Perhaps it is because I am very, very,new to Trainz, but...
Hello Support Team.
I purchased Trainz on Steam after much consideration. I am a "Simulations Buff", and railroad NOVICE who sees Trainz TANE it as an opportunity to learn and develop rail operations. However, I was drawn to Trainz primarily by the DLS and the possibility of creating realistic environments, including a commitment to content creation. After a fair amount of effort and study (and TransDEM,) I have learned to manage DEMs, maps, and Surveyor>Merge, to handle a route that could take me a lifetime to complete, and also automatically lay down the rail system (in rough) from a USDOT site for each squre meter! Now I do reaiize that having the methodology for working on sections of a map system that I will likley never finish, is one thing, and actually completing even a single region / tile is quite another.
I have anticipated forging ahead on landscape creation, while taking the additional time necessary to learn the more complex aspects of the programming logic used by your software, and support programs. I have also been quite prepared to summon the patience necessary to take the small steps to do so, but as a retired CGI professional of 30+ yeras, even I am finding myself increasingly lost in my effort to advance my scenic skills to get things rolling (so to speak). I have at least scanned all of the forums, blogs, and other sources that the community has referenced, but have been unable to find a source that explains, in a form that a somewhat skilled novice can understand, how to do even the simplest task of creating a single ground texture for TANE. I have run across numerous conversations about upgrading older materials, but all that does is increase the task of a "noob" in figuring out where to begin.
I realize now the history and complexity of the task that you have in developing this game/simulation, but I am hoping that will eventually include some centralized, concise, well organized, and thorough instruction sets on, (in my particular case,) the do's, don'ts, and how-to's of creating realistic scenery. For example, I have come to realize that I cannot place a million planar Maple trees to recreate a New England forest, but just how many can I use? I thought, hey, I'll save a screen-capture of that, and make a texture of it to use instead,... but... even that appears to be a black art. And then the more difficult questions; what are the best methods for using High Detail trees in the foreground and then merge them into lower LODs and finally, textures in the background? I downloaded SpeedTree Maples, but then notice they say PayWare and do not work. How do I pay for them? how much do they cost? Why do they show in the CM but are red and unusable in Surveyor?
I cound go on, but you get the idea. I am willing to take the time to learn, but when each of those questions might take 2-3 days or more to dig up an answer, I start to lose the thread of what I am trying to do. Perhaps it all just takes a lot more patience than I thought, but as you know, the learning curve in a "vacuum" is a lot steeper than when there is at least a moderate roadmap to follow.
Thank you for listening. You have a great product, and I believe in it, but as the kind of "new" customer that you are hoping to attract, I am hoping that you can produce the resources that will help me to help you sell your product.
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