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11
Just another update on my struggles with the game. When I open the game the previous loaded TMT items are in the game and I can select them...but the items are not in the folders (not the original folder or the new one I created on the new drive). SO where the game is finding them...your guess is as good as mine. I also added a few new items and those too can't be found. Support doesn't know where else they might be either.

AS far as making progress in better loading of the menus, etc. They have basically told me to remove the TMT items and not use any. I said I would not do that as it would mess up weeks of work I have done in my parks. I also said if this is a feature they added to the game it should be working properly and causing these issues.

So basically, I don't this is going to get fixed.
So the weird thing about this now is...that the support group is telling me to abandon all my TMT items totally, and earlier today they officially announce that the next update in a couple weeks will be addressing these issues? Left not talking to the right here?
 
12
It's been awhile since the last update (I could hear you grumbling), so I thought it would be a good idea to remind people of the wonders and weirdness experienced by the Peepertons during their visit to Imaginarium thus far.

After rummaging through the hall closet, I found my dad's old Bell and Howell slide projector and screen, and set it up in the living room for a short slideshow presentation. (I hear you grumbling again.) Don't worry, I'll skip the hundreds (thousands) of slides showing family reunions and camping trips and focus only on the Peeperton's visit to Imaginarium.

You'll probably join the presentation already in-progress (where were you?). That's okay. If you stick around long enough, the slides will cycle back to the beginning so you won't miss anything.




------------------------------------------------------


This turned out to be a rather long episode of "A visit To Imaginarium", with twice as much text and 4 times as many images/graphics. I thought (at least a hundred times) about splitting it into 2 or 3 episodes, which would be easier and more convenient for you. But I ultimately decided to keep it in one piece, mainly because things are said and done at the beginning of the episode that are referenced later on. I think the flow of the story would suffer if it was split up.

So before you settle in: take the dog for a walk, feed the cat, caffeinate yourself, use the restroom, silence your phone, and set aside an hour or so to (hopefully) be entertained.

Or,

Go through part of it now and part of it later. That works, too. Either way:



The Story Continues...




As the Peepertons continue their walk through the woods, Wally and Jill hold hands while their kids follow a few feet behind. Wally slips in and out of his chivalrous knight persona, much to his wife's amusement... and his kids' embarrassment, "Twas a splendid thought thou hadst, to stroll amongst the trees and flowers, m'lady," he says grandly, gesturing toward the trees.

"Why, thank you, Sir Wally," Jill replies with a smile, "It is nice here, isn't it. I'm so glad we decided to come this way. Here we are, just relaxing and enjoying ourselves. Taking in the calm surroundings; not knowing what's ahead of us."

Baxter and Tiffany are not enjoying the leisurely stroll as much as their parents, "I'm bored," Baxter says, "Where are all the rides?"

"Yeah," Tiffany adds, "More rides, please!"

"Aw, c'mon kids," Wally says, "Both of you finished riding a ride just a few minutes ago. Look around and enjoy the sights and sounds like yer mom and me."

"Okaaaay," Baxter sighs with resignation. He spends all of the next three or four seconds looking and listening. Then, "Nice. So where are all the rides?... And why do I hear dinosaurs?"

Wally rolls his eyes at his son's impatience, "Yeah, yer mom and me heard the dinos too; back there when we were eating our burgers," he looks over to his left, " I think it's coming from that direction."

Baxter follows his dad's gaze and looks to his left, "Cool. I wonder which ride has the dinosaurs? I wanna go on that one next!.. That is, if we ever get out of these woods," he finishes, sullenly.


Sir Wally replies, "Worry not, young squire. For our journey is nearly ended," then normal Wally takes over, "Looks like we're headed back to civilization; I can see buildings and stuff up ahead."

Jill thinks back to Storybook Gardens with the two fierce-looking dragons and exclaims, "Dinosaurs!? I'm not sure I want to go on that ride," she frets.

Sir Wally to the rescue, "Fear not, m'lady. For I, Sir Wally of Peeperton shall protect thee from yon hideous beasts."

"My hero," Jill coos as they continue to hold hands.

Baxter grabs his stomach in mock pain, "Ugh. I don't think I can take much more of 'Sir Wally'. I think I'm gonna yeeurghh again," he says sarcastically.

