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Tutorial - eMeL method (road, roadside and terrain)

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

  1. Based on an example of my recent track (Rally Poland 2009 Shakedown), I would like to share some of my observations how tracks can be done. I hope you will find it usefull.

    Panel length:
    Road's panel length varies mostly from 5 - 7 meters. I usually make it 6 which allows me to guess where I should ctrl+click the road to make new material section (simply said two panels have length of 12 meters, the same as btb's default material change). On tighter turns I'm setting panel length to 4 meters (no time to look for it now, but I probably didn't make it shorter in that track). Of course, I'm creating some more panels in specific places by adding more shape sections to get more surface detail. Then on long straights the panel's length could be even 9 meters... I mean - for purpose of performance, I reduce panels when I don't need that many details.

    Shape/visual look:
    The road first had only four panels. After some testing I realised that on points where textures joined - bad lines appeared - it's connected with the sun and it's direction mostly, so my rule I called "three vertex" means that these points (red dots on the picture) must be in line to make the line to be invisible. So, next step after creating rough road shape was adding these "smoothing" points. It's always hard to find the balance - when to add them, because the method needs to add a big number of shape cross-sections. I think the best way is still to mark the main shapes, then add smoothing points - correcting their positions and finally play with more shapes. It takes time, but allows to create very detailed and nice road/roadside connection and the overall road/roadside profile.

    Note: there's a nice tool in cross-section shape window - select at least three points (lasso them), right click and choose from the context menu "Align" I mostly take 100%, but it sets the points in line, but also equals distances between them. As you can see on the picture, this would break everything - the solution could be adding one more smoothing point in the roadside area - just outside the road. But... this would add also more polygons...

    One think on optimisation/performance is that usually there are too many polygons in the roads. For rally tracks the stuff like this seems to be optimal. It's still many more than on original RBR tracks, but they used texture sheets (atlases) which doesn't make those "bad lines" (shortly said).
    Dividing road with material road sections automatically makes new objects from it and sets resonable LOD Out's.

    Rally Poland 2009 Shakedown track discussion/download

    Attached Files:

  2. Some notes if you want converting BTB track to original file form

    Panel lenght
    5 - 7 meters <-- tooo much. maybe there will generate some error on physic and shadows looks bad. Generaly make aprox regular square polygone (max. lenght should be less than wheel base of car).

    Crosroads and texturing (Groundmesh):
    don´t spend much time for crosroads. Only for tests and look should be enough. at the end, there will need some work with 3d program. Pattern textures are the best way for detail groundmesh and make crossroads. If you want work with single files, you will spend some time to cut all meshes per singel texture. The reason is simple, multimaterial don´t work yet. Blending textures are not working too (same reason "multimaterial" ). The best way is to make dumy singeltextures at btb, spend not much time for look and details of groundmesh at BTB. Better spend your time for remapping, detailes and new textures at 3D program.
    if you know your 3D you will have same posibilities (and many more) as BTB and will not need much more time for same result.

    look to http://www.b2-net.com/ for great Tutorials

    At the end, you talk about your eMel methode, i don´t see any new methode on it, all is normal work with the tool from pidy as he projected. We worked similar 2 years ago and did tutorials too. So i don´t understand, why you allways accented it´s your "eMel" methode. It´s allways tutorial of normal work with btb.

  3. ...with panels lenght you have small right, but car must be on 3-4 panel at once, here assumptions are met, even in orginal tracks polygons are sometimes bigger and car doesn't fall down...


    Look for Stryckovy Ocruh, and nobody fall there on this road ;).
  4. Thanks for comment and advices. I will think of them.
    Now let me make couple things clear:

    1. If you read my posts more carefully, you probably would see that what I write is not about conversions, but on trackbuilding in btb. I know nothing about rF (just have installed it today - great game!), so I will speak of RBR now. Anyway, I think the concepts can work in rF as well.

    2. According to #1 - the version of the track I mention in previous post is made for RBR RX, and another version which I will try to convert is quite different thing, speaking technically. I just wanted to share my track to the people and I'm happy they like it. If I would shared the other version, they could be unhappy. I want to say now that I'm doing this because of some passion, and not because I want to show up. So, I did spent some time on making it look nicer and people's appreciation is the greatest award for me :)

    3. I think this forum is about BTB and tracks from it for couple games. There are of course other programs that are great supporting tools. And some people sometimes write about them, because they want to help the others. If you write that 3ds Max is better than BTB - well, perhaps it is, but learning things there are much harder. Maybe write about it on some 3ds Max forums.

