Welsh Branch progress update

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Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:30 pm








The Abergavenny to Cwm Twypsin branch will se released before long. Here's two videos to give yo a good look at what to expect.


Last edited by graymac on Sat May 10, 2014 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Stephen Cross on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:47 pm

Hi Gray,

Great to see your wonderful route is still developing. Been busy of late but will make the time to go for a run along your route his evening. Must take time sometimes to step back and enjoy the nicer things in life.

Bye for now,

Stephen.
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by fas on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:22 am

Railway signalling has always intrigued me.
You are simulating NSTR system?

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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:25 pm

Been a while, but work has resumed on the branch. Adobe Flash (.swf) picture gallery here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/59304651/CwmT.swf
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Stevegr on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:19 pm

Interesting Grey,

Now you are sure you are actually in Ireland...

If not what a memory!

You seem to have Cardiff Valleys, the closed 'Heads of the Valleys' and the Central Wales line going on there.
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:21 pm

Oh yes, Steve, I'm definitely in Co Mayo, Ireland, right now and have been for the last 16 years. I did spend a lot of time in Wales when I was driving buses and lorries. If a Welsh town had a Somerfield or a Tesco then I'm certain to have been there at some time.
Now, for Welsh building textures I sometimes use Google streetview, or Google images. Try entering something like "Blainavon" in google and see what pics show up. It's amazing what you can find if you look around. My big advantage is being a whiz on Photoshop, I can assemble bits and fiddle them to get what I have in mind.
I'm influenced by watching some of my favourite Video125 "Driver's Eye" DVDs. I have all the Welsh ones (in fact I've got nearly 40 of them from all over the place). The Swansea to Shrewsbury was the first I bought, when it was on VHS - I wore it out and got the DVD later.
If it has a good, "Welshy" feel to it then I'm happy enough, because it means I succeeded in what I set out to do.
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:57 pm

And this was the first video I made, of the first part of the branch route.
No sound, so you can watch it on your tablet at work without alerting the boss.



Last edited by graymac on Sat May 10, 2014 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by nigelb on Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:51 am

Looks absolutly fantastic!  Good job.

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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Sat May 10, 2014 11:14 pm

Latest update -  see the first post at the top, I replaced the earliest outdated pics with two videos - you can see how it will be when it's released - not too long now.  Very Happy
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:08 pm

The extended Cwm Twypsin branch will be released shortly. The access to the files will be through links on a PDF which will be provided when the download button on the website is clicked.


Above: That's what the first page looks like (links pixellated, no sneaky previews before I say so)  Twisted Evil 

About the size of downloads these days:
The penalty for better than average detail in routes is, alas, larger downloads. It used to be possible to do all the objects in a modest size bundle of maybe 35-40Mb (Dennis Lance's "Maplestead was 29mb). No longer! The Cwm T road vehicles objects folder alone is  nearly 40mb. Even Alan Hudnott's Midland Suburban (Alan's very good and doesn't "over engineer", he's quite efficient) is 78mb and NWM is the largest at 128Mb - which is also good for such an extensive route. First Brno is a huge 179Mb, though that's because it's full of "super-detail" objects - "Best quality" resolution does mean big image files. Cwm Twypsin latest edition is also around 78mb and the whole Ballyfeckin & Waterville  is around 110Mb.
Now, some people can cope with downloads that size, but many can't, so it needs to be split to deliver it.
And that adds to the complexity of extracting and reassembling the stuff. Plus, even if there's a "read me" with helpful hints and instructions thrown in, what bugger ever opens it and actually reads it??
Hence the "PDF" method of delivery.
The customer clicks "download here" on the website and gets an Adode Acrobat PDF document. This is the "read-me" with credits and illustrated instructions to read or print out. Including an illustration of the folder structure - which is where a f**k up is most likely to occur when installing any BVE item.
The "clever bit" is that clicking the hyperlinks in the PDF (or else copying them into a browser address bar if preferred) causes the files to be downloaded from the server.
So, I'm hoping it's a step in the right direction. Other new features include ALL the needed signals being integrated - so if someone doesn't have "BRsigsOPEN" (or whatever) installed in the object folder it won't matter one jot.
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Dexter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:41 pm

@graymac: The new version of FBT has been revised and the size has been cut to somewhat 70 MB. Smile
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by graymac on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:44 pm

The new version of FBT has been revised and the size has been cut to somewhat 70 MB.

Oh, good. That's a big size reduction to the version I'm using now. Is that downloadable now on your website?
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Dexter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:47 pm

Not yet, patience, please. Smile  But it is due to reducing most of the textures to 8-bit via Photoshop.  Cool
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Quork on Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:38 pm

I use the PNGOUT-plugin for IrfanView. Needs several minutes already for some small 16 colour image - but it sucks out every last unnecessary bit. I've seen size reductions as high as over 50% with it.
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Dexter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:42 pm

Yep, the Photoshop thingy does something similar, reduces the sizes of textures by 40-60%. The time is a couple of seconds though...
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by leezer3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:01 am

Irfanview PNGOUT isn't bad and neither is Photoshop, but it won't get you nearly as small as you can go.

Try this for size:
http://pnggauntlet.com/

Whilst it'll take a long time to run, you'll save somewhere in the region of 30% total.
Depending on the file you may get as much as 90% size reduction, down to somewhere about a 5% reduction for something that's been through Irfanview.

(On a test run on the Cwm Typsn veichles folder, I'm just over 50% of the way through after 20 mins on a reasonable speed quad core and have saved 5.5mb so far. I'd guess on a total 8-10mb total saving)

Cheeers

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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Dexter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:05 am

I might as well try that... I still have the original files. It does convert png's to 8-bit as well, right? It might run quite well on i5 and on Phenom II x4...

EDIT: Whole folder (about 40 pics) done in 1min 7secs on i5. Average size reduction is about 10%...
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by leezer3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:27 am

Dexter wrote:
I might as well try that... I still have the original files. It does convert png's to 8-bit as well, right? It might run quite well on i5 and on Phenom II x4...

No 8-bit, it just applies multiple PNG compressions in sequence.
You'll get less of a drop on 8 bit files, but should still be around the 5% mark I'd think.

Final result on the Cwm Typsn vehicles folder:
12793.25kb saved, in 38:40 mins

Cheers

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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Dexter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:34 am

Yeah, obviously, as the 8-bit textures are not as big as 24-bit ones. :-)
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Northern Line on Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:46 am

I know some parts of welsh railways use the ERTMS in cab signalling. A very lookalike to the signalling on the Eurostar
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Re: Welsh Branch progress update

Post by Quork on Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:47 pm

AFAIK that's only one line and acts as a lifesize laboratory for ETCS (ERTMS).
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