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Thread: Cane Creek Flying Rocks and Bushes

  1. #1

    Default Cane Creek Flying Rocks and Bushes

    Oh no, levitating rocks and bushes ...
    Well I have not seen any buildings or loading facilities hovering in mid-air, but lots of rocks.
    I did not find another post about this- is this the elephant in the room that we "shhhhh- dont talk about??

    I have never written code for scenery, so I don't know jack- but it sure raises interesting questions.
    Since a flying rock is often right next to a rock that knows where the ground is, I have to ask- is every rock parameterized for altitude? That sounds like a blistering amount of work. Cane Creek = Mars-scape = millions of rocks.

    Hopefully it is not that. Perhaps an effect that can be applied to make things look more natural when viewed from a distance?

    Or maybe - yet another side-effect from having been a free-ranger back in the 60's.

    has anyone else seen the flying rocks? Just me?

  2. #2
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    I haven't seen flying rocks as I don't have Cane Creek, but it's a common thing in video games. Unreal 4 from what I remember as I played with it before I stuck with Unity I believe has similar properties found in commercial game engines available for developers.

    The properties are often definded depending on their purpose. Physics is something that the game engine can do for example but takes up resources to calculate. This is fine in some cases when you are the player and your interacting with physical objects that you want to interact with. A rock on the side perhaps is not set for proper physics which means they are likely placed in the editor and missed by the art team.

    Now tracks on the other hand depending on how the physics work with both Unreal is compared to what is happening in TSW2. But from what I can tell in my observation the wheels sit very nicely on the 3D rails. I haven't taken too much observation on curves but it appears to me that there is not as much travel as a prototypical freight car (I could be wrong). I have NOT observed how it behaves around curves. The ties are painted 2D. This could also mean that the 3D rails have a collision property to them thus not allowing the trucks to wander outside of their boundries unless an extrem physical force caused the car to bounce.

    If you do not have a collider and gravity is applied to an object it will fall right through it as if it doesn't exist. This could work well if your modeling clouds or other objects such as smoke (I'm sure there are other reasons). A typical 3D console game like a super mario brothers has coliders for example and say the coins in the air do not have a gravity value set.

    Here is a screenshot of one of my RTS modules I'm working on. The artwork here is FREE from the asset store and only stand in objects at this time. You'll notice the track has a colider set to on. I wish I could take a screen shot with all the various components you can add because this would apply to gravity and other things if you want to simulate those physics. Weight is another physical property you can simulate, as well as adhersion and other cool things the game engine can play around with to try and make a good simulation.

    Thanks

    SeanScreenshot 2021-08-14 170033.jpg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebrecs View Post
    Oh no, levitating rocks and bushes ... ...
    It happens. Nothing special. Many, many games do it and even TrainSimulations' Seligman Route (for Open Rails) has shrubs hovering above the ground.
    LOD can also play a part.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  4. #4
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    Yep I see them in all kinds of things and LOD is certainly one of them. Another thing you may see is two graphics objects fighting for the same space (in which case they phase in and out of each other). This can be especially true for rocks because placing graphic objects is often very difficult espeically when you have many in the same scene and the angle of view hides and image (you go inside a 3D object for example and it disappears) then you lose you perspective.

    Thankfully I haven't come across that just yet but I'm nowhere near as close as what the sims already achieve when it does work well. You can always report the bug but to be fair sometimes fixing one graphic glitch winds up creating another one when you fix the original complaint. If your dealing with simpler geometry it's much easier to play around with the glitches but of course doesn't look as pretty.

    The more you can use 2D in the background where you can't explore, the better LOD performance you'll get and the less glitches you have to worry about.

    Thanks

    Sean

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorSean View Post
    You can always report the bug but to be fair sometimes fixing one graphic glitch winds up creating another one when you fix the original complaint.

    Thanks

    Sean
    Oh no, I am not making a complaint so much as hoping to get some idea what goes on in the life of someone developing this stuff. I suppose if I run across a major item that is not well placed I might report it. But rocks? Naawwww. There are way too many. Plus, near impossible to prioritize one rock over another. Having said that, if I have to get out and walk to uncouple cars (trucks) and flying rocks are blocking the trail - then I have a means of prioritization.

    So how many rocks are there? Are there maybe 20 and they get reused all across the route with different settings, or are there like thousands ?

    Also, while we are here, what is LOD ?

    thanks,
    John

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebrecs View Post
    Also, while we are here, what is LOD ?

    thanks,
    John
    Level Of Detail, John.
    Many games have various LODs......the further away from the eye, then the lower the detail can be and, in some cases, the user may select how the LOD is applied.
    Essentially, there is no point in having a high LOD when looking at mountains or cliffs from several miles away but as the viewer moves closer then the LOD becomes greater.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagoon View Post
    Level Of Detail, John.
    Many games have various LODs......the further away from the eye, then the lower the detail can be and, in some cases, the user may select how the LOD is applied.
    Essentially, there is no point in having a high LOD when looking at mountains or cliffs from several miles away but as the viewer moves closer then the LOD becomes greater.
    Thank You! I'm going to hazard a guess that LOD can be view specific. (??) If so, goes a long way toward explaining why I do not see the floaters from the engineers seat looking straight ahead through the wind [shield|screen]. Cane Creek is uneventful, so I have taken to going out the back door and hanging around on the long hood walkway, eyes pointing 90 degrees to the direction of travel. Viewed from there- in some spots most everything that is not a mountain is floating around.

    Thanks again and are you really running a 386 machine ?

    --john

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebrecs View Post
    ...........I'm going to hazard a guess that LOD can be view specific. (??) .....
    It can be, yes.
    If you are running an fps counter in the corner of your screen, you will see the count change as you rotate your view, as detail has an effect on the frame-rate.
    LOD can also be adjusted by settings in the Options menu (under Graphics) of many games, usually through tweaks to detail levels.
    It's all a matter of trial and error and the outcome can be greatly dependent upon the video card, the GPU and even the CPU of the machine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rebrecs View Post
    Thanks again and are you really running a 386 machine ?
    No!
    That's the specs of the first PC that I owned after I moved from the Commodore Amiga.....around 1987, if I recall.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagoon View Post
    It can be, yes.
    If you are running an fps counter in the corner of your screen, you will see the count change as you rotate your view, as detail has an effect on the frame-rate.
    LOD can also be adjusted by settings in the Options menu (under Graphics) of many games, usually through tweaks to detail levels.
    It's all a matter of trial and error and the outcome can be greatly dependent upon the video card, the GPU and even the CPU of the machine.


    No!
    That's the specs of the first PC that I owned after I moved from the Commodore Amiga.....around 1987, if I recall.
    The outcome, meaning how the detail settings on the Sim, and the system capabilities impact the fps. I gotcha.
    The game of "spin-the-bottleneck" has been going on since your Commodore Amiga, and will never stop.
    From a paycheck perspective, I suppose it is a good time to be in the GPU business.

    So I was working on DEC pdp-8's and pdp-11's about the time the 8080 and 8086 microprocessors were coming out.I played around with them but did not buy anything until 386 systems started shipping. And my first 9600 baud modem. I was hot stuff !!!

    Those guys should fix their rocks.

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