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 Post subject: Tracked3 or 4 and mtm
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 5:43 pm 
easy company
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I've run into a situation of model placement requiring a high degree of precision for rotation and X Z coodinates that traxx simply cannot do, so taking Wints advice from wake up I loaded the sit in tracked3, made some adjustments and got everything to line up perfectly, took it for a spin in 4x4 and everything looks great.. so I take the newly created pod and load it up in mtm2, take for a test spin and find all the models have moved, bummer... sooo I try again only this time with tracked4, again no problem getting everything just how I like it, looks great in evo2... but agin mtm2 seems not able to read the evo sit settings and adjusts them to approximates?

is this the fix?
http://forum.mtm2.com/viewtopic.php?t=1986

I could build the model in binedit but I'm afraid it would be too large, requiring sectioning, hence bringing me back to the initial problemo.


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 Post subject: Re: Tracked3 or 4 and mtm
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:05 pm 
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> .. so I take the newly created pod and load it up in mtm2

You got an evo pod to work in mtm2 :?

> take for a test spin and find all the models have moved, bummer...

When you loaded it up in tracked3, did you turn the spline off? I suspect that will make a difference.

> sooo I try again only this time with tracked4, again no problem getting everything just how I like it, looks great in evo2...

You got bins working in evo2? :eek:

> is this the fix?

Could be. The trick has not been to make evo tracks work in mtm2 but to exploit the editor features of tracked3 then use backward re-configuration to re-create the mtm2 pod. Also note, it might be possible to use tracked2 and avoid the conversion altogether. I've done that more than once.

> I could build the model in binedit but I'm afraid it would be too large

You're probably right. Even if it will display, you still have the distance factor to think about.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:56 pm 
easy company
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>You got an evo pod to work in mtm2...

whoops, I forgot I wasn't supposed to be able to do that ...evo 1 and 2 pods seem to work fine in mtm2... then again these pods are non indigenous, halfbreeds, so it's no big deal

>When you loaded it up in tracked3, did you turn the spline off? ...

I'll try that, thanks.

>You got bins working in evo2?...

whoops, I forgot I wasn't supposed to be able to do that, part 2.... 21 bins to be exact

>it might be possible to use tracked2 and avoid the conversion altogether

as much as I dislike that program I'll give that a try if need be.

thanks for the help


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 8:05 pm 
easy company
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TE2 dosn't seem to like my current configuration...

Image

but hey, at least I can still get screen shots of it.. lol


toggling the spline off doesn't seem to do a thing, same results :? what a drag... I've got a few more ideas to try out.. and as a last resort I'll just make 16 individual custom bins (pre rotated/sized) to compensate for the lack of any other means.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 8:28 pm 
Glow Ball
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> but hey, at least I can still get screen shots of it.. lol

Wow, bonus ;-)


>.. I've got a few more ideas to try out..

one might be wint's trick. If you need clarification let me know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 8:47 pm 
easy company
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> one might be wint's trick.



Right now the overall procedure looks like this:
- Create most of the track in Traxx and include the BIN models you wish to use.
- Extract the track pod into the TrackEd3 folder and open it (load the SIT).
- Edit your models then save, which then saves the SIT in Evo1 format.
- Load the new SIT in Wordpad, prepare it for Phin's utilty, then save it.
- Convert the SIT with Phin's utility, you then have the "boxes" portion isolated.
- Paste the converted "boxes" section back into your original Traxx-made SIT file.
- Build your POD with a pod utility and mount it in the game.
- Note: along the way there are tricks to snyc the two versions so development can continue on both fronts.
- As you can see, ONLY the "boxes" portion of the Evo1 SIT file is used, and it's placement in your MTM2 track is not through an instant or direct route - but once you know how it's quite easy to do.
Wordy Wint


I had the write idea, but went about it all wrong....

thanks mr. W


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 9:33 pm 
easy company
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the above instructions worked like a charm...

what I was attempting to do was to form an arc with 16 flat bins, each one rotated 8ยบ and meeting precicely end to end...

this is the kind of precision you can get with tracked3-4 and some sit editing.

pic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:48 am 
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Hope i'll never need such precise model placement or i'll go nutso installing Evo and Tracked 3 again and converting and reading tutorials and and and...
I hate you guys.

