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  1. The #TruckAtHome event has come to end, which made way for the highly anticipated ETS2 1.37 Open Beta; nonetheless, we couldn't be more proud of our community. Players from around the world united in driving loads in Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator to help spread this important message, to stay at home. On March 30th we began the event, setting the rules very clear and simple with no goal to reach. Our aim? To get as many people involved, in any way they can, while remaining at home and to complete as many jobs as possible. Within the first 24 hours, you had already collectively driven 120 million kilometers and by the time we released our event progress blog, you had achieved 340 million kilometers. These are not the only stats which impressed us though, this past weekend Euro Truck Simulator 2 continued to break its own player-count record and reached it's peak at 61,081 players! This really did prove the point that thousands of more players were indeed taking heed of our message to #TruckAtHome. Many of you also took to our Social Media pages to share photos of how you were trucking at home with our paint-job modification, your supportive live streams, and videos that further help spread our message. In the end, truckers from around the world collectively drove an astounding 584,000,000kms! It's almost like going two times from Earth to Sun and back! For each 20,000,000 milestone reached, we shared a mix of base game and map expansions Steam keys across our social media channels which resulted in us giving away over 1,200 keys! We also made donations to a variety of charities and projects which aid those working on the front line of fighting COVID-19. Over 400,000 CZK (15,000 EUR) was donated. Alongside those donations, our SCS on the road team made deliveries of essential items to many hospitals and key workers on several days. Although the event may be over, we have made the commitment to continuing to promote this message to #TruckAtHome and to support the local community who help support those on the front line of fighting against COVID-19. We will continue to look at content shared with us using the hashtag (along with tagging our profiles, of course) and reward some of our home truckers with free Steam DLC keys. The MODs containing #TruckAtHome paint jobs remain available in the Steam Workshop, so anyone can download and start using them and so joining the fleet of Home Truckers. Also, let us remind you that everyone who passed the personal goal requirements will get a nice in-game reward! This item is not ready yet, so you can imagine it as a gift coming your way for now. But we bet you'll like it! Please continue to join us as we #TruckAtHome, as it is incredibly important to stay home to prevent further spread of the virus. We thank you for all your time, dedication and support, you truly are the #BestCommunityEver. View the full article
  2. We are excited to bring you the highly anticipated 1.37 Open Beta for Euro Truck Simulator 2, this update brings many new features, including a refresh of 4 French cities. Our community will play an important role during this open beta, as we invite you to actively give your feedback and report bugs through our official forums. So if you are ready to explore our latest work and lend a helping hand, please read below as we introduce to you the main features of this exciting new update. Let's start with the first major feature, a new sound engine, which many may be already familiar with from the ATS 1.37 Open Beta (which you can find here). This is the first planned phase of bringing new and better sounds to our games. With the 1.37 update, we are radically redefining the way we mix vehicle and environment sounds, as we are switching from having two separate sound sets for the interior and exterior of your truck; to a new system which is based on a unified SFX set with various filters and effects applied on it during the final composition. You can also expect new sounds for most of the AIs (including trains) and experience a true Doppler effect for the first time. Please note that any of these new sounds still might be subject to further changes according to your feedback. As a benefit from the new sound mixing approach, we are happy to bring you a highly anticipated feature, opening your truck windows! You can now enjoy the continuum of sound levels between a well-insulated cabin with windows closed and the roaring traffic coming from the outside when you roll the windows all the way down. Give it a try especially when you hit the rush hour on the road or at some big junction. Back to the most important thing, your help! We are releasing this open beta today with sound modders in mind. The changes are radical from their point of view, as they will need to re-learn a lot of the techniques used. We appreciate our modding communities' passion and dedication and we expect modders to be able to raise the bar again as they become familiar with the new way to implement sounds into the game. We fully understand, that even while our engines' sound was recorded by using professional tools, there will always be some members of our #BestCommunityEver who like some of the sounds MODs better. And that's ok. Everyone has a slightly different taste, right? We are eagerly looking forward to receiving your feedback and constructive criticism to be able to iterate where needed. Because our programmers and SFX guys have already invested a huge amount of time into this feature, we understand there is still a lot of work ahead of us. If you want to read more