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Thread: First Time Route Builders Please Read

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon, USA.
    Posts
    3,305

    Default Deleted message

    I don't remember deleting this message. If someone has a copy of it, please email it to me and I will paste it back in.



    Cal Rasmussen
    [email protected]
    Last edited by calr; 06-15-2010 at 06:09 PM.
    Cal Rasmussen
    [email protected]
    Columbia Gorge Route

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA.
    Posts
    3,366

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    I'll add a few comments:

    I back up my route almost every day that I do editing.

    Perodically run the activity editor and examine the route for lost blue poles. Find them underground in RE (use / to enable camera underground), mark them with a special shape, such as particular tree, so you can find the spot again if need be, and then find the pole in the .w file and delete it.

    I use an activity called test that has an Alco S4 switcher... I run it backwards looking out the big windows in the rear. It's my track inspection car. Use it to look for poorly joined track. Always fix them.

    Understand when/why to use/not use error bias=0 to manage jumpy terrain.

    Get *all* the track down before adding anything interactive like roads.

    Use a a2t section to test you've got your parallel track spaced properly. You don't need to keep it there if you don't want but it's a good quality tool.

    Don't be intimidated that xtracks isn't from Microsoft. If you don't want to use it for whatever reasons, don't use it; but if you've got no real reason to avoid it you should know it is a very good add-on that will greatly increase your options while laying tracks. Make the yes/no decision on xtracks before you start your route.

    When in RE, save your work several times per editing session. When the screen starts to wink (or go black and then return), save & exit. Start a new session. Sessions doing terrain mods will be much shorter than those laying track.

    Good luck!

    Dave Nelson

    WP mainline, Oakland-Stockton: 100% complete;
    SP mainline, Oakland-Stockton: 20% complete;
    Aug 1950

    [Link Expired]

    Dave Nelson

    Seldom visiting, posting less often that that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    5,102

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    Under some conditions when positioning a placed object, it will vanish. There will be garbage values in the object's location indicator. If that happens, don't save anything, just exit the RE and start over from your last save.

    This bug may occur when the camera position is other then the default direction and you use the keypad arrow keys for movement.

    To avoid unwanted tilting when rotating an object, make sure the camera position is parallel to the horizion. Use the keypad left, right arrow to rotate.

    To assemble a large structure such as my bridge kit; (Won't work on track or roads.) MSTS object size limits requires that high poly structures need to be broken up into sections or they won't load.

    1. Place each piece in its default direction in a flat area.
    2. Align each piece to the safety rail, or hand railings, or tie roadbed.
    3. Save before doing step 4.
    4. When all sections are placed and lined up, Select all the piece by using the Ctrl key and left clicking on each one. They will all turn into wireframe view if you are doing this correctly.
    5. You can now move and rotate the entire assembly into position. This is much easier then trying to place each piece seperately.

    SRV Ron


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.
    Posts
    3,642

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    Ron's procedure is a good one, but here is a complication. How to handle some large structure, like a bridge that is on a gradient, and maybe also a curve.

    Ron and I use TSM, which I highly recommend, but I suspect it can be done in the other programs as well. Tilt each piece of the bridge to the gradient angle, and adjust the support structure leg lengths to match. Now you can use Ron's method, or if the bridge is not too large, you can connect the pieces in TSM, and when you place it, it will match the angle of the track grade. This is, in essence, how it was done in the real world.

    For curves, it is more tedius, but I create a disc of the appropriate radius, and arrange the bridge pieces along the chords of the disk. This approximates the curve, but some tweaking will be required as you put it in place.

    There are two curved structures on the RMD-2, Fish Creek Viaduct on the Milwaukee Rd. and Bridge 63, on the NP. You can check the results of this kind of work by looking for threads on the RMD-2.

    J. H. Sullivan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    184

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    Excellent advice as usual, Carl. Although I am no longer a 1st time builder, perhaps you can help me with this one? I had a problem with "My route". so I cut the folder& stored it elswhere. Then I loaded a back-up folder, but there was no quad tree, so no editing or trains available. Where did I go wrong?
    Regards
    Ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    598

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    Ken,

    Sounds like you didn't get the "hidden" files from your route folder when you did your cut and paste.

    I used Winzip to back up my route, taking care to make sure the "include hidden and system files" and "include subfolders" options were checked.

    I've just recently re-installed my route and was able to pick up where I left off with little trouble.

    Only other tip I'd offer is to also make a back-up of your "global" folder as well as there will be files there that your route may need when you decide to restore it at a later date (this will apply if you've used X-tracks).

