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BTB - Creating alternative track layout

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Max, May 24, 2012.

  1. Max

    Max

    I can't find any advice on how to create alternative layouts of a track (this is for rFactor).
    For example, at Silverstone they have the GP track, the International and the National.
    When you select any of the tracks in rFactor, the actual track layout is basically identical (maybe a few cones have been placed to indicate which part of the track is in use) - it seems to be just the Centerline and Fastline that are different.

    So how do you create a new Centerline (for say a link road between two sections of the full track), while retaining the existing track? I have managed to create the link road, by creating a new open track, but cannot figure out how to create another centreline. And how do you export the different layouts to rFactor?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. ebrich

    ebrich
    Premium Member

    Open up the rfactor\GameData\Locations\Northamptonshire folders for a start to see how its set out. If you know a bit about the type of files and what they do you may be able to answer it yourself.
    Look at the difference between a multi layout and a single layout.
    If your still lost get back to us.
     
  3. Max

    Max

    OK, I have discovered that you can edit the Centerline independent of the shape of the track.
    So I modified the Centerline and Fastline to use the alternative layout (deleted each point from the unused portion of the track) and exported from BTB without the "Clear folder" option, so that it retained the (previously exported) full circuit.
    But I made sure I did not save the project in BTB - that would have lost the Centerline and Fastline of the full circuit.

    So anyone got any tips on maintaining two or more Centerlines/Fastlines in BTB?
    Or if not, a faster way of deleting a large chunk of the Centerline, rather than having to delete each dot individually. The track I am editing is quite large - 27 corners.
     
  4. ebrich

    ebrich
    Premium Member

    In BTB you treat each layout as a separate track bringing it all under one name in the game folders after, by moving the files and folders around. So one aiw line and file will be saved with "Your Long Track" and one with "Your Short Track". Two separate tracks.

    Once you've merged the two tracks in your rfactor - Locations folder,"Your Track" will, in game, consist of "Your Long Track" and "Your Short Track" and these two will have some common folders holding the textures and the gmt's (the .mas and Map.mas folders). As with Silverstone having the GP track, the International and the National track.
     
  5. Max

    Max

    But... the two layouts have all the same tarmac and terrain, barriers, kerbs, trees etc. It is only the Centerline and Fastline that are different.

    At this stage I am still making lots of changes to the track shape and terrain, so rather than duplicating that work, it is much easier to re-create the Centerline for the short layout each time.

    I want to pick up changes to the centerline of the full track, so I suppose I just have to re-create the lines for the short track each time.
     
  6. ebrich

    ebrich
    Premium Member

    Yes. Fraid thats the way it is. In BTB you have to treat it as two seperate tracks which isn't that bad if you can be patient.
    First time I tried it I wanted to see the two,too soon, which ment each time I upgraded the first track I would , more or less, have to redo the centerline. Which is a pain.
    So get your first track right before starting the second.
     
  7. There is a way to hasten the process using track copies. It all depends how did you create those two layouts. If one of them is a closed loop and the other is open ended track, you're in luck.

    First create a track copy of the closed loop track. Make sure you have that copy as "Active", i can't stress this enough! Doublecheck, triplecheck, but make sure your not doing the following steps onto the original tracks!!!! This is why: Delete all nodes between the crossroads of the alternate layout and main layout. Add new node (CTRL key and click the track in top-view) and press 'M'-button to show all nodes from all tracks. Move the newly created node to the closest node of the alternate layout and "merge" (holding M key will copy all the node data, coordinates and control arm length&orientation) Do that for the whole length of the alternate layout until you got all nodes merged. It's wise to merge once again the first and last point of those new nodes just to make sure the transition is correct.

    Then in the track menu, click "Render " to off, infact untick all the boxes except BTB ground. Now you can autogenerate a new AIW that follows the alternate layout. If you make changes to the "original" alternate track, you can easily merge the corresponding nodes. AIW autogenerate will follow the BTB ground.

    That how i handle multiple layouts, it's so much easier to just edit pits manually and to use AIW autogenerate as much as possible. My record is 9 layouts on the same project... Saves time and reduces carpal tunnel syndrome. I also hide the AIW tracks to that they don't confuse editing... In most cases i'll even use a new cross-section to finetune the road width to get long smooth corridors that don't follow the material borders, to include or exclude some parts of the original track (like runoffs...). There is even a trick use slightly different centerline (editing the AIW track slightly, with node tool you can use bezier curves instead of cardinal..) to get even smoother autogen AIW but i found that tactic to be confusing more than helping (topview gets very garbled, exact copies blend in with the original better.

    If you need, i can make a pic tutorial. If te track is designed from the scratch to use my method, you can put both layouts pits to fit in the autogenerated AIW, at least close by by using the 1st node position wisely. You can also create a large circle around the whole track with just few nodes and make it follow the path you want. With a little bit of experience, it's extremely fast to get any strange layout that uses short sections of open tracks to a closed loop.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Actually, your method sounds pretty good Kennett (if I understood it right that is.. :whistling: ), I think a lot of people could benefit from a little pic tutorial.
     
