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 Post subject: Crabtree Lake
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2002 12:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 1015
Location: Nebraska
Here at MTMG they offer a rather in-depth track making tutorial. Tutorials and instructions programs, however, can’t teach creativity; you either have a knack for it or you don’t. Each track maker intermixes his or her own imagination, interpretations, visions, and in this case, personal life experiences, into the tracks they make, which to me is…well, fascinating. I don’t know of any other track maker that combines personal experiences with their track making as much, or in the same manner as Shoe does. For example, “The Grade” is modeled after a place he used to ride dirt bikes…even the wooden plank across the small creek actually exists! Crater Lake Rim road is 26 miles of paved road, somewhere within close proximity to where Shoe lives I’m guessing, and it was that road that inspired him to make “Crater Lake”. Crabtree Lake is one of his favorite fishing spots, and according to Shoe, the roads in the track are patterned similar to what you would find around the lake area.

This is Shoe’s sixth outing as a track maker, so you could easily justify referring to him as a “babe in the woods” where track making is concerned, but let me tell ya, you’d never know it by looking at his work. He seems to have an innate sense of how to conjure up great layouts and combine them with eye-catching decor. There’s a natural look to his tracks, an authenticity or sorts that’s kinda hard to describe. It’s like he has the ability to capture what these places actually look like...or at least that’s the impression I get. I’ve never seen Crater Lake Rim Road, The Grade, or Crabtree Lake, but I have a great deal of faith in Shoe’s visual interpretation of these places and how he represents them on the tracks he makes.

As for “Crabtree Lake” (the track, not the place), the road texture is dirt, but it’s the nice stuff; looks like it was covered with grade-A, high quality topsoil (Shoe wouldn’t settle for anything less!), and it’s great for racing on. The level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10 is about a 7 in my opinion. Not something you’ll burn up brain cells trying to master, however there are a few spots where he employed a little “misdirection” or “blind turns”, as they’re more commonly referred to. (Phineus just looooves those! hehehe). They’re not nearly as extreme as what you would see in some of SLO_Fila’s tracks, but if you’re not paying attention…nuff said. There’s a spot where you hit a rather imposing looking snowdrift that was added in during the final stages of this track, which I thought were a nice touch. I’ve yet to wipe out in the snow drifts, but I suppose if you’re swapping (fish-tailing back and forth) going into it you could potentially have problems controlling your truck. But even with the snow and, a few moderate jumps, and a couple of blind turns which force you to dampen your pace somewhat as you execute the change of direction, the overall track is pretty darn fast, but moreover, like all of his tracks, it flows oh so well!

One thing’s for sure - the look of Crabtree will definitely grab your attention. For starters, and not many know or realize this, he takes pictures of trees and forestry, then uses them in his tracks, which I think is amazingly innovative stuff. Also, I really like Shoe’s approach to using decor. He doesn’t try to cram in a bunch of models in an attempt to “force” visual appeal. His tracks seem to have just enough trees, shrubs and rocks for the atmosphere he tries to create; all very well placed and positioned, which I think is key to the sense of realism his tracks seem to have. For you new track makers...and even some of the veterans out there, if you’re looking for someone to pattern yourself after where decor is concerned, Shoe’s definitely a prime time example!

Technically speaking, the only aspect of the track I can make an objectionable comment on is the texturing and layout of the snow, how it seems a touch on the clumpy side versus smooth and flowing, like real snow (check out Zoon’s snow texture). Maybe Phin or Mal can shed some light in that area since it’s not my area of expertise. From strictly a racer’s point of view, whether the snow is clumpy or silky smooth…if you’ve got good tires and a decent shovel, you’re good to go!

The first time I had any contact with Shoe was right after he did “The Sandbox”. He’s a heck of a nice guy and great to work with...unlike some other track makers I know who’s names I won’t mention because I’m kind of a discretion fanatic (our three stooges - SLO_Preacher, SLO_Gutterboy, and SLO_Fila hehehe). True to form, Shoe has produced yet another winner. If there were such a thing as an MTM Track Maker’s Hall of Fame, he’d be a shoe-in (intentional pun). Image This one gets a rock-solid “9.5” out of 10 possible points on the Copey Rating Scale. Excellent stuff, Shoe…great job, bud!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2002 10:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 29, 2000 2:01 pm
Posts: 2018
Excellent track HotShoe, in fact all your tracks are a blast and very very well done indeed.

My first track Siberia Creek and my pride and joy track Saddleback Mtn. were both based on real places although the terrain became a bit exaggerated in area's lol, I tend to get carried away at times :).

The reason the snow here looks a bit chunky is because Shoe used a model where as ZooN used snow textures on the terrain's surface, IMO they both look great and give the track a nice touch.
What really caught my eye were the water textures here, man those are the best I've ever seen.

Nice review Cope, does Shoe get em half price since he's a team mate? heheh, seriously I agree whole heartily with your views and observations except for the 9.5, if I had a scale which I don't, but if I did it would
probably register at least a 9.9, a tenth being deducted only because I found it just a tad on the dark side but that has a lot to do with the fact I need a new monitor :)...

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Canada
I have nothing else to add to what these two veteran reviewer have said. The only reason i'll say something is so Shoe knows i love this one. Very very nice work buddy. We're going to have a blast running on this

[This message has been edited by Jumper (edited 03-06-2002).]

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Gilmer, TX, USA
Ok Here I go.
This Track plain and simply stated from the aspect of this simple minded Redneck is, THAT IT ROCKS!!
Hotshoe has not let me down yet, and this track Crabtree Lake is my favorite by far.
The reason I like it so is this, Like I mentioned in the Zep 2 review, I am lazy man by nature, and what I noticed about this track the 1st time I ran it was how fast it ran. How it flowed with your truck, you can see where your going you can tell by looking out in front of you (NOT BY LOOKIN AT YOUR MAP WHICH CAN CAUSE MAJOR DAMAGE TO YOUR HIGH PRICED MONSTER TRUCK) when to let off the throttle or when to down shift to make a turn. It takes your thru some great scenery and like cope said, not too much that seems to make it all cluttered.
I have said it before and I will say it again Shoe is one of the best track makers where "elevation" is concerned that I have seen. This dude can take a switchback (The Grade) and make it feel like your really driving one. He can take a mountain and make it really look like one.
But most of all, and Copey stole my remark, this Track FLOWS. From the 1st time you race it is flows.
Now dont get me wrong, Someone just starting out would really fumble around with this track, it takes some skill, you have to know how the game works, how your truck reacts to certian situations. You have to know what your doing. Thats what makes it great. With a little practice man you can really fly on this one.
Shoe takes the time needed to make a really Nice RACING track. And to top it off, IT LOOKS GREAT.
Sense Cope has a rating scale, I do too. I rate this track on a scale from 1 - 10 a big ole whoppin 10!
Nice Job Bud!

Nuff Said

[This message has been edited by SLO_3B (edited 05-06-2002).]

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2002 12:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Bellevue, WA USA#1
Well Im not sure how old this track is .. but I just got it .. DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN bro this track ROCKZ ... its been a very long time since I have seen such good work... I mean .. there are ppl like malibu and others that you know are going to put out somthing very nice.... I am very impressed .. I have been out of the loop for a bit .. and havent podded up anything new in a long time .. its been 1 hr since i got crabtree and i had to hunt down COPE to get the rest of your tracks .. I think this track is a 10 fer sure and I cant wait to check out the rest soon as im done babling in here .... I am sure that your on your way to becoming one of the greats in track making .. keep up the good work duders...and congrats on a very very nice track ..

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