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NORO Trams and Textures

Started by noahclem, April 28, 2015, 11:28:12 AM

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Should default TIR and TOR textures be stone (like TOS) or asphalt (like the old versions)?

Stone pavers
45 (35.2%)
Asphalt
83 (64.8%)

Total Members Voted: 128

carlfatal

Oh my gosh, this is really great stuff!  &apls

I love the detailing, the sleepers, where they should be, the ballast, that looks like shoveled. I am no expert, but your work here is outstanding and (at least for me) part of a new era in SC4 like all the other NAM parts as well.  &apls

Indiana Joe

Looking great as usual Noah!  Can't wait till the project is done; light rail has long needed this RRW-style treatment.   :thumbsup:

I'm interested to see how your 256p textures develop.  Willy considered that route but decided not to; so far yours look great.  They're just a bit too clean for me; need some roughing up.

Keep going  &apls

reddonquixote

Yay... excellent progress  :thumbsup:

Great to see you back Noah, hope the big move went well  :)
Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.

noahclem

#43
I've finally started playing SC4 again in the last couple days and have a couple things to show! Traveling and other things have kept me too busy this summer and once I finally did get time I kept playing Master of Orion II--still can't figure out why I didn't get sick of such an old game a lot quicker  ::)

The first thing I did was play around with HD RRW texture options after seeing the recent posts about additional texture sets for it. Here's a super close up (zoom "sizeof 5") of HD RRW next to my existing rural GLR textures:
click



Don't plan to expand on these anytime soon but I love the idea!
click



Next I dug up some models Reddonquixote sent me in early June and finally put them to use :D



All these pics are taken with no sidewalk mod installed



I'm curious what people think of having trees on the lot



I think this is pretty much the final version for the avenue stops
click


Unfortunately, I hadn't realized that due to a sign telling traffic to keep left these models are only really suitable for LHD--and model tweaker can't mirror image these models. Hopefully Reddonquixote still has the models handy and can make RHD versions. The only other problem is there are three external dependencies at this point. Additionally, the metal grates under the trees have been resized in model tweaker to fit better and look HD and I don't have permission to redistribute them. Most will have the other dependencies but someone is bound to be annoyed  &Thk/(

current RRW HD textures

Let me know what you think!

Edits made to resize and further explain



Quote from: carlfatal on August 19, 2015, 01:03:45 PM
Oh my gosh, this is really great stuff!  &apls

I love the detailing, the sleepers, where they should be, the ballast, that looks like shoveled. I am no expert, but your work here is outstanding and (at least for me) part of a new era in SC4 like all the other NAM parts as well.  &apls

Thank you very much for such a nice complement! I hope you enjoy these once they'redone :)

Quote from: Indiana Joe on August 19, 2015, 08:05:31 PM
Looking great as usual Noah!  Can't wait till the project is done; light rail has long needed this RRW-style treatment.   :thumbsup:

I'm interested to see how your 256p textures develop.  Willy considered that route but decided not to; so far yours look great.  They're just a bit too clean for me; need some roughing up.

Keep going  &apls

Thanks! Willy seamed quite sure SD was the way to go from the beginning and when I saw how nice the first prototype textures looked I dropped my argument that HD was the way to go. The SD route was quite a surprise to me though, given the intensely detail-focused nature of his MD. These textures are pretty clean I suppose but I'm not sure how I'd rough them up. Sleepers or ballast or something else? Unfortunately, "roughing up" will make it more difficult to avoid a repetitive, tiled look. I'll attach my current RRW texture in layered GIMP format in case you want to give it a try.

Quote from: reddonquixote on August 20, 2015, 02:39:11 AM
Yay... excellent progress  :thumbsup:

Great to see you back Noah, hope the big move went well  :)
Thanks Jay! We're pretty well settled into the new place and I'm back from all my travels in one piece and ready to get back into my SC4 rhythm ;)  Glad to have finally got around to using your barrier stop models. Now I just have to ask you for a RHD version  ::)



mgb204

#44
Quote from: noahclem on September 28, 2015, 05:43:03 AM
Additionally, the metal grates under the trees have been resized in model tweaker to fit better and look HD and I don't have permission to redistribute them. Most will have the other dependencies but someone is bound to be annoyed  &Thk/(

Actually there is a way to release re-sized models. The S3D files can be distributed, just not the FSH files that come with them. Take a look inside at the attached file. You'll need this dependency for the original models.