"I think I'll join you this time," Tiffany says in agreement. Then, after thinking about it, "...And I'll be sure to aim it in your direction so you can walk around with squishy shoes the rest of the day, like me," she finishes accusingly.

"I didn't yeeurghh on yer shoes on purpose," Baxter says, defensively.

"Yes you did! You had the whole world to yeeurghh in but you aimed it right on my shoes... twice!"

Wally heaves a deep, exasperated sigh as he hears the kids squabbling behind him, "Here we go," he says to Jill, "Those two will be at each other's throats the rest of the day."

Jill listens to their kids arguing back-and-forth for a few seconds, "Hm, I don't think so. Their hearts don't seem to be in it; they're just bored. I'm sure they'll stop when something more exciting comes along."

The argument continues: "No I didn't." "Yes you did."

"Nuh-uhh." "Uh-huh." "No way." "Yes way." "Snot face." "Doodoo head."

"I hope yer right," Wally says to Jill, "or Sir Wally's gonna have to get Medieval on 'em."

"Booger brain."


"Pimple nose... Ooh!" Baxter exclaims suddenly as they pass through the ivy-covered trellis and into their new surroundings, "Cool!"


Baxter glances upward just in time to see the SkyTrain soar above the decorative arches that straddle the walkway ahead.


He watches the flying train as it glides across the sky and passes in front of the towering FreeFall rocket. His eyes lock on to the top of the mighty spaceship, "Urgh," he utters to himself as the squirrels begin chasing themselves around and around inside his stomach again. He quickly lowers his gaze and hopes no one sees that he's getting 'green around the gills' again.


As Baxter's nausea subsides, he looks at the path ahead and thinks, "Whoa, there's sure a lot of people with Imaginarium balloons over there," then he exclaims, "Hey, that must be where the balloon stall is! I'm gonna go get one!" He takes off running.

"Baxter, slow down and watch out for those little kids," his mom reminds him.

"Oh yeah," he says, slowing to a walk as he sees the gerbil-sized peeps scampering about.

Jill looks at the shops and stalls set into the wall next to the path, "I need to use the restroom. There's one up ahead near the balloon stall." She looks at the futuristic restroom and sees the shimmering entrance with the universal 'men' and 'women' icons attached, "...at least I think it's a restroom... where's the door?"

"You just step through that force field thingy," Wally says, "I used one just like it when Baxter was riding the FreeFall coaster... It's a regular bathroom on the inside." He scratches his head, "Don't know how they do that door trick, though. From the outside it looks opaque. But from the inside, it disappears... you can see right through it, like it's one-sided or something. Weird."

Jill follows Baxter down the path, leaving Dad and Daughter waiting near the trellis. Wally uses their time alone to get closer with his daughter, "So, you named your broom Dusty, huh?"

Tiffany senses the awkwardness in her dad's attempt at a daddy/daughter conversation but plays along, "Yeah. We had a great time together!"

"Y'know, back there, when you first told us about Dusty, yer mom thought you were riding that broom with a boy named Dusty. That's why she was acting kinda strange. She was worried, and so was I, about this Dusty kid coming on to you."

Tiffany laughs, "Oh. I was wondering what that was all about. It makes sense now... Don't worry Daddy, I can take care of myself." A sly look creeps over her face, "Unless this Dusty guy was really cute. Then well, who knows?" She laughs again.

Wally laughs too, but nervously.

With the lull in the conversation, Tiffany indulges in some people-watching. She looks at the throng of peeps up ahead and makes a startling observation, "Ack! Did you see that?" She asks her dad.

Wally looks at his daughter and follows her gaze, "See what?"

She points, "Those two peeps there; they walked right through each other! Like they were ghosts or something!"


Wally studies the crowd for a few seconds and, "Whoa, yer right! There's two more, no, three more coming our direction, all mushed up together! Like some six-legged, three-headed monster; sheesh!... Funny thing is, they don't seem to care, or even be aware of it... I guess the Gamer really does work in mysterious ways."


Baxter, with his new balloon in tow and a big grin on his face, heads back to where his group is waiting. He stops a few feet away from his dad and sister to look at a ride sign, "Rocket To The Moon," he reads, "Hey, look at this," he calls to his dad.