and help us with this task, please visit the dedicated modding wiki at this link. More info will be added there with the progress. Another addition you might have heard about is the "walk-around feature." Our game world is generally not designed for exploration on foot, but we figure that fans of trucks may welcome a new closer perspective to view their favorite machines and appreciate how impressive they look. Getting up close may also be of use when you need to tune up your rig and match the color of your rims with the cabin's paint just right. So here we are with a little bonus feature of 1.37, an alternate way to control the camera in the game's service and vehicle browser. We had to redesign the "garage" scene a little to make more space and way for the cameras, hopefully, you will appreciate it. Hungry for more? Then get ready for some food tanks! And we mean literally food tanks because, with this update, a new type of trailer comes available to buy. These beauties were highly demanded for some time and so we're glad and proud we can bring them for you, our #BestCommunityEver! We are also excited to bring to you a rework of 4 French cities in 1.37. As you might remember from our previous blog, the cities of Metz, Reims, Strassbourg, and Dijon will receive a fresh lick of paint with a rehaul of its roads which have been given a new look. You will also notice that many of the older vegetation models have been replaced with newer models, along with some of the terrain materials which have been updated. But that's not all, you will also find that some of the traffic signs have been switched with newer assets to accurately represent the area, along with one of the road intersections which has had its layout reworked. We're happy to announce the upcoming arrival of the official support for ASUS Aura Ready in Euro Truck Simulator 2. Products supported include ASUS keyboards, mice, RGB mousemats and more. Now you can truck in style with your ASUS RGB setup! Adds a little bit extra to the immersion, doesn't it? Changelog: MAP 4 French cities reskinned (See here for more details) VEHICLES Food tank trailer (ownable)Food tank (ownable) for Schwarzmüller DLCFEATURES FMOD implementation with all existing sounds and few improvementsOpenable windows on all trucks (featuring FMOD)AI movement and sound behavior improved (featuring FMOD)Walking camera in truck or trailer configuration screen (plus new garage scene)Added technical inspection of vehicles on mandatory weigh stations (illegal trailer, damaged vehicle).Added progressive speeding fines.Updated hi-res loading screen picturesColour feedback support for ASUS ROG Strix (ASUS Aura Ready)TOBII EYE TRACKING Eye-tracking pause key function fixedAutomatic eye-tracking pause while the game is paused/in UISettings hotkey visibility in UIMOD Ingame sounds completely reimplemented for FMODEngine power range data (instead of boost value)Exhaust gas temp gauge animationAI data tweak (engine power instead of torque and gearbox, vehicle_mass override for trailers) So enjoy all the new additions, but please remember: It's only an open beta, not a stable public version - so you may encounter bugs, instability, kinks or crashes. It's completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you're interested in helping us to move there faster, we'll appreciate all of your feedback on our forum and your bug reports in this section. Please check our modding wiki to get details pertaining to mods for the game. If you wish to participate in the open beta, you can find this version in the public_beta branch on Steam. The way to access it is as follows: Steam client → LIBRARY → right-click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.37 public beta. No password required.View the full article
  3. We really do have the #BestCommunityEver! In less than 24 hours of the #TruckAtHome event starting, drivers in Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator taking part collectively drove 120 million kilometers (about 74 million miles) using our World of Trucks contracts and external market. 60 million of those first kilometers were driven in a 6 hour period (that's 10 million kms reached every hour). At the time of posting this blog, it is over 340 million kilometers (over 211 million miles) and we still have the weekend ahead of us. As you have been actively reaching milestones by doing your part, we made sure to uphold our part of the deal to undertake positive action to help those who are combating COVID-19. At the time of writing this blog, we have donated over 260,000CZK (around €9,400) to various charities, like Covmask, who create much needed protective gear for medical personnel free of charge, to a team of very skilled and quite famous Czech chefs preparing, cooking and delivering food to paramedics, firefighters or policemen, and ADRA CZ who provide bringing food and medicines to the elderly who are unable to leave their homes. And we plan to support financially even more targets. We also have made use of one of our SCS On the Road vehicles during this important time. 3 members of our team have been driving to various local hospitals delivering essential and requested items from the staff who are working on the front line every day. So far we have donated several pallets worth of food and liquids to help keep staff energized during this busy time; as well as some much-needed equipment such as two-way radio transmitters which assist doctors & nurses in communicating when working in segregated areas of the hospital. We also wanted to share a thank you to you our community, who have been actively driving day and night, and