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Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby total_douche on Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:35 pm

My hobbies tend to go in cycles, so I guess "suddenly interested" is more of a "cycled back into focus" thing for me.

Anyway, lately I've been building diesel locomotives for rail simulators again. I haven't done that since I was in my early 20s, but I've come to realize that:

a.) It's a good way to get some creative energy out

b.) Now that I'm an adult and have money and a car, I can go all kinds of places to get resources (especially because I live close to MSP, which has a shitasston of rail-related museums and organizations).

c.) Modern platforms can handle much higher vertex counts, so I spend less time coming up with visual tricks and more time building shapes (and I UV map faster than just about anyone).

d.) I can make cash this way... some people I know make a decent living doing this. Equals less time in crappy factory jobs and more time for study. When I was a kid I released everything as freeware or public domain.

So it's kind of interesting, I've been getting back in touch with people who've also grown up and now have jobs in the rail industry and know people who can get me into places. I spent last Saturday in the shops at the MTM measuring a locomotive cab and underframe. That was neat.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Anthony Flack on Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:04 am

So this is basically like building video game assets, but exclusively focused on dimensionally accurate models of real diesel trains? Can we see one?
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby total_douche on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:26 am

Sure. Here are some screen caps from my modelling program:

CP 5577 1.5-37.JPG


CP 5577 1.5-38.JPG


CP 5577 1.5-39.JPG


The building is the easy part, at the moment, I'm drawing the textures, which I'm really not a fan of doing, but it's a necessary evil. The more frustrating aspect of it with respect to "normal" video game development is that most simulation rendering engines are a bit less sophisticated than modern video games (Assassin's Creed has to cope with precisely two system configurations - XBox or PlayStation - and doesn't need to simulate the physics of an entire train, whereas Open Rails or RailWorks or whatever else has to run on a variety of systems and simulate a lot of crap), so a lot of effects have to be handled in textures... compromises have to be made. I generally aim to make my models look as they would under bright but cloudy conditions: diffuse shadows, fairly neutral colours, soft highlights.

Railworks/Train Sim World has more advanced shaders, but I really don't want to deal with DTG, Steam, and the apeshit amount of money they both want for adding value to their product (Between the two of them, about 80% of your revenue for the first 90 days, which is probably the only period of time where a new release will sell in any real numbers). It's like they think they're Nintendo or something (and lack the comprehension of the heavy price Nintendo paid for their asinine policies).
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby goatlord on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:17 am

There is no way of sying this and sound good, but that's amazing, total_douche! Modeling stuff according to engineering specifications can be hard, so I tip my hat to you!
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Anthony Flack on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:13 pm

That looks great! What's your modeling program? Have you done work in the game industry also, or are you strictly in it for the trains?

When I started out, hardware was so limited that I feel like everything is spoiling us these days, even if you don't get to use fancy multi-textures and normal maps and all that. Just being able to make a >1000 triangle model and use a 2048 texture still feels like a great luxury to me!

When I was digitising clay models and turning them into 3d objects, I'd always shoot on a bright, cloudy day for the same reason as you. It's the most usable compromise when you're forced to combine some baked-on lighting with some in-engine shading. Of course these days all the fancy pro artists are using PBR and the old techniques are something of a lost art.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby total_douche on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:15 am

I use a stripped down version of 3DS that used to ship with PC games - GMax - and haven't found a suitable replacement on the grounds that 3DS is way too expensive and everything else has a shitty interface (Blender) or simplistic UV mapping tools (Blender, AC3D, everything else). Consequently, I lack rendering capability. Everything in those images is hand-drawn:

tex sample.JPG


I've built models for a few different simulation platforms (mostly aviation and rail objects, with some scenery objects as well), but that's the extent of my model-building experience. It started with flight simulators when I was a teenager. I couldn't find what I wanted, and the tools were free, so I started making my own content. I've been thinking of trying 3Dcrafter, since it's cheap, has a decent render engine, can export in a variety of formats (which GMax can't, for obvious reasons) and actually has some decent UV mapping capability, which is a big thing for me. The "norm" in 3D model building is to just splatter it with an unwrapping tool and "who cares about resolution or alignment, so long as you can slap a decent texture on it?" I am super anal about alignment, layout, resolution, and choosing where my distortion will be, so I need to have the same UV mapping capability that Max has. Just choosing an area and cropping it isn't good enough for an airliner fuselage when you want the texture artist to be able to line things up and make them look seamless.

goatlord wrote:There is no way of sying this and sound good, but that's amazing, total_douche! Modeling stuff according to engineering specifications can be hard, so I tip my hat to you!


Funny you should say that - I've always found it to be the other way around! All of my model-building experience is in building depictions of real-world objects, and the best thing in the world is a complete set of engineering drawings, on the off chance I can find them. I hate guessing and making judgment calls. I'd rather have a set of measurements and plug in numbers. I went to the extreme of measuring a locomotive cab because I'm just way too lazy to piece it together from photos. In an ideal world, I'd use a 3D scanner to make a template to work from.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Adam Sr on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:06 pm

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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby first2letters on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm

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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Dave N. on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:49 pm



I've experienced this. It's not pleasant.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby first2letters on Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:02 pm

Dave N. wrote:


I've experienced this. It's not pleasant.


So have I -- big reason I'm interested in it right now. It's fugging terrifying.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 pm

Although not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Douche, when I've done 3d stuff I've always used Blender because I am stubborn in my insistence on using free or low-cost tools wherever possible. I don't want to end up over a barrel like Adobe got me with Photoshop.

The interface is a bit shit, yeah. UV mapping is fiddly. I've always been picky with the UV mapping too, but I don't know 3DS so I don't know any better than to persevere with Blender and painstakingly beat the UV map into submission.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby scrotescape on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:57 pm

I love the tonality/color of the industrial paints used on train cars.

Currently into: caprine lactation...and processing thereof.
Been making yogurt,mozzarella,ricotta,chevre...would like to dig a cellar to age cheese in someday.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby geiginni on Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:32 am

Forgotten 19th century german/slavic composers.

Zdeněk Fibich (1850-1900)

Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838)

Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882)
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Janeway on Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:10 pm

some cozy ass westley crusher sweaters haha

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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby n.c. on Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:42 pm

for about the last year and a half i've been obsessed with calligraphy. i've come to learn that i prefer a style of pointed pen calligraphy called Copperplate.

calligraphy.jpg
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Teacher's Pet on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:34 pm

Holy shit, nice work.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Major on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:41 pm

CALYPSO MUSIC
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby bishopdante on Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:00 pm

total_douche wrote: everything else has a shitty interface (Blender) or simplistic UV mapping tools (Blender, AC3D, everything else). Consequently, I lack rendering capability.


I'd highly recommend having a look at Modo.

phpBB [media]


______

In terms of an interesting real-time engine that does physics and quality graphics, well worth having a look at Unreal Engine 4.

phpBB [media]


______

Not many people know that some of the deepest roots of personal computing and hacking are in railways, so your work here is part of a very fine tradition.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tech_Mo ... lroad_Club

Your trains look most excellent.
Last edited by bishopdante on Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby sitwell on Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:13 pm

Coconut octopus. They use a coconut shell as a tool.
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Re: Weird things you are suddenly interested in right now

Postby Tommy on Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:15 pm

Wondering if hypnosis can instill drive/motivation.
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