Who is Using "Blender".3D models for m/b & s/s

General questions and suggestions about Motorboat Simulator

Who is Using "Blender".3D models for m/b & s/s

Postby Barry » Wed 18 Feb 2004 - 22:21

Did ask a while ago but would be interested in reading any feedback on this thread, or on the forum, of what you have made with "Blender" that will import into the Stentec sims using the vrml2 file.

Any difficulties you find, or things you would like to make but the simulations or "Blender" don't that have that function enabled.
Can more be done with the motorboat sim than the sail sim as one is based on dx8 and the other on dx7 I think.

Getting a bit "solitary" on the forum at present and would be interested in reading posts from others.

From my point of view have made quite a few models now, and there doesn't appear to be any limit to the types of models that can be made, but limitations on the functions of the models.

Example - see through tinted windows don't appear to work with a texture but works with just a material colour, and then not if attached and needs to be kept seperate.

Invisible background with a texture as solid on a plane works OK in Blender but not in the sim, etc. If this worked intricate rigging, etc could be created from just a photograph. Trees and vegetation could then easily be made by interlacing a few of the planes (flat surfaces). Also city or town backdrops could be made for distant views, etc.

No animation appears to possible at present but the propellors rotate on the Stentec boats, but details all seems to locked into the file. I know animation is mentioned for future versions of the Scenery Designer Toolkit but.....

What models have been made. How intricate. Level of detail etc.

Just all and everything relating to using Blender for the Stentec sail and motorboat sim. Incidentally there doesn't seem to be any feedback at all on the Scenery Designer Toolkit forum at present so will stick to the motorboat forum.

For me the 3D modeling side seems to be an essential part of the sim, as have no interest in online racing but I am interested in "realism" effects in sailing simulator or rather motorboat simulator in this case, modelling ones own local coastal area or locality, etc.

Barry
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Postby Barry » Thu 19 Feb 2004 - 20:42

If you are reg. member of the Sail or Motorboat forum and are interested in 3D modelling with Blender, but not sure how to start, or have started and got stuck, if you get in touch I may be able to help.

Must add I don't know a great deal myself, but probably enough to get you started in making most types of static objects, and perhaps some floating ships.

Just trying to expand the use of the sail and motorboat sim as it appears to have much potential. Hopefully more functions from Stentec will also make it much improved shortly. (fingers crossd)

Especially would like to be able to adjust terrain. directly with the mouse, as in other route editors, after the dem data has created the map. As it stands you appear to have to go back to the basic dem map or greyscale to make any alterations.

Barry

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Postby Remco Moedt » Fri 20 Feb 2004 - 18:39

I've played a bit with the scenery designer, and I'm quite comfortable with 3DStudio Max. However, the problem with SS and MB sim is that all the scenery design is pure cosmetic, there is no way to include some sort of gameplay.

Once it's possible to add lights, moving locks/bridges, travelling vessels, radio communication (VHF), doing navigational things, use radar, only then it becomes interresting for me to create sceneries. Until then I use SS to practice some theories, and I enjoy the screenshots of your 3D models....


Cheers!


Remco
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Postby Barry » Fri 20 Feb 2004 - 20:50

Remco it took me ages to try and understand gmax. Probably about a year on and off as gave up on it. Been posting on the Auran Trainz Forum for about 2 years. Made mainly dockside items and drivable boats on fixed track with gmax for Trainz.

Blender seems an easier option for me.
We will get there eventually but it all seems very slow at present.
Very limiting driving one boat at a time through empty landscapes and
not another ship in sight.
Have to keep making a few 3D models just to
keep myself interested at present.

Added another page to website.
Long canal tunnel through high hill model.

Barry
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Postby Barry » Wed 25 Feb 2004 - 01:17

Well I know of 3 people so far using Blender including myself.
Must admit a bit mystified with this forum at present.

Blender is a free program, being constantly updated, just over 2 meg download, make anyything you want for the sail or m/b sims. Anything for the dockside and quays can be made. All types of coastal items can be made, bridges, houses, people, farms, animals, inns, castles on the coastal hills like around the coast of North Wales. Definitely be making a castle sometime like the one at Conway overlooking the Estuary. Other 3D programs may work but as far as I know you need to save or convert to vrml2 file to start it off, which Blender does with a script file.

Ships can be made to any level of detail, as required, any type of ship or boat including racing types could be made. You can work directly over a plan for measurements if you import it into Blender. The only thing I am not sure on is transparent portholes and windows but have made them for the passenger steamer and got them t work by not attaching them. Whether the boats or ships you make will float is another matter.

Again just experimented with a texture on a black background again.
Black background is made invisible and the texture remains of trees, rigging, city skylines or whatever. Again won't work in the sail sim as it becomes a picture on a black surface sheet but works perfect in Blender.
Sail sim is based on dx7 I think. Has anyone got it to work in m/b sim based on dx8 I think. This only needs a few clicks of the mouse in Blender to try it out.

I think without discussion on this forum I may be giving it a miss for a while. Perhaps it is just me more interested in a prototypical sailing simulator which includes docks and coastal buildings to give an impression of real life. The interaction of the boats with the water is fine and the performace of the boats and ships seems realistic, but only using sail sim as stil waiting for retail CD 1.2 m/b sim.

Perhaps when animation becomes enables and Artificial Intelligence for moving boats becomes a feature things may pick up, but its just a case of using what is available for the present.

Again if I can help I will. Just email me, but make sure the header stands out amongst the spam. Mention Stentec sailsim or Stentec m/b sim, etc in header. I seem to be getting swamped in a flotsam of spam these days.