sharing your kind and positive words throughout this whole event. You really have been keeping us on our toes when it comes to reaching milestones, as you seem to reach the next one quicker than the last. This was especially evident on the 2nd of April as Euro Truck Simulator 2 broke its all-time player record peaking at 55,322 players, wow! Behind all these incredible stats and actions, there is an important message to why we have been asking you to #TruckAtHome. Staying home is the most important thing you can do prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your area, and by doing so you are saving lives. If you do need to leave the house, make sure to wash your hands regularly for 30 seconds at a time. You can find more important health advice to follow from the Worlds health organization, or your local health services website. Be sure to continue sharing your photos and videos as you #TruckAtHome with us on Twitter, Facebook and our Instagram using the hashtag. There is still time to join the event, you can find all the details at our blog post or at worldoftrucks.com. The event will be concluded on Monday the 6th of April at 23:59 UTC.View the full article
  4. About 3 weeks ago, our teams left our main offices in Prague to begin working from home. At that time, there was a lot of uncertainty about how our teams would adapt to working in such a different way, as this had never been done before on such a large scale in the history of SCS Software. As you can imagine, there were a lot of challenges and questions presented at the start of this move, however, after a few weeks, a majority of our team have made themselves at home (quite literally!) and settled into the new workflow and style of working. We asked members of our team to send in photos of their work at home setups to share with our community. Do you have a favorite? While a lot of us may enjoy working from home because of the perks that come with it (such as no time spent commuting) it is important to remember the reason why we are. We are doing our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and you can take preventive measures to do the same also. Following advice from local health services and the World Health Organization, staying at home saves lives and is a key part of preventing the spread of this virus. It is recommended you only travel if you are a key-worker, or if you are going out for essential items such as groceries and medicine. If you do meet with someone, make sure to practice social distancing by standing 1 meter apart. It is also important to remember to wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, especially if you have been outside. We understand that during this time, not everyone may have the luxury of working from home. So we want to show our appreciation and thanks to all the drivers, hospital staff, public transport employees, emergency services, government workers, carers, supermarket staff and more who continue to work, and keep the world moving during this difficult time. You really are all everyday heroes. And those who can, please, stay safe and #TruckAtHome!View the full article
  5. Virtual Truckers of the world, we are all enduring a difficult time, as the world fights against COVID-19. It's time for us to respond in the best way we can. Heroic drivers and support crew around the world are currently delivering much-needed supplies and providing life-saving services. Their work keeps the world moving and is incredibly challenging and dangerous. When reflecting on this we might ask the question, what can we do. The scientific advice is clear, the best thing we can do is to stay at home and keep physical interaction to a minimum. So, we are calling on you, our #BestCommunityEver, as a salute to these heroes, to unite and to #TruckAtHome. Let's stand alone together, keep the world safe, and let's participate in a World of Trucks community event! Our slogan for this event is #TruckAtHome and our goal is simple, to get as many people involved, in any way they can, while remaining at home. Complete as many jobs as you can, there is no special cargo and no minimum distance. Choose the longest jobs possible or do many short jobs, it's up to you because we are going to track the delivery distance required for all jobs completed, then add them up. You can even use your own trailers in the External Market! We are in the middle of beta testing upcoming updates to our games, and injecting new content into the games is just not possible unless we restart the betas. So, instead of going the usual Steam Inventory route, we have had to improvise. As an incentive to get more players involved, we are providing a free Steam Workshop #TruckAtHome paint job mod for the event. We'll be handing out free Steam keys to get even more people playing. And, we also pledge to undertake positive actions to help those who are combating COVID-19, more details in the rules. The more distance covered during the event, the more keys we will give away and the more pledges we will make. Every kilometer, every mile counts! We feel that it is crucial to send the message now, when it matters most. Event's paint job MODs can be downloaded here: Euro Truck Simulator 2 - #TruckAtHome Paint Job MODAmerican Truck Simulator - #TruckAtHome Paint Job MOD #TruckAtHome Event Rules: Using External Contracts or External Market, with a World of Trucks-connected profile, in Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator or both, the community is to cover as much distance as possible while making deliveries. All completed jobs will have their planned route distance added to the event