_________________
"...and there's Pantano having an 'I'll go join that crash' moment." - Martin Brundle (UK F1 commentator)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:38 am 
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I'm glad it's workin' out!

>> "I hate you guys."

Oh, but Fila, I'll make it all very understandable, but you'll have to buy the book -- there will be no movie. Here is a preview of some chapters under construction (this is not yet ready to read but what the heck):

(excuse me while I borrow some space here in your thread for a while Mal -- i'll delete this once i have an update)



+++ INTRODUCTION +++

*censored*


+++ Comparing the two editors: +++

*censored*


+++ Process overview: +++

*censored*


+++ SETUP +++

*censored*


+++ TrackEd3 keys: +++

*censored*


+++ METHODOLOGY +++

!

+++ SYNCRONIZATION +++

!

Does cloning in Traxx destroy terrain texture animations?




++++++++++++++
+++ ISSUES +++
++++++++++++++


+++ ADDING NEW MODELS +++

*censored*


+++ ANIMATED BINS +++

TE3 cannot handle animated bins, or more to the point it cannot display an "animated control bin", which is not a bin at all, but merely a "list" of bins that form an animation series. In MTM/Traxx it is the "control bin" that you assign to an object box, which is listed as a box in the SIT file, but if you load such a SIT file in TE3 it will crash the editor. The solution to this problem requires that you edit the SIT file yourself with a text editor, which is easy to do, and must be done each you choose to synchronize your Traxx and TrackEd3 projects during production.

The trick is to do a simple search and replace with the text editor, replacing every animated control bin with the first frame of the animation. For example: if a spinning checkpoint control bin is "SpinCP.bin", and the first frame of the animation is an actual bin named "SpinCP01.bin", then replace all instances of "SpinCP.bin" with "SpinCP01.bin" before opening the SIT file with TE3.

In the editor you will see the first frame of animation as a static bin, it will look just the the control bin would look in Traxx and you can position it however you like. Once you convert your TE3 SIT file to the MTM format you will then reverse the naming using search and replace once again, restoring your animation for MTM.


+++ BACKDROPS and ODD BINS+++

It is possible that some backdrops will crash TE3, if you suspect trouble then replace the backdrop with a standard stock MTM2 one, you can do that by changing the filename at the very bottom of any SIT file. Be sure to put the RAWs and BINs in the proper folders as well.

I seem to remember certain old and odd bins causing TE3 to crash, something that was in an MTM1 track I tried to view with the editor. Thus it's possible that you could encounter BINs that could cause you headaches, though I suspect they are very rare. Odd or impossible to render face types might well be the cause.

It is entirely possible that highly complex BINs will crash the editor too. I know of an MTM track with a very complex model that would crash Evo1 if it were not removed from the track before playing (tThe "too many vertices".error would result).

If you experience problems when you first open your MTM2 sit file in TE3 and you cannot figure out what the problem is (animated models or backdrop should be first on your list) then you may have to experiment a bit by using edited chunks of SIT file and trying them one ta a time, similar in principle to not adding too many custom trucks to the game at one time, so you can determine which file is causing problems.

Texture animations on bins? i.e. Flames. I dunno, but I think they're fine.



+++ RAMPS +++

*censored*


+++ WEIGHT +++

There is one other box conversion issue I've noted, the weight/mass numbers are quite different in traxx/mtm2 and TE3/Evo1.

Here are the Editor Lbs. vs. SIT Numbers

Traxx / SIT
500 / 0.5
5,000 / 5.0
50,000 / 50.0
99,999 / 99.999008

TrackEd3 / SIT
500 / 15.5405
5,000 / 155.405
50,000 / 1554.05
99,999 / 3108.07

As you can see, 5,000 "lbs." in TE3 is half again more than the maximum you can even assign in traxx!



+++ GROUND BOXES +++

When you extract an MTM2 track containing groundboxes and load it in TrackEd3 the groundboxes will be converted to object boxes. When you first do this the boxes will be textured as they were in your track, but when you "save" and the SIT becomes converted to Evo1 format the texturing info will be lost, so that when you next load your SIT there will only be object boxes where the groundboxes used to be.

If your MTM2 track contained 400 objects (object boxes or bin models) and 25 groundboxes, and if you saved it once you loaded it in TrackEd3, the TE3 info display will show your track as having 425 objects. The last 25 would be the "converted" but now useless groundboxes, you must delete these before proceeding, and especailly before converting your SIT file back to the MTM2 format.

