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Eric Danvers

Disappearing Signals

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Hello Members

I have tried to make some signals that resemble those used on British railways. Since I do not know how to make new models, I have assembled them from Primitives and Buttons already present in the MBS catalogue.

Everything seemed to be working well until I used the "Enter Cockpit" camera of the Loco. I then discovered, to my dismay, that the signals appeared and disappeared according to their distance from the Loco. (This does NOT happen when using a free camera attached to the Loco.)

168294056_DisappearingSignal.thumb.jpg.5acf417558e1006c0005dada327f2506.jpg

I have enabled the "Glow" feature of some of the components but this has not solved the problem.

Can anyone offer me advice? I would really like to use some realistic-looking signals. Unfortunately, the German signals are very different to the British ones.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Best wishes

Eric

Disappearing Signal.mbp

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Hi Eric

That's a pre-taste of what will happen when England leaves the EU, all good things will disappear!......Naa, bullsh**;)

I am not an expert but my gut feeling is this has to do with the Lod levels "real" 3D modells have and the primitives apparently don't have or have them different. I guess there are only 2 options currently. A.) waiting for someone of the 3D model builders to build British railway signals. B.) Asking someone to build British railway signals.

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Metallix

I don't want to ask someone else to do the work for me. Ideally,I would like to go for option C) build my own signals using model-making software

but I haven't got any idea how to start! I've downloaded Blender but I cannot think how to start building a signal

Cheers

Eric

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vor 45 Minuten schrieb Eric Danvers:

but I haven't got any idea how to start!

Just like you did in the 3D-Train Studio.

Because modelling software offers basic shapes too. With time and experience, you may discover more tools in modelling software and make good use of them. But for the beginning, you can approach the construction just like you did here. Recommended are Sketchup (for simplicity) or Blender (for a greater set of tools), both available free of charge.. And help ist at hand here in this forum for both programs.

And you have a great advantage over many other modellers here: "I'm confused because the menus are all in English" doesn't apply to you. ;)

Edited by Goetz

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Hi Eric

Sorry to have not mentioned option C. Yep. I can sign up to that one, too. Every time I start playing with blender I get confused and a wee while later go back to the studio and play on a  layout's design. But it is possible to turn into a model builder. @Andy just recently started and does already quite exciting things.  All a matter of one overcoming one's weaker self.

Cheers

Tom

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Hi Eric & Tom,
just take the beginner's cube as it is. Make a texture picture in paint.net or with the gimp in 512x512 png with alpha-texture.
Then just read this one post - Link

As soon as you made it to import whatever you've created that way in MBS - and placed it from 'my models' onto the board, success provides the 'familiar feeling'. Nothing else can replace that. From that point on things go their own way. You're not lost anymore and each 'button' more guarantees that this will not be too boring too soon.

Andy

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Hi Andy

Thank you for your suggestion. I have spent all day (I'm retired!) reading the forum about Blender 2.8. I'm going to have a go tomorrow. However, I am still not clear how to

1. Create an object that will behave like a digital switch 

2. Create an object with a contact point.

I've read the Wiki "Model making>functional models, control objects" "(Modellbau>Funktionmodelle>Signale, Steuerobjekte)" but I don't understand how this relates to Blender.

Could you point me in the right direction? - I'm not asking you to do the work for me!

Thank you 

Eric

 

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vor einer Stunde schrieb Eric Danvers:

Could you point me in the right direction?

I am interested, too. Although I'm not thinking of starting with Blender right now. But one day I will and then I can fall back on this thread.

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Hi Eric and Timba
about 2.) let's do that in the end, that's a thing I've already not done, but it's described in the Wiki and shouldn't be too hard.
Timba - not much to do in that first 'lesson'. Do it as well.
For this sample we do it with standard colors - no texture yet.

Now - 1.)
Animation does the trick.
When you open Blender, there's the cube.
Select it (right-click on it), then scroll down in the object's options in the right lower box (be sure, it's the cube, not 'world') to the material symbol, then select a color.

Then watch the green arrow, click there to have the 'material-view'.
Blender_cube01.thumb.jpg.05064b9ce939814a10e8e0dffe9cda92.jpg

After this, we need a second cube. In 'Menu Object' there is 'duplicate objects', use that or simply use the key shift-D. press Esc afterwards, or the new one follows you until eternity. It's now exactly in the same position as the first one. Means you hardly can see it, from now on always check which one is selected in the object list.

We're now at Cube.001 and we need a new material for that one. (When building the real signal, this will be the same image-based material, but not yet).
With the red arrows you will see what to do. Then follow the green arrows and delete material.001 from it.

Blender_cube02.thumb.jpg.ed9f74f2c77686d2b0b525ae19111eeb.jpg

Pretty random which one we see now, maybe even a mix or flickering, both are same size, same position.

We are now ready for the animation! And because it's a digital switch, we just need two frames for it.
At the bottom there's already an animation window, let's adjust the frame margins. And then choose the transform datas of our red cube. (green arrow)

Blender_cube03.thumb.jpg.b8358f4e5ff92187a3dda51b1cc0ec27.jpg

Let's do it the real easy way that time. We don't even need the animation's action sheet, timeline or whatever.

The animation goes:
Frame 0: the green cube stays at full size, the red cube will be scaled down a bit.
Frame 1: vice versa.
Building the signal later, you could also use 'position' and shift a dark plane over one of them. Shifting it over the other one in the end frame. Or have a dark plane right after the light and move the light behind it, depends on your personal favorite or dependencies in the project.

