Author Topic: Scale of road vehicles  (Read 4171 times)

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Offline jamespetts

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Scale of road vehicles
« on: December 12, 2015, 02:01:02 AM »
The scale of road vehicles in the pakset is, unfortunately, inconsistent with the standard scaling that has been adopted for water, rail and tram vehicles. (Some of the rail vehicles are also not consistent with this scale, but I have slowly been working on that and intend to continue to do so). Road vehicles being inconsistent with rail vehicles or water vehicles might just about be passable, but being inconsistent with trams is unworkable.

To give an idea of the issue, see the below image, containing a tram to the standard scale, the existing Routemaster, and a Routemaster rescaled using the correct standard scale (including the 1.25x greater scale on the x and z axes than on the y axis):



As can be seen, the larger (original) Routemaster is noticeably too large in comparison with the tram (which is a relatively large tram from circa 1927):



The tram should be bigger than the 'bus, but, as can be seen, it is smaller than the larger (original) 'bus. The smaller (rescaled) 'bus is the correct size by comparison. To get to this correct size, I had to re-scale the .blend file by 0.75 on the y axis, 0.8 on the x axis and 0.81 on the z axis.

I am afraid that all the road vehicles in the pakset are almost certainly also incorrectly scaled by this degree. This includes all 'buses, lorries, trailers, traction engines, road horses, and private cars. It also affects industry graphics which have car parks with private cars parked in them and marked out parking bays (which will thus also be over-scale). I do not know how consistent that the scale of road vehicles is such as to know whether simply re-scaling all of them by the above factors will produce correct results, or whether it will be necessary to measure each vehicle individually. The former would be vastly quicker than the latter.

I should be interested in thoughts as to what is best to do about this. I think that we are probably inevitably going to have to re-scale all the road vehicles, which I am afraid will take rather a while.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 10:28:04 AM »
Originally this was because cars would have been too small to see clearly. I suggest some kind of logarithmic scaling such that cars stay as they are but buses a similar size to trams use the same scale as trams.

Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 11:42:33 AM »
Originally this was because cars would have been too small to see clearly. I suggest some kind of logarithmic scaling such that cars stay as they are but buses a similar size to trams use the same scale as trams.
I was just about to suggest something similar. Buses and trams are about the same size in real life so should look the same(ish) in simutrans. But equally we want to be able to see the smallest vehicles clearly too, and I'm worried that all this rescaling is just making things smaller and less detailed. It's a transport game after all and a lot of the fun is actually watching the vehicles and being able to tell what they are. The same should probably also be said for the early rail vehicles too which tend to be very small. I think some kind of non-linear scale for the smallest vehicles is probably the way forward.


PS the fact that the screenshot has to be zoomed in to see the detail on the tram adds to my unease about making vehicles smaller.


PPS some further thoughts. Heights should be more or less standardised as at present. Lengths are a bit trickier as I'm struggling to find any data for trams such as the Blackpool Balloon cars. This reminds me of why there are so many inconsistencies as I just had to guess for so many trams and road vehicles. What would be helpful is if we could get length data for as many vehicles as we can at present and see how this compares to their simutrans length. For a few of these at each different length we could agree on what looks good and set reference points e.g. length=4 corresponds to X metres, length=6 to Y metres and length=8 should be 15m as at present. X and Y would be larger than 7.5m and 11.25m respectively if we have a non-linear scale. But we would systematically ensure (and redraw where necessary) that all length=5 vehicles were larger in real life and on screen than length=4 and smaller than length=6. James Petts, you seem to have far more data available than I ever find using google so perhaps you could provide some reference points for typical vehicles of different lengths (real life values)?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 11:59:05 AM by The Hood »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 12:03:20 PM »
I am rather concerned at the suggestion of abandoning the standards agreed after a lengthy discussion as long ago as January 2014 and summarised thus in this post:

Quote
I think that we have found a workable compromise as follows:

(1) all road, tram, rail, narrow gauge, maglev, monorail (if any) vehicles are scaled by reference to the BR Mk. I carriages, and should be 1.25x as high as long and wide, save for some modern trams (it would help to have a definitive list) which should be slightly shorter to enable them to fit into a single tile per tram car;
(2) all water vehicles are scaled by reference to the BR Mk. I carriages save for those longer than 15m, which are scaled on the basis that length additional to 15m is scaled using a square root formula the details of which I now forget (it should be buried in a thread somewhere);
(3) (I assume that aircraft do not need to be further rescaled - Giuseppe has been using his own internally consistent scale for those); and
(4) buildings are to retain their existing scale, save for some which are too large compared to the others.