progress. For each milestone of 20,000,000 km reached by the community, we will be offering Steam keys in a special social media giveaway campaign. Furthermore, we pledge to undertake a positive action to help those who are combating COVID-19 for each milestone reached, and will announce these on a case by case basis. A player will reach their personal goal once they have delivered over a combined planned route distance of 2,500 km or more. Reward: Personal goal: An individual contribution of completed deliveries reaching a combined planned route distance of 2,500 km (ca. 1,600 miles) or more earns that player a prestigious World of Trucks Achievement. Then, after 1.37 has been released, we will further complement this with a special Steam inventory item reward, yet to be announced. Community goals: For each milestone of 20,000,000 km (ca. 12,500,000 miles) reached by the community, we will be offering Steam keys in a special social media giveaway campaign. Furthermore, we pledge to undertake a positive action to help those who are combating COVID-19 for each milestone reached and will announce these on a case by case basis. The event will be concluded on Monday the 6th of April at 23:59 UTC. Let's get the message out there to #TruckAtHome, and make the world a safer place. Play Euro Truck Simulator 2 or American Truck Simulator during this unprecedented event. Any content under #TruckAtHome along with tagging our profiles on Facebook (SCS, ATS, ETS2), Instagram or Twitter will be in the running for a special reward. Post videos, take screenshots, write reviews, create chat rooms and discuss the event and message, make artwork about it. Do whatever it takes, just stay at home and stay safe. Are you an established streamer? Get in touch with us (through this email) to obtain Steam keys to engage your audience during the event. Please make sure your message is written in English. We have crafted this event really quickly compared to previous events. It may not offer a glorious trailer to haul and we promised a reward only after 1.37, but it was undertaken because we feel it was the right thing to do, because it was the most we can do and because we feel the message needs to be sent out loud and clear, not next week, not tomorrow but now – stay home and stay safe. Thank you for understanding and enjoy the event!View the full article
  6. What could this possibly be about? Who knows, anything is paw-sible.... Any ideas? Let us know in the comments section below or on our social media profiles!View the full article
  7. After much guessing and debate, many of you came to the conclusion of which state we showcased in our recent teaser trailer. Today we are putting those theories to rest... Introducing Colorado for American Truck Simulator Home to some of the country's tallest mountains, a wide variety of biomes and an array of unique industries; this map expansion will bring beautiful landscapes and new road networks for drivers to explore and deliver to. But where did the name Colorado originate from? The origin of the word actually comes from the Spanish language, which means 'colored red'. This name was chosen for the territory by U.S congress in 1861, which may be the reason why the state received the nickname of 'Colorful Colorado'. However, many believe it received this nickname because of the magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains you can find across the State. Colorado is a project that we are currently developing at full capacity in parallel with Idaho DLC; of course, our Euro Truck Simulator 2 fans know that there are yet more projects in production! At the moment, our aim is to complete and release Colorado a few months after Idaho, tentatively towards the end of this year. Please note, however, that due to extraordinary circumstances we face during this time, this timeframe may change. Be sure to add Colorado to your Steam Wishlist, and to check out our Instagram, Twitter, SCS Software, and ATS Facebook page for more exclusive screenshots.View the full article
  8. Po-tay-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish, even we couldn't say no to that. It's one of the first things that people think of when it comes to Idaho. In fact, the state is so famous for its potatoes, in 2018 farmers harvested 14.2 billion pounds of potatoes. So how will potatoes play a part in our upcoming map expansion for American Truck Simulator? Well, you can be sure to be making deliveries to and from the many farms that produce them; as well as seeing trucks being loaded with potatoes from afar, but what else makes Idaho perfect for potatoes? Idaho’s unique environment provides nearly perfect growing conditions for potatoes. Thanks to a number of natural combinations including rich volcanic soil, meltwater from the mountains, clean air, sunny days, and cool nights; all these elements combine to to allow the growth of consistently high-quality potatoes that have made them famous worldwide. Sound a-peeling? Be sure to add Idaho to your Steam Wishlist, and to check out our Instagram and Twitter and ATS Facebook page for more exclusive photos. View the full article
