Watermills & Windmills

General question for Sail Simulator (raising sails, pulling sheets, etc.)

Watermills & Windmills

Postby Barry » Sat 17 Mar 2007 - 14:29

Watermills & Windmills

Perhaps an unusual heading for a sailing simulator..but as my interests are related to 2 centuries or so ago, and the true age of sail, watermills and windmills were very common sights in the UK, and both are coastal and river related and windmills especially made a distinctive landmark when seen from a sailing ship.


Still no nearer to solving windmill animation in 3 different planes for the 3 seperate moving exterior components. front sail, rear vane sail, and top. The basic moving vertical sail is very easy though with Blender, but again no idea how to animate it when they are offset from the vertical.
See Scenery forum windmill topic.

Watermills I think would be easier to make with the rotating wheel and need one for Trefriw on river Conway.
Learn't a bit from timeteam on tv excavating an old watemill.
2 types with water feeding from the top or from below which need different shaped paddles.

The big question though is will obj. files with animation work in SS5, but very much doubt if they will, due possibly to the way the obj file exports from Blender, so although I will probably be including windmills and watermills in any future UK sceneries I make they will probably be very, very static. :wink:

Just something for you to read :wink:

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Sat 17 Mar 2007 - 18:36

I wonder how much animation we will have with SS5.

Just about six months before the beta comes out. Surely Barry must be one of the beta testers!
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Postby Barry » Sun 18 Mar 2007 - 02:49

Hi AJ.

Beta testing is OK if we can all download it to try it but may give that a miss if too much like work.
:wink:

-------------------

Not really a 3D model just more to test the idea and rear sail just a cross not connected.
Can always rewrite tutorial in detail if any use to us in ss5 but more just to experiment with.

Have taken off the zip file of the blend file for animation as read if opening files with a different Blender version say 2.42a to open 2.43 may cause problems. Easy enough if you wish to experiment with animation in Blender and post on forum if you need help with the basics



Image
Last edited by Barry on Thu 22 Mar 2007 - 02:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Barry » Wed 21 Mar 2007 - 02:41

If you are using the latest Blender 2.43 and if carries textures over OK in vrml2 perhaps you could post.

I have gone back to using 2.42a for now as would not export vrml2 with textures only colours.
As mentioned in other thread reformatted computer so maybe that had something to do with it.

Started on a water-mill as saw a painting on web of Trefriw watermill c1809 In think.
Need to make a waterwheel next to put on it and see if it will animate in Blender.

Barry
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Postby Barry » Wed 21 Mar 2007 - 15:17

To explain further about animation.
I completed the watermill and the wheel animates OK in Blender and "maybe" the animation might work in SS5 from Blender, but at least it is easy enough to animate simple things, either as rotations, etc, or get them to follow paths.. that could be boats, following tracks, and maybe birds or fish etc.
That is an animation but nothing to do with controlling them as part of the simulator.


The screenshot below shows the IPO animation window open. below the image.

Even though a sailsimulator maybe an animated static paddle steamer might work in SS5 as paddles would work the same as in a watermill :wink:
But whatever.. still works as a static object also in vrml2.

Barry



Image
Last edited by Barry on Thu 22 Mar 2007 - 02:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ajnasreddin » Wed 21 Mar 2007 - 19:06

Barry,

Looks like you have got some good models there. I haven't been too active these days myself as I have quite a bit of work since the new year. Maybe in a couple of months things will calm down.

Also, though, my SS4 doesn't work. I'm not much interested in motorboats - they're nice once in a while - but I really don't use MS like I used SS (but my son likes MS a lot). Like you, I am looking (hoping) to buy a new computer sooner or later this year - if my wife will let me :lol: - and I'll of course be upgrading to Vista, so I will probably see where things are then and pick up my hobby again after that.

I'm a little surprised that Stentec hasn't taken a modular approach that a lot of sims seem to be taking - where they provide a basic program and add "packs" later on (the Sims 2 is the biggest one, but I have heard that even Flight Simulator X is coming out with a pack at the end of the year too). I mean SS and MS basically run in the same virtual world, so if they could get the environmental physics working for sail and motor in the same program, they could add a sailboat pack, a motorboat pack, a cargo ship pack, etc. They could do their own scenery packs. They could even offer an object pack for docks and harbors. So, there would be a basic program with some basic sail and motor boats, then packs of different kinds of boats later on - like some gaffers, or speedboats, etc.

Anyway, it would at least be nice if we could some extra boats, either through Stentec or through user development. Maybe they could come up with a boat designer pack.
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Postby Barry » Thu 22 Mar 2007 - 01:40

Hello AJ

Only hope someone starts an open source maritime simulator someday.

Still only the 3 maritime simulators if you don't include the racing types. Stentec sails and motorboat, Virtual Sailor and Ship Simulator 2006.

I was hoping that ship simulator 2006 would be open, more like the flight sims,and MSTS but certainly not that way at present and doubt if I will buy the next version or support it in future.

