List of some tutorials

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DJ99X
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List of some tutorials

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:02 pm

Here are the track making tutorials that have been made for MX Simulator. Read them carefully. If you still don't understand, go to the link under the tutorial (the ASK QUESTIONS HERE link)

Index:
PAGE 1
1) Adding decals to your track
2) Making a displacement map in photoshop
3) Creating custom objects
4) Importing custom objects
5) General Track Making
6) Adding reflections to objects
7) Making a Seamless Skybox

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ADDING DECALS TO YOUR TRACK
By ddmx488

Here I will try to shed some light on putting decals onto a track that you have made.

1. First you need to prepare your decal, here are some things you should consider when making a decal.
a. All of the decals on the riding area of the track should be sized at 1024 x 1024.
b. Make sure to feather around the outside of you decals and maybe use a unique eraser brush also so the decals blend as naturally as possible.
c. The game using a system of decal layering which enables you to overlay many different decals over your main dirt, use this to your advantage by first seeing what it would look like in ps by setting the blending mode to, I think multiply, and then reducing the opacity.
[1205.419922 1390.443848] 2.102539 40.000000 1.000000 @redbud08/ontrack.png
[1205.419922 1390.443848] 2.102539 40.000000 1.000000 @redbud08/rutoverlay.png
The rut overlay would be on top of the ontrack if the decals were to be placed in this order in the decals file.
d. Off track decals do not need to be quite as detailed since the rider is not in contact with them most of the time.
e. The palette size in photoshop does not correspond to the size of the decal in game.

2. Consider this line of code found in the decals file within your track folder, open the decals file by right clicking and selecting "open" and then choosing to open with "wordpad".
[1205.419922 1390.443848] 2.102539 40.000000 1.000000
@redbud08/ontrack.png

and also the values within terrain.hf
9 2.000000 -26.217482 336.209473

3. The numbers in the decal file explained:
[1205.419922 1390.443848]: This is the location of a particular decal on your track with the coordinates [x y]. Decals do not need to be placed all by hand though as they can be placed within the editor scotch free. As a rule of thumb, the first
decal can be placed at [1000.000000 1000.000000].
2.102539: This is the rotation of a particular decal. 0.000000 is a fine rotation for adding a new decal to your decals file and the rotation can be easily adjusted in game.
40.000000: This is the size of the decal in feet. Also consider the terrain.hf value of 2.000000. If that value was less than 2 for instance, then the size of the decal at 40.000000 would not be forty feet any more in game. The size of the decal
compared to the rider would be greater. Likewise for a number greater than 2.000000
1.000000: This is the aspect ratio of the decal. As far as this goes I have never changed this value and therefore don't know what it does, but it has never affected my decals in game so I don't ever change it.
@redbud08/ontrack.png: This represents the name of the track folder in your personal folder EXACTLY, and the name of your decal within your track folder EXACTLY and a .png file extension. Files must be .png. Failure to name anything in this
line the same as it is in your personal folder and track folder will mean that your decal will not show up in game. When naming your track folder, as always, make sure that it does not have spaces in it. A folder name "red bud 08" for instance
would not be acceptable to the game. The use of "desc" for track naming purposes is highly advised.

4. Once in game there are several choices for placing decals, those are:
Flow: Systematically places the decals at the interval specified following one another. As you drag the mouse they will follow.
Flow 2: Same as flow for all I can tell?
Uphill: Use this option when placing decals on jump faces or uphill areas for instance.
Copy: This option copies the rotation of the "target" decal when placing more of the same style.
Random: This option allows the random generation of rotation when placing more of the "target" decal.
Spacing: This is the amount of space between decals when placed using Flow or Flow2. Just experiment with these values to find the distance that you like best.

5. Putting your decal in game:
This step could be achieved with a little brain power and the information above but I will shed light one more time.
1. Open up the decals file in your track folder with wordpad.
2. Scroll to the very bottom of the decals list and then type the line of code for the new decal, (you should not have to hit enter to space down to a new line in the middle of your new decal code).
3. As always, make sure there is an empty space after the last line of written code. Make sure to save and your golden.