All I've done is take a copy of the edited S3D files for each model, then changed the first digit of the Instance ID to a 1 or 2 for two offset variants. Because the game looks for FSH files based on the ID in the MATs tab, it will reference the original FSH files when ID'd this way. Here I've made two offset props that reference the original dependency. If you change the group ID on the S3D files it won't work, since the group ID is not specified for the textures applied.

Otherwise good stuff, great to see this is still moving along. I'm a little worried for pedestrian safety on the tram stop though :D

kelis

The picture with those houses is great, even with that sidewalk texture  $%Grinno$%

I can't wait for the final version of this amazing mod, It will open the doors for a lot of new creations and possibilities...

&apls &apls
.                                                                                                                      

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Themistokles

Fabulous, absolutely fabulous! The HD and sheer awesomeness of the textures makes me shiver in anticipation &apls

But I'll have to second mgb204 on pedestrian safety, though -- I'd never dare take the tram in Melbourne $%Grinno$% To be honest, it contributes a little to those shivers :P
Come join me on a hike to St Edmea!

Latest update: 7

"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." - John Sawhill

matias93

How I dare to not see this thread before, your work is awesome guys; I'm already awaiting the beta!

Talking about safety, most cities that preserve mid-road trams have strict speed restrictions where it passes, a legacy from the times when 50 km/h was absurdly fast, and people just didn't take the time to look at the traffic lights (if they existed at all).

I know this could be hard to do, but maybe some puzzle piece with a pedestrian island could be a more safe option, avoiding to divide avenues or detour trams to a widened sidewalk to give commuters a place to take the tram (all for the sake of realism)

"Lets be scientists and as such, remember always that the purpose of politics is not freedom, nor authority, nor is any principle of abstract character,
but it is to meet the social needs of man and the development of the society"

— Valentín Letelier, 1895

Bipin

So damn nifty. The GLR textures are absolutely superb; they're new and fresh, but still generic.

APSMS

Quote from: noahclem on September 28, 2015, 05:43:03 AM
Quote from: Indiana Joe on August 19, 2015, 08:05:31 PM
Looking great as usual Noah!  Can't wait till the project is done; light rail has long needed this RRW-style treatment.   :thumbsup:

I'm interested to see how your 256p textures develop.  Willy considered that route but decided not to; so far yours look great.  They're just a bit too clean for me; need some roughing up.

Keep going  &apls

Thanks! Willy seamed quite sure SD was the way to go from the beginning and when I saw how nice the first prototype textures looked I dropped my argument that HD was the way to go. The SD route was quite a surprise to me though, given the intensely detail-focused nature of his MD. These textures are pretty clean I suppose but I'm not sure how I'd rough them up. Sleepers or ballast or something else? Unfortunately, "roughing up" will make it more difficult to avoid a repetitive, tiled look. I'll attach my current RRW texture in layered GIMP format in case you want to give it a try.
It appears to me that the issue is that with the color variations, the sleepers scream "wood", but because the edges are so well defined against the ballast, the material is processed as "concrete", leading (at least for me) to all sorts of warning flags, because wood sleepers never looked so straight and square, even when brand new.

One of the benefits of Willy's textures is that the noise imparted by reducing the texture size to SD (after he presumably worked them at 256px) introduces sampling irregularities that make the sleepers (and to a small extent the ballast) appear used, uneven, and worn the way that most wood sleepers appear when traveling down the line. They also blend with the ballast at certain points, so that despite being drawn square like yours they still appear to be uneven. Some sleepers are shorter than others, and overall there is uncertainty in Willy's textures, while yours are "regular" and thus appear unnatural (at least, to me).

I would suggest using the current sleeper geometry for a concrete set (change color to off-white), and introduce some noisy corners to better simulate wood and wear and grime on the tracks. I'm no texture wizard, but a straightforward comparison between the two seems to suggest that this is what the SD textures have that your HD versions currently lack.

That being said, as GLR tracks, they are superb, though perhaps my idea of GLR is a little skewed (coming from a So Cal resident). I would like to see more of the RRW-style switch guards if you continue with the HD revamp, as the GLR ones are not so realistic [for heavy rail], even if they do pass as excellent in a light-rail setting.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

My Mayor Diary San Diego: A Reinterpretation

SimNation

I am reinstalling SC4 after 7 years thanks to mods like yours being made and ones that came out after 2008. I am a mass transit nut and love making mass transit networks over roadways networks unlike the majority of simcity 4 players  ;) .I look forward to your project the level of detail is lovely and looking good keep up the work. Thanks to modders like you Simcity 4 still lives on and will be my #1 city builder until a contender can take over the reigns. Cities skylines wont be that since its population and city size limitations hinder it thanks in part to the A.I. design and the Unity Engine limitations.

