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Thread: to rib or not to rib...

  1. #1
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    Default to rib or not to rib...

    Due to the recent issue in the skinning forum, I'm having my doubts about the visual benefits of adding rib details to the model in an effort to update the NS mow gon to have more details than the 2002 model for use in ORTS.

    I personally feel the side panel stakes/supports make a difference and should be modeled bit I don't want to create re-skinning headaches.



    Pete
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  2. #2
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    Hi Pete,

    With many moving towards Open Rails, the extra detail shouldn't be too problematic. I would, however, not include rivet detail, but the ribs and support channels should be OK.
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  3. #3
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    Default to rib or not to rib...

    Hi Pete,

    Yep - ribs should be fine - just map it at the same time (in one fell swoop) as the side (same texture real estate) and the repainters should be happy - makes it much easier if the painter wants highlights or shadow in relation to the rib... I’d probably drop most of the ribs in the fIrst LOD - just leaving a single double sided face perpendicular to the side to insure a smooth transition - and try to drop the rest of it by the second LOD... I usually have three LOD’s on freight cars and I play with LOD’s considerably when working on a model to insure all transitions are seamless - virtually invisible to the user...

    Regards,
    Scott


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    Last edited by scottb613; 02-25-2018 at 12:31 PM.

  4. #4
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    The paint hassles can largely be avoided by exporting a wireframe texture. You're using 3DC, right? Export in a format that LithUnwrap (freeware) can read (say 3DS or DirectX), open the model in LithUnwrap, select File|UVMap|Save, enter the desired filename and resolution, and repainters can use it as a guide. When using photos, since you have to adjust for perspective anyway, the painter only needs to split all of the rib/between rib portions into separate selections, and resize them horizontally to fit the wireframe. Couldn't be simpler (and I'd argue the painter should be ensuring uniformity by doing this anyway, 3D ribs or no, as photos will always have a bit of distortion).

    I tend to hand-draw textures, so, for me, it's a matter of baking a shadow layer and using that as a guide. That just becomes part of my layered paintkit. This is one of the two or three processes I use 3DC for (the other major one being conversion to other formats). I ought to learn how to actually build in it so I can escape the pitfalls of being tied to GMax without forking out $180 a month for 3DS

  5. #5
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    Pete, (coming from someone with zero modelling experience) there's probably two ways of looking at it. First and foremost, you want to produce the best model you can so raised detail no doubt adds to that finished effect. It also shouldn't create issues for repainters, but its (generally) reskins where that raised detail becomes a bit of a nightmare.

    The issues with the ribs on the WC hopper aside, raised detail has often been a common area of frustration for me with skinning. I've got some Simplot reefers ready for the F/L and some time back I did a release of the SLI ARMN reefer and both of them created headaches for me with the door tracks (as you can see in the screenshot).

    Obviously all those door details are included on a photo (even if only 1 dimensional) but because the model is also adding them, you're getting white stripes cutting over the weathering graffiti etc on the photo. Where it gets really tricky for reskinners in those situations is that those additional details generally aren't "drawn" (sorry, I don't know the correct modelling term) on an ace file that can be reskinned, but rather are usually just a small texture box which is then applied. This is ok when you're dealing with the same colour all over, but as soon as you have to use weathering, a range of colours or graffiti, you get a stretched/blurred appearance that won't blend into the rest of the reskin.

    I haven't got far enough into messing with the WC hopper to know, but I suspect the same thing is going to happen there with the ribs... that it will be a small area of texture that will finish up contrasting to the weathering and rust on the rest of the photo.

    Flat surfaces are much easier for reskinners, but probably don't show off a modellers skills to the maximum and as you're the guy making the model, primarily it should be what suits you and if a skin can be applied in a reasonably straightforward fashion later, that's a bonus.


    Cheers!
    Pete

  6. #6
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    Personally, if both can be pulled off, that would be key, giving photo texture folks the ability to also enjoy the cars, when it comes to repaints. That's how I hope at least, there are some great models from SLI/TS that I'd love to use for repaints, sadly the rib details are what pushes me away. Lining up photos is hard enough with certain cars, let alone the addition of the hoops.
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  7. #7
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    You could also make the rib detail an FA for the repainter to either use or not use.

  8. #8
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    Actually Shawn, there might be a way to do both. I just remembered that with the SLI ARMN set I was EVENTUALLY able to track down the area on the ace file that created the door tracks and alpha it out without affecting the rest of the model. Maybe it's possible (and again, I have no modelling experience) to have those sections kept separate on an ace file so that reskinners can alpha them out if need be? Best of both worlds situation if possible.

    Edit... or even, better, Erick's idea of an FA.
    Cheers!
    Pete

  9. #9
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    I ought to learn how to actually build in it so I can escape the pitfalls of being tied to GMax without forking out $180 a month for 3DS
    Its really not that hard to learn... it just takes time to figure out the best way to do things and how things behave. Thanks to people like Paul Gausden... it also has a lot of timesavers.

    I just have no clue how Lithunwrap works... so... I too am on a quest to learn tools I have been avoiding.
    http://www.railsimstuff.com
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  10. #10
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    Default to rib or not to rib...

    Hi Folks,

    Hah - yep - new skills - 3DC also has a relatively new feature with texture baking - that would be a new skill for me as I have yet to seriously try it - while subtle - it seems to add some pop to a model... Good discussion...

    Regards,
    Scott



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    Last edited by scottb613; 02-26-2018 at 10:20 AM.

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