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Offline Spenk009

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Further variations of current citybuildings
« on: April 13, 2020, 01:33:01 PM »
Hi all, inspired by KneeOn's work on creating a pakset, I was thinking about adding to the variety of buildings found in the cities. Many buildings could benefit from a simple addition of further colour variations and added details to produce a larger variety. I've added two examples of painted versions of the brick shops and terraced houses from 1885 as an example

The reasons against such an addition are that it might interfere with the dark and industrious look of the pakset, players have less of an overview of building expenses (even if currently demolition of buildings is cheap), and make shops even more difficult to spot than they already can be.

There's an issue with removing the snow effect, which seems to be embedded into the objects and rendered inaccessible by changes in Blender over the last decade.

Offline KneeOn

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2020, 03:12:20 PM »
They look absolutely brilliant IMO - excellent colour choices.


There is no denying that pak128.britain has some of the best design decisions and feel of any pakset. Indeed, it provided a lot of concepts and has been a really good guide on how to create a uniform pakset which gives space for changes to make our cities all look a lot more interesting. The only difference in this regard between my project and this one is GIMP lets me churn out a 4 orientation, 2 season building in as little as an hour and a further 20 minutes to make 4 variations. Of course this pak is a lot more polished than mine because of the hours put in by the team.


I see what you mean regarding the shops being a little bit difficult to spot - I think thats a problem with any British pak given how shops often formed part of a terrace.


I don't understand what you mean about building expenses - sorry I can't offer more help on that one.


Blender is totally beyond me i'm afraid!


Even considering the issues there is absolutely scope to include that variation I think. I don't think it has to 'break' the feel of the pak either, see the difference between the original few residential buildings and the recent update on them - I muted colours and now the yellow brick looks a lot more muted but unmistakable yellow brick. Colour choice is critical and you've made a very, very strong start. I'd absolutely encourage you to carry on exploring what options you've got with this!

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 11:16:14 AM »
These do look good. It would be interesting to see what these look like in a city.

As to the snow effects, these can be disabled; you just need to find the snow texture in the materials comprising the snowy surfaces and disable it before rendering the non-snow images.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 04:20:56 PM »
Even considering the issues there is absolutely scope to include that variation I think. I don't think it has to 'break' the feel of the pak either, see the difference between the original few residential buildings and the recent update on them - I muted colours and now the yellow brick looks a lot more muted but unmistakable yellow brick. Colour choice is critical and you've made a very, very strong start. I'd absolutely encourage you to carry on exploring what options you've got with this!
This is the key factor here. It needs to blend in quietly and add a little varietal eye-candy for the player.

As to the snow effects, these can be disabled; you just need to find the snow texture in the materials comprising the snowy surfaces and disable it before rendering the non-snow images.
Thank you for pointing me in the correct direction. I've found and disabled the snow effect.

But all is not with that. I removed the snow effect and placed the building in-game, where none of the colours match (see attached image). The single building image is a render of the unmodified building, straight from Blender. As a note, the red/unpainted terrace is the in-game colour of the single image.

This means I'll need to find a visual filter or colour scheme to achieve the same look. Would anyone remember how it was done back in the day (with an entirely different version of Blender)? There are a lot of inaccessble textures listed in the file, which I presume are the old files representing the textures used. Could these simply be missing images/tiles for building exteriors?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2020, 07:28:26 PM »
Thank you for looking into this. I do not have much experience with the buildings, so I do not know how this was done. I wonder whether a dark dirt texture overlay (just "clouds" with a dark grey or brown colour) was used to achieve the in-game look of these buildings?

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2020, 06:03:12 PM »
I've been barking up the wrong tree here. The colour presented is the tone underneath, rather than the original tile that James (I presume, The Hood) used, which fortunately have been preserved in ../textures/ . I've attached the render with a second, new one.


Offline Elemental

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 04:52:28 PM »
These look great!. Quite a few variations might be required though, as otherwise strange patters might emerge if multiple of these end up in a row.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 11:56:06 AM »
I've been barking up the wrong tree here. The colour presented is the tone underneath, rather than the original tile that James (I presume, The Hood) used, which fortunately have been preserved in ../textures/ . I've attached the render with a second, new one.



Excellent - that does look good!

Offline KneeOn

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2020, 03:54:19 PM »
I agree with all the feedback you've been given regarding how it looks - they're really fantastic!

The red brick colour is bang on. The painted ones are too, but that red brick colour sits nicely between being true to life without screwing up the general muted look that the set has. Excellent work!

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 01:15:42 PM »
Thank you for your messages, I'm glad people are interested in a more varied appearance of PakBritain. Also, my apologies for my absence this last month. I've been very busy fighting on many fronts these past weeks (Covid-related) and didn't want to post without some progress.

Here are some timber framed houses, a common sight in the 18th century. Mill Street in Warwick is the inspiration here, although I couldn't achieve the non-uniform look they have.