Wally and Tiffany walk forward a few steps to join Baxter, "What's up, kiddo?" Wally asks.

Baxter points to the large sign, "This is the ride we saw from over there on that other path, where it looked like all those people were going up the ramp and into the FreeFall rocket... we should go on that next!"

Wally looks at the sign, "What about the dinosaurs? You said you wanted to go on that ride next."

"Yeah, I know. But I wanna find out where all those people went; the dinosaurs have already waited sixty-five million years; they can wait a few more minutes."

Jill returns from the restroom, "So, what are you guys discussing?"

Tiffany clues her in, "Baxter says we should go on this ride next."

Jill reads the sign, "Rocket To The Moon... is that another wild rollercoaster ride? I'm not sure I'm up for that."

"I don't think it's a coaster, hon," Wally reassures her, "probably some kind of motion simulator- you know, where you sit in comfy seats and take a 'trip to the Moon'. That sort of thing. I'm sure it'll be fine."

Jill looks at the queue entrance and hesitates, "Well... if you're sure it's not too high and not too fast and doesn't go upside-down... then okay."

Baxter rolls his eyes, "It better be at least one of those things."


As the family enters the queue, Wally whispers to Baxter, "This better not  be a wild rollercoaster or yer mom's gonna kill me."


After walking down a long corridor, the Peepertons make their way through several confusing turns in the queue, "Oh my," Jill says, "I'm not sure where we are anymore. First left, then right, left again, and now it looks like we're going up."


"I know where we are now," Baxter says, "This is the ramp where Dad an' me saw all those peeps going up towards the rocket."


As Wally and Baxter reach the top of the ramp, Wally scratches his head, "Hmm, this is the spot where it looked like the people were disappearing into the rocket, but there's no doorway here. The queue just turns a corner and continues down that way."

"Shucks," Baxter says, "I was hoping we were gonna end up inside the rocket."


The Peepertons turn the corner and head down to the bottom of the other ramp. Baxter runs ahead and gets there first, "Finally. Looks like this is where we go in."

"Wait up, sport," Wally calls to his son.


As Baxter waits for the others to catch up, he peers through the open doorway and sees a darkened auditorium with rows of seats attached to some sort of framework, "Aw geez, looks like it's just a movie theater," he says to himself. Unlike his mom, he had been hoping that Rocket To The Moon would turn out to be something high, something fast, or something that goes upside-down; preferably all three.

As the others reach the bottom of the ramp, they all enter the auditorium and stand at the entrance for a few seconds as their eyes adjust to the dim light.


Wally points to the rows of chairs, "See, hon?" he says to his wife, "Like I said- comfy seats; just like a movie theater."

"Yeah, just like a movie theater," Baxter says, grumpily. Seeing all the metal rails and tracks of the framework, Baxter decides to reel in his balloon so it doesn't get caught in the structure. That's when he notices: "Hey, my balloon is gone! Where'd it go?"

"Maybe it popped," Wally suggests.

"No. I would've heard it. It was here just a second ago."

Tiffany looks back at the auditorium entrance, "I bet the string came undone. It's probably still out there in the queue."

"Nah, I remember pulling the balloon down as I walked through the doorway- so it wouldn't hit anything sharp."

Jill looks up, "Maybe it floated up to the ceiling... I don't see it though."

Baxter looks up as well, "I don't see it either. Dang. Oh well, I guess I can get another one after we leave the theater."


As the Peepertons take their seats in the front row, Jill looks closely at the screen before them, "How odd. It's not like a regular movie screen, is it." She looks to her left and right, "It wraps around the entire front half of the auditorium... and it's all a bright silvery color; brighter than the auditorium. It must be emitting its own light."

"And it has a funny sort of texture," Wally says. He looks down, "That same silvery texture is on the floor, just in front of our feet." He looks up, "And on the ceiling, too."

Baxter blinks his eyes, "I can't tell how far the screen is from my face... is it up close, or far away? It all looks the same everywhere I look, almost like being in a totally dark cavern- except bright."

"That's silly," Tiffany says, "How can it be totally dark and  bright at the same time?.. I'd say it's more like being inside a cloud. It even sparkles a little bit, like thick fog."

