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Thread: OR & Polygon limits.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldoradoRailroad View Post
    Steve
    Hi Steve,

    Yeah - wish we had access to the 3DC exporter like they do with Blender. I had spoken with Paul Gausden a while back as I always thought he was the author of the exporter - alas he’s not.

    The sub - sub - objects are killing me now - as they just force unnecessary draw calls. Honestly - it’s probably not that big a deal when it’s only the locomotive - just me being obsessive on best performance. Most models produced give very little consideration to performance.

    Regards,
    Scott


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  2. #12
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    Problem is, and I already pointed that out many times to the developers, we really need to move away from the MSTS-shape format towards something new. Away with the cursed sub-objects, in with a better new group/nested or parts-like structure.

    http://www.elvastower.com/forums/ind...ost__p__251152

    But no dice after 3 years of asking to put this on the roadmap, it always get pushed away instead for implementing obscure cabview controls/dials, cant in curves, .. I don't see it happen anymore, unless some of the Czech/Russian forks of OR go their own way and become a seperate sim on themselves.

  3. #13

    Default as before...

    Hi Scott,

    Alas, I wish you had the time and/or courage to use Blender. I do not want to be branded as an evangelist here with this. 3DC had its time, and as we both know the MSTS exporter was not Paul's. As we both know, Richard is MIA for any 3DC fixes/updates. Given how COVID times have taken so very much away from us all, maybe this fall is time for a model making renaissance through Blender. You will find Wayne's exporter quite useful and you have the source code to modify things to your own taste. On top of that, Wayne has been so very helpful with Blender "luddites" such as myself to support a version of Blender that most do not use!

    In reference to a previous post on this subject, yeah, I have tried those HUGE models in OR, just to see if a million polygons was possible, well, it crawled in OR! Who said anything about using it in MSTS, of course not! Compiling HUGE models in 3DC brought the program to its knees and beyond. I really thought at the time that nobody would be foolish enough to repeat my "experiment".

    Steve

  4. #14
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    Knowing I'm way benind the times in sticking with MSTS and TSM, I've been having thoughts about learning something new. Seeing Blender mentioned a lot, I thought I might give it a try. After watching 5 tutorials on YouTube about using Blender, it's obvious that the number of polys for Blender users is a non-issue. Having used TSM for years to make scenery objects and always keeping poly numbers in mind due to the limitations of MSTS, it's hard to get my head around Blender; not just for poly numbers but also for the complexity. I know poly numbers is not (so much) of a problem in Open Rails. But, I personally still prefer to work in MSTS although I realize ORTS works a lot better, all things considered. If I'm making something - a route, a scenery object, etc., I'd like for it to work with MSTS as well as ORTS.

    I guess my question is, for those of you who have embraced Blender, if you still had to consider poly numbers, would you still have gone to the trouble of learning Blender? It seems like a VERY complex program to use, although I'll admit it does make some amazing products. It makes me think of Sketchup, which I tried for a while, which also has no regard for number of polys, but was very easy to use.
    Jeff

    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently-talented fool.

  5. #15
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    Hi Jeff,

    I would be interested to know which tutorials you watched to give you the impression that poly use for Blender is a non issue.

    You can create exactly the same low poly geometry in Blender that you can in TSM, gmax, 3D Canvas or 3D Studio Max and export .S files that work in MSTS.

    Don't be overwhelmed by Blenders 'complexity'. Sure there a lots of menus and buttons but you only need to know a very small number of them in order to create objects for MSTS/OR. You already know how to create 3D models in TSM so you understand the use of primitives, faces, edges and vertices as well as the tools to modify the location, scale and rotation of those elements. The same tools and techniques are used in Blender though the location of those tools and user interface are different. When you are comfortable with the UI and basic tools the learning of the more 'advanced' tools will be easier.

    The reason I recommend Blender to new 3D modellers over the TSM, gmax, 3DCanvas, and 3D Studio Max is the wealth of free tutorials for those who are new to 3D modelling. The hard part of making 3D content for MSTS/OR is not exporting the model to .S format, but learning how to create a 3D model in the first place.

    In my case, I moved to Blender because it has a render engine which helps me make textures for my models. Blender did not make me a better modeller nor did it improve the geometry of my models in any way.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Marek.

  6. #16
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    Alas, I wish you had the time and/or courage to use Blender. I do not want to be branded as an evangelist here with this.
    I agree with this. I finally had enough of 3Dcanas/Crafter odd issues and bit the bullet and went for Blender. Now there is just no going back
    http://www.railsimstuff.com
    Just Blender now, 3DCrafter only when I have to.
    formerly The Keystone Works (All Permissions Granted)
    https://github.com/pwillard/MSTS-replacement

  7. #17
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    It takes a lot of time and energy to learn a 3D cad program. You want to invest in a program that has good future potential. As technology advances and sims evolve the open source nature of Blender helps ensure a path forward. With Blender, what you learn for making MSTS models can be leveraged to make models for Railworks, Trainz, all the way up to making content for the latest Unreal Engine 5.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by superheatedsteam View Post
    I would be interested to know which tutorials you watched to give you the impression that poly use for Blender is a non issue.
    Marek, I watched several tutorials on YouTube where the guy makes a doughnut; I was kind of surprised when he changed the "smoothness" for lack of a more informed term, going from a few polys to a gazillion just by moving a slider. I also watched one that came with the program for "beginners" where the guy zooms around - you can do this, you can do that - without actually showing how to do any of it. And I haven't seen anything yet that describes using textures, except for painting on a solid color on the doughnut. Still looking...

