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

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Author Topic: NORO Trams and Textures  (Read 47727 times)

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Offline noahclem

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NORO Trams and Textures
« on: April 28, 2015, 01:28:12 PM »
NORO TRAMS & TEXTURES

I began this project in earnest around a year ago but it's an extension of a dream I've had for many years to which I've occasionally taken baby steps toward realizing. After a critical mass of ambition, time, and (relative) knowledge came together I began what this is now. From the beginning the project had a few goals:

I - Convert the light rail dual networking pieces to have sidewalks able to be altered by a mod with any sidewalk texture.
II - Change the gauge of light rail/tram to be equal to RRW/standard gauge.
III - Remove and (probably later) replace light rail curves with turning radii significantly below what occurs in any real life tram/light rail network.
IV - Adjust relevant networks' lane width to more closely approximate each other and RL networks of the same type.
V - Alter crosswalks to be more prominent, as is typical in the kind of built up urban areas that trams usually occur in, and to be more realistically aligned.
VI - Create a series of new tram stops incorporating the new textures, using HD stop models, and as realistic as possible in every way.
VII - Retexturing the SAM cobblestone network to match the new tram-on-street textures based on Vortext's original lot textures.

Closely related but not within the scope of this project:
VIII - Draggable and Flex implementation of the tram and light rail networks, bringing them up to modern standards along the lines of what's been done with RRW and RHW networks.

It relatively quickly became apparent how important step IV was--the most egregious offenders are Avenues, 3-tile NWM networks, and 4-lane-1-tile networks (including the 2 dual-networking ones of course), but also the difference in width between the 1-tile and 2-tile light rail dual networking networks. For someone who didn't want to cut any corners, requiring maximum effort for every texture in question, that meant all the aforementioned networks would need to be done and that each would require the others' new width spec to interact properly. I committed to doing them all, hoping to accommodate the contrary user preferences I could along the way.

Several standards have been established during the course of my work on this project:


A number of questions still remain as to how best to build things:


Please excuse my working name for this project--was the first thing that came to mind starting this topic which I think ought to be separated from the main public NORO thread :D

I wrapped up the Tram-in-Road roundabout revamp, other than perfecting the overhanging parts of the tram-in-road and tram-on-road connections (know what to do now but taking a quick break). The break has been creating the ortho versions of all the NWM networks besides OWR1 and visiting the possibilities of TuLEPs under the texture specs I've been using. Super-important and super-easy and of course subject to change.

Almost the first thing to check was where the limit is. The lane width's of the existing TuLEPs were among the widest of anything in SC4 to achieve the desired look I assume, which means the difference compared to the standard I've roughly adopted is huge. I like slip lanes but they often have merging lanes when I encounter them in RL and aligning them with MIS would potentially be very useful to people playing SC4. Here's the prototype result of all that:



Nothing too special, but the realigned slip lane. I made it quite a bit wider than 32/64px to accommodate buses and trucks making that relatively tight turn:



And the more basic TuLEP, including some new grass from Vortext, with everything in model-coloration due to the nature of TuLEP puzzle pieces I corrected coloration that was already corrected. Will fix soon and remove notice:



An ~32px lane alignment makes lots of things possible while keeping the geometry of intersections simple. And again the difference is more due to where lanes were widened from standard in the past than to the small and realistic reduction in width it is. As with anything in SC4 there's a lot of perspectives one could look at these from: mainly pedestrian automata or everything else, but that's a simplification of course. The difference in the geometry of these intersections might bother some people because they're so different but it's in my judgement the best way to go forward and will be very widely adopted in time.

