Concerned About Smoke Particles For Spirit Of Steam

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Delta_Who, Apr 21, 2022.

  1. jamesthepershing

    jamesthepershing Active Member

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    To be perfectly honest, I think the particles done by victory works in TS (texture and shape wise, not behaviour) are light years ahead. Also, the fact the clip the chimney is just awful.
     
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  2. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Actually I did sit back earlier and ponder. We are all getting hyped for this, forgetting that steam simulation is taken for granted to a high level of quality in TSC and MSTS before that. Heck even Trainz has steam traction, quite well done after a shaky start. So there really is no excuse for not getting the basics right such as smoke and steam effects. These should actually surpass what the other sims deliver and that should also extend to steam effects from the coaching stock when heating is on and the physics.
     
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  3. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    We need to consider this is still a work in progress. I'm sure there will be additional improvements . I think we're getting close on this route now
     
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  4. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    I am however mildly concerned that in the teaser video, we only saw steam from the funnel, and none from the cylinders, valve gear or the other many places from where teakettles spewed steam.
     
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  5. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    And the coaches. One of the most iconic sights (and smells) of the steam heat era was vapour leaking out of every joint and connector through the train.
     
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  6. JetWash

    JetWash Well-Known Member

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    Surprised no one has mentioned how poor and low resolution the texturing looks, yet again.

    It looks particularly poor quality in the cab construct, on the controls and around the crank arms. It’s all much too clean and cartoon like.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
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  7. jamesthepershing

    jamesthepershing Active Member

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    Very much disagree, the cab roof for example, looks really good, full of soot stains (Talking as a real life fireman).
     
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  8. Delta_Who

    Delta_Who Well-Known Member

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    tbh, it looks ok. Yes it falls under the bracket of everything being somewhat clinical, but there are some impressions of weathering. To get higher quality would mean either more decals, or taking up more of the texture budget. So in Unreal's environment, I can somewhat forgive it.
     
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  9. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    That’s what I thought after I initially watched the preview video. However, the screenshots themselves seemed to look better.
     
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  10. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    That isn't my impression, from what I have seen so far it generally looks good and nicely detailed.
     
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  11. CrAzZyKiLLa

    CrAzZyKiLLa Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 4, 2022
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  12. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Just to drop a note in here - particle effects are a bugbear of mine and i'm chasing the team regularly. The initial completely understated "wisps" from the first screenshot were the first pass, the fatter but coming from the wrong part of the chimney steam is second pass - which is a vast improvement but, still wrong... waiting on a demo of the third pass at the moment :)

    It is for sure going to come with some kind of compromise, we don't have the compute budget to do a full fluid simulation of steam emissions but it looks a lot better "in person" i find than some of these clips or shots even as it stands. Bouncing off bridges or getting a face full of steam in some places is definitely "nice" to have too.

    All the steam emissions are tied in to the steam physics, whether they're the cylinder drains (he says, avoiding the word filter), main chimney, safeties, whatever - and sounds use the same simugraph values as well.

    As I understand it we're using the Niagara particle system in UE4 (the first time we've done so), so there's been a lot of learning by the team into how that works as they were more used to the older system, however we all felt that this wasn't going to be good enough for steam and it was time to "level up".

    As with all things, i'm sure it'll take some iterations to really find the right settings for it, so we'll be looking closely at your feedback once it goes out and seeing how we can improve it for future updates, however I think the initial release is going to look great :)

    We don't currently have any tuning settings for it. Part of the reason for that is a legacy problem in that the settings menu is not the best implementation in the world and adding anything is very fragile and things go wrong easily such as settings not saving. We're looking at rebuilding the internals of that screen at some point in the future so that it's easy and robust and that will make it a much less angst-inducing decision to add settings. For now we'll aim to find a happy medium that runs well and looks great, listen to your feedback about what you want it to do differently/bigger/better/more/less and we can figure out the right way to adopt that in the fullness of time.

    Hope this answers some questions.

    Matt.
     
