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SimCity 4 Devotion Custom Content Showcase => Network Addon Mod (NAM) => SC4D Bridge Engineering Department => Topic started by: jeronij on April 05, 2007, 07:21:11 PM

Title: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 05, 2007, 07:21:11 PM
Dear SC4 Bridge Engineer

This is a tutorial intented to show you the technical aspects that you must keep in mind while designing a bridge for Sim City 4

We will build a very basic and untextured bridge, since the focus of this tutorial is not the artistical modelling, but the technical one. You must extrapolate the techniques shown here to your own models. This tutorial will cover the construction of the most basic bridge, which is made of three pieces:
Start/end piece
Repeat piece
Center piece

This tutorial is made for the most unexperienced BATter, so probably some of you will find it very basic. The idea is that everybody can follow it, regardless of its BATting experience.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO KEEP ALWAYS THE 16X16 METERS PIECES AND THE EXACT CENTER PLACEMENT RULES IN MIND. The width could be variable, but not the lenght. The pieces must always be 16 meters long (Y Axis). And the pieces must always be exactly centered in the 0,0 x,y coordinates.

Lets start with it.

MODELLING BASIC BRIDGE PIECES TUTORIAL

1) CREATING AND PLACING THE TRANSIT TEXTURES

Lets start with a brand new fresh BAT scene.

The first thing we will add is the basis transit texture (*) for the bridge:

We will create a basic box with the following settings

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_01.jpg)


We will create a new standard material, and add the desired transit network as the difuse map

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_02.jpg)

We will go one level up inside the material editor

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_03.jpg)

And we go to the maps tab. We select the opacity map, and we assign the correct alpha map ( included with the main transit network texture)
 
(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_04.jpg)

We can apply now the material to the box we created

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_05.jpg)

To be able to see it the right way, we must activate the "2-sided" option

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_06.jpg)

We can copy the box twice as shown in the image, and we have the three basic tiles basis ready  ;D

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_07.jpg)

2) CREATING AND PLACING THE PIECES

We will create now very basic objects to conform the bridge pieces. Simply create one box as shown below for the start piece basis

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_08.jpg)

Create another bos with the following parameters for the start piece support

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_09.jpg)

And this is the basic start / end piece.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_10.jpg)

Time to create some more pieces.Selec the basis box for the start piece and copy it three times as shown in this image

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_11.jpg)

Create another box with the indicated parameters to create the pylon for the center piece. We have our first basic bridge created  :thumbsup:

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_12.jpg)

3) BASIC LODS CREATION

Select the two boxes of the start piece and make a copy (shift+click)

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_13.jpg)

Hide all but the two new boxes. Select one of them and convert it to an editable mesh. Name it LOD5

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_14.jpg)

Select "Add" and click on the other box to create a single object.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_15.jpg)

Make two copies of the new object, and call them LOD4 and LOD3

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_16.jpg)

Unhide all, and select all the objects for the start piece, including the LODs, and the repeat piece objects, and use the "Save Selected" option to create a new file with these objects.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_17.jpg)

Now play a bit with the objects.Move the repeat pieces to the 0,0 grid coordinates, and make two additional copies of it. Use the existing basis box to create the LODs for this piece, using the technique explained in the step above. Again Save selected as a new file.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_18.jpg)

Finally repeat the process for the last piece. The Support piece. (LODs and Save selected)

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_19.jpg)

 "$Deal"$ IMPORTANT
Once you understand the basics of this tutorial, you must also read and understand the: How you get rid of the glitches between pieces (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=158.0) tutorial. If you dont follow these rules when rendering, the models will look wrong in game, specially in zoom 2 and 1 levels.


4) RENDERING THE MODELS AND GIVING THEM CUSTOM ID's

We must give each model a custom Group and ID values. These values will be given to you when I know the exactly amount of pieces that you will need and the type for your bridge.
The BAT usually assigns a random GI, and we must make an extra step to get our GI

Create a new empty scene. Create a smal box. The smallest, the best.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_20.jpg)

Render this box. Give it the definitive name that you want for the final model.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_21.jpg)

Once the model is rendered, (yes , the single box), it is time to save the file,

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_22.jpg)

And open the properties dialog box

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_23.jpg)

Go to the Custom tab, and click on the ModelID in the list. The Group and ID are editable now in the value box. You will have to change the second and third values here, with the ones that I will indicate.

