SCARM track planning software - Hello from the author

Mixy, as you know I've been a fan for years.  I only have a single item for my wish list.  I would like to be create angles for objects I have drawn.  I love the way I can change end point elevations with track but I would love to be able to do the same with objects.  As an example draw a rectangle.  Raise one end up one inch leaving the other end where drawn.  With the object library and its current functions whatever i draw ends up looking just a little bit chunky as I can't do diagonals (IE bridge diagonals). 

Bridge Diagonals

I have used Scarm for so many projects even including designing a neighbors kitchen pantry!    I love it!  Thanks for listening.  Russ

Hello Russ,

Yes, such feature is important, but realization is quite difficult. I am still experimenting with the ways of how that to be done in a simple 2D view mode. It looks easy for rectangle, but it should also work in such way for polygons and other figures as well. And then we have grouping, rotating, aligning and every of these is a specific case that needs to be handled correctly when a figure/group is already tilted. I hope to be able to introduce something working in the next months, but cannot promise anything.

Mixy

Dave, I wish you hadn't deleted your comments.  I love Scarm but I have always wanted to be able to import into it.  Your explanation on how to do it was a great tutorial.  I did not know about the .obj code way of inserting into the lib function.  So thank you for your post.  If you are concerned about hijacking THIS thread, how about just posting a NEW thread about how to import into Scarm, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks.  Russ

Russ, I apologize for my haste and should have simply removed the comments directed toward atka's condescending remarks rather than deleting everything. However, since they were only aimed at the video, they left a lot to be desired when it comes to what you're looking for.

Be that as it may, I have no idea how Mixy plans to let us create or add objects with smoother contours like the crane atka posted. He was right that I am not well-versed on the specifics of the process or exactly what tools will do the job, but I understand the basic process, and that and the high cost of Sketchup were my only points.

Anyway, AFAIK the steps are:

- create .obj (Wavefront) object files using a 3D editor like Sketchup. As I mentioned, the free version doesn't create .obj files, so you either have to buy the expensive Shop or Pro version or use another free or low-cost editor/converter that does. Windows Paint 3D creates .obj files, but I have no idea if they are compatible. Like I said, I'm not well-versed on 3D editing or .obj files.

- create a .lib file for the objects you created. I have no idea how to do this and atka didn't share much information on the subject.

- copy or move the .lib file to the SCARM Lib folder. It will then appear in the Libraries menu for selection just like the track libraries (see photo). On my laptop, it's C:\Program Files (x86)\SCARM\Lib.

It looks like atka deleted his posts, including the video , but in the video, Sketchup appeared to create the .lib file and may have even put it in the Lib folder. It's sad that he chose to attack me rather than correct any errors I made or explain the process in further detail. The only real difference between SCARM and 3D editors is that the editors let you add diagonal lines on the 3D plane vs SCARM's 2D editing. Regardless of what Mixy decides to do, I hope he continues to allow us to add objects to the Lib folder. If I ever find out how to create the .lib file (for free), I may try my hand at 3D editing, something I haven't done yet.

I should add that one can create fairly complex objects in SCARM using figures. The problem is that while you could create your bridge with smooth diagonal beams laying on its side, you can't then stand it upright.

Capture

 

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Photos (1)

   It appears Atka is no longer with us. No great loss other than we missed a product name to possibly avoid (imo).  I'd rather draw in dirt with my "longest finger" than use an un-stimulating simulation 😂.

Besides, Scarm offers one now right?

   I have to say I thought the instructions rightly belonged here too DD.  You didn't go into to detail how to use Sketch-up, just how to import it into SCARM, making BOTH more versatile in doing so.   It may not be viable for later versions today (?), but I'm only a charger away from firing up an old build of SCARM sometime .

   Having as many SCARM intructionals in one thread (or two as I think there are two "bests") ... as possible is definitely the way to go

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Thank you very much for reposting.  As I stated many times on this forum I am a great fan of Scarm and how much Mixey supports us.  I have used Scarm for all kinds of design projects and some of them were actually model railroad related!    Anyhow, thanks again for reposting.  I've printed out your steps so I can refer to them later.  Russ

Russ, you're welcome. I use SCARM for all kinds of other things too, like designing our backyard makeover, though the ability to define specific coordinates for objects in RR-Track makes it easier for detailed work.