While in "object editor" mode press the "EI" button (Edit Info) to display your object info. In parenthesis you will see the selected model listed as "object number of total number", or "22 of 425", for example. Following the example I mentioned above, if you know your MTM2 track contained 400 objects then you know that object number 401 and beyond, as listed in TE3, represent the groundboxes that were turned into object boxes -- they will always be listed at the end like this. To delete them all you have to do is press the square bracket keys, "[" and "]", while in "object spot" camera mode, to cycle through the models until you get to the last one, "425 of 425" (for example)..Once this final model is selected just press "X" to delete the useless object boxes, each time you press "X" one box will be deleted and the selection will automatically focus on the previous box in the sequence. If you knwo you need to delete 25 boxes then press "X" 25 times, when you're done your info will reflect the number of models in your original MTM2 SIT file.

Take note: Ground Box compatibility in 4x4evo and TrackEd3 was a feature kindly added by Gromit to support MTM tracks and satisfy a request by us MTMers. 4x4evo only supports 600 track objects (oddly enough TrackEd3 goes well beyond this limit!), and MTM2 supports 541...........blah.........blah

If you "sync" your Traxx work with your TrackEd3 work you will have to delete your groundboxes yet again.



+++ COMPLEAT EVO1 CONVERSION +++

*censored*
(a bleepin' bleepity process it it too)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:54 pm 
easy company
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Hmmmm an R rated tutorial... interesting [:P]

tracked3 ?, what are the key commands for adjusting a models X and Z coordinates? this doesn't seem to be listed under F1 or I'm missing something here.

I know about locking on to a model then using the alt/arrows and also the traxx like mouse adjustment but there must be something more fine than that since there's accomodations for adjusting pitch, bank, and rotation down to a thousandth of a degree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:09 am 
>> there must be something more fine

Should be, yes, but there's not, though I've wished it were so. :-/ It's alt-arrows (which with a few delicate taps to get it right is usually enough, coupled with the right camera angle) or a direct sit edit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:55 pm 
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>> coupled with the right camera angle

yep I found that out early on (along with the left alt key is too darn close to the X key lol) it's just that some of the models in this trackare 200 feet long and there really isn't a good angle cept from 100 feet up lol that's where I was wishing for the finer controls, small objects are a snap..

back to the problem I was having loading the edited sit file into traxx... since yesterday I've retraced my steps at least a dozen times, working from fresh clean directories to be sure nothing odd was leaching in.. there is no doubt in my mind that it was not something I was doing wrong because I did other test runs with other tracks and everything loaded just like it should....

then I discovered this.... actualy I noticed it before but just assumed it was a bin quirk along with the other bin warning prompts

Image

I would get that error if I tried to open the sit file with TE3.. the only way I could get this track into TE3 was to extract the pod directly from within.
so what I did next was load each of the 21 bins the track uses one by one into binedit and checked all the faces, sure enough parts of two of the models were using 0x18 normal mtm faces, so I fixed those then replaced the others in tyhe traxx folder and wrote a new pod.. went through the evo to mtm sit routine one more time and wallah traxx was happy and everything imported fine and dandy.

I still get that error if I try to open the sit with TE3 so the face types apparently had nothing to do with that but they were causing traxx to spit it out, and in addition the sit entries were perfectly fine all along it was the face types that were the source.

something else just occured to me that I did differently on the last go around, instead of using winpod to extract the files I used podview.. so winpod could of possibly been the cause all along, I know for a fact it has corrupted bin files in the past on me, once even rendering a model with animated textures to the point of being useless, no version of BE would open it after extracting it with winpod.

hopefully this makes some sence to someone


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:52 am 
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The "X" key is a menace! In certain situations (< pun alert) I'd seriously suggest popping that sucker off of the keyboard.

Large models/no good angle -- I know what you mean, some bridge sections in "Wake Up!" were tricky to position right end to end due to size. Lets see... you can position yourself over the seam between two models in 'free' camera mode and then use the mouse to drag the selected model into place. In 'spot' camera mode you can use a combination of camera swivel and zoom (FOV) to get your perspctive to the edge of a large model before trying to align it with another. On that note, hover the mouse over the unselected model to show the grid outline of it, so you can align the grid of the selected model to it (most useful for rectangular models).

