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Author Topic: Feeling like giving up  (Read 3251 times)

Offline s-driver

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Feeling like giving up
« on: January 19, 2015, 02:56:21 PM »
I apologize in advance but I have to vent my frustrations.  I'm seriously frustrated with content creation right now.  I have no problem with making good quality detailed meshes and doing the mapping.  My eye for detail and accuracy can be attested to by looking at my renders I've posted.  Even the making of textures isn't that bad although trying to achieve the look I'm after can be challenging.  The part that has me frustrated, discouraged and ready to nuke the whole works is the self-illumination and baking.  I've literally wasted weeks of time trying to get it to export properly.  I'm not talking about 1 or 2 hour each day.  I'm talking about 8 to 10 hour days trying different settings, making sure I have the correct and most current exports and updates for my computer and programs that might effect it, doing searches and reading many forum posts dealing with the subject reading and trying any tutorials i could fine, getting help and input from other content creators.  I've never been able to get the self-illumination to work correctly and that's going back several years.  That in itself was my biggest road block on several of my projects.  Now the baking isn't working properly.  When I had baked my DD40 everything was fine  The baking turned out perfect after a couple tweaks to the settings.  The first couple of bakes to my 44 tonner earlier last year turned out really good but of course as usual the first baking always shows were the mapping conflicts are that need attending to.  Once those were corrected and the re bake happened that's were things went bad once again. (this is like 5 or 6 months ago)  Now no matter what I do the baking comes out pixelated.  It don't matter if I use scanline or metal.ray or what ever settings I'm using for both the end results are pixelated.  Neither one looks any better than the other.  About the only difference on a couple of the settings I've tried was instead of a 1 to 1.5 hour render it was a 7 hour render with pixalated results compared to the 1 to 2 hours on the ones that turned out great before.  The 7 hour render was just only half as pixelated but in game it looked just as awful and no matter what I've done the baked shadows have this blueish purple tinge to them now.  Several months ago I had gotten a faster hard drive for my computer and delegated the older hard drive for secondary use. (pictures, documents, reference materials)  I was having these problem before that and since then I've done clean new installs of both 3ds and Photoshop and all the above mentioned problems are still their.  And now to top it off I can't open my DD40 source files.  At one point I had Ogermax installed for doing exporting for Rigs of Rods.  Somewhere in their I must have accidentally had part of Ogermax active when I saved my DD40 source file.  Ogermax went away with my new hard drive and since it's not installed I can't open my DD40.  The newer Ogermax exporter will only work on 3dsMax 2010to 2014.  Of course I'm using 2009.  I have the older installer that covered 2008 through 2011 but it's not recognizing my Max install.  My stubbornness and persistence has usually paid off but I think I've reached my limit now.  I really am feeling like giving up on this.

Bill

Offline UP8328

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 09:29:13 PM »
I've gone through this many many many times, it's quite frustrating in the least. Part of the reason why i don't put out much content anymore. Hope for the best  :)

Cheers, Andrew

Offline NS_37

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 12:05:22 AM »
Hello Bill, I would really like to help as I would hate to see any of your immaculately detailed creations go to waste or never be completed.

Can you do skype to contact me for instant messaging? if not just shoot me an email too that would work.


Offline s-driver

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 01:47:04 AM »
I can do all three Justin.  tieplate on Skype.  I'm not working tomorrow so I'll be around all day.

Bill

Offline s-driver

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 04:55:48 PM »
Well, here is one of my problems.



Everything that I have baked lately has had this same look.  Everything else that was baked still shows up fine in game.  My SN caboose has the same problem but it's not as noticeable because of the color of the texture.  Any ideas as what might be causing this.

Bill

Offline NS_37

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 03:23:47 PM »
are you placing a skylight and saving the visible rendered output window or are you doing it properly and having a shadows channel output to a file directly? if you dont change a skylight's color it has sortof a blue tint - but none of that matters if you only output to a file what comes out of the shadows channel because it will always be 8 bit grayscale.


Offline s-driver

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 01:01:02 AM »
I'm having the shadows output to a file directly.  I also changed the color of the skylight to pure white.  I just checked my shadow image and it 8 bit RGB not Grey Scale.Now I need to find were to change that.

Bill

Offline lilb

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 06:03:50 PM »
The issue you are seeing in the textures is probably due to compression by Trainz. When it compresses it, it can only pick so many different colors, so if you have a very wide range of color you will get banding. In the best example I could quickly find you can see the banding in the bottom left, DXT3

 

You may be able to fix this by changing the texture compression settings in the .texture.txt file in the asset. I haven't played with these settings recently, so I don't have any tips as to what is the best option.

http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/index.php/Texture_file

Offline NS_37

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 09:17:34 PM »
i didnt know you meant the banding but thought you said somewhere there was a blue tint to the output bakes.


Offline s-driver

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Re: Feeling like giving up
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2015, 05:23:30 PM »
I might not have explained it properly.  My apologies.  Frustration does that to me sometimes.  (it might be my age is catching up with me)  I think I'm having multiple problems.  Let me back up and give a little more explanation.  For my Baking, once everything is mapped the way I want it, I use a plain white texture the same size as the texture for the piece of content.  I've used Scaneline and Metal.ray numerous times before to produce my baked layer which I save as a separate .tga image.  I then open the bake image in Photoshop, copy and past it on top the other layers  of the image I'm using and change the "Layer Style" "Blend Mode" to "Multiply".

Now the problems I have been encountering are
  • 1. Excessive pixleation of the texture once in game
  • 2. the areas that should be shadows (varying shades of grey) have a rainbow coloring to them like in the previous images I posted
  • 3. Even though the render times for the bake texture has been staying about the same, recently the images have gotten the look of excessive Noise having been added to them during the baking.

I did find part of the problem.  Under Render To Texture for what type of image to to save and were to save it I found the setting got changed somehow.



So 3ds was compressing the image to begin with then the normal .jpg compression that Trainz does caused the banding that is seen.  I changed those settings to these.



Now my end results in trainz looks like this.



Better but still not their.  I took a close look at the baked texture for my 44 tonner interior done yesterday and one from my DD40 from about 2 years ago.  These are closeups of those textures.  DD40 above and 44 tonner below.




Photoshop shows both baked images as RGB Color, 8 Bit/channel.  That might be were the rainbow colors were coming from.  Now were is the setting in 3ds to get it back to grey?

Bill