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MGB's Mods and other stuff

Started by mgb204, May 04, 2015, 04:48:16 PM

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Thanks again to Tarkus for helping me to find a workaround for the underbridge pieces. As you can see, I've got things working now:

So that's the basic Road-based Underbridge lot in action. Both the sidewalk and road parts will adapt Automagically™ to match whatever mods are installed. As you can see, they are already functional too. Now for the science bit, warning Math incoming...

So the previous problems were due to me "layering" the textures for the network on top of the sidewalk. Easy enough to do, but it led to the shadow part of the bridges, which is actually just a texture applied to the ground under such models, fighting with the underbridge textures. This is known as z-fighting, because two objects exist at the same height and the game doesn't know how to display them together correctly.

However, by splitting the layers into separate groups within the model instead. Imagine that the sidewalk is one model, which only covers the edges, with a cut out in the middle. A second one, then covers the gap and shows the network texture. Something to do with how SC4 works means that the cut-out solution works, where layering did not, no more z-fighting problems  :satisfied:.

However, using cut outs leads to another issue, because it takes a lot more work to line up the textures correctly, including UV Mapping values. If these are even slightly off, the textures would look stretched or squashed, which is a real problem. It seemed like once more the whole idea of adaptive pieces would have to be ditched in favour of a texture-based solution. Then I realised I could do everything with a few Mathematical formulas. Cue opening of Excel, working out the relevant calculations and now I can generate everything needed, from just two initial values. I just input how many pixels wide the sidewalk is on both the left and right sides of a texture. Converting that to meters (128px = 16m), the correct Vertex points and UV mapping are calculated automatically. That way I can quickly adapt new S3D models for different networks, without having to work this all out each time.

Another set I've been working on in a similar vein are these:

Those are replacements for the models included with Paeng's Bikepaths and Parks 205 series. Now these extenders can match your sidewalks/overrides too. The Parks extenders will support any TGN (or other) overrides you may have installed. Much more extender/filler stuff is planned. Eventually this will all be combined into a single package. Having finally resolved the issues with the original sidewalk extenders, I am in a position to start working towards a proper release. That should include a complete set of Sidewalk, Grass, Concrete, Rural Sidewalk (the one used under rail) and Pedmall extenders/fillers. Basically one set of fillers that completely adapts as your game/mod choices do.


Wow wait what?! Functional under bridge lots!  :o  That is pretty frigging awesome!   &apls
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana




Excellent work, Thank you. :bnn: I have used land bridges quite often, but always had to do some planning to eliminate the need to go under them. Also, very glad to see this will include Pedmalls, since I don't use roads. I was wondering though, will it work with rail?


A point of clarification just in case it wasn't clear. These lots function as TE -> Subway converters, so they aren't truly network-functional. Buses and Freight won't be able to use them for example, nor sims (pedestrians). In essence they are replacements for a set by Kazuki which have been the go-to UB lots until now. But those have recently disappeared. The big difference being that because I'm not using BAT models, these will fit in much better in all setups. I'll also be updating the transit switches to have capacities in line with modern standards.

Functionally support will include Road, OWR, Street, Ave and Rail lots. Non-functioning (visual eye/candy) will be the Pedmall, Sidewalk & Grass ones. That said, both the former are already available somewhere within this thread as attached previews. They are simply overhanging fillers, not TE lots. Some of the overrides will require appropriate textures (Grass & Parks) to be installed for them to work. These will be primarily aimed at TGN users, but because they only link to a texture, they are still easily changed. I will include an automated repository for customising them with ease.


But, being basically metro stations, can they be modded to allow pedestrians to pass? And can be included a bus station or such to allow bus traffic? I'm not entirely sure of what I'm talking about, but i guess something of this would be possible...

"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


A masterpiece delevard &apls :thumbsup:
Thought it could never been made!



Quote from: matias93 on February 11, 2017, 10:47:04 AM
But, being basically metro stations, can they be modded to allow pedestrians to pass? And can be included a bus station or such to allow bus traffic? I'm not entirely sure of what I'm talking about, but i guess something of this would be possible...

Buses yes and no... see the problem is you are converting traffic to subway. So if you allow buses to go in, they will exit (when converted back from subway) as cars. Because the game will not remember what traffic went in and split them on the way out. So you can make them either for Cars or Buses, but not both. For the most part a bus only switch doesn't make sense. Incidently, that's exactly how the traffic blockers which allow only buses work.