I can use my Blender content and get them into Virtual Sailor but some of the functions don't make for realism the way they work, at least as regards the content I make,... so back to Stentec and "maybe" things may work out OK if they make the software more open for user content than it is at present and not let it get too out of date so things stop working.

At the same time not too many frquent changes to the core system which sometimes causes more problems and breaks things that used to work.

You are right about add-ons as these could also be made by Stentec once a a "solid user-friendly" program is in place and there could be an endless variety even if it's for smaller ship/boats and sailing ships/boats.

I don't think Stentec will mind my observations as mainly constructive... I think....

Things look more hopeful but then will it all work with Vista and new computer and graphics card, etc, etc?
At least I know a bit more about animation but again will obj files work in ss5 from Blender and carry animation and textures.
Too many unknowns...

Is you graphics card the cut down LE version? maybe that is the problem?

Barry

P.S I think Stentec mentioned due to requests they will be making a boat designer.
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Postby ajnasreddin » Mon 26 Mar 2007 - 19:26

Barry,

I looked into the graphics card problem. I have an Nvidia 6200. My friend whom I talked to has the opinion that the card and the rest of my computer may have some compatibility issues (!?) since I bought my computer back in the days of DX8. His thoughts are that my card is trying to do something which my computer can't handle.

I have an Intel 2800 Mhz CPU, 1G RAM, and set aside 8G virtual memory. I had an Asus ATI card with 128M, but switched over to Nvidia with 256M thinking I could squeeze a little more out of my computer before having to get a new one. You know, my first computer 25 years ago only had a 4.4 Mhz CPU and 64k RAM! I think my mobile phone is smarter now! :lol:

Well anyway, compatibility might be an issue since my computer crashes when I deal with large files in Photoshop, for example, or when trying to get too many effects on the screen with some other games. Still, I don't know why I get the white triangles on SS. It does look like Stentec created their virtual world set in a prism since the "white triangle" starts at the seams of the prism. I would still like to think that I'm overlooking some stupid thing. :cry:

Anyway - for those who build their computers themselves or get computers built for them, I recommend that you keep all documentation so that future hardware changes will not cause problems. For me, I am trying to think of a convincing reason for my wife to let me spend some money on a new computer. Unfortunately my wife doesn't understand why technology is always changing and why things are not always backward compatible (such an explination is my usual reason but isn't working this time). So, if anyone can think of something, I will greatly appreciate it. :D
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Postby Barry » Mon 26 Mar 2007 - 22:48

AJ - New computer then it is I think for you, by what you say. Either that or spend ages experimenting trying to get them to work OK. I know very little about them and touch wood they have run OK for me up to now. About 8 years back when I got my first.

Mine is just 3 years old in 2 months time but most things seem to have changed since I bought it. May carry on with it until Autumn and use this one as back up. Got this one from Evesham and has run OK so will get the next one from them.

I am glad Stefan found out about Vista and the missing file, as was getting fed up with the whole sailing sim scene not knowing what might work with SS5 and Vista, etc.
Still don't know for sure as regards the graphics card.

I think I will get an ati card. This was has an ati 9800 pro and has 500 ram. I thing Vista will need 2000 ram as 1000 may not be enough. That alone needs £200+.

I pay for a warranty to cover the 3 years as regards repairs. I know some people say it's a waste of money but spread over 3 years its reasonable if things go wrong and I can't be bothered taking them to pieces and replacing parts not knowing if compatible.

Barry

:)
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 27 Mar 2007 - 17:21

Barry,

It's probably a good idea to wait a bit for a new computer. Like I said, I got my computer some months before DX9 came out and I ended up having to get a new graphics card. It will take a bit for companies to come out with better cards for what DX10 can do - which will push for a better DX10 (I suspect that DX10c will be out before next year).

I see that mipmaps seem to be a big thing now with files having the extension .dds. Nvidia has a Photoshop plugin to edit these files. I don't know what editor you're using, but if Stentec is using this format, everyone will be looking for a new photo editor if they want to continue making content. I did remember reading something about this somewhere (?).

It'll probably be the autumn before I get a new computer myself.

Here are some links to Wikipedia about grapics cards:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct3D#Direct3D_10

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... sing_Units

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... sing_Units
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Postby Barry » Tue 27 Mar 2007 - 18:49

AJ

Thanks for the links and will have a look.
Regarding paint programs I just free software that came with my scanner and free or open source programs I find on the web.

I did try the open source or free "gimp" but have not reinstalled it for a while as not sure what files it overwrites when first installing.

For 32 bit textures (24+8 ) needed for backdrops and transparent areas such as trees, etc, in m/b sim. there is a free version of dogwaffle still available I think, (you just click on background to make invisible then reverse it), or I have used tgatool2 which you can download but needs tga files. You can use bmp or tga files for content at present.

I notice your new thread and will be interesting to see what get's posted as regards graphics cards, etc. Won't post on it myself, as enough of my posts on the forum I think.

Thanks

Barry

Edit. Must remember to seperate the bracket from 8 ) or it becomes 8)
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