SimCity 4 Devotion

SimCity 4 Devotion Custom Content Showcase => RTMT Place => Team Custom Content Projects => RTMT Creations => Topic started by: SimFox on April 04, 2009, 03:21:40 AM

Title: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on April 04, 2009, 03:21:40 AM
I'll be presenting here the work I do for RTMT.

In a spirit of times and with some discussion with Z We have decided that this new line of props to be Hi-Definition ones.
What it means is the the zoom6 will have accurate pixel per pixel Texture (FSH) rather than blown up zoom5 one.

First in a line is a shelter/station for GLR.
This is a still work in progress. Texturing/materials are preliminary and no lighting has been devised yet.

Zoom 6:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs61.radikal.ru%2Fi172%2F0904%2F7b%2F2219d6629d9a.jpg&hash=61081b79126a89e984124e042ca24cca98e14eac)

Zoom 5:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs53.radikal.ru%2Fi140%2F0904%2F5f%2Fc4e7b79fa3ac.jpg&hash=1e1c39e0067555b1ea442f892f02481fb9ba5edc)

Feel free to voice your opinions and suggestions in any form you choose. I have a thick skin, and can stand any critique as long as it to the point!
So speak up!
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: Blue Lightning on April 04, 2009, 04:41:34 AM
Wow, thats a great station there, Simfox! It looks very modern, and I like how its HD. :thumbsup: However, IMO I think there should be some small support masts in the center that hold cables that attach to the outside edge, but thats just my opinion.

Great work!
Vince
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on April 04, 2009, 06:55:50 AM
Actually i was thinking of something along those lines.
I could make such a version and see how it compares... One thing would be to find a logical and esthetically pleasing way to attach those cables to the ends of the semi-arches.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: Pat on April 04, 2009, 12:39:06 PM
Simfox simply put...... Amazing!!!
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: cogeo on April 05, 2009, 03:29:45 PM
Well, you asked for comments, so here are mine.

First of all I have to say that your model is excellent as is, so all my suggestions below concern only slight possible improvements (some are just personal preferences anyway).

I think you should make a "white" one too, to replace mine. This should rather be not distributed with V4, yours is a similar design (at least as far as the shape of the canopy is concerned), but much much better. Plus I was actually intending to make more colours and release them as a set, but after the HD crash everything was lost, so this would be a standalone model of mediocre quality. Actually I made it for lotting the GLR-in-Avenue stations (gshmails hadn't released his own by the time I started development). And this one has one (central) platform, so it's usable in both GLR-in-Avenue and T-RAM (both types).

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg300.imageshack.us%2Fimg300%2F3057%2Fsfglrprop.th.png&hash=ce996baa8b52a4a72c446fb46c4782a5e3cf7205) (http://img300.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sfglrprop.png)

There are few points, that I would suggest to be re-addressed:
- The supports under the canopy are of a colour that rather looks "white", "gray" or "pinkish" in places (1). Was that intentional (a design decision) or it's the result of merging the colours of the supports and the glass (red with blue/cyan)? I can't figure this out by just looking at the pic. There is a red spot at (2), so one might suppose that the white/gray/pink colour was a result of merging the colours; but at (3) the colour (under the glass) is still "red". How about using the same colour/material for all metal parts (if this is not the case already)? Just my preference.
- The canopy is the dominant feature here. I would consider reducing opacity a little more, so that the objects under it (not to mention passing automata), become more visible. If the "whitish" colour I mentioned above was a result of colour merging, this would improve that point too. It's good that the shelters each have three segments across, as opposed to four in mine (this allows more stuff to be visible), but maybe reducing opacity could improve it further.
- You said that the textures aren't finalised yet, but I think that the glass colour should be desaturated (to a degree looking like a "tint", rather than a "colour"), while that on the metallic parts instead slightly saturated. I wouldn't be surprised here if players refer to this model as the "blue", rather than the "red" one. I think there is no problem making the metallic parts a bit more saturated, the surface they occupy is small, so this won't become an eyesore. It's a basic designer principle using pale/desaturated colours on big objects and bold/bright colours on small ones (this improves distinctiveness).
- While my model had "too much lattice" on the canopy, this one has almost none (OK, a design decision) looking all-glass. I think if the supports are coloured as the columns and/or opacity reduced and/or saturations adjusted, this effect will be at least eased. You might even consider pulling the shelters a few cm apart, this would reveal more of the "stem" in the middle, further reducing this effect.
- The platform could be darkened a little i think, now it's hardly visible as the colour is nearly idenctical to the pavement (4), unless in zooms 5 or 6.
- I have noticed that notorious "crack" in the shadow (5). I know this is caused by BAT ("slabs", "groups" or what), but there is a technique that allows this to be fixed. As far as I know this involves editing of the exported models, and jasoncw on ST knows how to do this. Not really a big issue, most players know this problem well, but if you want your model to be "perfect", then...
-  (6) Whassat?
- Maybe some few more details, like light fixtures etc.
- And something completely subjective (and please note that I'm NOT an architect), if you are about to make more colours, the combinations I would prefer are: white (metal) with green(ish)/gray glass, red with black (still transparent) glass, blue with yellow/orange/brownish glass, and yellow (I'm talking about a warm yellow) with bluish glass. Green might not look right, unless maybe it's a special light green, like the fences here (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=18094); this is a "modern" design, so a dark or "olive" green would rather look odd; the glass colour could rather be (again) a special yellow/orange/brownish one.

