30 Mar 2010

Basic tips for route builders

Here are a few basic tips for route builders which i hope will be useful.

When starting a new route, first lay down your track, build the railyards and railstations, then place the trackside objects (catenary, signalling) and after these steps are finished place the scenery objects (trees, buildings, textures). The reasons are:
1. Your FPS rate will remain high while you place the track and the trackside objects and its quite important to have high fps rate when working with tracks;
2. Its much easier to move a tree or a building than to move, rethink or rebuild a yard or railway station;
3. You don't want to mess the splines from the catenary with other splines like grass;
4. The infrastructure can be seen better withouth interferences from vegetation or other objects;

20 Mar 2010

How to make a repeatable texture

In this tutorial you will learn how to make a repeatable texture for a retaining wall. This is a simple tutorial in which you will find out how to make a texture for a spline. These objects actually repeat a 3d model, so the texture should be repeatable also. Watch the video below to find out how it’s done.

14 Mar 2010

How to make and export a tree

In this tutorial you will learn how to make a tree using alpha textures. 

You don’t need nothing more than 3ds max and the alpha textures. You must create 2 planes textured with the alpha texture. Nothing more simpler, check out the video:

Please visit first this tutorial:
I’ve provided you the source files for the tree. Here they are: tree.zip

13 Mar 2010

How to make an alpha texture

In this tutorial you will learn to make yourself an alpha texture. What is an alpha texture?
With this texture you can make trees, backgrounds, even glass for Trainz. This texture is useful when you want to make a complex 2d polygon. This texture helps you make that complex polygon, with a simple plane. The alpha texture contains actually 2 images: a base texture and a black & white one. With black the transparent part of the base texture and with white the solid part. Watch the next video to learn how to do it:
Tip: If you want to get rid of the annoying layer distribution of the alpha textures (intersection of alpha textures) you have to save the black & white texture with Paint as Monochrome BMP, and after you have to save it in TGA. Trainz and Max don’t recognize the Monochrome BMP for unknown reason.

11 Mar 2010

Optimizing Content Manager for TRS 2006

In this video tutorial you will learn some tips & tricks in how to optimize Content Manager for TRS 2006. Please watch the next video:

In this video tutorial you will learn some tips & tricks in how to optimize Content Manager for TRS 2006. Please watch the next video:

10 Mar 2010

Trainz texture formats

If you are intending to make 3d models for Trainz, you should read this tutorial first. When working with textures you must know that not all textures might work in Trainz.
In Trainz, textures must have a specific size, otherwise they won’t show. Also it is recommended to save the textures in Targa *.tga format.
The size of the textures (width/height) must be 2 at power x pixels. This is the format for Trainz textures, and you have to respect it otherwise they won’t show up in Trainz.
The series of sizes is:
2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096… This is how high you should get, because some old video cards don’t support higher textures then 2048. Also, in TS 2009, the textures below 64pixels won’t show.
If you make alpha textures, you should save the alpha texture in *.bmp format.
You should keep this in mind when starting making models for Trainz. Once you will learn this you will see is not a big deal to make textures with this sizes.

9 Mar 2010

How to make and export a simple model

In this tutorial you will learn how to make a simple model in 3ds max 8 and export it for Trainz. Also you will learn the basics for texturing and Unwrap UVW modifier. There are some simple steps:

1.       Create the object;
2.       Apply the texture;
3.       Adjust the texture on the 3d model;
4.       Export the model; 

For the Config file please visit this post:  Config example, KIND: Scenery

8 Mar 2010

How to import a image from Google Earth in Trainz

In this tutorial I will show you how to import an image from Google Earth into Trainz. This is useful when trying to make real routes. If Google has good images why not use them. Watch the video and learn how to do it. Below you have the code for the config file.