As for your problem, good work! You nailed it, and dang me for not thinking of it! Winpod is also a bit of a menace, i wish I had the text to paste here but awhile back I had written to Phin about the fact that when it extracts to overwrite it doesn't replace files, it only overwrites them as far as it needs to, leaving slack at the end of the file. For example, lets say you have a sit file in a pod that contains tons of models (more kilobytes), and that you have a sit file of the same name in the second pod that contains no models (less kilobytes). If you extract the model filled one, and then extract the no model one on top of it, the filesize on disk will be that of the larger one. If you use such a sit in the game it will work (there are many pods out there with this attribute), but if you look at it in wordpad you will find the remains of the larger sit sitting as slack at the end of the file. This slack apparently gives Traxx a seizure.

The fact is that one of the unfinshed key points of my tutorial, under snychronization of the Traxx and TE3 projects, is the fact that the terrain raw will be fouled up in you extract the Traxx pod files over the files in the TE3 folder with Winpod. When you extract an mtm terrain raw over a 4x4 terrain raw of the same name you end up with a corrupt file, because one is 64 kb and the other is 128, only the first 64 kilos of the file get overwritten. In short, if a file has shrunk or is smaller than on on disk then Winpod should not be used to extract to overwrite it (podview is foolproof in this respect).


In other news, two new chapters:


+++ ADDING NEW MODELS +++

Because the native 4x4 Evolution model format is SMF the TrackEd3 editor was not designed to allow BINs to be added directly to a track. You can load a track with BINs already in it but you must use special methods to add new ones to a track already under construction.


Method one: copy and paste

Create a simple and uniquely named track with Traxx, then add the models you wish to use in your TrackEd3 track project, line them up neatly then write the pod.

Next, using a pod utilty like Podview or Winpod, extract all of the files from this Traxx made pod into your TrackEd3 project folder.

Open this extracted track with TrackEd3, select one of the models you lined up, "copy" it (Ctrl-C), then close the track and open your ongoing TrackEd3 project, paste (Ctrl-V). You will now have the new BIN in your track. This is the usual method used by 4x4evo track makers to add bins to their tracks. This is a slow process, opening and closing tracks for each model you wish to add.


Method two: sit editing (my preferred method)

Select the models you wish to add to your track then put all of their files into the art and models folders of your TrackED3 project.

Open your track with TrackEd3, select an existing model with name you can remember, copy it, then move to an off-track area and neatly paste copies of it in a row. Paste at least as many as the number of new models you wish to add to your track. Once pasted, take a mental note of how many you added as well as their numbers, then save and close the track and minimize or close TrackEd3.

Now load the SIT file of your TrackEd3 track into a text editor. Scroll to the bottom of the boxes section, the last series of models listed are the ones you just added, they are labeled by number These models were put here to be placeholders. You can now change the filenames of these placeholders to the names of the bins you wish to use. If you had pasted "hotel.bin" a number times you would now change that repeated filename to the names of the bins you wish to use, like "tree01.bin", "tree04.bin", "outhouse.bin", etc.

Once the filenames have been replaced, save the sit file, close your text editor, open TrackEd3 and load your track sit once again. You will now see your new models lined up in the off-track working area.

I like this method because it's easy to add a bunch of models at one time with the least amount of effort. Being familiar and comfortable with editing sit files is helpful of course, as well as being organized enough to know your bin filenames.


+++ Parents, Children and Relatives +++

A nice feature of TE3 is the abilty to assign objects as children to another single object. (that sounds funny)

More properly, you assign a parent to any number of other objects. When this is done you can move the parent object and all the children will move along with it, keeping their relative distance to one another.

I think it may be possible to assign every model in a track to a single parent, so that you could move every object at once.

If you built a bridge out of 20 single logs, you could assign log number one as the parent to the other 19, and when you move log number one the whole bridge will move as if it were one piece.

You can even even make a parent out of one of the children, assigning any number of objects to it, so that when it alone is moved it's children move with it. This is a very powerful feature, great if you are building complex relationships or need to move something you've already built.

