1 - Introduction to Next Steps with RailClone

If you've already completed Getting Started with RailClone or you've been using RailClone for a while and you want to dig deeper into more advanced features, then this guide is for you.

Over the next 10 chapters we'll look at how to approach modelling for RailClone, with a focus on the key elements to RailClone's internal logic that affect the geometry creation process. We'll also look at how wiring works to help you build relationships between parts of a RailClone graph and make styles much easier to use and re-use. We'll show you how to create libraries so that you can share your creations with a wider audience, either in the same studio or online, and we'll tame tiling modes and corners, introduce you to expressions, controlling material ids,  and creating and editing UVW mapping. To round off we'll look at how you can use clipping splines to create arrays of any shape, deform RailClone objects to follow surfaces and create conditional relationships and much more. 

If you have any questions or comments about the contents of this guide, please feel free to post them on our forum.

Using this guide

We recommend working through this guide from start to finish. It has been structured to that each new section builds on the concepts learned in the last chapter. To help you get more from the guide, each new chapter contains the following sections:

Exercises

We've included even more exercise in this guide to help you develop the skills you need to use RailClone for many of the relevant day-to-day tasks you might encounter. We recommend taking the time to go through these exercises, but we're aware that time is precious so the exercises have deliberately been kept short and simple. In most cases there is a start and end version of the file, so you can jump ahead and see how the final result should look.

You can download the source files for the exercise below. The .max files are in 3ds Max 2010 format with standard materials.

Click here to download the exercise files for Next Steps With RailClone.

Most the exercises can be completed with RailClone Lite, but occasionally Pro is required. Where an exercise requires RailClone Pro you'll see this symbol .

Relevant Tutorials

At the end of each chapter you will find links to recommended tutorials. Follow these to learn more about each subject, see the principles put to use and learn more advanced skills.

Links to documentation

To find out more about a subject, each chapter provides links to the relevant areas of RailClone's online documentation. If you have a question, there's a good chance you'll find the answer there.

Requirements

Though it isn't essential if you're new to RailClone you should certainly read the Beginners Guide. It explains many core concepts that are not repeated here. Apart from that all you need is a working knowledge of 3DS Max and the most recent version of RailClone Lite or Pro!

If you're ready, let's get started by looking at how to create source geometry to be used with RailClone in Chapter 2 - Tips for Creating "Parts"