Archive for the 'Art' Category

General Teaser Info

I wanted to make a kind of a general post about the teaser video we presented when announcing Subtransit. The train in this video is running on a pre-determined sequence of events – but otherwise everything is physically simulated. The only thing that was fully animated in the video was the camera movement (which I keyed in manually with the curves editor).

The teaser video takes place on a section of the Moscow Circle line, track 1. This section is one of many that make up the entire big level (each section is streamed in as player moves around the level).

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Fixed Subscattering on Switches

I’ve done a small update on the plastic switch material. These switches are made of a semi-transparent material, a pretty old type of plastic. An obvious choice is using the Unreal Engine 4 subsurface shading model (subscattering model), though previously they still looked ugly. The change is very simple, but it makes them look significantly better – I’ve added a gradient in opacity along the vertical distance of the switch. This reflects the effect that more light goes through the top than through the bottom (as bottom of the switch is sitting inside its slot, covered from all sides).

Note that just like all other pictures on this blog, all pictures are preliminary and a work in progress. They do not reflect the final quality!

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Automatic Switches

As part of upgrading the visuals of the train, here’s a new model with new materials for automatic switches of the train. These switches take role of circuitbreakers – they protect various parts of control circuits of the trains against excessive currents. There are approximately ~72 of them in a 81-717 train.

These switches have three states (off, on, tripped). In many cases, disabling part of the train control circuitry may help when diagnosing or eliminating a problem that would otherwise leave the train stopped. There were also cases when drivers have made very considerable mistakes due to an otherwise minor failure – while simply switching off the electric circuit would’ve eliminated the issue.


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Wheel Rendering

The wheels are rendered with great detail in Subtransit at highest quality settings and the highest detail LOD model. The wheels are a product of a complex multi-layered material and some mesh decal based multi-layering… but mostly just the product of how the source texture is made! As usual, this is just work in progress – only the base rendering with little to no polishing done on it.


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New Panel Texturing

I’ve been working on few new additional features to the Subtransit texturing subsystem. The game uses a slightly unconventional approach to texturing which permits significantly higher detail density than simply using unique textures per object. I will talk about the texturing subsystem more in the following posts, but this post should give a general hint of how it’s structured.

So while driving the train, one of the most important parts about the experience is the drivers controls and the drivers panel. In the 81-717 train, the panel is a big console located right in front of the driver, containing most of the primary train controls. It is made up of several panels called blocks (numbered from 1 to 7):

In Subtransit, each of the train wagons is unique to an extent (defined by its unique wagon number, as well as minor differences in the cabin and in the interior). This means that the scuff marks, scratches and other damage, re-painting traces and paint colors and so on are all varied and different in every single wagon.

While it wasn’t originally planned that the train panels would have a complicated rendering procedure, the need for easy adjustment of panel colors, preference for having unique cabins and so on was all justification for blending the final panel material in runtime. Here is a test render of the panel after all the improvements I’ve added to the base shader. This does not reflect how it will look like in the final game, it is merely a test mockup!


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Rheostat Arrays

I have completed some work on the undertrain equipment for the 81-717 train, specifically the rheostat arrays. They are an array of resistances which are connected together in a specific way – as the train accelerates or brakes, the extra electric power that cannot be utilized by train is dissipated on these resistors as waste heat.

The rheostat array in Subtransit is all wired up correctly on each type of train – every single resistor, wire and conducting link are in their correct places and correspond to the physically simulated model. Of course, I don’t think anybody would notice if it was wrong, but these are the kinds of details that I want to see in the game.


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