Implementation of lots of options with TuLEPs is also a source of confusion and disagreement. In the case of RHW a large amount of cosmetic pieces were made to the basic puzzle piece standard while the same happened with TuLEPs but was held back for fear of making things too complicated for NAM users. These intersection variables get very complicated very quickly but I'm hoping we can find a way to add some new options soon after the pause since last time :)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 04:29:44 PM by noahclem »

Offline Gugu3

Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 03:27:10 AM »
Great to see you in action with more new textures!looking forward to seeing more &apls

Offline Vlasky

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 08:04:04 PM »
This does look nice Noah! I appreciate your attention to detail.
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Offline noahclem

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 04:52:13 PM »
Thanks guys  :)   

Action continues here in the poorly-portmanteaued NAM-NORO street project  ::)  I've been in Helsinki for Vappu or Labour Day, and have been paying close attention to how the details and uncommonly-seen aspects of trams, crosswalks, bikepaths, etc work which has been fun. Have gotten a lot of ideas that I'm looking forward to introducing :)

As I progressed with the TuLEPs project I ran into the issue of space for crosswalks with the networks that take up most of their tile. Here's a possible overhanging solution to the T intersections of road and avenue:




A peak at the current built in-game:



And some optional textures for replacing the dividing line with medians--these and Euro textures will be available:

Offline kelis

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 04:14:04 AM »
This set is going to change the game, again...SC4 is still alive !! Thanks for this work and textures, I can't wait for them.
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Offline Gugu3

Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2015, 04:12:20 PM »
Great stuff &apls &apls &apls

Offline noahclem

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 07:28:30 PM »
Haven't been too active with this lately but have been getting a little done here and there. Decided today to work on the avenue wide-radius curves and I've got the two basic curves done, including the sidewalk and wealth/grass on the FLEX 45 degree curve, done to be compatible with mgb204's automated grass sidewalk texturing. I probably won't be using the not-yet-available program for changing the colors into actual grass etc but having the areas laid out like that makes it easy enough to do the same in GIMP.




Am wondering if I should try to remove a couple tiles from the puzzle pieces, as marked here in green:



Suppose it makes sense to do variations of the conventional puzzle piece curves or switch to an S3D-based sidewalk system like the other puzzle piece networks I've been working on



And as a bonus, basic FA:
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 09:55:05 AM by noahclem »

Offline Themistokles

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 01:00:00 AM »
Christmas in the middle of May! What has the world come to? ;D To me, it seems like a good idea to remove those green tiles -- if anyone would like them, I think they could just plop some filler instead.
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Offline mgb204

Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 05:38:13 AM »
Glad to see that Ron's work and mine is something that is considered useful. If it helps I can help you whip up some scripts and make a suitable repository. I've been using various updates of GoFSH over the last few months and not yet run into anything bad, Ron's also really on it with updates if you spot a problem :).

I'd be the last person to try and talk you out of converting puzzle pieces to be sidewalk-adaptable, but if suitable tools exist for users to easily change them, it could save you a lot of work just by having the Definition Alphas available, maybe included with the download, ready to run with the DAT packed textures as it were. Ultimately the same results are possible albeit with a little user effort I personally feel that's an acceptable compromise.

Great work with the textures, I'm really looking forward to using this set in future.


Offline noahclem

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 07:54:01 PM »
Christmas in the middle of May! What has the world come to? ;D To me, it seems like a good idea to remove those green tiles -- if anyone would like them, I think they could just plop some filler instead.

Thanks a lot man! I agree with you and I think that should be the end goal for this. After talking with memo, the guy who created the flex version of the 45 degree curve, I think that sticking with the same footprint of that puzzle piece, from which those extra tiles can be bulldozed, is probably the best plan. Since the pedestrian paths won't work if those extra tiles are bulldozed I'm pondering the idea of adding a second pedestrian path that skips the extra tiles so that piece will still have full functionality after the extra tiles are deleted. There's not a whole lot of use for the original 45 degree curve now that the flex version exists so it'd probably be more helpful for me to spend my time somewhere else on this project. So I guess my plan is to achieve what we both suggested but do it by barely changing anything :D

Glad to see that Ron's work and mine is something that is considered useful. If it helps I can help you whip up some scripts and make a suitable repository. I've been using various updates of GoFSH over the last few months and not yet run into anything bad, Ron's also really on it with updates if you spot a problem :).

I'd be the last person to try and talk you out of converting puzzle pieces to be sidewalk-adaptable, but if suitable tools exist for users to easily change them, it could save you a lot of work just by having the Definition Alphas available, maybe included with the download, ready to run with the DAT packed textures as it were. Ultimately the same results are possible albeit with a little user effort I personally feel that's an acceptable compromise.