Okay, now we're at frame 1 with the red one being selected. Red one should be at full size there.
Now that's all you have to click:

Blender_cube04.thumb.jpg.38169593c650883bf33fdc2c015a04fb.jpg

That makes the frame a key frame with those values for the selected object being assigned to the key frame. Really, that's it!
For the both of you I just have to say now, that you choose the current frame with the green arrow pointing on it and enter those values for both cubes. Choose, let's say 0.9 for x,y,z for the smaller size. Not much to do and nothing more to be explained, except, that you may open such a value 'lock' (i don't mean the real lock symbol to the next there, but those the red arrows point to), and close it again. color of the value may change, depending on being an overwritten one, or the one being locked. It should end in that color shown above.
If you have done that for both cubes and both frames, you already got it. except - you want it to have it lit. surely you will. So rename the both cubes and write _LS before, that will cause MBS to make them lit all time. If you toggle frame 0 and 1 now (green arrows) the cubes should do it!
We are done!!!
Export that one to a .glb-file, then launch MBS and have a new model. Select switch there, digital switch and that's it!

Tell me about!

cheers
  Andy

p.s.:

Edited by Andy

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tststs, habe noch die Eierschalen hinter den Ohren und muß schon erklären, sowas. Das Leben ist hart! ;)

There's one thing missing:
Create a file cube.anim with that content:

_AnimSignal;0;1;NoAutoPlay;NoLoop

That one is needed if you want it to be a 'Signal' in MBS. Also you have to choose that type from the template list.
Then give names to position 0 and 1 and all should be fine.
Of course, because we still have the center at 0,0,0 with the cubes, just the upper half appears on the board moving it out of the catalog. Doesn't matter - it's just a test.

Edited by Andy

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Vielen Dank, Eierschalen-Andy, das hast du ganz professionell und vorbildlich gemacht. (y):D Weckt direkt Lust, Blender runterzuladen. 9_9

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Thank you very much, Andy. I'm now keen to become proficient with Blender. But it's a steep learning curve! 

UPDATE: Fantastic! Success!  I now have a working "cube" which behaves as a signal and can be seen in cockpit view from over 1000mm. Once again, thank you very, very much - this is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time.

Edited by Eric Danvers

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I know. Important is to have a curve at all. And it's all about the will to have the result. :)

@Timba,
ja wat nu? Ich hab' gedacht da kriege ich morgen schon die Content-ID von dem Modellentwurf des Tests. Du willst doch was zum Nikolaus. :P

Grüße
  Andy

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Danke @Andy

Aneggy.jpg.a526043a0858776b9520ed6deaddc5f8.jpg

Frischgeschluepfter Master of Blender 2.8 (y)

 

Werde mich mal ab heute abend auf Blender stuerzen. Heute muss erst mal wieder der motor in meinen stapler.

Cheers

Tom

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Hey, glad you made it Eric!

Oh man, I launched a chain reaction! o.O
Two eggs to go! :D

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb Andy:

Du willst doch was zum Nikolaus.

Hab das vom letzten Jahr nicht mal aufgebraucht. ;)

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vor 7 Stunden schrieb Eric Danvers:

Success!  I now have a working "cube" which behaves as a signal

Success is when British Railway buys your patent for cube signals. :D;)

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11 hours ago, Timba said:

Success is when British Railway buys your patent for cube signals. :D;)

"From tiny acorns great oak trees grow" 

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vor 1 Minute schrieb Eric Danvers:

Here is the "cube mark 2" produced using Blender.

wow!
so much for ...

Am 11.11.2019 um 21:54 schrieb Eric Danvers:

I haven't got any idea how to start

 

Well done. Eric (y)

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Hi Eric,
it really should help, if you upload the model to the internet.
Simply right click it in your 'My 3D models'-folder. Then 'publish to the internet'. Then upload is as draft for now, then tell us the Content-ID - if that is possible to you! Because if not, you should request for the permission by a PM to Neo. That's necessary for new builders. As a draft it's temporary available to import it for those who know the content-id.
It's not in the official catalog then.
Didn't I tell you, it's a great feeling?

cheers
   Andy

 

Anmerkung 2019-11-15 234204.jpg

Without the upload people get this picture on loading the sample mbp

 

eric.jpg

Edited by Andy

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Hi Andy

I didn't realise that unless my signal is in the catalogue it will not appear. I thought it was contained inside the .mbp file. My signal is functional but not pretty - it does not compare well to the quality of the German signals in the catalogue. When I produce a better looking version I will upload it.

Cheers

Eric

P.S. My original title "Disappearing Signals" has proved to be true in this mbp file!

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb Eric Danvers:

P.S. My original title "Disappearing Signals" has proved to be true in this mbp file!

:D(y) I like your sense of humour.

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I love the spirit. Accepting the challenge, making it, getting blamed by the rules in the moment of victory, and still not worrying. That's it!

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1
vor 3 Stunden schrieb Eric Danvers:

I thought it was contained inside the .mbp file.

P.S. My original title "Disappearing Signals" has proved to be true in this mbp file!

Hi Eric

I believe the .mbp files are merely just references to objects registered in the catalogues (both, the online one and the personal one on one's hard drive) and their location on a layout. Since a reference to one's hard drive is meaningless to every other system it will only show the ?. If the .mbp file would carry all the objects on a layout it would be a way larger file and we possibly hardly could swap or up/download layouts in a few seconds only.

So your hindsight (I like it very much(y)) is true and untrue. The information is in the file but will work only on your machine. For all others, it is like a hidden backup key on a car.... (Imagine all cars with hidden keys would have the courtesy to indicate somehow the existence of a hidden key publicly ;):D)

Cheers

Tom

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