Don't want to belittle your work here (it's already a huge improvement), just wanted to present my own suggestions and wishes. I would also like to know your own thoughts on these.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on April 05, 2009, 05:05:24 PM
Cogeo great many thanx for such a detailed review.
I'll repost your image for the reference purpose, as it is rather difficult to look in one tab or window and read in another...

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg300.imageshack.us%2Fimg300%2F3057%2Fsfglrprop.png&hash=d15007f30b87a3c57d7192b908dad3ac9773b543)

First of all I do already have 4 color versions and the original was actually white. I'll post the variants later...
Generally on materials. The Metal has some metallic properties to it eg type of reflections, brushed surface etc. Glass has virtually NO color. what you see is combination of the reflection of the blue sky (I could make it a bit less blue though. Glass refraction is reduced to 70% I made it so in order to generate such an alpha that would be turned into shadow by the game eg more then 60% (61% at this particular case).

-Supports under the glass canopy are of same very color as all metal parts (1) apart of eh bolts that hold the glass itself. The color is a combination of the reflection/refraction of the glass (which itself has NO diffuse color) with diffuse and reflection of the metal. I'll try different settings to make it a bit more red. Problem is that it is impossible to preview this effect in Max. To see how it really will be model has to be taken into the game. So it takes more time...
-textures are... well not there yet... I mean as far as platform, timetables on the pillars, ticket machine fronts are concerned. so all those will change/evolve. However glass transparency couldn't be increased since, as I've mentioned above then the shadow of it will disappear and I definitely don't want that.
- the Crack (5) isn't there all the time, in fact it practically never there... that was just an unhappy screen grab... Anyway that model will not make it to game. It was a quick "technology demonstrator" namely the new HD scripts. For instance the LODs are simple boxes. So There isn't really anything to look at  $%Grinno$%
But I do know how to get rig of the grill effect you were concerned with.
It occur when the game think that the top surface of the LOD becomes coplanar with the ground. The way out of this would be to rise the prop in LotEditor to 0,2m. It appears to be hat game places everything about 0,1-0,2m underground. This could be seen, for instance on those Maxis buildings just behind the stop. That ugly seesaw is a result of such placement (and with buildings we can't rise them) with too tight LODs. that force that "transition" to be displayed ring on the active part of FSH.
When you have tall LOD and a lose one this effect disappears - like with the station on this picture.
However, if you need tight/low LODs that you have to leave some room (about 2 pixels) space between LOD shall and the area where the active (containing the image of the model) part of FSH will start. I have found it in experimental/theoretical way when making Stop with tight LOD that now I've sent to Z.
- (6) is a "Sim" sized measuring stick I used when modeling and forgot to delete...
-Light fixture is mounted in the central beam. It is actually quite wide... Other fixtures would be time-tables /adverts on each Pillar (now white part of the boxes on pillar), at night these will be illuminated, as well as big side of the ticket machines (the thingies at each end of the platform.