This information is here to help you, but it can only do so much. A creative mind and this high detail system leave unbounded possibilities as far as the level of a tracks detail. When used right we have seen much potential in this system. Lastly, experiment! Chances are you won't get it right and through testing and more testing your results will only get better. If you have decal making tips then post them and I will add them to this post.

ddmx

ASK QUESTIONS HERE: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1141

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DJ99X
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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:04 pm

MAKING A DISPLACEMENT MAP IN PHOTOSHOP
By _Factory'BR21_

Hey guys i took a day and made a tuturial , i don't have a great english but i think you gus i'll understand , well i hope haha :lol:
The tuturial isn't the more beaufitful but i think is pretty good and you i'll can learn well. I hope you gus like it , i worked hard on this tuturial

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DJ99X
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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:06 pm

CREATING CUSTOM OBJECTS
By ddmx488

Ok, this is a tutorial to help better the tracks by making some new models. At the end of this tutorial we will have something that all tracks need, and you will have a template for creating custom objects in the future.
You will need:
Blender - 3d modeling, open source - http://www.blender.org
JLV's .jm python script - for exporting the appropriate model type - http://www.mxsimulator.com/models
Python - Programming language that, in conjunction with Blender and the export script, allow you to export your models - http://www.python.org

We are going to be making a simple track banner with which you can put all around your track. You can create many skins for it too, so the possibilities are endless. Throughout the tutorial I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of Blender and it's functions, but I will try to explain every step as I go. A quick internet search will solve your many answers to your questions.

Alright, you have already downloaded and installed python, you downloaded and installed Blender, and you downloaded the .jm export script to anywhere on you hard drive (as long as you remember where it is).
Let's begin.
"A" - Select/Unselect all
"X" - Delete
On the numbpad
"1" - Front view
"3" - Side view
"7" - Top view
"5" - Switches between regular and orthographic view
Holding control and hitting any of these keys switches to the opposite side
"Tab" - switches between object mode and edit mode. (lots of other modes are available but beyond the scope of this tutorial)
"R" - Rotates an object - X, Y, or Z can be pressed to limit the axis of rotation
"G" - Grab key, allows you to move any point or object - X, Y, or Z can be pressed to limit the moving axis
Middle Mouse Wheel - Zooms in and out

1. Open up Blender, maybe for the first time, and begin by deleting everything on the screen. Press "A" twice to first unselect the default cube, and then reselect everything in the scene.
2. Press "X", and agree to delete the selected objects.
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3. While holding "Ctrl" hit "1" on the numbpad. This switches to the opposite (Ctrl) front view (1). This is actually the top view with respect to the coordinate plane set up in MXS.
4. Add a plane. Hit spacebar, then select add > mesh > plane. A small plane appears.
5. Rotate it along the x axis. Make sure the plane is selected (pink outline) and hit "R", to rotate it, then "X", to rotate it along the x axis, then manually type "-90" on the numbpad
6. Hit "tab" to switch from object mode to edit mode.
7. Deselect all vertices by hitting "A"
8. "Left click" the top right vertice, and then hold "Shift" and "left click" the bottom right vertice. The two right hand vertices should now be yellow. They are selected.
9. Hit "G", then "X", then type "1" on the numbpad, hit enter to confirm the move. Do not deselect the vertices.
10. Hit "G", then "X", the type "-1024" on the numbpad, hit enter to confirm the move. Deselect the vertices.
11. Select the two left hand vertices.
12. Hit "G", then "X", then type "-1" on the numbpad, hit enter to confirm the move. Do not deselect the vertices.
13. Hit "G", then "X", then type "1024" on the numbpad, hit enter to confirm the move. Deselect the vertices.
14. Zoom out until you can see the newly formed object. Zooming is controlled by the middle mouse wheel.
15. Select both of the top vertices.
16. Hit "G", then "Z", then type "-1" on the numbpad.
17. Hit "G", then "Z", then type "1024" on the numbpad. Deselect the vertices
18. Select the two lower vertices.
19. Hit "G", then "Z", then type "1" on the numbpad.
20. Hit "G", then "Z", then type "-1024" on then numbpad. Deselect the vertices.
21. On the header at the bottom of your 3d viewing area select "View Properties", the change "Clip End" from 500 to 10000. This allows the viewing area to display objects that stretch out to 10000 units. Ours is only 1024 but it is still nice to see an unclipped object.
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Good Job! What we have just done is created a plane with which to make all of our objects on. The plane is 2048 units by 2048 units. This, if I do believe is the same amount of units available to one in the MXS editor. Any object done on this plane will be the same size with respect to the plane in game. It may seem unnecessary but it is really helpful!