Adriatic, like I said, I should have just edited my comments and left them here, but it turns out I think the new ones are better anyway. As far as atka is concerned, I don't have a problem with him, I just wish he had corrected anything I said that was wrong rather than deriding someone he doesn't even know.

@Mixy, quick question for you...

I've seen the tutorial on how to create mountains using "figures" (user polygons) stacked at various heights.  But the resulting terrain features always end up looking like a wedding cake!

I prefer how the terrain slopes up gradually  to elevated roads and track, or smooths nicely over the sides of a tunnel.  Clearly there is a smarter behavior programmed into the software, that determines how track and roads deform the terrain, compared to figures.

So I've been using "dummy" roads and track scraps to achieve gradual transformations.  I've discovered how to "bury" these dummy splines under transparent figures, so they don't show in the 3-D view.  But they still clutter the 2-D display (unless I move them to an inactive layer, which I can also do.)

One of the subtler things I tried to use from the Roads library is a "Road End."  It does deform the terrain, and it's not too distracting to look at.  But once it's created and placed, I can't figure out how to select it, to copy it or change its position.  Is it possible to move a Road End once it's placed?

Without looking through all of SCARM's many libraries... is there an "invisible" track or road spline that would allow me to form gradual terrain without unduly cluttering up the 2-D display?   

For our readers' benefit, two examples of layouts built with "smooth mountains" are attached.  Thanks in advance for any tips you can offer!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

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Files (2)
Use of an inclined road to make a sloping bluff
Use of road ends and detour segment to create a knobby peak

The automatic terrain generator in SCARM can handle almost all configurations of tracks and roads in order to create well looking terrain surface. I am still experimenting with several kinds of user controls that will enable the terrain generation to be set and later edited by the user, but the terrain formation interface is not yet ready. The problem is that a lot of code needs to be rewritten for proper mixing of the current interface with the future terrain controls. And I will probably leave this for the next major (2.0) version of SCARM.

So, for now, the easiest workaround is using of the polygons and fast creation of cake-looking mountains in 3D.

The other way (that you already know) is with "dummy" flex-tracks (or roads) in tunnel. In order to distinguish these from the regular tracks, use some smaller scale, i.e. HO and apply i.e. a black color (it will look gray when set in tunnel). And if you don't want these to appear in 2D mode, move them to invisible layer.

"Road end" pieces are also working, I had not thought of them. You cannot directly select a single Road end by click on it - instead, surround it with selection rectangle. Once selected, you can change its height or delete it. But moving is possible only when the Road end is attached to another road section.

Mixy

The new SCARM v. 1.5.0 is ready and published. Download it directly from www.scarm.info as "Check for Updates" feature will start to report it in 1-2 days. Read more about the new version in the blog post below:

SCARM v. 1.5.0 Released

One of the additions in this version is the new "Ramp" figure. With the help of several stacks of normal and inverted ramps, the program will now be able to represent almost any structure with tilted elements i.e. like the bridge below:

That is still not true "tilt" function in SCARM, but is much better than the jagged objects, created within the previous versions of the program.

There are also new tools and improvements in the interface, many bugfixes and also one new library in O scale.

Hope you will like the new release of SCARM

Mixy

MikeH posted:

Mixy,

Any chance you can add the MTH 90 degree crossover (10-4006) to the MTH Std Gauge track selection? 

Sure, I can add this crossing, but I can't find the dimensions in the catalogue. If you know, or can measure the length of one of the legs, tell me the value and I will prepare that for the next update of the program.

Mixy

MikeH posted:

I don't own one.  I'll ask in the tinplate forum.

OK, let me know when you find out.

TheDude23112 posted:

can any objects be stretched to make them bigger?

Not yet, but will work to introduce such functionality.

ChiloquinRuss posted:

Wow, thanks for the upgrade and the Ramp feature.  I can't wait to get home and give er' a go!  Thanks again.  Russ

Looking forward to see your feedback and also your new objects and structures in SCARM

Mixy

The trick is to use a stack (group) of one "normal" (with positive Height) and one "inverted" (with negative Height) rams together (side by side) and then to use several stacks (i.e. red, yellow, red as shown below) one over another and partially overlapped.

When the stacks (gorups) are aligned with proper horizontal and vertical offsets, you should get this:

Mixy

Mixy posted:
MikeH posted:

Mixy,

Any chance you can add the MTH 90 degree crossover (10-4006) to the MTH Std Gauge track selection? 

Sure, I can add this crossing, but I can't find the dimensions in the catalogue. If you know, or can measure the length of one of the legs, tell me the value and I will prepare that for the next update of the program.

