Rail Simulator supports animated textures. Animated textures refer to a series of identically sized frames or textures which the game will load and display frame-by-frame. Some examples of animated textures would be :
- traffic light sequence
- flashing lights on a police car
The process is fairly straight-forward. The engine relies of the fact that the frames are named sequentially, and once the material is set up to animate, it will loop through these sequentially named frames at a given speed.
Here, in this example, we will setup a simple 4 frame animation.
1. Intially create the sequence of 4 frames and name then as follows:
XXXXX_anim1.ace, XXXXX_anim2.ace, XXXXX_anim3.ace, XXXXX_anim4.ace etc (where XXXXX is the texture name).
2. In 3DSMax, assign a simple shader such as TexDiff (or AddATex for glows) to the relevent polygon or mesh. Then in the material, point the texture slot to the first texture XXXXX_anim1.ace. It's important to point to the first texture so the game engine knows where to start the sequence.
3. Still in the material editor, scroll down to find the "UV Special Effects" area, and tick the "texture is animated" button. Also insert the correct number of frames for your animation in the area marked '#frames' (in our example this would be 4). Also choose a frame rate in the 'frames per second'. In our example we'll choose 2.
4. Export the shape.
NOTE : The export process will only compile the textures that are referenced in the scene IGS file. As we only reference the starting frame (XXXXX_anim1.ace) in our IGS, only this single frame of the animation will compile. If we view this in the game, we will see the first frame OK but the other frames will be represented as "MISSING TEXTURES". There is a simple solution to this where we can simply force the missing textures to compile from within the blueprint editor. To do this, navigate to find your textures in the blueprint editor and one by one right-click on each one and choose the 'export' option from the rollout. Once all the textures have been compiled, the shape will be ready to be viewed in-game.