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Hi

I am keen to understand how the file size works with 3D Train Studio so that I might adjust my current layout in order to reduce lag. Until now my system has coped but the file size is now over 2.9Gb and as I continue to "paint" the scenery it is beginning to slow. I have asked this question of the manufacturer (info@3d-modellbahn.com) but have not received any answer. I know my layout is big, 12000 x 5000 and there are many 3d elements on this but if I can understand how the file is made up then it might help me to modify things in order to finish with a smooth flowing layout. Where I struggle to understand the file size thing is as follows: If I select a new board of a size 6000 x 2500, put 10 pieces of track on that board and save it the file size is greater than my original layout. I have already taken advice from other members on another matter and received invaluable advice with regard to creating different layers in order to gain more "grunt" when working. I have spoken to my computer manufacturer to see if my graphics card/PSU need to be increased but have been told that the present one should cope easily. So I am left to ask all you knowledgeable techies out there if you can help me to understand this whole file size thing with 3D design.

Cheers 

Pete

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Hi Pete

File size is not really what takes the grunt out of your rig. It is the number of visible objects but also the number of objects as such. This all is computed in your RAM, the bottleneck of a system. Try minimizing the number of objects by combining larger sections of track, made up of multiple pieces into one single spline model. For better performance during construction of a large layout, the use of layers is practical anyway to sort things, but more importantly to turn layers off (switching invisible) to reduce the number of items the graphic card has to display. In V4 I had once a performance problem because of issues in the EM, once they were cleared performance was normal again. 

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Tom

You amaze me. Is there anything you don't know?

I have already gone through and followed your advice regarding the water, roads and layers but have been reluctant to do the same with the rail tracks until I had a better understanding of variables. I have tried, in vain I might add, to emulate the example that you gave me but each time I have been unable to produce the list of variables that you had, so for now I have been concentrating on scenery. As part of the layers produced I have made one for hidden trains which has removed all but 4, one on each of the four main lines. All I did was simply highlight the full train, lift it from the track and place it in that particular layer. By doing so I hoped to a) get to grips with variables without having to remove the basic programs that I had created, just in case I botch up and b) rationalise the tracks one by one. However until I master the basics of variables I will remain in a state of limbo.

As for switching to invisible. I assume you mean highlight the 'eye' symbol at the right of each layer. If that is correct then I have already done that for each of the 11 layers not in use.

Anyway thanks once again for the advice as I have said before the two feet first approach sometimes works but you can't beat the more realistic approach with the help of someone so knowledgeable. I am for ever in your debt. Many thanks.

Cheers 

Pete

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vor 6 Stunden schrieb 220hotwheels:

As part of the layers produced I have made one for hidden trains which has removed all but 4, one on each of the four main lines. All I did was simply highlight the full train, lift it from the track and place it in that particular layer.

 

As for switching to invisible. I assume you mean highlight the 'eye' symbol at the right of each layer. If that is correct then I have already done that for each of the 11 layers not in use.

3

Hi Pete

This doesn't sound like my description on how to sort objects into layers at all. There is only activating (highlighting) of objects and changing their layer assignment by clicking on the layer symbol and selecting the correct layer in the dropdown list. The layer symbol is that coloured fat line in the top of the object properties window.

Yes, you turn layers on/off by clicking on the eye symbol. The eye changes it'st colour according to the state of visibility.

Just to make sure we're both talking about the same thing:

The layers window is not turned on by default.  To turn it on go to View....

Layer0.thumb.JPG.2e67df09b5d960f89fb0a46941d5d942.JPG

...and tic the checkmark to have it permanently on the screen.

layer1.thumb.JPG.f1dc922537ea47ba983b45d90e902bc5.JPG

Don't worry, if you don't need it you can also just push it with the mouse by click and hold to the side of the screen.

