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3D Train Studio 2.3.1.3

Build a complex, fully-working 3D model railway

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit)
Requirements:
Languages: English, German
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 05 August 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2090
Developer: Stefan Werner
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3D Train Studio 2.3.1.3
Build a complex, fully-working 3D model railway

3D Train Studio is a powerful tool for designing, constructing and simulating a complex 3D model railway system, including moving trains, working signals, sound effects, even cockpit cameras to help you monitor what's happening in your custom world.

Putting all this together and making it run smoothly can take a very long time, but fortunately the program provides a few shortcuts. In particular, when you're creating a new project, 3D Train Studio provides a "Recent Projects" section which lists some largely finished railways created by others. Double-click one of these and it's opened in a few seconds.

Hold down the right mouse button and drag (or use the cursor keys) to move the camera around, spin the mouse wheel to move it backwards or forwards. You can also select any objects - trains, track sections, buildings, signals or scenery - to move or manipulate them.

Alternatively, just click View > Cameras > Cockpit Cameras and choose one of the trains. (There are also vehicles here which aren't trains; if in doubt, just keep choosing entries on the list until you find something that's on a track.)

Once you're happy, set the "Speed" value bottom right, the train will begin to move, and you can enjoy your scenery from the cockpit. Or switch to an external view to see the train in relation to other objects. We found this wasn't always very interesting - some trains only make very short trips backwards and forwards on the same line - but choose another cockpit and you'll quickly discover something better.

Verdict:

3D Train Studio is a complex tool, and there's a lot of work involved in setting up a railway properly. The free version limits you to 150 objects, too. But access to prebuilt railways will at least get you up to speed quickly, and if you're a railway enthusiast the program could keep you busy for a very long time,

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: