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I've been working on the railroad


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I've been spending my lock-down time giving my steam locomotive something to pull. I'll use this topic to display all of my railroad cars as they're rolled out of the factory. Since showcasing my renders on a personal web site is so 20th century I've decided to make the plunge to Instagram. But the phone-size 1080x608 limit is a bit small for my taste so I'll be putting up the hi-res versions here.

factory_rollout_00.jpg

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Let's start at the end of the train with the caboose. They went out of style in the 1980's but I still think they're the "right" away to finish off a line of railroad cars.

 

factory_caboose_00.jpg

factory_caboose_01.jpg

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I love cabooses!

I was disappointed if we were stopped at a crossing for a train and there was no caboose at the end.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Before I move on to the next railcar I beg your indulgence while I brag about getting a believable "look" to the rear running lights. The rear facing lenses are tinted red with the other three are tinted green. The light from the internal bulb is quasi collimated i.e. the lamps appear illuminated only if viewed close to on-axis with the lenses. I wheeled the caboose back into the dark factory to get a better view.

factory_caboose_03.jpg

factory_caboose_04.jpg

factory_caboose_05.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next up, a flat car. I've always felt one's interest in passing flat cars is proportional to the loads they're carrying, making an endless line of container cars extremely boring. Having said that, large steel pipes are pretty plain as well (but low in patch count). So I went a bit overboard on the material textures for the rusty steel and woven tie down straps.

factory_flatcar_00.jpg

factory_flatcar_01.jpg

factory_flatcar_02.jpg

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Stunning detail. The lighting on the second one is especially convincing!

I can guess what LD LMT means but what are CAPY and LT WT?

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what are CAPY and LT WT

LT WT (light weight) is the weight of the empty car. As you've guessed, LD LMT (load limit) is the builder's recommendation for a maximum safe load while CAPY (capacity) is the absolute maximum load the wheel bearings can withstand.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first type of boxcar I built was the older style where the handbrake wheel is mounted horizontally above the roof line. In order to maximize the number of boxcars, I decided to cheat and put a different railroad line and specs on each side of a single car. This scheme only breaks down when looking at the end of a single car where you see the two different numbers. However once the two cars are connected together and their ends are somewhat obscured I now have two boxcars for the price of one model.

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factory_boxcars_02.jpg

factory_boxcars_03.jpg

factory_boxcars_04.jpg

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Rodger, all the images in this thread have turned to links and I only get a broken graphics symbol when I click on them.

Today they show properly!

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In order to maximize the number of boxcars, I decided to cheat and put a different railroad line and specs on each side of a single car. This scheme only breaks down when looking at the end of a single car where you see the two different numbers.

How about an image sequence containing maybe 10 different treatments and use a pose slider to select one for each car?

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  • 3 weeks later...
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How about an image sequence containing maybe 10 different treatments and use a pose slider to select one for each car?

This was an intriguing idea Robert. It was also a bit daunting since I've never used poses before so I had to do some forum research. Your "Basics of making a new pose" from '09 was quite helpful. After spending a day of trial, error and documentation,  I think I have a good handle on it and will use it on the tank car I'm currently building. Thanks!

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The next boxcar is the more modern style with the brake wheel mounted vertically to the end wall. Once again I used the same model but put different signage on other side. CPR with NYC, N&W with PRR. I got carried away with detailing when I found a good reference image of a vintage NYC waybill. I reproduced it in PSPro and filled in the blanks with Lorem Ipsum words.

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factory_boxcars_09.jpg

factory_boxcars_10.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
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How about an image sequence containing maybe 10 different treatments and use a pose slider to select one for each car?

This was a really tantalizing idea but I couldn't make it work. I went with applying all the required decals to the model and only the desired ones are selected using an ON/OFF pose; four sets of decals with four poses. It worked like a charm while editing the poses and with only one instance of the model in a chor. But within the chor, a model's decals are not appended with a number that gives them a unique name for that instance. So the second model's decals are affected by the pose of the first model. I tried renaming the decals in the second model instance but that isn't allowed. Too bad.

