detail' is going to be hidden anyway. The vents and doors can then go where you would expect them so that a project from view ensures that striping and decals will align as expected.

        Hope this helps.

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          #19


          Originally posted by superheatedsteam View Post
          Once again I don't know what is 'best' but if my AO bake is creating black areas where I don't want them, I map either the underlying or overlying faces to another location on the map till the bake is clean.

          For crevice spaces that bake black and impact on vents and doors in front of the crevice, I normally map the crevice faces to their own unique area on the map. If they are going to use a lot of space I scale them down as most of that recessed 'detail' is going to be hidden anyway. The vents and doors can then go where you would expect them so that a project from view ensures that striping and decals will align as expected.

          Hope this helps.
          It does, thanks! That makes sense to me so perhaps I'll just grab the recessed areas that actually need a little detail and pull them out to another spot and then leave the rest as is and see what happens and adjust from there. Appreciated!


          **Update on this**

          Looks like this the way to go! The bake wasn't all that bad and only a few areas need some things moved around. Super excited, I got stuck on this for WEEKS last time.
          Last edited by Strawberry Yogurt; 02-14-2024, 05:09 PM.

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            #20
            Just laying down some stripes to check the "paintability" of the nose. Trucks are mapped, body is mapped, just have to figure out how to pack them most efficiently and then AO bake. There's still a few details left to model but I should be wrapped up with this by the end of the weekend.

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              #21
              This is absolutely phenomenal work here, keep it up.
              MK

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                #22
                Guys,

                We're almost there. Today was finishing packing UVs and just generally remembering to grab all the little parts and place them on the map. For the last few pieces, like grabirons, plow detail, and antenna, I figured I'd lay down some paint so I can get a better feel for how to use the template I'm making. The amount of motivation from seeing it in this state...

                AND I began trialing exports to .s. Here, I discovered lots of areas that will need improvement inside the model due to backface culling. The engine room will need some interior walls because you can see through the vents, and obviously I still need to do the cab. However, seeing it in shapeviewer means the modeling and texturing process is almost done.

                Some folks have sent me some physics files, I already have my lighting code written, so we're in good shape. I don't want to speculate when it'll be "done" but I'm going to make it a mission not to worry about every tiny little detail being perfect - it needs to get done and this is the closest I've ever been.

                Oh, and it still needs couplers. Trying to model a Type F coupler has me tearing my hair out.

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                  #23
                  It's in the sim! Some small adjustments and changes as Parker and I lay down some paint to see what areas need improving. I would say as of this afternoon I am about 5 components away from calling the exterior done. The P42 just needs some objects turned on or off so both are essentially finished. The cab is next up after a few more final components (fueling connection and roof antenna).

                  How about this for excitement!

                  Side note - is it possible to have the strobes be a "true white" even though my headlight glow file has a yellow tint? Setting the color to all white won't do it since the file itself is yellow, so I've gone for adding some blue to give it a bit of a white look at a distance.

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                    #24
                    Ooooohhh, that looks fantastic!

                    As for the light color, FFFFFFFF would be pure white, but you may want to tune it down slightly. Most paint programs have an option to show hexadecimal designations, so you can probably find a shade you like

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by ebnertra000 View Post
                      Ooooohhh, that looks fantastic!

                      As for the light color, FFFFFFFF would be pure white, but you may want to tune it down slightly. Most paint programs have an option to show hexadecimal designations, so you can probably find a shade you like
                      Thanks!

                      Yeah I think my scenario is that my light glow texture has some yellow, so FFFFFFF just means it's "untinted" so it remains yellowish.

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                        #26
                        A little bit more AO (and I threw some temporary weathering dirt just to see how it looks) and my excitement level to turn this over to the world is through the roof. Patience now, just the air filter screens under the sills, and the cab, and we're there.

                        Also - more exciting news - another OR user was working on an FDL16 soundset (a new one) and has granted me permission to include it in the download. So no other downloads will be needed to run this unit!


                        Last edited by Strawberry Yogurt; 02-21-2024, 01:37 PM.

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                          #27
                          Hey all! Back from a weekend trip via 48/49, and should be hard at work again this week tidying up the last few details on the exterior model and beginning to chunk away the interior. Here's my current task list, all but the 3D cab and sounds I'm aiming to have in "complete" status by the weekend.

                          Model:
                          -Draft gear box
                          -Coupler scale
                          -Cable connectors / airhose relocation
                          -Roof fan braces
                          -Air filter equipment
                          -Slight adjustments to headlight housing size and windshield frame
                          -Window and wiper animations
                          -3D Cabview (in production)

                          Textures:
                          -Fix red markers on P40
                          -Add latches and panel seams
                          -Finish mapping labeling
                          -Fix rear upper vent mapping so Phase V paint goes on seamlessly

                          Sounds:
                          -Check sound files and begin implementation
                          -Produce horns and bells​

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                            #28
                            Keep it up, looks amazing! When you're ready for beta testers, I'll help ya out.
                            MK

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                              #29
                              Once again Sir, OUTSTANDING work!
                              sigpic
                              Cory Duguid
                              US NAVY VET

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                                #30
                                Thanks guys!

                                I'm trying very hard to make sure this project doesn't last forever! The exterior model WILL be done this week. I do keep learning, however, about Open Rails features I didn't know existed, like animated air hoses and couplers, and multiple screen pages in the cab. I'm imagining the IFDs having more than one view available, and some kind of roughed in PTC screen for the newer engines... It would be a shame not to utilize these new features, so I will do my best to quickly learn and integrate what I can.

                                The cab is where lots will spend their time, especially in the 3D environment now, so it might be worth spending some more time on that. As far as testing, I will need help with that since physics and the new OR parameters are not my strongsuit, so perhaps this weekend I'll distribute some working files for people to play around with.

                                On that note - if anyone would like to contribute their time to working in the .engs to set up the physics on these, I would love some assistance. I've been given some include files but I've never used these before, so if anyone is a nerd about getting things to run right in Open Rails, feel free to message me and I'll send you the P40 in its current state to get it running right.
                                Last edited by Strawberry Yogurt; 02-27-2024, 02:19 PM.

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