As for other colors of the glass... Well this one is basically colorless. and even if I would made it any color it wouldn't really show as reflexion takes precedent. But I could try to fake something...

Again, thanx for your detailed and insightful comments!
I'll do some more thinking about it and mail you a model with new LODs tomorrow...

PS
here is a screen grab of Max viewport:
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs55.radikal.ru%2Fi150%2F0904%2Ff0%2Fa76fe4a75a44.gif&hash=ba330a9c75167daacd35501fb94aba89b51efc5a)

model is pink and LOD is blue
As you can see the entire frame is under the glass that is held in place by special bolts. So there isn't any lattice as sunch (as frame) between sheets of glass. The dark seams between them is a type of the resin used in such a facades/roofs
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on April 11, 2009, 07:17:54 AM
OK here are RCs (release Candidates)

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs48.radikal.ru%2Fi120%2F0904%2F4b%2F10b8565e2a80.jpg&hash=ff728dd0b25b63fe9654019d3a721c14dfee69bc)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi067.radikal.ru%2F0904%2F30%2Fb34ab3e8c84c.jpg&hash=23c01076b06e71327fd6448eea510ef370af94b3)

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi050.radikal.ru%2F0904%2F64%2Fee6f60c8e67e.jpg&hash=0c19a3414a844112b0541d3f64fd9fb9d81b170a)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs48.radikal.ru%2Fi119%2F0904%2Fde%2Fdde311b55787.jpg&hash=d8dab2a4e59e0820fe2a2ebb9f4c3ce1ad6cc744)

the loss of color in the metal arches supporting the canopy is, in my best judgment due to the the DXT3 compression. so not much could be done in that respect if i want to keep the metal bits under the glass
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: CarmineHilton on April 11, 2009, 07:45:46 AM
Oh my goodness, fabulous work SimFox! =)
Really like the last night picture ;)

Keep it up!!
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: jeronij on April 11, 2009, 08:23:10 AM
Quote from: SimFox on April 11, 2009, 07:17:54 AM
OK here are RCs (release Candidates)

the loss of color in the metal arches supporting the canopy is, in my best judgment due to the the DXT3 compression. so not much could be done in that respect if i want to keep the metal bits under the glass

I was looking at your model and then to the other props around the scene.... so I guess you must be joking... do you really think someone will care about the this detail...?   ::)  :D  :D
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: mightygoose on April 11, 2009, 09:07:02 AM
Simfox never jokes.... ever
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: cogeo on April 11, 2009, 04:04:38 PM
A big improvement!

Is it possible that the loss of colour is due to excessive settings for daylight, reflections of the materials ("speculars") and the like? Also you mentioned special "metal" settings, like brushed metal; I think these are actually for bare metals, painted metal isn't much different to plastic imo (maybe it has some more glossiness, but not a "metallic shine").
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on April 12, 2009, 03:59:40 AM
Quote from: cogeo on April 11, 2009, 04:04:38 PM
A big improvement!

Is it possible that the loss of colour is due to excessive settings for daylight, reflections of the materials ("speculars") and the like?
nope... As I have mentioned this is due to DTX3 compression. EG the color becomes gray POST rendering, when bmps/targas are converted to FSHs. But of course some diluting of the red happens because it is mixed with reflected sky. But that is a realism to you... And in this case it is an essential one since that is what clearly puts the metal bit under the glass.

Another reason is the way how transparency is handled by the game, how it is mixed into the background. It is done on a subtractive basis, while it should be done on additive - that is a correct for reflections.

Seculars and other things are rather complex and are somewhat different depending on the material type with ones in "Standard" material having only passing resemblance to what we see in real life. This is a reason why they, along with Scanline are NOT used by anyone in 3d anymore.

