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Merging Tracks - examples inside

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Brendon Pywell, May 15, 2009.

  1. :(:flat::flat:
  2. Blender? More info please. In what order are things done? Presumably BTB is used to get the second track as close as possible, including fiddling with cross sections, but then what? Export as .x, then into Blender? Export to rFactor then into Blender? Will 3dSimEd be needed? What file formats are used at each stage?
  3. 1. Build a main track (BTB)
    2. Build a "secondary" track (ie. pitlane) and merge them together using the common methods:
    -In the top view (key 1) grab one end of your secondary track, bring it close to the point where You would like to have them merged; ...when You are close enough to the main track, hit the key "M" , and the tracks will automatically merge together... fine tune it keeping in mind the 3 pictures I posted before.
    3. 3DS is the file format to work with
    4. Edit Your finished track with one of the 3D software avaliable (3DMax, Blender, 3Dsimed....)
    5. Delete the unneeded faces and merge the borders of the track
    6. Export to "GMT"
    7. this is not the place to discuss other software, I think..., anyway, here more info:
    8. Good luck!

  4. Those are the bits I was asking about.

    "3DS is the file format to work with"
    How should the 3ds file(s) be made? BTB can export as .x, which Blender can import, so when should those files be converted to 3ds?

    It looks like the .gmt files correspond to the .x files, but I've no idea where to go from there.

    "Export to "GMT""
    How? I know 3dsMax (via a plugin) and 3DSimed can do it, but what about Blender? I can't justify the cost of 3dsMax and I'd prefer not to buy 3dSimed unless I really needed to.
  5. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Get Zmodeler, that imports and exports GMT files.
  6. Version 1 or version 2? The last time I checked version 1 couldn't do it and version 2 wasn't free and the trial version wouldn't even load on my computer.

    And their website is down :(
  7. Buy 3Dsimed if You intend editing others or Yours tracks (it is almost essential)
    -To avoid Buying 3DSmax, try BTB, it has almost everything You need to build a track, and the price is affordable
    -When It comes to building objects, blender is ok

    3DSimED is the tool That You will use most often for exporting, converting file formats, materials tuning, and so on...

    Here my advice:
    1. Install the BTB demo software and test it, if it fits Your needs; try to build a small oval as a first project (You have a time limit of 15 days, enough to see if that is what You wanted)
    2. Install the 3dsimed demo if you need converting file formats (gmt to 3ds...) ...actually You can not model in 3Dsimed, but You can edit and modify everything with it.
    3. To build Your structures (houses) try out blender or Sketchup. You will import the "new" models in Your track with 3DSimED

    -Cost all together +/- 100 $ after the demo expires
    3DSimed +/- 50$
    BTB +/- 50$
    3DSMax ...a lot more...

    Track building becomes boring with the time, and probably You will focus at the end on building objects (bridges, houses, cars....), and the best tool for that is 3DSMax! (in my opinion it is the and the most flexible software around for technical 3D Design, and it never becomes boring, there is always something new to learn about max; 1 life is not enough :) )

    A final note:
    With BTB You can build a complete working track in matter of days, with no need for additional software (but nothing more than that!)
    with any other software, to bring Your track into game takes months!

    About Objects:
    (Assuming that You have no experience or no time for modeling objects)
    -The fastest way is to "rip" objects from orher tracks, and for that 3DSimed is essential.
    (just keep in mind that, if You ripped ie. The grand stands from "Sim-Bin", You should limit Your release only for Sim-Bin platforms, or ask them for permission to release it for other games... the same counts for other platforms as ISI, Papyrus...)

    This is Just my opinion, it is not a fact!
  8. I downloaded the trial version of 3dSimed. I was able to delete the polys quite easily when the second track curved to the right of the main track. To set the points and in the cross sections I used the method I wrote about, which is linked to in the first post:

    When the second track curves the other way, things are a bit more tricky because of the direction of the diagonals of the triangles. I could move the nearest point but I don't want to distort the texture.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I hadn't quite understood the partial solution you'd come up with (mainly because I've been dancing around the hassle), but now I do... so what if you just were careful in laying out the original track so that the "main" path always took the left-going road even though your AIW will really run on the right-going road for the fast line? That would be easy to finish with the rF AIW editor, but I don't know how the other sims would cope.

