Basic track editing information. Notes from the field.

– Never, never have the same xobject two times in your scn file. I had many problems with the xobjects, you can move them around, rotate them but don’t edit their vertices.
– I didn’t find the right key setups (rotation) for editing static cameras. I found easier to delete the misaligned one and create a new one. You can also edit the values in the cam file (txt file).
– All base materials have to be Multi/Sub-Object

– All sub materials have to be gMotorMaterial (gMat)
– All textures have to be in gTex (they are gTex by default – do not change them)
– Increasing the specular power of a material reduce the hot spot in the sim
– A little trick : Don’t know why but if you have a Multi/Sub-Object with many mats you can’t expand the list enough to copy a mat down the list. I copy the needed mat to an adjacent slot then copy it back down the list from the copied slot. (you can use the get materials button to browse the editor as well)
– You can adjust the Emissive color in the material but that will hurt nighttime lighting. I suggest adjusting the main ambient values in the *.gdb file
– S button is disabled

– Be careful when naming materials:

– They are linked by their names to the terrain.ini files (physical characteristics)
– Don’t use the same name for two different materials or textures (also make sure that you don’t name your material the same as one existing in the common.mas or *.map files. Be sure to delete any texture with the same name in the *map.mas file if you are working with textures in your main folder.(ed. cant overstate the importance of this – multiply-defined mats will cause lots of hard-to-debug grief)

– The following objects can’t be renamed (they won’t work):

– xfinish, xsector1, xsector2, xpitin, xpitout
– startlight, startglow, pitlightin, pitlightout, pitglowout, pitglowin

– The Light=FDirect01 object isn’t enabled in the sim but the code line should be left there as it is a code holder
– The **glow objects linked to a NightLight are made with two sided polygons. To have them lit up properly the std face (not the reverse one) should be facing the NightLight position. (ed. Since the glowing mat should be full emissive…this is not unnecessary. It should probably be tagged w/ no lighting as well)
– When you loft a track that has various width I suggest to modify both sides to keep the spline in the center of the track. Doing that will later help texturing as a the white dotted line will follow the centered spline. I didn’t do that for TR and I had to manually adjust the center UVW unwrap vertices.
– Be careful with the mirroring tool in Max. You could end up with reversed faces in the sim but with “normal” normals in Max.
– When modeling an object that will cast shadows make it a full box (don’t remove the bottom faces)
– When texturing a track, I use the unwrap UVW modifier, the Max viewports won’t show the real results you have to render it or see it in the viewer or sim
– Be sure to set the tiling properties to 1 if you need to unwrap UVW some faces because the if the tiling is set to anything else the texture adjustment made in unwrap UVW won’t be applied in the sim.(ed. you can have multiple UVW Unwrap modifiers – one for each map channel you’re using)
– Don’t forget to break the vertices in the Edit UVW windows if you don’t want adjacent faces to be influenced.
– To texture the walls (which are at 90 deg relative to the track, I break the vertices in the Unwrap UVW window, select all the vertices and rotate them 90 deg, then adjust them on the grid)
– Use a low level (sunrise or sunset) to “see” to adjust the bumpmapping of the track surface
– I also did run into a bug when selecting faces with material ID in the Unwrap modifier that didn’t correspond with the material ID in the material editor. I use the wireframe view in the viewport to see which faces I’m selecting and texturing.
– A cylinder with 6 sides (5 isn’t enough) is correctly smoothed by the converter (for use as posts, etc.)
– On my oval test track I tried a topographical object which extended to 7000m outside of the track. To view it (without clipping) in the onboard cameras (TVcockpit, cockpit, etc.) you have to readjust the clip planes to a similar value in the default.cfg file: ClipPlanes=(0.90, 7000.0), in the scn file (View=mainview ClipPlanes=(0.50, 7000.0)) and in the cam file. (ed. it would be better to tag the materials for this object as No ZBuffer, and set No Clip in the instance panel. These clip plane values are going to cause huge z fighting issues)
– When you generate a solid static shadow on an object don’t forget to set the surface receiving the shadow to “receiver”
– Lowering the bitmap scale in the shadow “caster” parameter makes the shadow less precise which can be interesting for trees or objects far away from the track (you can go down to 16 or even 8)
– The specular texture of a fence is a highly contrasted copy of the basic texture.
– To get a transparent effect on fences, etc. use an alpha channel you then have to set the material setting as : Source Blend : Src Alpha, Dest Blend : Inv Src Alpha
– I had many problems with alpha channel transparent objects Z buffer and I had to sometimes revert to transparent chroma color to lessen that problem.
– If you use a chroma color be sure to make the alpha channel of the tga texture completely white (full opaque). The chroma color won’t be transparent if the alpha channel isn’t opaque. (ed. It is a myth that the alpha channel is required for chroma blend. If using chroma blend, use a 24-bit tga or bmp.)
– Unwrap UVW help on walls and fences : Because the track isn’t the same width all-around your walls and fences uvw coordinates aren’t lined up. To lessen the workload I manually input the needed values in the input boxes (lower left) after selecting the vertex in the uvw unwrap editor.
– If you modify a material be sure to reassign the new material to all faces using it in the scene. Having two objects sharing the same original material but not the edited one confuse the sim and will result in strange behavior.
– I’m unable to see in the viewports or in a rendering (though better correlated) the final result of a tiling adjustment for a material so I use UVW unwrap with tiling and offset set to 0.
– If you plan to use DX7 I suggest you don’t assign specular maps as they turn out very bright in the sim if specular color is set grey (128, 128,128) and/or specular power is set to more than 1,0.
– I found that a few objects made in previous version of ISI sims are aligned in Max but show up with strange rotations in rFactor. I followed the following procedure to get them right :

