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Thread: Signal Aspect Visibility

  1. #1
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    Default Signal Aspect Visibility

    Several commercial routes have recently touted methods that have improved signal aspect visibility from just a few tenths of a mile to more than a mile. I've seen one such method and it really does work. A 2 color aspect can be discerned through the cab windshield at about 9/10's of a mile down straight track against a dark background.

    What I would like to know from those who have mastered these techniques and have hooked up with the for sale people: When will this item be found in the public file bin, like all those wonderful track systems?? Or when will the recipe be explained so those of us with the talent can create the textures ourselves?

    Regards,
    Hank

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Well Hank I think you may be on the dead end of this one.I would love to see your work with this technique installed.But I don't think the payware folks will devulge their secrets on this one.If they do I'd love that.Your signals with this new technique will give the payware folks a run for their money.I hope something will come thru for you.

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Claude

    Well, maybe not. It's not the first time the question has been asked just what can be proprietary and what cannot. I'm surely not against payware, I've supported many payware ventures, been pleased and sometimes disappointed.

    I am far from a copyright expert, but it is my understanding the manipulating a Kuju/MS proprietary object like an ACE file, it can't be owned. I can't "own" the signal scripts I've written to create new signal functions not provided in the off the shelf MSTS. All I can hope for is that who ever uses the rework script gives credit where credit is due. Why wouldn't the same apply to a 'doctored' ACE file?

    With payware, aren't we just compensating the authors for the time, effort and mass production of the product and not the contents thereof? Copyright protects my signal objects from being used in a pay mode without my permission.

    Hank

  4. #4
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Since when did MSTS have any secrets?

    While not everybody knows every trick in the book, that's not the same as something being "secret"... as soon as Cascades ships, this stuff will be reverse-engineered faster than you can say it.

    I don't know if you were around when MSTS first came out, when Train Artisan announced a "secret" technology for how to fix the blurry textures problem (mip bias -3). That secret technology is now common knowledge, and the same fate awaits this distant signal thing.

    cheers

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Hank:

    Fret not. I'm sure the new technique will be quickly assimulated and understood once said product is in hand. Like you say, aside from models and perhaps original textures, there's not much about this sim that isn't available for reuse to any/all with the skills to open it up. That's a good thing, IMHO. We all benefit.

    You're right again in that for this payware vendor, I'm only trying to be compensated for the huge amount of work it is to create a route from scratch. No "techniques" are copywrited, only the original objects/textures have a form of copywrite on them.

    As far as you giving us "payware guys a run for our money", your work has always been top notch and held in high esteem by this payware guy, long before I was a payware guy. :) Thank you for all your work you've accomplished to date within the signal art.

    Andre Ming


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  6. #6
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    I sure hope you can get it Hank.I'd love to see your signals with that fix.Got any new signals in the works.Anymore work being done on the D type signals that was posted alittle while back?

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Some of the Protrain series used it, but basically it doesn't work, because you can see yellow and red signals in the distance, but cannot tell which track it is on, and green remains dull. Often you slow up for no reason. The cabview systems for signals is a far better option.

    David

  8. #8
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Hank:

    I'd have a hard time giving this away if I were a payware vendor, but I sure would love to see it in your hands. It's only a matter of time. I have a theory, but I'm not a model maker. Perhaps someone will comment.

    I think they make the light very large, so it can be seen at a distance. Something to do with LODs? Then, as you get closer, some dark rings start to appear and block out the big red, green, or yellow disc, working from the outside in, to make it smaller, until you get up close. Larger and larger obliterating rings appear as you get closer, and when you're close enough to see details, the huge bright light you saw at a distance is blocked out except for a proper center. Heck - maybe it's alpha'd out using those viewing distance adjustments. I don't know if any of this is possible, but it wouldn't suprise me.

    Maybe this reply is worthless, but I thought I'd throw it out for comments (as he ducks under the desk).

    Mark
    A Southern Railway Fan

  9. #9
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    Hi Hank,

    Scott Miller developed the signal images for the Surfliner, which he'll be releasing to the public shortly after Surfliner goes live. His method involves the texture itself, and not the model, so I suspect anyone will be able to use these images by simply copying them to the texture folder (assuming he's using default names, which I'm not sure of off hand). :)

    Cheers!
    Marc - 3DTrains
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  10. #10
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    Default RE: Signal Aspect Visibility

    That was my first guess, so I tried using remipit (made by the same Scott Miller) on siglight.ace, no effect. I also tried wierd stuff like making it totally transparent with the alpha channel (no lights at all!), cranking up the gamma (lose all the fresnel detail without any improvement in distance), changing the texture modes in SFM to full bright, cranking the LOD to 8000 meters, even hacking the colors in the sigcfg.dat to make them brighter.

    Near as I can tell the color plus brightness are defined in the sigcfg.dat file, and that color is overlayed on whatever texture is defined for "signal" in the shape file. I suspect ol' Scotty has been holding out on us, came up with some kind of super remipit that cranks the visible distance way beyond the remipit that's in the file library.

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