    And I've noted a couple of links on here to tutorials, but they didn't work...

    I've no doubt that models with as many/few polys as one wants is possible, just a matter of taking care.

    I haven't given up on learning Blender, just need to sit down and dedicate some time to figuring things out.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently-talented fool.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jefffarq View Post
    Marek, I watched several tutorials on YouTube where the guy makes a doughnut; I was kind of surprised when he changed the "smoothness" for lack of a more informed term, going from a few polys to a gazillion just by moving a slider. I also watched one that came with the program for "beginners" where the guy zooms around - you can do this, you can do that - without actually showing how to do any of it. And I haven't seen anything yet that describes using textures, except for painting on a solid color on the doughnut. Still looking...

    And I've noted a couple of links on here to tutorials, but they didn't work...

    I've no doubt that models with as many/few polys as one wants is possible, just a matter of taking care.
    A few comments here;

    Yes, you can have many polys but be aware that Blender has a feature to smooth out your model, without adding additional polys, oddly enough it is called "Smooth". This feature manipulates the "normals" to the plane/polygon. I have seen some tutorials that allow you to do some really crazy things with normals, for certain desired effects, mainly for newer versions of Blender.

    If you have the pro version of TSM, you could save you model in .3DS format and import it into Blender, otherwise you are out of luck. There is a way around this, but it seems we are not ready to allow this type of thinking publicly, but in your case, if they are YOUR models, well it should be just fine.

    If per chance you use 3D Canvas/Crafter there is nothing stopping you from exporting your work from that program in .OBJ format for use in Blender.

    You might want to consider learning with an older version of Blender, as your search results for that specific version will yield better help results. The latest version of Blender will not have as many helpful tutorials for the item in question. In some cases sadly, in others thankfully, Blender does change interfaces with new releases. You will have to pick your poison with this one!

    By all means, experiment and find out what works for you. I would suggest that you download a free model, that may not be train related at all, but you will learn what does what and how. If you do something that does not work, just reload your model. I use many saved versions of a model, so that when I make an error, I can go back to what I was doing before the error. Learning by doing is the best way.

    Steve

  10. #20
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    The doughnut tutorial on youtube is good for beginners who are new to 3D modelling in general, but is not that good for those who wish to create game assets for game engines like MSTS/OR.

    The doughnut is an 'organic' model with very high polygon counts to make the surface smooth. This is required as the desired end result of the doughnut is to use it to render a static photoreal image using materials, lighting and cameras. This is not what you would do for a real-time game engine that MSTS/OR use.

    For MSTS/OR you should look at beginner tutorials relating to 'game asset' modelling that focus on creating 'hard surface' objects like buildings or vehicles as opposed to organic objects like characters or trees (unless you want to make those type of objects).

    Beginner tutorials on 'hard surface' modelling and 'low poly' modelling can provide further insights, techniques and tips that you can also use to create your models.

    I would suggest the "Low Poly Vehicles | Easy Beginner | Blender Tutorial" to get an idea of how to start.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkg7Ol2jEjs

    This shows how to import a reference image and then start creating a model using hard surface modelling techniques with a minimum of polygons. Because the car model is symmetrical, a mirror modifier is used to minimise the workload, this is not a requirement. Also the imported reference image is not 'scaled' to real world dimensions prior to starting the modelling. When I use a reference image, I first create a box in Blender with the length, height and width of the box matching the dimensions of the real word object. I then import the reference image and scale the image so it matches the dimensions of the box.

    In the above tutorial, you can ignore the instructions on using an environment HDR texture and applying materials at the end as this is not required for MSTS/OR models.

    For MSTS/OR, like TSM you will have to create a 2D texture file to apply to the model and then unwrap the triangles in your model to the appropriate location on the texture. I would suggest that Wayne's MSTS/OR export tool for Blender should be installed and used to select the texture file as it overwrites the default texture and eases this potentially confusing process. The model is then ready to be unwrapped.

    Pete has created a PDF document on creating 3D objects in Blender for OR/MSTS that you can find on github which covers textures and UV Unwrapping.

    https://github.com/pwillard/Ebook-ORTSBCCN

    When Steve suggests an older version of Blender, I suspect he means v2.8 or later. V2.8 had a major change in the user interface that was far less user hostile than previous versions. Any tutorial from v2.8 onwards will be very similar for all later versions of Blender up to this point in time with only slight changes to where some options may be located.

    If you get stuck then post a question, as it helps you and others that may read this post. We have all gone through this so we feel your pain.

    Cheers,

    Marek.

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