Barry
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Postby Aal » Wed 25 Feb 2004 - 09:21

Hi Barry (and somebody else reading this?)
I do agree. I myself put the whole sail simulator on ice. I might even close my web site since it is only costing me money. There is little activity on the online sailing (I don't check often) and almost no activity on the design front.
STENTEC READ THIS! The community that is keeping your product alive is dying........... Look at other products where the community makes the product a success. You'll have to invest or stop the whole thing.You'll have to think long term. The way it is going now this product is dead in about a year so make up your mind. Do you want this to be a success; then invest and get earning back in years to come. If not; drop it now. Your base of unsatisfied customers is getting larger by the day. Your work will not be any fun working (well......) on a dying product. And go for something you like doing and make money out.
If you want the sailsimulator community to flourish through them some goodies from time to time, improve your product and release every 2 months. Providing a server for sceneries etc would also be positive since it costs people money to have them on the net. The expect something in return
/Alex
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Postby texino » Thu 26 Feb 2004 - 10:16

Alex

You make good points as always and I know that many others have enjoyed your sceneries. I hope that Stentec will listen and simply follow through on the promises they have made.

It is unfortunate that their business model seems to be "Make money from whatever commision comes in this week." It would seem that they went full force into the sim business when power grid design took a dive a few years back. Now that there is some call for wind power speculation again, I suppose that sailing games seem unimportant. I would still maintain that the computer gaming dollar is constant in both today's and tomorrow's market while wind power generation has inherent troubles in that it must be sold when the wind blows while other technologies must ramp their power grids up and down to make a place for it, and that costs someone money.

We will see one day soon.

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Postby Barry » Thu 26 Feb 2004 - 20:42

Just like to add I received a reply today from Stentec, regarding my queries. This was not just a general reply regarding possible future developments, but specific detailed answers to specific questions, regarding development of different aspects of the m/b and sail sim, etc.

The situation does look brighter, and feel more confident myself now, that there will be enough in the simulations to keep my interest in the short term and certainly in the longer term.

Leave it at that for now.

Barry

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Postby Barry » Sun 29 Feb 2004 - 21:07

There must be quite a few who perhaps read the forum but havn't posted yet, so perhaps if anyone out there is using Blender to make 3D models for the sailsims please mention.

The more people that are using Blender the more the sims can be enhanced. Although static and floating at present there is still a huge amount of different coastal and dockside 3D models that can be made.

As more functions become enabled in the sims, perhaps the field of animation, etc can then be brought in, and other types of models can be made to take advantage of any new functions as they become available.

Anyway I still would like to know what 3D models have been made as need some ideas myself. Most of the 3D models I have made have been for the era I am interested in that is pre-car and I may use them myself in my own routes at a future date.

But any era can be modelled for. Houses, country houses, shops, in the coastal towns, farms, villages, castles, inns, bridges of all types, etc. For docks you could have the larger cranes for the later era, any variety of warehouses, etc, docks and locks and dock gates, crates, bales, barrels, etc stored on the docksides, and quays. A variety of small people can be made providing the poly count is not too high. Must try and make myself some horses as the carthorses used to pull the narrow-boats.

Planes currently seaplanes, and flying boats can be modelled, hovercraft, etc. All these can be made to float. Airships could be made.
Ships of any type can be made to any level of details, lifeboats, coasters, ferries, cargo boats, naval craft, historical craft such as galleons, etc, etc.

All these items all help to make a prototypical route as although a sail and motorboat sim, for prototypical scenes this does not mean that the coastal side needs to be just barren and empty. As far as I can make out the addition of 3D models does not have a huge effect on frame rates and my graphics card is only a TNT2 at present, until I get a new computer shortly.

Anyway of course these are just my views and the way I hope I will be using the motorboat simulator. Coastal routes with docks and ports, Estuaries and rivers and perhaps also canals, coastal buildings and vegetation, also trees, etc eventually, hopefully.

The racing side, and navigation side are also additional and seperate but navigation and manoevering can be included in a busy dock scene later I hope.

Barry
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Postby texino » Mon 01 Mar 2004 - 19:20

Barry, your ideas are sound and your models are good. I enjoy being able to post them for download and always manage to do it as soon as I receive them from you. I say the last because I notice that "The Organization" has managed not to post the KNRM boat as promised, stated, hinted, indicated, alluded to, mentioned in passing or whatever you want to call in February 2004. We know that they have the boat and that the boat is actually just some code that isn't that much different that what I post for you. So why not just put the thing up to give us something to play with and then work with you and Alex and the other designers to make this a great simulation. It could happen. Stentec has some sort of connection with Auran and they could certainly see the stuff you did in that community. Believe it or not, Stentec used to actually speak with me regarding matters of development. Then they decided that my sense of humor was too immature. Well immature or not, I am going to keep pushing because I refuse to see all the work of Stentec and the supporters in this forum go to waste. Heck, I might even pay them a personal call, if someone wants to tell me where this Heeg place is. I have been trying to figure out if I share any common language, as it would be a shame to travel to wherever these "Netherlands" are and not be able to talk to anyone. I have been to one or two internet sites but they are all in some sort of code where they put some regular word up and then surround it with Ks and Es. Oh well, one of these days. For now, let's just keep in high spirits and keep working together.
Good Luck and welcome to March,
Texino
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Postby Barry » Mon 01 Mar 2004 - 20:58

Thanks Texino.

Must get busy trying to make some more 3D models as the variety that can be made is endless.

I think things at Stentec are progressing slowly in the right direction.

Barry

:)

To all

Please refer to my site for updates and a link to Texino's site for downloads. Getting a bit lonely without others making 3D models, etc. Must get boring reading mainly just my posts at times, so hopefully we will get more people posting to make an interesting forum.
Last edited by Barry on Sun 07 Mar 2004 - 01:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Barry » Wed 03 Mar 2004 - 22:47

Edited - Will leave th Blender queries until another day when forum more active.

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