Jill squints at the screen, "I can't seem to focus my eyes on any particular spot... It almost hurts to look at it."

"Looks like the house lights are going down," Wally says as the screen begins to dim.


In a few seconds the theater is enveloped in total darkness. Gradually, a starfield materializes before their eyes, filling their entire field of view.


A whirring, rumbling, clattering sound is heard as the framework moves the rows of seats forward and lifts them into the air, giving everyone in the theater an unobstructed view of the starfield all around them, "Cool!" Baxter says quietly, "It's like we're floating in outer space."

A pleasant, but authoritative female voice begins to speak: "Welcome. You are about to experience the ultimate in 3-D entertainment."

"3-D?" Baxter says, "Shouldn't we be wearing some kind of special glasses or something?"

As if in answer to his question, the pleasant voice continues: "You are seated in a one-of-a-kind prototype theater called a HOLARIUM. Unlike other 3-D theaters, no glasses are required to experience a Holarium presentation."

Wally whispers to Jill, "I recognize that gal's voice. She's the one who did the intro to the IMAX movie we saw a few months ago."

The introduction continues: "Other than the starfield that you see around you, Holarium images are not projected onto the screen. They are projected from the screen into the theater using thousands of proprietary laser emitters imbedded in the screen and throughout the Holarium theater. Where two or more laser beams intersect, an interference pattern is generated..."

"Sounds complicated," Jill says over the introduction.

"I don't get it," Wally adds.

"...The resulting images are so life-like that they are indistinguishable from objects that you see in the real world."

A tiny, slowly twirling, bar-shaped object appears in the center of the starfield; miles away, or so it seems. An orchestral droning sound, like a distant squadron of airplanes begins to play over the theater speakers. As the rotating object gets closer, the droning gets louder and starts to coalesce into a coherent symphonic note: "This........Is........HOLARIUM!"
(click to enlarge these 3D images)


The rotating object zooms forward, revealing itself to be the word 'HOLARIUM' spelled out in giant letters. It stops two feet in front of the seated guests as the orchestral note reaches a deafening crescendo.

"Eeek!" Tiffany flinches as the letters come hurtling toward her.

"Wow!" Wally says.


"Cool!" Baxter is genuinely impressed with the utter realness of the image. He reaches out to touch one of the huge letters, but his hand slips right through it as if it isn't there- which of course is true, "Weird."

As the crescendo fades away, so do the giant letters; leaving the guests once more floating in space amongst the stars. The introduction concludes: "And so, space travelers, sit back. Relax. And enjoy the journey as you... Rocket To The Moon."

The stars fade to nothingness and a loud [ker-klank], like huge hangar doors unlatching, echoes throughout the theater. A low rumbling begins as the doors begin to roll open to the left and right like an observatory dome. A thin, bright white, vertical line appears in front of the guests, stretching from high overhead down to the their feet.

As the doors continue to open, the vertical line widens to reveal a scene spread out before them. The guests squint from the sudden brightness.


"Wow..." Baxter says with hushed awe, "This is the view of the park outside the theater... that's the FreeFall rocket... we must be hundreds of feet up!" He instinctively grabs the armrests of his seat and clamps his mouth shut to keep his teeth from chattering.


With a muffled [Klunk], the doors come to a stop, leaving the guests in complete silence. They look down at the park spread out before them, unbounded by walls, ceiling or floor; their feet dangling in mid-air.

"Whoa!" Tiffany utters, speaking for everyone.

Over the speakers, they hear control room chatter: "Base operations here: T-minus ten seconds and counting...... Stand by...... Flight Control to captain: Gyro control- on...... T-minus 5 seconds....4....3....2....1...."

As the guests look down from high in the sky, great plumes of exhaust erupt from the bottom of the rocket.


A second later, the full blast of the shockwave hits them as the rows of seats begin to vibrate and rattle. The deafening roar of the rocket blast overwhelms them and their chests resonate to the sub-sonic frequencies generated by the rocket's mighty engines.

"Oh my!" Jill says anxiously. Wally hears the fear in his wife's voice. He reaches over and holds her hand to reassure her (and himself).

