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Add a Background Image?

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Pangaea, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Sup folks.

    Was wondering how this "add a back ground Image" works.
    Ive read the help file, and it mentions that I can use a background image combined with my already blended terrain. Is this correct?

    Im trying to achieve those really nice textured terrains like you guys.

    is this what the add background image option is for?

    i relies my track is fictional, so ill have to paint this image myself in photoshop (which is no problem, just more work, but ill have fun while im doing it).. I can make a screen shot of a top down view in 3d view within btb then use it as reference in ps.

    Anyway, I haven't actually made anything for it yet, as right now im just seeing how it works.
    I added an image (just a jpg).. but what do I do next? ... after I choose the image btb popups a dialogue/list.. I see the image i just added, so i pressed "close". Tho i cant see any change on my terrain itself. other then the image in top view . I exported my experiment for RBR and played, but the image dosent seem to be mapped onto the terrain.

    Perhaps i have misunderstood what this option is for. Is it simply for reference so ppl can align a track to a, for example a g-earth image?

    in addition, what sort of res images are these?.. my track is 17k, but its enclosed on itself . so its about 5k width and 7 long terrain wise
  2. You need to use the blending tool. If you're not familiar with it look at the Terrain is here video on the BTB website. Blending with a background image starts just before the 10 minute mark.
  3. aye,.. totally forgot about the "blend to background" pull down option in terrain materials dialogue

    cheers Rsoul
  4. Ehrlec, sorry it's off topic, but what car/mod is that in your image?
  5. @ Ehrlec - it's really fantastic what you did! To be onest, it makes me scarry since I don't know what are you talking about - to complicated, so I just salute :)

    For my new WIP track I took the terrain from Sketchup 8 (two parts), merged and deleted unwanted vertices in 3ds Max and textured the whole thing with 512x512 texture (171 kb). The texture consist of 16 square parts founded in Jay's GB xpack (I just added the water). The terrain has 3600 faces and covers around 3 x 3 km. I was trying to take textures from GE, but Poland is so badly photographed (no close zoom)...
    The route is based on kml and (more) on video, the track will be 4 km long - Rally of Poland 2009 Shakedown.


  6. what scares me is every 1 possibility i discover with btb, there's another 10 behind that

    thanks for the info on this.. i think my current track is too far gone to make major changes like a terrain re-mix.. but for me next track i will DEFIANTLY be
    1. making terrain sections in max (for very distant terrain.. btb seems to fill in big polys.. 3ds imports maintain their count)
    2. making terrain texture like the methods talked about in this thread
    3. Mixing emel with my own learnt system.
  7. @ Pangea - shame on me - you have showed me your WIP track and I was silent... Believe me, just forgot a little and had many other things on my head.
    So, now I have to say - great idea, very nice lighting effects, unusual scenery :) Still, coulpe things to mention - I guess using dds instead of jpg's is one thing - they could be smaller anyway (and you can use mipmaps and experiment with shaders too).
    The one good thing about jpg's is that they don't need to be squares nor have applied the "powers of 2" rule. I saw in your previous track that you made them bigger for that reason, IMO that was not necessary.
    To guess how big the pictures for my objects' textures should be - I study/measure original RBR textures. Of course they don't look pretty in very high resolutions, but I don't care - I still play my RBR at 1024x768 and want to have better fps than beatiful view ;)

    Yes, I think it is now too far to rebuild the terrain - but it is very dense - I'm afraid of performance - with no objects I had 80-90 fps. Maybe you can try to merge distant polygons and split the terrain for couple parts, then set them as non-driveable, also not-collidable. How many polygons you have in the whole terrain now?
    I know that jumping into water could be special thing, but still all of these polygons have to be small and driveable. Just do some experiments - you decide :)
  8. sup martinez

    yes, well the track you have now is quite old.. i have made the terrain 80% with no collide and non drivable.. also some better lods. Im worried that your getting performance problems.. what system have you? ... I think the track now, should run smoother since i made the terrain changes.. but then again, ive also done alot more in terms of objects. and textures... ive not even started on road texture variations or physical deformations yet :/ ... as it is. its taking about 40secs to load.. and runs very smooth for me.. (i am constantly keeping an eye on performance, and i know as soon as i start getting problems, to stop, and optimise the track then publish), but so far rbr is surprising me.

    yes i know I should be using dds more.. and I will start getting into the habbit as soon as this track is done and I move onto my next one. There is LOTS of things i could have done to optimise things better from the start, but this project has been a learning experience in "large big open terrain" tracks... and its so late that any major changes would be too much work.

    My next track I will be taking special care of texture compression, mesh optimisation,.. and other performance related things.

    Ive come from graphic design, and have used 3ds alot over the years, so optimising things is like the opposite of what im used to. I need to get into the "game performance" frame of mind from now on ;)

    can you do me a favor, ill upload the track as is.. can you test it to see how the general performance is. I hope its better then the version you have now.
    ill pm the link when its uploaded

    thanks again
  9. Sure thing :) I will try it.
    I was smooth for me too, but Fraps told me that ;) I mean - on original RBR tracks I have 160-200 fps (with all objects etc, 1024x768, windowed).
    My machine is now a laptop with Intel i5 2,5 Mhz, 4 Gigs RAM 1333 and NVidia 335 M GT 1024 DDR 3 - I thought the video card would be faster.... ;)
  10. wow this is very interesting and superb looking stuff. sadly i dont understand the half of it. i just tryd blending my terrain with the backgrouund and just manually raising it lol but looks like dog dropings to say the least.
  11. Well, im sure having fun with this background image option.. Ive been messing about with for a while, and realise this is a pretty powerful way of texturing big terrain. I think I may backtrack on my project and apply these methods from scratch. I may also replace all the edge (boundary terrain) with terrain pieces made in max, using a screen shot of a top down btb 3d view as reference to make a displace map.

    might be good to rename this thread "Background Image Blending" .. or something, since there is so much good info and advice on it.

    thanks alot again folks.
  12. Yes! I also was thinking about this, since the quite big problem with kmls and GE terrains from Sketchup is that they simply doesn't fit each other.

