Last modified on 28 May 2015, at 03:42

Trainz/AM&C/Fixing Assets

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Trainz Asset Maintenance and Creation

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Contributing author: The Yesterdayz-Trainz group


If you begin exploring Trainz as a building tool, crafting or modifying a route, or venture boldly forth onto the DLS and acquire one of the 2500+ routes uploaded in the last decade— you will indubitably end up facing the learning curve of 'fixing assets'. If you are going to make headway fixing assets, you will need to understand where to look things up. The Hierarchy Of Assets and config.txt files Asset fixing is something of a misnomer except in rare cases—most widely used assets need fixing by updating to new technology levels—because they have become out of date relative to updates in the game engine's data needs. Alas, there are some actual errors in downloadable content from not only the DLS but from otherwise reputable 3rd party content creators such as TrainzProRoutes.com Mocrossing pack (zip file) pack—the fixing of which is covered in a forthcoming tutorial. Many times these are simple typos, some are misspellings (not every contributor speaks English as a native tongue, nor as their first language) and pre-TS08 error checking was far more lenient... leading to the fatal crash of Trainz or worse, Blue Screen of Death errors.

 


Some small numbers of "Bad Assets" can (with decreasing frequency of occurrences thanks to the systematic efforts to 'Clean Up the DLS'), and when these are found in a route many of their ills can also be fixed. Most can be graded as misuse of key words, and misspellings, missing quotes and the like. Minor repairs anyone can fix with a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++. An occasional asset will be missing a component—either a texture or a mesh (the wire frame which gets 'decorated' by textures to make a virtual object. The one is a surface, the other the skeleton of the underlying shape.) By far the majority of these have shown themselves susceptible to easy fixes by adjustment of file pathspecs, installation of a newer container style data structure in the config.txt file or adjusting file folder contents (e.g. pre-V2.4 processing of assets were able to look up and down for a primary texture or mesh (im) file which processing was abandoned in TS2009 and above) by copying up or down relevant files into the necessary folder.

Various techniques have been adopted requiring different data, or a difference in the way data is organized. Most of these changes are handled automatically within the software. When they cannot be, they generate an error, a good thing. Having an error appear in an asset is far better than having a flaw in an asset create a program crash—an all-too-frequent occurrence in the early days of TRS2006 when the first elevated measure of basic error testing was built into the CMP software with its Service Pack 1.

 

Acquiring and Installing PEVs toolsEdit

PEVs tools in a power-users C:\Downloads folder (Yours will likely be somewhere else).

PEV's tools will be maintained by the community on one website or another as they are invaluable. Peter Villaume (PEV) is a really talented programmer (engineer, actually) situated on the opposite (or Sydney) side of Australia from N3V & Auran Holding's small town location on the Gold Coast near Brisbane, but ceased hosting his tools on his own website in mid-2013 when the task was taken over by Trainz forum guru Shane Turner on his help site here.

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Shane Turner also hosts a number of question and answer threads on the Auran forums, and contributes here and the N3V wiki, plus is putting together a tutorial series on his own website. As the old guard initial Trainzers fade away more an more, newer enthusiasts like Shane are stepping up renewing the Trainz spirit of helping one another as a community. Shane, being, young, energetic and enthusiastic, very technically astute and a Trainzer of no mean expertise, Shane's contributions have and promise to continue to benefit all of us for a long time to come. Subscribing and purusing his threads and web boards and news letters promise any new Trainzer to me very worth the time. And he answers questions daily! Kudos, Shane. We need more like you.
  1. Locate PEVs tools on Shane's site and their accompanying .pdf file manuals where given.
  2. See Setting up PEVtools for a procedure and tips on where to put things.
  3. See PEVtools for some operating tips, tutorial links, and advanced setup in a local installation. Tips and tricks of useful time savers will be found there as well.
  4. While new to error fixing, set up an 'editing2_unchanged' folder in your \UserData or \UserData\editing folder, and routinely copy assets there before attempting any changes.
    1. This is a safety net just in case things seem to blow up... a way to restart when one error turns alarmingly into a list of 30...
    2. Or better yet, a way to have an original and changed copy you can use Kdiff3 to compare and let it show you where you mangled a nested '}' or added an extra quote-mark, or made some other typo that caused such parsing issue.
       • (Take a deep breath and relax, that sort of list of errors isn't real, just some punctuation somewhere needs fixed.)

 

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If you're just starting with Trainz the attractions of the Download Station can be beguiling.
  1. Throttle your covetous side and only download in small increments, clear the errors in such as you've acquired, then move onto more greed. Having a lot of errors just confuses YOU and Content Manager, so small steps for your own sake.
  2. Suggest you initially download only by selecting Sessions, which have Routes as dependencies. CM will populate the dependencies, and a single selection can suddenly find itself swelling to over 800 assets! That will happen to you as it does to us all!
  3. If you want some practice error fixing, select some older routes of the V2.5-v2.8 vintage, where you'll find a few. Then work back into older content v2.0-v2.4 and then v1.3-v1.5 as well. Many a recent route and session will include older content, so working back that way will give experience where you need it in manageable doses, and such older assets as make it to newer routes are gems that have stood the test of time. (There are a fair number of 'less than professional grade' assets in older Trainz as many a content creating tyro added stuff that would have been better left unshared. You've been warned!

 

Part II
  1. Spend some time on the forums LURKING and observing. Use google's site searching feature to find entries about most any topic or question you might ask. (site:forums.auran.com "question text keywords"). That works on this site as well!
  2. Once you've learned to walk through some 10-20 errors and seen how repetitively they can be, find the Asset-X FAQ on the forum and subscribe, and start gradually working on that learning curve while regularly, steadily, fixing any additional faulty assets that come your way.
    1. Much of the How-to with Asset-X is in the Windows style help file built into the product. This can be read directly in the folder, or by Loading Asset-X and clicking on Help.
  3. Before doing so, you must have a understanding of the basic Trainz data model configurations, and fixing 20-30 errors the long way with PEV tools and an engaged brain will give you enough of a start on understanding the various forms of the Trainz evolved data models, and perhaps mastery enough of they way they interplay and differ to fly Asset-X with ability to spot when something may be wrong.
  4. Also, it is a really good idea to set up a side folder of example asset types and fill it in with copies of things you had to edit, but fixed up so they pass without even warnings. These can be compared to others of the kind, and keep you from getting stuck. That exercise will stand you in good base knowledge, and build confidence giving future asset patching much greater speed. In the end, you'll be way ahead on time save building good base knowledge of How to fix faults.

List of one-to-one replacementsEdit

  1. Engine spec <kuid:35837:51002> can be replaced by <kuid:44090:51016>

Content Manager Warning MessagesEdit

and what to do about them...

Content Manager validates assets when they are committed, and also includes an option to display the errors and warning for any installed asset. Below are set out some of the error messages that CM will display when it validates an asset, with a brief description. This list is based on CM v3.7, but also includes some errors that are only generated by the N3V upload validation process.

The notation <text> in this list means that the text varies according to the details of the asset.

Warning: Aliased meshes cannot currently be verified by Trainz.Edit

The asset does not contain its own mesh but refers to another asset as the source of the mesh. This aliasing is sometimes used to create a new asset that differs from an existing asset only in the images used to render the model (also known as 'reskinning'-this method is one way of doing reskinning amongst others). This is the technique used by the Trainz UTC-TRS2004-era utility Paintshed.

Part I
CM does not validate that other asset as part of the process of validating this asset, and therefore this asset cannot be confirmed as error free.
Editor's note: See Mesh-table & Subcontainer for more correct configuration info.
This asset might not work in game even though it is listed as available, because it is missing the source mesh when the aliased asset is not listed as a dependency and has not also been downloaded and validated. Generally, however, such assets are fine and the warning does not indicate that there will a problem with using the asset.
Part II
This warning is sometimes interpreted as an error, because it often occurs with traincars that appear error-free but will not display in game.

The reason is that the asset has been aliased incorrectly for the current (N3V era) era's Trainz data models and so newer Content Managers and GUIs - the mesh that is used for the asset has been included as the alias tag at the top level in config.txt, when it should be included as the mesh-asset tag in the default mesh in the mesh table (which is likely missing entirely in older assets).  

Fixes
  1. Adding the mesh-asset tag into the default mesh table causes the asset to display properly, note you must still specify the proper name of the mesh in the mesh tag.
  2. and removing the alias tag removes the warning from current era CMs, though is unnecessary. See: Trainz/containers/mesh-table_container#mesh-asset

Warning: Required tag '<tag name>' was missing and has been set to default.Edit

The tag should be added to config.txt with a suitable value.

Examples from an deliberately abused thumbnails container
  • Warning: Required tag 'height' was missing and has been set to default.
  • Warning: Required tag 'width' was missing and has been set to default.

The source line which gave these errors (testing if they could be put 'all on one line')

thumbnails { A { image "$screenshot (256).jpg" } } (The Answer was 'Yes", but the whitespace shown is necessary.)

Warning: This asset uses an obsolete trainz-build number.Edit

Warning: This asset uses an obsolete trainz-build number. Trainz-build numbers below <build number> are no longer supported

The validation tests applied to an asset depend on the asset's build number. This message is indicating that the asset is considered obsolete and therefore the latest standards have not been applied.

