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[EN] Community 3D asset model showcase / tutorials / help


giBBer8

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With the SimRail editor in future plans, I'm trying to learn Blender by watching BlenderGuru 'Doughnut tutorial', and CG Boost rather nice 'apples' series.

It would be fantastic to get tips on modelling railway infrastructure, and see some of the players work in Blender, 3D Max etc. I have many questions (as I'm sure most of us have)! There isn't much on Youtube about building loco assets, (a rather amazing 'Big Boy' sped up montage being a highlight), but not a lot else.

As a kick starter, I'd like to say that CG Boost's 'Apples" series gives clear instructions how to bring an image or blueprint into Blender, scale the initial block and work from there, perfectly fitting a real world image / plan etc...🤔

So please, any 3Dmodelers here with projects and advice to give? SimKol folks too.....you've done wonders...

 

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How many tris are optimal for a model? How does this work for viewing a loco and 9 coaches, or 40 wagons and a viaduct in a scene? I'm not sure how this works...

The Pendolino brake gear is modelled, but I assume the game engine doesn't see this in cab view, and only calculates what the player view is per frame. So not all the tris in any model are calculated for a frame?... Nice work on the brake gear too devs!! 😊

PenBrakeGear.thumb.jpg.18be7f244474c851389594af3383c226.jpg

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44 minutes ago, giBBer8 said:

PenBrakeGear.thumb.jpg.18be7f244474c851389594af3383c226.jpg

This is (at least for me) a bit excessive... I'm talking about the brake calipers and the brake ifself... The disc should just be a texture and the calipers have the ammount of detail reduced. No one wouldget under the frame and stary being picky about if it has less or more screws... Or at least I wouldn't do that.

 

For the wheels I normally work with cylinders with 32 sides... I guess Unity can handle more than that though.

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1 hour ago, Kaito Kid said:

This is (at least for me) a bit excessive... I'm talking about the brake calipers and the brake ifself... The disc should just be a texture and the calipers have the ammount of detail reduced. No one wouldget under the frame and stary being picky about if it has less or more screws... Or at least I wouldn't do that.

For the wheels I normally work with cylinders with 32 sides... I guess Unity can handle more than that though.

I'm really glad the devs modelled this, shows a lot of attention to detail, but does that level of detail matter until the player is looking at it, like I did? Is the fact this detail is there (the traction motor is also modeled with short drive shaft) is stored to RAM? It should be really dark and dirty under there too!!

32 sides for a wheel, good to know, EXACTLY why I started this thread @Kaito Kid

 

 

Edited by giBBer8
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  • SIMRAIL Team

Simrail does not use any culling based on player location. Cabin/brake calipers are displayed as long as they're in given lod radious. Even frustum culling isn't too excesive from what I observed.
As for pendolino, it uses 213k tri on 306 objects for cabin lod0, but just 840 tri on one object for lod1 and all cabins are baked like this.
Shell of section A counts 63k so should be under 100k with doors etc. Bogie is arround 150k on LOD0 to 1.2k on lod4. .
Geometry alone have really minor performance cost on modern hardware. Most important is number of draw calls, so try to limit number of objects and materials used, so geometry might be passed to gpu in largest chunks possible and take texture data with large atlases.

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i love how much detail is in SimRail,  
Despite me trying to be a 'hardcore train driving simmer' so the view out the cab is all i really care about, i will sometimes play about when waiting at a station and use the outside camera to view the train from different angles, 

I was amazed the first time i went under the train and saw the detail of the brakes, suspension etc, 

Similarly when i stood next to a set of points waiting for them to move over to set my route, lovely whirring of the points motor, then some of the rodding moved into the motor box and the blades moved,  
what i think are the point blade locks didn't move tho, they were now disconnected from the point blades (this was back at the beginning of playtests, so it might have more working parts now) 

But blimey, this simulator keeps on impressing me,  in some other train driving games it's almost impossible to tell which way you are going at the points due to them not caring about making the point blades move properly.

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shell of section A counts 63k so should be under 100k with doors etc. Bogie is arround 150k on LOD0 to 1.2k on lod4. .

Thank you very much.

Just to be sure: one bogie (150k), the body of a passenger/etc car (not to excede 100k). Inside cab (213k), inside passenger car (maybe 100k, 150k ish)?

Nice. 😎

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try to limit number of objects and materials used

Noted.

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@Stelethanks for such a great reply. 

I'm a doughnut and apples artist still, if you need the empty wagons filling with those, I'm your guy!

What is Lod0 and Lod1, a Unity thing? 

A simple guide on the graphics engine, and 'how to model an asset' tutorial would be amazing...something for the future.

 

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5 minutes ago, giBBer8 said:

@Stelethanks for such a great reply. 

I'm a doughnut and apples artist still, if you need the empty wagons filling with those, I'm your guy!

What is Lod0 and Lod1, a Unity thing? 

A simple guide on the graphics engine, and 'how to model an asset' tutorial would be amazing...something for the future.

Lod0 and Lod1 are different "Level Of Details" of your 3D model.
So basically, Lod0 is the high fidelity model that will be shown at short distances while Lod1 is a lower quality model shown on long distances.

Here is a little image found on the internet that explains it better than me 😄 https://docs.unity3d.com/uploads/Main/LOD0Image.png

 

So for example, for a driver cab. You might want to use the Lod0 highly detailled version while driving, but you can just use Lod1 for non driving players that are unlikely to see the cab from a short distance 🙂 

I hope it helps !

