XPacks Discussion

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Brendon Pywell, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Brendon Pywell

    Brendon Pywell Bob's Track Builder Licensed

    Expansion Packs (XPacks)

    BTB organises all Objects, Materials and Textures into Expansion Packs (XPacks). They are theme based so that the textures for the road surfaces, walls, trees and ground all look good together.

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    By bunching objects, materials and textures together encourages a more aesthetic end result – although you will be free to use whatever XPacks you like!

    This encourages two things:

    1. People using your XPacks will create Tracks that are more aesthetic. That is the textures will look good together. Check how well objects from the Australia Rural XPack look against the road/ground textures.

    2. Game performance will be increased by re-using the same objects/textures in creative ways rather than adding more objects from a number of XPacks. Good XPacks will reuse materials/textures, eg. the Texture for a house roof may be used on several House objects. When it comes to rendering performance, texture/material reuse is good.
    These points will become even more important as the library of XPacks grow. Imagine having 12 different tree XPacks and trying to find some that match your terrain/theme.

    Installation

    Each XPack comes in the form of a Zip file. Additional XPacks will be created over time and installing them is a simple as dropping the Zip file into the BTB\XPacks folder. BTB reads directly from the Zip file, there is no need to extract the individual files/folders.

    The initial BTB installation will not include much XPack material; they need to be downloaded from http://www.bobstrackbuilder.net/pro_users/XPacks.aspx .

    Adding to your Venue

    You use “File … Expansion Packs” to select which packs you want to be available in your Venue.

    Each Venue (project) you create will exist in its own folder and all Textures and XPacks used in your project will be copied to an “XPacks” sub-folder. If you want to edit a Texture that you added to your project, you need to edit the one that gets copied to your Venue’s folder.

    Updating XPacks

    Over time XPacks will gain more Objects and Materials and you will want to get the latest one. Simply download again and drop into you BobsTrackBuilder\XPacks folder.
    Your existing Venues will need to be manually updated by copying the XPack into the project’s XPacks folder and overwriting the existing one.

    Creating XPacks

    A new utility called XPacker is included to help you create your own XPacks. It will not build your objects or textures, but it does help you to organise them into the required XPack structure.
    Press F1 for more XPacker help.

    Creating a community of XPacks

    I am not artistic in the slightest so it’s up to everyone here to help build a library of XPacks that everyone can use. My time will be focussed on coding more BTB/XPacker functions so I am relying on you guys to help out by submitting more material.
    If you have textures, objects and materials that you think would be suitable, contact me ( bob at bobstrackbuilder.net ) and I’ll be happy to organise them into a suitable XPack. All work should be your own with all copyrights respected.

    These are the current themes I have in mind:
    - Alpine
    - Desert
    - City
    - Rural Australia (Ennis)
    - Coastal
    - Forest
    - Haywood Club (WeirdBeard)
    - Jungle
    - Racing (I need cones).
    - Savannah Grasslands (Raceking)
    - Snow
    - Woodland
    Feel free to come up with more (ideally along with your own contribution) or make suggestions on how to better categories these themes.

    Object Import Format

    The importing of objects can be done using either the Collada or 3ds formats.

    I would encourage anyone looking to import objects to use the Collada format as it is far more robust and isn't plagued by the shortcomings of the 3ds format. For Max, you can get a free plugin for import/export from http://www.feelingsoftware.com/content/view/65/79/lang,en/ though I think you have to sign up before you can access the downloads.

    I am happy to do the organising if you wish to send the XPacks my way ( bob@bobstrackbuilder.net ). Please feel free to give suggestions on how they should be structured or into what existing XPack you think they could be added. The textures should be your own work as I cannot use other people’s textures without their permission.

    Advanced Editing

    Creating Content

    When adding one more object/material I always create a new XPack and test just that one item making sure it works ok in all games. Once it’s ready then I copy the contents of that XPack into the destination XPack and re-zip it.

    This isolates the work so that I can test many times without the possibility of adding more materials/textures than required.