Slowly at first, the rocket lifts off from it's launchpad and climbs skyward toward the guests hovering above, their seats still rattling.

With increasing speed the rocket rises up toward the guests. The nose cone, now just a few feet away, slips past; followed by the mid-section of the rocket. Finally, the huge fins, close enough to touch, whoosh past the seated guests, surrounding them to their left and right.


The view shifts. The rows of seats reduce their rattling to just a slight vibration as the guests find themselves traveling at the same speed as the rocket, keeping pace as it flies through layers of clouds.

As the rocket climbs above the cloud layers, the rows of seats stop vibrating, "Oh! Thank the Gamer," Jill says with relief, "That felt a little too  real."

The sky begins to darken to a deep violet color and the loud roar of the engines starts to wane as the rocket continues to hurtle through the rapidly thinning atmosphere.


Soon, the Peepertons find themselves high above the curvature of the Earth heading toward the Moon which is floating in the blackness before them.


The view shifts. Wally leans over and says quietly to Jill, "Looks like we're inside the rocket now; looking out some sort of viewport."

A bit of static is heard over the speakers, "Folks, this is your captain speaking. As you can see, we've left the Earth far behind. On the viewscreen before you, the Moon, or Luna as it is commonly called, is rapidly approaching and... oops."

"Oops?" Wally says, "That doesn't sound good."

The captain continues, "If you um, look closely ahead, just to the left of the Moon you'll notice something unexpected."

"I don't see anything," Wally says.

Jill points, "Over there. Way in the distance. It looks like space junk or something."

"This has happened only once before, folks. It looks like we've intruded upon a group of sightseers."

"Sightseers?" Baxter says skeptically.

"If I increase the magnification of our scanners you'll be able to get a closer look."  The viewscreen zooms in to reveal:


"Oh my!" Jill exclaims.

"No need for alarm, folks. We encounter these tour groups from time to time and they seem friendly enough."

"Ooh," Tiffany says, "The guy in the middle looks kinda cute."

Baxter sighs in exasperation, "They all look the same!" he says in a loud stage whisper, "How can the one in the middle look cuter? You don't even know if he's a boy or a girl or..."

"Kids!..." Wally admonishes them to keep quiet with just that one word... and it works.

The captain's voice continues, "They're still several thousand miles ahead of us, folks, but it looks like we'll need to make some quick course changes to avoid a collision with our alien friends. So hang on tight."

"Oh dear," Jill says as the rows of seats begin to tilt left and right.


Soon the rocket is back on course, with the Moon looming large against the starfield ahead. The captain makes another announcement, "We are now entering Lunar orbit, folks. Stand by as we fire our maneuvering thrusters."


The view shifts. Once again the Peepertons find themselves floating in space; watching the engines fire intermittently as the rocket skims above the Lunar surface. "Wow," Tiffany says, "The Earth looks beautiful from here."

"And far away," Jill adds.


The view shifts. Inside the rocket, the captain addresses his passengers, "Well folks, looks like it's time to head home; back to good old Terra Firma. Brace yourselves as we leave Lunar orbit."  The seats begin to tilt back and forth again as the rocket changes course and aims toward Earth.


The captain makes a sudden announcement, "That's odd... Our little gray friends are back... I wonder what they're up to?"

"Maybe they want to take a picture of us," Tiffany says, "That's what tourists do, right?"

"We're receiving some sort of transmission from their ship, folks."  An image of the alien craft's interior appears on the rocket's viewscreen...


"Cool!" Baxter says, (of course).

The alien closest to the viewscreen motions toward the passengers inside the rocket. Then points to an image of the Earth being projected from a monitor beside him. Finally, he indicates a button on a device around his wrist and points back to the Earth projection again.

The captain attempts to translate: "I'm not sure, folks, but I think he's offering us a shortcut back to Earth- back to the park. Some sort of teleportation beam, maybe."


The alien presses the button on his wrist device and immediately the interior of the rocket fills with sparkly, wavering particles of light. The particles appear on the rows of seats, on the passengers, and float in the air before them. Entranced by the scene taking place around him, Wally instinctively swats at one of the sparkles floating close to his face, thinking that an insect had found its way into the theater; then feels sheepish as he remembers that they aren't really there.