Here I turned the default layer of your layout off.

layer2.thumb.JPG.46add6577a4b35d3d26fac2b96855448.JPG

Here I clicked on the layer icon of your petrol station. The highlighted layer is the one it is currently. To change this just select and click on one of the others available.

laver3.thumb.JPG.94790dea578c00304fb76ee6e008d31e.JPG

Cheers

Tom

 

 

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Hi Tom

I hope it's just a case of my description has not been too clear regarding my efforts re: layers so I have taken the liberty to attach the latest efforts, albeit it I still have some work to do sorting some things out and improving on some of my latest scenery attempts.

I hope I have got the layers thing right but if not then I am sure you will put me straight!!!!

Thanks once again for your invaluable tuition.

Cheers

Pete

Fairmont V5.mbp

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 Hi Pete

Nothing to put straight(y), all well sorted. I noticed your port is made up of a number of panels. Looks like they could be substituted by some bigger combination panels. Just generally aim to keep numbers low.

Here is how to condense tracks:

 

pete1.thumb.JPG.c00bd1ae9a806871479e3972c61666a5.JPG

That's at the turntable, pretty much centre southside of the layout. As you can see I replaced the oddly shaped track you created using the flexible bending function.

I did this for 2 reasons. A.) it really looked oddly to me (flexible bending hardly achieves "close to real" results) B.) Flexible bent tracks do not reveal their credentials (straights and bends do), thus they cannot get incorporated via the 3D model editor into a large segment made up of several single-track pieces. One workaround here is to replace a flexible bent situation with a few or several customized straights and bends. These can, later on, get incorporated in the script of a combination piece. 

pete3.thumb.JPG.8f67249f9f60867c6b4173eb4c6cfda2.JPG

So first you check and record (either in a calculator or in writing) the different length and radiuses/angles of straight and curved tracks. The activated piece here shows a length of 174 in the 3D model editor.

pete4.thumb.JPG.71a764d6d6c7d499d61937443dea6ab9.JPG

Here is the view of the new piece's credentials. It starts with the curve, I designed as a replacement for the flexible bent piece. The starting point in the diagram is always facing north from south, here it is already in the corner, because of the size of the whole track. Note that the angle of the curve (-31.42) is negative as is the other curves angle, too. Left turning curves in the editor are negative. Right turning curves are positive. The second position in the list is the first stretch of straight track to the next curve. Note: to add another line click the + icon, to remove a line click the - icon. You only can have up to 8 lines. So on your layout, you will still have plenty of tracks but they will be only about 15%-25% of the number of items you have now. Likewise with the roads.

pete2.thumb.JPG.571cf9c212bb4b47bc516261165700f1.JPG

As in this sample: the previous track consisted of 6 single pieces. The new one is just one, and could be way bigger because it required only 4 lines out of eight.

Hope this gets you going.

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Tom or should that be Yoda!!

I am pleased that I have got the layers thing right, now I'll have to get to grips with the track aspect. I've briefly looked over your recommendations which certainly make a lot of sense, albeit it will take me a bit of time to digest it fully and get into the rhythm of changes but it is brilliant to be given the starting point.

If I may i'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers

Pete

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Hi Pete

No worries..... Well, I can see that re-editing all your tracks will be quite a mission..... but also worthwhile under the aspect of aesthetics. I spotted many situations, where you used the flexible bending and the result doesn't look pretty or believable. That's why I emphasized trying to replace the "flexibents" with customised curves, to get more even radiuses for a generally smooth look.

Cheers

Tom 

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Hi Tom

How right you are on both counts. I've already made a start having now sorted the turntable/engine shed area so I think I have got the hang of what needs to be done. Already my file size has come down. albeit by only a small amount but by the time I have sorted all of the track and roads I might well be at an acceptable and more workable level again. I must admit I hadn't realised you could edit and add track as you have shown so many thanks again for that.

My plan is to complete a circular track at a time starting with what I deem to be track 1. As I complete each one I will rename every section with an abbreviated reference but one that is pertinent to that particular track so track 1 will get the abbreviation AT1-01 etc, track 2 will be BT2-01. Points and crossing will become AT1-P01 and level crossings AT1-LC01.

So here goes my spare time for the next few weeks is now allocated and I look forward to the challenge.