So keep going strong people like how appreciate the hard work being done with sc4 to this day still.

Gugu3

Really nice stuff Noah! &apls
Glad to see you back :thumbsup:

reddonquixote

Oh wow, I'd completely forgotten about those. They have worked out pretty well. Absolutely I can do an RHD version (is that just flipping the arrow the other way?)

I love that last pic with the trees casting shadows down onto the street, that's just how I imagine my Collins Street looking when I finally get around to it. I hope I can make it look as good  ;D
Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.

noahclem

*If you're wondering what's up with my replies banners see text at bottom


Since I don't have anything to offer that's not a response to earlier comments I'll just file this all under "replies" in the order that's most convenient to me.

Quote from: reddonquixote on September 30, 2015, 12:59:33 AM
Oh wow, I'd completely forgotten about those. They have worked out pretty well. Absolutely I can do an RHD version (is that just flipping the arrow the other way?)

I love that last pic with the trees casting shadows down onto the street, that's just how I imagine my Collins Street looking when I finally get around to it. I hope I can make it look as good  ;D

Thanks Jay! We'll have to work together to get your Collins Street as nice as possible. As for the RHD version, could you just flip the whole prop on it's long axis? My plan is to have a single lot that works for RHD and LHD but with users installing different props for the different driving sides. I tried out the new TIA stop in my LHD region and am really happy with the results (sorry for the incorrect stoplight alignment):

click


Since it's a tropical region I replaced the ashes with poplars, though I don't plan a public release of that version. One challenge is those metal grates under the trees. They're originally SD models by vnaoned but for a more fitting size and HD look I reduced them by 50% in model tweaker. It's possible to still refer users to the original S3Ds in a way that mgb204 has suggested but if it's easy enough we could also use a new Melbourne-style model if you want to create it. Are you happy with the fence props? I plan to use the same ones with the more conventional stops as well.

Quote from: APSMS on September 28, 2015, 11:02:19 PM
Quote from: noahclem on September 28, 2015, 05:43:03 AM
Quote from: Indiana Joe on August 19, 2015, 08:05:31 PM
Looking great as usual Noah!  Can't wait till the project is done; light rail has long needed this RRW-style treatment.   :thumbsup:

I'm interested to see how your 256p textures develop.  Willy considered that route but decided not to; so far yours look great.  They're just a bit too clean for me; need some roughing up.

Keep going  &apls

Thanks! Willy seamed quite sure SD was the way to go from the beginning and when I saw how nice the first prototype textures looked I dropped my argument that HD was the way to go. The SD route was quite a surprise to me though, given the intensely detail-focused nature of his MD. These textures are pretty clean I suppose but I'm not sure how I'd rough them up. Sleepers or ballast or something else? Unfortunately, "roughing up" will make it more difficult to avoid a repetitive, tiled look. I'll attach my current RRW texture in layered GIMP format in case you want to give it a try.
It appears to me that the issue is that with the color variations, the sleepers scream "wood", but because the edges are so well defined against the ballast, the material is processed as "concrete", leading (at least for me) to all sorts of warning flags, because wood sleepers never looked so straight and square, even when brand new.

One of the benefits of Willy's textures is that the noise imparted by reducing the texture size to SD (after he presumably worked them at 256px) introduces sampling irregularities that make the sleepers (and to a small extent the ballast) appear used, uneven, and worn the way that most wood sleepers appear when traveling down the line. They also blend with the ballast at certain points, so that despite being drawn square like yours they still appear to be uneven. Some sleepers are shorter than others, and overall there is uncertainty in Willy's textures, while yours are "regular" and thus appear unnatural (at least, to me).

I would suggest using the current sleeper geometry for a concrete set (change color to off-white), and introduce some noisy corners to better simulate wood and wear and grime on the tracks. I'm no texture wizard, but a straightforward comparison between the two seems to suggest that this is what the SD textures have that your HD versions currently lack.

That being said, as GLR tracks, they are superb, though perhaps my idea of GLR is a little skewed (coming from a So Cal resident). I would like to see more of the RRW-style switch guards if you continue with the HD revamp, as the GLR ones are not so realistic [for heavy rail], even if they do pass as excellent in a light-rail setting.