This message is a warning - the asset will still work (unless there are errors). The warning can be removed by changing the build number but this will likely create new errors as the asset is validated against the later build standard. The build number should only be changed to remove this error if you are prepared to make all the other changes required to update the asset to the higher build number.

Warning: Tag '<tag name>' in the container '<container name>' is obsolete.Edit

That tag is no longer supported and will be ignored.

  • It is possible that the tag function has been replaced by a container, as in the case of the tags 'category-era-nn' which are replaced by the simpler string array container 'category-era', or similarly, the category-region tag tag (array) replacing multiple 'category-region-NN tags.

Examine the container specification in the N3V Wiki to determine whether the tag has a replacement. If a replacement is available select the value for the tag that corresponds to the value in the obsoleted item. If the corresponding value is not clear, accept the default value. In most cases the tag can be simply deleted.

Warning: Required container 'thumbnails' is missing.Edit

A thumbnails container should be added to config.txt

Warning: This asset requires a shadow mesh, but the mesh table does not contain one.Edit

A shadow mesh should be created for the asset and the mesh table updated.

Warning: The texture '<texture name>' is a uniform color.Edit

Uniform textures should not be used for new assets, but for older assets that would require a change to the mesh. In this case the textures should be resized to 4x4, or at least one pixel changed to a varying colour (however slight the variation). Large uniform textures are a waste of resources: do not adjust the image colour to avoid the warning without also resizing it to a suitable small size - 16x16 or smaller.

It has been reported that this warning is not generated if the image is less than 64x64, but this does not appear to be the case for Build 61388. A single pixel difference is enough to eliminate the warning.

Warning: An asset must be specified for tag 'texture-kuid'.Edit

The texture-kuid tag is used by some containers (eg, a corona effect container) to reference a texture name. If it is used, the texture name should be specified.

This error often occurs with assets where the texture is controlled by scripting code. In this case, any texture can be nominated for the tag, as the script will update it as soon as it executes.

Warning: Progressive meshes are no longer supported by TrainzEdit

Warning: Progressive meshes are no longer supported by Trainz. Though these meshes may work in Trainz, it is recommended that you switch to a LOD mesh. Warning: Progressive meshes are no longer supported by Trainz. Though these meshes may work in Trainz, it is recommended that you switch to a IM mesh. (Until 2008's publication of TC3 introduced the LOD technology.)

Progressive meshes (.pm) can be converted to a single Indexed mesh (.im) using the PEVtools utility PM2IM.exe.

  • There is no tool available that can convert a progressive mesh file to the multi-LOD .lm files format, which details how more than one mesh scale into view based on distance from viewpoint. Such a conversion would be done manually by copying the model and simplifying it to create multiple versions - typically, two to four meshes with progressively fewer and fewer polygons. This is not possible for repaired assets where the original model for the mesh is not available.

Warning: Indexed meshes are not supported for traincars as of trainz-build 3.8Edit

Warning: Indexed meshes are not supported for traincars as of trainz-build 3.8. It is recommended that you upgrade <mesh-name.im> to a LOD mesh

For traincars with a build level of 3.8 or higher the mesh must be set up as a LOD mesh or it will not be accepted for uploading. LOD meshes were introduced in Trainz TRS2004 (1st published in 2003), and consist of multiple indexed meshes which use fewer polygons as the object viewing distance increases. This helps ease processing load on the main CPU and shifts the load onto the GPU (GPU). This requirement does not apply to traincars built to a lower build level, but it is an recommended upgrade for all assets at any build level of 2.9 and above.

This warning will be an error if the asset is a traincar with a build level of 3.8 (Trainz MAC-II, and TANE) or higher that does not have a LOD mesh.

Warning: <value> is not a valid value for tag '<tag-name>'. This tag is now empty and a new value must be selected.Edit

Example
"Warning: 'US ' is not a valid value for tag 'category-region'. This tag is now empty and a new value must be selected."
Note carefully the exact message: Warning: 'US ' is and delete the trailing space(s) at the end of the tag value. This extra space is not visible in some editors, and explains some errors that are otherwise quite mysterious.
  • Note: Trailing spaces in any string value-field is illegal in Trainz, and will usually give this message above.

Warning: The Boolean tag '<tag name>' in container '<container name>' is not a valid Boolean value.Edit

The tag is defined as requiring a Boolean value but some other value has been provided. Boolean means either '0' (false) or '1' (true), which is to sayindicates a 'binary' definition and in post-TS2009s Trainz, use of an integer value will cause this error message.

  • Integer values from 2 to 7 have been observed in some older assets, for example, one dock asset with three loading tracks used 3 for a Boolean istrack tag.

&nbsp

Fix

Change the value of the tag to either 0 or 1, as appropriate for the asset.

  • Note that in some cases this message actually indicates that the definition for the tag is wrong - the content creator has followed the correct rule, but validation is using a different rule. An example is the opacity tag in some versions of Trainz. In this case the correct type is 'value' (a floating-point number ranging from 0.0 to 1.0) not 'boolean'. To remove the error it is possible to re-define the type for the 'opacity' tag in the container.txt file in the folder install root\bin\TETData.

 


 

Content Manager Error MessagesEdit

Acquiring assets means running a gauntlet of error in older content, and these faults can usually be fixed with a series of simple edit changes and PEVtools. This is a guideline to do such, and why such and such an error is occurring. AssetX and TARDIS scripts can be used to automate fixing many of these.

See Setting up PEVtools for some useful tricks and methods.

 

Error: This asset has a trainz-build number which is not recognised by this tool.Edit

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Editor's note: N3V's programmer's are infamous for making selfish decisions at the expense of the user community, no matter how much time, confusion, or disjuncture in interoperability their conduct imposes on the majority. A good programmer would build a Trainz-build ceiling test in their product and prevent it from downloading to an inappropriate version. They'd also test before incorrectly telling users a current asset is out of date (when the replacement's trainz-build is too high) and creating such a situation.
You have downloaded an asset with a trainz-build tag (TB) value too high for your content manager and version.
  • Most such content can be retrograded simply by decreasing the TB value to your version.
  • Sometimes such new assets or versions may have new tags or containers not found in older Trainz data models, so need further adjustment to take out a new mandatory specification tag and fall back to relying on a 'former default mode'. See for example Part III (next below). In rare cases texture.txt file expanded attributes may not be understandable to an older version. Such errors will be flagged explicitly by CM, so can be deleted, again relying on the older default modes.
  • Alternatively, these might often be corrected by deleting the latest version of the asset in which case, the previous version may show in CM as obsolete, but will continue to work.

 

Error: The Tag '<text>' is not permitted within a container of type <container-name>Edit

Part IEdit

These errors are directly caused by (now) illegal tags containing what is now supposed to be put into the descriptions container. Fix is to identify the start of the problem, SAR for double-quotes ( " ) and either replace with single quotes, space, or nothing. Once the last error message line has been passed, Select, and drag to highlight the lot using CTRL-X to Cut the errant text, with the intent to move the now defanged lines into the description container. Paste the moving Cut-buffer (lines) low down inside the description double-quotes, copy edit, Save, and retest.

Editor's note:  
  • Staying inside the config file when validating errors is a good practice!
  1. Use CTRL+S (in most editors) to save the changes, then ALT+Tab and/or Shift+ALT+Tab to resume the Content Manager Window as the in focus application.
  2. RMBh+drag to View Errors and Warnings and retest the asset.
  • Often other faults will show up once certain others (normally path fixups) are fixed.
  • Note: Path fixups are by far the most common repair need for older (pre-v2.6) assets because prior to trainz-build v2.9 all the versions properly could locate asset components in the original data model folders based on asset-filename with suffixes such as '_art', '_body', and '_shadow'. N3V's programmers discarded the small snippet of coding which made the predictable links from v2.9 (TS2009-SP0) and onward in order to enforce use of explicit paths in thumbnails, mesh-table and bogeys container; creating a host of computer handler code created faults among other preventable fault generation messages.
  • It is recommended, should you be fixing faults requiring adding these containers, you also increase the trainz-build to v2.6 and eliminate all warnings at that TBv as well. Such fixes have worked in TS12 without exception.

The following actual error messages: are quite often duplicated 'as a group' in a ton-a-bunch of paintshed tagged reskin cars using the alias tag to reference an external mesh.

  • The "(Container type 'traincar')" message may or may not evince, depending upon the version of Content Manager parsing the config and validating the content's errors. These example fault messages are from a TS2009-SP2's CM-2.0 validation test:

 

  1. Error: The tag 'capacity:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')
  2. Error: The tag 'height:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')
  3. Error: The tag 'length:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')
  4. Error: The tag 'weight:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')
  5. Error: The tag 'wheelbase:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')
  6. Error: The tag 'width:' is not permitted within this container. (Container type 'traincar')

Part IIEdit

This mysterious message, common and often seen in older content, is not because of '?' (?, searching for '?' won't find such!) but because of the underscores (___) left behind by GMAX or another utility antedating TRS2004 (which content does not show this problem) which created the page.
"Error: The tag 'image' in '0' must have an image file extension." Another easy to fix error. The screenshot above gave it twice, but also illustrates the placeholder parameter (dummy tags or dummy keyword can be just about anything.
Try and remember that when you start creating your own assets. Not all names are equal, unless they are placeholders.

