Author Topic: Size of early steam locomotives  (Read 7015 times)

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Offline jamespetts

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Size of early steam locomotives
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:45:09 AM »
I have been doing some work to add early (pre-1890) LBSCR steam locomotives in the past few days, and have noticed that a large number of the older steam locomotives (of about that era) appear to be considerably too large. Calibrating the length of various locomotives already in the pakset, such as the LBSCR A1 "Terrier" and B1 "Gladstone" using a 15 meter ruler object exported as a .dae file then re-imported into the relevant .blends (the ruler itself having been calibrated using the length of a BR Mk. I underframe .blend, one of the earliest vehicles in the pakset, I believe) and scaling that ruler to the given wheelbase of the locomotives or their overall length (whichever datum is available), I found that they are considerably too large, and needed to be reduced to, on average, 0.8 of their current size in the y and z dimensions. For reference, that scale system with the ruler is what I have used to get the correct size for most of my recent carriages (for about the last two years or so).

Having conducted this exercise on the various early LBSCR locomotives (not all were affected: the E1 class appeared to be correct), they now seem too small in comparison with non-LBSCR locomotives of the era, or rather, those other locomotives seem too large. Have a look at the following screenshot: locomotives that I have re-scaled or added in this latest exercise are ringed in red, and locomotives that seem to be clearly too large are ringed in purple (although there might be other locomotives that are too large but less obviously so):



To get an idea of how large that the locomotives ought to be in relation to each other, here is a photograph of a Terrier class next to the much larger LNER A4 class (the angle is unfortunate, but I could not find a better example):


Waddon at Exporail (LBSCR Terrier) by ejh239, on Flickr

Here is the equivalent in game, firstly with the old version of the Terrier before being re-scaled, and then with the new version after being reduced to about 0.8 of its previous size in the y and z dimensions:

Old


New


The effect is even more pronounced when a less tiny (but still small) tank locomotive, the MR 2441 class (very similar dimensions to the LMS 3F class which was one of the earlier locomotives in the pakset) looks considerably too large in comparison to the A4:



It will take quite a while to re-scale all locomotives, and wheelbase/length information is hard to come by for earlier locomotives, even by consulting Ahrons' seminal work, but it seems as though this exercise will have to be performed to avoid visual anomalies of the sort that we try assiduously to avoid in this pakset.

I should be grateful for views, however, both from the Standard maintainers and users as to how best to deal with this both generally and specifically in the Experimental pakset over which I have responsibility. I should prefer to keep the solution to this issue synchronised with Standard as far as is reasonably practicable.
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Offline sdog

Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 02:33:07 AM »
I don't think locomotives of different periods need to be properly scaled against each other. Scaling within a period might be more important. But the consequence of the vast size reduction is quite a loss of detail. I assumed previously the locomotives were just normalised. Given the symbolic nature of the vehicles in simutrans, ie being on a different scale than the world, i think such a normalising is appropriate.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 10:35:42 AM »
I don't think locomotives of different periods need to be properly scaled against each other. Scaling within a period might be more important. But the consequence of the vast size reduction is quite a loss of detail. I assumed previously the locomotives were just normalised. Given the symbolic nature of the vehicles in simutrans, ie being on a different scale than the world, i think such a normalising is appropriate.

From discussions that have been had previously with Kieron concerning the scale of ships (which are normalised according to a specific mathematical formula), the principle was, as I understood it, anything less than 15 meters long was to be in the same scale.

The problem with some sort of normalisation for rail vehicles is that different rail vehicles often have to be in a train with each other, and it would look very silly if the locomotive was out of scale with the carriages. It is significant that, especially in the 1860s-1950s, railway vehicles were often kept for many, many decades (locomotives from the 1860s were still running in the 1960s in the most extreme case), and rail vehicles of different eras were often combined in the same train (those 1860s locomotives were certainly not pulling 1860s carriages in 1962). If there was to be some sort of normalisation, it would all have to be done on a precisely consistent scale (as with ships) to avoid things looking a long way off when different vehicles are compared to one another: certainly, this normalisation has not in fact been done, and, if it were done, would require re-scaling every vehicle in the pakset, not just old steam locomotives. The actual reason for the anomalies, I strongly suspect, is not a deliberate decision to normalise according to a specific, consistent formula (as with ships), but a lack of information at the time that the original graphics were made (against which later vehicles of a similar type have all been scaled) as to the actual size of early steam locomotives, which turn out to be much smaller in comparison to later steam locomotives than one might expect.

However, I think it preferable for the purpose of achieving a consistent look not to have some sort of normalised system as we do with ships (and the only reason to do it for ships is that, without that system, the largest ships would not fit even on the expanded 255x255px tile), but to have everything sized to the same scale, which I understand is what is intended in any event.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 03:19:54 PM »
Ships (and aeroplanes) both have orders of magnitude difference between large and small vehicles. Rail and road do not have the same issue so constant scale is preferred.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 07:42:20 PM »
Ships (and aeroplanes) both have orders of magnitude difference between large and small vehicles. Rail and road do not have the same issue so constant scale is preferred.

Yes, that is what I thought. Do you have any particular views on how best to tackle the existing anomalies?
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 08:58:04 PM »
Erm, just rescale ones not at right scale?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 09:04:33 PM »
How wide do you think that we should we cast the search? The wagons are looking rather large compared to these re-scaled locomotives, too...
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 10:03:19 PM »
All vehicles eventually...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 10:25:20 PM »
My giddy aunt. That'll take a while...

Edit: Any suggestions as to where to find wheelbase/length information for early locomotives if not in Ahrons or Wikipedia?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 12:55:48 AM by jamespetts »
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Offline Milko

Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 07:39:50 AM »
Hello Kierongreen

Ships (and aeroplanes) both have orders of magnitude difference between large and small vehicles. Rail and road do not have the same issue so constant scale is preferred.

Regarding aircraft, apart from the zeppelin that is an exception, all the planes pak are characterized by the same scaling factor, the factor is this: 128px = 46 meters.
In theory, the larger plane, the A380, may be contained in a tile of 256px.

Giuseppe

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 12:48:05 PM »
It seems to me sensible in the circumstances to leave aircraft alone, since the scale is at least internally consistent and well considered.
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Offline The Hood

Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 02:01:56 PM »
For railways - I had noticed this a long while back but I don't think it makes the game hugely different in gameplay terms, although of course if you stick the rocket next to an A4 it looks slightly odd. I would have thought there were greater priorities but the long term aim would presumably be redrawing everything to a correct scale. It's not a big deal though. Ships should be sorted, and I think road vehicles are OK too? Planes I have left all to Milko so as long as we know what his scale is and that he's implemented it consistently, no problems there either I wouldn't have thought. Maglevs are fictional but follow the same scale as railways. Narrowgauge again should be the same scale - I'm assuming jamespetts that you followed this as you normally are very precise about these sort of things!

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 04:48:03 PM »
Seems sensible.

For narrow gauge, I cannot remember now whether I used the scale from the mk. 1s or used the double Fairlie as the base, assuming it to be correctly scaled.
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Offline greenling

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Re: Size of early steam locomotives
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2013, 03:33:19 PM »
Hello All
I find that a resize of the early steam locomotives not a good idea it!
I must sometime zoom on a early steam locomotives that i can check what for a Engine have. :-[
There are i must wear a glasses.
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