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tossedman

Noah's T-Trak Module

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cteno4

OMG, i just opened the kobaru PDF file in illustrator and they are all vector objects! that means super easy to cut and paste and manipulate and gives you the full print resolution of your printer! that is really nice, i wonder if they realized what they have done! I guess they could think folks in the know could use it to print their own test streets using their markings and then use the ruboffs on their final in place streets.

 

Thanks for the link Madsing! they also have a few masks for building parts as also station tiles, but that file is password protected to try to get into and edit with illustrator or photoshop (you can do that with the PDF files).

 

http://www.kobaru.com/download.html

 

Many may already know about graphic file formats but ill outline it in case you dont know heres the basics of whats being said...

 

There are two basic kinds of graphic files, Bit mapped and vector.

 

Bit mapped ones are ones like you take with your digital camera or scanner and are just a rows and rows of individual pixels that each have a color value. These are like gif, png, jpeg, bmp, tiff, etc. Basically the density of pixels (ie DPI or resolution or megapixel--total number of pixels in the file) will set how detailed the picture can be and while you can interpolate new pixels to blow things up past the current resolution the image gets blurrier. Of course the higher the resolution the file the bigger the file will be in size. so many times you get pictures on the web that are at like a forth the resolution that your printer can print them. so if you want them bigger they get fuzzy and the edges especially can get blurred. You edit bit mapped images in paint programs, photoshop, gimp, etc.

 

Vector images are basically just out lines of the images in the image. these are mostly mathematically based equations to create the curve or line, etc. Then you can set the fill color to a solid or pattern or gradient that again is usually mathematically based, so to describe most objects it takes only a tiny bit of data. the great thing then is that you can scale these objects to any size you want and go to any printer resolution you want and you will get out put at the full resolution of your printing device! Postscript (there are lots of others now too) is a programming language created to do most of this kind of work. problem with vector drawing is its hard to get tiny detail into an image so you get more of a stylized image than the photo image (although you can get as detailed as you want!) You edit these with the classic drawing programs, illustrator, corel draw, inkspace, etc.

 

Many graphics programs allow some crossover, usually doing one as the main thing and allowing a little of the other and there are a few programs that try to do both as well. Lots of times folks will create the basic drawing in a vector program then take it into a bitmapped program to add painting like detail to it.

 

PDF files are a universal file that adobe created that can contain text, vector, bitmap and data information all in one file format. you can also allow them to be opened up and parts pulled out by other programs or lock them down so you can only really look at the presented page or print it.

 

hope that helps, i find folks getting confused by this stuff all the time.

 

cheers

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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tossedman

Yup, I'd just figured that out Jeff. Cool! Now what to do with all those rub on Kobaru lines I got.

 

On another note, I found this tutorial (and I haven't tried it yet but it looks interesting) on making roads using Adobe Illustrator. It basically shows you how to create a road effect and then apply the resulted effect as a graphic style to any path that you draw. It'll give you the basic road. This probably isn't for rank beginners in Illustrator but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

 

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railsquid

Interesting, I never knew PDF could contain vector objects.

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cteno4

I have to confess it was todd that got me to open the file tonight when he emailed he had created an illustrator file out of it, he beat me to it!

 

Nice tutorial. Yeah a nice spray pattern done on a path of the road for each wheel or the center line of the road would nicely do it.

 

I had taken some of my vector illustrations into photoshop and just use the spray can to try wheel or oil stain marks and it worked well. but then i found it was easier to just had dodge them with some weathering powders with qtips. 

 

I think one of the early jns members in England did a module with beautifully done printed roads where he did a lot of work in photoshop to get all the road stains just right!

 

when you look at roads you will see some tend to show the tire lines while others (lighter pavements usually) show the oil/exhaust center stain more.

 

i need to get new roads back on all the ttrak, the current ones were the first rounds of quickies to make a show and i flubbed a few things and wanted to add more details and play with road pavement texture and color more. also want to get a new inkjet to play with the paper texture as i really like that a lot but had to switch to the color laser printer when the inkjet died...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4

Interesting, I never knew PDF could contain vector objects.

 

Yep they were designed to hold just about everything! first bits were all post script based stuff for text and layout graphics so basically started all vector based.

 

a few years back adobe almost had Apple set on the idea to make all mac files universal PDF files so you could edit them various parts with appropriate programs and not get locked into a specific proprietary file type. but that did not pan out but at least apple put output to PDF as a standard in all apps (but thru the print functions!).