Case I:

  • 'Error: The Tag '?' is not permitted within a container of type 'engine'.'

 

This mysterious message, often seen in older content, is not because of '?' (? and searching for '?' won't find anything in the config.txt file!). The error caused by unprintable characters (represented by underscores (___) in most text editors) accidentally inserted by some prior processing of the file (and ignored by earlier versions of Trainz)

Fix: Refer to the text of the image at right: this is likely two unprintable characters on line#2, which should just be deleted.  

case II: For example, it may be a simple spelling mistake:

  • 'Error: The Tag 'discription' is not permitted within a container of type... '

so correct the spelling to 'description'.

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Asset definitions are not programming, but they are code, and spelling or other deviations from expectations are likely to generate error messages, as in this case.

 

case III, tags no longer in the specification:

  • 'Error: The Tag 'origin' is not permitted within this container.'

explanation

The tag was correct in an older build but is not permitted for the current build.

The Fix: Delete the line. (Consult the list of obsolete Config tags documented here in the Wikibook. These are the most common cases (scenery and trackside objects have had many changes: other containers, KINDs, and sub-containers have had a smaller number of data model changes since V2.8 (TC3).  

Part IIIEdit

Ironically, this case is the converse of the above, New tags not found in older versions!

N3V is a small company and sometimes does things which would not be found as a practice in a larger firm where more people review a procedure, or at least are around to comment that such and such will cause this or that worse problem. In other cases the asset was missed in the dependencies of the retail release JA files, where some anomalous assets can be given a pass from normal error testing 3rd party (user generated) assets must clear. (Yes, in other words, N3V cheats in JAs, as cloning an asset will often show--many are missing parameters called faults in uploaded assets!) In other cases those who know the ins-and-outs miss the implications because they are focused on the software rendering and behavior, not on the impact on the user community, assuming if it passes in-house testing, it is in spec. Not so joe.

  • To add insult to injury, N3V (sort for author 'Auran' in CM and see!) doesn't use it's own kuid/kuid2 system which would often also eliminate this type of fault message, given a properly assigned Trainz-build tag, which likewise, they sometimes don't update either. The direct proximal cause of this first pair of examples.
This group is/are one of those situations.
Note: It is implicit in the above statement that this grouping is expected to have other occurrences with other keywords other than those documented here now:

Actual error messages, despite the fact these tags are in fact part of KIND Enginesound:

Error: The Tag 'engine-sound-ramp-up-durations' is not permitted within a container of type 'enginesound'.
Error: The Tag 'engine-sound-ramp-down-durations' is not permitted within a container of type 'enginesound'.

These error messages occur in each of TS09, TS10 and TS12 when imported. The key to this one is to read the fine print, and examine the history of the reference page.

  • These are both new tags and parameters, formerly fulfilled by a one-size-fits-all default implementation, but the 'user Auran' (One Trainz ID is "-25", whose carelessness has done a number of problem causing upgrades to assets for N3V's TS09-TS12 release.) did not update the trainz-build (letting, in 'this case', the TB default to v1.3!) while adding the inappropriate keywords (Tags) to an asset missing in the built-ins in releases TS09—TS12 inclusive.
  • The error accordingly occurs in each because of no trainz-build tag!

Resolution:

  • The config for TS12 was fixed by adding trainz-build 3.6
  • The config for TS09 & TS10 was fixed by adding trainz-build 2.3 and moving the two tag lines (An array parameter containing comma delimited floating point values) into the description data... in effect deleting the lines.

 

Error: The tag 'image' in '<subcontainer name>' must have an image file extension.Edit

real examples
Error: The tag 'image' in '1' must have an image file extension.
Error: The tag 'image' in 'c' must have an image file extension.
  • For some containers, the image tag must have a value that can be resolved to an image file without using a texture.txt file to provide the reference. The expected image file may be a texture file or it might be an image file with the extension bmp, tga or jpg. If it's a texture file the texture should be converted to an image and tag updated.

This error might be caused by a simple spelling mistake or a missing filename. Or, the value might be a reference to texture.txt file instead of the image file itself (whether the image is required, or a texture.txt file is acceptable, depends on the container in which the tag appears).

BAD     image   "filepathspec\filename.texture.txt"
OK      image   "filepathspec\filename.texture"
GOOD    image   "filepathspec\filename.tga"

Note that this error may occur in conjunction with other errors concerning a failure to find or load the image file.

Error: Filename '<filename>' contains illegal charactersEdit

  • Example: Error: Filename '$hirsch-tga_converted (512^2).jpg' contains illegal characters
Solution
Remove the offending hat-character by editing both the reference and the filename— this character is not permitted in file names. Note that the filename may be flagged as invalid for Trainz even though it is valid for your operating system - this is because Trainz is designed to run on multiple platforms.

Error: Tag '<tag-name>' in the container '<kind>' is obsolete.Edit

These three faults Frequently found together
these messages occur after assets are upgraded to V2.9 and above (TS09 Trainz and versions after).
  • Error: Tag 'region' in the container 'scenery' is obsolete.
  • Error: Tag 'type' in the container 'scenery' is obsolete.
  • Error: Tag 'asset-filename' in the container 'scenery' is obsolete.

If a trainz-build tag is under V2.9 then these three deprecated tags present a Warning instead. The asset can be brought into compliance by deleting the tag from config.txt.

Error: Could not commit <'asset_username'>. The asset was not open for edit. You may need to open it for edit firstEdit

A rare message that can occur when CM gets confused about what is or is not being edited. Possibly caused by having multiple copies of CM open, or manually moving the edit folder or subfolders.

Error: Unable to read config file for asset at <location>Edit

[[Trainz/Unable to read config file for asset at <location>|Unable to read config file for asset at <location>]]

The config.txt file could not be found or could not be read. This usually indicates that the asset is corrupted, or that it does not exist at the location where it was expected. This can happen if the asset is deleted but the cache has not been updated. The asset should be restored from a backup source, or reverted.

Error: This asset has a trainz-build number which is not recognized by this toolEdit

The version or 'build number' of the asset is included for every Trainz item as a mandatory entry as the trainz-build tag in the asset's config.txt file.
Editor's note: Assets without a trainz-build code value default to v1.3, the last Trainz which had none. It is also quite defensible to think of Trainz UTC as the fourth Service Pack completing the design goals of the original Trainz 1.0 release for the biggest changes from v1.3 to v1.5 is the UTC addition of the first ContentManager.exe (assigned v1.4 but very different from CMP and CM which replaced those discrete modules) plus added content, and the added value of the excellent UTC included *.doc MS Word (word processor) files. In game GUI changes and additions, like between TRS04—TRS06 were minimal.
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It is a curious fact that every Trainz release which includes a major change in the Trainz data model has taken about 4 service packs to set it up as a stable release. UTC as the 4th, SP4 for TRS2004, SP4 for TS09 and TS10 (co-developed). TANE with 64 bit computer architecture and lack of advance data model information from N3V Games - could go the same way.
Causes
This error occurs when you import an asset with a trainz-build tag's value which is higher than the build number (data model supported, or tech level) supported by the Trainz version.

As a mandatory data field, the trainz-build number defines to the game the technical standard to which the asset has been created. It also defines the standard to which Content Manager will validate the asset when undertaking validation and add operations to the local data base. This enables the game to validate the asset to the appropriate technical standard, and to insert defaults or ignore features as required. It is the secret which maintains Trainz compatibility version to version, and is the reason that (for example) Trainz 1.3 assets are still usable in new routes and session content.

Generally, it is possible to downgrade an asset to work in an earlier version of Trainz by adjusting the build number, but there are limitations. Scripting is one area that changes significantly between builds, and can cause problems if the build number is degraded. So adjusting an asset from (say) 3.3 to 2.9 may require removing or disabling the scripting. Also, there are some inconsistencies in the technical standards between build levels. For instance, build 3.5 allows single values for the Distance tag in the Soundscript container (as was standard prior to 2.9), but build 3.3 requires that both values are included. These changes are usually easy to adjust in the asset.

Meshes, Textures, kuid references and other similar basic elements of the asset will usually work properly in all builds back to 2.9. The required adjustments become more extensive for builds prior to 2.9.

Key Point: Hence, when this message is generated, the CM is saying it doesn't know how to validate the asset's components, that it has no knowledge of the standard.
  • Only spline based assets now modeled by kind track, map and session assets, and those assets containing script requirements requiring script capabilities not in the previous version prevent retrograding an asset to N3V era data models (TS09 and up). Most assets will work fine by simply changing the trainz-build to that of the CM or an earlier one, and perhaps compensating (TS09—TS12's to TRS's need texture file line deletions so they can use default modes for things TS09 and up allow finer control over in their improved graphics processes.) for any minor command changes in texture.txt files.

Error: Unable to load mesh file: '<mesh filename>'Edit

The mesh file could not be loaded. Perhaps it is misspelled in config.txt, perhaps it is missing, perhaps it is the wrong format, or perhaps it is corrupted and unreadable. The later case is very rare.

P train grey.png
Often Related, the newer Trainz will be saying they cannot find an anim file... because they had no such in pre-TRS2004. When the mesh-table is specified, the parsing software then is satisfied there is none and does not generate the anim error. This happens often with assets embedding tracks that were created using a kind mocrossing as a base model (kind), for example some dock assets or early non-industry stations with attached tracks.
 
