How to Use Environment Tools

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Users of Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 (known as TRS19) will find a tutorial specific to that product at TRS19 Environment and Lighting Tutorial

Contents


NotePad.PNG Notes:

The Environment Tools are used to set:-

  • the skybox - to configure the cloud cover
  • the weather - from rain to snow to clear. Weather can also be set from the Main Menu - Settings options and by using Session rules
  • the wind speed - which will affect the swaying motion of Speedtrees
  • the snowline - the altitude for assets that have a snow covered appearance option
  • the date - for assets that have different seasonal options
  • the lighting - the light levels and colours through a 24 hour period
  • (for TRS19 only) the scene brightness level or gamma
  • the water colour and water surface effects (smooth, rough, etc)
  • the road traffic - enabled/disabled
  • the world origin (geographic coordinates and altitude)
PencilTips.PNG The Time of Day is set using Session rules such as WikiLink.PNG Startup Option Rule and WikiLink.PNG Time and Rate Rule


NotePad.PNG Notes:
There is no Save button on the Environment Tools Window. As soon as you enter or select a setting it will be saved. When finished editing simply click the window Off button.


DotPoint.JPG The World Origin and Date settings are used to set the current season e.g. January = Summer in the Southern Hemisphere and Winter in the Northern Hemisphere

The Environment Tool

EnvironmentLaunch.PNG Open the Environment Tools Editor from the Surveyor Main Menu as shown on the left.

This will open the Environment Properties Window as shown below.

EnvironmentControls.PNG

TRS19 has an additional control that adjusts the lighting level, as shown below
EnvironmentControlsTS19.PNG


Lighting

The Lighting Tools control the ambient, sun and water colours. This tool tab is opened by default whenever the Environmental Editor is opened.

Light and Time

DotPoint.JPG The dial shown is a 24 hour clock that sets the lighting conditions at selected times of the day and night
EnvironmentLighting.PNG
EnvironmentCycle.PNG

The Diurnal Cycle


Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Click the Diurnal Cycle button to set the clock running through the full 24 hour cycle in just 30 seconds
  • Click it again to stop the cycle

The scene shown in Surveyor will display the lighting conditions that correspond to the time on the clock as the hand sweeps around.

The Time of Day

DotPoint.JPG You can select a specific time by dragging the clock pointer arm to the corresponding position on the clock dial.
EnvironmentSetDial.PNG The scene shown in Surveyor will display the lighting conditions that correspond to the time shown on the clock

Setting the Lighting Conditions

Colour Control Points

The ring around the dial contains a number of green dots.

DotPoint.JPG Each dot is a Control Point that sets the specific Red, Green and Blue colour values, and other lighting features, at the time shown on the clock


EnvironmentSelectPoint.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Select, by clicking, one of the green points around the ring
  • The clock dial will immediately point to the selected dot and time

The control point will be highlighted and the RGB Wheels will display one set of Red Green and Blue values that have been set at that point

EnvironmentShowRGB.PNG


DotPoint.JPG Each colour value can be altered by dragging its needle point to a new position around the dial. Each new position will change the balance between the 3 colours and will alter the lighting displayed in the scene at that particular time.

Types of Lighting

NotePad.PNG Notes:

Each control point stores the RGB values for three different types of lighting in the scene.

  • The Ambient Colour which is the directional lighting and mostly affects the hue of buildings and other scenery objects
  • The Sun Colour which affects the colour of the sunlight and mostly affects the hue of the terrain
  • The Water Colour which affects the colours reflected by water surfaces

The 3 boxes below the colour wheels and next to the Sky box show the colour effects created for each type of lighting at the selected time.

Ambient Colour

EnvironmentAmbientColour.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Click on the top box of the three. This is the Ambient Colour
  • The dials will show the RGB values for the Ambient Colour at the selected time
  • The Ambient color preview box will show the colour produced by the RGB settings
  • You can then change the RGB settings for the Ambient Colour

Sun Colour

EnvironmentSunColour.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Click on the middle box of the three. This is the Sun Colour
  • The dials will show the RGB values for the Sun Colour at the selected time
  • The Sun color preview box will show the colour produced by the RGB settings
  • You can then change the RGB settings for the Sun Colour

Water Colour

EnvironmentWaterColour.PNG
Stop.PNG Water Colour values set for one control point become the values for ALL the control points

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Click on the bottom box of the three. This is the Water Colour
  • The dials will show the RGB values for the Water Colour
  • The Water color preview box will show the colour produced by the RGB settings
  • You can then change the RGB settings for the Water Colour

Mixing Colours

NotePad.PNG Notes:
Getting the "right colours" can be more of an art than a science. To set the exact colour you want means mixing the correct quantities of Red, Green and Blue. Each of these colours has 256 different values from 0 to 255 that, when combined, produce over 16 million different possible colours - but many monitors and most eyeballs will not be able to tell the differences between many of those 16 million colours.


PencilTips.PNG Setting all three colours to the same values will produce monotones from Black to White with 254 different shades of gray between those two tones.