Cheers

Pete

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Hi Tom

Since our last communication I have been busy following your suggestions, although I am not quite there with all of my flexibend replacements, but it becomes a bit mind blowing after a while so I have done a bit more on the scenery in an effort to add further interest. That said I concluded that as it's primarily a train layout I ought to at least try to get some trains moving, albeit on a very basic level. I therefore decided to start by getting one train to run on each of four tracks and whilst my efforts are quite simple I was quite happy at this stage with the results as I got each loco to stop, start and change speeds without having to rely on anything else. My next target was to get a second train running on just one of the tracks, D-T4, another steam train. Initially I thought it would be quite simple to just copy the instructions for BR 45-01 and simply alter the loco info for the new one. That simply didn't work as the speeds, stops etc became very erratic for both loco's. 

I have spent the equivalent of 30 odd hours trying different alternatives but have got no where so I removed the second loco and pondered further. I still don't know what the solution is so thought I might see if you would at least be willing to point me in the right direction with regard to this dilemma. No doubt in the fullness of time I will get to grips with the more sophisticated aspect of variables but for now simple is good.

Cheers 

Pete

Fairmont V5.mbp

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Hi Pete

I had a brief look.....will try to fix one of the runs, later on, some daytime chores are on for me now. Generally, I can point to the "personal approach", you're applying, as the cause for your erratic unfolding of events. Picture this: Some loco enters a track or track contact. In the triggered action, a specific loco (let's call it "Billy") gets assigned to a speed of 35km/h. As long Billy is the only loco in this run this will work, no prob. If you now ad another loco (let's call it John) in this scenario by copying the event and replacing Billy with John in the action were the speed is allocated things will go funny. Each time one, of the two, is triggering the event both will get assigned to the speed of 35km/h, because of the triggering entering of a track or track contact only specifying that track or track contact, not the vehicle entering, while you have an action for each vehicle, setting a speed. For only assigning a speed to the vehicle involved, in this event, the obvious way is using the trigger option, selectable in the vehicle field. By clicking on the little gear symbol to the right you get the list with options....

trigger1.JPG.ab8cc0a7fb586deb00eab4160926d88d.JPG

The blue highlighted tick marking the current nomination.

If the event is triggered by entering a track contact there is one more selection necessary, in order to get the correct setting. When selecting trigger here it will first come up like this....

trigger2.JPG.93941212349caf3d9e13f3a83543e081.JPG  

Easy to not notice and harsh in subsequent consequences......it won't do what was intended.

To make it do, the little arrow inside the selection window needs to be clicked and the correct option activated by clicking on it, too.

trigger3.JPG.a585397ba029abaffda259c6b668e476.JPG

So, have a look at how you can implement the trigger option in your EM.

Another thing I noticed is your efforts to speed up/slow down your trains. Try changing the preset values of your vehicles to get a more realistic behaviour without involving EM other than to start or stop a vehicle.

trigger4.JPG.3b917324450ed9f680e15f9cd3a64d5f.JPG 

Standart setting of each vehicle taken from the catalogue.

trigger5.JPG.68f19e5fbc2df1f9f4e4c8673dbad149.JPG

This setting gives reality like behaviour. Might need some adjusting depending on how it works on a layout, space,  etc.

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Tom

Many thanks for the above. It all seems so simple to implement and the last part is the easiest and most logical. However I have come to the conclusion that I must be either thick, plain stupid or overthinking what you are suggesting. 

I have no problem locating each of the elements that you have shown and have spent four hours this evening trying various combinations to try to achieve the desired result, all to no avail. No matter what I try the loco will stop at the station but will not start again unless I revert back to my original instruction, which is of course self defeating. I'll have another go tomorrow night, perhaps with a clearer mind.

Many thanks once again.

Cheers

Pete

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Pete - do you still have this 'wild' one? I would suggest to post this one too, and tell me which station. I just read the thread and I love the layout. Would be a shame not making it as planned.

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Hi Pete

I saw in your EM that one or more runs stop and there was no order for starting subsequently. I thought that you wanted to start these manually, as the whole EM is still work in progress. Bear with me I will get you one complete run as a permanent loop ......