If you want to follow this tutorial, use the following values for the GI's for your models:
Start piece: group(second value)= 0xbadb57f1  Instance(third value): 0x30000000
Repeat piece: group(second value)= 0xbadb57f1  Instance(third value): 0x30010000
Center piece: group(second value)= 0xbadb57f1  Instance(third value): 0x30020000

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_24.jpg)

Once you have changed the values with the new ones, click on update. Save the file and exit GMAX, or start a new scene, and the re-load the recently saved. This step is very important and you must make sure you follow it carefully.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_25.jpg)

Once you have reloaded your scene again, we must empty it. Unhide all the elements in the scene, select them all, and delete them.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_26.jpg)

Once the scene is empty, it is time to recover our previous pieces.Click the merge option....

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_27.jpg)

and select the desired model for this piece.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_28.jpg)

Select all  the elements in the merged model and accept

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_29.jpg)

And your model is ready to be rendered  ;)

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_30.jpg)

Repeat this step for every piece.

5) FINAL TOUCHES

Once all your models are rendered, you must clean up your plugins folder.

(http://www.sc4devotion.com/images/jrj/jrj_bridgetut/JRJ_Bridgetutorial_31.jpg)

At this point, you should send the models to me or another modder in this team , so the draggable bridge can be done

(*)Corrected textures have been gently provided by Callagrafx. They are under testing right now, and will be attached to this tutorial as soon as the test is passed.


THIS TUTORIAL IS UNFINISHED AT THIS MOMENT, AND SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND PICS, MAY BE ADDED IN THE NEXT DAYS. Anyway, the main process explained here is 100% valid.

Tomorrow I will attach the textures and also a test bridge exemplar for you to download, so you can follow this tutorial on your own computers.

You will need this file for all the existing and new bridges (including the one explined in the tutorial) to work togheter:
NAM Bridges Controller (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=658)

And attached to this post  is the test bridge for the ones interested in following this tutorial. This is a street bridge ( even it uses road textures.... :-[ ), and it works even if you dont have the models. As you create the models, you can draw the bridge and see how the models look like  ;)

EDIT 220407: Also attached are some corrected textures for road, one way road and avenue.
EDIT 0605007: Also attached are all the pending corrected textures for railroad, street, highway, elevated rail, GLR and monorail.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: freedo50 on April 22, 2007, 10:03:33 AM
Hi jero, i have decided to try my hand at modelling bridges and thought i might start out with an avenue bridge, can you tell me  if the network textures are available yet? Also, are the support sections of the bridge allowed to be more than 1 tile long?
Thanks,
Fred
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 22, 2007, 10:45:45 AM
Glad to see some volunteers  :thumbsup:

Freedo, I would suggest you to start with a sigle tile bridge ( road, street, train, GLR, RHW, monorail, elevated rail) for your first model. It makes things much easier for the first time  ;)

We dont have the adjusted textures yet, but once you know what type of bridge you will make, I will try to adjust that one for you. I have the one I used for the Krummbach bridge, which would fit nicely for a road, onewayroad and avenue bridges.

Ah, the support sections should be one tile long. However, you can use overhanging models (for the archs and such) but I suggest you (again) to start with a basic and simple bridge.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: freedo50 on April 22, 2007, 10:57:14 AM
Thanks for the advice, I figure I will start with a road bridge first and then do the avenue bridges I originally wanted to do after that.Could you send me the textures for a road bridge please?
Hopefully, I will be able to get a basice draft of this finished by the end of today.
off to revise now  :'(
Thanks,
Fred
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 22, 2007, 11:13:29 AM
I have attached some corrected textures to the first post  ;)
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: freedo50 on April 22, 2007, 12:15:41 PM
Thanks, I've finished most of my revision for the day ;D, so I'll crack on with my bridge now!
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Colyn on April 22, 2007, 05:37:13 PM
Ok ... I have some questions ...

1. Can a bridge be limited to what height it will be ... what I am after is low level bridges.
2. Do you apply nitelites as normal in gMAX.