– Affect pivot only/Center to object/Align to object/return to object/set rotation to 0,0,0/scale the object to his original values/rotate to final position
– If you have the measure tools visible you will see the overall dimensions when modifying the object with the scaling tools

– Transforming your transparent textures with magenta (255,0,255) to alpha channels one for rFactor is quite easy in PSP6 (just make sure you don’t have black (0,0,0) pixels that you want to keep):

– With the color replacer tool change all magenta pixels to black
– Select all the texture
– In the Selection menu use the Modify/Transparent color function
– Choose foreground color and save the selection to the alpha channel

– Use the Slice modifier to cleanly cut through objects. First select the faces you want cut.
– Very strange ! When doing the low tension wires, I was unable to “see” them in the sim even after making sure the pivot point was centered and aligned to the object. I had to rotate them 180 deg. and then they were ok.
– When you want to “reset” an object “box” in Max you can use the reset X form modifier in the Utilities
– To generate the fences posts for TR :

– Generate a spline at the bottom of the chain fence polygon. You can do this easily by setting the snap settings to vertex and enabling snap3 toggle this will insure that your spline vertices match the fences vertices.
– Generate a post template (make sure the pivot is “align on object”)
– Use the spacing tool with the follow option on
– Tests until rotation/position of the template post generate the objects at the right place and without inverted faces (I had to flip the normals of the template posts to make it work!)

– I use a fully closed night object (with faces facing the inside) to “fill” all white cracks that may happen between soil/track surfaces at night
– In Max you can select objects from the same material in Material editor utilities menu
– After a few hours of work I finally made the gMotor 2.0 Viewer work for TR :

– Win32Viewer, coreshaders.mas and binkw32.dll in the C:\Program Files\rFactor\GameData\Locations folder
– Select Scene file : 2004_TROISRIV.SCN, 800*600 32 bit windowed, FSAA set to Level 1 Multisample, Special Fx on AUTO
– Root path unused (ed. You’ll need a root path if you’re viewing the same scene file as used in the game unless your viewer is in the rFactor root directory)
– Paths in the 2004_TROISRIV.SCN file :
SearchPath=.
SearchPath=troisriv
SearchPath=troisriv\2004_troisriv
SearchPath=2004_troisriv
//——————————————————-
MASFile=troisriv.MAS
MASFile=troisrivmap.MAS
MASFile=COMMONMAPS.MAS
– Setup2.ini : (ed. Some of this information is irrelevant because it is dependent on your video card.)

VideoDriver=(0)
VideoMode=(79)
VideoRefresh=(60)
WindowMode=(1)
ShaderLevel=(2)
LowDetail=(0)
FSAA=(65536)
VisGroups=(0)
Shadow=(983040)
ApplyAnim=(0)
Ownship=(3)
Mode=(0)
MoveSlow=(8)
MoveFast=(80)
MoveDelay=(2000)
SceneFile=2004_TROISRIV.SCN
SceneDir=C:\PROGRAM FILES\RFACTOR\GAMEDATA\LOCATIONS\TROISRIV\2004_TROISRIV
UseRootDir=(0)
RootDir=
ShaderDir=C:\PROGRAM FILES\RFACTOR\GAMEDATA\LOCATIONS
AnimFile=
AnimDir=
AmbientDawn=(3355468)
DirectDawn=(11717861)
AmbientDay=(5000268)
DirectDay=(16777215)
AmbientDusk=(3355468)
DirectDusk=(8368818)
AmbientNight=(1644825)
DirectNight=(3355443)
AmbientSunny=(3355443)
DirectSunny=(16777215)
AmbientCloudy=(13421772)
DirectCloudy=(1644825)

– Viewer hot keys: (H for Help, which gives you this same list)

– F for Fog on/off
– N for Normals on/off
– B for Objects Bounding boxes on/off
– U for Shadows
– S for Framerate
– L for Omni lights on/off
– R select one object and displays its nb. of vertices ?
– A and Z for Up/Down
– Arrows for movement
– F1 to F6 for lighting transitions

Gilles Benoit
November 2005

 

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