Shape Viewer Version 2.2 build 237
(files dated / released 10 April 2008)
by by Paul "Decapod" Gausden


Shape Viewer displays an entire shape on screen without having to load up MSTS itself enabling you to examine the entire model and lets you see exactly what it looks like in the sim. You move the model by click and dragging the mouse on the screen.

You can view the bounding box, take screenshots, check textures, rotate and zoom model.


Download And Installation


File Size:3.05 MB (3,203,920 bytes)
Files dated / released 10 April 2008

Installation Instructions:

  1. Download the file from the link above;
  2. IMPORTANT: Uninstall any older version first;
  3. Open ZIP file and double-click on SView22.msi to commence installation;
  4. You will find the program in Start | Shape Viewer 2.2.



View an MSTS shape file (.S), engine/wagon file (.ENG/.WAG), or even consist files (.con). ENG files load any freight animations, consist files show the whole train. You can add a shape so you can load more than two shapes.

You move the model by click and dragging the mouse on the screen. You can view the bounding box, take screenshots, check textures, rotate and zoom model.

You can view the bounding box of the model itself visually (Ctrl-B) or by the values in the .S file (Ctrl-C). You can also display the file bounding box as defined by the .SD file (Ctrl-D).

Orthographic projection (Ctrl-P) gives you a "plan" or 2-dimensional view of your model; "8-frame animation screenshot" (Ctrl-F12) - check your animation with 8 screenshots, taken with a single keystroke or mouse-click; 4-view screenshots (Ctrl-F11) - top, side, front, rear with one keystroke, mouse-click.

Many keyboard shortcuts (see below); for example, press the "Backspace" key for a wire frame rendition of the model:

Display positions for some items - lights, smoke, attachments etc,. Note: Click on particular point/effect in pop-up box and appropriate effect turns purple.


Error Messages

  • You must have Directx v9.0 or higher installed, or you will see error messages such as "Object variable or With block variable not set" or a runtime error "91".
  • If you get an error 429 (possibly caused by an automatic update of windows) when starting Shape Viewer - "No License", type the following from the Start | Run menu:
  • If you get an error 'Run-time error: '11' Division by zero when starting Shape Viewer - you will need to delete the registry keys for Shape Viewer. Start | Run | Regedit. Search for "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\Decapod"

    Delete this key and Shape Viewer will then start normally.

  • If you get an error 'Run-time error '-2005532292 (8876017c)': Automation error when starting Shape Viewer - this error code translates to "out of video memory". If your card has more than 32Mb on board, then it is likely the video driver is not working properly or is not up to date.
  • If you are also having problems displaying help text files try running:
    REGSVR32 /v hhctrl.ocx
    REGSVR32 /v itircl.dll
    REGSVR32 /v itss.dll

  • To run Shape Viewer under Vista, you will need to copy dx8vb.dll and picformat32.ocx from your Windows XP Windows\System32 folder to your Vista Windows\System32 folder. If you can't find them, click here to download a 484k ZIP file (instructions in "Comments").

    You will then need to register them: Start | Run regsvr32 dx8vb.dll and click OK, then Start | Run regsvr32 picformat32.ocx and click OK. (You may need to "Run As Administrator" to ensure that the .DLLs are correctly registered (Start | Programs | Accessories | then right-click on "Command Prompt and select "Run As Administrator"). See image below: right-click | View Image to see full size: thanks to Otto Wipfel for image.)

    This fix will also ensure Conbuilder runs correctly under Vista.

