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Author Topic: Free track planning Software  (Read 44693 times)

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m1racleman

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2011, 04:34:58 pm »
OK, here's my two pennuth !!
While I have been laid up in my sick bed, I have downloaded the SCARM track planning software and have given it a good try out over a couple of weks. Unfortunately I have only AnyRail to compare it to - - -- and it doesn't !!  If anyone can use it with anything less than 40 - 60 hours of reading the manual, then they must be Brain of Britain. This has to be the most unintuitive program ever written, nothing sems to do what the user wants. Sorry to be so critical but to me it is just total rubbish compared to AnyRail and I would recommend against even bothering to load it.
 If any of you have worked out how it works then I would love to know. And who needs 3D plans anyway? Concentrate on making it easier to lay the track would be my suggestion. It seems to be the fashion these days to make things far more complicated than they need to be.

Offline Mixy

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2011, 07:09:35 pm »
Thank you for welcome, jonclox :)

And thank you very much for your opinions, Allan and m1racleman :)

SCARM is intended to work mainly with mouse and can be not so intuitive for those of you, who are familiar with other, icon-driven or drag-and-drop programs. I am trying to briefly describe every selected feature in the status bar in order to be easy and it is not neded to watch at the help every time (but it helps at the beginning). Also, I am trying to use as less as possible dialogs, because maintaining of multi-language interface is difficult. However, I am preparing a toolbox window, which will appear in the next version and will help, for example, for creating baseboard by direct entering of coordinates or by offsets.

About baseboard creating: when select the ‘Create baseboard’ command from the menu, you can place first point by left mouse click and then make a shape of points again with left clicks. When ready to close the shape, click with right mouse button. If you want to remove last placed point, press Backspace. If you want to move the drawing plot, hold down mouse wheel and move it. If you want to zoom, roll mouse wheel up or down. Once created, baseboard can be edited or recreated. Control points can be moved, inserted or deleted.

About accidentally created flex-track: you can always cancel flex-track modeling with Esc. This is also valid for baseboard creating or measuring with roulette. Modeling of flex-tracks is very close to baseboard: left clicks are form the shape, right click ‘cuts” the track, Backspace deletes last fixed section. Zooming and moving with mouse wheel works here too.

Many laptops are equipped with touchpads and they haven’t mouse wheel. So I am trying to double all functions with it to be working from keyboard or icon buttons. For move, you can use arrow keys. For zoom, there are buttons in the toolbar or ‘+’ and ‘-‘ keys from the numpad. But here I have more work to do, because keyboard controls are still not activated in every case.

And here is a small movie, showing how tracks are placed in SCARM: Getting started with simple oval

The clip shows using of the menu, but placing of start point is not required on blank layout and repeating of the tracks can be performed with Spacebar.

SCARM is not perfect, but I am trying to improve it with every new update, so your feedback is appreciated, thanks again.

Mixy

m1racleman

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2011, 07:39:37 pm »
Judging from your last post Mixy, I would guess that you are in the IT industry rather than a model railway enthusiast.
Whilst I accept that, for some really strange reason, English is not everyone's first language, if you cannot explain it clearly on here then what hope is there? The directions given in your post were gobbldegoop to me and to many others I am sure.

Offline Mixy

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2011, 08:39:17 pm »
Judging from your last post Mixy, I would guess that you are in the IT industry rather than a model railway enthusiast.
Whilst I accept that, for some really strange reason, English is not everyone's first language, if you cannot explain it clearly on here then what hope is there? The directions given in your post were gobbldegoop to me and to many others I am sure.


Actually, I am modelling in TT (1:120) scale. You can see some of my trains here. And as a programmer of SCARM, yes, I am qualified IT engineer. There are many people in the world, speaking many other languages than English and yes, I am one of them, whose native language is not English. If I am speaking or writing illegible, please excuse me. If other forum members think the same, let me know and I will not disturb you anymore.

Mixy

Offline jonclox

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2011, 08:54:19 pm »
Judging from your last post Mixy, I would guess that you are in the IT industry rather than a model railway enthusiast.
Whilst I accept that, for some really strange reason, English is not everyone's first language, if you cannot explain it clearly on here then what hope is there? The directions given in your post were gobbldegoop to me and to many others I am sure.


Actually, I am modelling in TT (1:120) scale. You can see some of my trains here. And as a programmer of SCARM, yes, I am qualified IT engineer............. If I am speaking or writing illegible, please excuse me. If other forum members think the same, let me know and I will not disturb you anymore.