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  13. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to backroll the particles collisions to clag from diesels or would it be too much effort for not enough payoff? Also, I agree with the above that I'd like to see steam coming from other places on the loco too, not just the chimney (I personally think the effects out the chimney are fine) - would like to see a video of the locos under power with the drains open.
     
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  14. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    As we get to grips with Niagara it was always my intention we'd start using it for everything - when and how that comes to previous content its too early to say, but next step once we have it in a good place on Steam is to think about it for new Diesels we make and get that in a good place - and then we can think about how preserved crew might look at it.

    Is it possible, yes. Plans at the moment? no.

    Matt.
     
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  15. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Quick one then Matt… Will we get steam heat effects from the coaches during the heating period, roughly September to May? These and indeed all the other steam effects would also be subject to the influence of external ambient conditions, in particular temperature. You are going to get a much bigger plume of steam (and AP points for turning on the heating!) on a crisp cold January morning than a 80F July afternoon.
     
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  16. orb

    orb Member

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    Would there be no new variables (some of internals) for the particles system exposed in UE4 console / Engine.ini that are internally used for tweaking or debugging, either? There are already plenty of game variables which can be tuned from the console (when unlocked) or set as a system setting in configuration files, which can't be set from the settings menu.
     
  17. chacal#2181

    chacal#2181 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, variability to the temperatures would be indeed very nice to have. It would make whole smoke, steam, more alive so much more alive...
     
  18. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking only yesterday if this kind of thing existed (I had guessed probably not) and wondering if DTG could commission scented candles for their routes for extra immersion. I wasn’t even taking my thoughts that seriously and now you post this. I’m flabbergasted!
     
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  19. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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  20. VictoryWorks

    VictoryWorks Well-Known Member

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    That is very kind of you. I have to acknowledge Chris Barnes who provided us with the main steam textures many years ago which I think are pretty much perfect. The key is having multiple emitters that are script controlled to create the relevant visual effects as well as adjusting the flows based on what is happening at the time.

    As far as TSW2 goes, I have full faith that Matt will make it as good as it can be - he's a big kettle lover at heart ;)
     
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  21. fabristunt

    fabristunt Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but the WIP version is what we ususally end up getting on release day. Maybe they'll make it better down the road, in a year or two... Wouldn't hold my breath. Matt seems to care about it, but it won't matter...
     
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  22. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Pretty useless comment. Gran Turismo 3 (2001) had better particle effects.
     
  23. Delta_Who

    Delta_Who Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    I watched the preview for the sound Q&A (Judging from above, I'm glad Matt got to be a fireman).

    I could be tripping (dunno if the screenshots are an older or newer build)... but this looks much more convincing. Individual particles are indistinguishable and there's a nicer buildup of exhaust smoke, with shadowing. Transparent edges are more subtle.

    So cautiously optimistic. Can't wait for new previews :)
     
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  24. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    That shot's from more of a head-on view point, the other shots we've been judging up to this point are from a sideways viewpoint. It's possible these are the same steam effects, and they just look better looking from the front than the side. Not saying it couldn't be actual improvements, but honestly until I see improvements in motion I'm believing the steam effects we've seen are going to end up being the ones we get.
     
  25. Delta_Who

    Delta_Who Well-Known Member

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    Agree on seeing more footage, but if you watch the video, there are more previews of the particles at various angles, which looks rather different from what was seen previously (and at various angles too).

    We'll wait and see.
     
  26. dave from Cornwall

    dave from Cornwall Well-Known Member

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    What will be interesting is steam on the bridges/tunnels/infrastructure. Also as most of the "world" away from the track is an invisible wall. Will steam bounce off these invisible walls or will they allow it to disperse?
     
  27. Delta_Who

    Delta_Who Well-Known Member

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    We already have it confirmed that steam does interact with the environment. Invisible walls only apply to player entities.
     
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  28. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Is it me or does the colour light signal in that screenshot have a feathers in the 3 and 4 positions (diverging left and right)? I’m not sure when feathers were introduced, but I would have sworn it was later than 1958. I could be wrong, but I would have expected multiple junction colour lights (like semaphores were) or theatre indications. It’s been more than 30 years since I worked in signalling, can anyone confirm?
     
  29. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    A few google searches later...

