Sweep Line tool for making railroad track

I was able to lay out the basic cross-section shape of a rail without too much difficulty, and then I "swept" pieces of curved polyline, to extrude "iron rails" from my pattern to make a railroad. (I already have some of the parkside models but the kits don't come with curved track.)

It escapes me what the "plus, minus" cursor is for though, after you sweep the line?

Also the sweep line operation is supposed to end with a chance to close off the red outline at the ends, right? I don't seem to getting that, or perhaps my fingers are moving too quickly, on the touchpad. I'm able to use the Close tool to cap the ends though!

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  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865

    Mystery #2 - why is it doing this? When I send the rail to DAZ Studio it comes out distorted. Problem sort of resembles what happens when you try to send fonts to DS - I haven't been able to figure that one out, either.

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  • Marcus SeverusMarcus Severus Posts: 795
    edited June 2017

    Hi Roman_K2,

    That's a very nice rail track you've made.

    I had a try at doing a sweep to see if I could figure out the plus/minus sign.  My guess is that it is Hexagon's way of telling you that the numbers at the side for taper and twist are open to being changed (before hitting Validate).  But that's only my guess.

    I found no opportunity to close open ends after the sweep.  When I tried doing so after validating, I was told to collapse the dynamic geometry first.  Then the Close tool worked.

    I don't know the answer to your query about sending to DAZ.  Maybe it too is to do with dynamic geometry needing to be collapsed?

    EDIT : Did you delete your original lines/profile before sending to DAZ?  Again I'm guessing things.

    Post edited by Marcus Severus on
  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865

    Did you delete your original lines/profile before sending to DAZ?

    Not that I know of... after so many failures with Sweep Line in general, and now these rails I began to really slow down and get methodical.

    I may have narrowed it down now, to a problem with the .OBJ format. Sweeping each of the two rails separately and sending them, one by one, over the bridge to DS while the .HXN file is still on the screen seemed to work. I rendered each one separately (tricky to try and retain the transparency) and composited them and then put them into my scene -- this is "mystical cave" by PerspectX, in the DAZ store -- so far very happy with the surface texture of the rail, done with an Iray shader, "Antique Bronze" or some such color. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to get things right... some of my flotsam and debris etc. looks like fish! The toad was photographed in Algonquin Park last week... he was less than a half-inch in length. smiley

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  • Very nice!

    I envy you getting to Algonquin Park.  I only know of it from the paintings of the Group of Seven - I'm a fan of those works.

    Scotland, where I am, has its moments but the scale of Canadian scenery is something else.

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865

    Very nice!

    I envy you getting to Algonquin Park.  I only know of it from the paintings of the Group of Seven...

    Thanks. Yeah, Tom Thomson! Who spent some time in Seattle! There are some documentaries now like "Dark Pines" -- a bit hard to get -- and TVOntario had a couple as well.  Walking in the woods I have found the gray barnboard and rusty steel remnants of a weigh scale, near where the train station used to be and I once paddled past an "old timer" in the early morning hours and the guy regaled us with what I believe were first person stories about the Group of Seven... wish I had a tape recorder with me for that one!  I have also taken a train to Huntsville in my time, which you can't do anymore - trains are very political here, esp. outside of the major business commuter corridors. Most important, I've sipped water directly from a lake and from springs in the ground... you can't really do that anymore due to risk of parasites, real or imagined.

    The entire area of the park for a big arc all around the great lakes is sometimes referred to as the "Land O' Lakes" (esp. Minnesota I think). In the past various manufacturers of foodstuffs have used imagery and catch phrases like "It's the water!" (Hamm's Beer). Another name for the area is the "boundary waters". Black flies were kinda bad, 2 weeks ago... on the plus side, there's been a monster expansion of businesses catering to the tourist trade.

    Lots of rain and big flooding this year. Toronto Island for instance is almost completely shut down.

    Fairly high water in Algonquin too - http://stickydoggy.com/algonquin.html  Not so bad on higher ground but all sorts of temporary rushing water in the forest.

    Scotland eh? My dog, whose family hails from Yorkshire, has a little fixer-upper in Scotland and we often go into the nearest town to kick over garbage cans and generally cause trouble.

    Next trick for me, with the Sweep Line tool (besides laying down the railway ties and spikes) is I am trying to animate a dust devil. Long, long ongoing project!

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  • Thanks for that link, Roman and all the other info.  Algonquin sounds like a great area to explore.

    I liked your website and ended spending a while reading the free sample of Errol Flynn's autobiography on Amazon.  It's tempting me to buy it.

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