The view shifts. From a point in space, the guests see the rocket enveloped in shimmering light, becoming transparent.


The Peepertons watch as the alien ship becomes indistinct while, at the same time, a view of the park starts to materialize before their eyes.


After a few moments the teleportation is complete and the rocket is solidly back on its launch pad, "Hey, we're back where we started from!" Baxter says, looking down at the park from above.

Once again they hear control room chatter, "Base operations here: Holy cow! Where did you guys come from? We were tracking you out near the Moon when we lost your signal... and here you are!"

The captain replies, "Yeah... we uh, we had a little help from our friends."

"Base operations here: Friends? What friends? What are you talking about?"

"You can read all about it in my report... Captain out."

With a [ker-klunk], the huge observatory doors unlatch and begin to rumble as they roll shut. The Peepertons watch as the view in front of them gets narrower and narrower until the doors come together with an echoing [klang], leaving them in total darkness and complete silence.

Gradually, the silver screen becomes visible as it starts to emit its own light again. And as the auditorium begins to brighten, the pleasant female voice is heard over the speakers once more, "Welcome back, space travelers. We hope you enjoyed your flight."  With a quiet whirring and rattling, the rows of seats glide back down to their loading positions. "This concludes our Holarium presentation. Please gather up your personal belongings and exit through the doors to your left. Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your visit to Imaginarium. We look forward to seeing you again, here in the Holarium, as you... Rocket To The Moon!"

As the guests walk toward the exit, Wally takes Jill's hand, "Well. That was fun, don't you think?"

"I suppose so... most of it, anyway," Jill replies, "It looked and felt so real!.. I was kind of scared most of the time."

"Me too," Wally whispers to her.

"I still think that alien guy was kinda cute," Tiffany says, knowing the response she'll get from her brother.

"Gah!" Baxter can't believe what he just heard, "They were all the same!"

"Kids..." Wally cautions them again.


As they get to the exit, Baxter turns and looks back at the Holarium theater one last time; thinking of all the wonders he just experienced. Then he notices: "Hey, my balloon is back!... Cool!... but how did it... where did... Oh well. I guess it's just another one of those weird things about this park." He grins and gives a little tug on the string. The balloon obediently bobs downward, then tugs back as it strains at its leash.


Out in the bright sunlight once again, the Peepertons gather for a family discussion: "So, where do we go next?" Wally asks enthusiastically, "How about we see where all those dinosaur sounds are coming from?"

"Yeah, dinosaurs!" Baxter agrees excitedly.

"Oh dear," Jill frets.

Wally hears the anxiety in his wife's voice, "What...yer not afraid of a few audio alamotropic... aminaltronic dinos, are ya? You've got Sir Wally to protect you, remember?"

Jill smiles, "Well, when you put it that way, I guess I have nothing to worry about, do I?"

"Aw geez, not 'Sir Wally' again," Baxter says half-jokingly.

"I dunno," Tiffany says, "Yeah, I'm kinda sick of 'Sir Wally' too, but I think it's cute the way Daddy pretends to be Mom's knight in shining armor."

"Cute!" Baxter says in exasperation, "Why is everything 'cute' with you? I bet you'll even think the dinosaurs are cute!"

Wally sighs as he hears another round of petty squabbling about to begin.

Tiffany replies defiantly to her brother, "Well, if they are  cute, then I'm gonna say so, and you can't stop me!"

"Kids!..."

To Be Continued...

"Booger breath!"
"Zit face!"

-------------------------------------------------------------


So I cheated a little (a lot) in describing the Rocket To The Moon ride in this chapter. I always pictured this ride sort of like what you've seen here; kind of an homage to the old Disneyland ride of the same name. But when you ride-the-ride (ImagineerJohn's I-Glide), all you see is the diorama pictured in the animated gif above (which is from a video of the ride): the rocket skimming over the Moon's surface; it's engines firing intermittently, the Earth hanging in the sky to the upper right...That's it. Not very exciting. The rocket is a billboard image. The engine blast is a particle effect from Klinn's ElectroSet by-way-of Kiotho's Custom Particles As Ride-Event. The Moonscape is also a billboard image using one of MGP's large floor billboards. The Earth is from JCat's SpaceWorx.

