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Thread: Making a lamp post light fully operational

  1. #1
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    Default Making a lamp post light fully operational

    As much as this certainly must have been covered , before , I would like to get some input / fresh ideas, on the following .

    Unable to find a very specific ( railroad prototype ), type of standardized lamp post and light fixture, I see no challenges in "making my own", in Google Sketchup . The real question is simply this :

    How can I make what amounts to a 'static" model, into one where the light on the lamp would turn on ( or off ) , according to the "time of day" unfolding ( very much like other such objects created by others ) ?

    One option I had considered, was using such as this "light cone" type of light files, but I believe our friend Jovet, has to very clearly give his explicit permission, to use such file ( of his ) . Such 'light cone' lighting has been seen as part of Vinniie's excellent light posts and light fixtures .

    Another option would be to 'recycle" an existing MSTS / Kuju , type of functional arrangement .

    But my question is mostly, how do I "connect the dots" ( what process do I have to use, in order to make the "static" lamp post, become a fully functional one ) ?

    Thanks in advance, for any solution / tips / links to tutorials or previous posts showing how . '-)

    Jean Brisson Victoria, B.C.

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    Well the solution to this endeavor would sound simple enough, make the shape you want with the cone effect. Make one texture for daytime omitting the area where the cone would be part of the shape, of course cone would have to be transnorm or alphanorm+, then create a night texture for same with the cone part on it. Set up the .sd to have the two allowable aces for it and this "should" change at the the time of day set for.

    Its like Night & Day!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Trains View Post
    Well the solution to this endeavor would sound simple enough ....
    Feedback : Thanks, Ian , for taking some of your own time, to explain how this would become functional . As they say " I would have never guessed" ... ( although I had just begun to search some other previous posts and threads, in the Forum ) .

    Since this involves a number of new things I had not attempted just yet, I will have some experimentation to do with this . This will definitely help out for so many other night-time environments , as well.

    I will post whatever comes out of this, for others who may be curious how to achieve such ( night time ) effect(s) . Thanks ! '-)

    Jean Brisson Victoria B.C.

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    Just to throw this idea in the ring - what about Half Brite levels? Maybe not for street lights per se that should go off/on and set times in the day. But if doing security lights, traffic signals, etc. this might be the better way to go? Fantastic for car headlights in the spawner. And if ones saavy enough, half brites could be more easily animated for actual working traffic signals to alternating highway billboard messages.

    That's just my theory, but maybe something worth investigating?

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    True with hlfbrght but the cone would still show as a yellow glow during the day time hours. The way the light pictured is done the cone is trans and the light bulb is fullbrght trans too, so at night there are two parts that will be lit up at night only. As for traffic signals I was discussing that the other day with Robin Claxton, and thought if they where animated how would you stop the traffic flow one way to the other. So a constant light would kinda have to be in place at signalled intersections. Althou at four way stops some have red flashing lights above or attached to the sign post itself, there would be a place to use that scenario. Or a yellow caution light on sharp curves too I guess.
    Last edited by Tiger Trains; 04-03-2011 at 02:22 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Jean was using Sketchup for this -- do you even have the ability to do full and half bright with Sketchup since there's no animation potential?

    I'm in the process of learning GMax just for animations, and even there, I don't think I've figured out any of what you mentioned...

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    No idea how Sketchup works for transnorm or alphanorm ( + or - ) polys, but when you make a model in Sketchup and convert to MSTS you could reopen the file in Shapefile manager and change the named parts to hlfbright there I would image anyway.
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    I wondered about that too. If the model has to originally have the provisions for them from the get go, or SFM could interject them? Interesting to try at least.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Trains View Post
    No idea how Sketchup works for transnorm or alphanorm ( + or - ) polys, but when you make a model in Sketchup and convert to MSTS you could reopen the file in Shapefile manager and change the named parts to hlfbright there I would image anyway.
    All the SKU created objects I've opened up in SFM only have MAIN defined... I've never found a way of defining a heirarchy like you can do in TSM or GMax. So using SFM to set the lighting may not be an option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    All the SKU created objects I've opened up in SFM only have MAIN defined... I've never found a way of defining a heirarchy like you can do in TSM or GMax. So using SFM to set the lighting may not be an option.
    Follow up : I did begin to actually design the post and lamp head over last weekend , but have so many other items on my plate , this will be slow coming .

    Initially, I did get two slightly different answers / approaches, on to how to make those functional, and Yes, I did not want to mention at the onset, I had not ( just yet ) attempted working with Gmax ( or TSM / 3D Crafter, etc ... ) .

    Just like mentionned above , No, I also attempted to find out, but without any success, any Google Sketchup functionality , that would allow to set "parts" of a complete model, with having a different "material" property ( as being suggested in both solutions ) .

    I did pursue doing some additional homework, on this, and came up with the following . I did open up a default US2Lamp1.s shape, in Shape File Manager , and the following screenshot, shows how this came out . This was captured , before I had seen some of the comments suggesting SFM being able to set such "material properties" , outside of the model design program ( "after the fact" ) . Very revealing :



    Based on that , this further "validated" both solutions provided to my attention .

    Although , using Google Sketchup, it would now appear I would have to "break down" a complete lamp post model, into individual ... models ( each with its very own shape file filename ) , in order to make this practical . The lighted "cone" part would come in , entirely as a separate model on its own , with its own individual filename , along the lines of those "freight animation" additional shapes ( that seamlessly "integrate" with the main model ) .

    Very recently, I had made two "multi-part" Google Sketchup models, which all shared the exact / same , axis of orientation . This translates, into the creation of a "kit" ( or multi-part ) type of model, which would share the exact / same world position co-ordinates, in Route Editor , and / or, world files .

    There may be other solutions with Google Sketchup, using such as "components" , but so far, I had nothing but trouble, and outright "corrupted" MSTS models , once they are exported via the Google Sketchup / MSTS plug-in ( if I had to use a GSU model which had "components" ) .

    As far as this daytime / nightime lighting scenario, Yes, I did "toy around" with graduated alpha channels, but have only designed some test textures so far .

    My main thing, is that I still have a challenge , in having the SIM being "hard-wired" to have such as night lights, to kick-in at such as 10 PM in the evening ( regardless of seasons ) .

    As desired by others, I would still want some kind of "dim" daytime texture, that would show even "faint" traces of being lighted, something which I believe, would become more and more contrasting, as the SIM lets the daytime environments gradually shift towards darkness .

    For this concept, I also rely on some models of cars, which have the headlights portions, set with a different material property , and such headlights, which are basically "turned on all the time" ( so to speak ), become more and more noticeable, as the surrounding environment fades to darkness .

    Simply said, a desire for such "early evening" lighted condition, had been discussed before, but on the understanding that the SIM is more or less "hard wired" to make "snap" type of calls, the only practical solution, way see it, would remain at the initial design of world objects , from the ground up .

    I will share I can come up with , as my busy schedule permits . Any ideas / further input , is always most welcomed .

    Jean Brisson Victoria B.C.

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