High resolution openBVE screenshots and updates

Posted by Anthony_B on October 12, 2009 at 07:39

Thankfully I have more time available now, so I should be able to pick up where I left off and resume development for openBVE. I recently upgraded my computer, and I’m rather pleased with how openBVE and various routes including my own are running on the new system, so I want to share a few more screenshots of how openBVE, Cross-City South v1.4 and Watford Junction to Rugby can run on higher-end hardware, as well as to show some progress being made. I’m working on adjusting the dawn lighting to produce some nice visuals on Cross-City South v1.4, and I’m also experimenting with some higher resolution catenary textures particularly suited to openBVE’s smooth transparency mode, as well as adding some 3D trees to Watford Junction to Rugby to see how the extra detail is handled. Here are some WUXGA 1920×1200 resolution screenshots from openBVE v1.2.2, with full 16xQ anti-aliasing, 16x anisotropic filtering, and with smooth transparency enabled; there aren’t many animated objects visible in these scenes however, so framerates on equivalent hardware (see below) will be a bit lower in the final releases. Some other openBVE add-ons are presented, as well as my own:

openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and X-City South v1.4--click to enlarge
» openBVE v1.2.2 «, and Birmingham Cross-City South v1.4 with new class 323 and 3D cab (1920×1200)
(London Midland Class 153 externals by » Steve Thomas «)

Horizontal Rule

openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2, and Watford Junction to Rugby with 2D and 3D trees (1920×1200)

Horizontal Rule

Amongst the features planned for openBVE 2, are thunder and lightning effects. Early on during the openBVE project I demonstrated rainfall effects and thunder using openBVE 1′s capabilities; while it’s possible to create these effects within a route, I think it would be better to have these effects handled by openBVE rather than the route developer, along with lightning. This is another feature which I’m very much looking forward to, but I wanted to see what kinds of effects could be created anyway, so I did a few experiments. The following screenshots show how I envisage lightning might look on a route like Watford Junction to Rugby in future; the textures require a little refinement as this is just a test, but you get the idea (in full motion, the lightning strikes flicker and the effect looks better):

openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Watford Junction to Rugby--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2, and Watford Junction to Rugby lightning experiment (1920×1200)
Horizontal Rule

Another openBVE project, the excellent » Chashinai Railway « network, was updated again a few days ago; the 1000 and 2000 series trains now have new plugins catering for ATS-SN as well as ATS-P in the case of the 1000 series train (don’t forget to read the train operation manuals on the website before driving with these safety systems), and both feature photo-realistic 2D/panel2.cfg based cabs with fully working ammeters and slightly dirty windscreens. The rivers found on these routes also demonstrate a good way of implementing moving water, and the new passenger textures, and photo-realistic trees and scenery textures enhance the routes as well. Here are some high resolution screenshots of the routes and 1000/2000 series trains; note the fully working ammeters in the in-cab screenshots (requires » openBVE v1.2.2 «):

openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Chashinai Railways--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2, Chashinai Railway (» odakyufan «), and 1000/2000 series trains with working ammeters (1920×1200)
Horizontal Rule

Also, here are a few high resolution screenshots of the recently released » Saijou Line « for openBVE as well, which include various animated objects, night lighting and great atmosphere:

openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge openBVE v1.2.2 and Saijou Line--click to enlarge
openBVE v1.2.2 and the Saijou Line (» http://tozai.s77.xrea.com «) (1920×1200)
Horizontal Rule

Watford Junction to Rugby, Performance, and *BVE

All of these screenshots were captured on a system with a Core 2 Quad Q9650 CPU (3 GHz), 2GB DDR2-1066 RAM and a GeForce GTX 260 graphics card, running on a motherboard equipped with the P45 Express chipset, and as you can see, even Watford Junction to Rugby runs nicely here, never dropping below about 40 fps in the external view with the class 87 and a 600m drawing distance (achievable with 2 CPU cores in use rather than 4). It will likely run even better with openBVE 2′s renderer, allowing those with slower computers to enjoy some higher framerates too. It’s also important to note, out of openBVE, BVE 2, BVE 4, and the latest pre-release version of BVE 5 (after the route has been converted to it’s new formats), that at the moment, openBVE remains the only simulator that is capable of loading and/or handling Watford Junction to Rugby with the high level of detail and object count it currently has, and openBVE handles the route on a slower Athlon64 X2 4200+ system with a Radeon HD 2600 Pro as well. Incidentally, I can’t assess whether Cross-City South v1.4 would be suitable for BVE 5 yet, as the route is very unfinished and there’s still a lot left to add; of course you’d certainly lose all the dynamic scenery and animation effects, along with the 323′s 3D cab, exterior and passenger views after such a conversion–hence I can say that my priority will remain openBVE. Naturally with Watford Junction to Rugby, I want to focus on openBVE primarily as well, and as the project is taking a long time to complete, BVE 2 and 4 compatibility and detail reduction will now be a lower priority, and I’ll only start on this task after all the openBVE features are finalised and the project is otherwise completed.

Lastly, I’ve been used to using openBVE with a 17″, 5:4 aspect ratio TFT monitor at a resolution of 1280×1024, but now I’ve seen openBVE running on a 24″ TFT with a 16:10 aspect ratio, routes and trains can look magnificent, and I’m highly impressed by the additional immersion which is offered, especially with the 323′s 3D cab. The higher resolution also makes arranging and working with a text editor and openBVE’s development tools much more enjoyable, and it’s also better for working with something like a C# IDE for example, or image editing software. More updates will follow soon.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “High resolution openBVE screenshots and updates”

  1. blyndy says:

    The dawn screenshots are beautiful.

