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Tutorial - eMeL method (road, roadside and terrain)

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by martinez, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    Hi everybody,
    The aim of this thread is to explain the method of building BTB tracks - in general, and also to show how it could be usefull when making tracks which would be much more easy to convert into original RBR format. The name "eMeL" comes from names of me (martinez) and Lakimakromedia.
    Notes: I don't say it is something new in track building, anyway there are still not many people who build this way.
    I believe that the method can be applied to rFactor tracks as well.

    I have received quite many questions what the method is about, so I can start maybe here :)
    Since it's Christmas time, I don't have much time to write down all of subjects.
    So, for now - I just share with my GB Sprint (BTB project) track - it shows an easy and effective way of making roads and roadsides and/or using pieces of textures to make picture transitions without BTB's "blend materials tool" (AFAIK blended materials work only in rFactor and RBR_RX, and they will never work in RBR's original format).
    The project contains the xpack with textures from smoe original RBR track - feel free to use it in your tracks.
    The thread will continue with tutorials and examples how different things can be done.

    The GB Sprint BTB project download:
    http://www.racedepartment.com/downloads/rbr-tracks-56/gb-sprint-btb-project-road-roadside-concept-3926/

    GB Sprint track general discussion: http://www.racedepartment.com/bobs-track-builder-new-tracks/40213-gb-sprint.html
     
  2. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven

    Messages:
    983
    Thanks for this one!
     
  3. zoka

    zoka

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    79
    Thanks for sharing this mate,very interesting project
     
  4. zoka

    zoka

    Messages:
    79
    Hey m8,i was watching this project and its have many not clear things for me,actually i see first time some things,and i think many other people too
    One more chicken from you :D,so you must explane some things here
    First on this picture u have two types of gravel road ??? transition from lighter to darker road???How to do that
    Now the main thing for me is how u create transition from road to terrain,without blending tool??
    And is this possible to do with tarmac road,to avoid obvious line between asphalt road and terrain
    If you can create some tutorial for for this it would be great

    This is something new for me and i think for many others
     

    Attached Files:

  5. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    In this particular case you see some semi-transparent wall that is placed put over the road. The wall is not driveable and not collide and has also set some LOD (or you want your graphic card to render it always?)
    It is the same technique as with placing tyre marks, now it is just bigger thing and covers almost the whole road and some roadside too. Switch off the Walls visibility (in BTB - the three small boxes at the top right are for (W)alls, S(Objects) and (O)bjects) and you see what is it.
    The path consists of three parts (textures) - start (from nothing to darker paths), middle part than can be repetitive as long as you want, and end (back to nothing). You could of course draw some new texture for transition like that, but this one can be scaled and can have different offset than road, you can also flip the direction of the whole thing without affecting the road.
    Notes:
    1. There was just "middle" part in original textures, so I had to draw the rest (beginning and ending).
    2: All textures in the project's xpack came from [RBR]/Maps/track-27_E_textures.rbz - the texture crossovers are drawn by me additionally. I'm not sure what track is was in original RBR - maybe Falstone.

    If you export the GB Sprint and drive slowly, you will sometime see some lines in places where textures meet each other (then it's even better that there are no objects in the project now). To avoid that, as Zaxxon suggested - you can use little offsets (X or Y, depending on situation - like 0,01 or 0,02). That sometime breaks the transition smothness though, especially when testures are small (thin).
    I will write about some other method that could be aplied here soon (need to make some examples - takes time ;)
     
  6. Barbje_Keller

    Barbje_Keller

    Messages:
    437
    Thank's, Marti' good job!
     
  7. lakimakromedia

    lakimakromedia

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    34
  8. Pangaea

    Pangaea

    Messages:
    246
    Hey Folks

    While ive not actually tried this eMel method yet, I do intend to try it out as soon as I move onto my next track.