When I started writing this chapter, back in November of last year (!), I thought it was going to be quite short; with maybe 8-10 images: The Peepertons walking through the woods, the kids arguing, Baxter gets his Imaginarium balloon, they go on the Rocket To The Moon ride, they exit the ride- the end. With maybe 2 of the images devoted to showing the Peepertons on the ride and the diorama in front of them. I was not very enthused with that straight-forward concept, so I spent the next 2 weeks thinking of a different direction to go with the ride. I finally decided to go whole-hog with it and present it the way I always envisioned it, and then some. I wanted to do it justice. If I couldn't actually build the ride the way I wanted it, at least I could show it and describe it that way here, with all the bells and whistles. Artistic license.



And now, like a stubborn stain that refuses to go away, it's time for:

Extra Stuff



3D images: version 4.0

So far, I've presented 3D images 3 different ways in this thread. I'll now give an example of each method, plus a fourth, using the same scene for comparison.

1- The cross-view or cross-eyed method, where you look at a point in front of the image, near your face, as seen here: (click to enlarge)



Visually, this is the best method. Except, not everyone can get this method to work properly.

2- The next method is the animated gif 'wiggle':


While technically not 3D, it alternately flashes a stereoscopic pair of images onto the screen to give sort of an illusion of being in 3D.

3- Anaglyph 3D. More suited for black & white images, this is the method that requires you to use glasses with red and cyan (blue) lenses to see the 3D effect: (if you have a pair of these glasses, the red lens goes in front of your left eye)


This image turned out rather well using this method; they don't always. There are several downsides to this method: special glasses are needed; the red/cyan filters make the colors look strange (and darker); the 3D effect is not as pronounced; there is more eyestrain because of the colored filters.

And now, here is a another method to view 3D images:

4- Parallel-view. To use this method, you need to look beyond the image, as if at a distant object (tree, hill, etc.). If you're used to the cross-eyed method, it might take a few seconds to adjust to the parallel-view, which uses the eye muscles in a different way. I think it helps if you sit back a little further from your screen:


As you can see, the image is quite small. This is necessary so that your eyes can overlap the two halves completely. If the image is just a bit larger than what you see here, it becomes impossible to do that. Because of their small size, parallel-view images don't have as much visual impact on the viewer. Also, when preparing images for this method I need to swap them around; left image goes on the right, right image to the left. This is the method used by those 'Magic Eye' pictures with their repeating patterns. People who can't use the cross-eyed method might have better luck seeing these parallel-view images. (I hope. :sweat:  Let me know!)

Finally, here are most of the 3D images seen in the chapter above, presented in parallel-view format:












And here's one more; using both the cross-eyed and parallel-view methods. I already had this shot completed before I decided to use the animated gif that you see in the story above:




               (click to enlarge)


Okay, I'm teasing about the Planet Coaster balloons... sorta. Like everyone else, I think the graphics in PC are fantastic. But... is it just me, or do the PC balloons look... odd? Solid. Opaque. Heavy. Sort of un-balloon-y, like they're made of... well, painted plaster. Or maybe big gooey gumdrops. In real-life, there are balloons like this- with a powdery, matte finish. But they have small visual cues: like a bit of transparency, or translucence. Small irregularities and slight reflections that make them look natural and, well... real. The PC balloons lack most of those visual cues, so they don't look like real balloons (says me). In RCT3, thanks to jdrowlands-MakeYourOwnBalloonSet, we can make and import our own balloon textures. Make them as real or unusual as we want.

This concludes this week's mini-rant. Next time: Peeps!

Here are some balloon textures you can use in your RCT3 parks. They are png files with transparent backgrounds. Just follow the instructions included in jdrowlands-MakeYourOwnBalloonSet to import them. To preserve the background transparency, you'll need to right-click on the image, select "Save picture as..." (or Save image as...), and save it to a convenient place on your computer. Simply Copying and Pasting the image will flatten the layers, causing the background to become opaque. At least it does with me.

These first 3 balloons are the ones found in my Imaginarium park: Imaginarium balloon, Clear balloon, UFO balloon




Here are a few mouse-ear balloons:



Alien, Pirate, and Castle balloons:



And finally, some swirly balloons:


13
Planet Coaster Parks / Re: Society Park [Trailer released]
« Last post by DwarrenIce on Yesterday at 10:58 PM »
It's a very exciting trailer.