Here is what I have done to get a feeling for this ... obviously it needs some more components.

(http://www.tripwired.co.za/JCS_Bucket/BAT/CSX%20Bridge_Timber00.jpg)

Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 22, 2007, 05:44:00 PM
Some answers then... ;)

1) No, the way you mean  ::) .
2) Yes. You can nightlight your model as usual in BAT. You can add existing props lights as well, and create your own if you want for that bridge.

The model is looking nice and it is really unique. The support pieces should be around 200 meters long, or as long as possible without loosing credibility. The start and end pieces should be also longer ( to the Z). Maybe adding a simple squared block under the actual pieces would be enough.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Colyn on April 22, 2007, 05:49:41 PM
JR I am not sure I understand ... what do you mean by ... "The support pieces should be around 200m long" ?

In my picture is 3 pieces ... the END PIECES and the MIDDLE pieces,

WHat do you mean the start and end should be longer ... do you mean the FOOT need to go DOWN more ?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: freedo50 on April 22, 2007, 05:52:28 PM
Lookin good there colyn, that will be a cool bridge to use in more equatorial regions.

I have a quick progress report, I tried my first bridge, following the tutorial exactly, and so moved onto the avenue bridge. here's what I have so far, still need to add railings, median, lightpoles etc.:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/freedo50/SC4%20BATs/22-04-07progrep.jpg)

What do you think? Are the textures ok? I'm not really certain about them, but I can't think what's wrong.

Fred

EDIT: Colyn; He means the support pillars should go down to around -200 on the Z axis I think.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 23, 2007, 07:08:38 AM
Ok, lets go....

Colyn:
(1st Piece) The start and the end pieces are the same piece, which the game mirrors as necessary.

(2nd Piece)There must be a repeat piece, which normally does not have pylons ( but this depends on the type of bridge that you are doing). I can not see this piece in your bridge

(3rd Piece)There must be a center piece, with pylons, for longer bridge lenghts. This piece should have the pylons-supports as long as possible. I can see this piece in your model ( the center piece).

The 200 meters thing:  You must provide your bridge with as long as possible supports. To see how this works: Make a test with the Krummbach bridge.
Place one bridge at almost sea level
Place one bridge at 100 meters of elevation
Place one bridge at 200 meters of elevation
Place one bridge at 300 meters of elevation

Until the 200 meters you will see the bridge's model pylons
From the 200 meters you will see the Maxis pylons bases (is like a building foundation)
The shorter you make your pylons, the sooner the Maxis foundations will shop up.

About the start/end piece, yes, that is what I mean.

Freedo, didn't we say a one tile width bridge ?¿  The textures are looking right to me so far. Lets see the details.... ;)
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: freedo50 on April 23, 2007, 12:02:46 PM
Lol jeronij, I was starting on my avenue bridge! I can cut it down to a road brige though if it is that much more complicated with an avenue. Actually, I think I may try and do both anyway! You've got me going now ::)

Fred
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Colyn on April 23, 2007, 05:14:08 PM
Ok I followed the Tutorial and entered the GI as per instruction but when I RENDER I get a gMax Error ... Code = 0 ???
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Colyn on April 24, 2007, 02:06:56 AM
Ok seems I have overcome that error and the pieces are rendering now.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Colyn on April 24, 2007, 02:23:18 AM
Problem ... two of the pieces rendered with the incorrect IID's :(
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: pilotdaryl on April 27, 2007, 09:02:00 PM
So Jeronij I have a question for you.  If the road texture piece is at Z-0.0, and the start piece base at Z-0.11, how will the bridge work?  One such example is the LODs not covering the road piece (and being 'underground'), another such example is the fact that the start piece base is also underground.  How will this work?

Okay I have another problem--the posts holding up the handrail at the ends of the pieces are sticking out a bit.  Will this still work?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on April 28, 2007, 07:05:41 AM
So Jeronij I have a question for you.  If the road texture piece is at Z-0.0, and the start piece base at Z-0.11, how will the bridge work?  One such example is the LODs not covering the road piece (and being 'underground'), another such example is the fact that the start piece base is also underground.  How will this work?