Pedestrians are much the same issue. Mixed traffic is really a problem for TE switches, since they were designed for use as stations, where it doesn't matter what mode of transport a sim used before switching to mass transit. For the pedmall ones, you could therefore have Pedestrian --> Subway then Subway --> Pedestrian switches. But I don't think that's necessary personally. Since how many people really use dedicated pedestrianised routes? Adding all the switches/modifications is a lot of work and those pieces were never designed to be functional in the first place. I could add them in, but for the moment I want to get the base set finalised. Honestly, I don't think it's really worth the extra work myself, so they are likely to remain eye-candy. The bulk of what I made were just extenders, I've just modified the props for the Underbridge set, to make them adaptable.


QuoteNon-functioning (visual eye/candy) will be the Pedmall, Sidewalk & Grass ones.

Too bad about the Pedmalls, but the rail lots will open up some possibilties for me. Thanks again.


Regarding the RRW Reskin project, I can see that a number of people have an optimistic view of the possibilities of automation. Therefore to aid clarity, I wanted to try and explain exactly what is and isn't possible to do:

So here is a diagram showing how the process works. The top line shows the original RRW texture, the rails which are copied (Blue Arrow), along with the two "replacement" textures for sleepers and ballast.

The second line shows the Definition Alpha. By combining three alphas into separate colour channels (RGB), you get the multi-coloured definition alpha. Here Green is Ballast, Cyan is sleepers, White is kept from the original texture and Black will become transparent. I've shown to the right of it, the three "component" alphas or channels, which make up the Rails, Sleepers and Ballast using Black and White or Alpha images. This is how GoFSH knows what to replace with what texture:

  • So the first one defines the rails to copy (Blue Arrow) to the final texture.
  • The second defines the Sleepers to "cut" from the new sleeper texture.
  • The final one defines where to cut the ballast from it's new texture.
    This also doubles as the main Alpha texture. An alpha just tells SC4 which parts of the texture to show in game (White) and where to use transparency (Black).

Now on the bottom line, we'll go from right to left instead, so following the Red Arrows, the ballast is cut, then the sleepers and lastly the copied rails. Combine them (Yellow Arrows) and you end up with the replacement texture on the left. Actually, there is another factor, because Rivit has added some special magic that looks at shading and replicates it with the new texture too. Helping to keep replacement textures closer in feel to the originals.

So in short, you can use any two textures for Sleepers or Ballast, but the overall look can not be changed by this process. The sleepers will remain the same size, same spacing and number thereof etc, it's just the colour we can change. It's much the same for the ballast. To have the level of control we have now, every single texture needs a Definition Alpha, which if you have to make separately is a lot of work. If you make them whilst creating textures, this can be automated somewhat. But we have to specifically define the component parts for each texture.

Hopefully that clears a few things up. Even with these limitations though, the number of potential options will be huge. The option is always there to make RRW overrides the old way, i.e. making each texture individually. Then a creator would be free to change anything they like. But we've a process that will give rise to many new sets, which otherwise may not be created. Because you make or source your two textures and in essence click RUN, everything else is done for you. Not bad for re-making over 4,000 textures if you ask me. As always such automation will have some compromises, but I still think overall this is a great breakthrough.


That's very interesting, a look into the "inner workings" of modding.

It's waaaay out of my league, but interesting nonetheless  ;D

BTW, downloaded v.2 of the darkened SAM6 textures; thanks for all the hard work  &apls
Busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest
Me no coffee function without so good


Clean, concise and to the point...




Just a small update or two for something I did a few months back here.

I've fixed the OWR arrows, new patch added. I've also managed to upload full 1920x1080 resolution images, so you can really see the details that were previously missing. I wouldn't usually make a new post for such things, but I fear they'll be missed otherwise.


Quote from: mgb204 on May 04, 2015, 04:48:16 PM
UnderBridge Set

A set of functional overhanging extenders that can be used to extend networks under game bridges.

I actually made a really long bridge and have 4 roads and 3 avenues going under it!  ()stsfd()


The under bridge extenders (not fillers) did not show up in my misc. transport menu until I added Z's to the sub-folder.  After doing this the original Japanese extender disappeared from the misc. transport menu and yours appeared.  Do they conflict?  I plan to remove the old files but did not realize that it conflicted.


Yes they use the same IDs as the originals, because I figured you wouldn't want both sets installed? They do the same thing, only mine are more flexible and have more current stats (i.e. proper TSEC and Capacity Values). So it's like a friendly reminder to remove/replace the old ones with mine.


Thanks for the clarification. And thank you for all the content you make!!


Time to open up 3DS Max once more...

This is a refresh of JaWood's Aspen Village Condominiums, using the original model file available on ST.

I've made a fair few changes, not least switching it to 3DS Max. I need to work on the front entrance some more. Then I shall make some different variations in textures, size (number of stories) and angles.