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What I would really like is a software package that comes with a whole bunch of textures like brick and stone walls etc, and also a good selection of windows including their arches and sills that can be dragged and dropped into place on a textured background.

This way we would be able to design our own buildings and backdrops on screen and then print them out.

Does such a software package exist (that does not cost the earth or require a ten year learning curve to master)

If not how many of you would like such a software package?

Asking for a friend

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Posted (edited)

For the DIY option - Start with a graphics package for image manipulation, low cost or expensive is your choice but needs to allow layering, and then download and save the free textures available on line. Also with a phone or cheap(ish) digital camera photo real doors and windows to build your own library.

 

Example link to free textures - home page - https://www.textures.com/library Sample page - single doors https://www.textures.com/browse/single-new/33411 A good paid for, but one-off/print many times, is the Scalescenes scratchbuilders yard pack.

 

The essential skills required are scaling and using an eraser tool to ensure by trimming that the selected add on (window, door etc.) matches the underlying wall. The rest is seeing what is around you to design the right proportions for a building.  

 

Example - progression from source photo (mine) to an about 85% finished possibility. Although I used Photoshop the techniques are common to most graphics packages.

sized IMG_0799.jpg

Ebor Conf IMG_0799  montage trial.jpg

Edited by john new
Found and added the photos.
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Paint.net (free download, no connection) is able to do all of that (plus a lot more).

 

As John says you need to create your own library of 'parts'.

 

However, the final building will be very flat - ok if for a backscene but might look a little odd if used for a foreground item.

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Thank you gents
I use Scale scenes papers a lot but I get really ticked off with having to stick arches and lintels in place rather than having them be part of the building.
 

The windows paint option is impressive and I tried it myself, however it does have its limitations

 

I might try paint.net

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I’m hearing Inkscape (Inkscape.org) mentioned more and more on a couple of YouTube model railway channels I watch. It’s free to download and I’ve given it a quick go and it seems to offer a lot of potential. 
 

Michael Scott from the Chandwell model railway YT channel has posted several videos on the package itself and his projects using it. He’s created some great scratchbuilds using this and free textures from Textures.com. I’ve still not had time to really get into it but it looks reasonably straightforward but with lots of features. 
 

if you search YT for Inkscape tutorials there are other sources of help. 

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I've just had a look at a couple of Chandwell model railway videos on yt and they are inspirational, so thank you for the suggestion

 

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Hello everyone. Like others have said above, I use Inkscape to good effect with downloaded textures and also Scalescenes ones. 
 

I still like to cut out arches and lintels  individually though to give a little bit of relief:


7A037104-B1FC-456F-BB6F-E0A9325F501A.jpeg.04c8c567fd449125a5d5759e18960cc2.jpeg

 

I like the idea above of having a library of bits to arrange into buildings. I worked a little bit like that to design my station on Inkscape by arranging standard-sized rectangles until I had an arrangement that I liked:

 

D596AC7A-5321-4FC7-B906-5D7C72868628.png.fefd06840db5037f404b27f0e3c73319.png


I’m more than happy to answer any questions about Inkscape either here or on YouTube as I think it is a fantastic tool in our scratch building armoury. 

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Apologies for the links. I’m not meaning to hijack a thread, but these videos may be relevant to helping you. 
 

This one includes a sequence of how I used Inkscape as a planning tool for my station build:

 

 

This is a playlist of all my Inkscape-specific videos, starting with an absolute beginner’s video:

 

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_zJxqOqiTyefmgOeZnLtQ8kaNMMyGiQR


And this is an example of the kind of building you can ultimately achieve using only Inkscape, which might hopefully inspire you to give it a go.
 

 

Edited by Chandwell
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Posted (edited)

Hi Michael,

I don't mind you adding links at all, funny enough I've been binge watching a lot of these since yesterday anyway, so its a perfect tie in.
The inkscape videos/tutorials are very good, well thought out and at a good pace, and if they don't encourage one to download inkscape and have a go then nothing will.

And I appreciate you taking the time to offer advice

 

I'm not a complete beginner as you will see from the attached photos, but I would like more control over arches and sills as part of an integral bricksheet

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

Edited by StuartM
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Oh I love those. The dark brown brick is so effective. Superb. I wonder if I could do a video to show how to do something similar to what you want. Maybe even offer to email a file to people to follow along. A kind of add your own texture thing. May be worth exploring that as an idea...?

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Michael,
I wonder if I might ask you a question
I've watched your Industrial Scratch Build 1 - The Paper Mock Up - Scratch Building With Inkscape video and worked my way through it while trying to duplicate it in Inkscape at the same time with reasonable success; and I've also watched your Scratch Building with Inkscape: Textures - your questions answered video, in particular the section on importing textures, however ....