Okay I have another problem--the posts holding up the handrail at the ends of the pieces are sticking out a bit.  Will this still work?

Some pictures would help to understand better the problems  ::)
About your first block of questions, everything seems ok to me. The bridge deck must be at z=0, and because of this, everything that goes under the deck will be in the z negative range. This is ok. And will work ok. All the released custom bridges are designed this way.

About your second question, I dont understand it enough to be able to answer...a pic would help  ;)
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: FromTheAshes on May 31, 2007, 07:30:18 AM
Of course you can. GMAX is more like "a little brother" of the Max. So everything you can do in GMAX is possible in 3ds Max as well. (And more.) You can even use the BAT for 3ds Max, but I dunno if theres allready a script for version 9...
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: callagrafx on May 31, 2007, 09:09:00 AM
The BAT4Max script works perfectly in v9 except for the nightlighting (texture style) but who on earth uses those these days?  The simplest way in Max9 to get nightlit windows is by using the exclude function of a target spot.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Biwdc on July 06, 2007, 12:55:12 AM
Thanks guys:
This is great i have been waiting for this info to be releasted,now i can finally
work more with my bridges.i will be checking back on this for the additions to
it.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: surdanis on July 08, 2007, 02:38:29 AM
ugh, i can't figure out to hide objects so i can make lod's like in your tutorial!!!

help, plz.

j
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on July 08, 2007, 02:48:24 AM
surdanis,

select the object
right click on it
in the menu, cick "hide selected"

when you want to unhide, right click somewhere in the working area and click "unhide all"

I hope this helps
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: surdanis on July 08, 2007, 03:12:07 AM
hrm, i figured out how to hide and unhide objects but now i'm stuck on what you meant when you said to make more lod's for the repeatable and middle sections of the bridge. do i make lod's for each tile or just one tile of each portion?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on July 08, 2007, 03:19:19 AM
start/end , repeat and center pieces must go into the game as separated pieces. You must render them separately. So you need a LOD for each piece.

Once you have the scene with the completed bridge:
Start a new scene for the start piece, merge the complete model, center the start/end piece to 0,0 and make the LODs only for the start piece. (first model)
Open a second empty scene for the repeat piece, merge the complete model, center the repeat piece to 0,0 and LOD the repeat piece. (second model)
Do the same for the center piece (third model)

You should end with four different scenes:
1 with the complete bridge without LODs ( this will not be rendered)
1 with the start/end piece with LODs ( this will be rendered)  - the piece (not the bridge) must be centered at X0,Y0
1 with the repeat piece with LODs ( this will be rendered)  - the piece (not the bridge) must be centered at X0,Y0
1 with the center piece with LODs ( this will be rendered)  - the piece (not the bridge) must be centered at X0,Y0

I hope this helps you to better understand to process  ;D
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: surdanis on July 08, 2007, 03:49:12 AM
aye yai yai!

so confusing :P

ok, ok, i actually think i rendered the darn thing, but... when i go to file properties, your tut shows a different set of values and stuff under the custom tab. how am i supposed to edit those values if they don't even show up? i'm lost.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on July 08, 2007, 04:22:13 AM
dont worry  $%Grinno$% ¡¡¡

take a break and try again later with new energies  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: willvette on July 30, 2007, 12:48:29 AM
what about Suspension bridges?  i mean do we have to make the Suspension cables and wires or is it already in the game?  ()what()
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on July 30, 2007, 12:21:46 PM
The suspension cables are added by the game, so you can avoid them  ;)  - however, if you want, you can customize them. They are created by a semi-transparent texture, which can be modified externally. I know Fukuda made this once, so it is doable  ()stsfd()
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: cleaner475 on September 04, 2007, 07:17:52 AM
thanks for this but it will tsake me years to figure out :) lol
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Madeira aka Constantina on September 10, 2007, 02:49:42 PM
nice work  &apls
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: cameron1991 on November 20, 2007, 04:43:55 AM
I'm trying to make my own bridge, but I have a few questions.

With the LODs do I have to have the light poles in the same LOD as the road piece? and would the area around the poles have to be skintight?

