(TUT) Creating Roof Trusses

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Offline Bullethead

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(TUT) Creating Roof Trusses
« on: March 27, 2017, 06:26 PM »
Originally posted in the Other Forum

EDIT:  Now contains the pics it should have had originally.
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Creating relatively complex structures in PC is actually fairly easy once you learn how to use the various tools to best advantage. It took me a long time to figure that part out so I used to dread building things like building interiors and never liked the results. In order to spare newcomers that trauma, I've put together this tutorial on building roof trusses.

Roof trusses themselves are pretty simple things, but they add a lot of scenery and realism to the inside of queue buildings, so you end up doing a lot of them. Also, the basic techniques of creating them can be applied to much more ambitious things. If you can build a roof truss, you can do pretty much anything else. So I think this is a good subject for beginners to start with.

CAVEAT: This tutorial isn't about making a beautiful building. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. The main purpose here is to explain techniques that will help you make something beautiful with less frustration. Thus, building parts were chosen for their contrast to make good pictures, not to make a coherent whole.

So here we go.

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We are going to build a series of roof trusses for the interior of this very simple queue building. We won't be decorating the walls at all but, as you will see, that can easily be done at the same time that you're building the roof. Thus, the entire building can be built fairly quickly and easily in essentially finished form all in 1 go, without having to come back to it later.



The 1st step is to decide what the roof will look like on the outside. So start with the sloped roof parts you want, then build a solid gable end wall to match the slope(s) of the roof pieces. For simplicity, we're just making a roof 3 tiles wide with a single slope, but this works exactly the same for bigger roofs with multiple slopes. Then delete the roof pieces, leaving only the gable end wall. This gable end will be used as the template to build the trusses, just as the sloped roof tiles were the template for the gable end wall.




Now, VERY IMPORTANT, add a small GRIDDED wooden column at one end of the gable wall. This will be deleted later but it has very useful functions during construction. First, because it's gridded, selecting it along with any of the non-gridded truss pieces (or wall decorations) and duplicating the lot makes the copy gridded, so you can space everything evenly on the grid along the building. Second, the column is centered at a grid line intersection, so overlaps all adjacent tiles. Thus, if you align the truss parts to the column, the truss will be centered under the seam of 2 adjacent roof tiles, hiding any gaps (some roof tiles have them) for better overall appearance.

So remember this little trick. Any time you need to copy and evenly space out a bunch of non-gridded parts, add one of these little column somewhere to select with all the non-gridded parts. Then do your copying and positioning, then delete the columns.



Now we start actually building the 1st truss. The top edge of the lower horizontal truss member (the "cord") should be about even with the bottom end of the column and the lower edges of the gable end wall pieces. So select the non-gridded piece you want to use for the cord and place it on the side of the little column. This makes the cord level. Then used Advanced Move to slide the cord down to the correct height and center it side-to-side on the little column. In this case, we're using the Painted Wooden Beams which can be recolored. So do that if needed. Then select the hexidecimal color value for the beam and copy it to your clipboard (CTRL-c) for future use.




Now we extend the cord across the rest of the building's interior width. To do this, select the 1st cord piece and hit the "Duplicate & Advanced Move" button. This creates an exact copy of the original cord piece located in exactly the same place, already selected with the Advanced Move handles already ready for use. So, pull on the arrow that points along the axis of the piece. This keeps the new piece perfectly lined up with the original. Extend the cord until its new end very slightly penetrates the opposite wall, to eliminate any gaps. You might have to "Duplicate & Advanced Move" several times depending on building width and the piece you're using.

NOTE: As soon as you hit "Duplicate & Advanced Move", you can change the new part into any other non-gridded piece by clicking on that piece in ANY of the menus (building, scenery, etc.). In this case, I started with an 8m beam so changed the copy to a 4m beam to finish the cord (which I then recolored with CTRL-v on the color value). It's often a good idea to use different pieces along the length of a long cord to avoid the flicker of z-fighting where their ends overlap. But a good thing about the wooden beams is that their sides aren't perfectly flat, so they don't z-fight.




Next we start on the angled parts of the truss, which is why we built the gable end wall. It's whole purpose is to be a template for the proper angle. So select the piece you want to use for the upper angled truss member (the rafter) and place it on the angled surface of the gable end wall. This will make it stick out perpendicular to the slope. Now select "Advanced Move", hit X to change to rotation mode, make sure Angle Snap is on, and rotate the rafter until it's parallel to the wall's slope. Once you have the correct angle, hit X again to change back to translation mode, and slide the rafter down to the column. All you're trying to do here is get the length correct at the bottom end. Don't worry about aligning it side-to-side with the cord yet.

NOTE: Sometimes, when you 1st place the rafter on the gable end wall, it will be rotated slightly relative to the plane of the wall. This seems to be due to using world instead of relative coordinates with Advanced Move. So fix that if necessary. If that doesn't fix it, you'll just have to rotate the rafter into the wall's plane by eye, using Advance Move rotation with Angle Snap OFF.