Steps to fix these
  1. Run PM2IM and see if there is an IM file generated, or Pevs Tool generates a similar error.
    This can be done from the Trainz Content Manager using the RMBh menu to launch open using PM2IM or by installing a copy of PM2IM.BAT in the \editing folder and dragging and dropping the folder of interest onto the bat file.
    1. If the latter, ask on the forum for advice and assistance.
    2. If the former, hand edit the mesh path to be correct as follows.
  2. First, Make sure you also check and update the file extension to .IM!
  3. If an IM file has been generated by the same name, check the folder/pathspec entry in the asset's mesh-table container and verify both the PATH (many older assets had a 'asset-name'+'_body' sub-folder, the convention until mid-TRS2006 versions, so likely in any v1.3-v2.4 asset), AND the filenamespec (including EXTENSION) are correct.
    1. In such older assets, where the pathspec is correct, there is likely no mesh-table installed. Adding one (at least after v2.0) will (unsurprisingly, as it's a TRS2004 introduced standard) be accepted by all Trainz since and is often demanded by the poorer parsing in N3V's TS09-TS12 releases.
    2. Most will be in a subfolder suffixed by '_body'.
      Useful timesaver tip: When in the ..\editing\asset-folder use one click on the sub-folder and then the key sequence F2+CTRL-A+CTRL-C, (then ESC) to capture the exact syntax of the sub-folder name (and not change anything).
    3. Then paste that in as the mesh-table path front end: "subfolder-name_captured\mesh_filename.IM".
    4. Example mesh-table boilerplate (adjust pathspec and filenames to match your folders contents):
mesh-table {
  default {
    mesh               "traincar-body.im"
    auto-create        1
  }
  shadow {
    mesh               "shadow.im"
  }
}
Alternatively,
  default {
    mesh               "Subfoldername_body\traincar-body.im"
...
P train grey.png
New Trainzer's take note!:
Note that in older assets having a asset-filename tag, the edit folder and the 'Subfoldername_suffix's' are determined by the tag, which is usually lowercase and will also usually contain underscores vice spaces.

 

Error: Attachment point 'numeric_name' in 'container-name' was not found.Edit

Examples

Error: Attachment point 18 (a.passoff) in 'queues\passengers_off_0\attachment-points' was not found. Error: Attachment point 61 (a.passoff112) in 'queues\passengers_on_1\attachment-points' was not found.

There are several possible causes for this error

  1. The attachment point name is wrong, so the mesh and container listing the data point mismatch.
  2. The attachment point name has been listed with one or more additional trailng spaces.
  3. The attachment point is missing, so again the mesh and container listing the datum mismatch.

Interpretation of 'Numeric-name': The nineteenth attachment point named '18' in the mesh referenced by the queues container in the sub-container passengers_off_0 is missing. ('18' is a placeholder parameter reference—A NUMBER acting as a NAME or TAG... and could be renamed as 'xyz', 'glops' or anything without spaces, so long as it occurs on the 19th line of the container (data table).)

By convention, sub-elements in Trainz are normally given number placeholders, but in most cases any entry interpretable as a string will work.
 • As placeholder parameters, the numbers are interpreted as strings, without weight or value, just like a tag name.
 • The important thing is something be inside the {...} pair, the inside lines of which each also expects keywords (or placeholders) paired with values, as is universally true in Trainz.
 • Consider that the contents of paired { ... } braces is paired with a preceding kind or container name.
Error: Attachment point 'numeric_name' in 'container-name' was not found
 • These are manufactured errors (by adding 3 lines of false data to the container), after fixing the first error message.
 • BOTH instances give the same error message syntax... one missing correct name, the others missing the attachment points.
There are three possible common fixes...
  1. An attachment point might be added to the platform using the PEVsoft tool Attachment Maker with the name 'a.passoff_##', if it is truly missing. (This is a fairly common case in older 'passenger product' assets.)
  2. However, on the basis of the name "a.passoff", the line likely has a missing numeric suffix—nobody wastes time giving a generic attachment point on a train platform (of which there may be hundreds) a fancy name—such are usually numerically suffixed; so the message is probably issued because the container name is missing its numeric suffix, and since the placeholder sequence is:
    00  → a.passoff01,
    01  → a.passoff02,
    02  → a.passoff03, ...
    so at the entry ##-1   → a.passoff##, add the correct suffix '##+1',
    thus in the given example adding 19 to the line of the #18 placeholder should fix the problem.
  3. If failing the rename, the line can just be deleted. If so, the 'size' tag number in the product queues container should be decremented to properly initialize the size of the array and conserve run-time memory.
P train grey.png
People, that is passengers are 'products' the way Trainz processes passenger industry related assets such as passenger coaches and station platforms.

Error: Attachment point '<attachment point name>' in '<effect name>' must be found in mesh '<mesh name>'.Edit

An attachment point is referred to in config.txt but it does not exist in the default mesh <mesh name>. This can often happen when a config.txt has been copied from another asset, and the attachment deleted from the mesh. For instance, a crossing gate has had a lamp attachment removed from the mesh, but the corona effect for the lamp still refers to the missing attachment point.

Example (with associated companion error):

Error: Attachment point 'a.lite121' in '133' must be found in mesh ''.
Error: The attachment point 'a.lite121' must belong to the parent mesh of the effect (mesh=malt.IM).

The error can also occur due to a misnaming of the attachment point (sometimes due to a trailing space in the name).

The effects container is typically a series of similar items that make up the model and need some form of separate processing. Examples are windows in a building that are 'back lighted', lamps on a train vehicle, passengers on a platform and trees in a 'tree group'. These effects require an attachment point on a parent mesh in order to locate the effect in the model.

Solution: If the problem is a typo then correct the naming of the attachment point in the effects container. If the correct attachment point cannot be found, or if the effect is no longer relevant to the asset, then delete the container

P train grey.png
Notice the "fix" documented as follows:
kind                                    "scenery"
category-class                          "BC"
description                             "Large Grain Conglomerate, so I have built it in sections for easier
placement. located in Vancouver, by the BNSF yard.

Rev-A by Fabartus -- 2014-0508 Repaired these 'lights' faults by removing the #133 container to below:
Error: Attachment point 'a.lite121' in '133' must be found in mesh ''.
Error: The attachment point 'a.lite121' must belong to the parent mesh of the effect (mesh=malt.IM).
Removed/Deleted lines:
      133
      {
        kind                            'corona'
        att                             'a.lite121'
        texture-kuid                    <kuid:-3:10111>
        object-size                     0.21
      }
"

Error: The attachment point '<attachment point name>' must belong to the parent mesh of the effect <mesh name>.Edit

This often occurs in conjunction with the previous message. Not only was the attachment point not found in the mesh, it was not found in the parent mesh to which the effect is attached. It occurs for the same reasons as the previous message.

Error: Container '<container-name>' does not have an 'att-parent' tag which is required to reference an attachment point.Edit

The container (subcontainer) will be in the mesh-table. The message indicates that the container is missing a required att-parent tag to indicate the parent mesh that the mesh referenced in the container is attached to. This occurs when the parent mesh is aliased - in this case CM requires the parent mesh to be explicitly nominated.

Solution
  • Look in the config.txt file of the aliased mesh to determine the relationship between meshes and add the 'att-parent' tag and the parent mesh name into the mesh container.

Error: The texture file <filename.texture.txt> contains non-ANSI characters. Textures must be ANSI.Edit

Actual error message:' Error: The texture file 'engine_black.texture.txt' contains non-ANSI characters. Textures must be ANSI.

Solution: Unknown - this may be an artifact of a non-ANSI character in the mesh.Im file itself, for rewriting the texture.txt file from scratch does not cure the reported fault[1]. .

Error: The *.texture.txt file is missing for texture resource '<texture name>'.Edit

A texture name used in a mesh file cannot be found, or could not be loaded. A valid texture.txt file should be created with a suitable associated image file. It is possible to search the user data folder for a texture of the same name, which might or might not be suitable for the asset. It is also possible to create a new texture.txt file and an arbitrary image - this might reveal what the image needs to be, or it might reveal that the texture doesn't matter and any image will serve to get rid of the error.

If the missing file is a 'digit_xx.texture' then any image can be used to remove the error. These files are not actually used because they are substituted with the selected digit image as part of the running number creation.

 

Error: The texture '<image filename>' failed to loadEdit

Contributing author: fabartus

Example: Error: The texture 'column1.bmp' failed to load. There was a failure in loading the named image file as an image. The file may be corrupted, in which case it must be replaced with a valid image file. It might not be in the correct format (for instance, it might be compressed TGA). It might be sized incorrectly - images used in a mesh must have a height and width that are a power of two (that is, 2n where n is an integer) pixels.

  • If MS Paint or other graphics application can load the file, then size is the most likely cause. Resize the image so that both width and height are a power of two (eg, 8x8, 16x16, 32x128, 256x64).
Modified AlhpaMask to fix asset giving only one, needing three. All three affect light patterns cast by lenses of a in-world simulated spotlight source. The base pattern can be discerned under quick and dirty 'hack' introducing individuality to this AlphaMask, and so to the lamps using it on the yard light tower asset to which it provides definition.