Heres a picture of the bridge, its an attempted recreation of a bridge in my hometown.
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/anzacbridge.jpg)

Also when it is finished would you be able to light it please? Im not very experienced with making lights and getting them to light up the right objects  :-[

Finally, could you also point out any problems you can see with the model so I can fix them (There are probably 100s of them  ::))
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on November 20, 2007, 10:48:56 AM
Hello cameron,  great to see some new projects  :thumbsup: ¡¡¡

There is something wrong with the scale in that bridge.... well, perhaps not with the bridge but with the lights. I'd swear that they are out of scale.... I think they should be thinner and shorter.... the placement is right. One each 8 meters.

There is a missing piece, the repeat piece, unless the support must show in every tile.

About the central piece, maybe the pylons are too thin. A little bit wider would look more realistic... I think  ;)

I'd also work a bit more with the start/end piece... perharps some charmfer on those straigh edges.....

Anyway, once the model is polished and finished, I would think about making the ligths as separate props, so they could be used by more people. I can give you a had with that  ;)

I hope my suggestions helps you to go ahead with your model  ;D
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: cameron1991 on November 20, 2007, 05:40:00 PM
Thanks for your helpful tips Jeronij!

Ive made some changes to the bridge,
Ive added a repeat piece and changed the start/end piece although im not really sure I like the result, so ill probably change it again unless people like it.
Anyway, heres some pictures of the bridge

An overview
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/pverview.jpg)

A view down the middle of the bridge
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/anzacbridgesideview.jpg)

And lastly, a side view
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/anothersideview.jpg)

I think I may make just 1 light every 16 metres, because IMO its starting to look a bit cluttered...
Anyway what do you think? Anything else I should do to improve it?

Also I have one question about rendering, if I set the antialiasing on my graphics card to full, would it affect the quality of the final render?

Thanks for your help
Cameron.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Edit

Ive textured the bridge, so heres a picture of it
Ive used a rusty texture on the light-artwork because in RL they were made to look rusty (they cant really be rusty because the bridge is only a few years old..)
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/textureanzacbridge.jpg)
I need to replace the concrete texture on the deck and the sidewalls because IMO they just don't fit very well and they too closely match the texture on the streetlights.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: cameron1991 on December 27, 2007, 05:22:26 PM
well its been more than a month now so id better show some progress  :-[
Ive gotten rid of the central light poles and half of the side ones in favor of it looking more like the RL bridge and for the support piece ive put the light pole ontop of the support pillar just like in RL. If that doesnt make any sense to you, then maybe these pictures will lol  :-[

A tiny preview render
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/untitled-2.jpg)

And 2 closeups of the bridge
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/untitledfrdhxs.jpg)
(http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t101/cameronpapps/untitledsdtfhv.jpg)

Im also looking for more concrete textures as these ones look too bright in the preview renders, could anyone recommend any good ones?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on December 28, 2007, 10:05:03 AM
Hello again cameron,

nice to see some progress  :thumbsup:

You can find many excellent textures here:  http://www.mayang.com/textures/
You can also create your own following this basic tutorial here: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=4.0

Some quick thought on the model  ;)

You should think about leaving some space for the sidewalks ?¿
You could add some marks and details to the start/end piece and the pylon one?¿
The columns are too thin now. Perhaps they are like the RL bridge, but they look odd from the SC4 perspective. When I make a bridge based on a RL one, I dont fear to add my own details, and make it more SC4 eye-candy  ;)
You should pay attention to the joints between the pieces. In the port view you can see the deck texture showing on the side of the bridge. Also you should play a bit with the UVmap for the road texture, and make it a little bit oversized and move it a bit, so you don't see those white lines between the pieces.
You can also make a test render, and put the model in a lot just to see how it fits in the game, the scale, the overall look, etc...

Wow, I just wanted to make a brief check  ::) .... I hope my suggestions do help you to improve the model. This is a basic bridge, and once the pieces are correctly rendered it can be modded in half an hour  ;)
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: swat-medic on May 26, 2008, 09:06:41 PM
Im not getting the option for the Model ID after modeling.  What may have caused it?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: threestooges on May 26, 2008, 10:24:27 PM
When you say you "aren't getting the option for the model ID" I assume you are referring to step 4 of Jeronij's tutorial. I've modelled a few bridges and I'll tell you, the process he shows must be followed pretty darn exactly. The first thing I would suggest that you try:

-make sure that you have exported the basic box model. The model ID option won't be available to edit until something has been exported and had a model number assigned to it. This is why you use a simple object (to keep the render time as short as possible). Once you have exported that simple shape, the model ID should show up automatically in the file properties menu.

