This piece was a personal project, concieved as an exercise in rigging for technical animation. The driving rods of the locomotive are all linked to the wheels using hierarchy dependant inverse kinematics, such that when the wheels rotate the rods display the correct movement automatically. The Train is then set to follow a spline curve, and the rails and trackbed generated along this spline automatically by lofting a cross section along its length. This was all achieved using standard 3D-S max tools (no plugins were used), the only issue being that the train is not technically "coupled". Instead the locomotive and carriages are simply set to follow the spline path at the same speed as each other with the appriopraite offset so they maintain the right distance apart.
The scenery is adapted from the desert environment used in my Advanced animation for Games piece, and uses a height map bitmap to get the contour, with a particle system used to randomly generate trees and foliage. Standard 3D-S Max particle systems were also used to represent the steam smoke and snow in the scene.
Black and White Edition