 

Error: Unable to load alpha 'texture filename' for texture file 'filespec.texture.txt'.Edit

form
Error: Unable to load alpha texture 'subfoldername/alphamaskfile.bmp' for texture file 'subfoldername/alphamaskfile.texture.txt'.

Examples:

Error: Unable to load alpha texture 'night/licht1.bmp' for texture file 'night/white-licht1.texture.txt'.
Error: Unable to load alpha texture 'night/lichta.bmp' for texture file 'night/white-lichta.texture.txt'.
P train grey.png
i.e. PEVTools may have created the texture.txt files correctly to the newer standard, and an alternative and simpler fix to that given belowwould be to just use the one .bmp file for all three by changing the newly generated texture.txt file entries.
(That 'fix' would take the fun out of experimenting though! Using 3 gives added customization ability! -ed.)
It is important to understand that prior to V2.7, TRS2004 and TRS2005 had no explicit allowable lines for AlphaMask mode changes. Every thing was a default mode. These were added later to extend the facility, so this pair of messages gives some insights into evolution of data in that era.It may be TRS2004 assets and earlier didn't even use texture.txt files, being based on the older folders with suffixes organization. (Suspicion, ed.)Ø
The original early Trainz asset did not require the tight definitions of today's assets and may not have used more than one AlphaMask for the three different .tga files mimicking light sources.
  1. The above error pair of messages occurred in a v1.3 yard tower-style floodlight asset, where only one of three greyscale .bmp files were used to alter the dimness and characteristics of each light on the tower, giving them individuality and a bit of uniqueness. Arrayed beside other spotlights in the yard light tower asset, the three differing shadow masks would realistically duplicate actual attributes of individual lights in the prototype.
  2. The general fix, when a graphic file is missing entirely is to replace the file with something that will do the job.
    1. In the above case only one of three AlphaMasks were present, so that was copied, and altered to duplicate the desired individuality and satisfy the 'texture.txt' include files. (See image above and right)
  3. Other faults of this type are often because earlier Trainz would read the folder(s) contents entirely, and indiscriminately index each file and put it in a memory block—this enabled a reference to the .bmp or other supporting file anywhere in the asset folder hierarchy (including those in the asset root above).
    1. But the older method sometimes ran the risk of creating subtle problems if the content item used the same filename with differing data.
    2. The newer Trainz do not find things the same way, relying on an specified pathspec and the texture.txt files are used to make sure a correct pathspec/filenamespec is explicitly specified. When the subfolder or asset root folder had a file specified in a filename.texture.txt file. This creates the spinoff error effect... files easily found in Trainz 1.3--TRS2006 suddenly were pathspec disconnected breaking assets.

Error: Unable to load image file '<image filename>' for texture '<texture filename>' while validating mesh '<mesh filename>'Edit

Contributing author: fabartus
Note this and the following error (unable to load Primary Texture) often occur together...

The image referred to in the texture.txt file could not be loaded. It might be missing, the name might be misspelled in the texture.txt file, the image file might be the wrong format (for instance, compressed TGA), the image sizes might not be a power of two (where required) or the image file might be corrupted. It is possible that the image file is not really missing, but the texture file exists, and is not required. Check the required lists of textures using Assetx - if the texture name is not listed then the texture.txt file can be removed and the error will disappear. example: Error: Unable to load image file 'shadow.bmp' for texture while validating mesh

  • Solution: ...See narrative following...

 

Error: Unable to load primary texture '<image filename>' for texture file '<texture filename>'.Edit

Note this and the preceding error (Unable to load image file) often (if not always will) occur together...

The primary image referred to in the texture.txt file could not be loaded. It might be missing, the name might be misspelled in the texture.txt file, the image file might be the wrong format (for instance, compressed TGA) or the image file might be corrupted. example-1: Error: Unable to load primary texture 'shadow.bmp' for texture file 'shadow.texture.txt'.

  • Solution: Used a shadow.bmp archived in folder textures library built while fixing assets.
  • Alternative. Could have taken a black.tga, or made a new dark tga file of 4x4, 8x8, or 16x16 to serve as this shade.

  example-2: Error: Unable to load primary texture 'greyhound_stop_1_nightwindows/bussstatin1.tga' for texture file 'greyhound_stop_1_nightwindows/bussstatin1.texture.txt'.

  • Solution: Key was focusing on the key words "primary texure" ('/bussstatin1.tga'), BUT... the file was in the root of the asset folder and needed to be copied down, whereas the night mode texture.txt file was in the '..\greyhound_stop_1_nightwindows' folder below the root. It was with a 'greyhound_stop_1_nightwindows.tga' and 'greyhound_stop_1_nightwindows.bmp'which was in fact an AlphaMask image for the illuminated windows and signs.

Error: Image file '<image filename>' is incorrectly used as both a texture.txt source file and a raw image file.Edit

The asset includes a texture.txt file that refers to an image file, but that image file is referred to directly from config.txt. This applies usually to image files that are used as thumbnails, in which case, the file, if an jpg, can be referenced directly. Preferably the texture.txt file should be kept. Change the thumbnail reference to the texture.txt file, and eliminate any direct reference. (see the below cited email of September 16, 2014 quoted at length in the references on this point quoting James Moody, N3V's Version Manager, who counseled using a texture.txt file even for the 240x180 DLS jpg thumbnail[2]. Most (of the relatively few) built-in assets which manifest an image in the asset details pane will have used the texture.txt which CM then bundles within the compressed file set. Otherwise these assets get stripped out when a Built-In JA file is made.)

Error: Binary conversion failed for texture resource '<texture filename>'.Edit

The image referred to in the texture.txt file could not be processed for some reason. See previous.

Error: The primary and alpha texture are not the same size for 'texture.txt file'Edit

When image formats other than TGA (such as BMP) are used and transparency is required, then two images must be supplied - the opaque image and the transparency mask. These two image files are referred to as Primary and Alpha in the texture.txt file. In this case the two images must be the same size.

The problem can be fixed by

  • 1- Resize one or other of the images so that they are both the same size.
Right-pointing hand in green octagon.svg
Editor's note:  IrfanView and Paint.net both make resizing simple, GIMP is a bit more complicated, but not by much.
  • This error may also be caused by some older asset being mal-formed by using a 32 bit TGA or 32 bit BMP. Both should be 24 bit formats.
  • The symptom, or failure stating an inability to load a texture file (another error message herein) might also occur when the texture file is compressed. In this case GIMP is the freeware tool best used, the fix being to use SaveAs mode to force the options menu wherein the compressed state will show as a click-box, which must be unchecked. The same technique is needed to convert from 32 to 24 bit formats.
  • Other graphics software may also allow such a conversion, but at this writing, the other most likely non-commercial (freeware) utility with the capability, XnView, has not been evaluated in this regard.
(if anyone knows a menu or submenu in either IrfanView or Paint.net allowing either or both these conversions please add the technique here ASAP!)
  • 2- Create a single TGA image with transparency, and update the texture.txt file so that both Primary and Alpha refer to the same image file.

Option 1 might be simpler for repairing some assets, but option 2 is by far the better alternative.

Example Problems & SolutionsEdit

Example case-1

Error shows up as being in an art subfolder:

Error: Unable to load alpha texture 'gondola4axlebn521555ant_art/gondola4axlebn521555ant_512.tga' for texture file 'gondola4axlebn521555ant_art/gondola4axlebn521555ant_art_512.texture.txt'.

Error: The primary and alpha texture are not the same size for 'gondola4axlebn521555ant_art/gondola4axlebn521555ant_art_512.texture.txt'

The texture.txt file for the asset is:

Primary=Gondola4axleBN521555ant_art_512.tga
Alpha  =Gondola4axleBN521555ant_512.tga
Tile=st
Hint=Dynamic

This is a simple typing mistake in the file. Change it to:

Primary=Gondola4axleBN521555ant_art_512.tga
Alpha  =Gondola4axleBN521555ant_art_512.tga
Tile=st

(The hint is not required, likely added by PM2IM and should be removed as being unnecessary the way _art images are utilized. Changing the order of the lines doesn't matter but makes it easier to check the typing). The error was actually due to the fact that the alpha (transparency mask) file could not be found.

Note: Fixing the 'Unable to load..." error also removed "..not the same size" error as well.
Editor's note: Note that fixing problems or warnings in the art file folder is not necessary for correct functioning of assets.
  • The 512x512 art file is no longer used, so the texture.txt file and the image file can be deleted, and the matching thumbnails table entry removed.
  • Alternatively, the 512 image can be used as the 240x180 thumbnail by referencing the controlling texture.txt file, but still specifying the height and width as 180 and 240 respectively. Both Trainz and the DLS will scale it appropriately.
  • The 128x64 icon art file is still used in lists (such as the list of traincars in Railyard, or the surveyor choose assets in tool tab lists) and is now optional.
  • In both cases the texture.txt file is required for the Trainz run-time GUI's to function properly - the thumbnails table entry should not refer directly to the image file for anything but the DLS thumbnail (240x180) as strongly stated in September of 2014 N3V Game's version's Manager James Moody. In the email cited at length in the footnote, J. Moody strongly urged maintaining the texture.txt files[2] be used for all image formatted files, explicitly suggesting them even for the *.jpg 240x180 thumbnail screenshots now by newer conventions usually placed in the asset root folder.
Example case-2
Error: The primary and alpha texture are not the same size for 'kansascitysouthernsd40-2_body/reflectstrip1f-window-dark.texture.txt'

In this case use the image resize option in AssetX (or any image editing program such as Irfanview or GIMP) to adjust the image sizes in pixels so that they match in both height and width, and each dimension is an integer power of 2 (4,8, 16, 32 etc).