Mixy


Just once or twice Ive reread a sentence of yours to check that I understand what you have written but on the whole I find no problem with your English
John A GOM personified
N Gauge can seriously damage your wealth.
Never force things. Just use a bigger hammer
Electronically and spelling dyslexic 
Ruleoneshire
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=17646.0
Re: Grainge & Hodder baseboards
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29659.0

Offline lesmond

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2011, 08:57:38 pm »
Makes sense to me, but I've an IT background as well....

Malice in defeat; revenge in victory

Offline longbridge

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2011, 09:03:26 pm »
Oh dear I must be getting old because like Poliss I use a pencil and paper and even then I never stick to a plan, I call my layouts a "masterpiece in progress" ;) and still make track changes after some of the scenery has been put in place. :thumbsup:
Keep on Smiling
Dave.

Offline cudders

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2011, 09:40:31 pm »
Actually that was easy to follow and cleared up alot..but I also work in IT and anyone familiar with a PC can follow it. Of course that's not everyone.

I also have no issues with the english  :thumbsup:

I'll take another look.

Cudders
Hoping to make a start on the layout before Xmas!!

Offline ToothFairy

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2011, 01:04:59 pm »
Just caught up with this thread. I've been out of touch for a bit, because I've been marking end-of-semester exam papers. I make a living as a lecturer in linguistics at a university, and I spent 25 years in IT before moving to academia, but I get my jollies out of railway modelling. So I'd like to think that I can see this SCARM situation from several points of view.

I think Mixy is to be congratulated on producing a software product that is both functional and free. "User friendly" is hard to define for anyone, and my experience is that SCARM is as easy to get used to as . . . umm . . . Windows? MS Office 2010? Let's face it - any software designer has to try to accommodate so many different expectations and levels of experience that it's a miracle any of them get anything right.

And I have to say that Mixy's English is a heck of a lot better than my Bulgarian.

- Michael

m1racleman

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2011, 01:11:10 pm »

And I have to say that Mixy's English is a heck of a lot better than my Bulgarian.

- Michael

Excellent point there.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2011, 09:51:57 am »
Getting to grips with this now, having actually spent a couple of minutes reading some of the instructions  ::) and I must say I am beginning to like it, okay doesn't have all the features of something like xtrakcad but then it's not as awkward to use either  :)

If mixy is still monitoring this thread, is there any way of changing the mouse cursor to a cross hair as it can be difficult to be accurate with positioning with the standard 'arrow' I realise I can change it in windows settings but I don't want to be doing that every time I run SCARM.

Also whilst making up my baseboard, I want an operating well in the middle but I found I couldn't properly match the ends of the baseboard, or perhaps there is a way of inserting an operating well.

If you look at this picture you will see what I mean



I have still to work out how to raise track though, I can make it go down, but not up  :o
I am sure with a little more practice I will get the hang of it  ::)

Offline Mixy

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2011, 01:25:46 pm »
Hello again :)

Yes, I am watching the thread and I want to say “thank you” to all of you, who are trying SCARM and sharing the experience of using it.

Now about Lawrence’s questions:

May be I will add an option for changing of the cursor in some of the next releases, but by default it will remain as arrow, because this is the most convenient shape for most users. Also, I will make some automatic changes of the cursor, depending on current user’s action. If you want precise positioning, zoom in with mouse wheel and see the cursor position in the status bar (there is still more to do about this and it will be improved). Now I am working over 3D objects and when they are ready, it will be possible to add operating well, baseboard legs and other like these. I hope that next major update will come soon (probably in July) and it will bring many new functions and features :)

Greetings,

Mixy

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2011, 05:16:26 pm »
I've managed to make a passable (for me!) representation of my layout using SCARM and it ain't so bad. I just need someone to tell me how to import it into a posting 'cos I'm a bit thick when it comes to such things.
Has anyone managed to insert such things as scenic back boards and platforms? Only then will it become clear to anyone else what I'm up to.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2011, 05:23:05 pm »
Nobby, if you go to File > Export, you can save it as a .jpg file, then upload it to wherever you host your photos (photobucket etc) then copy and paste the link it gives you in here, simples  ;D

Offline Mixy

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Re: Free track planning Software
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2011, 05:30:25 pm »
Has anyone managed to insert such things as scenic back boards and platforms?

At the moment, buildings, platforms, signals and other scenery objects are not supported in SCARM, but I am hard working to bring them in the program as soon as possible :)

Mixy

 

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