If this doesn't solve the problem, please let me know and I'll see if i can find another thing to try. Also, if this doesn't take care fo the problem, could you post a screenshot of where you encounter the problem? It makes diagnosis easier. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you on this.
-Matt
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: asmcrazy on June 15, 2008, 07:58:07 PM
Ok i have supports and everything modeled, but I'm having trouble making night lights. They don't show up in render preview...is this normal? Or is there some sort of secret to making the lights work?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: choco on June 16, 2008, 07:39:47 AM
if my understanding is correct, nightlights dont work on bridges.  you can put the lights in later via T21 exemplar, but it can't be modeled in the BAT.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: PaulvMontfort on June 16, 2008, 12:05:45 PM
if my understanding is correct, nightlights dont work on bridges.  you can put the lights in later via T21 exemplar, but it can't be modeled in the BAT.

That is untrue. I modelled a bridge with working lights.

@ asmcrazy: I think it depends on what type of light you use. If you do not use lights such as omni's and spots and such, no nightrender is rendered because the other type of lighting (the one which makes certain objects glow (most common in batting buildings)) is a special mask which doesn't need a separete render.

Sorry if I'm a bit confusing, my English isn't always the best with these explanations
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: jeronij on June 16, 2008, 03:17:45 PM
Thanks for the help PvM  :thumbsup:

I'd add that you have to name the lights exactly the same way you do it for normal buildings (nitelite_  prefix)
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: choco on June 16, 2008, 05:26:38 PM
That is untrue. I modelled a bridge with working lights.
thank you as well.  i guess i shouldn't post hearsay....
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Gaston on January 31, 2009, 11:47:01 AM
Okay I have looked around quite a bit and couldn't find an answer to my questions so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask them here.   
#1   Is it possible to build draggable diagonal bridges?
                  ...It seems like with all the advances we've made in the game, that it is only a matter of time.

#2   Could a "swing span" bridge (like this: http://www.johnweeks.org/upper_mississippi/pagesA/umissAR03.html (http://www.johnweeks.org/upper_mississippi/pagesA/umissAR03.html) )that was operational and draggable be made?    Sorry there isn't a pic with the bridge open.



---Gaston
sorry but I can't seem to make the "hyperlink"work right.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Swamper77 on January 31, 2009, 02:54:36 PM
#1: Draggable diagonal bridges are not possible. Maxis hard-coded the bridges to be orthogonal only.

#2: A "swing span" bridge can be modeled and be made draggable. It will require some bridge RULs to make the sections properly as each tile of a bridge is 16x16 meters. Bridge RULs tell the game how to assemble the bridge models into one bridge and where the supports are to appear.

However, it can't be operational (ie open for boats). What you will have is a bridge that looks like the one you showed, but it will be a static model (forever closed). The game is incapable of detecting boat traffic approaching bridges or stopping traffic when the bridge is open. It simply wasn't coded for such things. Stop points in a pathfile only seem to work where there is two crossing networks and the network is coded to use them. So the game would most likely ignore any stop points that are added the bridge's pathfiles because there isn't a crossing network.

Only Lots can have "opening" and "closing" "bridges", but even then certain modeling procedures have to be done to "hide" the traffic for when the "bridge" is "open". These are usually achieved with timed prop models, and the "open" models have large LODs to hide the traffic that is driving through the Lot when those props are displayed.

-Swamper
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: Gaston on January 31, 2009, 11:09:37 PM
Thanks for the answer Swamper.    I was afraid of that.   But I think I knew that would be the case.


---Gaston
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: allan_kuan1992 on March 04, 2009, 02:00:59 AM
If we were to say take an existing model and change it for other networks (Swamper's Elevated RHW models and Maxis Raised Bridges models come to mind) then what do we do?