Maybe you put Fairmont aside for the time being and just set up a small demo layout for trying out the things I explained earlier?

Andy

If you're keen just grab the latest one posted

Cheers

Tom

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Posted (edited)
vor 2 Stunden schrieb 220hotwheels:

spent four hours this evening trying various combinations to try to achieve the desired result, all to no avail.

Small wonder, Pete.

Your layout is way too big and loaded to use as a testing ground. What's more, you have way too many entries in your event manager. Some of them double and triple the same set of actions. That's not your fault, because previous versions of the 3D-Train Studio left you with little choice in that matter. But it's a great hinderance now when you're experimenting with different settings. Because you never know for sure, what other events may interfere with what you do.

You'd be better off setting your large layout aside for a little while and building a plain oval with one signal on it and no decoration whatsoever. Use that for your experiments. That way, you can concentrate on understanding the V5 EM one element at a time. Step by step. And then, when you're familiar with your new tools, you may rethink your strategy for the Fairmont layout. 

note: I only just realised that Tom said the same thing. I missed his last sentence. Sorry!

Kind regards
Goetz

 

Edited by Goetz

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Hi Goetz

Many thanks for your advice. As you have noticed your not the first person to advise me to set up a test track so point taken I'll put aside the Fairmont layout for now and see how I get on with a simple oval. They say that ignorance is bliss but on this occasion it's a pain in the butt!!

Cheers

Pete

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Hi Tom

It would seem that everyone has pretty much the same advice. Lose the Fairmont layout for now and set up a simple track layout for the purpose of getting to grips with EM. This I will now do. The biggest challenge in getting to grips with this problem, for me anyway, is understanding how things work. It's easy to work through the various screens and select different elements to see what they do but without fully understanding some of the more basic principals of the loco management operation you just keep fumbling in the dark so to speak. I have gone through the online manual many times and this just gets me more confused. Perhaps it's the translation that does not help which is why I opted for the "jump in with two feet" approach.

Anyway your advice to date has been invaluable so many thanks for that.

Cheers 

Pete

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Hi Pete

While you're at it: do some trials with crossings as well. I noticed some problems with Fairmont's, especially when multiple trains arriving. The idea is that a crossing closes and only opens when the last train has passed. Hint: use of counting object variable(s).

I am working on Fairmont and fixed some crossings too, but it will help you to understand when you do some trialling with various solutions in this area.

Cheers

Tom 

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Hi Andy

Glad you like the layout. As you can see from some of the other posts the general advice is pretty much the same so I plan to finally follow said advice and set up a simple test layout to play around with EM.

Cheers 

Pete

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Many thanks for that Tom. I had obviously noticed said crossings problem and knew that it need to be addressed at some point as indeed have numerous other elements but I was working on the principal of "all in good time" as my knowledge and understanding grew. That at least is my excuse!!

Cheers 

Pete

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Hi Pete,
I will let Tom work with the program for now, obviously he is making progress and in a good mood.
In the meantime I took a look what's killing the performance and I got a few advices which are helpful at least in future layouts:
If you find a view with a very low FPS, doubleclick those letters in the right bottom corner and you will get a lot of object information about materials and polygons.
You can click the table rows to sort them, so you will find pretty fast which objects are 'expensive'.
A few samples are: the SUV - 9 of them there, with altogether 450,000 polygons! Another car in low-poly could surely replace them. That's same for a *lot* of other cars.
And especially boats too! Next is nature. Lots of trees that could be replaced by newer ones which are really 'cheap' - you already use them too, so you like them as well.
Looking for nice replacements for those three types will probably help a bit to speed up! Trees also come in small groups, those count as one object only and that helps too.

Cheers
  Andy
 

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Posted (edited)
vor 3 Stunden schrieb 220hotwheels:

The biggest challenge in getting to grips with this problem, for me anyway, is understanding how things work.

Hi Pete,

the keyword in your following sentence was "principals". That is what you ought to develop.

First (though this has nothing to do with the EM) you may want to rethink your signal strategy. Don't close signals ahead of a train. Close them behind the train. Shut the door, so to speak, after a train has entered a section. That way, you keep everyone else out until the train has vacated that section. This is important because other things that I'll explain later will relate to this tactic.

