Problem with download - colors don't show up

Friday, October 9, 2009 6:45 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

When I download this great looking track of the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper, complete with red catwalks (how?)

http://nolimits-exchange.com/coaster/354/giant-dipper-santa-cruz-beach-boardwalk

Then ride it using my nolimits program, the red catwalks are gone, and the structure (and catwalks) are grey!? And the track is orange, not red. WTF?

I know I'm missing something here, obvious to some, but still trying to 'get' this program... thanks guys :)

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:06 PM
LostKause's avatar

I'm still trying to figure out NL too. I can make cool coasters, but I'm finding that learning all of the little special hidden features is not easy.


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Friday, October 16, 2009 1:45 AM
CoasterDemon's avatar

It sure isn't! I've been working on this coaster now for like 2 weeks. Even when I figure out the math to map out points, etc., the program still doesn't really come together.

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Friday, October 16, 2009 11:30 PM
LostKause's avatar

Math? Maybe you are overthinking it, like in the music/Obama thread? I just put the track where I want it, bank it, terraform, add scenery, add supports, re-tweek everything after multiple testing, change the colors round, and BAMB! A new coaster! lol


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Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:18 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

The track was likely made with a special Environment file that you don't have. For example, there is an Environment file I have to give your wood coasters a steel support structure look, but you have to make your colors grey for it to work. So if you don't load the file with the track in the Simulator, the track comes out all grey.

As for the Math... I actually do a lot of math with my NL tracks. I do mostly eyeball the shape of the hills, but make sure both sides are exactly symmetrical most of the time, but as for turns, I use a formula that I derived from a really nice track I got when I first started using NoLimits about 8 years ago.

For starters, set the grid to 1ft increments in both X and Y axes and in all views. Then to get more precision, set the Snap increment to 0.5ft. This is what I keep my grids set to. Now to make a good 90 degree curve, try this.... Start at the intersection of two Major grid lines (increments of 10ft) and set your end point 40ft to the right and 40ft up, thus a 40ft radius. Now the length of the spline handles is calculated as follows. Take the radius of the turn (40ft in this example) times 0.5225: 40ft x 0.5225 = 20.9ft. Round to the nearest 0.5ft. So stretch the two handles (tangent to the direction of the curve) 21ft and you'll have a nicely shaped curve. With the recent version of NL, you can finally paint different portions of the track different colors. I highly recommend upgrading to the latest and greatest.

Don't make a single curve segment more than 90 degrees, as it will become distorted. Instead, make multiple segments. To make a curve less than 90 degrees, start with a full 90 degree turn and then split the segment into pieces until you have the approximate angle of curvature, then get rid of the unwanted pieces.

This all may sound like too much math, but once you understand how to approach these things, it becomes a very simple process that you can do without really thinking about it.

If after you split your curve and the endpoint doesn't land on a grid dot, do a Select All and slide the endpoint to a grid dot (along with the rest of the track) and continue working from that point. If you have a straight section going off at an angle (other that perpendicular to the grid) look for patterns in the grid dots to figure out where your next endpoint should go so that it maintains a constant angle from where you started so you avoid kinks in the track.

Banking adds a whole new complexity to all of this though. With banking you want to place your points so that the heartline doesn't have kinks in it.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Saturday, October 17, 2009 6:31 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^^ I guess the problem I am having is making 2 concentric helices (think American Eagle) that look good. I figured out the math, the more points, the more bumpy it looks, even when smoothed. I came up with a combination of less points, then smooth, then move then smooth again. I think it's more difficult to try to make a track of something that already exists. After this design, I'm done with recreations, it's gonna be all new stuff!

From what I read, Nolimits 2 will be much easier to use. I sure hope so. It seems most of the time I have spent is simply just figuring out how to use the program to do what I want it to, rather than just playing with tracks (which is what I really like!)

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Sunday, October 18, 2009 1:29 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

The trick with concentric helices is constantly varying the radius of curvature. You can approximate it by "stepping" the radius a bit every 90 degrees, so by the time you've gone 360 degrees, you've pulled the curve in (or out) just enough to line up right next to where you started. Or you can use a third-party app to generate a virtually perfect spiral.

As a rule of thumb, always start with as few points as possible to get the basic shape of the element, then split the segment to add points as necessary for tweaking. I don't use the Auto-Smooth feature or any other third-party apps for my track work and I get pretty good results, especially for a woodie, which should have some minor jerks here and there. ;)


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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