  9. Today, we are proud to bring you a new tuning pack created in close cooperation with HS-Schoch, a leading truck tuning and accessories brand. While our previous tuning DLC's have been focused specifically on certain truck brands, our partnership with HS-Schoch has allowed us to obtain detailed 3D data references to bring these high quality accessories for a majority of the vehicles in ETS2. Introducing the HS-Schoch Tuning Pack, Now Available for Euro Truck Simulator 2. Since 1986, HS-Schoch has been a leading expert in the creation of truck styling and accessories for major truck brands across Europe. The foundations of HS-Schoch's success has been built on a high level of quality awareness, flexibility, and reliability, which we are excited to represent within our virtual trucking world. The HS-Schoch Tuning Pack contains many accessories including light bars, bump bars, sidebars, side steps, roof bars and much more for the following trucks: DAF XF105DAF XFIveco Stralis & Iveco Stralis Hi-WayMercedes-Benz Actros & Mercedes-Benz New ActrosRenault Magnum & Renault Trucks TScania R 2009/StreamlineScania R/SVolvo FH16 2009 & Volvo FH 2012MAN TGX & TGX Euro 6 In this new pack, you will find an array of branded accessories, which can be used in a variety of combinations. Each of these accessories has been made according to HS-Schoch product catalogue, which they provided us for references. We look forward to seeing how you will further customize your truck with this exciting new addition! Be sure to share your photos with us on our social media channels and with HS-Schoch on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #HSSchoch. View the full article
  10. A Fistful of Dollars, Winnetou Return and Once Upon a Time in the West; these are all famous movies that are based in wild wild west of America, featuring traditional cowboy shootouts and close-ups of squinting eyes (yee-haw!). But did you know all of these Eurowestern classics were filmed in the hot and dusty deserts of Spain? Located in the south-east of Iberia and often nicknamed 'mainland Europe's only desert', you will find the Tabernas Desert, a dry but beautiful part of the Spanish mainland. This part of Iberia will also be the first desert climate to ever feature in Euro Truck Simulator 2; and offers a very unique contrast to the lush and green forests that dominate the rest of the continent. In these desert areas, the sun shines for over 3,000 hours a year and sees as little as 240mm annual rainfall (unless you turn the rain slider up) so make sure to bring plenty of drinking water, and sunscreen on your journey, as temperatures can soar up to 51°C, but as low as -1°C during the winter. These extreme climates make for harsh terrain, in which very little vegetation grows. So whether you are just traveling through, or taking the scenic route, be sure to look out for the locations of famous movies, tumbleweed, and cowboys... because this town ain't big enough for the two of us, partner. Remember to check out our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more exclusive images not found on this blog! View the full article
  11. Following increased and overwhelming concerns regarding the novel coronavirus, we have had to adjust to the new situation. As of today, all employees of SCS Software's Prague studio have switched to home office. Last week on Wednesday, we trialed a one-day test with the whole company working from home to test the waters; and on Thursday and Friday, we were already packing up computers, hardware and assisting our teams in moving them to their homes if help was required. We are doing this to protect the health of our staff, but we also see this as our social responsibility. The fewer people there are using public transportation, the fewer opportunities will the virus have available to spread further. We all need to do our part to contain and mitigate it. This will inevitably affect our productivity, and we have yet to understand what kind of impact it makes on our production schedules. We need to learn a lot of new skills for team communication and planning; there are a lot of junior designers in the teams who will now require training and assistance remotely, putting strain on our seniors. These worries are, of course, trivial compared to the massive problems that the whole of mankind will be facing in coming weeks and months. We will all need to brace for hard times. But we do understand that our fanbase expects honest communication from us, and any news we can provide on improvements and new features and content we are working on. Our blog and our social media channels will remain our primary communication platforms, and we will do our best to keep the flow of the news regular, informative and entertaining. We would also like to provide you with up to date information regarding our attendance of upcoming events. Owing to the extraordinary circumstances and challenges posed by the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Mid-American Trucking Show has been cancelled; you can find more information on their homepage. Twitchcon EU has also recently released a statement, in which they announced the cancellation of their event. Anyone with bookings to TwitchCon EU or MATS 2020 should reach out directly to the organizers for more information regarding their tickets. For the safety and well-being of our team and the community, we will be carefully considering our plans for upcoming future events such as Truck World Canada (which has been recently rescheduled) and Truckfest Peterborough. We will post an announcement here on our blog or on our social media channels on any further changes to our travel plans. Unfortunately we also regret to inform you that the SCS E-Shop will no longer be accepting any new orders and will be closed until further notice. Any orders that have been made and paid up until today will still be processed. If you any further questions regarding orders, please contact [email protected] We thank you for your understanding, and we apologise to our community who may have made plans to meet us at any of the cancelled events. We will continue to keep you posted in the coming months.View the full article