    4. As I wrote in the beginning of this whole thread - the eMeL was nothing new. It's just a name. And some other people named it "a method" - not me - looked like not many trackbuilders knew the ways of building, so I wanted to share with the stuff for them. As this is the main goal of this forum - to share.

    If you say you had used the same way two years ago - great, my congratulations. I didn't know of your tutorials and many other people didn't neither, I guess. Maybe it was some of my fault. I never tried to read the entire forum to dig in everything what other people wrote.

    I always enjoy tracks from other people and get some new ideas and inspirations from them. Their shared tracks are the way to show what they have worked on. And I'm never jealous that somebody knows how to make them better.

    Best regards,
  5. Maybe my question is stupid, but how to solve problem with more tightened corners? The track is coliding itself...
    Edit: sorry, now I can see that you wrote you are deleting road there.
  6. Where did he wrote about cars that could fall down :confused:
  7. Maybe you can find some other place to argue? Thanks.
  8. Oh my God!
    Did that comment destroy your complete Thread? Did i insult somebody?
    But don't worry, if you have such big problems with such a small comment, i will never post in one of your threads again.
    Are you a lucky child now?
  9. Sabine, there is no need for such ridiculous over-reactions. Either be civil or go some place else.

    Now you've managed to spoil a very interesting and provoking thread, great work :good:
  10. In second sentence:

    Here when he wrote about physics, ofc I dont know anything about shadows (( > it know only Wally ? )), but on Styckovy ARE non regular polygons and there is no problem with shadows. :).
  11. Im not say any word for falling down mesh i only say physic. Car can be falling down, it can be dust on tarmac it can be physic fail on groundmesh. Do what you want, i only want help.

    for shadows, Styckovy have bad loocking shadows on some houses and sometimes on groundmesh. you must difference between hard shadow (only wally can do and only wally know) and soft shadow by vertex colior paint. Vertex color shadows get the best look if you have small regulary polygones. You can try it yourself.

    I don´t want affront you, but it bother me, that on rbr modding szene more and more worked for "tribut of own work" not for RBR rally. Every of my contacts knows, i´m allways sharing all my skill and help if i m able. So let´s go back to the roots with intention of quality tracks.

    Maybe you were not writing so, but for me it looks so. If i´m wrong, im sorry.

    best regards
  12. @Lamda, thanks for your reply. Let's forget these misunderstandings, I have good energy too. I hope we can talk much more of trackbuilding in the future as we have the same goals. Thanks :)

  13. Well this is interesting, because I simply cannot do that. Is there any explanation why one BTB can and other cannot? I have the new beta, but this didn't work in older version either.

  14. I have no idea why is that... But, it is tricky a little - when you want to add two materials to one road/wall, first you have to "reduce" the first one - you can move just outside points to the center (outside left point to right and vice versa). Also, dragging one material over another is not possible neither. It took a while till I found how it worked when I was learning the btb.
    But - now in "new" Default xpack you have crossection like road and two borders, maybe you can use it and replace materials?
  15. I don't know where is the new Default xpack? But I was able to build road with to materials from basic wall cross section. I believe that is acceptable.
  16. It's provided with latest BTB's update from Brendon. Compare Def XPack from (I believe you have made a copy as he wrote in readme?) with the one from In "new" you will find some new texture for blending and new default cross-section which you have just used.
    For me, a good way to learn about xpacking and how xpacks should be made, was extracting them and watch in XPacker (folders and files structure, settings etc.)
  17. Yeah I just found out that there was new 6 panel, double material cross section when I started completely new project, very useful addition! Too bad that is almost impossible task to implement in to my current projects... :/
  18. In this case - i'm sorry... :) You can always ask somebody to make some simple xpack for you with a specific cross-section (a multimaterial cross-section i mean) - as i did for somebody in the past.
  19. ... or make them yourself in Notepad! I found that if someone opens the xml file for cross-section - everything is there. It is only a matter to understand the code and it's order. I'm not any kind of coder and it was easy for me to see how it's written.

    Anyway, I had always problem to position these points in XPacker correctly - they can be set to exact positions there in xml!

    If you create new cross section, don't forget to place there an icon - it can be any .jpg (since BTB and XPacker don't show icons for cross sections), just must have the same name as your new x-section.

    I attach some simple 3-material cross-section as xpack here. Textures are dummies just to get smaller file. Extract, study the xml and you will know everything about it :)

    Attached Files: