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Thread: BNSF 25th Anniversary locos

  1. #41
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    I used the Mullan Pass model, for these ES44AC's. Looks great, but is 5828 one of the numbers to be used? Sorry if I missed that info somewhere!
    Only trouble was converting the ACE files to DDS for the shape to work properly, and not sure if anyone has discovered, but a quick google search brought up this tool, and works just fine for me, when I am only converting one or two at a time.

    https://anyconv.com/tga-to-dds-converter/
    https://i.imgur.com/LPZNEX4.png

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSRX View Post
    I used the Mullan Pass model, for these ES44AC's. Looks great, but is 5828 one of the numbers to be used? Sorry if I missed that info somewhere!
    Only trouble was converting the ACE files to DDS for the shape to work properly, and not sure if anyone has discovered, but a quick google search brought up this tool, and works just fine for me, when I am only converting one or two at a time.

    https://anyconv.com/tga-to-dds-converter/
    I've yet to be convinced that DDS files "bring that much to the party" That isn't to say that the format might be capable of better rendition than .ace files but converting .ace to .dds seems an odd way to go?

    As far as I'm aware the extra detail in the Scenic Sub Loco's was a 1st outing for the stock converted from the MSTS2 stock? Being into earlier eras than most SLI/TS stuff I was not aware that any of the models had been improved on since?

    Still if it works... "fill your boots"

    Number list in post #7 and 5828 is the only one photographed when the thread started.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    I've yet to be convinced that DDS files "bring that much to the party" That isn't to say that the format might be capable of better rendition than .ace files but converting .ace to .dds seems an odd way to go?

    As far as I'm aware the extra detail in the Scenic Sub Loco's was a 1st outing for the stock converted from the MSTS2 stock? Being into earlier eras than most SLI/TS stuff I was not aware that any of the models had been improved on since?

    Still if it works... "fill your boots"

    Number list in post #7 and 5828 is the only one photographed when the thread started.
    DDS has been shown to better texture quality when in Open Rails, I don't use DDS for every single thing however. A lot of my stock is Ace. However, it may be odd, to convert ace to dds, but it was easier doing that, then trying to edit the shape file for use of ace files rather than dds.

    I went with the Mullan Pass locomotive, as it has the same texture set up, however as to what Geepster stated, it provides more shape wise than the Scenic Sub and the other model.

    Guess I should have read more to the thread, for the additional numbers.
    https://i.imgur.com/LPZNEX4.png

  4. #44
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    As I said in my Read Me feel free to modify, renumber my efforts to your hearts content

    However
    Quote Originally Posted by CSRX View Post
    DDS has been shown to better texture quality when in Open Rails
    As I said I've yet to see this! If anyone can post pictures of a model with both .ace and .dds files and point out where the latter is better I might be convinced.

    There's been a sort of "pseudo intellectual" snobbery about image file formats in ALL areas of computing for decades now. Whilst various file formats have specific advantages for specific applications that hasn't usually been apparent to the viewer of the image? Even in Photography the advantages of the RAW file format are obvious to anyone competent in image manipulation but the latest DSLR's do such a fantastic job of capturing the image IN CAMERA that quiet often when you compare the camera's .jpg output with the .raw capture the only difference is that the RAW file is three times as big I'm reminded of the drivel that used to be printed in Hi Fi reviews in the 60's when certain pieces of kit were tested on instruments that proved that model A had a better response to frequencies than model B ....only trouble being that in any case these frequencies were well above the range of the human ear!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CSRX View Post
    I went with the Mullan Pass locomotive, as it has the same texture set up, however as to what Geepster stated, it provides more shape wise than the Scenic Sub and the other model.
    As I own both I see no difference in detail whatsoever. The Scenic Sub Loco's have a Freight Animation that adds a lot of detail that their older models couldn't handle. The Mullans pass Loco seems to have identical detail but is pitched at Open Rails only, thus avoiding the need for a FA?

    As I said feel free to do what you like with them but the Scenic Sub runs fine in MSTS too
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    If anyone can post pictures of a model with both .ace and .dds files and point out where the latter is better I might be convinced.
    Geoff, I don't do a lot with the hobby these days but as this topic has long been of interest to me a mate was kind enough to give me a heads up that it was under discussion again so I thought I'd stick my oar in for what it's worth. It seems a lot of people are getting bogged down in the "which is better" debate, which from my experience isn't actually the point. What dds does for us is deliver twice the texture size, therefore twice the detail for no extra "cost" in terms of PC grunt.



    Hopefully I can remember how to post a large image and if so, I doubt anyone will need a pointer as to which pic is the 2048 dds file and which is the 1024 ace file.

    I just downloaded your BNSF locos and noticed you'd used 1024 for your main texture which has been the gold standard for a long time for the obvious reason but since I became aware of dds I have used 2048 ACE exclusively for my main texture files and then once I'm satisfied with the skin, I convert it to DDS DXT3 for use in the sim. (NB: You can work directly on dds in your editor of choice but I'm not convinced that it doesn't lose some quality after a number of edits unlike ace).

    Just to hammer home the advantages of dds as I see them, for my boxcar, the 2048 ace file weighs in at 9,386kb while the 1024 ace is 5,641kb. The 2048 ace converted to DDS DXT3 is 5,462kb with no apparent detail loss from the 2048 ace image, so therein lies the advantage, same small file size as 1024 but with more fine detail!