This is especially concerning given the very great amount of work that I have already put into re-scaling early rail vehicles on the basis of what was already agreed (and how much better that they look thus rescaled).
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Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 12:46:04 PM »

I understand you've put a lot of effort in to create a consistent look and I certainly wouldn't want that to go to waste, but this just highlights why it's so important to get something that looks and feels right in the game. Take the Austin 7 van for example:





It's about 3m long which on a linear scale of 30m per tile works out at length=1.5. Currently in the game it's length=3.


Here's how it currently looks in game:






Here's a quick render of what that might look like on the linear scale compared with the current size:



I don't know about you but to me this is a clear example of where applying a linear scale strictly means the visual appearance of the game suffers a lot. It's so small you can barely see it. The point of pak128 scale is extra detail compared to 64 scale and we have huge wide roads with a few pixels moving across if we are not careful. The smallest vehicles need to be relatively larger to keep the game visually pleasing. We could go even smaller of course with horses and sheep droves too...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 01:56:48 PM »
If there is to be a logarithmic scale for small road vehicles, this would really need not to apply to rail vehicles (as this work has already been done, and they are not excessively small), and it would need to be on the basis of a consistent mathematical formula, as in water vehicles. However, there is now the concern that any scaling system chosen will be upturned again in a year or two given the apparent readiness to depart from something that appeared to be final.
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Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 02:13:07 PM »
If there is to be a logarithmic scale for small road vehicles, this would really need not to apply to rail vehicles (as this work has already been done, and they are not excessively small)
I would hope not given the work you have put in. Nevertheless it would ease my worries about it if you could provide a few screenshots of what the smallest vehicles currently look like in their rescaled form. I haven't had much time for simutrans so am completely out of the loop and my files are very out of date compared to your latest updates. If you have a compiled version to hand it would be great if you could just upload some sample screenshots at 1:1 zoom so I can get a feel for the size of them.

Quote
However, there is now the concern that any scaling system chosen will be upturned again in a year or two given the apparent readiness to depart from something that appeared to be final.
The problem with any decision is that in the future further problems may be discovered which have knock-on effects. With the focus at the time on rail vehicles we didn't really worry about the smallest road vehicles and maybe we should have done, but we didn't. Do you agree that the smallest road vehicles would be unduly small or is this just not a problem in your eyes?


PS1 while I agree that consistent scaling is to be desired, rescaling existing objects isn't high up my list of fun things to do hence my relative lack of interest in it! I'd much rather get a more complete pakset and balance it...


PS2 I'm quite interested in what Sarlock is doing with his pak64-scale set - the biggest scaling inconsistency in my opinion is length v width of roads and track separation on rails (which is far more glaring than a few extra pixels on vehicles here or there in different time eras) - if we could have our pak128.Britain objects on pak64 tiles that would be interesting, especially if we could combine it with more flexible citybuilding sizes and double width roads...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 04:06:19 PM »
The very smallest vehicles will be wagons, and I have yet to rescale those, but the Liverpool & Manchester "Planet" with a train of contemporary carriages looks like this in normal zoom:



and this zoomed in all the way:



I always like to zoom in all the way if I want to see the details of the vehicles, but they look perfectly reasonable even at the standard zoom.

As to the van, whilst it is hard to judge without seeing it in the game, it looks like a perfectly reasonable size to me for a graphic representing a very small van. I always did prefer the look of the more accurately scaled vehicles where possible, as the appearance of being accurately proportioned is, in the context of the game, more important than how any given vehicle looks out of context (and out of context, they will always look better at ever increasing resolutions, orders of magnitude beyond what Simutrans could ever support).

