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Thread: Scenery questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Concord, NC

    Default Scenery questions

    So I'm putting in scenery at the beginning of my route, and I have a question. How far away from the tracks do y'all put scenery? Is it a mile, two miles? I want to create realistic and believable scenery, but I don't want to put too much in that the route is laggy.

    Also, the route is in the mountain terrain, and I'm wondering what to do about distant mountains that are too far to really put any trees or scenery on, but not far enough that the haze covers it. Is there a ground texture that gives off the illusion of trees on distant mountains?
    Sean Summer
    CEO of Blue Ridge Mountains Machine works.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Shortliner View Post
    So I'm putting in scenery at the beginning of my route, and I have a question. How far away from the tracks do y'all put scenery? Is it a mile, two miles? I want to create realistic and believable scenery, but I don't want to put too much in that the route is laggy.
    I still fight with myself over this everytime I work on my route.

    On one hand I want to quicken up the process at which I build and makes sense to limit scenery distance as no one will probably pay attention anyway to distant scenery.

    On the other hand, it drives me insane being able to see blank terrain. I can deal with it fine with other peoples routes, when building my own though drives me nuts. So I will generally build scenery out to the LOD line.

    What I've learned to do is use generic quick items. Tree's, you can just toss anything down as no one is studying plant life from 5 miles out. Just some green fills it in nice. Neighborhood/commercial. Just use the block assets. Low detail, but at a distance you can't tell anyway and a fast and easy way to fill in the void of a distant blank canvas. Best thing to do is load up others routes and see how they do it. That's what I did. You'll be surprised how sloppy many routes are beyond the initial line of sight.

    Near the tracks, and at, or above most drivers view point.

    Beyond what most anyone would even bother flying out to check scenery detail. Slop! But I bet 10 out of 10 driving this wouldn't ever fly out to even notice this.

    Last edited by styckx; 12-05-2009 at 11:31 PM.

  3. #3


    That is all FLAT terrain.

    What advice can one give for filling hilly and mountainous terrain with scenery and vegetation ?

    O t t o

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Murrysville, Pa.


    Perhaps 3d Trains 15 an 30 degree sloped forests.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Swindon, England


    Unfortunately the angled tree clumps only fit slopes precisely at that degree of though if you are prepared to have the trees at the top sunk in the ground a bit they are a timesaver over copying and pasting many individual trees.

    As to how far out you go with the detail, well I don't think 3D wise anything beyond 2km from the track is going to be visible. As to how far you actually go, well again (and as discussed in another recent thread) it depends whether you are planning on the route being driven from the cab, or by the budding 747 pilots who think a train is driven from 500 feet in the air.

    It depends how much time you have. Using the grid, I work in 1km strips across the track out to 2km from the edge of the tile with the track in it and depending on the amount of detail desired it can take anything from 2 - 5 hours per strip including painting the terrain textures. You may also find as you near completion of the 3D placement stage, the urge to get finished takes over from the desire to have super detailed landscape.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Cool I know not what course others may take...

    But as for me, when someone asks about scenery from 500 feet up I refer them to the correct forum for that type of question.

    That said, for prototype routes you're pretty much stuck with whatever is actually there and have to decide how far out you want to go, but for fictional routes I use view blocks in strategic places.

    Got a problem here where the buildings pop up when approached from the distance, so I lay temporary track and use the gradient adjust tool to raise and lower the track. Then I run the magnet tool over the track and delete it, smooth, paint and plant trees;

    Now there's a ridge in the way, if the player stays down where he's supposed to be (100 feet or less!) he won't see the buildings popping up. Another trick is a forced perspective horizon - set the level tool to raise the terrain five or ten meters above the tracks, then set the magnet tool for a width of 50 to 100 with a cutting angle of 5 degrees and run that over the track and back and forth on either side, now the track is in a shallow "valley" that looks like flat ground.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NW Indiana


    I haven't played a lot with the sloped trees from the Rural Landscape pack. But, if I remember correctly, laying track at a 50% grade and using Snipers method of raising the terrain will get you close for one of them. It was just a rough test to see how they looked. Not far enough into my route to use them yet.

    All I did was set the trees in place and lay a straight piece of track. Then lifted one end until it matched up along the base. Still would have to tweak the terrain here and there to get it all to match.

    Artificial intelligence is no substitute for natural stupidity.

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