 

jeff

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tossedman

By the way, Inkscape will edit PDFs and Adobe Illustrator files as well. 

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tossedman

Bit more messing around in Illustrator tonight. Here's the latest revision. I've eliminated the white line along the side of the tracks as the Unitram tracks already have one there. Who knew? I just spotted it a few minutes ago looking at my own photo.

 

Still more to come I'm sure and I'm going to have to make a couple more Unitram T-Trak modules I think. One's just not enough.

 

ttrak16.jpg

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd 

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tossedman

Well, I got one cartridge for the inkjet printer, still waiting on the other. I found some water colour inkjet paper in a filing cabinet. I want to see how that prints and what kind of texture it gives.  In the meantime I printed my latest roads on the colour laser printer. I'm not sure about the colour of the road textures, I may play in Photoshop and see if I can get the green tint out. I also need to find the rest of that tram stop. It's around here somewhere. Last thing I need to do is adjust the cross walks so they don't end up at a fence.

 

Here's the latest:

 

ttrak17.jpg

 

ttrak18.jpg

 

ttrak19.jpg

 

I've also put a piece of plywood in the car to take to work tomorrow to cut into 210 X 308 mm rectangles. Need to make a few more modules.

 

Got some paper building PDFs as well (thanks Jeff!!). I'm going to forward a few of these to Noah's pal's Mum (and she's an architect) and the two of them are going to build some buildings to put on the T-Trak module that Noah built with his friend. Now I know of two families in Calgary that are making T-trak modules.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

 

 

 

 

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railsquid

Looks good. One point of detail (sorry didn't notice earlier) - "止まれ" is usually written vertically, i.e.

 

 

What is "高横須賀" meant to represent? Expressway to Yokosuka?

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tossedman

Thanks railsquid,

 

I'll fix that up. 

 

高横須賀 is actually the neighbourhood that I lived in when I taught in Japan in 1990 (this was my apartment building ¥7500/ month!). It's in Tokai-shi, across the river from Nagoya, in Aichi-ken. My son wanted it in there somewhere so there it is.

 

Cheers eh,

 

​Todd 

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tossedman

How's this look?

 

ttrak20.jpg

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cteno4

Todd,

 

lemme know how the silhouette works out for the papercraft printouts! if that works well that will be a big time and accuracy step up on those! especially if you do clear windows on some!

 

jeff

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tossedman

Will do Jeff, gotta figure out how to make it work with registration marks. Doesn't look too difficult. 

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Kabutoni

When using the silhouette with marks, make sure the printout is 100% accurate and the registration marks are thin and accurate as well. I've had some trouble with printers (the downside of using convenience store printers) scaling the printout by a single percent or so, setting off the overall size by a fraction. The cutout will be accurate, but the intended size can be off by a few tenths of a millimeter.

 

Looking forward to the results!

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tossedman

Had enough plywood lying around to cut six more module tops. Now I've got enough wood cut to make four or maybe five more T-Trak modules any time the boys ask. I'm going to make an least one more to continue with this tram themed module. Later in July I'll see if I can whip up some corner modules so the boys can go round and round.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman

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JR 500系

Wow Todd that looks really pretty! Very nice!

 

I am starting to wonder if these roads would be available to us?  :P

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cteno4

Jr500,

 

These are pretty easy to do yourself! Those files from kobaru make it so easy to get going.

 

Jeff

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tossedman

Wow Todd that looks really pretty! Very nice!

 

I am starting to wonder if these roads would be available to us?  :P

Sammy PM me your email and I'll send you a copy when I get home. I'm out of town for the weekend.

 

Todd

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tossedman

Well, it's only been two years since we've dabbled in T-Trak but here is where we are now. I made some new modules using the laser cutter at school. I've tried the T-Trak Rus modules. They're actually 310 mm long, not 308 mm but with the accuracy of the laser cutter seem to work fine. Also, finally made some corner modules, so that we can actually run trains. Now Noah is messing around with design for these modules. I'm going to make one double wide module for his station and see where he goes with that. The cool thing is he's talked to his teachers at school about starting a T-Trak club there. They're all for it. Now he has to make a presentation to the principal. Could be fun! I'll let you all know where this goes.

 

ttrak22.jpg

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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