    I am, in a sence thinking ahead here and have some questions rearding potential problems using the eMel method that I can see myself encounter.
    I realise this method is powerful in terms of track side terrain & texturing details & flexibility. However what happens when you come to a very tight hairpin?... what exactly do you do on the inside of the corner with these extra surface nodes? surely your gonna get mesh tears and horrible folds... Sure i guess you can pull the nodes in, but then you end up distorting the texture for that side.... its not like you can delete a few nodes. once you create the track surface nodes, your stuck with it for the rest of your track. Further more, what happens when you come to skinny bridges, or crossover sections? Im a little confused what happens then.. Perhaps eMel method is best for reasonably straight tracks, without things like bridges.. and other things where the road will not require those extra nodes on either side.

    its a pitty when making surface cross sections that you cant delete nodes for certain sections.. like doing it safley so 2 node intersections will link to a reduced 1 node intersection., if u get me.

    anyway, would love to know how you guys deal with what i mentioned above

    regards
    pan
     
  9. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    Yes, it can be a problem with hairpins etc. I usually delete roadside material there and leave some place empty. Then I build some loose terrain polygons to cover the hole. However, it leaves also some more vertices... (they are deleted later in 3ds Max) I will try to make some example soon - also for junctions.
    What I can say - the method is needed mostly for making tracks that can be converted into original format. The whole thing is about further processing, so BTB phase is just a part of it. Lakimakromedia and I still work on concepts, solutions etc. There are always some problems ;)

    The main thing about the eMeL is to produce as many squares (pairs of triangles) as possible. They just can be maped in 3ds Max easily later. By the way, with this method I skip the BTB terrain mapping which is good thing, but not for the original RBR format.
    I think the best way is to mix different methods to get best results. Every track is an individual thing, so the same kind of individual approach is a good way, I guess :)
     
  10. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    Great, thanks Ehrlec - so my question - can Blender import .x files too? And what about import/export 3ds?
    I know that Blender is very good program (and free) but AFAIK everything about the original format for RBR is connected with Max. I new to that still, but have couple small successes behind me :)
    I still don't know Blender... :( - to busy with eveything...(so, my stupid question in the first line)
    I'm also thinking of correcting some things in Max (or Blender) like junctions, maybe hairpins - and make objects for use them back in RX tracks to avoid problems that Pangea mentioned above.
     
  11. Pangaea

    Pangaea

    Messages:
    246
    martinez: "the method is needed mostly for making tracks that can be converted into original format"

    what do you mean? Do you mean that you need to build a btb track in a specific way so that it can be converted for other games?

    heh, sorry for the stupid questions, This is all very new to me

    regards
    pan
     
  12. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    @ Ehrlec - amazing that you have abilities to use scripts and know Blender so good :) Thanks for your reply, I tried Blender once when I knew almost nothing ;) Now I try some Max and it gives me more possibilities. Blender could be one more program to learn. But it's great, I believe :)

    @ Pangea - mostly yes, and I'm talking of the way that original RBR tracks are made. RX plugin is still the greatest thing made for RBR, right after the original game (for me) - and it was made because of BTB :) Well, they of course (in SCI) had different tools to make tracks, but thanks to BTB I can get a little closer to make tracks that work on Czech plugin. Long way to get them, but I try hard ;)
    You would be amazed how simply the original RBR tracks are made... I was told that RX plugin was slow - not really. It is slow because of amount of things we are using to make tracks for it :D
     
  13. William Elgh

    William Elgh Licensed

    Messages:
    521
    eMeL method HELP

    how do i choose more than one texture for my road i want to put trackside textures beside the road but it dont let me! it is like one texture or none texture:mad:

    so how do i split it up in "grass/roadside/road/roadside/grass"?

    some screen by: martinez

    eMeL_ditch2.jpg
     
  14. Pangaea

    Pangaea

    Messages:
    246
    switch to material, then simply drag the end nodes (red) to make split material regions on the road.. you`ll see the new region go white (in 3d view).. then just right click on that region and apply as normal.. you can also click on them in 3d view, so your active region will go red (easier to apply textures when working with many cross sections close together using different materials)

    watch this from 40seconds into the video

    thank martinez for tutorial
     
  15. William Elgh

    William Elgh Licensed

    Messages:
    521
    thanks alot:)

    i can only say one think I FEEL STUPID :p
     
  16. Pangaea

    Pangaea

    Messages:
    246
    heh, no.. easy thing to miss
     
  17. R Soul

    R Soul

    Messages:
    905
    edit: started replying before the previous posts were made, but leaving it in anyway:

    http://simtrackipedia.wikidot.com/btb:controls

    You'll need to add some points to the cross section, then you can drag the material between those points.
     
  18. martinez

    martinez

    Messages:
    739
    I know some people who can't do it with their btb's. Unfortunately... (meaning draging the material between points)
    I hope William is none of them.
     
  19. William Elgh

    William Elgh Licensed

    Messages:
    521

    it works:)
     
  20. Ryan Callan

    Ryan Callan Licensed

    Messages:
    502
    Thread merged, please use existing threads if they are available, no need for extra threads. Also, thread stickied.