Config example, KIND: Scenery

Here is an example of a simple scenery config. You will need this if you want to import into Trainz objects. Every new content has to have a *.txt file, named “config” in which you have to specify some information about that object. Below is the code and the breakdown:

kuid                                                            kuid:xxxx:yyyyy - your kuid
kind                                                            "scenery"
region                                                        "your country"
type                                                            "the category in Trainz"
light                                                            1
description                                              "your description"
mesh-table {
    default {
        mesh                                                  "*.im file"
        auto-create                                     1
        effects {
asset-filename                                     "*.im file"
category-region-0                               "your region"
category-class                                       "BC"
category-era-0                                      "1980s"
category-era-1                                      "1990s"
category-era-2                                      "2000s"
username                                               "the name of the object in Trainz"
author                                                      "your name"
organisation                                          "your team"
contact-email                                       "your email"
contact-website                                  "your site"
license                                                     "your license"
kuid-table {

kuid - This is a unique identifier. In the first part you have to write the user id that Auran has given you, and in the second part you have to write a number of your choice, but not the same as another object with the same user id.

light - Sets lighting to be used for the object to be ambient or directional. 0 sets ambient lighting and object is lit by general light value (uniform colouring), 1 sets directional light which is affected by the position of the sun (shows shadows on the object surfaces).

mesh - This is where you tell Trainz the name of the *.im file. You have to write it with the .im extension.

asset-filename - Refers to the *.im file, written without the im extension. 

category-region - Sets the region in which you can find you object. It must be written only the short name of the country. Example: Romania –RO. You can also assign more regions by numbering this field.

This is a simple config file, check out the blog for more tips&tricks.

3ds max trainz plug-ins

 Here is the pack of plug-ins for Max 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 2008. You will need these plug-ins if you want to export something from Max to Trainz.  

6 Mar 2010

Create realistic relief - basics

In this tutorial i will show you some basics for creating a realistic mountain or valley. It's very easy, you just need patience and imagination.

So these are the steps. Please also check the video demonstration above

1. Select the "Topology Menu" or click F1
2. Put the mouse over these buttons to see the description.
3. Now set the radius to maximum and adjust sensitivity to lower.
4. Click on "Height Up" button to raise the ground.
5. Now with the left mouse button pressed, move the cursor in the area you want to raise.
6. You can see how the level of the ground slowly raises as you hold the mouse button.
7. If you want to raise the ground faster, adjust the sensitivity.

ATTENTION: Experiment first the sensitivity levels to see how the ground reacts.

8. Now to create a valley, use the same settings, just select the "Height down" button.
9. Apply the same procedure of holding the left mouse button while you move it around the board.

5 Mar 2010

How to remove unwanted aspects with Photoshop

In this tutorial I will show you how to remove some unwanted aspects in a picture. You will need Photoshop and a steady hand. Watch the entire video to see 3 different methods.

4 Mar 2010

How to create a .cmpa archive

In this tutorial i will show you how you can create a .cmpa file and archive any object that has dependencies like routes, locomotives, wagons or any other object that has other kuids attached.

The steps to create are the following:

1. Open the Content Manager
2. Click on the "Search" tab to search the object that you want to archive.
3. Now click on "Name" to change the search criteria.
4. Type in the name of the object you want to archive and click "Apply" or hit Enter key.
5. Select the object you want to archive with all its dependencies.
6. Right click on the selected object and then click "Archive".
7. In the window that shows up click "Accept".
8. The "Archiver" tab is automatically opened and the object with all its dependencies is ready to be archived.
9. Click on "Archive" button to create the .cmpa file.
10. The final step is to type the name you want to give to your file and to save it in the desired place on your PC.

For a more detailed explanation please watch the video (HD version available). In this video i have archived a route but the tutorial is applicable to any object as i said above.

This tutorial applies to both TRS2006 and TS2009.

Good luck!

3 Mar 2010

How to make a realistic river in Trainz

In this tutorial you will learn how to make a river in Trainz. No ordinary river, but a good one, who is more realistic. All the assets you need in this tutorial are on DLS or are built-in.
You will need a spline river, some rocks, some grass and some textures:

Next, you need to make the river bed. After you’ve modified the ground in a river shape, you can put the textures. You should vary them, and use [ or ] to rotate the texture.  
Next lay down the spline river, and sink it in to the ground. 
To make it more realistic you can raise some islands in the middle of the river:
Then add some more textures:
 After all this, place some rocks, not to many and not to less.

Then place some vegetation of your choice. I’ve used dry and green grass and also some bushes.
In final I’ve decorated the area with some pine trees. Here is the final result.