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 Post subject: Harry Potter 1 & 2 by Tarres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:30 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:22 am
Posts: 37
Truck: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=80,top=80,width=498,height=374')">Harry Potter</a>
Maker: Tarres
Class: Custom
Verts: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=yes,left=20,top=20,width=670,height=600')">1052/1160/2212</a>
Faces: 1454/1849/3394
Txtrs: 4/4/8
Podzip: Yes
Animated Textures: No
Allow Reflections: Yes
Allow Truck Reflections: No
Readme: Yes, without credits
Download: <a href="" target="_self">124</a>k

Truck: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=80,top=80,width=498,height=374')">Harry Potter 2</a>
Maker: Tarres
Class: Custom
Verts: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=yes,left=20,top=20,width=670,height=600')">1221/700/1921</a>
Faces: 1685/1020/2705
Txtrs: 5/4/9
Podzip: Yes
Animated Textures: No
Allow Reflections: Yes
Allow Truck Reflections: No
Readme: Yes, without credits
Download: <a href="" target="_self">129</a>k

A brief historical account before getting right into it. The Harry Potter 1 truck was originally merged with Hogwarts Adventures (also by Tarres) and was intended to be released as an additional thematic element of that track. Unfortunately, however, Tarres' early LST building process tended to leave files out of the pod and as a result neither the track nor the truck would run properly in the game. This is of little consequence today since we've worked together with him in order to get all things up and running as intended. But while this was going on, Tarres took advantage of the opportunity to update the truck to Harry Potter 2 and it was decided not to merge either truck with the track but instead to release them individually, noting the thematic origin of each - the rationale being the track, by this time, was already functional so why mess with it, and also to allow downloaders the choice about which truck(s) to mount in their game. So, while similar in appearance and both dated the same on the download page, one truck was made at least a full month ahead of the other, the workmanship of the second displaying the benefits of the extra time put into it.

Both trucks appear to be completely scratch-built truck bodies, albeit incredibly boxy and low-detail ones, however Tarres confided in e-mail they were conversions (from an unidentified source) which caused problems with seams and gaps on HP1.

<center><a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=50,top=10,width=660,height=500')"><img src="" width="364" height="369" border="0"></a></center>

It wasn't until after the release of HP2 that this information was communicated to us, and so there wasn't ample time to instruct him on a fix... the problem seemingly avoided for the release of HP2 - it is not clear whether HP2 is a repaired HP1 or a reconversion of the original. In either case, the remedy is an easy, if not time consuming one, and this seems as good a place as any to walk Tarres, and other would-be truck makers, through it.

To fix unwanted seams and gaps in a model, open it in binedit and position it and choose a viewing mode that makes it easy to see. For example, shaded mode is often helpful for this type of procedure. Use the tab key to cycle through the verticies until you get to one in the gap. Press V to tag it.

<center><a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=50,top=10,width=660,height=500')"><img src="" width="314" height="240" border="0"></a></center>

Note the vertex number and its coordinates. Write them down on a piece of paper if it will help. Then continue cycling through the vertices until you get to the corresponding vertex - the one that should be joined with the first so there's no seam. Tag it and note the number and its coordinates.

<center><a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=50,top=10,width=660,height=500')"><img src="" width="314" height="240" border="0"></a></center>

With both of them tagged, you can use the B key to jump back and forth between them - there is no need to cycle through all of them any more. Even if you don't tag them, you can now use J for Jump to move directly between the two. Anyway, now that you have the coordinates for both, you just have to change the coordinates for one so it matches the other. For example, we have

vertex 9 (-995,698,1158)
vertex 61 (-968,703,1171)

but we want

vertex 9 (-995,698,1158)
vertex 61 (-995,698,1158)

Get the idea. The same coordinates on both points. To do this, highlight the one you want to change (in this case 61), then on the menu select "Set Coordinates."

<center><img src="" width="269" height="287" border="0"></center>

When you do, a box will pop up and you just type in the coordinates for the other vertex (in this case 9).

<center><img src="" width="207" height="126" border="0"></center>

When you click "ok" the vertex will move to the same location as the first vertex.

<center><a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="'','win','scrollbars=no,left=50,top=10,width=664,height=484')"><img src="" width="314" height="224" border="0"></a></center>

Bingo, no more gap. Just repeat for any other gaps you have and then merge close vertices within a range of 2 and your truck/model will look flawless.

Now, it's possible this is just the sort of thing Tarres' did to create Harry Potter 2, although inspection of the face structure indicates that the front ends and cab roofs, at least, are of different origins (HP1 actually appears to have a roof lifted from a fiberglassed stock body). But this is speculation since there is no readme.txt file to confirm sources, methods or intentions.

Obviously, both trucks have a Harry Potter theme, with the name emblazoned on the sides of the truck and Harry's face on the driver model. That's about it though. With the exception of the hood and the sides and back of the bed, the faces of the entire truck body appear to have been mapped to the texture used for the driver's race suit - leaving the truck speckled with green and red dots and streaks - HP2 displaying the better mapping of the pair.

The frame appears to be by BigDOGGe, and the second version of the truck also gets a BigDOGGe engine. The axles, on the other hand, are the same as that on <a href="" target="_blank">Monster Attack</a>, and suffer for the same off center problem described with that truck. The row of HP driving lamps set along a top bar of the frame are possibly sourced from another truck. The HP2 body has been stretched much longer than the first incarnation, the wheelbase similarly lengthened, and the front end squared up versus HP1's tapered nose. HP2 also has different shocks, a subtle change, though both are decidely messy in terms of build quality. Tarres seems delighted to announce in his readme that the scrape points, lights, and wheels, are PERFECT for HP2, and indeed they are compared to HP1, tho the roof lights have been removed and there are no backup lights.

We'll give him praise for effort and for doing a good job, but we think we prefer HP1 better. Even with a stock truck's light setup leaving the flares completely unaligned and floating inside the truck body, the first version of the truck is more in scale with other vehicles in the game, than the honkin long thing that is Harry Potter 2, and the handling reflects this difference.

Overall, two surprise-packet vehicles that require familiarity to look at and are baffling to examine, yet that belie the enthusiasm and creativity of their author. On the whole, these represent a metaphorical attempt to run before one has finished learning to walk; but what can ya say, the guy is just dead keen. Tarres gets an A for effort here, and clearly has talent; he just needs to learn the means to realising his ideas in the game properly, and we wish him well in doing so as he holds out much promise for future projects. Way to go, Tarres.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:25 pm 
MTM2 Fanatic

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:48 pm
Posts: 678
It's Tarres again.

I need to tell stuff - first, I didn't convert either HP truck body from any other game.

Next, the foglights were made by me in TireMaker.

The frame, incredibly, was made by me, was taller and shorter in length, and had a floor.

Try mounting HP2 above all my other trucks and I think I had fixed the axles for this one.

OK, I've got everything in.

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