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Thanks for your efforts Robert. I tried your idea but the render bug you mentioned was more severe in my case in that I could only get the desired results in a final render if I was rendering from an isometric view (v19e). I had similar render problems with my own attempts at both pose and action based solutions. Camera view progressive and final renders yielded inconsistent results. I'll revisit this technique if and when Steffen can fix it but for now I'll simply have four versions of the same model with different decal sets...brute force but guaranteed results.

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Although I've said one's interest in any flat car is proportional to the loads it's carrying, even an empty drop-centre flat car with its curved side beams is inherently more striking. Since such a flat car is designed to haul over-sized cargo it's important to load it with something more than just a very large crate. Something like this steam hammer that may still be functional but has seen better days.

factory_flatcar_dropcentre_00.jpg

factory_flatcar_dropcentre_01.jpg

factory_flatcar_dropcentre_02.jpg

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That's the second biggest steam hammer I've seen today!

That's still not going to fit in the tunnel , is it?

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  • 4 weeks later...

It may not exactly be "rolling stock" but it runs on rails so I'm rolling it out of the factory.
The PCC (President's Conference Committee) style of street car was the type used all over North America during the 1940's, 50's and 60's,  This was an attempt to design a standard, modern street car that would keep cities from paving over their street car rails. And we all know how that turned out. I remember travelling as a kid to Toronto where these types of street cars were kept running long past their design lifetimes. I liked their shape then and I still do.

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factory_streetcar_02.jpg

factory_streetcar_03.jpg

factory_streetcar_04.jpg

factory_streetcar_05.jpg

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Unfortunately the video doesn't show for me. The easiest technique is to upload it to YouTube and put the YouTube link in the post.

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I have a suggestion for the views that are largely interior...

Lop off a portion of the car that is behind the camera and render with AO to get some illumination and nuanced shadowing on the details.

Right now there is so much in darkness, the good stuff is getting lost.

image.png

13 hours ago, R Reynolds said:

 

factory_streetcar_04.jpg

 

 

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Unfortunately the video doesn't show for me.

That's unexpected since it's the latest H.265 HEVC codec. It even runs on my Android 7.1.1 phone.

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upload it to YouTube

But then the Alphabet overlords have won.😉 Let's try the older H.264 AVC codec; see attached.

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Right now there is so much in darkness, the good stuff is getting lost.

You and I have been down this road before, Rob. We've even tried using the same monitor calibration images without success. For reasons unknown, monitor images that are acceptable to me are too dark for you. I'm beginning to believe our problem isn't technical, it's aesthetic. And to reinforce that idea, I offer this. To me, the video looks equally acceptable on my desktop monitor (which I've calibrated a number of times) and on my phone (which I've never calibrated). I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

Be that as it may, in my standard outdoor sunlight chor I always have AO on and there are eight, inward aimed, no-shadow sunlights (4% intensity) pointing up to simulate bounce light from the ground. But that still didn't cut it, the interior was too dark, even for me. 😄  So there's a diffuse klieg at every large window (35 total, see attached) with intensities set at 3.5%. If I had to appeal to a focus group of robcats, I could easily make the interior brighter than full sunlight. I toyed with the idea of gradually changing the histograms of the original frames as you walk through the door to simulate the camera's AGC adjusting to the interior light but then the exterior would be lost in over-exposure, a sacrifice I'm not yet willing to make.

streetcar_lights.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Typically most of my renders are exteriors shot under direct sunlight. Since I have this factory in the background I thought I'd take a crack at an interior with sun and sky light streaming through the windows. Ultimately the desk will be pushed against a nearby wall so I don't have to ask any awkward questions about where the lamp and phone cords go. The ceiling has a few hanging incandescent lamps, the hand car under repair is under one of them.

factory_desk_00.jpg

factory_handcar_repair_00.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a combination car. It's name comes from its dual application. The first third of the car has enough seats to carry twenty passengers while the remainder is used as a mail car. Since it's a modified passenger car it uses Pullman trucks which were designed for a smoother ride.

factory_combo_car_00.jpg

factory_combo_car_01.jpg

factory_combo_car_02.jpg

factory_combo_car_03.jpg

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