As to Sarlock's workings, these are indeed very interesting, but I can only imagine very great difficulties in trying to apply this retrospectively to Pak128.Britain.

Edit: We are probably also going to have to re-scale pedestrians.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 05:08:36 PM »
Having cars looking very small next to buildings isn't going to help either. Car parks will end up looking crazy as you've pointed out. Hence cars should be more or less a similar scale to buildings, and large buses/trams should be a similar scale to trains, which are similar scale to small boats and planes.

The scale I used was half that of trains. The Super Loch class is 55m long roughly, and fills most of a 128x128 tile. As The Hood has stated, boats like the Island Class cannot get much smaller being only a few pixels as they are. Having the render size proportional to the square root of the length, with 15m the scale of trains would give a maximum length of 250m or so for 224x224 images. This would be large enough for the biggest cross channel ferry (and medium sized cargo vessels) while keeping vessels down to 5m a reasonable size. sound ok?
Note that this was interpreted as the scale being:
for lengths less or equal to 15metres - 30metres/tile - one vehicle length step is 1.875 metres
for lengths greater than 15 metres - 30*sqrt(length)/sqrt(15) metres/tile - one vehicle length step is 1.875*sqrt(length)/sqrt(15) metres

I had actually thought about having the logarithmic scale for less than 15m too but since people didn't seem to want that I just went along with the consensus. If that happened then you'd get following formula (n*0.4841)^2=x - or as a table:

Vehicle Length (m)Vehicle Length (units)
0.21
0.92
2.13
3.84
5.95
8.46
11.57
158
199
23.510
28.411
33.712
39.613
45.914
52.715
6016
24032

Given the number of rail vehicles currently of length over 8 I think it's impractical to alter the scale of these. Hence I'd suggest for road and rail vehicles then for lengths of less the 15m (8 units) the values in the table are used.

If a square root (i.e. x^0.5) formula gives results that look too wacky then a x^0.75 (for example) formula might be a possibility.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2015, 05:14:23 PM »
This would still involve a huge amount of re-scaling of rail vehicles, which I am very keen to avoid, as there are lots of early railway carriages and locomotives under 15m in length. Also, having rail vehicles of inconsistent widths is a real problem, as they will end up looking out of scale with the tracks (which is more of a problem for rail than road, as roads can be of greatly varying widths, whereas railway gauge is standardised precisely).
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2015, 05:33:13 PM »
Could just do it for road vehicles then, long as you don't then flag up inconsistency between road and rail...

Goes back to that there'll always be inconsistencies as that's how the whole engine was set up.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2015, 09:40:23 PM »
Inconsistencies between road and rail are less problematic than inconsistencies between different rail vehicles; but one problem does occur to me about having a non-linear scale for road vehicles: the trams all have a linear scale, so the relative size of road vehicles and trams would be inconsistent depending on the size of each, which may be problematic. Edit: Imagine a livestock drover and some cows looking like giants next to a small tram, for instance.

Are we really sure that the myriad problems caused by having road vehicles scaled logarithmically are not worse than the very tiniest of road vehicles (the sort that could fit in my small bedroom, such as that van) looking a bit tiny in the game, but being in proportion with everything else?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 02:03:21 PM by jamespetts »
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Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2015, 03:56:02 PM »
I've had a bit of a play around and I must admit the maximum zoom setting is better than it used to be. I think had we been starting from scratch a scale such as Kieron is suggesting would have been best all round, but we aren't. I think the way forward is to stick to a linear scale and just adjust existing vehicles as and when. Trams are all done (though I noticed an offset problem with the Starbuck single deck tram) from last year. AFAIK its the earliest trains that are problematic and modern ones are OK. Jamespetts, let me know if any are ready to update already. Trucks and buses are all over the shop.


Longer term I intend to play with a pak64 type scale. I'd be more inclined to do that if the code handled upgrading of buildings of any size and also if there was a better model for factory graphics (modular). But it's a long-term project...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2015, 11:26:27 PM »
This seems to be a way forward. I think that a linear scale really does look better than a non-linear scale (and we only need that for the boats and aircraft because they would not fit on the tiles otherwise).