They require a little more detail, small placement fixes, changes in material to better reflect the look. Additionally, a few more variations in the non-driveway versions is the goal for these.

Next are some small terraced cottages:

They are still too bright and leave too little room for a pathway around the back. Adding some trees and maybe some rubbish might look more realistic.



Some further questions:
    • Is there a way of specifying a building to go on a corner? I thought the Building Rules section in cityrules.tab pointed to something along the lines, but it doesn't quite look like it after all.
    • I have trouble with materials, where I would like to change the roof on some of the buildings to slate, but cannot seem to get the material working. A Blend file is here, where the scene in question is 1910-sdc2. The buildings are small cottages as attached below.
    • You will see in the Blend file, that I am adding extensions and similar features in combination with later introduction dates to simulate people upgrading their homes over time, departing from the identical look the original terrace had. As such, the names for the scenes are categorized/named into years and I've named/set these too early on for this small building type.When would it have been common to extend the attic or add a room into the garden? My thought was sometime in the 60s/70s, but what do you think?
    • Would these cottages have an outhouse back in the 19th century?
    • Does anyone know how to set a keyboard schortcut to cycle through scenes in Blender? I've found that one can reduce the size of the files by packing the versions into separate scenes. I've tried to google the issue, but have not had any success.

Offline KneeOn

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 01:41:05 PM »
Excellent work, I agree that the cottages might be a touch bright for Pak128.Britain - colour balancing is a real pain sometimes but none the less those look excellent and your work is really helping more interesting and in-style cities!


I can't help with Blender because I use GIMP exclusively.


However dims=1,1,8 in your dat file with 8 views specified according to this: https://simutrans-germany.com/wiki/wiki/en_BackImage#Dims_for_Res_Com_and_Ind will mean any building on a corner will display the corner building image.

I hope you're COVID-related issues are looking better and solved.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 09:33:53 AM »
Thank you KneeOn for the link (and condolences)! This certainly solves Q1. As to the colours, one of the timber framed buildings seems to have a texture added that makes the building less bright, specifically the one on left image in the front center.

I prefer the Blender method. because I can modify an object and find the change in all rotations. Creating a winter version is as simple as creating a new linked scene, unlinking each object affected by snow, changing the (previously singled out) surfaces' materials and renaming the resulting file output. GIMP is the traditional way of creating graphics and it is obvious why it was so (especially evident in the pace your pakset is coming together so nicely).

Offline KneeOn

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2020, 11:47:26 AM »
I'm not a 3D artist unfortunately!


I see what you mean about the colour differences.


I'm not sure if the lightest parts just need a touch of dulling? When doing my snow parts, I wanted to keep some roof definition (another aspect I learned about from this pakset!) so it didn't appear entirely white but I found pure white (FFFFFF) was just a touch too bright. By dulling it ever so slightly it just appeared a little bit less garish. The same when I re-painted the red and brown brick terraced buildings. I'm not sure how filters on Blender (or Blender in general!) work - would it be possible to just colour everything in the hex value you want then use a filter to make it match the slightly dull theme?


Oh on Q4 - the outhouse. I know houses in the 70's in Lincolnshire had an outhouse but I don't know what types.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2020, 09:26:29 PM »
Here are some images of the revised buildings:





After discovering the new regions feature, I feel like the single story cottages would initially be ok in all regions. Later examples and modifications should be confined to Erin and Cambria (and possibly Caledonia). The timber framed buildings may be happier in the Southern Regions, or do people feel differently about them?

I'm not sure how filters on Blender (or Blender in general!) work - would it be possible to just colour everything in the hex value you want then use a filter to make it match the slightly dull theme?
This is what the textures are for, as they can either do this or apply/tile an image onto a surface. You can find them in the tab next to the Materials'. Sometimes you will need to locate the textures in order for Blender to be able to use them for rendering.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2020, 05:43:44 PM »
Hi all, Merry Christmas!

It's been a busy year, but I've squeezed in a little pakset work over the last days.


These darker red brick commercial buildings are part of a set that aims to replicate the Irish high streets of the early 19th century. The inspiration is drawn from Washington Street, originally titled Great George's Street, where a series of brick buildings line the Eastern approach to the centre of the city. Planned are painted and 3 story, along with some more corner buildings.

I have added other buildings of the era and a few vehicles can be seen, to aid with scaling as it seems off. Compared to the buildings, the stories are too low but compared to the vehicles and pedestrians, they are a slight bit too large. Can anyone give a quick opinion on this?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2020, 06:30:56 PM »
Excellent work!

The buildings are not quite to the same scale as the vehicles and pedestrians, I think, so it is better to make these consistent with the other buildings than with the vehicles and pedestrians.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2020, 07:38:37 PM »
Hi all, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Quote
I have added other buildings of the era and a few vehicles can be seen, to aid with scaling as it seems off. Compared to the buildings, the stories are too low but compared to the vehicles and pedestrians, they are a slight bit too large. Can anyone give a quick opinion on this?

