how do i do power lines?

The intricacies, or simplicities of 3D modelling are worth understanding. Alongside other forums like Building Rolling Stock, Scenic Item Creation and the other tool specific forums here's another place to ask questions that just don't quite fit the other forums.

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andreas13
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how do i do power lines?

Post by andreas13 »

Hello!

I'm making power lines but i wonder how i should do the wires?
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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by andreas13 »

No one knows?
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Acorncomputer
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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by Acorncomputer »

Hi

I have not actually made this type of model myself but I would guess that the wires would be modelled as an extrusion using anything from three to six faces. You could probably get away with a vertical two sided object as well depending on the detail required and perhaps whether the model will be lofted or not. Using extruded wires you can add in the sag of the wires between poles for extra effect.

You will need a pole without wires, one with wires on one side and perhaps an end pole with wires to the ground on one side. Using a combination of these you can create a run of power lines of any length you like.

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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by andreas13 »

I have made it as a loft, the poles is scenery blueprints.
If you look at the image i want to have 3 wires.
Should i extrude line to make the wires?
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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by Acorncomputer »

As a loft you could perhaps use a similar principle to the default rural fencing that has an object with transparency between the posts for the wires but this might make it difficult for you to include the line sag which would look a bit odd on short sections as the wire would not correctly meet the pole at one end.Taut wires would be OK.

You could add modelled extruded wires as part of the loft set up which might give a better result but the sagging effect would be a problem again although taut wires should work OK.

A non-lofted version might have problems going up hills as the poles would have to lean in order to meet the next pole correctly which would look very odd.

If I was tackling this problem I would probably make a choice between -

a) A lofted version with modelled wires that are fully taut
b) A lofted version without any wires at all
c) or both for near and distant effects

I hope that helps

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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by andreas13 »

I think i test to do it like fences with loftTrans, how do i do that so the lines is in the correct hight and place? The wires should be between its other.
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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by Acorncomputer »

Not having actually done this I am not entirely sure of the way to go but I think you will need to make up an object comprising three double sided objects with the wire image showing on each side. This should look like three wires when looking at any angle except immediately overhead, immediately underneath or end on. I think this object needs to be placed in your modelling program with the group/object centre located at the 0.0.0. World origin so that at that point the wires are at the correct height and position to line up with the poles. Export this to TS2012 as a separate object. I think a normal Scenery Blueprint is OK.

In the loft section blueprint specify this model as the middle geometry object. You may have to experiment with wire lengths to get the best results and the distance between poles.

You might like to try extruded wires in a similar way which may give you better results.

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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by 3DTrains »

It isn't hard, but it does take some patience and practice. Forgive me if I leave out a step - it's been some time since I tinkered with these. :oops:

Create the wires of the length you're after as single polys with an alpha material, and keep the poles or towers as a separate child object (only one pole or tower is really necessary). Use of a 3D solution is wasted effort, IMHO, as the object is too small to make out detail from any reasonable distance. The wire texture should droop from near the top to near the bottom of the image, and you can control the amount of visual droop in the wires by adjusting the height of the wire loft in your 3D program. Setup your blueprint so the pole or tower is at the start of the loft, but not in the middle or end. I normally make my wires about 1m in height and 100~300m in length. Using your tower, the top of the wire model would be near the bottom of the insulator and extend just a meter or so downward. Spacing should be near 150m for this type, but check your documentation or find an example in Google Earth and measure from that.

The magic comes when you lay the loft in the sim. By knowing the length of your wire loft model, stretch the loft so that it's just shy of it's actual length (within a half meter or so) so that only one pole or tower appears, rotate to the desired direction, and then use Ctrl+C to copy the newly laid object and pasting copies in a space less than 2000m. Any further and the sim may crash, as it won't be able to find the copied objects origin so far away (I usually go for about 1500m before doing the copy process again). Using the join tool, return to the first copy and start by attaching it to the original loft, repeating as you continue down the line. Leave the last wire object unattached and use it as the basis for your next copy/pasting session.

I found that by doing wires this way allows me to use the gradient tool to adjust pole/tower heights to travel through hills and valleys, but at the same time keep the wires visually attached to their insulators at either end. To get around curves, you simply break the weld by rotating the tower near its axis, but then only a small bit. I've done poles of all types, including large towers, and all with very satisfying results.

Here's an example of one of my lofts (sorry - best image I had on hand):

Image

Note: RSC really need to get on the ball and document the sim and give examples. They did so once with RS and should update for use in RW. Thankfully Derek has his Art of Railworks blog, but only upadtes it in his spare time - which he probably has little of these days. Otherwise, RSC's grand plans for taking over the sim-planet will ultimately end in the dust bin. :roll:
Cheers!
Marc - 3DTrains

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Re: how do i do power lines?

Post by Acorncomputer »

Thanks for that Marc. I will probably need to this one day and have noted your method.

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