What WE can make for the Motorboat Simulator!?

General questions and suggestions about Motorboat Simulator

What WE can make for the Motorboat Simulator!?

Postby Barry » Sat 24 Jan 2004 - 23:59

Both a question and a statement.

Bit disappointed that there is so little discussion and feedback on the forum. the way I see things is that a lot can be done to create a great deal of realism in the simulation. This is especially necessay for those that may have little or no interest in on-line racing and prefer the opportunities that a realistic sail simulator could offer.

We know it eventually may be used for gaining a motorboat license and that you may be able to practise techniques virtually, for real life motor-boating within the limitations of the simulation. Also it can be used to create virtual real life approximations for practicing navigation.

However interesting these may be the actual use of the sail simulator to approximate the real life conditions and coastal landscapes seem very sparse at present, and limits the interest in the simulation possibly for many people.

Hopefully.... the most important is a busy ship and boat scene, with boats coming and going as they do in real life. We can only hope that this will come about soon as this side of things is vitally imporatant to any real real life simulation, and for my continuing interest in the simulation. It will do for now........but.

Routes need scenery as my interest in driving or sailing on also empty barren routes with just land and sea, without houses, and normal coastal scenes is about nil.

So back to the title. Much can be done with apparently, not too much effect on the frame rates with the numerous types of 3D models that can be made. These can bring a bit more realism into the coastal scenes.
My abilities at present are a bit limited in 3D creation, so would welcome hearing from people, on an ongoing basis, who are using "Blender".

What are they making that could be used for the Motorboat Simulator. How are they making it. I want some trees and not sure how to go about it? Propellors rotate in the simulation but no animation yet apparently on your own models will appear in the sim. You can make most things move in "Blender" but that is as far as it goes as any made models are apparently static as far as I know in the simulation. I did find out how to make see through tinted windows/portholes eventually but they appear to have to be seperate and not joined to the model. Took me weeks to find even that simple fact out.

Looking at a side wheel paddle steamer at present and thinking about trying to make one. But no animation so static paddles. No animation so back to the solitary drivable boat in a scene. or the static floating boats in buoy format. Is it worth bothering to make more items the way the simulation stands at present. Animation MAY come into it eventually, moving boats MAY come into it eventually.

As I say bit disappointed at present, so positive discussion re 3D model making welcome (that can be used in the motorboat simulator), at least that would keep my interest going for a bit, and especially any positive feedback from Stentec would be welcome, but not too interested in what may or might be in the simulation in the distant future.


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Postby Guest » Sun 25 Jan 2004 - 16:10


You are to be commended for trying to keep this forum alive but I fear that Stentec has assigned the lowest priorty to its sim customers. They have taken our money and left us to fend for ourselves.

I enjoy 3d modeling but it is only one of my activities. I have a choice of modeling for a poorly supported sim (Motor/Sail) or a well supported sim (Trainz). I choose to spend my modeling time on steam locomotives.

It would be nice to model real boats that I have owned or sailed but we don't have that capability and if we did, it would be boring due to the lack of AI boats.

To make a go of this sim we need a boat editor(motor and sail), a better scenery editor, and AI boats. The VRML2 file format may be a limiting factor but if Stentec ever provides us with these items, users like yourself will make the sim a success.

There has been much ado over the lateness of the rescue boat. IMHO the presence of this boat will do nothing to enhance the viability of the sim. It will be just another boat in the vast empty sea. The above items are the ones that will make or break our simming future.

Keep up your spirits,

John Forte
Melbourne, FL

Postby Barry » Sun 25 Jan 2004 - 17:48

Thanks John. I thinks thats the problem I have been about 2 years on the Trainz forum and 1600 or so posts. Trouble is made mainly routes and models, drivable boats and dockside and canal items, about 10 or 12 routes on Trainz DS but for UTC.
Waiting on a new computer and will probably go back to Trainz but not for ships as they don't fit quite right in the TRS structure at the moment, as needs the sail m/b sim for that, so maybe just trams, etc for me with Trainz.

So leaves us Stentec for the boats. It is the only sail/ m/b sim that I know of that apparently, has the structure in place for the realism, and I think models and boats can be made to any level of detail with Blender, which is open source and just over 2 megs download. As mentioned just found out after weeks how to make a tinted see-thru window/porthole with Blender. Don't attach it and use material colour not a texture.

You can use the dem data easily though to make any route in sail and m/b sim with a few clicks of the mouse, and just updating my website to give a simplified way of making the Ellesmere Port Route. But...you can't work on the dem once made and have to go back to dem or greyscale to alter it. The essential thing as you say is AI for other boats and to be able to drive ones' own made boats/ships. Without that it will become a bit too "empty" for me.

Mind you may look a touch better when I eventually get a new computer with a new screen and the m/bt sim, as still using sailsim.

Its a bit of an enigma so just see what happens I suppose.
Something must happen "soon" (fingers crossed). :wink:



Last edited by Barry on Mon 26 Jan 2004 - 01:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Jan » Sun 25 Jan 2004 - 22:50

Hi Barry

I think the MBS itself is not too bad (of course Stentec have to improve it continuously), but i have to agree with John when he says we need a boat editor, a better scenery editor and AI boats.
When we have these tools we could make MBS (with some help from the community) what it deserves.
A great sim.


Postby Barry » Mon 26 Jan 2004 - 20:58

The realism for boat movements, and wave formations etc are certainly there in the simulations. Terrain can be generated quite easily with the Route Editor, although hopefully this will be improved later with more feautures. It is easy enough to use as it is just needs more features.

Lets see ...I reckon Blender can quite easily create most objects.
Boats and ships can be made with it from rowing boats to liners, as detailed as you wish. For me it will do fine.

Although I kept my versions fairly basic. The more details and the more time is needed to work on them. You can work off plans and make everything to scale with all the details and measurements.

For those using the simulation on their own computer, and not online the AI and hopefullt the ability the drive one's own made boats will add the realism to make it a true motorboat simulation, as I still regard it as very limiting. Again this had beem mentioned by Stentec so hopefully looks a good possibility.

What lead me to make this post was the following

I have found out how to make double sided textures on a flat plane in Blender and also tinted see-through glass for windows and portholes as a material colour, not texture, and don't attach to model.

An important thing that could really help to add a great deal of realism quite easily is the easy ability to make trees, vegetation, bushes, rigging for ships of many types, backdrops of city skylines if you wish and anything you want.

I copied this from my web site and have a small picture of a basic tree on the site to illustrate it.............

An easy way to make trees and rigging etc, with probably little effect on frame rates, is to make the face invisible and show the texture on the face of a flat plane.

By this method you make a flat surface and colour it black. Put a texture on or draw with a paint program, or photograph, a tree or whatever. Again press F for UV Select - Open a button window, if not already open (2 bars symbol) - In right hand column (Opaque - Add - Alpha) - click ADD.

This makes the face invisible and a nice picture of the item you drew remains which is the model. By interlacing a few of these flat planes realistic objects can be made out of just pictures on a flat surface - The catch is it appears to work exactly as intended in Blender, but only shows as a picture on a solid flat colour sheet, in the sailsim at least.

If anyone knows of this working in the sailsim or m/b sim, or how to get it to work correctly - please get in touch. All types of rigging, trees, bushes, foliage, flowers, people, etc, can all be made by this method. Also distant landscapes of cities, coastal buildings, skyscrapers or whatever as backdrops.

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