Error: No thumbnail image found for the asset <asset kuid>.Edit

  • 1- The thumbnails container is missing or is empty. Add the container with a suitable thumbnail.
  • 2- The image file is in a subfolder and the folder path is wrongly formatted.
Right-pointing hand in green octagon.svg
Editor's note: Some anonymous but wannabe helpful soul added the following advice and example on 17 May 2015, we leave it in place with a 'likely myth' caution:

For images referenced in a thumbnails container the pathname must be formatted using '/' as a separator, not the more usual '\'. For instance:

   image "Litchfield & Madison CT100_art/preview.jpg"
  • However, in fixing up nearly 2,000 assets and diligently adding thumbnails to each, Fabartus has never seen this claimed confusion between the DOS & Windows conventional backslash '\' and the Unix style '/' being the cause of a pathspec problem. (For one thing, Windows as the Op-Sys for most Trainz installs accepts each and treats them equally!) We find it far more likely there was some other sort of typo issue, or a nesting error in the various curly-braces constructing the Thumbnails container.
  • Since this may be a MAC-only problem, we leave it (now, for a time) as a 'remote' possibility, noting in passing that if true, virtually all paths in that Op-system should fail to connect, for the great majority of assets use the DOS-Windows backslash.
Unlike the anom editor, if you have additional insights or supporting anecdotes, I can be contacted here: FrankB 23:22, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Error: The running number font directory '_alpha_numbers' could not be found.Edit

  • 1- The traincar does not support running numbers, but the 'fonts' tag has a value greater than zero. Delete the 'fonts' tag, or set the value for the 'fonts' tag to zero.
  • 2- The traincar does support fonts, but the 'fontspath' tag is missing or null. Create the 'fontspath' tag and insert the correct value. The correct value is the folder name where the fonts are located, up to but not including the text "_alpha_numbers". For instance, if the fonts are in the folder "sd40-2_alpha_numbers" then the value for the fontspath tag is "sd40-2".
Right-pointing hand in green octagon.svg
Editor's note: Note this partial pathspec specification is very atypical, and most pathspecs need be fully specified in Trainz config.txt contexts or within texture.txt files.

Error: The Tag '<tag name>' is not permitted within a container of type '<kind>'.Edit

Example:
"Error: The Tag 'thumbnail' is not permitted within a container of type 'scenery'."

The tag is not recognized as valid for this type of asset.

  1. The tag might be a comment (earlier versions of CM ignored comments as formulated in several ways, and the earliest Trainz versions simply ignored invalid keywords making many constructs comments in effect.) in which case it can be deleted.
  2. It might be misspelled, in which case it can be changed to the correct spelling.
  3. It might be a 'once valid tag' that was meaningful and useful for the asset in said container, but is no longer valid.
    An common example is the tags used by some scripts to provide information, such as running number range, starting and ending legal values.
     • These 'custom tags' are no longer allowed as top-level tags in config.txt files- they must be moved to a container within the extensions container, or into a script file and the script code must be modified to find them at their new location in the set of asset files.
     • The details depend on the script.
     • Assets with faults of this exact example, being rolling stock, are likely already updated—so new Trainzer's are reminded... like before fixing any asset' from the DLS, use your CM FIRST to see if there is an updated version with a fix than can just be downloaded.

  Post V3.4—V3.6 retrofit Examples[note 1]:

  1. Error: The Tag 'engine-sound-ramp-down-durations' is not permitted within a container of type 'enginesound'.
  2. Error: The Tag 'engine-sound-ramp-down-durations' is not permitted within a container of type 'enginesound'.[3]

In this case,... These two errors represent a Content Creator's well intended TB targeting... whilst making an error of assumption... mistaking two keywords as common to an older data model, which were not then legal keywords and parameters. That is, in the above two errors, both much hyphenated computerese are keywords added during the workup or debugging of version 3.4, v3.5 or V3.6!

  • That is, these two errors shown above are representative of the kinds of error messages that occur when a content creator 'back-dates' the reported TB value of a new creation or updated engine asset's (TB v3.4-v3.6 or above) config file without testing the 'lower' assigned trainz-build code in the actual release's CM of the "Newly assigned 'Native TB'" (an Older version value!) the CC is trying to target (for example, V2.8 [of TC3] is a likely enough common target/occurrence[note 2]
Solution: - delete the lines (or move them into the description field to document the need for them in larger TB releases — many such assets with these errors are of TB's above v3.4 wherein N3V's programmers began making more and more data elements mandatory[note 3] with the work-over of the Trainz data models and code system for the Trainz Mac and Trainz Mac2 releases). It may also be possible to eliminate the error by changing the build number to a version in which the tag is supported. However, since that will increase the TB value, it may introduce other errors or warnings that need to be fixed.

Error: The tag 'tag name' in '<container name>' points to a nonexistent file: '<filename>'.Edit

This error occurs when a tag references a file and the file cannot be found.

For instance, named subcontainers in the thumbnails container have an 'image' tag that can point to a texture.txt file or to an image file. If the image file is not found - perhaps the name is misspelled, or the file is missing - this message will be logged. Similarly, the 'info-page' in a 'maps' container should point to a .htm file. If the file cannot be found the error will be logged.

Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag '<tag name>', expected <x> values, found <y>Edit

Where a tag requires a list of values, there may be a required minimum or maximum number of entries in the list. If the correct number of entries is not provided, this error will be logged.

P train grey.png
These fault messages are characteristic of cross-loading (importing a ..\local folder's contents into a newer version's CM) older content into TS2009 and TS2010 in particular, for the 2nd value is often optional and easy to default and that is the treatment it was given in earlier Trainz and after an earful by the Trainz community, N3V returned to in TS2012 — though the N3V Wiki mentions them as required after the TB 3.4 version. Since that is true, the minor effort to fix them means they'll likely import without troubles into later Trainz Releases.
  • General approach: Add or remove entries from the tag list as required by consulting first with the N3V Wiki for the references missing value(s). Note the container (quick Cat links) could also be a KIND (quick Cat links).

Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'repeat-delay', expected 2 values, found 1Edit

Case One—repeat-delay tag paired values in sound-script containers
common in older sound effects assets (kind scenery or miscellaneous) because early Trainz versions were programmed to be smart enough to default the second value.
Actual example—an asset with three distinct sound effects

Slugsmasher's trainz-build V2-4 — SS Log Dump Diesel, <kuid2:86661:144048:2>, in upgrading to V3-7, errors from V2-9-SP2 (TS2009-SP2 messages). Remarkably, TS12 did not report the same errors, having given 0 errors and 0 warnings before importing to V3.1, though the N3V Wiki documentation says the tag is compulsory above TB V3-4.

Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'repeat-delay', expected 2 values, found 1.
Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'repeat-delay', expected 2 values, found 1.
Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'repeat-delay', expected 2 values, found 1.
  • Fix: Consulting repeat-delay container — the paired values are a range, if different, the difference is a range of a random value added to the first value before the sound is repeated again. Defaults are 1,1. The 3rd container is a engine, so made the values 0,0. The others logdump as 2,3 (so 1 second randomness for operator actions) and 'logdrop' 2,2 (constant delay, they only fall so far) taking the original offending single value, and adjusting accordingly.

Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'trackoffsets', expected 2 values, found 1Edit

Case Two—something of a dogs-breakfast (Mess)
Error: Incorrect number of values for the tag 'trackoffsets', expected 2 values, found 1.

Category class "TB" (as of TS2009) controls both graphics rendering and also CM validation for track spline. (This effect on validation and rendering is in the history of all the Trainz data models, an oddity, the keyword (tag) value—which historically been exclusively used within CM for sorting—and was purposed mainly to convey human to human classification communication without impact on software,is now used for defining many spline sub-types of kind track.) However there is an inconsistency in the validation for TS2009 and TS2010 which allows only 2 values for offsets and directions, regardless of the number of tracks. TS12 requires the correct number of items for both lists.

Bridge asset category-class "TB" requires the trackoffsets tag, which specifies the distance that the tracks are from the centerline of the spline. The tag value is a CSL list of [note 4] decimal numbers in meters, but all bridge types (Road,[4] single tracked bridges,[5] or double track,[6] and even tunnels,[7] each with a unique KIND declaration before TS2009) in TS09 and TS10 have a coding error interpreting all bridges as double tracked in the CM validation process and always require at least two values. This accompanies a similar change in splines defining them as Track KIND sub-types and all rail Track assets as well.

  • The correct means of updating an older asset given this error message depends on which ContentManager version is reading the config file. Content Manager 2.0 through Content Manager 3.3 will incorrectly give this fault, and this is how to adjust for it. Such corrections need readjusted moving the asset to TS12 (TB V3.4 and above).
  • THEORY:
     • If to correct fault the tag is deleted in a track asset, the asset will not have any 'bridgetrack
     • The number of items in the list (and also the number of values in the list for the tag trackdirections) must match the number of tracks in the spline in bridges of TS12 and the previous Trainz to TS09.
     • For updates to single track or single spline road bridges with CMs validating errors to these versions, use two very small offsets such as trackoffsets -0.001,0.001.[note 5]
P train grey.png
When updating or adapting an bridge asset... For build values 2.9 to 3.4 make sure there are two entries in the lists. Examples are -0.01,4.99 (5m separation) or 2.5,-2.5. These assets will have two tracks in TS12. For build values over 3.5 and higher, as in earlier KINDS of the TRS and Trainz series data models, make the number of items in the lists equal to the number of tracks, and the expected number of tracks will display.