However, this brings us to the logistics. Although the road vehicles looking out of scale with the rail vehicles and trams is bad, road vehicles being out of scale with each other will be much worse, so this re-scaling will have to be done all at the same time, including pedestrians and parked cars in buildings of all types. I could do some road vehicle re-scaling over the Christmas holidays (I will not have access to my main computer, so will only be able to work on graphics rather than coding). Perhaps we could divide the labour between us; I could do passenger carrying vehicles, horses and pedestrians and you could do private cars and goods vehicles (including the livestock drover and mail vehicles of all sorts) and vehicles incorporated into buildings? If so, I should be inclined to take the opportunity to add further 'buses and additional liveries for existing 'buses.

As to early rail vehicles (i.e. those before about 1910), we have the same issue: some have been corrected and some have not, which makes the ones that have not look even worse. The Midland railway carriages in particular are way too big and the LBSCR tender locomotives of the late 19th century are too small to give the two worst examples. Having down-scaled the LNWR carriages and locomotives to the correct scale, this just emphasises the incorrectness of the others. This will no longer be a problem once the others are rescaled correctly as I am hoping to do over Christmas (albeit it will have to wait until after I get back to my house to finalise the graphics and, where relevant, update the .dat files). The updated re-scaled rail vehicles can be found in the Experimental repository, however.

In relation to a 64 pixel scale, the one important point to note for this is that it needs the code (both in Standard and Experimental) to support multi-tile city buildings (which neither do yet), or else we are no further forward with the ratio of roads to buildings. Indeed, with multi-tile city buildings, we can keep the 128 pixel scale and just make the buildings bigger (which would be easier than making the vehicles and ways smaller).
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Offline Vladki

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2015, 01:42:13 AM »
If I understood the pak64 scale project right, it is that vehicles and tracks are in pak128 scale, but on pak64 tiles. So no rescaling of objects is needed prehaps just platforms and split in multiple tiles.

Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2015, 10:24:30 AM »
If I understood the pak64 scale project right, it is that vehicles and tracks are in pak128 scale, but on pak64 tiles. So no rescaling of objects is needed prehaps just platforms and split in multiple tiles.
That's the idea - to reduce spacing between tracks whilst keeping vehicles the same size. The road vehicle scaling is a separate issue.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2015, 10:30:59 AM »
Sarlock's project also requires multi-tile city buildings, though, although I see the point about not requiring vehicles being rescaled.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2015, 07:11:38 PM »
Any thoughts on this earlier suggestion:

Quote
I could do some road vehicle re-scaling over the Christmas holidays (I will not have access to my main computer, so will only be able to work on graphics rather than coding). Perhaps we could divide the labour between us; I could do passenger carrying vehicles, horses and pedestrians and you could do private cars and goods vehicles (including the livestock drover and mail vehicles of all sorts) and vehicles incorporated into buildings? If so, I should be inclined to take the opportunity to add further 'buses and additional liveries for existing 'buses.

I should note that I omitted to make reference to trolleybuses and traction engines: may I suggest that I deal with the former and you the latter? If this is to be done, it should really be done largely at the same time to avoid there being a significant time when there are inconsistently sized graphics for road vehicles.

Merry Christmas, incidentally!
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Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2015, 03:03:36 PM »
Just do what you can. I'm away and won't be doing any drawing! Merry Christmas 🎄

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2015, 12:09:45 PM »
Just do what you can. I'm away and won't be doing any drawing! Merry Christmas 🎄

I do not have access to the .blends from which the various building graphics incorporating parked cars are made, so I cannot rescale all the road vehicles. I have been focussing on making the scale of rail vehicles consistent with one another, which is quite a bit of work in itself, so will continue with that and will probably deal with the road vehicles another year.

Happy new year to you (I think that I am a little late to reciprocate the merry Christmas greeting)!
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Offline The Hood

Re: Scale of road vehicles
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2015, 12:46:58 PM »
Sounds like a plan. Best to stick to one job at a time. Let me know when you're done and which images I need to copy.