    BTW, I totally find 3DSimEd a complementary purchase to BTB. Great for swapping out textures and you can even weld vertices if need be, though copying and pasting coordinates is a pain if you have a lot. Dave Noonan is looking into a adding a mouse-driven weld function for his next version.
  10. Yes, you CAN model in 3DSimEd as it has primitives to build up larger objects and a way to map textures onto surfaces. It's just painfully slow to use them for anything other than a simple box; much simpler to use Google SketchUp.
  11. With 3DSimEd I've been able to merge a left-hand-side escape road.


    It involves deleting some of the overlapping triangles, and then moving the points of the remaining ones. Then the UV coordinates have to be sorted out. Usually you can copy the coordinates from adjacent triangle, but sometimes there are differences and I haven't yet worked out if there's a pattern or if it's just a case of trial and error.

    There's still some confusion over exporting, and I've registered on the 3dsimed forum to ask about that. Once that's sorted out I'm quietly confident that there is a reliable way to merge tracks to a high standard using BTB and 3DSimEd. Together they're still cheaper than 3DSMax.

    Interesting idea, but it may be quite hard to make a suitable track texture for the intersection. Consider that you might want it to look as if the texture for the main track takes the right-hand path.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. ...that fore I said You can`t model in 3Dsimed.
    Putting up a box is not modeling I think... at least, I don`t see it that way... :)
    Try to build a track or a landscape, or a bridge with 3DSimed...
    It is definitively not the tool for that!
    (Looking for a Debate ?!?....)
  13. > (Looking for a Debate ?!?....)

    You never know :flat:
    Is the glass half-empty or half-full? The capability is there (I've heard of people actually building tracks with 3DSimEd!), but we're agreed that it's not the preferred tool. If it were the only tool available, you could get the job done. Slowly, very slowly.

    Another way to look at it is that better modeling tools use similar primitives (line, plane, box, cylinder, etc). The difference is in the extra capabilities to manipulate the vertices.
  14. ...Ok, if You insist... remove a ton of concrete with a teaspoon (I`ve heard thas someone has done it ;) ) ... I`ll use the excavator...

    -R Soul was asking for an advice on which software to use for modeling... ...and Your advice is 3DSimed...?!? come on...
    Don`t confuse people, if we all have to wait for R Soul to build a track with 3Dsimed... (Nibiru is coming... LOL)
    ...anyway, I`m not in the mood, so, I`ll pass this time... maby another day... ;)
  15. No I wasn't :p

    I was asking for the cheapest program that I could use to merge tracks. I already have BTB, something I hinted at when I linked to my thread about track merging (made more than 30 days ago).

    Anyway, I had another go at correcting the UV values for the distorted triangles of the left-hand-side 2nd track, and this this time it went fine. It could be that the first time round I was copying the values from the wrong point. In other words, I now know that after setting up the track as best I can with BTB, I can use 3dSimed to sort out any merges, with perfect results.
  16. I finally got around to making a full video tutorial on merging tracks (starting in BTB and finishing in 3DSimed), and the most satisfying thing is that the process doesn't involve guesswork. There are no cases of 'just move the surfaces and points until it looks right', it's a step-by-step process. Uploading it is going to be challenge. Large file sizes...
  17. * taps finger on table in anticipation :)
  18. I've finished making the files (combining lots of short segments into a few files), and I'll upload them tomorrow. It won't be a quick job - the total file size is 230MB, and that's after they've been compressed with 7zip's Ultra format. In total the the videos take 1hr 40mins, mainly because I explain what I'm doing.
  19. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Excellent work mate, really well done.

    You deserve a GOLD blue peter badge for this.

    I knew most of this anyways, but it explains how to do it alot neater than i have, thank you.