    Hope this helps.
    Euclid Heights & South Shore
    Out of the ashes...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    184

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    Thanks Dave. I had not thought of using Winzip, I just cut the whole folder. So I would have though just pasting a previous folder would have worked. At the moment I am waiting to get a new computer with more speed, memory etc, which will be in a few weeks. Then I can have another go.
    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    ny, usa.
    Posts
    532

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read

    What order are objects supposed to be placed in?

    Is it all track, all roads, all sidings, all stations,
    all signals? When do level crossings go in?

    Seems like that kind of thing would belong in this thread.
    Lloyd

  9. #9
    steam4me Guest

    Default RE: First Time Route Builders Please Read


    >The only question I have is where do I get STUFFIT and
    >EZSTUFF so I can have more objects?


    As Cal says in his first message above,
    "....there is another excellent source of information that is FREE! Go to www.railpage.org.au/steam4me/trainsim."

    If you in fact follow that advice, you will click on "Tutorials". Then you click on "Route Design and Construction". Then you will see the second tutorial on your screen "Get Stuffed! - Adding All MSTS Objects to Your New Route" by Jim Ward.

    Regards

    Yuri.
    [font color="blue"](steam[font color = "red"]4[font color = "blue"]me)
    -------------------------------------
    Webmaster
    [link:www.railpage.org.au/steam4me/trainsim|Australian MSTS Add-ons Page]
    -------------------------------------
    [/font]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon, USA.
    Posts
    3,305

    Default First Time Route Builders Please Read

    I have asked Macster to anchor this post as a welcome/help to newbies in the "art/battle" of route construction. Route building is still a challenge to those of us with a lot of experience under our belts and for a newcomer to the process, it can be overwhelming. I offer here a few tips to get you started. I invite others to add to this but I don't intend it as a discussion thread. If you have something constructive to add, please do so. Otherwise, please post your comments in a separate, non-anchored thread.

    First and probably most important, get Michael Vone's excellent "Step-by-Step Guide to Route Building" available online from Abacus (www.trainsimulatorworld.com) for $20 US. This is a 400-page manual in PDF format. It will be the best $20 you will ever spend for MSTS. The manual covers, in detail, most aspects of route building. There is a tutorial included that takes you "step by step" through the process of creating a small route, adding scenery, and creating an activity. When you complete this tutorial (takes about two days), you will have learned enough to get started on your own first route.

    For starters, do a small route. Don't try to do like I did and build a large prototype route as your first project. It would be easy to get discouraged and give up. Building a small route, either fictional or prototypical helps you to really get to know the route editor and learn many of the techniques needed for the bigger projects.

    If you honestly feel that $20 is more than you can afford (how much did you spend the last time you went to a concert or ballgame?) there is another excellent source of information that is FREE! Go to www.railpage.org.au/steam4me/trainsim. This Australian site run by Yuri Sos has an outstanding selection of over 70 tutorials on all aspects of MSTS. These have been contributed by people whose names are well known in these forums or gleaned from discussion threads in the forums. The tutorials are organized by general topics and there is a route building section which contains about 20 titles.

    You are going to need some other software to help in your endeavors. You will need a good photo/graphic editor such as Paint Shop Pro. Version 8 is the latest but I think version 7 is better. Adobe Photoshop is also good but very expensive.

    There quite a collection of free utility programs that you will probably want to download. Most are available in the file library of this site.

    You will need a program for generating markers. I use Makemarker and USAPhotomaps but others include TSTools, Tigermarker, etc. Everyone has there own favorites.

    You will need a program to help with editing and creation of texture files. TGATOOL2 is used to convert back and forth between .ace texture files and .bmp image files. If you are editing an existing texture file, TGATOOL2 will convert the .ace to .bmp and send the image to your selected editor. When finished editing, the image is returned to TGATOOL2 where you convert it back to .ace and save it.

    You will need a program to import all the scenery objects from the six default routes into your new route. If you don't do this, you will find that there are no scenery objects available. STUFFIT and EZSTUFF are two programs which perform this task.

    You may want to consider the installation of Xtracks and Newroads. These packages contain hundreds of track sections and road sections of various types and sizes that are not available in the default roads or tracks.

    There are currently over 600 scenery objects available for free download in the file library of this site. There are many hundreds more available on various other sites.

    Start slowly and BACKUP frequently. Feel free to ask questions here in the forums. There are hundreds of people here who have been where you are now. There is a tremendous knowledgebase here. Microsoft could (and probably has) learn a lot by reading here.

    The RE is fraught with bugs and idiosyncrasies. There are currently no fixes but there are workarounds for most of the problems.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing that prize winning route.


    Cal Rasmussen
    Beaverton, OR
    (My email is in my profile)

    Columbia Gorge Route (Phase 1 UP side 95%, BNSF side 90%)

    Cal Rasmussen
    [email protected]
    Columbia Gorge Route

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