- Allan Kuan
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: choco on March 04, 2009, 07:59:17 AM
well, theres a couple things that need to happen....

- the bridge exemplar would need a new ID, the model exemplars would need new GID's (if changing network type) and IID's.....(essentially, this means a completely new bridge file)

- the model IID's would need to change as well.  otherwise, any bridge file calling that model ID would have the new texture....

- the transit texture would need to be changed.  there are 3 instances i can think of...
       - the transit texture was added in the BAT, and cannot be changed directly (some bridges are currently like this)
       - it was added via T21 by the model exemplar (can't think of any beside my beta bridges)
       - it was added directly to the model in the reader (most NAM bridges are done this way

there's different methods for each.....i know there's a way to remove sections of a model in the reader, but im just not sure how.

thats it in a nutshell.....  :)

Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: RadicalOne on September 01, 2009, 07:07:04 PM
How does one edit an existing bridge? Say I want to light the cables of the cablestayed bridge - how would I do that?
I know it is possible, as someone else was doing it, but they appeared to have lost interest.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: choco on September 02, 2009, 11:52:30 AM
not to speak for another, but i wouldnt say he lost interest.....as was stated in the thread, its a large amount of work that will take a few months.   :)

i could only speculate how the lighted cables work, but it sounds like a mod that uses a state change.....which i would have no idea how to do with a texture.   
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: smoncrie on September 02, 2009, 05:07:03 PM
RadicalOne,  lighting the cables in a cable stayed bridge was one of several ideas I suggested.  It did not seem to have a lot of support so I did not pursue it.  I am still working on fixing the Maxis ground highway bridges and updating Maxis bridge deck textures,   but it is a long slow tedious process.

To make night lighted cables in an existing cable stayed bridge, use the information in the bridge's exemplar to duplicate the cables with a night lighted BAT model.  Using reader, combine all 20 (one for each zoom/rotation) BAT cable models with the original bridge tower models.  Then replace the original bridge tower models with the combined bridge models and modify the bridge's exemplar to eliminate the original cables.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: RadicalOne on September 02, 2009, 07:06:01 PM
To make night lighted cables in an existing cable stayed bridge, use the information in the bridge's exemplar to duplicate the cables with a night lighted BAT model.  Using reader, combine all 20 (one for each zoom/rotation) BAT cable models with the original bridge tower models.  Then replace the original bridge tower models with the combined bridge models and modify the bridge's exemplar to eliminate the original cables.

I found the exemplar, but only found the coordinates for four cables out of it - the outermost and innermost one on each side of the tower, presumably. How do I fill in the rest? I can just interpolate, as I do know that 10 cables total are on each side...


When my model is complete, how do I:
1) Combine the BAT models with the original models?
2) Eliminate the original cables?
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: smoncrie on September 05, 2009, 10:36:10 AM
RadicalOne,

Yes, they are the coordinates of the outermost and innermost cables.

CableStayedWireCount specifies the number of cables (hex A = decimal 10)

The other cables are equally spaced between the outermost and innermost cables.

To combine two S3Ds in reader, export one using right-click “Save decoded file” and note the saved file name.  Then click on the “Add S3D” button for the other S3D, and specify the saved file name of the other S3D. (I cannot guarantee that this will work for the cables, because reader does not handle Maxis bridge support/tower models very well.)

To eliminate the original cables one could set CableStayedWireCount and CableStayedWireThickness to zero.  I did not do much testing since I was just floating an idea.
Title: Re: How to model a bridge for SC4
Post by: RadicalOne on September 05, 2009, 11:04:06 AM
RadicalOne,
The other cables are equally spaced between the outermost and innermost cables.
Yes, that's what I meant by "interpolate", and it worked.

Quote
To combine two S3Ds in reader, export one using right-click “Save decoded file” and note the saved file name.  Then click on the “Add S3D” button for the other S3D, and specify the saved file name of the other S3D. (I cannot guarantee that this will work for the cables, because reader does not handle Maxis bridge support/tower models very well.) To eliminate the original cables one could set CableStayedWireCount and CableStayedWireThickness to zero.  I did not do much testing since I was just floating an idea.
I'll try that. I'll also try SC4ModelTweaker.