Using the log bridge as an example, one support beam could be the parent of all of the bridge supports, so that when you move it the whole support structure moves independently of the top section. While one of the top planks could serve as the parent to the whole top AND the support structure. Thus you could position the whole support structure under the top section, then grab the top and move the whole structure as one.


The assignment process is simple, just choose a parent object by number, "11" for example, then...

- Click another object to select it (or use "[" or "]" to cycle)
- Press "E" to bring up the object properties box.
- Press the down arrow once, then Enter, to assign a parent.
- Type "11" to name the parent.
- Press Enter, then Escape.
- Repeat as needed to create children.

When you move the parent up and down or side to side the children will move with it, maintaining their relationship. Do not rotate the parent, the children will not rotate with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:01 pm 
easy company
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Thanks WK, once I became acquainted with the keys for navigation, selections, modes and whatnot it's really quite a nice editor.

I'm looking forward to your completed write up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:23 pm 
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if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, if I'm involved that is...
I'm still finding problems here that I'm not going to bother anyone with yet since I know what's causing it and have started on devising a sure fire fix....
knowing of the great extent that WK goes to when putting together a tutorial i've no doubt it'll be covered in there, but i'm confident that my approach is not the same.

wish me luck lol


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:08 am 
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+++ ADDING NEW MODELS +++

Now totally *uncensored*, by request.... (first draft)

- Firstly, the easiest way to begin working with models in TrackEd3 is to load up a track (.sit) with them already in it, made by Traxx. Before moving a track into TrackEd3 for model placement I start by collecting most of the models I'll be using, load them up in Traxx, then place them on the terrain in a scrapyard kind of setting or by placing them in the general area they will be used. I then write a pod, extract that pod into my TrackEd3 folder and then load up the track, which automatically converts the necessary data files into the Evo1 format (the .sit especially). As a side note: my usual track making method involves carving terrain first, texturing the terrain second, then placing models after - especially after the terrain is mostly finalized, which means that plenty of time is spent in Traxx before moving into TrackEd3.

- Once you've loaded and saved the .SIT file with TrackEd3 it is effectively an Evo1 track, and while Gromit was kind to make TrackEd3/Evo1 support BINs the editor itself will not load up any new models except for SMFs, the Evo model format. This means that you need to use some tricks to load new BINs into a track that is already underway, of which there are two.

- One method, which may be simpler for most folks but which I've yet to even try for myself, is to create an new pod with Traxx, uniquely named, that contains the bins you wish to add to your TrackEd3 project. Extract this uniquely named scrapyard pod to your TrackEd3 folder and load it up with TrackEd3. Select a model, copy it (Ctrl-C), close the track, open your ongoing project, then paste (Ctrl-V). Using this method you can transfer models one at a time, by opening a scrapyard track, copying a model, then opening your main track and pasting it in. This is impractical for loading up many new models at once.


- My method involves editing the .sit file itself and is much more efficient, once you know your way around a .sit file. It may sound complicated at first read but it's really quite fast and simple.

1) Firstly, before trying to load up new models just save the .sit file you are working on in TrackEd3, which will ensure the (numeric) model order is fixed (this is a precautionary measure I probably don't have to mention).

2) Select a unique model in your track and copy it (ctrl-c), preferably one you haven't worked with recently and who's filename you can remember, one with default properties (don't choose a non-collide facing tree for example). Then choose an area of your track you wish to use as a scrapyard and paste multiple copies of the model a short distance apart, equal to or greater than the number of new bin models you wish to add to your track (note the numeric sequence of the models in you like - they will be the last in the "of" series, such as "228 of 230", "229 of 230", "230 of 230" ). Once you've pasted them save the sit file and immediately exit the editor.

3) Now you load up the sit file in Wordpad (after making a backup copy) and scroll down to the bottom of the "box" listing where you'll see your newly added series of models by name. Replace the bin filenames with the names of the new models you wish to use, just replace one filename with another - don't try to create multiple instances of a single new model. Save the sit file.

4) Making sure the new models are in your TrackEd3 folder, load the newly edited .sit file with TrackEd3, you will then find your new models loaded up in the scrapyard area, having replaced the copies of the ones you pasted there previously. Note: these models will have the same "height" characteristics as the models you originally pasted there, so select each of the new models, copy it, then paste a fresh copy of it right there, which will reset it's altitude value, then delete the original. You can then use copies of these new models anywhere you like in the track.


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