22. Go to File > Save As, and name it something useful like "Object Template" or something.

Now we will start to make our banner.
Let's assume our banner is going to be 15 feet long.

23. Switch to Top view (numbpad "7")
24. Make sure you are in object mode. (Tab)
25. Add a mesh plane.
26. Use "G" to move it so it sits on the corner of the y/x axis intersection.
27. Hit tab to enter edit mode with the plane.
28. Select the right two vertices and hit "G", then "X", then "13" on the numbpad. (it was already two feet wide so it is now 15 feet wide)
29. Now select the top two vertices and hit "G", then "Y", then hit "2" on the numbpad. (it is now 4 feet tall by 15 feet wide)
30. Change the center of the object by moving the 3d cursor and hitting "Center Cursor" in the editing panel.
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Lastly, make sure that you have the banner object selected in object mode and hit "Control" and "A". Select "Scale and Rotation to ObData"

Alright, we now have the object done! all we need to do is set it up for skinning.

31. Slit your 3d window in two by right clicking the dividing line and selecting "Split area", then just select where you want the split.
32. Continue by changing your window from the default 3d view to the UV/Image Editor.
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33. Move over to your 3d view window and press numbpad 7 to take you to a front of view of your banner. If you need to zoom in a little.
34. Hit tab to switch to edit mode for your banner, make sure all of the vertices are selected, and then press "U", choosing "project from view".
35. Your newly unwrapped object should be visible in the UV/Image Editor taking on the same shape as it does in the 3d view. Move it and resize it ("S" key) however you need to to get it to fill up the space and be centrally located.
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36. You have now unwrapped the object, which allows for skinning, and you have created a banner!
37. In the UV/Image Editor Window select UV's > Scripts > Save UV Face Layout
38. Click ok in the dialogue box if it says "size: 1024" and "wire: 2"
39. Find someplace useful to save it to, because this is the wireframe you will use to skin your banner.
40. Change the UV/Image editor window to the Text editor window the same way you changed it before.
41. In the text editor window click File > Open, and then browse for the .jm python script you downloaded earlier.
42. Go into the 3d view window and make sure your banner is selected in object mode. Scroll back into the text editor window and select File > Run Python Script.
43. Save the file somewhere where you can remember where it is.

You now have the necessary files to put a custom object onto your track.
You should have a .jm file for the banner, and a file for your wireframe. All you need to do is follow DJ's skinning tutorial to skin it.
The quality of your models is only limited by your creativity. Follow some Blender specific tutorials to learn more about Creative Graphics.

This is where the original plane comes into play. With the proper scaling of a displace modifier on your plane, it is possible to recreate your track within blender. Why do I do this? It is way easier to create one giant banner object in blender, with one skin, and then place it into the game as an object than to hand place each banner and rotate it. it also helps you to visualize the size of your objects compared to your jumps and whatnot. this will come in a later tutorial also.
Image


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DJ99X
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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:08 pm

IMPORTING CUSTOM OBJECTS
By ddmx488

Ok, this is the second installment that goes along with "Creating Custom Objects". If you followed the first tutorial then you should already have a banner.jm, or whatever you called it, and a wireframe. (a .tga file)
If you haven't opened this file in photoshop, or an equivalent editing program, do so and skin it however you would like. You also need a collision file for the object. This is coming in the next tutorial. The collision file is not the most important right now though because if you hit a banner in real life, you don't bounce off of it, you would go through it.

If you already have your intended object, say wakestyle's ama stake, then follow along, making minor adjustments when needed.

The first thing that I like to do when putting custom objects into a track is to make three seperate folders within my track folder which is located at c:users/"name"/AppData/Local/MX Simulator/"Track". These three folders being "models", "skins", and "collision". The reason for creating these folders is to keep everything for that track nice and organized. When you find that you have to edit something it makes it much easier to do so. This also requires hardly any effort on the coding side to do it.

