Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Silverliner II PRR & RDG version UPDATE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chadds Ford, PA
    Posts
    3,060

    Default Silverliner II PRR & RDG version UPDATE

    For those of you who've been following the progress of my Silverliner II PRR & RDG versions, you've been hearing "almost ready" for a long time now! Believe me it's as least as frustrating for me. For a while, it was Joe Realmuto's fault because he was giving me some great help in updating the physics and helping me with the sounds. Lately, I have Kurt to blame because he pointed out some texturing issues (the whole Forest Region thing: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showthread.php?t=273961 ) and a very practical way to make the cars look even better. Of course the fault and blame is all mine, I say that only in jest, these guys have been terrific help and have taught me a lot.

    Throw in a family vacation, summer weekend trips, and various afternoons playing with my kids and something I thought I'd have done two months ago is still "almost there".

    Having said all of that, I feel there's been some positive changes in the physics, sounds, and appearance of the cars as a result. Those changes should resonate down into my future projects which still includes at least the Silverliner IIIs and then potentially other, related cars.

    So I wanted to post some screenshots on the latest thing I've been working on, the texture upgrade. Essentially, the textures are the same, but using a technique suggested by Kurt "TrirailF40PHL", where I separate out the Alpha material windows from the sides of the cars with simple "Trans" window cutouts, the cars look much better:



    Note that due to the Alpha (8-bit transparency) texture used on the car on the right (as in the original) the gradations in the "silver" color of the side looks akward, with a layered effect. On the left, car 201, updated with the new window method, the "silver" color looks smooth with less apparent gradations in the color, much more natural looking. This had bothered me since I created the PRR/RDG texture from the SEPTA original - the SEPTA Blue/Red window band hid this effect on those cars.



    Note the same effect is apparent on the ends, particularly in the non-fluted sheetmetal areas. Again, I think car 201 looks much more natural and true to the original photo the texture was created from.

    In doing this, I converted three of the original Alpha textures to Trans textures, but added one small Alpha texture to contain the new window translucencies for the tinted and "dirty" windows. I had to play with it a little bit in PolyMaster to get the same visibility of all parts through the windows as the original (except for those @#$%&* Forest Regions which weren't visible in the original either).

    I also fixed one or two small texture mistakes I'd made.

    So all there is left to do now is to re-make all the car's .S files with this new method (which is NOT as difficult as it may sound) and then package the stuff up.

    For those interested in the teaser Penn Central version I showed, those cars should be next and will benefit from these same changes, hopefully with less lag now that I'm getting more experience with this. The PRR & RDG version textures have been setup to handle the PC version too, so the PC version will really be an add-on to this one.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New York, NY, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Gorgeous! I like the dings on the front door panel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Flushing, NY, USA.
    Posts
    892

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mestevet View Post
    For a while, it was Joe Realmuto's fault because he was giving me some great help in updating the physics and helping me with the sounds. Lately, I have Kurt to blame because he pointed out some texturing issues (the whole Forest Region thing: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showthread.php?t=273961 ) and a very practical way to make the cars look even better.
    OK, put the blame on me and Kurt for everything!

    Seriously, those look great! So great in fact that I expect to have someone collecting tickets onboard! I think you and Kurt have both raised the bar as far as MSTS models go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York, United States.
    Posts
    320

    Default

    Steve,
    I swear , I don't see what in the world you are talking about..The cars look fantastic but you are the man with the plan .. I beta tested these bad boys and to me they were fine..But there is nothing wrong with perfect. Btw, I am still working on the box car.

    Shawn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Unremarkable
    Posts
    3,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishbowl_5227 View Post
    [B]Steve,
    I swear , I don't see what in the world you are talking about
    Look closely at the alpha texture on the first picture. You'll see a wavy separation between colors very similar to a compressed .GIF picture, while the Trans texture has far less, if any.

    If you could try out the two different models in the simulator, you'd see the differences immidiately, for the .jpg compression of the uploaded pictures blurs some of the differences on both variants.

    -Kurt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chadds Ford, PA
    Posts
    3,060

    Default Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain...

    Gents,

    I'll let you in on the secret of my success:



    Bavli - any of those door dings look familiar?? The image has been processed, cleaned up and altered somewhat for the PRR version, but this photo of mine (taken at Media yard) is where the front end comes from.

    As for the difference, Kurt is correct (of course ). The car on the left (#210) look at the non-fluted area the arrow points to and can see what to my eye looks like "contours" where the gray goes through some color changes, not smooth changes. The look at the similar area on #201 and you'll see that the effect is much less evident (if you get real close, you can still see smaller gradations, but much less noticeable).

    Yeah, we're talking about fine points here, but the drive is to keep the level of excellence high, and as anything it's an art to be "practiced" never mastered!

    Good on the boxcar Shawn, keep me posted on progress.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA off at Overbrook Train station
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Awesome work there Steve!

    Look closely at the alpha texture on the first picture. You'll see a wavy separation between colors very similar to a compressed .GIF picture, while the Trans texture has far less, if any.p
    I did notice that on the beta versions; however, these units looked great even with those 8-bit color textures applied. Not really something I would considered changing promptly. Awesome work though, they do look better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chadds Ford, PA
    Posts
    3,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by van2001ko View Post
    Awesome work there Steve!
    I did notice that on the beta versions; however, these units looked great even with those 8-bit color textures applied. Not really something I would considered changing promptly. Awesome work though, they do look better.
    Thanks! I might've let the suggestion go until the SLIIIs (and maybe made an update to the SLIIs later) except for the Forest Region issue, which came up at the same time. Making the changes to the windows and the side textures also allowed me more flexibility in trying to check out the other problem (which I really think has more to do with the Forest Region objects than any of our models at this point). So with those two things together, I had the incentive to make the change. Besides, I started doing it while I was on vacation, so it gave me something to work on!

    Steve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chadds Ford, PA
    Posts
    3,060

    Default

    van2001ko, who has been testing for me let me know that apparently running in 16 bit in MSTS with an ATI graphics card, there are some very noticeable issues with the way these cars look since I've changed the method for doing the windows. His reasoning for running in 16 bit is sound though as he explained it to me. He'd have to post a screenshot for me, I can't duplicate the problem.

    I chatted with Kurt about it and he understood the problem existed too when running in 16 bit mode.

    I haven't been able to duplicate the problem on my computer with an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX no matter what I do to the MSTS settings or the video card settings (including using -vm:w,640,480,16 in my shortcut)

    So here's the question: Do I make two separate versions - use one if you plan to operate in 16 bit mode (it would be like the "old" version of the cars) and another if you plan to operate in 32 bit? Or just say "sorry Charlie" and just release the "new" one?

    Steve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Metro Washington, DC, USA.
    Posts
    6,244

    Default

    I'd just do the 32....

    Unless you WANT to maintain both?????
    Chuck Schneider
    Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (Virtual CEO)
    North American (Virtual) Locomotive Works

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •