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Passenger Car SDK
Popular 3D modeling forums:
· 3DTrains.com
· Train-Sim.com
· UKTrainsim.com
Download passenger car sdk.
Overview Editing Technical Credits
The following is a list of the files and their descriptions included in this sdk.
Included files
Gmax Files
AFC_Coach.gmax - basic coach interior model
AFC_Coach_Example.gmax - completed coach interior model example
AFC_Dining.gmax - basic dining car interior model
AFC_Lounge.gmax - basic lounge car interior model
AFC_Sleeper.gmax - basic sleeper car interior model
Interior_Coach.s - completed coach example
Interior_Dining.s - basic dining car interior example
Interior_Lounge.s - basic lounge car interior example
Interior_Sleeper.s - basic sleeper car interior example
Pullman.s - main chassis - the only file requiring a shape definition (sd) file
WAG files
SDK_Coach.wag - completed coach
SDK_Dining.wag - basic dining car
SDK_Lounge.wag - basic lounge car
SDK_Sleeper.wag - basic sleeper car example
ACE files
Cars.ace - wheels, bogies, signage, and misc. parts (1-bit transparency alpha)
Glass.ace - standard windows (grey scale alpha)
Glass2.ace - porthole windows (grey scale alpha)
Interior.ace - full-length interior and misc. night time parts (grey scale alpha)
Main.ace - car sides, roof, ends, doors, and interior details (non alpha)
Skirts.ace - lower car side skirts (grey scale alpha)
Paint Shop Pro templates
Cars.psp - bogies, wheels, and misc. body parts
Interior.psp - interior walls
Main.psp - car sides, roof, ends, and misc. interior details
Skirts.psp - lower car side skirts and hand grabs
Misc. files
Pullman.sd - shape definition file
License.txt - 3DTrains license and legal information
Readme.txt - basic information regarding the version of the SDK
Model Hierarchy
Opening the example models will reveal the hierarchy and naming used for the SDK (presented in linked order). The LOD Manager Kuju plugin in Gmax will allow you to view the alpha sorting method used.

MAIN - Parent for all parts in hierarchy
DO_NOT_ALTER - it means what it says, so don't monkey with it
MAIN - basic parts that hang on the exterior of car
BODY - car sides and handrails
GLASS - windows
INTERIOR - walls, partitions, seats, tables, blinds, etc.
Alpha sorting
Available in virtually all 3D PC games today, alpha sorting (z-buffer sorting) allows the use of transparent or semi-transparent objects (glass windows, tree leaves, etc.) to display in front of or behind one another according to a set of "sorting rules" within the game's code. Without this, the use of alphas might hide other items behind it, thus ruining the game's effect. For example: when you look through a pane of glass, you expect to see something on the other side, correct? Without proper sorting, the items on the other side, interior parts, etc., or even the world on the other side of the model might not display at all.

The cars used in this SDK take full advantage of alpha sorting - even to the point of tricking MSTS to force an alpha (the windows) to show through an otherwise opaque object (the car sides), yet still allow you to view the interior of the car, as well as the MSTS world on the other side.

However, while alpha sorting works fine for most items, it can cause some unwanted visual bugs when used with FreightAnim. Spikes, stray polys, and other odd artifacts can be difficult to avoid if not careful.

Another item is that alpha sorting doesn't always work - you might find that something that should be transparent is only so when viewed from above or from a rear angle. The examples included with this SDK however, have been thoroughly tested for visual integrity.

Items not built or sorted properly will also flicker and ghost in and out as you move the camera along the car's exterior. I found however, that if the FreightAnim model is built similar to a carriage or locomotive (multiple child to parent nodes), that flicker virtually disappears. Also, a model hierarchy allows you to collapse nodes and sort alphas, a definite plus for this SDK.

Sub object id: 1
Sort priority: 5
Sub object id: 2
Sort priority: 10
Sub object id: 3
Sort priority: 15

For more information regarding alpha channels, please refer to the Kuju documentation supplied with MSTS.
Note: The concepts and terminology used in these documents are advanced in nature, and although written with Gmax in mind, the basic principles should apply to users of 3DS Max and 3D Canvas.

TSM users however, will have an almost impossible task duplicating these procedures, as TSM lacks the basic functions to sort alphas - a vital element required for this SDK to function.

This guide is not designed to teach you how to model, but instead how to model and assemble a set of passenger cars using the sdk as a base.

For basic questions and help regarding 3D modeling, you can visit one of the 3D modeling forums from the links provided. There are plenty of folks willing help - provided you ask nice and polite manner.

Updates to this guide will be posted on a regular basis as time allows.
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