 

Error: The Decimal tag '<tag name>' in container '<container name>' is not a valid Decimal valueEdit

Example: Error: The Decimal tag 'object-size' in container '14' is not a valid Decimal value.

The tag value is not a valid decimal number. For instance, a value of '0,05' has been entered instead of '0.05'. Edit the tag value so that it is a valid decimal number.

Error: Unable to load animation file '<animation file name>' (no resource).Edit

The animation file was not found in the asset.

  • This error is common with kind mocrossing where there is no animation in the mesh. For instance, the crossing may have flashing lights and no boom or gates, or the asset may be kind mocrossing because it needs the events raised by an approaching train for some purpose other than animation. CM demands that the animation file exists for an asset that is kind mocrossing even though it is not referenced in config.txt. In this case any valid anim.kin file can be added to the asset to eliminate the error. It is possible to search for a suitable file in userdata - all that is needed is a valid .kin file to satisfy CM.

If the mesh supports animation and there is no animation file, then fixing it will be difficult. If the asset is part of a series of similar crossings then the anim.kin file from another asset in the series might work - this should be thoroughly tested. If the mesh is animated and the correct anim file is not available it may still be possible to substitute a different file with the worst case result being that the animation does not occur. There is no way to create the correct animation file from the mesh information. If substituting an animation file, be sure to test it with a Loco on the tracks, bringing it from far to nearer and nearer. If the anim does not trigger, the asset is at least usable. If it does trigger then you can decide whether or not the effect is acceptable before deciding to repair the asset further.

Error: Required container '<container name>' is missing.Edit

This can also be a warning in some cases, even though it says 'required'. It indicates that the asset type requires a particular container but that container has not been included in the cofig.txt file. The fix for this depends on the container (some containers can be easily created, some can't) and the asset type.

Error: The kuid '<kuid>' specified in '<container>' is not of the correct type.Edit

When a kuid is required within a container it must be a kuid of the type that is appropriate for that container.

  • For instance, the allowed-categories sub-container (within a queues container) requires one or more KIND product assets be listed in the subcontainer. A different type of asset (such as a product Kind's building block classifier KIND product-category) will generate this error: 'Error: The kuid '<kuid:-3:10044>' specified in 'product-kuid' is not of the correct type.'

 

Case 1, Queues container Example
Error: The kuid '<kuid:-3:10044>' specified in 'product-kuid' is not of the correct type. Tip: This product-kuid tag has a high occurrence of being wrongly defined, and should be omitted when the tag initial-count is zero (Tanker is empty).

 

Analysis when message is
'Error: The kuid '<kuid:-3:10044>' specified in 'product-kuid' is not of the correct type.'

Some assets that appear to be products in faulty-formulated assets are not products at all, but are actually KIND product categories—which are, as a characteristic or attribute of the products-type-of-occurrence (load type), used to define each to one of the four load types. These kuids are not valid for values where a product is required, but are often mistakenly found there for the CMPs of the TRS-era Trainz versions did not test this, and the point was moot if the vehicle was unloaded —which is the starting state most of the time in most sessions & scenarios of the day— or surveyor just defined things correctly. In any event, the error is commonly seen.   The four standard product categories are:

 Passenger,<kuid:-3:10091>
 Bulk Load,<kuid:-3:10040>
 Liquid Load,<kuid:-3:10044>
 Container,<kuid:-3:10042>

 

Two easy Fixes
  1. Replace the invalid item with an appropriate product from the listed allowed-products kuids. (LARS products are very popular, there are at least 17 LARS Bulk Liquid or gaseous tanker loads[note 6].)
  2. If there is no initial load quantity such that (initial-count tag in the queues container is zero (Traincar is empty with no default or random load assigned), just delete the line.

Error: Failed to load sound file '<sound file name>', please ensure this is a valid wav file.Edit

The sound file could not be loaded. Perhaps the file is missing - it may be possible to search for the file in user data and find it. It might be corrupted or in the wrong format. If the file has been left out of the asset because it's not actually needed, then any sound file will work, at least to get the asset installed so that the function of the sound file can be determined and a suitable replacement located. For historical reasons this error can also occur in assets that are upgraded from an earlier build number - the file exists and the config.txt file entry appears to match the filename, but the warning persists. In this case ensure that the file name in config.txt is enclosed in quote marks (") - trailing spaces or tabs can confuse CM when quotes are not used.

It may also be a "Bit Rate" fault. Check with program such as Audacity (Freeware), my experience was a sound file bit rate of 4400mhz, changed to 22050 to match existing working .wav file and problem resolved. AssetX V3 and later includes a Repair option that fixes some problems with sound files.

Error: Script class does not match asset kind (<kind>).Edit

The asset script is attempting to use a class that is not appropriate for the asset type (kind). An extreme example is trying to use a Locomotive class for a scenery asset.

  • Note that errors associated with scripting are only fully identified when an asset is committed. It is therefore possible that the error disappears when other errors are fixed and the committing succeeds. If the problem associated with this error is not obvious then leave it until all other errors are fixed, and then confirm that it still occurs.
  • Some assets have been seen evincing this error message which continued to test as a fault when CM was commanded to validate the open for edit asset, but the fault disappeared when the asset was committed (at the suggestion of another Trainzer).

Fixing this error and preserving the script functionality is beyond the scope of the present discussion.

Error: Multiple track stretches between '<attachment point>' and '<attachment point>' in container 'attached-track'Edit

Error: Multiple track stretches between '<attachment point>' and '<attachment point>' in container 'attached-track'. Track stretches must be unique.

  • As of CM version 3.7 this is a DLS upload validation error only.

The attached track container includes one or more vertices sub-containers. The vertex pairs listed in the sub-containers represent connections between vertices. A pair of vertices can have only one connection. Edit the vertices subcontainer by removing one of the duplicated vertex pairs.

Error: The obsolete KUID <kuid> is not part of this assets obsolete history.Edit

A problem has been detected with the obsolete history for the asset. However, the description in the error message is not correct (except in 'geek speak', meaning from the point of view of the software's writers, who should have translated the detected error into user referenced terms). The problem is that the asset is obsoleting an item that is already in the asset's obsolete history. For instance, asset <kuid:12345:6789> might include an obsolete table -

 obsolete-table
 {
   0                                     <kuid:12345:6000>
 }

indicating that it obsoletes an older version. If the asset is then released in a new version it should only use the kuid <kuid2:12345:6789:1> to indicate that the previous version is now also obsoleted. That upgraded asset should not include the obsolete table from the previous version, as that would create a duplicate obsolete reference in the asset's obsolete history. (Obsolete tables are however required in other cases: for instance they are used by N3V staff in replacing assets with an entirely different kuid. This happens particularly in the process of getting rid of the negative user IDs (-1, -25 etc).

Editor's note:
Why the above error occurs...
The asset.tdx (data base index file) can only contain a single reference to an asset obsoleting the KUID, hence a double entry generates the error message. While CM will 'fill in the blanks' with an assumed sequence of KUID2'swhen a superseding KUID2 skips one or more version suffixes, so knows for example, to use a '<KUID...:4> to obsolete a KUID or <KUID...:1>; but each filled in number of the sequence holds only the next superseding kuid in the index. This makes sense when one considers the role of the obsolete-table as a replacement look-up table. An asset's kuid-table listing an older kuid is compared to the list, which points to its replacement. A computer can't substitute two things for one, hence the obsolete/replacement table in the assets.tdx indexing can only hold a single entry.
  • As of CM version 3.7 this is a DLS upload validation error only. However, several forum posts by staff have indicated this double-reference is one cause of data base instability and needs to be prevented.
Editor's note:

Content Manager began indicating a message Content Manager 2.0 in TS09, then that was modified to show that code builds assigned trainz-build as the Content Manager version number of an install with the release of TS10 (and also for TS09-SP4 which followed most TS10 service packs in time).

  • Example: TS09-SP4 AND TS10-SP4 are both version 3.3 so have 'Content Manager v3.3' show in the title-line of CM.
  • TB Version 3.7 is TS12-SP1+hotfix 3 or hotfix 4. The version number defines the error screening that is applied to assets, but DLS upload screening is more up to date than the current CM, and reflects efforts to ensure that assets comply with forthcoming releases of Trainz (which as of the moment, is TANE).

This error has also been observed where there was no apparent duplication of superseding assets, but there was a gap in the sequence:

  • <kuid:12345:67>
  • <kuid2:12345:67:2>
  • <kuid2:12345:67:3> - rejected with error

Error: TADCompileAsset unable to determine asset KUIDEdit

The kuid used for the asset could not be resolved into a valid kuid. It might be incorrect format (eg, <kuid2:-1:110000:0>) or there might be an internal issue about conflicting kuid numbers. Check the kuid in config.txt and confirm that it is correct.  