    Did you have to split your terrain for parts when you painted it with different textures?

    I'm just curious, because in the past I had some issues like disapearing parts of terrain (also meshes errors while loading tracks with RBR) and the only solution was to reaply materials for the parts. I guessed that when I was using just simple textures, it was fine, but if some part (Terrain Area) had couple textures and additional btb's blending, the problems occured. But I'm just guessing, not 100% sure.
    As I said, kmls and GE Terrains mostly don't know each other ;) so I had also to correct the closest-to road- terrain's vertices (elevation) to eliminate big spaces I saw before. The whole process with placing the terrain correctly was tricky and sort of complex... But I'm satisfied with the final effect. Maybe next time I try to build terrain like Ehrlec did.
    For best results (when mapping in Max and maybe other programs either), the diagonals of the squares should be in the same direction IMO.

    Attached Files:

  13. Thanks! I didn't think that way - so, in some cases I would even skip drawing the small texture blending, so I could use more of them on my "atlas" - great idea, indeed :) Looks like I need to think deeper before I start to do things ;)
    That was what Sketchup gave me with the terrain - but even then, in Max - faces were flipped randomly... Then I was so exited that I managed to finalize the whole thing (since I have learned Max for one month maybe :D ). I also saw this kind of pararell egdes in original RBR tracks, so I thought it was the only proper way.
    Thank you very much for new perspectives!
  14. I'm curious - how did you make that terrain?
  15. For people like me, who don't know the Zaxxon's method, there is a "handmade" way:
    - in btb options, set the 2D grid to value between 50 - 100 meters (just how big polygons you want to get)
    - [​IMG] - draw a new track - it can be very long and could have panel length like the grid separation you've just set. Anyway, add two panels of terrain to the track at one side.
    - [​IMG] - delete the track, so one line (or row) of squared polygons remain on the scene.
    - go to "[​IMG] - Shape" - ensure the "Anchor Auto Merge" field is checked, relax, take a breath and in 2D View draw the rest of polygons using "Pull the edges of the terrain to form new polygons" tool. Takes time and it's additive :D
    - drag the edges so their vertices cover the grid lines and new vertices merge with previously added ones. For me, it does not much matter to get perfect squares (they will loose their geometry after working with shape/elevation tools), but you can select all vertices (lasso them) in a single row or single line, right click and choose "Line Up - 100%".

    Important - if you want to export the track directly to the game, remember to uncheck "Collidable" and "Driveable" in the Terrain Area's properties. In other case, BTB will try to divide polygons - they are too big to drive on them. What is funny - when I convert the terrain to an object, it can be driveable and I fall into the space very rarely ;)

    The same way I sometime create some "loose" polygons that are not connected with any track nor terrain area for use as patches covering holes when I merge tracks with wide roadsides (eMeL type). One thing to remember is to take care that they will not merge with others when I move their vertices.
    Pictures source: http://simtrackipedia.wikidot.com/btb:buttons :)
  16. a little off topic, but i have been messing about with bryce.. heres a terrain piece generated in it then imported into btb.. not bad.. i know its not btb terrain, but ill certainly add bryce to the list of btb companion tools

  17. Ok, I'll bite. I still have Bryce somewhere. How would I (basically, telegram-style) get terrain data from that program into BTB?
  18. well first off that terrain is un-editable in btb.. what you import is what you get.
    So its only something you can use really for "patches" of terrain to help blend in or support already existing btb terrain). Much as this terrain made in bryce looks amazing, its pretty use-less when u finally import it into btb in terms of being able to manipulate it.

    Anyway baring all that mind, Bryce has amazing export options for expoting mesh out into for example .3ds or dxf... (lots more)... . The export dialog ( i will make a short vid just to show how easy it is to make terrain in it) has reatime optimisation slider, + can export all the materials based on height and face angle out as spererated image maps ..etc.
    For the example I made in vid above. I exported out as a wavefront object (3ds has 64k file limit when importing into max), then - applied mesh smooth and optimise in max. I also stripped the textures and applied a simple tiled texture. I exported out as .3ds and imported into btb.

    To be honest im not sure how I am going to use this for best effect with btb, its just a dam shame imported mesh into btb cant be some way converted to editable mesh. or even better to join it up with btb terrain.

    btw I had used bryce many times in the past. . i had ver 5 which i thought was the last version bryce suddenly became a free-ware title from a full price software (ver 5).. I assumed they left it at that. But to my surprise they are still devloping it , up to ver7 now. and wait for it.. its still FREE. although there is a pro-version with things i doubt any regular user would use.
  19. You chaps are very lucky, I have BTB EVO and would love to blend terrain, but I am stuck, so Roy Hesketh has to use BTB materials/textures, wish it could be different.
  20. ah.. no prizes for guessing what im learning to do next then ;)