Great work with the textures, I'm really looking forward to using this set in future.

Thanks a lot Robin, it's great to have your input here and I'm really excited if you plan to use my textures :)  The sidewalk-adaptable part of this project seems to be very easy as Markus (memo) has a script that generates the S3Ds that display the sidewalks and that will fill whatever I leave transparent. There is a small disadvantage to that though, which is that my semi-transparent system of dealing with curbstones doesn't appear correctly with the S3D sidewalks. Much more importantly there's the issue of varying grass textures, since I want to make textures using the grass I like the most but many users will want to stick with what they're used to. I really want the textures I'm making to be as compatible as possible, especially since the changes in width add an inherent incompatible element. If I adopt you guys' system for coloring areas designated for grass and sidewalks it should help my work adapt to the future better and I can feel like if I do my best now it'll stand the test of time, which is exactly what I'm after. So, long story short, my plan going forward is to adopt your system for whatever I export to .png and since I've switched from SV grass to Vortext's new grass I plan to revisit my previously made textures when time permits and give them the same treatment. To get everything to go smoothly I'll need a bit of advice from you guys and I need to say how grateful I am to both of you for arranging this system :)



















The new textures don't give any reason to change the footprint of the 90 degree textures but unfortunately adding sidewalks that maintain their regular dimension but bent causes overhang. You can see that difference between the last two tiles. My solution here for the short to medium term is probably going to be leaving all the paths and footprints the same but changing the avenue textures and adding S3D sidewalks.


After getting some advice from memo and eggman on the private NAM boards, in combination with older advice and all the looking through files I've been doing with this project, I think the process of making puzzle pieces has finally clicked in my head--super-exciting as that's been an ambition of mine since I downloaded the NAM and a slightly more realistic ambition since I got involved on the forums here. The piece I decided to cut my teeth on was this of all things, whose texture I just completed:


I've really wished I had NWM-to-RHW connections (besides OWR3-to-RHW6S) a number of times and the network widening as it transitions from motorway to unlimited access only makes sense if the route is to maintain a similar capacity (before even taking turning lanes into account). Since this is a 1-tile-network-to-2-tile-network transition I didn't think draggable would be a great option so why not do a puzzle piece? Wish me luck moving forward with it--it's already proven how easily I can be distracted from getting the avenue wide-radius-curves into the game :D

Offline Gugu3

Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 04:42:12 AM »
Looks really promising Noah!great to see you in action &apls &apls

Offline noahclem

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Re: NORAMO Trams and Textures
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 08:18:24 PM »
Was hoping to get that transition turned into a puzzle piece today, and was pretty excited about it, but wasn't able to finish as the puzzle piece tutorial requires web apps that are not longer available. Textures, S3D models, and paths are all done so that's at least a start  ::)  While waiting for a bit of guidance on that I drew up a handful of other puzzle piece textures I'd be interested in creating.

A version of the first transition but to OWR5 instead of OWR4:



Ortho-RHW6S-to-FA3-RHW6C:

The puzzle piece should be 3x3 tiles, minus the tile at bottom left, not including several overhanging textures


8C Version:



FA3 8C-FA3 6C transition:



Opposite:



FA3 4-FA3 6S transition:

I've been toying around with a texture mod widening the inner shoulders of RHWs wider than RHW4 which is why it looks that way. Haven't figured out how such a mod could work well though, at least for people like me using ramps with merging lanes (D, E, and F types).


These are all things that don't seem to be good candidates for FLEXing, draggable setups, or other more complicated implementations and should be relatively straight-forward to turn into static puzzle pieces (once I figure out the last couple steps to doing so :D ). I think it's too late to add them to the current NAM being developed but I'm hoping the NAM after the coming one will follow pretty quickly (that NAM is also where I hope to release the extra tram network functionality I'm planning).

Offline noahclem

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 04:01:21 PM »
Made more progress on the puzzle piece but then someone was kind enough to do it for me, not realizing that the main point of me trying was to finally learn how to do it myself, and after that I lost interest. Will revisit that later on hopefully.

After moving on from that project I returned to several other unfinished items. One was avenues, rather at the core of this project. I finally took the WRC textures and put them in game and revisited a number of other textures, converting to Vortext's grass, creating versions color-coded for MGB and rivit's grass replacement program, and adding OWR versions.



