The new version 0.8.6 of SCARM is ready
The most important new feature is automatic 3D terrain generation. It will allow realistic 3D representation of the layouts, which have defined heights, bridges and/or tunnels. For example, here is a simple layout with shape of the digit '8' with two stations and with predefined heights of the tracks:
If the tracks in the lifted middle section are set as bridge, the layout will look as follows:
If the tracks in the other (lowered) middle section are set as tunnel, the layout will look as follows:
To look through terrain, you can switch to “Wireframe” mode, using View > Terrain > Wireframe from menu bar in 3D viewing mode. To make terrain invisible, use View > Terrain > Invisible.
Quality vs. Speed of terrain generation is controlled from Tools > Settings > 3D View. It is recommended to keep Automatic setting, which is default – the program will automatically adjust quality/speed of terrain calculations according to your layout. Large layouts with complex track development will require more time for rendering of the terrain. You can turn off terrain generation if you prefer old, flat baseboard view or if terrain calculations are too slow for you.
Terrain engine will help for better visualization of multileveled layouts and is cornerstone in SCARM development, because all future 3D objects with assigned heights depend on the terrain shape. I will create terrain modeling interface so you will be able to create your own mountains and valleys in SCARM.
Hope that you will enjoy the new features – more will come soon