DotPoint.JPG You can quickly set all three dials to the exact same value by holding down the Shift key as you click on a dial position on any one of the three dials.


Note that in the examples below, the "tyre" around each dial shows the exact quantity of colour that is being added.
R = 0; G = 0; B = 0 R = 128; G = 128; B = 128 R = 255; G = 255; B = 255
EnvironmentAmbientColour01.PNG EnvironmentAmbientColour02.PNG EnvironmentAmbientColour03.PNG
Black 50% Gray White
All other colours are made by mixing different quantities of the three colours.
DotPoint.JPG Setting both the Ambient and Sun colours to different shades of grey for the clock control points can solve many brightness issues - as shown in the example below.
NotePad.PNG Example 1: Setting Greys Scale Values for the Ambient and Sun Colours
This is an example only
Time 06:00 07:00 10:00 12:00 18:00

Ambient

Sun
Environment0600.png Environment0700.png Environment1000.png Environment1200.png Environment1800.png
RGB values (all dials set equally)
Ambient
Sun

128

160

192

192

224

224

255

224

128

192
Brightness (TRS19) 40% 50% 50% 50% 40%


NotePad.PNG Example 2: Setting a Water Colour
Creating a colour suitable for water (RGB values are approximate)
BlueMix01.PNG Starting with pure Blue
R = 0; G = 0; B = 255
BlueMix02.PNG Add pure Green to make the colour Cyan
R = 0; G = 255; B = 255
BlueMix03.PNG Scale back (darken) the Green
R = 0; G = 155; B = 255
BlueMix04.PNG Scale back a bit more
R = 0; G = 128; B = 255
BlueMix05.PNG Add some Red
R = 75; G = 128; B = 255


TRS19 Lighting Level Control

TRS19 users have an additional control that is placed next to the Ambient, Sun and Water colour boxes. This sets the overall brightness or lighting level for each control point.

EnvironmentControlsTS19.PNG


Steps.PNG Steps:

Select a control point, then:-

  • Move the slider to the BOTTOM to give maximum brightness level
  • Move the slider to the TOP to give minimum brightness level
  • Move the slider to a point in between these two positions for an intermediate lighting level

Repeat for each control point as required.



Resetting the Lighting Conditions

DotPoint.JPG All the lighting colour settings can be reset back to the TANE default colours.


EnvironmentReset.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • Click the Color Reset button, then either:-
    • Click the Tick.PNG icon to accept the reset, or
    • Click the Cross.PNG icon to reject the reset


Adding a New Control Point

DotPoint.JPG New control points can be added to the clock dial
EnvironmentAddControlPoint.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Click the Add button EnvironmentAddPointButton.PNG
  2. Click on the ring at the place where the new control point is to be located
NotePad.PNG Notes:
The Add button will remain active (selected) until it is deactivated so clicking on the ring again will add another control point. The button can be deactivated by clicking on it or by selecting another button



NotePad.PNG Notes:

During the running of a Session the lighting will "morph" or "transform" at a steady rate from the set of colour values at one control point to the set of colour values at the next control point. Click the Diurnal Cycle button for a demonstration.

  • If the control points are far apart then the transition will be gradual
  • If the control points are close together then the transition will be faster
  • If there are several control points grouped closely together then the transitions can be more dramatic

The places where you would need faster dramatic transitions would be at dawn (around 06:00) and dusk (around 18:00)


Deleting a Control point

DotPoint.JPG Existing control points can be deleted
EnvironmentDeletePoint.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Click the Delete button EnvironmentDeletePointButton.PNG
  2. Click on the control point to be deleted
NotePad.PNG Notes:
The Delete button will remain active (selected) until it is deactivated so clicking on another control point will also delete that point. The button can be deactivated by clicking on it or by selecting another button



Moving a Control point

DotPoint.JPG Existing control points can be moved
EnvironmentMoveControlPoint.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Click the Move button EnvironmentMovePointButton.PNG
  2. Click on the control point to be moved and either:-
  • hold the mouse button down and drag the point to its new position around the ring, or
  • click on the ring at the spot where the point is to be placed
NotePad.PNG Notes:
The Move button will remain active (selected) until it is deactivated so clicking again on the ring will move the selected control point again. The button can be deactivated by clicking on it or by selecting another button



The Skybox

DotPoint.JPG The Skybox sets the sky colours in three different regions of the sky at the selected time of day, as shown in the extreme example below
EnvironmentSkyColours.PNG
NotePad.PNG Notes:
Each control point also stores the Skybox settings for that particular time.



Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Select a control point for a specific time of day
  2. Click in a region of the Skybox (top, middle, bottom) - a while line or bar will appear across the selected region
  3. Set the RGB color wheels for the selected region
  4. Repeat for the other two regions and for other times of the day/night as needed


In the areas between the three regions the colours will be blended to create a smooth transition.

