Merge faces?

Translucency (and materials in general) with the Trainz export works in a very similar way to MSTS

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You should apply the TGA containing the translucency with a material tranlucent value of 1 if you are using materials that have total transparency only
For semi-transparent (translucent) use a value of 2 to 5 to sort the objects you may need to experiment.

Also make sure your *.texture.txt file contains a link to the TGA file for the Alpha= reference.

If in doubt, e-mail me direct with exactly what you are doing and I’ll try and point you in the right direction.

Stumped again! While doing the Lathe tutorial, I am required to ‘merge faces’. Perhaps I cannot see the wood for the trees, but extensive searching of the contents and all tutorials has failed to provide any clues.
( see pic ) Any help appreciated.
Cheers, Fender <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

Merge Faces is a 3DC plugin.
Some versions have the plugin and some don’t. Click on Tools at the top of the screen and then click Plugins. Look for MERGE FACES. If you have it the attached pdf will explain what to do.

Thanks, Spotaru, looks easy. I wander why the tutorials simply don’t tell you these things, forcing you to spend countless hours searching all over for things which are not there.
Very frustrating and time wasting for any newcomer to 3DC. Perhaps all the recent questions I have been posting could form the basis of a refreshed ‘Basics tutorial’ ?
Cheers, Fender <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

You’re welcome, Fender.
I’m in the process of writing some new beginner tutorials. If there is a topic you would like one written on, let me know. You can find them at either:
Beginner Tutorials

Beginner Tutorials

Hi Spotaru. A tutorial on ‘how to do transparencies/ alpha channels in 3DC’ would be good.( Train sim related ) This is an area I always have difficulty in understanding, no matter what 3D programme I use.
Cheers, Fender <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

Am trying to make a railing this involves cylinders. Back in G Max there was a menu were you could reduce the number of faces on a cylinder and the poly count went down.

In 3DC Pro I used the merge faces plugin to reduce the number of faces on a cylinder the results were as follows:

Default cylinder x=.1 Y=1 z=.1

Objects 1 Cylinder
Faces 18
Triangulated 60
Points 32

Modified cylinder x=.1 y=1 z=.1
Objects 1
Faces 9
triangulated 60
Points 32

I always thought that the triangulated was the polycount they appear to be the same for both cylinders which of course they are not, the modified cylinder is obviously better for polycounts. As a newbie I just observed this and thought it was interesting. The 9 face cylinder is fine for my railing.

You can adjust the parameters for a cylinder.
See attached pic.
1) Drop a cylinder onto the scene and select it
2) At the bottom of the Object Operation Panel,
are the Parameter settings.
I changed the longitude here to 8 giving an 8 sided cylinder.



Sorry, but I don’t do so well with alpha channels either. I don’t do very many models that need it. Also I am the last person to ask about Train Sim. Paul is the one to ask about trains and Bazza has probably forgotten more about texturing with alpha channels than I know at the present.

I am not sure what you mean my ‘not doing well’ with alpha channels. 3DC has the easiest handling of alpha channels of any program I have used. If your TGA texture image has an alpha channel, then 3DC will use it – no special settings, check boxes etc. I suspect if you are having difficulty, its probably more to do with how to get the alpha channel into the TGA file in the first place. And thats a function of your paint program. The exact details of this process varies from paint program to paint program ( and even from version to version ). If you are a Paint Shop Pro 9 user, I can provide some additional info.

Alpha textures…a very interesting subject.
I’ll do a tutorial on how I use them.

There’s quite a bit of confussion surrounding this subject with all the different terminology.
Take a look at the attached pic.

You use a file format with an alpha channel to create something like the tree image.The background is transparent.
.tga and .png are the two main file formats for Alpha channels.

You can also use an alpha texture which is completly different.
It can be any file format you want really.
It’s just a greyscale image.

In the attached pic I’ve applied one of my dirty glass textures as an alpha texture to a single plane and placed a cube behind it.
Dark areas of the texture are more transparent than the lighter areas.
You can also use these alpha textures as bump maps.

I’ll see what I can come up with…maybe something later this week.


I agree that 3DC uses alpha channels in premade textures very easily. I also understand how to use them with 3DC. I create all my textures, so I understand how to do things in my paint programs. What I don’t do well with is the parameters when using translucency layers in 3DC. I understand the bumpmap but not the translucency map and specular map features. Like I said I do my textures in a paint program and just apply them. And I have never created anything for Train Sim, so I don’t feel qualified to try and explain how to do these things.

I am concordant with Spotaru. I can get the alpha to appear in 3DC, but once exported ( e.g. – into the Trainz programme ) the dreaded black background reappears. I think this is something to do with the ‘translucency’ selection ( have tried setting 1 and 2 but to no avail ) .I await your tutorial, Bazza, with interest.
Cheers, Fender <!– s:D –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!– s:D –>

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