  9. Mmm I agree. I am currently (very slowly) working on a track that may become my first release, and it will have about 6 layouts ideally (F1, Endurance, Touring Car, East, West, Hills), and I am wondering how best to sort them out, although that will be well into the future when I need to worry about that :p

    Just while this thread is active, I just want to ask a quick question about making multiple layouts:

    One method I've heard of previously is to put ALL objects required for ALL layouts, and then to copy the track multiple times and delete the excess objects for each layout either in 3DSimED or manually in the SCN, and another variant of this method is to export all versions from BTB to get the AIW, CAM, GDB, SCN and TDF files and the version with all of the objects for the GMTs.

    So, I was just going to ask if this/these will work, how well, and if one is better?

    Thanks :)
     
  10. ebrich

    ebrich
    Premium Member

    Too right.
    This thread is turning into a little gem for my "help me" box.
     
  11. Yes, that is the only way, you need everything first gathered in one project so that means all objects on all layouts. Since you're doing rF version, i can't give all answers, i work with Evo. There is some differences with the two, mainly that GTR Evo don't create HAT, rF will. Evo user need to do things slightly more complex but then it is rewarded by easy packing of multi-layout tracks.
     
  12. Here's the pics:

    Main track nodes:
    [​IMG]

    Alternate track nodes:
    [​IMG]

    Create a copy of the main track:
    [​IMG]

    Make sure the copy is activated and tick off all boxes except BTB Ground.

    Delete the nodes between the crossroads:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Create a new node and press "M", you can see where the nodes from the alternate layout are now:
    [​IMG]

    Merge nodes (not really a merge but a "copy all attributes".. nitpicking. here..), note that you'll get minor inaccuracies at this point, that'll be fixed later:
    [​IMG]

    Repeated thru out the track and all nodes need to be merged again, this way you get fairly accurate copy:
    [​IMG]

    AIW autogenerated using the new layout:
    [​IMG]

    BTB ground is actually not needed either, now that i think of it. AIW drops in at the highest available driveable ground anyway and that is the actual ground that is driven on so... AIW autogenerates following the X/Z axis of the selected track spline and calculates the Y axis following the ground and corridors are defined according to the track width. If you modify the track copy for another track width, you can get new corridors (driveable track width..) easily.

    Track copy can be used with a single layout too when you are using one materials as road, another as shoulder and one to make the surrounding grass: AIW then thinks that the grass is to be included as track, those who have manually adjusted kilometers of track boundaries will facepalm about here.. :) *. Make a copy of the track, delete all points from the cross-section except the actual road and create a new AIW... Saves a LOT of time.. I do those temporary track copies if i need to test a track and don't want to adjust all corridors individually..

    PS: I use a lot of track copies, period.. There so much you can do with identical track meshes...

    * having been adjusted the whole 15km of track, it taking 5 hours in one go, then taking a break and instantly figuring how to do it in 5 minutes.... that facepalm, i've had it too..
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. With this method you can also create city grids with lots of open ended tracks and then do the AIW with one open ended loop. Or any track that's made from any number of tracks..
     
  14. Good job Kennett!

    It's like... like...

    :sick: :poop:!

    Oh darn hold on wrong smiley:O_o: Been too triggerhappy again...

    :thumbsup::cool:!

    Yeah, that's it!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Moderator: please move this thread to BTB section.
     
  16. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    Premium Member

    At a different forum someone wrote

    So, when i have a circuit with multiple layouts, i can add all the objects (ie. walls) in the the final export of the track. In 3simed i can check the names of all those walls and in the scn file i can "switch" them off or on?
     
  17. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    Premium Member

    I quote the answers from nogripracing forum. .
    quoted "Rsoul"
    That's right. You can also delete the objects in 3dSimed, export from there, and it'll create a file called _output.scn. You can paste its contents into your main scn file. Don't overwrite everything though - just the part after the general info and skybox section.

    quoted erwin greven.
    Because i want to get a multi layout track without having all those mas files per track variant.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    (should be the same for ALL tracks)
    HZMSF.mas
    HZMSF_maps.mas
    HZMSF_maps2.mas
    plus these files which change per variant.
    ("p/s/x")gmt-files (could be packed in 1 mas file)
    pitglowin.gmt
    pitglowout.gmt
    pitlightin.gmt
    pitlightout.gmt
    startglow.gmt
    startlight.gmt
    xfinish.gmt
    xpitin.gmt
    xpitout.gmt
    xsector1.gmt
    xsector2.gmt
    and
    (variant).aiw
    (variant).gdb
    (variant).scn
    (variant).tdf
    (variant)loading.jpg
    (variant)mini.tga
    (variant)thmb.tga