Error: Unable to commit changes to asset <kuid:xxx:yyy> as the config file contains the wrong KUIDEdit

There is an inconsistency between the kuid recorded in the database for the asset and the kuid in the config.txt file.

When an asset is opened for editing the status of the asset is recorded in the database. When the asset is committed the asset is loaded back into the database from the edit folder and the status is updated. This error is emitted if the process of loading the asset back into the database detects that the asset kuid differs from what is recorded in the database.

If an asset kuid is to be changed then the asset must be loaded through the File / Import Content menu option, and the original asset should be reverted.

Error: CRC Mismatch on '<script>.gsl' after recompile. Do you have both .gs and .gse present?Edit

Database repair error. The asset may show in CM with an error icon but no error message is available. Opening the asset for edit and then re-committing may clear the error.

ReferencesEdit

 

Data Model ChangesEdit

Some obsoleted data model changes in the Trainz Classics

These faults and wsrnings were generated bringing a well established TB v2.6 Loco into the Classics:  

Tags obsoleted in the container 'steam' in Trainz Classics.
  'boiler-to-piston-flow'
  'firebox-to-boiler-heat-flow'
  'firebox-to-boiler-heat-flow-idle'
  'firebox-volume'
  'main-reservoir-volume'
  'piston-to-atmosphere-flow'
  'westinghouse-volume'
These tag-value pairs generate Errors in the indicated container
Error: The tag 'epbrakes' is not permitted within container type 'steam-engine'
Error: The tag 'max-fire-coal-mass' is not permitted within container type 'steam'

 

NotesEdit

Explanations and elaborations
  1. Trainz 2009 and Trainz 2010 were together transitional, the lower for the base data model, the later for module to module inter-connectivity, communications with the outside world, and better more up to date use of extant current computer technology such as better graphics cards and multicore processing with transitional code harnessing some capabilities of newish 64-bit CPU and operating systems. The fourth and last service pack updates for TS09 and TS10 both have and share Trainz-build 3.3 as a result.
     • With the Trainz MAC projects requiring code porting to a different operating system, differences in the operating system required certain assumptions taken for granted in code for the IBM PC and other descendants of the MSDOS operating systems and the Intel X86 family of CPU chips be made explicit, and no longer be defaulted.
     • Other software evolutionary changes suggested certain parameters should also become explicitly defined to give the CC community different capabilities afforded by long requested features and options.
     • Both measures resulted in the N3V programmers requiring more and sometimes different explicit definitions of keywords, as is sometimes well documented in the N3V Wiki and sometimes discovered only because DLS uploading software filters now reject assets without such changes.
     • It should be noted, as the DLS upload vetting process was implemented, it also began to be updated to reflect the needs and demands of the next (forthcoming or future) Trainz release under development long before the release's content manager is available. Hence, uploading to the DLS sometimes uncovers new requirements due to the more stringent testing of the evolving data model.
  2. There exists a tension, two conflicting priorities... between a CC assigning the highest trainz-build value recognized by his installs CM or CCP versus uploading a updated asset with the least changes that will be useable by the most users because it has a lower TB number.
     • The lower the TB assigned, the more people that run older versions can use the asset without adjusting it in more cases.
     • The higher TB version numbers are now driven by managerial fiat vice technological needs. N3V Games amidst much controversy and considerable user push back pretty much hi-jacked the designed purpose of the trainz-build code and began forcing uploads of TB values divorced from actual technical specifications and needs in September 2014, or equivalently, in September 2010 when they announced and began enforcing the hated Trainz Life-Cycle Policy without first establishing a baseline of uniformly cleaned up content and a long period of enforcement of well understood standards.
     • This policy mismanagement has and continues to have two effects:
    A) People who may not have the monies to afford newer computers and software, and who are often on fixed incomes as elderly retirees having no interest in learning newer systems now have to abandon Trainz updating and have effectively become second class Planet Auran citizens. This is understandably seen as a breech of faith by those older persons who are used to buying a quality product and feel uncomfortable with the slapdash casual way poor quality products are released requiring constant updating—clear measures of poor products, poor professionalism in their programmers and a certain clear indication of the piss-poor ethics of the business' managers.
    B) and —a stable transitional version where many [if not most] enginespecs were evolved and have been mostly plateaued as the 'standard' enginespec ever since) in the asset; or should one try to retrograde such an asset to an earlier Trainz.
  3. Mandatory data elements even as late as January 2015 are not always clearly and unambiguously presented as such in the Trainz Wiki. The bottom line is if an installs Content Manager is saying a TB value requires such definitions, one must be defined, or the TB value reduced to one the CM will accept.
     • In either 'fix' case, the default value per the Trainz Wiki is likely to be the correct value to assign, but as always when fixing and modifying rolling stock or other dynamic assets, the repaired files should be tested in both surveyor and driver in as many applicable installs as is possible to be certain it is a viable general fix or to ascertain that it is only a TB-range limited fix.
     • New users are cautioned that sometimes the TC3 Content Creation Guide PEV put up as a Trainz Wiki appendix must be consulted to ferret out a correct default value... and as always: the community will appreciate any page and paragraph on the Trainz Wiki updated with such esoteric information when stumbled over thereby unselfishly illuminated for the greater good.
  4. See CCGTC 'Kind: Bridge Double Track' online source here and See CCGTC 'Kind: Bridge' (Single Track) online source here as well as CCG/Kind:_Track_(Road) and CCG/Kind:_Bridge_Tunnel.
  5. Why the value cannot take a zero value is unknown, but conjecture it is used as divisor in some calculations. In any event, non-zero very small numbers occur in older CCG's as required values. 'trackoffsets -0.001,0.001' were tested in TS10-SP2 versus single track and road elements after repairs and successfully coupled to the joining roadways.
  6. 17 LARS Bulk Liquid loads:
    <kuid2:30671:92807001:1>,<kuid2:30671:92807002:1>,<kuid2:30671:9281410:1>,<kuid2:30671:9281511:1>,<kuid2:30671:9281520:1>,<kuid2:30671:9283326:1>,<kuid2:30671:9283620:1>,<kuid2:30671:9320820:1>,<kuid2:30671:9390110:1>,<kuid2:81150:81:2>,<kuid2:81150:83:2>,<kuid2:81150:84:2>,<kuid2:81150:85:2>,<kuid2:81150:86:2>,<kuid2:81150:87:2>,<kuid2:81150:88:2>,<kuid2:30671:9271390:1>

 

FootnotesEdit

  1. Found in inyo b2,<kuid:96914:50222>, TRS2004 Steam Loco parts from Steammachine.com by bdaneal
  2. a b By a series of private emails, and responses, objections, clarifications and reassertion involving about 6 members of Yesterdayz-Trainz and James Moody.
    Email exchange giving arguments made by James Moody to always use texture.txt files Except for the DLS 240x180 thumbnail.
    Hi everyone :-) > Hi guys, you'll fnd the mindset on this 'INTERESTING' See this: > http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/index.php?title=%22Thumbnails%22_container&diff=5458&oldid=5363 > when I expanded the thumbnails table on the Wiki, then one of the few > actual edits Moody made after one of my changes... indicating their > thinking was this .texture reference as a preference.
    N3V Games' version manager James Moody replys (truncated)
    My recommendation is to absolutely 100% definitely reference a .texture

    for anything that appears in-game in either driver or surveyor.

    If Trainz encounters something that it needs to render in-game that isn't a .texture, even if it's part of the UI, it has to hack it into one on the fly. This won't be as good a texture (or as fast to use) as if CM had done it in advance at commit time.

    The exception is obviously for stuff that's intended for the web (e.g. the DLS), where you will want something a web browser understands. That's why we use .jpg for the DLS thumbnail.

    For most assets, this is "just" a performance issue, causing a disk access (and consequently a brief stutter) every time the image is encountered. However, there's actually a more serious problem hidden here too.

    If an asset gets widely used, it is likely to turn up as part of the built-in content set in a future game version, or maybe as a dependency of a DLC content pack. These assets are distributed in a form that is stripped of source textures to reduce the size of the download. If you have a .texture.txt, and still reference the source image (e.g. .tga) directly, then this will be an outright fail in this case. It's not just slower, it literally doesn't work at all. (italics emphasis added) You get an empty box - either 100% black or 100% white depending on circumstances, because that file is literally missing.

    If you want to see this bug in action, go make a consist in TS12 (or TS2010 for that matter...) using built-in rolling stock. Most of it doesn't have consist preview icons -- precisely because the content has this bug.

    —James Moody, emails September 16, 2014 12:24 EDST (Boston) to five members of Yesterdayz-Trainz
    
    
  3. Spotted in TS10 with V2.8 asset config.txt including the header lines: kuid <kuid2:60238:53042:1> username "Green Goat GENSET Engine Sounds Startup" kind "enginesound" category-class "ZS" engine-sound-ramp-up-durations 0,2.396,2.317,2.267,2.701,2.626,2.374,2.175 engine-sound-ramp-down-durations 0,2.396,2.317,2.267,2.701,2.626,2.374,2.037 category-region "US" trainz-build 2.8 category-era "2000s;2010s"
  4. See CCGTC 'Kind: Track_(Road)'
  5. CCGTC 'Kind: Bridge' (Single Track)
  6. See CCGTC 'Kind: Bridge Double Track'
  7. See CCGTC 'Kind: Bridge Tunnel'