 

Now you'll want to consider that basically you're doing the same thing at every station for every train on any track.

  1. Slow it down, when it approaches the station.
  2. Stop at the station.
  3. Wait for a specified time.
  4. Release the train when conditions are right.

The trick is to define each basic sets of action only once. And to find a way to use individual parameters within those action sets where needed. This is why you find the selection "trigger" as a possible target of an action. It stands for "whoever triggered this set of actions."

 

Lets pick the contact used to slow an approaching train as a first example.
The event is triggered by two elements:

  1. The contact itself
  2. and the train.

One touches the other and that event causes the chain of actions which you define.

 

You'll want to slow down any train that triggers this contact. This means, that the target of your "set speed" action is one of the triggering objects. And its location is of no interest, because the location of the contact has that covered. Of the triggering objects, only one can have a speed: the train. The contact may be of interest in a different context. That's why it is listed as one of the triggers. But in this case, it's not the trigger that you want to talk to.

  1. Choose the "set vehicle speed" action
  2. click on the cog next to the "[All vehicles]" label in the box on the right
  3. pick "Trigger"
  4. open the list under "Vehicle"
  5. pick "Vehicle" from that list 
  6. specify your desired speed below

You've successfully defined that any train which touches the contact, will be told to slow down to the speed you requested.

 

Now that you've understood how to generalise the "slow the train that touched the contact" principle, you may place multiple contacts for this purpose at strategic locations. Each with a unique name. At the top of your event definition, you have the "When will the event be triggered?" selection. Here you may choose multiple objects (e.g. all contacts that you placed for this purpose.) Or - even more convenient - you add one keyword (of your choice) to all these contacts. And select this keyword to define all objects that shall trigger this particular event.

See, if this makes any sense to you so far. Ask, if somethings unclear. When we know that you've come to grips with this first step, we'll take the next one.

And easy does it, Pete
One step at a time.

Goetz

example layout:   first steps for Pete.mbp

 

Edited by Goetz
example layout improved

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Hi Pete

Line 3 and 4 are done and so are crossings F1,F2,NC1,NC2. I didn't write a new EM (for these) but recycled and structured most of what you created. This should make it easier to recognize principles and where major differences to your creation are. I left the signals as decoration only, so they get switched but are not involved in controling trafic. This should be another small demo, at some stage, to figure out how to use signals actively to control trains. Line 2 is work in progress.....ready to get completed whenever. Line 1 is untouched. I turned shadowing off as well as most layers.

Most of it is now along the lines what Goetz wrote above. The use of trigger, to address a triggering vehicle, instead of adressing each vehicle specifically allows now to swap locos, without having to perform any rewriting in the EM. In principle you can ad another train to a run. It will be only a matter of getting the timing right so that they stay appart. (this could also make a theme of a demo)

It may be a pragmatic approach to open Fairmont mainly for landscaping work (and the odd look at control issues) and doing the chores of developing EM techniques and strategies in a range of theme dedicated demo layouts. This will give you also a, handy to have, library respectively templates for future challenges.

Fairmont mod.mbp

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Guys

I hope you can all pick up this reply rather than me thanking each of you separately. I have briefly read through each of your suggestions and will print them off for future reference. What you advise makes absolute sense. All I have to do now is get my head round it all over the next few weeks. I have already set up a test layout and will add some extra details such as crossings etc so that I can fully get to grips with the various aspects of EM. I also take your point Andy about reducing the polygon aspect. I didn't really consider this much before trying simply to achieve a realistic looking layout from the aesthetics point of view. Over time I will trim things down. Tom has already given me invaluable guidance on that front the result of which has reduced the overall file size down from around 3GB to 2.7, 2.8GB and I still have quite a lot of track and roads to streamline so am hopeful that I will get back to 2.6GB in the future. 

So Tom, Goetz and Andy I cannot thank you enough for your guidance. With luck in another years time I might just have a fully working layout.

Cheers 

Pete

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