Some things to remember:
1. Your track name folder located at c:users/"name"/AppData/Local/MX Simulator/"Track" should not contain any capital letters or spaces. This tends to throw off the game when reading objects.
2. To be safe, you shouldn't name your objects or skins with any capital letters or spaces also
3. Your skin has to be a .png and make sure it is .png not .PNG
4. Your model has to be a .JM file
5. Your collision file has to be just a regular file file

Let's do it!
1. Place your "object name".jm into the models folder within the track folder
2. Place your "skin name".png into the skins folder within the track folder
3. If you have a collision file place it into your collision folder. If you don't have a collision file don't worry about it.
4. Right click the statues folder with your track folder, open it with wordpad
5. At the very end of the text, add another line. This is where you input the values for your object.

They are
[1000.000000 0.000000 1000.000000] - These are the coordinates for your object. X Y Z. the X and Z coordinates are where the object is placed on the map. The Y coordinate is the distance of the objects center from the ground. 0,000000 is placed on the ground. The reason I place it a 1000 0 1000 is because that just gets it into the game. Once it's in the game it is very easy to move and rotate by just clicking on the statues tab on the left side of the screen, and then clicking and dragging or rotating the little black icon in the center of the object.

0.000000 - This is the rotation of the object. You can change this in the game much easier.

@"trackname"/models/banner.jm - this is the path for the object file
@"trackname"/skins/banner.png - this is the path for the skin file
@"trackname"/collision/banner.shp - this is the path for the collision file

The actual setup is this:

[1000.000000 0.000000 1000.000000] 0.000000 @"trackname"/models/banner.jm
@"trackname"/skins/banner.png @"trackname"/collision/banner.shp

If you do not have a collision file it can be written:

[1000.000000 0.000000 1000.000000] 0.000000 @"trackname"/models/banner.jm
@"trackname"/skins/banner.png null

At the bottom of the file make sure you have at least one space. I don't know why this is but it is just finicky.

Your track name does not need the quotes around it, it would really be, for instance, @locust/models/banner.jm

Hope this helps, now that you can make your own objects, and get them into the game, you can start placing it and making your tracks look sweet!


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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:13 pm

GENERAL TRACK MAKING
By DJ

PART 1 - Track terrain base

1) OK, get your blank track from here.

2) Next, get a program called L3DT from here. Install it and open it up

3) Go File > New Project. Select Design/Inflate and click next. Leave the next slide how it is, and click next. Have a play around with the controls in the next slide when get serious about making a track, but for now, leave it as it is. On the next slide, have both Design Map and Heightfield checked. Hit next, and the terrain will begin rendering (may take a while).

4) Now, once your map is rendered, it will probably appear as a design map. To change it to the heightfield, which is what we want, go View > Display map, then select heightfield.

5) To make the track the same scale as in game, first go Operations > Heightfield > Resize Heightfield. Change both to 1025. Next, go Operations > Heightfield > Change Horizontal scale. The stock blank track has 1 pixel=2ft. As this want metres, 1ft= 0.3m, hence 2ft=0.6m. Put 0.6 m into this box. If you want to change the horizontal scaling (especially after step 6), go Operations > Heightfield > Change vertical scale. Change this to suit you requirements (but remember 1ft=0.3m)

6) Now, to see this track in 3D form, click on the EDIT button (the one with the pencil). The terrain will look blocky in this, but rest assure, it won't be like this in game. Now, in this mode, you can edit your terrain as you like, but I leave that up to you to learn. But controls for this mode are-

W=Forward
A=Strafe Left
D=Strafe Right
S=Backwards
Hold Right Click= Rotate view
Mouse Scroll= Change size of editing tool
E=Up
R=Down
Tab=Turbo

Hit the exit button to leave, even if you have done stuff to the terrain. If you did stuff, refresh the display map by View > Refresh

7) OK, time for exporting. But before we do, go back to Operations > Heightfield > Change Vertical Scale. Write down the min and max altitude, as you will need them later.

Now go File > Export > Export Active Map. Choose file format as PNG, call it terrain, choose where you want it saved. Make sure the size is 1025x1025. Then hit export, and voila! you have your map.

