Friday, 19 June 2009

Dam Wall

I've just built a new asset for a dam wall. This will easily allow me to have different areas of flat terrain at varying heights, and will allow impressive views from the top.

The dam consists of 4 assets:
-the wall and railing; created using a loft xsec
-the wall and railing end caps; positioned using start or end geometry references
-the wall supports; the middle geometry asset reference
-the pipe outlet; a clutter asset positioned by hand

The Middle geometry and Start (and End) geometry.

The pipe outlet. This asset has scrolling UV animation applied to get the water to appear to flow out of the pipe. I've also cheated by having two layers to the water. The inner layer does not animate, but has a specular material applied. This provides the base colour and highlight to the water. The outer layer has a simple additive material which has the scrolling water surface.

The complete loft.

I've also created a new particle effect which creates the bubbles at the base of the pipe outlet.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Animated Level Crossing

I was thinking recently about how to create an animating level crossing. Currently the codebase will need extending to get the crossing barriers to activate with an approaching train.

Here is my dirty hack (solution).

This is an entirely art based solution using LOD functionality. As we all know, the LOD code will swap geometry depending on distance to camera. So I've created a level crossing, where the gates are closed in the nearest LOD and open in the distant LOD. Currently, the gates pop between the open and closed positions, but many more LODs could be inserted between these two current LODs to make the gates move more smoothly.

Thinking along these lines, there could be many other uses for the LOD functionality:

- Static people, who start waving as the train or camera gets near
- Grazing cows, who look up as the camera or train gets near

I'm sure there are other uses than simply using LODs to swap different resolutions of geometry.

Monday, 15 June 2009

AI traffic

Over lunch today, and with the assistance of a Random RailSimmer, I created my first AI traffic in RailWorks. And it's easy.

Previously in RailSim, I'd always shied away from anything other that the art assets because I feared it was too complex, but after a quick read of the Wiki, I found it very powerful and easy to set up. I now have multiple AI vehicles whizing about the route.

Also, as you may gather, things have calmed down in work after an understandably hectic period. I now have the odd lunchbreak and evening free to concentrate on my own projects once again. So things will start to pick up on here after a very quiet period.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Road Update

I've created a slightly improved road and road junction asset.
Previously the centre white line would break up as the polygons would intersect over the road junction. I've created a new cross-section which has the centre white line overlaid as polygons rather than a white stripe in the source texture. Now the centre white line polygons intersect cleanly without breakup.