I really appreciate your thoughtful comment here. It seems obvious after hearing it but it somehow never occurred to me. For some reason I also thought that given the quite small size of the sleepers, even very minor Gaussian blurring would change it too much and remove too much of the advantage of HD. After a bunch of tweaking I finally ended up with a full 4px blur in both directions and a texture I really like. What do you think this time?





And just for fun ;)


If I do end up deciding to move forward with this project I might tweak the colors to be closer to RRW depending on how it looks with the bridges, as I wouldn't want to lose compatibility with existing RRW-compatible bridges.

Quote from: mgb204 on September 28, 2015, 07:29:41 AM
Quote from: noahclem on September 28, 2015, 05:43:03 AM
Additionally, the metal grates under the trees have been resized in model tweaker to fit better and look HD and I don't have permission to redistribute them. Most will have the other dependencies but someone is bound to be annoyed  &Thk/(

Actually there is a way to release re-sized models. The S3D files can be distributed, just not the FSH files that come with them. Take a look inside at the attached file. You'll need this dependency for the original models.

All I've done is take a copy of the edited S3D files for each model, then changed the first digit of the Instance ID to a 1 or 2 for two offset variants. Because the game looks for FSH files based on the ID in the MATs tab, it will reference the original FSH files when ID'd this way. Here I've made two offset props that reference the original dependency. If you change the group ID on the S3D files it won't work, since the group ID is not specified for the textures applied.

Otherwise good stuff, great to see this is still moving along. I'm a little worried for pedestrian safety on the tram stop though :D

Thanks for the comment, the tip, and the example! I'm quite happy to know it's at least possible to release the tram stops the way they are, especially since I'm unaware of any suitable alternative to these metal grates. The stops definitely aren't the safest imaginable but I guess a lack of safety is realistic at times :D

Quote from: kelis on September 28, 2015, 07:47:00 AM
The picture with those houses is great, even with that sidewalk texture  $%Grinno$%

I can't wait for the final version of this amazing mod, It will open the doors for a lot of new creations and possibilities...

&apls &apls

Thanks Jonathan :) I like experimenting with the horrible original sidewalk textures at times because that's doubtless how it will appear to a number of users. Plus it's nice to know that even in that situation the textures look nice :D  Can't wait to have this release ready to share with you!

Quote from: Themistokles on September 28, 2015, 10:39:05 AM
Fabulous, absolutely fabulous! The HD and sheer awesomeness of the textures makes me shiver in anticipation &apls

But I'll have to second mgb204 on pedestrian safety, though -- I'd never dare take the tram in Melbourne $%Grinno$% To be honest, it contributes a little to those shivers :P

Many thanks for your continued support! Definitely a bit of a sketchy safety situation but these types of stops will, of course, be only one type of many for the stops involved with this project. Because of their alignment, however, they're by far the easiest to release and create, being based on existing and thoroughly tested lots. Everything else will need to be at least 3 tiles long or require additional puzzle pieces for the approaches to them.

Quote from: matias93 on September 28, 2015, 03:57:00 PM
How I dare to not see this thread before, your work is awesome guys; I'm already awaiting the beta!

Talking about safety, most cities that preserve mid-road trams have strict speed restrictions where it passes, a legacy from the times when 50 km/h was absurdly fast, and people just didn't take the time to look at the traffic lights (if they existed at all).

I know this could be hard to do, but maybe some puzzle piece with a pedestrian island could be a more safe option, avoiding to divide avenues or detour trams to a widened sidewalk to give commuters a place to take the tram (all for the sake of realism)

Thanks so much and welcome!! These type of tram stops are just one of several with other types all involving platforms/islands for waiting pedestrians. Some time back I started this thread to keep the development of this project separate from the rest of what's going on in the NORO region, and I notice that the other tram stops are all there in the old thread. You can dig around there yourself but I'll also post some pictures:









click


It's not very prominent, but you can see both a tram stop with platforms and special, wider-width TIA network for interfacing with the stops in this picture. A transition puzzle piece or transitions as part of the tram stop lot would be the main way to deal with these stops but I think wider TIA pieces would be a nice option as well.
click


Concept puzzle piece texture:


Quote from: Bipin on September 28, 2015, 06:11:56 PM
So damn nifty. The GLR textures are absolutely superb; they're new and fresh, but still generic.

