Making of a BR Class 37 cab - Part 3

By Tony_Hilliam, June 20 2019

In this blog series we will be looking into the development of a brand new Class 37 interior. This project is being undertaken by Brendan Dennish (Trainz Community member GDennish) who has been contracted by N3V Games during his summer break.

Getting Interactive

Once the model is textured, the next step is to get it in-game. In order to make any part of an interior interactive, it will need to be separated from the body of the cab to be user controllable.

In these next few images, you can see that every part is separated and then exported individually, even the small needles on the dials!

In the case of the sun visors, they also need a "collision" mesh, which is an invisible square that gives a range where the user can click on the sun visor. 

To get all of the individual parts positioned correctly in the cab, we need to use attachment points. This next chaotic picture shows the current attachment points in the Class 37 cab. Each lever, button, and switch will use one of these.

You may notice that the cab lacks any shine that exists in-game. This is because Blender is only displaying the "color texture" and not the texture that details the properties of the material itself (which is how you define how shiny, rough or reflective a surface will appear).

After the parts are separated, each component needs to be named and exported so it has a unique mesh file. Each named mesh is then enter in the config text file, which is a collection of data that tells Trainz what each part is and how it should operate.

This includes information such as which attachment point is used by which component, if it has animation, rotation bounds, etc. This next picture is one of the first exports of the cab.

Hours pass, and we begin to have more controls appearing in the cab (hopefully in the right position first time).

Sometimes things don't always go as planned. In the image below, I miss-typed "needle" for "handle" in the config and ended up with all of the needles in the cab showing with handles! Certainly don't think that will work on the railway!

You may also notice at this point, the outside body of the cab has changed color; this is a test of the many different liveries that will come with the new cab.

And here is the cab so far. It's turning out great, with some more scripting, testing and tweaking to do before it will be complete.

It's now looking quite a lot different to how it looked a few weeks ago...