Saturday 6 June 2009

Terrain texturing

Hi, Had a few hours spare so I thought I'd have a play with some terrain painting and scene setting. Apparently you can not get realistic scenes with the current terrain painting tools. Other packages look more realistic and are much better etc.
Yes, RS tools can be improved but they do work well as they are. Below is a scene I put together in a few minutes. It is in a new route with it's own texturing xml, currently there are only 5 grass textures held inside. I dropped a few trees down and I placed a new object 'dappled shade' under the 3 near trees. This is just a quad with a blendAtexdiff material assigned, (It is an aditive material so as the texture is black and alpha channel is a mid grey it multiplies that value on top of the terrain) I find it it helps to ground the trees and make them feel more 3D.

RS provided a basic set of textures, however if you want your routes to stand out from the crowd then I recommend looking at creating your own texture set. Remember to only put textures in you want to use, no need filling up the xml with random textures you will never use.

The next task I will look at is the grasspack texture, this is the material assigned to the procedural flora, and it really does help to blend one terrain texture set into the next.


Thursday 4 June 2009

How Far?

So anyway, less about RWs, more about the Wear valley.

I've read a fair few comments of peoples thoughts on view distance and how far to model in routes.
To which there really is an easy answer.
Model as far as you like, terrain paint as much or as little as you want.
However, if creating a long route is beyond you then try a smaller route/area with a tight looking environment, not every route has to be 20 - 50 miles long to be enjoyable.

With regards to view distance that is a post for another day.

Below is an image I took earlier in the year, I’m stood on an embankment just off the line towards Binchester, looking across the top of the Bishop's Park, an area I use to walk too many times a week walking the dogs.

(Notice the Pyramid centre image, a grade 2 listed building, no idea why or what it was used for, if anyone knows let me know.)

From here you can see the line to Durham across the viaduct and just above that is a horizontal line which is the track to Witton Park and beyond, as the crow flies that’s 4 km, the current view distance in RS. ( do crows fly in a straight line? most crows I've seen kinda circle)

All of what can be seen in the above image will be modelled and laid in my route. Of course there will be creative liberties taken, but that is the joy of being god over your own creation.

It is a nice feeling flying the camera over the landscape with all the foliage and buildings in place, brings back many memories.

I'm not that bothered about only modelling what can be seen from the track/cab view etc, I want to model the area I love and knew from my youth, It just so happens the railway runs through it.