Lesson F - Scenery and terrain.
32 Create a lake. At the moment, you can drive right across between the checkpoints,
so lets put a lake in the middle to prevent that.
Click the "Edit Terrain" button in the toolbar.
If you havent done so already, click the "Wireframe" button (on the right) two times
until the display is drawn with textures and white grid overlay. The grid is especially
useful while editing terrain.
In the lower side-panel, select the "Plane" tool and change the "Altitude" value to 90.
Leave the Width and Height values at 3.
As you move the mouse over the terrain you will see a yellow grid - this tells you what
the terrain will change to when you click. Point the mouse two grid squares away from
the inside edge of the road and click once.
Repeat this process all around the inside edge of the oval track - taking care not to
undercut the location of the start-line banner post! The reason to keep the Width &
Height as low as 3 at this point is that its easier to be more accurate for these
edges - especially on the corners. Make sure you dont cut too close to the road at
the corners, also the road itself might be tilted. Remember you can use Undo if you
make a mistake.
To flatten out the middle of the lake more quickly, increase the Width & Height in
the side-panel to 7 - then you can flatten that part with just two or three clicks.
33 Set the Water Level. Because our terrain is at 100 (the default), and our lake
bottom is at 90, we can set the water level to something around 97 or 98. Go to
Track Components (from the main toolbar) and set the the water level to 98 or so
in there. Unless you have an old version of Traxx, you can go to View/Options and
select "Show Water", or press the F8 Key to see a blue grid indicating where the
water will be.
34 Add some jumps. In the side-panel select the "Mound" tool and set the Width to 9
and Height to 3. Take the "Curvature" slider 2 notches down from center (one notch
away from minimum), and set the Altitude to 8.
Move the mouse over the track until its near the middle of a horizontal section of
road and you can see how the yellow grid will add a jump to the track. Click once
to apply the jump.
To do the same on vertical sections of the track, step the "Orientation" slider on
the side-panel up one notch (or press key) and you will see the yellow grid
Whenever you apply the yellow grid, the "mound" is ADDED to whats there already - you
can use this to make a longer raised section, for example, by applying several in a
row, or make steeper jump by applying several in the same place.
Note that the "Plane" tool that we used earlier (for the lake) is special because it
doesnt add - that one sets a specific altitude regardless of what was there before.
35 Add some hills. Now select the "Hill" tool, and set the Width & Height to 5, the
Altitude to 20 and move the "Curvature" slider up one notch from center (higher
"Curvature" makes the yellow grid more "pointy").
With the yellow grid aligned with the outside edge of one of the straights, click
several times at nearby points to add some hills. You may end upwith a very spiky
range of hills, but thats ok - select the "Smooth" tool in the side-panel (right
below the Hill tool) and click that several times over the hills we just added until
its reasonably smooth (not too much, though - because real hills arent perfectly smooth).
You can use this technique to build-up mountainous terrain. If you prefer wider,
smoother hills just set the Curvature sliderlower and the Width & Height higher.
36 Manual editing. Click the "Manual edit" tool in the side-panel (the last one,
with the hand), and locate your spare hand over the S and X keys on the keyboard.
Point the mouse at the part of terrain you want to raise or lower and press S (to
raise) or X (to lower). You can hold the keys down to change continuously.
This option is very useful for making fine-tuning adjustments very quickly.
37 Experiment with the tools. Try each of the tools and see how they work - you are
limited only by your imagination :) But dont go crazy - hills that are too steep,
or roads that are too bumpy etc can make a track too difficult to enjoy racing on...
Leave at least one part of the road-side flat - we'll need it for later...
Remember, it only takes a few seconds to re-write the POD file and test any changes
you make in the game. If you keep MTM2 and Traxx both running at the same time,
and switch between the two to test your ideas, you will have to start a race
with another track before re-starting yours (because the game remembers the previous
version until you run another track to reset its memory).
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