Thanks a lot, really glad they can be both generic and exciting--exactly what I was going for! :D

Quote from: SimNation on September 29, 2015, 04:49:52 AM
I am reinstalling SC4 after 7 years thanks to mods like yours being made and ones that came out after 2008. I am a mass transit nut and love making mass transit networks over roadways networks unlike the majority of simcity 4 players  ;) .I look forward to your project the level of detail is lovely and looking good keep up the work. Thanks to modders like you Simcity 4 still lives on and will be my #1 city builder until a contender can take over the reigns. Cities skylines wont be that since its population and city size limitations hinder it thanks in part to the A.I. design and the Unity Engine limitations.

So keep going strong people like how appreciate the hard work being done with sc4 to this day still.

Thanks a lot and welcome! SC4 remains king in my mind as well, thanks in part to some great mass transit options that also have pretty impressive looks. I'm excited to be able to build on that and hope you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor soon. Thanks for your support :)

Quote from: Gugu3 on September 29, 2015, 10:44:49 AM
Really nice stuff Noah! &apls
Glad to see you back :thumbsup:

Thanks a lot Guglielmo! Great to see you around as always :)



*I've been having fun with my replies banners, basing them on what I've been up to lately. The previous one was Master of Orion-based, my favorite 4X game which makes SimCity looks very young by comparison, which I'd played a lot in the last month. Today's is work-related as I've gone back to my old job for a week. The pictures are from my two favorite adds, one for Ski Break and the other warning customers that taking their alcoholic beverages outside of the roped off patio area is against the law :D

vortext

Quote from: noahclem on October 01, 2015, 09:45:23 AM
*If you're wondering what's up with my replies banners see text at bottom

Know what, I actually did raise my eyebrows at the previous banner, glad you cleared that up!  :D

At any rate, always such a pleasure to see new ingame pictures from your hand Noah, they're so crisp and full of detail!  &apls

The blurring of the sleepers is quite subtle, I like it. Though I wonder if you blurred the tracks as well because they look quite sharp in comparison. If yes, then maybe add some more still. 
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

noahclem


Quote from: vortext on October 01, 2015, 09:59:19 AM
Quote from: noahclem on October 01, 2015, 09:45:23 AM
*If you're wondering what's up with my replies banners see text at bottom

Know what, I actually did raise my eyebrows at the previous banner, glad you cleared that up!  :D

At any rate, always such a pleasure to see new ingame pictures from your hand Noah, they're so crisp and full of detail!  &apls

The blurring of the sleepers is quite subtle, I like it. Though I wonder if you blurred the tracks as well because they look quite sharp in comparison. If yes, then maybe add some more still.


I played around with colors on the rails a bit though I can't remember now if any of those tweaks made it into the most recent textures. I even toyed with having part of the rails brighter to mark shininess from frequent use, in part due to Absalom's earlier comment--but then went hunting for any sign of shininess from satellite photos and couldn't find any. After remembering the importance of bridge texture compatibility I've been increasingly keen on having coloration similar to current RRW textures. My opinion at the moment is that blurring isn't needed for the rails, and there currently isn't any, but I am curious why you suggest that and will certainly take your ideas into account :)

Thanks for the nice comment about the city too! Unlike almost all of these that I show with the tram pictures, this is an actual city which will be the core of my new region. Hopefully I'll have more fun stuff to show from there as it develops :)

carlfatal

Very, very nice pictures!  &apls

Particulary the image, where the tram meets the viaduct made me wonder, if this is really made with SC4. This is absolutely wonderful stuff.  :thumbsup:
...although here around the tram is built with asphalt cover... And sometimes I miss this in SC4.

mgb204

Quote from: noahclem on October 01, 2015, 10:36:32 AM
After remembering the importance of bridge texture compatibility I've been increasingly keen on having coloration similar to current RRW textures.

Are you planning on reusing the RRW bridges for GLR then?

Currently I know of only one RRW bridge, it's got replaceable textures as they are not batted into the model. Sadly the same can't be said of the Tram in Road bridge which sticks out like a sore thumb. I am tempted to do something about this myself if no one else does, it's pretty much the last piece I've yet to make conform to my GLR mod.

Moving on, those are some really stunning pictures you've shown there, the whole GLR project looks so much better in an actual city. Really can't wait for this, I'm sure I won't be using my GLR much longer :).

belfastsocrates

The GLR textures are looking fantastic, really superb work.
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Gugu3

Excellent textures!really curious about bridges now... :P