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Author Topic: Further variations of current citybuildings  (Read 945 times)

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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.