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On 2/10/2023 at 4:26 PM, giBBer8 said:

It would be fantastic to get tips on modelling railway infrastructure, and see some of the players work in Blender, 3D Max etc. I have many questions (as I'm sure most of us have)! There isn't much on Youtube about building loco assets, (a rather amazing 'Big Boy' sped up montage being a highlight), but not a lot else.

So please, any 3Dmodelers here with projects and advice to give?

22 minutes ago, giBBer8 said:

A simple guide on the graphics engine, and 'how to model an asset' tutorial would be amazing...something for the future.

It depends on what you want to build, the information you have about it (pictures, blueprints, etc) and the knowledge about 3Ds and an editor like Blender.

 

In my case, at the end of 2020, I had to "relearn" how to use the basic shapes, the "modifier" and the texture management in Blender 2.8, after more than a dozen years spent with Amabilis 3Dcanvas 7.12.

So as a "simple" test case I built a single track 3 arched bridge. Nothing fancy but it gave me the above basics and pushed to find better solution on various Blender forums.

1408391776_Blender_00011.thumb.jpg.1f64da949f799f55d084f138e1b280a1.jpg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi.

The EMUs are equipped, by design, with "gangway connection" to allow passage between two adjacent cars. In this case they cannot be separated except during maintenance.

Will it be possible to add gangway between two "old style" passenger cars and having them in disconnected and connected states, able to follow curves, switches, etc? @Stele

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  • SIMRAIL Team

In Poland those are just two sheets of metal on hinges attached to both cars with squishable rubber pipes arround. Those should just be added to coupler data as next element, but aren't implemented.
Older cars used canvas more similar to what you see in EMUs. That uses custom vertex shader with simple stretch deformation that crashes itself when pointer to any side is missing. Even if we ignore that, scripting to set those reference points during coupling would be needed.

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Would require extensions of coupler scripting anyway.

Ok. Thank you. I'll put on hold that specific part and go on with the rest of the 3D 👍

----

 

 

Just as a side note.

Looking for photos for the inside of my current 3D, I have found that the same factory (Breda - Italy), in the same years (1926-1930) has built a limited number of cars for PKP too.

SC_F_SUP-5w060-0009592_IMG-0000896122.jpg.54ebf5eaf3030e018c679505d75d7e7c.jpg

https://www.lombardiabeniculturali.it/fotografie/schede/IMM-5w060-0009592/

 

SC_F_SUP-5w060-0009605_IMG-0000896129.jpg.378fe410b8df831c05c5453d472f5290.jpg

https://www.lombardiabeniculturali.it/fotografie/schede/IMM-5w060-0009605/

Edited by Bremen
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Hi.

Quote

I'll put on hold that specific part and go on with the rest of the 3D 👍

As Oscar Wilde once said "I can resist everything except temptation"

Never had so much fun doing a 3D completely from scratch.

Blender_0002.thumb.jpg.21003d0d46b094a8411e83ba1bf4c89a.jpg

F.S. - Type 1921 first class (Built 1926)

The inside is still 90% empty and the outside is rendered with a very basic Blender node.

By the way, a new question for the Dev, the shaders will be applied to the textures directly inside Unity, right?

 

 

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I'm so "uninterested" 😇 to play around with the "future" editor that I have installed Unity just to see what it looks like.

Blender_0004.thumb.jpg.6837159313e5181949e90605d204e78a.jpg

Notes:

the scenery, trees, terrain are taken from a Unity example.

I have an issue with some transparencies

I had no power on the resolution, so it is low res

----

Ich habe die Bilder der baureihe 52 (Ty42/Ty2) gesehen... Wunderbar. 👍

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=663651415767033&set=a.490893456376164

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  • SIMRAIL Team
W dniu 13.03.2023 o 22:44, Bremen napisał(a):

By the way, a new question for the Dev, the shaders will be applied to the textures directly inside Unity, right?

It's vertex shader that bends mesh according to two or three controll points. Applied inside unity, you're right.

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On 3/25/2023 at 4:00 PM, giBBer8 said:

Good to see @Bremen

I believe it is easy to get a blender file into Unity, how did you do with the animations...wheels, doors, etc? 

Yes it is easy and there are two ways.

One is to import the Blender file directly (with the textures) and the other to use a FXB file exported from Blender (plus textures).

In both cases, copy the files in the  Unity project directory and is automatically loaded.

Of course this is the way with Unity as it is, maybe the actual editor was customized.

 

About the animation, I tried once in Blender, 2 years ago, and it did not go well. I'll have to retry it.

Wheels/bogies I'm fairly sure that will be automatically animated like in MSTS/Railworks/TS.

Pantographs, doors, pistons, connecting rods, etc. instead will require custom animations.

 

3 hours ago, giBBer8 said:

Did we get clarification (after the Facebook Simkol request for modelers) if the public editor stuff was for all, or just a DTG style 'dev team' only thing?

I refer to - 

I have been busier than usual at work, so I may have missed something, but even in the Polish side of the forum are starting to have “doubts” with just a "hint" of flamewar too 😅.

On the second page (translated with google translate): "And on the dev channel we wonder where this gentleman got the information...
And for posterity - the update will be delayed, because there is a regression in recent changes and it must be straightened out before it leaves the testers department."

 

At the moment I have stoped my efforts since the uncertainty is not helping and the busy days at work are not helping too.

 

Thank you @Stele

Edited by Bremen
Typos as always...
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