Trainz/Copying Assets Between Versions And Copies Of Trainz
This section is concerned with copying assets, i.e. Trainz data files.
All copying of assets is potentially subject to copyright considerations but this chapter does not address that issue. Nor does it address the uploading of content so as to make it available to the general public on Auran's DLS system or a third-party Trainz fansite. Uploading is covered in a separate chapter of this book.
You may wish to copy assets in situations such as the following:
- You are upgrading to a new computer.
- You have two or more different versions of Trainz installed on the same computer.
- You have copies of Trainz installed on two or more computers.
- You wish to exchange assets with a small number of friends.
Physical Copying Between Computers
Subject to the amount of data involved, all the normal ways of transferring files between computers can be used, such as:
Some Fundamental Concepts
Most Trainz assets have dependencies excepting scenery items and with the advent of mesh and texture libraries, between 2010 — 2014 the trend is that even former simple scenery items such as a basic house will likely have at least texture library references outside their own file folders, if not a mesh library since new assets built to v3.8 (iOS/Trainz MAC) are generating warnings when LODs are not used by content creators. A separate section of this book lists the hierarchy of assets which applies to dependencies.
- Assets such as Driver sessions, scenarios often have a large number of dependencies and the list of dependencies in layouts (Routes) often dwarves the large number of dependencies in sessions by a factor of ten or more, even in this post-2010 day with Sessions layers keeping much of what used to be in a Map in the session as a dependency.
- Rolling stock assets and basic industries often have a relatively low number of dependencies—unless either involve a animation (Cabin doors and windows in a Loco, passenger car doors that open, Moving assembly line, conveyors, and forklift trucks etc.).
Getting dependencies together
Assets will not work unless all their dependencies are present.
- So in TRS2004 and before, use Tafweb's TrainzObjectz to collect which assets are to be bundled.
- Post TRS2006-SP0 the easiest thing is to search dependencies for each session and route you mean to export.
It is possible to copy assets in two fundamentally different ways:
- Copy the pre-installation distribution file(s). A distribution file is a file you download. On Auran's DLS system the distribution files are CDP files. On third-party Trainz fansites the distribution files can be in a variety of formats such as CDP, self-installing EXE, RAR compressed archives, or ZIP compressed archives. In general, a distribution file can contain any number of assets.
- Copy the post-installation files.
Copying Pre-Installation Distribution Files
Distribution files can be copied between computers and installed on each. To install a CDP or EXE file, view it in Windows Explorer and double-click it. To install any other type of distribution file, refer to the instructions from the source of the file.
With Auran's DLS, by default the distribution CDP files are downloaded, run and deleted behind the scenes. This is the same concept as used by the Microsoft Update system. The distribution CDP files can be retained if they are downloaded using the FTP option, but then each asset must be downloaded separately; there is no automatic system to download dependencies with FTP.
With third-party Trainz fansites the situation varies but in most cases the default is to download the distribution files, hence retaining them naturally.
Copying Post-Installation Files
- TRS2004 to TRS2004 - downloaded assets
- Copy the relevant KUID folders in the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2004\World\Dispatcher\Downloads folder to the corresponding place on the destination computer. Then manually delete the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2004\Cache\world_cache_Dispatcher.chump file. It will usually be appropriate to only copy the top-level assets and then use the free third-party Trainz Objectz asset management program to list any missing dependencies.
- TRS2004 to TRS2004 - self-created assets
- Either copy the relevant folders in the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2004\World\Custom folder to the corresponding place on the destination computer and then manually delete the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2004\Cache\world_cache_Dispatcher.chump file, or (and much more preferably) use the Content Dispatcher sub-program supplied with Trainz to convert them to CDP files, which can then be installed on the recipient's computer as if they had been downloaded.
- TRS2004 to TRS2006, to TC, to all other versions
- best done via importing into other versions in a daisy chain, dealing with errors, then importing to the next higher version.
- TRS2006 to TRS2006
- (not yet written)
- TRS2006 to TC
- (not yet written; needs to include instructions for transferring those built-in assets which TC lacks)
- Any transfers from later versions to earlier versions (eg TRS2006 to TRS2004)
- (not yet written; is this needed?)