Mixy

Mixy,

The crossover tracks are 11.75 inches in length (not counting pins, of course).

Mike

MikeH (formerly "beachhead2")

I've been using the new build 1.5 off-and-on this weekend.  I haven't made use of the new ramp feature.  But I did notice a few unfamiliar or unexpected behaviors when selecting track.

It used to be that if I double-clicked, all connected track was selected.  This weekend on a few occasions when I double-clicked, it seemed as if all track of the same TYPE was selected, even when it was non-adjacent and seemingly random throughout the project.

Have any changes been made to the track selection logic in the program?  Also, if I wanted to test it further, is it possible to revert to the earlier (1.40) version of SCARM?  Hardly a deal-breaker because 1.5 works just fine, but curious.  Thanks!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Hello Ted,

Nothing is changed in the code for selection. Selecting of same type tracks at double-click occurs only when Shift key is held down.  I just checked that to see if some new bug is introduced, but selection works normally for me. See all selection modes here: Selection of Tracks And Objects.

Mixy

Ah, sorry about that.  I guess I was holding "Shift" down, and that explains why curves all over the screen were turning red!

Another weird issue related to layers...  SCARM let me rename Layer 0 as "Track." But I'm unable to rename it now, nor rename any of the other layers.  Also, I moved some large polygon figures to Layer 1.  However after some further use and saving of the file, I'm no longer able to de-select Layer 1.  (I would like to do so, to facilitate selection by rectangle.)

Is this the best place to report unexpected software behavior if we observe any?  Thanks!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

Another weird issue related to layers...  SCARM let me rename Layer 0 as "Track." But I'm unable to rename it now, nor rename any of the other layers.  Also, I moved some large polygon figures to Layer 1.  However after some further use and saving of the file, I'm no longer able to de-select Layer 1.  (I would like to do so, to facilitate selection by rectangle.)

Again, there is nothing changed in the code for layers selection and renaming. To see how to manage the layers, please, read this: How to work with the layers in SCARM.

Mixy

   Cushman, have you thought about 72 mixed with smaller curves in places of less visual impact. You can get a tighter curve overall but still have 72 where it does the most good that way.  If it's limiting a big engines use, forget it; but otherwise it's a way to get a bigger curve out of the room you do have.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





   Hey Mixey, since SCARM has evolved far beyond a simple hobby project for you, I just want to point out there is no track laying app for Droid/ mobile ios app that I've been able to find. Lots of games that are "close but no cigar" that might serve as a template for a builder app too.

  I've been waiting to shoot the idea at you before pleading to any of these game app dev.s for an offshoot of a game to sandbox in.

 At this point, accuracy and other detail is near redundant. I'd be happy with just some virtual track to mess with at times, nothing as in depth as SCARM is of a huge need there yet imo, but "nothing at all" screams of opportunity don't you think? (Yea, I know YOU aren't into the "toy" OS codes but I bet you know someone who is)

  A reminder even in it's simplist public form, SCARM got used a lot. I think far simpler than SCARM, could work out as an app. And it could also be a lead-in to additional SCARM use "at home".

   You could call it something silly.... SCALP.... Simpler Computer Aided Railway Producer....or SCRAPP  "Silly Computer" Railway App?

we  Keep it simple, maybe the abilty to share and zoom a SCARM file, but very limited if allowed at all . So, building with the app; super limited too as this buggy toy OS changes a whole lot very fast, and very often as well.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Robert Cushman posted:

Adriatic

Ill send a photo of the full room and measure it so u can see what I have to work with.

I'd like to help, but I don't have a windows machine at this point.

  I'm not as good at design as many folk are anyhow (my opinion anyhow). I think I'm better at seeing flaws or unseen options really.

   I'm not denying you an effort, but it won't be easy. Your call really, but a third or forth set of eyes and a program really speed things along.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





When you post a request TOPIC for design help (your own), "they" will come.  I wouldn't mind a heads up if you do. @Adriatic in a post (sends me a notification) or to my mail is always ok...ok?.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Robert Cushman posted:

Dave give me a new idea for an o72 layout on an 8x12 layout. I cant think of any ideas. I do have room to chop up a table though to make a sort of surround type but the o72 turns are so stinking big its tough.

I’m on vacation in the Gulf Shores area and won’t get home until Sunday, so it’ll be a few days before I have some time to fiddle with designs.

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