    The position light junction indicator (to give it the full proper name, known nowadays as a 'JI') originated on the LNER in the 1930s. It was found that on splitting signals with a separate head for each route the colours could merge and produce a white light when sighting the signal at a distance. One idea tried to get round this was to use approach lit signals (i.e. there was no light in the signal until the train operated an approach track circuit) but the next step was to use a neon tube to indicate the route placed above the head and at an angle to it for diverging routes or vertical above it for the straight ahead route.
    The neon tubes weren't, it seems an outstanding success so the next step was to use a row of 5 'lunar white' lights and not bother with one for the straight ahead route - thus giving the 6 positions for JIs which we have known ever since. Both types are illustrated on p.58 of Michael Vanns' 'An Illustrated History of Signalling'. Vanns doesn't quote a date although he implies it came along with the Thirsk resignalling in 1933 but I have suspicion from something I read elsewhere that it might have been a little later although definitely no later than 1935
    The Southern had not been bothered by the 'white light' phenomenon as its colour lights were not only more closely saced than the LNER 'racing stretch' around Thirsk but were not visible from such great distances . And just to be different when it adopted teh JI it used 3 lights instead of 5.
    (taken from https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/52343-feather-signals/)
     
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  30. bescot

    bescot Well-Known Member

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    Crewe South Jn had colour lights from when the ARP style box was built in 1930 - with feathers, so the devs have definately done their research :)
     
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  31. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Good to know, thanks guys :)
     
  32. PBrogaard

    PBrogaard Active Member

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    Must say this looks very promising edit: steam from the chimney looks very promising
    upload_2022-5-17_17-53-51.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  33. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    It also looks very washed out. I've never seen grass in wartime green but I guess we have a first for everything.
     
  34. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Looks good but slightly strange as there is no other steam emanating from the loco such as the slight leaks one would expect here and there.
     
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  35. matt#4801

    matt#4801 Active Member

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    In other screenshots there is evidence of steam coming fro places other than the chimney.
     
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  36. Schuppenheizer

    Schuppenheizer New Member

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    For a warm summer day it's a alot of steam.
    We only see summer fotos. What's about steam in winter ? It has to be really different to summer.
     
  37. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    DTG JD when you do the steam streams could we please see how the steam manifests/ potentially looks different in varying weathers etc.

    id be interested to see how it’s like with fps counter on in heavy rain.

    thank you
     
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  38. orb

    orb Member

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    We'll hopefully see it in one of the previews, if not tomorrow, then in the next week.
     
  39. DTG JD

    DTG JD Staff Member

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    Think we'll stick with clear conditions tonight (want to show the route in entirety first up in best conditions) - adverse weather conditions/night is something we'll look to do in the second preview.
     
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  40. CowBoyWolf

    CowBoyWolf Well-Known Member

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    Or just do it before you guys end this stream and Next week you could show the Journey/Scenario/Service section before driving the 8F
     
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  41. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    I think it's more to see if ambient temperature affects the intensity of the steam effects.
     
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  42. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Smoke is not affected by weather currently but it is something that's on the list for future revision (this is me not promising anything but saying we're aware and it is on a list somewhere for later review).
     
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  43. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Actually, slight clarification, it is affected by wind :)
     
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  44. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    So am I, but that’s a different story :o

    sorry, couldn’t resist…

    Very much looking forward to the stream tonight!
     
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  45. Delta_Who

    Delta_Who Well-Known Member

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    Stream was alot more impressive than past footage. Nice work DTG.
    My points for improvement for the future...

    The Obvious
    - Exhaust Colour based on fuel burn
    - Temperature modelling and different viscosities of exhaust

    Other points
    - A little more turbidity
    - Edge blending on particles so when a polygon clips a carriage or scenery, it's not immediately obvious.
    - Variations in particle life
    - Smaller, short-life particle emission from the smokestack and deeper within the stack to avoid obvious particle drawing
    - Experiments with chuff synchronisation
    - Maybe more experiments with particle interaction with the environment? Particles get blocked which is good, but they will still have momentum and escape to areas of lower pressure.
     
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