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Thread: TSM truck side frame help

  1. #1

    Default TSM truck side frame help

    I used TSM many times without finishing a project, but I'm attempting to begin creating a truck/bogie for a dream freight car project. Over a scaled backdrop image I created tubes aligning on the x axis and moved the points so it can be shaped like a side frame. However, like what was pointed in the rant in the naltutor.zip tutorial, the inverted curves in my model are covered in the rendering. I downloaded premade trucks and it looks like the side frames are comprised of attached boxes or other primitives or sections; if so, I wonder if those get their points joined and how. I would like to figure out how to make a side frame without poor curve rendering.

    This is the truck I want to make, but not exactly how it looks. http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRd...=ftk&sz=sm&fr=
    Last edited by tjm123; 03-19-2018 at 02:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    You're going to have to show us what you're talking about. I have no idea what "the inverted curves in my model are covered in the rendering" means.

  3. #3

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    Here's your image. Note that the yellow point isn't seen in the rendering.
    issue.jpg

  4. #4
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    You're going to have to create new faces manually. Try to work in triangles - which is what is going to ultimately be rendered by the software anyway.

  5. #5

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    By faces, you're referring to the polygon primitives? I tried that and made four sided polygons on purpose, but I guess triangles are the only shapes that don't have the inverted angle issue. And one of my polygons is lighted differently from the rest. Is there a way to join the points so I can get a less messy polygon view? Can I widen the polygons once I'm done with the side frame? Also, some polygons have become unselectable with the mouse select tool, or have to be selected as part of a group.

    issue2.jpg

  6. #6
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    I made mine by creating separate parts and joining them into a bogie. I started with the journal boxes, then used primitive shapes to join them. Do not smooth until all parts are joined, if you want. Here is a picture of my bogie, hopefully it will help.

    Bob
    50TonBogie.jpg

  7. #7
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    Wow, Bob, that's a nice looking truck model! How many polys are in that part?

    I looked at some the sideframes I've built/modified, and one really confused me before I realized that the base was from Teemu Saukkonen(sp?) and that I wouldn't do it that way anymore. These sideframes are designed to be low poly, using photo textures for most of the detail. If you want to replicate what Bob has done with a well-detailed truck, a few more techniques will have to be employed.

    My friction bearing truck on this boxcar was originally made by Teemu and it appears that the side faces were added after the points had been adjusted for the correct shape. I HEAVILY modified Teemu's original; basically all new except for the sideframes. I'm unsure how the sideframes were started, so I'll leave only a screenshot to observe:

    Truck2.jpg

    I built roller bearing trucks for my IC caboose using a technique that I also use on my diesel trucks.
    This screenshot shows a caboose truck that started as a CUBE(!) with 15 sections along the z-axis. I manipulated the points of those sections into what you see here:

    Truck3.jpg

    The benefit of starting with a cube is that you can do a lot of parallel-point manipulation on the Y and Z axis (to get the shape of the sideframe), without running into the trouble of introducing X axis manipulations that can cause unusual shading problems like you show in your screenshot. It is VERY important to make sure that flat planes spread over several polys remain FLAT! I've found that TSM might actually place points out to a hundred-thousandth of a meter or something like that (I don't know how many zeros exactly, more than it rounds to when you make a cube or other primitive); unfortunately, it doesn't zoom in far enough to make a manual manipulation for alignment correction at that microscopic level. When you move a point to align with another point, what looks on the screen to be a perfect match may still be 0.00001 out of alignment, which can cause a number of frustrating issues. You can use the "Snap to Grid" function to correct this in many cases. I set mine no larger than 0.0001 and it's usually enough to align points that visually appear to be aligned. Detailed circular parts might be better at 0.00001. Be sure to Snap to Grid before applying your textures, as some wacky stuff can happen occasionally with the textures.

    I use the Split Part function a lot when applying textures. When doing this, first Snap to Grid, then Split Part and apply the texture, rejoin the part, and Snap to Grid once more to combine the points(snap to grid first so the textures don't move when you do it the second time). Be certain to not move or manipulate either part while they're split, as it can be difficult to get them back together again perfectly. Again, Snap to Grid can correct this, but I've found that it's not fool-proof.

    Other details on the trucks started as cubes or cylinders. That's the only way I build in TSM these days.

    Using some of the more advanced drawing features have resulted in unusual problems like your oddly-shaded face and I've found no way to correct things in that situation. Delete and start over.

    In both of these examples, I used the alpha channel to make the see-through holes in the sideframes. Again, these trucks are not very detailed and use photographs to imply detail through smoke and mirrors.

    I can break this down simpler if you have questions about getting from point A to point B. Building from Cubes and Cylinders is only one method but I've found it to be incredibly reliable. You really have to put some thought into the part before you start to construct it. Also, strip the textures away from all kinds of rolling stock and look at it in Shapeviewer. I've learned to be able to see the points in other modelers' shapes and consider their methods when trying to construct a part.

    EDIT: Please understand that extra details like springs and journal boxes will have to be created from new primitives like cubes and cylinders, but only after you finish the basic shape of the truck sideframe.

    Tyler
    Last edited by tbundy1982; 03-19-2018 at 08:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbundy1982 View Post
    Also, strip the textures away from all kinds of rolling stock and look at it in Shapeviewer. I've learned to be able to see the points in other modelers' shapes and consider their methods when trying to construct a part.
    Tyler
    ^^This is sage advice. Press the backspace button when viewing a model in Shape Viewer to view in wire frame mode and see how other modellers have made their models and use the techniques that look good to you in your models.

  9. #9
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    Sage Advice indeed. We aren't born experts... we become them. There is no definitive guide "How to model 3D for Train Simulators" that has stood the test of time since we also have evolved away from 2001 technology. There are, however, some really good "experienced" modelers you can learn a thing or two from just by looking at how they solved a problem. Believe me... I'm embarrased to run my 2002 era Dash8-B40 with the flat face trucks. It just looks so wrong now.

    I know it sounds wrong... but all my models start life as a Cube, Cylinder or an extruded outline. 95% of the time... the cube shape wins.
    http://www.railsimstuff.com
    3D Canvas/Crafter and Blender User
    formerly The Keystone Works (All Permissions Granted)
    In IRC at freenode #msts

  10. #10
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    Hi Folks,

    While I model with different software - a couple tips from my experience with trucks - I like round wheels and very efficient models that perform well - even when pulling 100 of them... Instead of full 3D wheels - I prefer a hybrid that appears fully round without using 10K polys... Just two flat faces - the one in back is slightly larger to look more like a flange... A cylinder makes up the surface of the wheel... The curve on the alpha hides the chunky cylinder... Also to save poly's - the whole punched in the center of the truck is alpha's as well - to give ultra smooth curve without using many polys... I'm with Pete - the side frames began life as a cube - pushed - pulled - and extruded - into shape... The entire truck comes in at 752 polys - which has three additional LOD's reducing the count as I go... Good textures can do a great deal to mask crude shapes - and textures don't cost any performance... Honestly - unless you are zooming in to where you can read the nomenclature on the truck - I think they look pretty darn good... Best of luck with your project...





    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by scottb613; 03-20-2018 at 11:42 AM.

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