8- Now, put this terrain.png into your track folder, and it will replace your old one. Now, open up terrain.hf in a text editor. There should be four numbers. This is how they are set out.

Power Scale MinAlt MaxAlt Power should be left alone. Scale is ft/pixel (stock=2). We are interested in Min Altitude and Max Altitude. Put in the values I asked you to write down before. Save the file. Now, go into the game, and select your track, go into the editor, and refresh the shading of the map by setting smooth to a very small number, and applying it to the whole track.

If the track if very rough, even to the point where it will slow your frame rate, set focus to 1, set strength to 2 or 4, and apply to the whole map.

And there you go, you have your basic terrain.

PART 2 - Making Jumps Using In-Game Editor

Open up your track in MX Simulator. Draw out a track you would like using the stock tiles of the game.

Click on the Gradient Placement tab, and place the centre of the circle where you would like the jump to begin. Then, place the edge of the circle where you would like the jump to finish. Now, go to Gradient Edit. As we already have a terrain in this, there will already be a ‘cross section’ appeared. Hit ‘f’ to get rid of this graph (this will not effect the terrain).

Here is my technique for making jumps. In Gradient Edit mode, zoom in (+, - to zoom out) and select the first circle. Go across to the menu, and click ‘Segment Type’ so it changes to curve. I usually add 3 points for the upramp, one just after the upramp, and one for the downramp, like so-
Image

Click on the point as selected in the above pic. Change the segment type for this to line. This will give a smooth upramp. If you want the top of the jump to be flat, click on the point just after the upramp, and change segment type to line. This is your jumps shape, now, to put it in.

Select ‘Linear ADD’, set Focus to 0.75, 0.88 or 1.00. Zoom out and change the radius so it is slightly bigger than the track width. Then, just draw along the track path until the jump is made. Exit the editor mode and try the jump out. If you aren’t happy with it, go back to editor, and change Linear Add mode to anything else, and then hit backspace. Your jump shape will still be in the gradient editor, so just fiddle with it a bit until you get the shape wanted. After you like the jump, clean it up a bit using 'Smooth'. Set focus to 0.13, set strength to 1, 2 or 4, smooth sides of jumps, and the 'square edges' and the beginning and end of the jumps.

Note – Backspace only works for the last 5 things done (includes one click of Raise, Lower or Smooth). If you don’t change from Linear Add to anything else, it will delete the jump you just made, plus the one before hand, which is a pain, because then you have to draw that one again.

Tip- Make sure Caps Lock is off, or things like 'f' for flatten, or 's' for save will not work


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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:23 pm

ADDING REFLECTIONS TO OBJECTS
By DJ

OK, seems like a few people didn't realise you could have reflections on objects. Here's a tutorial on how to add it. This is not a tutorial on how to use blender.

So, you have your object, its dull, like this-

Image

In blender, hit F5 to get into shading options. Under 'Links and Pipeline', and 'Link to object', click on the arrows thing, and go 'ADD NEW'. In the box next to the arrows, rename it to something like 'Reflections'.

Now, go across to a menu that has 'Mirror Transp.'. There will be two blue buttons, one 'Ray Mirror' and the other 'Ray Transp'. Click on Ray Mirrror to enable it.

Slide up the RayMir bar a bit. (You can keep testing the object in game till you find a good setting.)
Thats all you have to do if you want the whole object to have reflections.

To have particular faces shiny and others not, you will need to add another material. Repeat the steps above, calling it something like Dull. Turn off Ray Mirror, and slide the slider to 0.

Image

Now switch back to 'Editing' in the Buttons Window, then go to 'Edit Mode' in 3D view. Under 'Links and Materials' , there should be the up and down arrows, with Dull next to it. In the 3d view, with face select on, select the faces you want shiny. Click on those up and down arrow things, and select Reflections. Then click assign. Done. Heres what it should be like-

Image



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Re: TUTORIALS - Newbies should look here first!

Postby DJ99X » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:11 am

MAKING A SEAMLESS SKYBOX
By DJ

Tutorial and discussion here:

posting.php?mode=edit&f=2&p=41830


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