    Editing Content

    XPacks are just zip files. If you wish to change just one item of a project, it can be unzipped and so long as it keeps the same folder structure, BTB will use the unzipped version instead (restart BTB).

    Say for instance you wish to change replace the colour of the Default\Barn object.

    1. Locate the [yourVenue]\XPacks\Default.zip.
    2. Extract the shed01_end.dds and shed01_side.dds so that they are in a folder [yourVenue]\XPacks\Default\Textures\Objects\Building\.
    3. Replace the shed01_end.dds and shed01_side.dds file with your own.
    4. Start BTB.

    Any of the files can be replaced using this method.
  2. Why some of your xpacks are not available on the last BTB version?
  3. Yes and I already did it.. but some of them aren't there (City.. alpine.. desert..)
  4. I think they are on piddy's wishlist, as far as i was aware he didn't have any objects for them as yet. :)
  5. Martin Weare

    Martin Weare Licensed

    City buildings I really need. Has anyone a link to the pack for this ?
  6. I am importing objects using Collada format but it gives an error. Please help. Thanks
  7. I also need city buildings as i am making islamabad city track for racing. I will send it to you once complete
  8. Does someone working on low poly buildings?
    It would be nice to have them too...:music2:
  9. Not sure if this will help anyone in this thread. I am working on a project that is set in an australian town centre, mainly 2-7 storey offices, some housing unites and shopping centre's. Once it is released in june/july I will make the xpack available.

    You can see the project status here: http://www.rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Tuggeranong Town Centre

    cheers
  10. Nice work !
    What are you using to make the buildings?
    Im a noob at this stuff and cant work out how to texture stuff in 3dsmax and have it work in btb or rf.
  11. I am using Google Sketch-up, I know people on the old forum thought that it was not as good as far as quality is concerned however i found that if you work on your textures it looks adequate!

    I am afraid of 3dsmax... I find GSU easy to use, you will need 3dSimed as well.
  12. Eric Tozer

    Eric Tozer Licensed

    Can you give some more information?
    What is the error?
    When does it occur?
  13. I wounder, is that possible to edit XPacks objects somehow into program named BLENDER? Is anyone use or hear something about BLENDER?

    That is FREEWARE software, FULLY 3DS MAX isn´t free software. I need to read more this forum and see how xpack files can be edited. If someone can answer shortly about blender or editing, i would be crateful and that help might get my Ouninpohja project make progress.
  14. xpacks are just zip files. the can be xtracted like any other zip file.
  15. Eric Tozer

    Eric Tozer Licensed

    I don't use blender so I'm not certain but i don't think you can get xpack files into it easily.
    I suspect you will need 3ds Max & the process would go something like this.
    Export from BTB to RF
    Import GMT from RF to Max
    Export from Max to 3ds
    Import 3ds into Blender

    Maybe you would be better off trying to create your own objects from scratch.
    I know Max is not cheap but there are other options.

    Try truespace, it's free
    http://www.caligari.com/
  16. eric, he has lots of photos and wants to make a x-pack, he's asking for info on using blender to make x-packs.

    I'm sure others would be interested as well.

    I know I'm going to be having to make bushes trees and rocks (Maine local stuff) at some point, so I'm interested too.

    edit:
    thanks for that link .. one more thing to learn I guess ..

    could someone do a quick tutorial on how to make a simple tree please? - with free software only - and how to get that into BTB?

    Thanks!
  17. G' Day,

    Im thinking just now about Xpacks ...

    Whe have some month with the implantation of the Xpacks feature and he havent got so much packs for it on the net.

    I try to search new ones but nothing successfully happens ...

    I would ask, if someone has any good Xpack, can he do it public for his use?

    Thanks for understand and have a nice day.:laugh2:
  18. Did you get your cones yet?
    I made one in blender, Its not fancy, It is one of the first models I made for BTB and I'm still learning how to apply textures. (they are giving me a hard time :beat-up:)
    If it's not exactly what your looking for then I can make it to suit.
    http://www.3rdgearmotorsports.com/files/cones.zip