I can't wait to see the final version.

You and me both, still a little bit longer though, I want everything to be perfect ::)

Wow, this truly is an incredible park and a very impressive trailer -- nice job syncing up your scene changes to the music, it worked beautifully.  This park has an amazing layout, that you see both in the video and the map above.  The rainbow lighting on that coaster (I know, I need to scroll back through to catch up on the coaster names) is just magnificent.

You know you did a good job when I have "howd you do that questions":

I get how the horizontal tracking shot is done, I've done a few of those, but the slow pan straight into the air (without any jittery hand movements) is something I must know how to do!  :P

Also, on that park map, I assume you took a photo of the park and modified it, but what kind of editing did you have to do to give it that cartoon-like park map quality?

EDIT:  Just answered one of my own questions while in game, page up and page down :D

Thank you! can't take credit for the rainbow coaster (Neon), I built it but the show lighting up the entire coaster has been made by OutsideTheBlock who, as you can see, did an amazing job creating a lighting show.

The tracking shot that I made was using the free look camera, point to the ground and press s to zoom out. But page up and page down also work  :P

For the park map I did some automatic changes with the windows photo app, after that I went into Painttool SAI and added filter to boost the saturation and contrast. Then adding all the text and numbers and finally once again in Painttool SAI to add a bit more saturation and contrast  ;)

A fantastic looking trailer DwarrenIce; thank you for creating and showing it :)

You're very welcome and I'm glad you liked it

One sub from here (when time has come). Just saw your trailer in my YouTube recommendations, very curious!

Woohoo another one, thank you ;D
14
Planet Coaster Parks / Re: Silverwood Park (Not a Recreation)
« Last post by Elch on Yesterday at 05:42 PM »
Just wow. This park is one of the reasons why SGW rocks. I love how you pay attention to the details, it all feels so real as if the park was actually existing. I especially love your buildings and planters.
I'm a fan!
15
Thememaker's Toolkit / Re: corkscrewloop's simple objects
« Last post by JCat on Yesterday at 05:38 PM »
Slick selection of useful objects! Great work, CSL!
16
Planet Coaster Parks / Re: Silverwood Park (Not a Recreation)
« Last post by SHADOW on Yesterday at 05:11 PM »
Ok everyone.. got some awesome new photos to share with you.. a few changes. and some new stuff.

Back at the entrance with a couple of new angles





Finally decided on a color for the Guest Services building..


My plan is to add little details everywhere I can.. like this. Just to give the park a bit of flair and atmosphere.


one new building added to the entrance plaza...





Heading to the right side of the park.. a better look at the Ice Cream parlor and Sugary sweet shop.



Didn't show this building in the first update. Must have missed it.. Going to be a small dine in restaurant.



As we head towards the parks first coaster.. heres a glimpse of a whole new section of the park coming..



Taking the path around... looks like construction fences on the other side here..



And here she is.. The first coaster to be added to the park.. Mustang. A Mack Multi Launch family thrill coaster.



yes I built the whole barn piece by piece...







After the first launch.. it makes a small helix dive down the hillside towards the river. Here the parks Paddle Steamer Showboat happens to be passing by.



A good overview



And before we go... another glance at the next update.



ALso.. if you haven't subscribed to my youtube channel yet.. heres the next two videos from the park including a POV of Mustang.






17
Fun & Games / Re: Random Trivia
« Last post by JB on Yesterday at 04:22 PM »
Finally, one that I know without guessing. The answer is C: Grape Nuts (made by Post. Which I think was originally started by Kellogg's brother? Maybe not.)
18
Planet Coaster Parks / Re: Peony Park II: Official trailer released
« Last post by shyguy on Yesterday at 02:25 PM »
Great video and beautiful park.
19
Thememaker's Toolkit / Re: corkscrewloop's simple objects
« Last post by shyguy on Yesterday at 02:04 PM »
As I said before, these are the kinds of objects that we need...simple and versatile.
20
Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out @Forgath, got my dates mixed up, the deadline is March 4th. I'll correct it on theOriginal Post.
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