    I think you should make the route just for openBVE so you can concentrate on one version. It doesn’t take much to install openBVE, so it shouldn’t be a big deal for BVE-n users to have openBVE just for one route. And if someone wants it enough for BVE-n they can port/debug the route themselves.

    I hope michelle is going well with openBVE 2. I beleive the module system is difficult to do, but hopefully it will be great for other developers to make addons and even to contribute improvements.

    • Anthony_B says:

      Thanks for the comments. It’s tempting to leave BVE 2/4 compatibility to those dedicated enough to the old programs, but I said I’d accommodate BVE 2/4 previously, so I have to keep my word. I’ll gladly accept any assistance from anyone who wishes to help in that conversion process however. :)

      ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

      By the way, just a quick note for everyone in this thread; I know I’ve been neglecting the blog recently, and I’m not excusing it, that wasn’t a good show on my part…

  2. Once again I’m blown away. The only thing that stands out as an obvious omission — as it always has done — is the little clips that connect the dropper wires between the catenary wire and contact wire. Otherwise, it’s getting pretty close to photo-realistic.

    (OK, that and the fuzzy catenary arms, but the catenary is being upgraded anyway it seems.)

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for when OpenBVE gets opposing traffic, may finally be time to get a new PC. Then the question becomes, Windows 7, or stick-in-the-mud XP? :P I guess 7 is just an inevitability as XP ages, already 7 years old. Hard to imagine, especially given the collective revulsion towards Mac OS 9 the instant Mac OS X hit.

    • Anthony_B says:

      Sadly the clips will have to wait, but I suspect it’s something I could do for openBVE 2 eventually. :) I experimented with fully 3D registration arms rather than transparent texture based versions as well, although I’m not convinced that it’s worth the time and effort needed to use them everywhere. The catenary shown in xcs_14_openbve_20.jpg and xcs_14_openbve_21.jpg use the upgraded higher resolution textures; you can see the side-by-side difference between the different texture resolutions in xcs_14_openbve_25.jpg.

      I’m now using Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Windows XP Home 32-bit, and Ubuntu 9.04 32-bit (I’ll upgrade to 9.10 soon), and they all have their advantages and disadvantages, joys and annoyances. Ubuntu was rather trouble free once set up, and any problems I had, were more likely due to my relative lack of experience with Linux. Having said that, I wasn’t so keen on the mouse pointer acceleration and sensitivity options and I couldn’t set them just as I like – I’d probably get used to it if I didn’t switch back and forth between Ubuntu and Windows though. As far as Windows 7 vs. XP is concerned, Windows 7 boots to a “usable” desktop faster on my system (the main problem with XP is startup programs and slow, disk intensive desktop icon refreshing), but subjectively, XP feels more responsive in actual use. This is likely not helped by the window animation in Windows 7 and Aero. Windows 7 certainly feels like a more bulky OS, but I find it more enjoyable to use than XP, as it lacks some of XP’s annoyances which I’m glad to live without. But Windows 7 has it’s own annoyances too, particularly with some probably intended behaviours of Explorer (XP had some different Explorer related irritations), but maybe that’s just me.

      • Here’s a tool that apparently fixes a lot of grievances with Windows 7′s taskbar: http://nerdcave.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/647958-windows-7?page=1. Taskbar Shuffle’s main feature — drag-rearrange of taskbar and tray items — is now incorporated into 7. The linked tool however gives back the feature for which I got Taskbar Shuffle to begin with — middle-click on a tasbar button to close that window. I’ve not used 7 in depth enough to know what to make of the new taskbar, although I’m pretty positive on 7. It’s just a polished Vista, and Vista got a lot right too — basically all of the things it copied from Mac OS X and Linux ;-)

  3. Simon Chalker says:

    Those screenshots of the Watford Junction Rugby route are impressive as far I’m seeing especially the Thunderstorm screenshots which I find amazing and pretty scary as well with the flash of lightning in the picture with it. Great stuff there!

    • Anthony_B says:

      Thanks Simon. I’m pleased with the lightning results, although in the final version I’d want to either use a higher resolution texture to improve the appearance of the lightning somewhat, or alternatively redesign the lightning using 3D geometry rather than a texture so that it benefits from anti-aliasing. I could rely on the graphics hardware to do this via texture transparency anti-aliasing, but this reduces framerates, and I gather that NVIDIA graphics cards might not support TAA in OpenGL, so overall, using 3D geometry would be a better solution.

      Incidentally, I think the route is looking good now, but there are parts I’ve not shown which remain unfinished, which is why it’s not been released despite appearing to be complete. I’ve done quite a lot of work on it during the past week as well, but I can’t show any of it as it involves the structure of the files on the disk and other “under the hood” stuff rather than anything visible within the simulation. These kinds of things are necessary to make the route easier for me or other people to work with though. I’ll get it finished eventually, as not doing so can’t really be justified after all the work that’s gone into it, especially when it’s so much closer to completion now, even if there are some difficult parts yet to do.

  4. Kevin says:

    Hi,

    i have a question: there will be also animated people that go on the train at stations?

  5. Matthew says:

    wow! i am stunned, this is pretty much photo realistic! do you have any idea when there will be another version of bve to download? the initial version of OpenBve is looking quite dated compared to whats on here now

Leave a Reply