  12. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the Krone production plant located in Wertle, Germany. It produces approximately 30,000 vehicle units a year; of course we couldn't turn down the invite! And as most of you probably know very well, it was not our first visit there! So what exactly did get up to on our visit? As you might of seen on some of our Social Media channels, a few members of our SCS team arrived on location with photography gear and even a drone. Our goal was to take scans and reference multiple Krone trailers, which are not yet included in the Krone Trailer Pack DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2. Some of them might arrive in the game with some of the upcoming updates or with a special WoTr event, but some of them will be stored for potential future additions. But what did we get up-to with the drone? Well as you know, drones have the ability to create awesome videos and photos from multiple angles from a very high view-point, and with special permission and our resident expert pilot, we were also able to scan and create reference material about the production plant and the location around. We will let you speculate what that might be for. And because we all love merchandise and potential trucks cabin accessories, we also visited their local merchandising shop! Which of the items on pictures below you like the most? Let us know! View the full article
  13. Dominik Luska is a 3D graphic artist working at the SCS Software for more than 4 years and has worked on almost all currently released map expansions. His job description consists of recording animations in motion capture, modelling, retopology of a high-resolution model, texturing and importing the model into the game. He works alongside Animator and Map Designers to create pedestrians, workers and other living characters that can be seen in our truck simulator games. If you are interested in how are we create people and animal animations that can be found within Euro / American Truck Simulator, you've come to the right place. First and foremost, I need to emphasize that pedestrians and other characters don't play an important role as trucks and depots, not even close. However, they still play a role in our games, so we need to make sure they receive the appropriate care. At this moment, we have over 30 character models in our trucking titles. They are all characters you can see around our world. For example, you can see, security workers, police and customs officers, people taking photos of oversized cargo on their phones and more. To create a world full of life, we need to differentiate them from each other by their actions, their animations and by their looks. Some of them are universal, of course, so we use them between projects to save work and time. Besides those universal, we have specific characters for a more specific project, country or city. For each character, there are four textures, two for clothing and two for the body. There are also additional items (or as we call them "props“) which our characters can hold or use, these items are included in final animation files. The amount of data for these models and animations are not insignificant, and to help us not to become confused between textures and models, we're using an absolute classic - Total Commander. Every file has a naming convention in English language to make it accessible and understandable to everyone. When we're importing finished data into the game, we need to save exported model or animation and also a source file for these animations od models; just in case we need to make some adjustment or change in the future. We have a whole folder structure specifically for animations, models, textures, and a skeleton. Data organization doesn't end by files, folders and their naming convention though. We can't forget about the flawless management of each model in definition files that is nearly as important as previously mentioned folder structure. To give you some basic introduction to definition files, every single model has to have the correct unique designation number and a brief name for Map Designers. At the very beginning, we create a model according to a reference file. These references are sourced from our Researchers - a special department in our company who are responsible for searching up data, pictures and information; simply anything the rest of the company needs, saving a lot of time to Modellers, Animators and Map Designers. This first model is called "LOD 0". This abbreviation means „Level of Detail“ and this system serves to toggle between lower and higher resolution models according to the range from the point of view. We have 4 LODs in our game for characters; in which the last of them serves for 100+ meters distances. LOD has to be thoroughly checked too for drastic changes, for example, we don't want to have legs or head disappearing within 10 meters of its viewpoint. Some animated models also have a "collision model", which stops players going through a character. Such a collision model are found on non-animated and static models too. And why don't we allow people to go through buildings and characters? Because our games have received an age rating of 3, which we'd like to keep. Thanks to it, anyone can play our games, even kids. When we're satisfied with the model and its LODs, we will move to the UV mapping, or rather unwrapping of a 3D model on a 2D plane, so the texture can be created. This process also takes some time mainly because of the more important parts of the model get a bigger space on the texture. That