I also finished the last of the TuLEP textures and then tried to add sidewalks where they were missing. That worked at first but then ended up with a number of errors where the textures for areas that share the same texture, such as 4-way-AVENUExROAD, would have only the original appear correctly and the repeated ones show as red, blue, green, black squares. At least I'm learning, but obviously I have a lot to learn still about how S3Ds work. I also did most of a set of FLUPs preparing them for a version with sidewalks though the sidewalks have yet to be made. I got a weird error though where instead of the terrain showing where the textures are transparent I would get black or white:



I tried messing with the background color in GIMP but couldn't get it sorted. Something wrong with my settings exporting from GIMP or converting to FSH using BatchPngtoFsh?

I also did a little work with TiAs, NWM, and crosswalks in general. Several sub-projects are now either done or very close to done, which is pretty exciting. Total number of textures, including all wealth levels for the texture-based networks but not including all zoom levels, is now close to 1000  ::)

Offline emanuelfranco0390

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 10:49:04 PM »
Can't wait.

Amazing.

Wonderful job.

 &apls

Offline Gugu3

Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 03:23:29 AM »
Amazing stuff Noah! &apls &apls

Offline Themistokles

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2015, 07:52:33 AM »
Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! That sweeping look of the avenue curve, what can I say -- what cords does it not strike in a SC-devoted heart?

Being a pedant $%Grinno$% though, am I wrong to notice that the grass on the tiles north and south of the intersection (where the diagonal stoplights sit) is just a wee bit lighter than the other grass?

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« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 07:57:11 AM by Themistokles »
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Offline memo

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2015, 08:45:53 AM »
Regarding the transparency issue, make sure that the "alpha test" flag is enabled for that particular texture, under the mats tab of the S3D file in the Reader.

Offline noahclem

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 02:56:32 PM »
Thanks Markus, that did the trick!

Themistokles, thanks so much for the kind words! You might be surprised at how motivating they are. Good eye on the grass, it seems like I've had trouble keeping track of earlier and later versions of the grass as well as color adjustment for models v. textures. It's quite easy to change though, and if there's anything I haven't already corrected it should get caught well before release ;)

Thanks a lot Guglielmo and emanuelfranco0930!

The project keeps moving forward thanks to the extra time I have now that it's the off season and that my wife is out of town this week, but it keeps getting held up by time-consuming mistakes and varying levels of cloudiness due to worsening back pain and associated meds. But anyway, here's where we're at:

An "RRW" bridge, though I'm looking for a non-acronym name as there's enough of those around to be confusing enough as it is:


I also made textures for el-rail based off of Chicago's L but haven't gotten them to work yet:



The puzzle piece GLRs are nearly finished:



As are the FLUP textures (not models), though they're missing sidewalks:



Bonus pic, illustrating my geometry for AVE and RD6 with the old transition piece for reference:



This should be all the dat files in their current state. They're very far from finished and so are probably not that useful, but you're all more than welcome to use them if you like. I'm really hoping someone can help me figure out why several of the TuLEPs aren't working in the closest ~3 zooms, why my L-rail texture isn't working (in the GLR puzzle piece dat), and why the Avenue ortho-FAR curve isn't working.

Thanks for your support :)


EDIT: Does anyone know where basic puzzle piece orthogonal and diagonal GLR pieces are?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 04:25:31 PM by noahclem »

Offline mgb204

Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2015, 04:44:51 PM »
Away from home for the moment, but I can answer all these quesitons I suspect, having worked on the pieces you are having problems with. Off the top of my head the GLR base textures can be found in the NAM Core files DAT, I can give you the ID's when I'm back.

:edit: - by core files I mean NAM_BaseContent.dat. GLR is 5f88000E and Rural GLR is 5F88400E, the diag pieces end in 60E instead. I'll report back if I can work out any of your other problems.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:59:09 PM by mgb204 »

Offline MandelSoft

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Re: NORO Trams and Textures
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2015, 04:03:46 AM »
This is looking great! one question, though: how easy is it to create Euro Textures for these?
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