Before we can extend the rafter to the center, we need a target to aim at. So again, we use temporary wooden columns. Create a stack of these running from the center of the cord to the upper point of the gable end (NOTE: you may have to change to 2m grid width to get this column centered). Once the column is in position, place the piece for the vertical center truss member on the column, rotate it as needed, and move it up slightly above the top of the column. When Advanced Move is active, a white vertical line will extend down from the bottom of the truss piece. Use Advanced Move until this white line passes down the center of the temporary column.



Then slide the vertical member down until it's touching the top of the cord. Once it's in place, used Duplicate & Advanced Move to extend it up to the top of the gable end, the same way you did to extend the cord. Once this is done, you can delete the central temporary wooden column. Also, the gable end wall itself has now served its purpose and is in the way, so you can either delete it or, if you want it to be part of the final building, move it off to the side somewhere, as I did here.




With the gable end wall out of the way, we can now finish the rafter. Use Advanced Move to line its bottom end up with the cord, then Duplicate & Advanced Move to extend it to the center post.




A proper truss requires some intermediary diagonal members so we'll make one of those next. Duplicate & Advanced Move part of the central post, position the copy as desired, and extend it as necessary until you get the shape you want.




So now 1/2 our truss is complete. Time to finish it. Select all the parts making up the rafter and diagonal members, AND the temporary wooden column at the end. Duplicate the lot, rotate the copy 180^, and put it in place on the other side. Because you selected the little wooden column, this mass of non-gridded parts is now gridded, and the column will snap it into place perfectly lined up with the original half. Once in place, delete the extra wooden column on the new end of the truss.



With the truss assembly almost complete, the rest of the project should go very quickly. In this case, we want gable end walls with the trusses only on the inside, so we need to move our truss. Select the whole thing (including the little wooden column) and move it over 4m (or 2m if you want tighter spacing). Then move the gable end back to its original position on the wall, and Duplicate it for the other end of the building.




Now for the finishing touches. We need some lights inside the queue building so we'll hang them from the trusses. Because we'll soon be copying the whole truss assembly, we want to add whatever lights to the 1st truss now, so they get copied with the truss. In this case, I wanted 1 hanging lantern on the center of the truss, so I used Duplicate & Advanced move on one of the central post members, pulled it down slightly, changed it into a lantern, then used Advanced Move rotate and translation to position the lantern.

NOTE: If you want the same sort of wall decorations and windows all along the interior and/or exterior wall surfaces, now is the time to make a 4m section of that, between the end of the building and the 1st truss.




For the last step, select the entire truss, including its lights and the little wooden column. Also select any wall decorations you want to copy. Then just repeatedly duplicate the lot down the length of the building, letting the little column perfectly space the trusses along the grid. Now all you have to do is delete all the little wooden columns that have served us so well throughout the project.




And that's that Now you just slap on the roof tiles you picked out way back in the beginning and the whole building is essentially complete, all in 1 go, and rather quickly. Pat yourself on the back, have a well-earned beer, and get started on the next building




That's if for this tutorial. I hope you found some useful info in it. If so, I look forward to seeing what you can do with these basic techniques.
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 10:28 AM by Bullethead »
-Bullethead
NIHIL INIQVIVS QVAM ÆQVITATEM NIMIS INTENDERE
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Offline matt9537

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Re: (TUT) Creating Roof Trusses
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 07:48 AM »
This will be handy. Although, any change you can some pictures so we can visualize this? Make things a little easier to follow
Planet Coaster Tutorials - If you're new to Planet Coaster or an experienced player you'll find something new you can learn! [Updated]
Planet Coaster Blueprint Essentials - Don't start a new project without these!


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Offline Bullethead

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Re: (TUT) Creating Roof Trusses
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 10:14 AM »
This will be handy. Although, any change you can some pictures so we can visualize this? Make things a little easier to follow


Hmm, it had pics when I posted it last night.  But yeah, they're gone now.  Strange.  Give me a while and I'll see if I can fix that.


EDIT:  OK, fixed (again, hopefully)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 10:25 AM by Bullethead »
-Bullethead
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Offline Quinn

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Re: (TUT) Creating Roof Trusses
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 08:42 AM »
It's a very good tutorial, especially with the pictures working! Thanks!  :up:
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: (TUT) Creating Roof Trusses
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 09:38 AM »
It's a very good tutorial, especially with the pictures working! Thanks!  :up:


Thanks.  My main purpose was to explain a few very helpful tricks of the trade that make the whole building process much easier, no matter what you're building.  It's just another way of explaining the essentially same techniques Silvarret used in his [url-https://youtu.be/an_hNSfxkgQ]dome-building video, only with more emphasis on the fundamentals.


The main takeaways are:
1.  Make temporary templates to define the shape you want.
2.  Include a gridded part (permanent or temporary) when selecting masses of ungridded parts, so you can line everything up evenly on the grid.
3.  Initially place non-gridded parts on the surfaces of gridded parts to ensure their axes are lined up with the grid, then advanced move the non-gridded part where you want it.
-Bullethead
NIHIL INIQVIVS QVAM ÆQVITATEM NIMIS INTENDERE
My Steam Workshop page