    Right-click | View Image to see full size: thanks to Otto Wipfel for image


Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcut Key
1 to 0 (keyboard only)
View shape from camera position 1-0
Ctrl-1 to Ctrl-0 (keyboard only)
Saves camera position 1-0 (then use on any shape)
(+) and (-) on numeric keypad
Decreases and Increases View Distance
Reverse the direction of the first shape on-screen
(second shape - if loaded - is NOT reversed)
Toggles visual bounding box on/off
Shows full bounding box information in pop-up box
Show visual .SD file bounding box
Toggles Environment Mapping On/Off
Select screenshot folder and screenshot prefix
G or Ctrl-G
Toggles through blank, grid and grass ground textures
Set wire height
Show model matrix and hierarchy
Toggles Low Quality Textures On/Off
Open a new shape file
Toggles Orthogonal Projection on/off
Remove last shape
Select sky texture
Show texture files
Toggle wire on/off
Close Shape Viewer
Reposition Second/Last Shape
Re-centre model
Inrease/decrease brightness
Increase/decrease animation speed
Add Second/Extra Shape
Toggle Display Base On/Off
Reload shape
Toggle Sky On/Off
Select Background Colour
Toggle Animation On/Off
Take a screenshot
Toggles to Full-screen mode (bug here on return to normal mode)
4-view screenshots
8-frame animated screenshot
Toggles wire-frame view on/off


ScaleRail Track Base

3dTrains have produced a track base for use in Shape Viewer which utilises their forthcoming superb ScaleRail texture: click on the image to go to 3dTrains' Utilities page to download the track base.


Measuring Tool Installation

A couple of years ago, Ian Macmillan produced a "very useful" measuring tool that could be loaded as a second shape within SViewer to enable precise measurements of models. However, I find it tedious to load the Tool as a second shape, as you usually have to browse to a folder (other than the one you're working in) to load it.

As I never use the "Display Base" option (pressing F4) when I'm examining models in SV, I decided it would be more practical to have Ian's measuring tool accessible by toggling F4 on and off. I use SV far more frequently to measure models to set up lighting or passenger views.

I moved the original "TC_Displaybase.s" (normally located in the Program Files/ShapeViewer folder) and into a sub-folder called "DisplayBase". I then installed Ian's measuring tool into the ShapeViewer folder and renamed "MeasuringTool.s" to "TC_Displaybase.s".

Now whenever I need to get a measurement, I simply press "F4" and the Measuring Tool appears (see composite image below). I generally use Ctrl-P to get the model in "Plan" view.

Sviewer with Measuring Tool on/off

You can download an installer for Ian's measuring tool as set up for Shape Viewer by clicking on the download button below:

(329 KB (337,346 bytes)

(If you find you occasionally need to see the display base, you can copy the original TC_DisplayBase.s along with Rails.ace and ballast.ace into a folder called DisplayBase in your Trainset folder and call it up as a second shape (press F3)). Note: copy, do not remove ACE files from folder or SViewer will attempt to re-install.


Positioning Tool Installation and Use

This is an easy-to-use tool created by Bradley Maurer, originally based on Dickey Tarkington's and Ron Paludan's flat people, but highly modified.

Positioning Tool

When used with Shape Viewer as a second shape, this tool will help you define the position for lights, passenger views, cabviews, headouts, steam and whistle effects, ANYTHING! that needs to be placed via parameters in an ENG or WAG file. You simply move the tool (as second shape to the position you want and then read off the x, y, z co-ordinates by reading the left/right, vertical and front/rear values respectively; see image below for an example:

Sviewer with Positioning Tool

You can download the positioning tool here - extract the "1Ptool" folder to your TRAINSET folder.
11.7 KB (12,009 bytes)




Previous Version History

Version 2.1.227 - 26th Sept 2007

  • Support for more shaders and sub objects used by MSTS (Diffuse, GlossMap etc) - Sketchup MSTS models without - textures and "fixed" models should all display correctly.
  • Fixed - Screenshot location now removes the .screenshot from the filename after a change.
  • Fixed - models with textures of 16x16 or less failed to load.
  • Fixed - hierarchy display now shows correct shader name.
  • Ability to load complex bounding boxes from MSTS SD files.
  • Can now Open MSTS ENG and WAG files, including freight anims.
  • Can now open MSTS Consist files (.CON)
  • Some support for loading Trainz (TRS) models (config.txt) and meshes (.IM files)
  • Some Multi-Monitor support.
  • Reduced CPU usage (to almost zero)
  • Position displays for some items - lights, smoke, attachments etc
  • Camera field of view adjustment
  • Current Directory file list and scroll (Alt + Up or Down arrow)
  • fixed loading of files containing extended ascii characters such as
  • build 225 - few bug fixes added to 2.1.222, alpha sorting, quotes around file names and window ordering.
  • build 227 - fixes european comma as decimal separator for points and SD bounding.