Quote from: cogeo on April 11, 2009, 04:04:38 PM
Also you mentioned special "metal" settings, like brushed metal; I think these are actually for bare metals, painted metal isn't much different to plastic imo (maybe it has some more glossiness, but not a "metallic shine").
Well you are correct here. However, such a material can and often used for such a purposes particularly aluminum treated in such a fashion (patinated, rather then painted) is very common... In that case the surface posess these Matalic properties - reflexion is tinted by the color of the surface. For all non metallic surfaces reflexion is always color neutral no matter what is the "color" of the reflecting surface itself, eg reflection in blue or red glass is never blue or red, but reflection in a gold. or coper is always yellow. Also Fresnel properties of polished metal are different then those of te say glass or water.
These properties mentioned above are in face ones that would preserve "color" as opposed to the "pained" material.

All-in-all I did hiked some of the properties to somewhat unrealistic levels but I did so mainly to ensure that glass will produce shadow in game. From my experiments it has transpired that alpha has to be at least 0.6 (0-1.0 range) in order for show to form. At least at current settings in the Mat section of S3d.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: Pat on April 12, 2009, 08:25:16 AM
Simfox wow I am sooo drooling over your station sir!!!  I do have to say I noticed in the first RC pic that a dog nearly missed getting hit there  ;)
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on March 04, 2010, 07:32:51 AM
Here is new version of same stop.

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi018.radikal.ru%2F1003%2Fb1%2F4bb9c59cfb94.jpg&hash=26f57c05be85be0440921f6e1ae22c6b25ffcc87) (https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi081.radikal.ru%2F1003%2F18%2F892b8f337159.jpg&hash=41a607ebf5e486d4faf692111cd859ef2c68235f)

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs46.radikal.ru%2Fi114%2F1003%2F37%2F1be6d57bc55f.jpg&hash=9a1cbd2c900d584969c40827ba4a614f7f23c748) (https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi045.radikal.ru%2F1003%2Fde%2Fa69f03956eb8.jpg&hash=c7f8e47b037d02a845fa788e1c48a9739de4040f)

Given, that colored versions will probably be re-creations of Cogeo's Original design this will be better of by being clear satined metal...


Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: Girafe on March 04, 2010, 07:48:07 AM
Awesome Simfox  &apls &apls &apls

Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: thingfishs on March 04, 2010, 08:33:58 AM
these look spectacular &apls I gather the jagged edge to some of the external metal poles can't be avoided?

Those are clouds right?, brilliant effect. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: DCMetro2834 on March 04, 2010, 10:18:16 AM
Amazing textures Simfox!  :)
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimFox on March 04, 2010, 11:37:31 AM
Quote from: thingfishs on March 04, 2010, 08:33:58 AM
these look spectacular &apls I gather the jagged edge to some of the external metal poles can't be avoided?

Those are clouds right?, brilliant effect. :thumbsup:

jagged edge... hm... to be totally honest I've noticed them just now... You know when you stare at something for a long while sometimes you stop seeing it... Anyway, those are not quite what they seem to be. I mean this isn't just bad (or absent) overall anti-aliasing (like for instance in GMAX exports), but rather border of totally overblown areas. The material is very reflective and it catches both bright sun and sky.
Since value is so outside the normal color range (one that could be displayed in low dynamic range device like monitor) Mental Ray fails to effectively anti-alias it. You see anti-aliasing is in fact just a visual effect based on averaging of the value of border pixels. And here this difference is so huge, that "average" is still way, way  outside of the range that could be displayed on screen...

Of course MR could have been a bit smarter about it, but we have what we do...
As for solution I'm not sure what to do with it... I'm not sure... Possibilities are to either reduce the lighting levels or reflectivity. But all these are global settings, and problem is just local...

And yep those are clouds... That is, actually, the new bit since the previous version.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: SimNation on March 04, 2010, 01:31:57 PM
Like your GLR-in-Ave station looks pretty snazy. Hope you make a Diagonal-in-Ave and a reg GLR station as well.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: puresim on March 04, 2010, 02:49:05 PM
Huge improvement. The clouds give it that added realistic touch.

Don't worry about the jagged edges, unless you're looking for them you won't see them!
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: joelyboy911 on March 04, 2010, 03:15:27 PM
Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

That is truly amazing.
Title: Re: SimFox' RTMT props
Post by: CarmineHilton on March 05, 2010, 12:21:31 AM
*drools*