A while ago I made a guide to using the MeasureIt! extension to generate the correct scale for this pak's buildings.

The guide assumes that you are still using Blender 2.79 like the rest of us. (If you've got 2.8x working we'd like to know how you've done it!  ;D)

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2020, 08:42:05 PM »
Thank you! As we're confined to 2.79b for now, I've looked into the MeasureIt extension, but get some weird results with normal pedestrians measuring in at around 4 metres!

I've removed a floor and the result is a lot more appealing:


There will be a few painted versions and another one or two corner pieces arriving shortly.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2020, 09:21:41 PM »
Interesting - these look good! Do let me know when they are ready for testing.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2021, 05:24:57 PM »

I had intended for these to also find a place in Britannia, in terms of the regions scheme. They could go to either Northumbria (Northern England including Edinburgh) or Albion (England). For Northumbria, I was thinking of York, Middlesborough, maybe Carlisle. But Newcastle and most cities further North are made of whiter stone/yellow bricks (fire clay). For Albion, these buildings hope to represent less fortunate, but still crowded areas. Maybe these could be found in city centres at the turn of the steam revolution, but are phased out by newer / painted buildings over time (not in Erin for a while, due to the population and economic fluctuations).

There is a branch incorporating the additions to be found here: https://github.com/Spenk009/simutrans-pak128.britain/tree/older-buildings

One thing is that for most smaller towns, these are too massive. So there is a need for detached shops and possibly further variations of the very nice existing ones. In terms of regions, would the name Northumbria be better suited than Northumberland?




These terraced cottages are also in there along with the aforementioned timber framed buildings. I'm having trouble finding examples of timber framed housing elsewhere than Albion and Northumberland, so these are limited to those regions. As to the cottages, after the 1950s, they only continue being built (or rather extended) in Cambria and Erin (holiday homes and poorer regions of Britannia). All three types in a PR are here
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 06:23:22 PM by Spenk009 »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2021, 09:16:07 PM »
Excellent, thank you. Now incorporated.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2021, 08:32:09 PM »
Somewhere in the planned industries are distilleries for whisky and whiskey. I started on one that was intended as a small business like the Kilbeggan Distillery, but ended up a lot closer to the Jameson Distillery.


Either the water wheel needs to go or the industry will end up as 5x2 tiles. The stone texture of the outer walls is not showing and I can't get Tilecutter to cut the image, build the pak or save the project (lack of dependencies I assume).

The whisky and whiskey industries will be confined to Erin and Caledonia. Coal, planks and grain already exist as supply along with pubs as consumers, but off-licenses and wholesale buyers/centers will be needed to integrate it better (along with benefitting the breweries). I'd argue for peat as inputs as well, but only if the option exists to operate the distillery on coal alone.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2021, 08:38:53 PM »
This looks very interesting! Best wishes in getting this working - I shall look forward to being able to include it.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2021, 12:50:37 PM »
Thank you all for the support, I've finally found some time to add the intended Kilbeggan distillery, along with a peat farm:


Note: The distillery is a city industry, here it's placed to show the visuals.

Some questions remain:
  • Is whiskey/whisky a class I good? I was not able to find spirits in the listing in goods-128.dat
  • One barrel weights 230kg (source). Should 4 be combined to one unit of 920kg? Beer and cider are 800kg & 780kg respectively. What about smaller quantities? I highly doubt a publican will order 1000 litres of whiskey in one go.

There is the question of balancing output. A typically large brewery would output 200,000 gallons per year, which averages to around 3 barrels a day (1880s top is 200,000 p.a., so 550 daily, in 6.4hrs it is 146 gallons. 48gal/barrel = 3 barrels/simday). If the good is 4 barrels, a smaller distillery will only output one good every 1.3 months, which seems a little low.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2021, 11:41:53 AM »
This looks excellent, thank you. My apologies for the delay in replying: I have been without proper internet at home for some time until yesterday.

As to balancing, I would definitely suggest having whiskey in much smaller units than beer. You may need to research further whether whiskey was shipped in significant quantities in barrels, or whether it was always supplied in bottles. Certainly, end consumers of whiskey, public houses, would have had it in bottles rather than barrels, unlike with beer, where barrels with taps were the norm. If this is correct, then whiskey should be classified as piece goods and shipped in crates.

Whiskey would be much more valuable than beer, so I would suggest a classification of III or even IV. As such a valuable cargo, it is important to ensure that end consumers' consumption is realistically limited so as not to allow players to make profits well in excess of what would have been possible in reality with such a cargo.

Having a high value, low quantity cargo will certainly add something interesting to the gameplay. Thank you for this.

Offline zook2

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2021, 09:59:37 AM »
Excellent work indeed! Are they in the pakset already?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Further variations of current citybuildings
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2021, 11:38:57 AM »
Excellent work indeed! Are they in the pakset already?

Not yet - I do not believe that the sources have been made available yet, and the above discussion on calibration is not complete, suggesting that some calibration work is needed before these are incorporated.