    Some caveats.... maybe people can get better 1024 ace results with PSP than I get with Photoshop or maybe newer versions of Photoshop will produce better results than my rusty old version does but I very much doubt anyone is going to get better detail producing 1024 ace textures with any editor than what they will with 2048.

    That said, don't wait for others to convince you. Get a 2048 loco texture file, redo your fallen flag logos onto it then convert it to dds and see what you think. I doubt you'll need more convincing from that point and I'd go further and say I'd be surprised if anyone that understands dds would still be messing around with 1024 ace files for their main textures. The results speak for themselves in my opinion.
    Last edited by ossie; 08-22-2020 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Attached image
    Cheers!
    Pete

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    As I own both I see no difference in detail whatsoever. The Scenic Sub Loco's have a Freight Animation that adds a lot of detail that their older models couldn't handle. The Mullans pass Loco seems to have identical detail but is pitched at Open Rails only, thus avoiding the need for a FA?

    As I said feel free to do what you like with them but the Scenic Sub runs fine in MSTS too
    My bad, I didn't read Geepsters post carefully enough. The PTC antenna (?) was added sometime after 2014 and before 2016 by which time, judging by pictures of 5828 on Railroad Pictures Archive was well and truly due for a respray anyway.

    The brakewheel is missing but I had to read the post to spot it LOL! It's rather poorly skinned on the Mullans Pass version sticking out as an orange blob against the weathered side panels.

    I only have the much more interesting Santa Fe version of the Seligman Route and that's the MSTS version. The MSTS version doesn't include 44AC units according to the blurb but the Open Rails Version does.

    I assume that the PTC is being fitted to the whole fleet?
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  7. #47
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    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for that. It was exactly what I was looking for as a direct comparison.

    You made some interesting points.

    Obviously 2048 is the way to go for detail and getting that extra detail for the same file size is a "no brainer" Indeed scaling the logo's down to fit on a 1024 skin obviously created quite crude images, although they look better than I could have expected in the Sim(s)

    I was interested in the degredation issue. I've encountered this with my earlier attempts with .aces and especially with MSTS's inability to display best quality images.

    As my other great interest is photography I "bit the bullet" and subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud, which is what Photoshop and various other adobe programmes come under now (check out the deals, they're pricey but you get more than just one programme and access to a lot of "free bonus" programmes and utilities too) but I haven't played around with DDS yet, although I did download a converter programme.

    PSP has run in parallel with Photoshop for years now and I'm sure they both have pluses and minuses, but you use the tool that you learn to use?

    As the saying goes "Minds like Parachutes ....work best when they're open" so your arguments and samples persuade me to look into them more. Trouble is not many people still making new stuff although the standard has improved beyond any reasonable expectation over the last 19 years!

    Thanks again. I'll have a play
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  8. #48
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    You're welcome Geoff... and I couldn't recommend dds more to anyone that is still making textures. The only complaint I have about it is that my 1024 ace textures now look pretty scrappy when they're running alongside the 2048 dds ones, so as so often happens, solving one problem creates another.

    Thanks for the heads up about Adobe Creative Cloud. I have to admit I haven't kept up to date with the editors so if/when I get back into that side of things in a big way it'll be worth looking into an upgrade!

    Edit... it seems that when I managed to get the images directly into the forum I lost the "zoom in" effect, so here's another link to allow that:

    https://i.ibb.co/cxstcff/Open-Rails-...2-07-22-10.png
    Last edited by ossie; 08-22-2020 at 07:59 AM.
    Cheers!
    Pete

  9. #49
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    I never got into reskins with FSX but I remembered that Martin Wright made a programme available that's just the job for getting .dds into Photoshop. Is that what you've used?

    For anyone following this and interested http://www.mwgfx.co.uk/programs/dxtbmp.htm

    I think you've highlighted another real problem in "solving one problem creates another" too.

    I enjoy photoskining boxcars because few (certainly not me!) have the artistic skill to paint extreme weathering or paint convincingly the sort of random damage done to them by fork lifts or other loading accidents. Although there are a wealth of photographs the older stuff has few high quality colour images and these already require cropping and distorting to make them fit an .ace file. Blowing them up to 1024 is often a stretch and 2048 probably a bridge too far when the original image is not very big to start with. That said the opportunity to edit fine detail in any image is obviously improved.

    I think we also have to step back from our efforts occasionally and look at our work in the Sim? For example it's great to have detailed loading signage on a wagon.... BUT you ain't gonna read it when it's hurtling past in the Sim LOL!
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  10. #50
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    Yes Geoff, Martin's program is the one I use.

    And yes, the quality and quantity of modern digital photography made my era of choice for reskins a no-brainer but you're absolutely right about the drawbacks of older/smaller photo images for people working with photo/slide scans from earlier eras and in that case larger texture sizes are only going to make a hard job worse.

    When I run the game I tend to spend more time trainspotting rather than driving and I can definitely pick the differences in texture sizes as the trains roll by... everything looks sharper with the larger textures but it's definitely horses for courses. People who spend all their time in the cab probably couldn't care less what size textures are flashing by them or whether the wheels are round or Flintstone, but for anyone skilled in painting or those reskinning modern rolling stock, 2048 dds is definitely going to give more bang for your buck.
    Cheers!
    Pete

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