means UV unwrapping must be created as effectively as possible. For example, we mirror small parts of the model like caps, helmets and other props, which spares a precious space on the following texture for this model. After this, we create a texture for this model according to the references we have received. Every character gets a normal map. A normal map is a picture, which simulates a soft geometric structure, which is used to create an illusion of higher detail on a low-resolution model. Normal maps are used for folds, buttons, embroidery, pockets and similar details. After we're done with the textures and model, a more interesting and yet also a little bit frustrating process begins, recording character animations. To save time and energy on NOT doing it the most time and energy demanding way, we're using an improvised motion capture (MoCap), which we use to record rough animation foundations. I'm saying "rough" because amongst the disadvantages of this type of mocap is its accuracy on important bones, such as collarbones or wrists. We're not using full-fledged mocap, but a cheaper variant built on two Kinect sensors (2nd generation). These sensors use a depth camera, and since they're standing against each other, they "see" how a man or woman moves on the scene with some accuracy. This animation method has one advantage, you don't need any special clothes or markers, so anyone can get on scene and start recording. Thanks to this technology we can take anyone in the company and put him in front of the cameras to bring the character models to life. Before we start recording an animation, our mocap has to be prepared and calibrated. It is necessary to do a short test & calibration recording. This takes up to two hours because there may be problems on different levels, for example, the stations may encounter problems communicating with each other, operating system might be updating just in the right moment when we would like to use it and many other issues can appear. After successful calibration and recording session, we need to adjust these recorded animations "manually" in different programs. In this case, we commonly adjust noise and tremors, movements of bones in the wrong axes, or movements of the wrists that our mocap did not pick up. To understand the recording process fully in detail, we would need to create a separate article, so let's go to the final stage, importing data into our game. So our finished model with animation is now ready to be put into the game. To make the editor "see" our model, we need to define it correctly in a text file (definition file). In this file, both animated and unanimated models have a link to the model, to its LODs and potentially animation and collision. When we successfully define the model, we can finally see it in the editor. The editor is our own tool, in which Map Designers build the whole map and in which our Graphic designers are checking on their own models. If there's something wrong, we'll adjust the model or animation in 3D programs like Maya or Blender and re-export it. Since the definition is already there, we can just refresh the model in Editor to see changes right away. It's similar to refreshing a website on the web browser. Models and animations are created in Autodesk Maya, and textures in Adobe Photoshop. To create a normal map, we have to import the model to Marmoset Toolbag software, which serves for "baking" details from the high-resolution model to the low-resolution model. The whole process is more complicated than what I have written here, but then this blog would be twice as long (and maybe even more). I do hope that I've explained it well enough for you to have some insight into our work. And if you liked the article and you'd like to want more, let us know in comments - and don't be shy to say what exactly interests you.View the full article
  14. Guess where we are. We will give you a clue, you can find arid desert, river canyons and stunning national parks all within this one State. Any ideas? Let us know where you think this might be... View the full article
  15. As you travel through the highways and interstates of Idaho, you will find similar types of road signage that are typically found across the United States, however, there is a unique sign that may catch your eye as you travel. In fact, it's not one sign, but over 300 signs which have been erected to date across the state, but what exactly are these signs? They are the famous Historical Highway Markers, where Idaho’s highways and history intersect. The Historical Marker Program, began in 1956 in an effort to preserve the history of the early pioneers and Native Americans who lived and walked in these areas of the U.S. Each one presents a short historical text about the area or event that took place, your general location within the state, the highway you are on and the nearest milepost. These signs are typically found on roadsides or in parking areas off the highways for drivers to pull-over and learn about the historical sites that surround them. We are excited to feature a number of these unique signs in Idaho for American Truck Simulator, and continue to preserve some of the important history for virtual travellers to learn about. We encourage you to stop and take the time to read some of these Historical Markers when you reach Idaho, as each one has been created in detail to match their real life counterparts. Make sure to add Idaho to your Steam Wishlist, and remember to check out our Social Media Channels for exclusive images not found on our blog! View the full article
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