 

When I've tried to import a Scalescenes bricksheet into Inkscape, and then either add that texture to a rectangle or add a 'group' of windows to the textured sheet I've had no success no matter how many different ways I try and use Path/union,
Simple for me to say but I wondered if you might have a clue as to why that is?

is1.JPG

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I also shared this with you on YT, under my alterego, but just in case you missed it, here is some inspiratioon
 

 

 

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Hi Stuart,

 

It's hard for me to tell which part you're trying to add the texture to. Is it the black rectangle? I.e you want the bricks to fill the rectangle, but miss out the holes for the windows?

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Yes that's about right
I've made a rectangle, added some additional rectangles as windows and would then like to fill the base rectangle with the imported scale scenes bricksheet.

But I can't make Inkscape play ball

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I think your problem is likely the lintel and sills as they are part of your window. You can apply a bitmap (the bricks) to a shape via clipping like I show in the videos. However, they will only clip to a basic single shape. 
 

Try it with a basic rectangle. Draw a rectangle and make sure it is on top of the bricks. Select the rectangle. Shift-click the bricks to select them too, right click and do the clip like on the video. 
 

That should work. 
 

So you then need to make a simple shape with holes for the windows. Just white rectangles on top of your wall will work of course, but to make basic holes you need to cut the holes in the basic rectangle shape. You can cut one basic shape from another by using Path > Difference. Draw a rectangle and fill it in, say, red. Draw another rectangle on top and fill it in blue. This is your window. Select both rectangles and do path > Difference. You should be left with a red rectangle with a hole in it. Put this rectangle on top of your bricks. Select them both then clip. You will now have a brick wall with a hole in it. Draw your lintel and sill on top. 
 

Inkscape is basically a free version of Illustrator so I’d be surprised if you can’t do this in Illustrator. If you already know that software then it may be best to stick to that. I’ve just done a quick search and yea you can do this in Illustrator. Here’s how: https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/quick-tip-how-to-crop-raster-image-in-adobe-illustrator--vector-4989

 

Hope this helps. If not I’ll do you a video. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Michael,
I've got some homework for the weekend
I've never used illustrator though, so Inkscape is proving to be a painfully slow learning curve, its a very unintuitive way of doing things when all you've ever used is windows paint, still its good to keep learning new things

I've followed your instructions and I have been able to create a rectangle and then add the brick texture to it as described, thank you.
I've also been able to create a rectangle and cut another rectangle from it as well, again thank you for the precise instructions, however when I try to draw or place a rectangle onto the rectangle with the brick texture and then highlight both and go 'path' & 'difference', either nothing happens, or the rectangle with the brick texture disappears. Most bizarre, I'm obviously missing something

INKs.JPG

Edited by StuartM
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Further to the above, I can place rectangles on the brick texture, but I now understand why you suggest cutting holes in the texture as when you print out the above, the brick texture is still visible through (behind) the clear rectangles.
Its trying to work out how to 'cut' the rectangle from the textured layer, even following your instructions to the letter doesn't work, its almost inkscape isn't recognising the textured layer as path from which to cut the rectangle from

Capture1.JPG

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Hi Stuart. Well done for getting that far. I’ll take some screenshots and give you a step-by-step. You can only cut holes from shapes so you need to cut the holes from the basic shape, move it on top of the bricks and then clip the bricks to the shape. You can’t remove holes from the bricks themselves. If that makes no sense, I’ll do you a tutorial tomorrow. 

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Awesome, that's very kind of you Michael, I appreciate your help

So I think what you're saying is that I have to cut the holes from the base rectangle first and 'then' add the brick texture to the base rectangle

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This might help.

 

In an attempt to make things more obvious I have created a locked layer which has been filled with blue. I am now drawing on a new layer above it.

 

Start off drawing your basic rectangles for the wall and openings. At this stage they are all filled with white (which is immaterial):

screen1.jpg.0bc2f0f2a48496ce5cf859ecf837067f.jpg

 

Select all your rectangles:

screen2.jpg.939bc73b8fdf574e7f6e4a261ba0f0ab.jpg

 

Now select Path->Exclude:

screen3.jpg.d7c8d67c0d28d0a8d155828c62750c07.jpg

 

You now have a wall with the windows cut out hence the blue of the background shows through.

 

Import and place your Scalescenes texture behind the wall:

screen4.jpg.10270bdc696dd24bd41503382f838ab6.jpg

 

Select your wall and background texture and select Object->Clip->Set:

screen5.jpg.3d5515879b11a20026ffd045c7741712.jpg

 

The background texture now fills the wall but not the windows:

screen6.jpg.4448616c5484a19e19522f0748c2a3be.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Gentlemen

Mike, I appreciate the time taken to put your explanation together, which all makes perfect sense,

I think I now grasp it enough to be able to go away and try and achive what I'm after, although brick arches above windows might prove a challenge

I really do appreachate both of you taking the time to help a stranger out
Rgds,
Stuart

Inkscape 1.PNG

Edited by StuartM
Additional information and typos
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