Version 1.5.181

  • Overhead Wire display
  • Save textures as TGA or BMP
  • Screenshot can now be a fixed file name or a prefix
  • AppPath and AppVersion now stored in the registry
  • Triggerable animations - Pantographs , Wipers (Doors and Mirrors too)
  • Bogie wheels animate correctly
  • Model Matrix/vertex state/primitive hierarchy viewer with highlighting option
  • With the Main tab selected, pressing Num-lock shows the camera position.

Version 1.4

  • b.157 now works correctly with Win 98/ME installations
  • Orthogonal Projection view (Tools/Orthogonal Ctrl-P)
  • 4 View screenshot (Tools Menu)
  • 8 frame animated screenshot (Tools Menu)
  • Camera positioning menu option front/back/left/right/60 degrees left/right (tools menu)
  • Reads simple bounding box info from .sd file
  • Load Second shape is now functions as an "Add" shape.
  • trainlib OCX now installed into windows\system folder.

Version 1.3.129

  • Improved frame rates (FPS);
  • Spanish version now looks for help file sview_es.chm instead of sview_fr.chm;
  • Sun in the sky;
  • 180 degree flip for main model;
  • More bounding box info from the edit menu;

Version 1.2.122

  • Bugs fixed for loading objects and others;
  • Screenshot option to save as JPG;
  • Model bounding box and Size display on Ctrl-B or Edit Menu (not the same as SD file);
  • Low Quality Texture display (same as MSTS) Ctrl-L or Edit Menu;
  • Language translations corrected;
  • If the PC is set for German, Spanish or French language, the program will look for help text files sview_de.chm, sview_es.chm or sview_fr.chm. These do not exist, but should anyone wish to write them they can be distributed separately;
  • Put back object rotation onto the animation tab.

Version 1.1.111

  • New option to change sky texture, plus samples;
  • Synchronised Sky menu with options;
  • New option to set screenshot folder and prefix;
  • fixed rotated bogie animations;
  • Adjusted texture lighting effects;
  • open file after using file association to start uses current folder;
  • Time and latitude for "Sun";
  • 10 saveable camera positions Ctrl+Number saves, Number to restore;
  • Fixed non-identity main matrix bug;
  • More countrieswill be able to see localized menus/captions;
  • Seasonal textures;
  • Display base option by Tim Court;
  • Ctrl Key and Mouse movement control to control view point.

Version 1.0.95

  • Corrected display to support more models (gmax and odd sized textures);
  • Corrected uncompressed read for european mode windows;
  • Grid and Grass options;
  • Texture info display and toggle;
  • Menu and Help Text;
  • LOD list and "efficiency" display;
  • Full keyboard control via arrow keys;
  • Refresh/Reload on F5 key;
  • Line Drawing mode (Backspace key);
  • Load and position (including reverse) a second object into the scene;
  • Adjustable background colour and brightness;
  • Fog;
  • Anisotropic texture filter;
  • AntiAlias;
  • Animation;
  • Sky texture;
  • Right or Middle mouse button zoom

Beta 4a

  • fixed TSM model translucency;
  • fixed Gateway PC SIS video card problems;
  • fixed form resize distortion.

Beta 3 and beta 4 changes

  • Reads Uncompressed S files;
  • F12 - Toggles full screen mode;
  • F11 - Screenshot shortcut;
  • Esc - Quit;
  • Numeric keypad + and - change the view distance;
  • Page up/down alter rotation speed;
  • Now reads uncompressed files (slower than compressed);
  • Texturing correct (?) - specular, bright, dark etc;
  • Minimize window should no longer crash;
  • Transparencies Corrected;
  • Can be directly associated with S files;
  • Screenshot uses a continuous sequence, does not restart at 000.

Beta 2 changes:

  • Hopefully there are some improvements with transparency handling;
  • You may now associate S files with SVIEW.EXE;
  • Adjusting rotation speed is handled better;
  • Grey background can be changed from black through grey to white;
  • The mouse can be used to "drag" the camera - NOTE THE ROTATION APPLYS TO THE MODEL;
  • Goldsdof 380 model now works;
  • The screenshot now appears in the same folder as the program, not the S file;
  • fixes for some video cards (ATI, Intel).