PencilTips.PNG Do you need an Overcast Sky for your scene?
  1. For each daylight control point set each Skybox region (top, middle, bottom) to shades of gray (see Mixing Colours above).
  2. In the Environment Tab (see below), set the Sky Type to No Cloud 01


Fog Control

DotPoint.JPG This controls the level of "fog" in the scene

Gears.PNG Settings:

EnvironmentFogSlider.PNG

  1. Select a control point for a specific time of day
  2. Move the slider to the required position
  3. Repeat for other times of the day/night as needed

NotePad.PNG Notes:
Each control point also stores the Fog setting for that particular time.

Stop.PNG Increasing the fog level can also increase the brightness level (fog does scatter light). In TANE you may need to reduce the RGB levels to compensate. In TRS19 you can reduce the brightness level to compensate


Location

DotPoint.JPG The Location Tools control the geographic and date (season) data for the Route and Session
EnvironmentLocation.PNG

Set Date

The top section is a standard calendar selection tool that allows you to set the month and the day of the month. The only effect this has in TANE is to set, with the geographic coordinates, the season of the year.

Set World Origin

The middle section is the World Origin Tool and sets the geographic location, including the altitude, of the route using a World Origin marker that is only visible in Surveyor.

DotPoint.JPG Setting the World Origin does NOT set regional features such as which side of the road the cars drive on. Use the Route Editor - Region setting for that
DotPoint.JPG The World Origin is always part of a Route, not part of a Session


EnvironmentOriginAdd.PNG

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Move the Surveyor view to the location where you want the marker to be placed
  2. Click on the Add world origin button
  3. Click the selected location in the layout to place the marker

Clicking a second time will simply move the marker


EnvironmentWorldOrigin.PNG
The World Origin marker
Once it has been placed, the marker can be moved by dragging or clicking with the mouse. After adding the marker it should be edited to add geographic data.


EnvironmentOriginGo.PNG Click the Go to world origin icon to move the Surveyor screen so that it is centred on the World Origin marker.
EnvironmentOriginEdit.PNG Click the Edit world origin icon to set or edit the World Origin data. See Editing the World Origin below.


Editing the World Origin

EnvironmentOriginEditData.PNG Enter the geographic data for the world origin.
  • Latitude and Longitude in degrees and minutes (with seconds added as the decimal fraction of the minutes - 10'30" would be entered as 10.50)
  • Hemispheres - North/South and East/West
  • Altitude in metres


DotPoint.JPG Setting a high latitude value North or South will NOT change the times of sunrise or sunset. They are fixed at 06:00 and 18:00.


The Reset button sets all values to their defaults.
Click the Tick.PNG icon to accept the entered data
Click the Cross.PNG icon to reject the entered data


Deleting the World Origin

DotPoint.JPG There is no delete button for the World Origin marker, but you can still delete it

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. Open the Objects Tool in the Surveyor screen
  2. Select the Delete tool
  3. Click on the World Origin marker


NotePad.PNG Notes:
All routes MUST have a World Origin. If you delete the marker then the World Origin will be hidden and will take the default coordinates of latitude 52.45 N, longitude 13.3 E, altitude 0 metres - which places it in Berlin(??).


Traffic Control

DotPoint.JPG This tool simply turns the road traffic ON and OFF
NotePad.PNG Notes:

This road traffic tool:-

  • only works on roads that have been designed to use road traffic (not all roads support traffic)
  • does not set the road traffic characteristics - number and types of vehicles, which side of the road is used. These features are set in the Route Editor - Region setting


EnvironmentTrafficOn.PNG

EnvironmentTrafficOff.PNG

Gears.PNG Settings:
  • Click the car icon to enable and disable traffic


Weather and Water

To set the water colour, refer to the PageLink.PNG Setting the Lighting Conditions section above.

EnvironmentEnvironment.PNG

Set the Sky

DotPoint.JPG This sets the basic sky and cloud characteristics
EnvironmentSkyType.PNG

Gears.PNG Settings:
  • Click the Sky Title (Cloud Cover) to select from a drop down list of sky types, or
  • Scroll through the list by using the Scroll icons

The box below the sky title will give a preview of the selected sky.

Set the Weather

DotPoint.JPG This sets some very basic weather conditions. The set conditions will be constant throughout the running of a Session.



Gears.PNG Settings:

EnvironmentWeatherType.PNG

Move the slider to set the weather between Rain and Snow


NotePad.PNG Notes:
There are Session rules that also control the weather, including changeable weather conditions. Check the Trainz Wiki Session Rules list at WikiLink.PNG Session Rules - Weather


Wind Strength

DotPoint.JPG This setting only effects SpeedTrees

Gears.PNG Settings:

EnvironmentWindType.PNG
Move the slider to set the wind strength between zero (left) and maximum (right)



Set the Water Surface

DotPoint.JPG This sets the water surface effects
EnvironmentWaterType.PNG

Gears.PNG Settings:
  • Click the Water Surface to select from a drop down list of surface effects, or
  • Scroll through the list by using the Scroll icons


Set the Snow Altitude

DotPoint.JPG This sets the altitude at which objects with snow effects will display those effects. It has no effect on objects created without this feature

Gears.PNG Settings:

EnvironmentSnowAltitude.PNG

Enter the altitude, in metres, at which snow can appear.





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