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Track editing progress notes
#21
Note from the latest version of Caesars.

- The pits tutorial & Excel file are easy to follow. However part of my pit lane is in a slightly different angle to the racing track and this caused some of the AI to be parked in the wrong position. I believe this means I need to make the pit lane parallel to the racing track and this may be a limitation of ICR2 and N2.

- Drawing the TSDs within OPE was hard to be exact, maybe due to the sensitive fake joystick controls I am using. But I ended up manually coding the pit lane lines in the .TSD file and then importing it into OPE. This actually might be the best way to draw pit lines, because the coordinates are largely the same coordinates you figure out for the track.txt file.

- I also realized that saving TSDs in OPE is a non-reversible process (unless you generate the .3D file again). In other words, once you save a .3D file in OPE with all your TSDs, you can't go back and unpaint them. Actually, I don't even think you can unpaint TSDs within the same OPE session. I tried to remove the TSD section of the .3D file by hand, but you also have to empty out the visibility lists which is tedious. I also apparently didn't do this right, because 3D23DO now gives me an warning when I compile (although it doesn't impact ultimately being able to convert to ICR2). I will probably do another fresh TRK23D at some point, which will require me to manually bring over TSOs from a back-up, as per Dennis's suggestion.

Edit: Another way is to copy all the TSOs (the first rows of a .3D file) into its own file. Then, every time you have to recompile the track, go into OPE, option F1, 3 to open the text file. This is now my preferred way to bring TSOs back into a track whenever I have to fix something in SFE or SGE.
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#22
I didn't have much time today, so I just picked an easy task to learn: placing adverts on walls.

This was indeed very easy thanks to Eddie500 who shared in an earlier post the step-by-step process to do this with .MRK files, as written by Pavel.

The only clarification I will make is that you are not restricted to specifying 0.0, 0.5 or 1.0 for the start/end point along the section. You can use numbers like 0.2. I had to use increments of 0.2 otherwise my texture would stretch too much.


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#23
Updating the horizon - not the hardest task. I was able to use Google Earth to produce a 360-degree horizon, resize it and put it in the game. To make sure you get the right compass heading for your horizon, just use an existing horizon image file to figure out where north is (or whatever direction you're facing at the start) and shift the new image around until your horizon faces the proper way.

By far the most time consuming thing of today was fighting with conversion errors after I made changes to the pit entrance in SFE. In the end, I got a wall to work after turning it into a fenced wall. Not the ideal solution because that wall actually should be unfenced but it's probably not something anyone would notice unless I pointed it out.


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#24
I know I have some detail work still to do on the textures and objects, but we're going to jump right to the next step - TV cameras.

The Tutorial does a great job walking through step-by-step how to write the .txt files that get translated into the .cam and .scr files using the tools included with the Tutorial.

The Tutorial says that it is important to keep all files in the same folder, even the track.cam and track.scr files. I made the mistake of not reading this carefully, and moved all the other files to my working folder, believing that the tools will write those .cam and .scr files from scratch. As it turns out, the .cam tool cannot write a .cam file from scratch!

Now if you try to do what I did initially, and bundle up a corrupted .cam file into the .dat, you will encounter an "Insufficient memory to load track" error in ICR2. Which tells me that "Insufficient memory" may be a generic error message when anything is corrupted in the .dat file.

As far as I can tell, the .cam and .scr files can be included in your N2 working directory - they come over fine when converted to ICR2. This makes it more convenient that you do not have to unpack the ICR2 track dat just to insert the camera at that point.


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#25
Hi,
Nice progress! Haven't checked forum for some time. As usual I alway ready to answer the question. Just PM me with the link to forum's topic. Because I don't check forum every week Smiley

Tutorial has some wrong details about camera files. I once posted corrected file. Need to find it.

Quote:mark 6
v1 - middle point - were zoom v7 is
v2 - x
v3 - y
v4 - z
v5 - start point = start of cam -300000
v6 - start zoom at v5
v7 - middle point zoom at v1
v8 - end point = start of cam +300000
v9 - end zoom at v8

zoom usually between 70000 (closer) - 300000 (further)

mark 7 - stationar camera
v1 - 0
v2 - x
v3 - y
v4 - z
v5 - z' rotation : + left, - right
v6 - vertical rotation : + look up, - look down
v7 - tilt: +right, -left
v8 - ?
v9 - 0
v10- 0
v11- 0
v12- 0

This is proper cam-file description

Mark6 v5 and v8 satrting and end point come fom corresponding scr points. Mark 6 camer changes zoom throug period of activity. So it has start zoom (at satart point), middle distance zoom (in the middle point), end zoom (in the end point).
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#26
Pavel thank you for the information! This is great to have since the Tutorial did not know about some of these values at the time. Glad to see you drop by and I will let you know when I have more questions.
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#27
I had a surprising amount of struggle to make a track selection screen for Caesars.

- First was realizing that WinMip 2 does not handle .bmp to .stp conversions. A forum search showed that you need WinMip 1, which Pavel shared a decade ago (!) in this thread: https://www.icr2.net/forum/showthread.ph...hlight=stp

- The Tutorial might be a little too step-by-step for me - I believe to erase some doubts about what the purpose of some of the steps are, there is room to add explanation of what each .pcx and .stp/.str file is ultimately used for, especially how/where the game finds the palettes. For example, I believe map.pcx is the palette for htshotc.stp, but it's not really discussed. I also have a question about what is the purpose of htshotc.pcx vs. htshotc.stp, although I am pretty sure the DOS game uses the .stp file. (Perhaps the .pcx is the file used by Windy, but I do not have Windy and cannot currently test this.)

- The Tutorial also assumes usage of Paint Shop Pro, which was a wonderful tool back in the shareware days of the 90s. These days I think GIMP is the way to go - it is the best free alternative to Photoshop that we have. The saving and importing of palettes follows a different process than described in the Tutorial, so this may be an area of the Tutorial that could use a refresh.

- I have also found that when the DOS version of the game performs the fade to black and fade into the next selected track, it will not fade certain colors in the palette. This means the background picture must avoid these colors. I am not sure which are the colors yet, but I will try to find out and update this thread.


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#28
I just saw your picture and grinned. It looks really good.

I use GIMP to make all of my graphics, but I can never get the pallet to save and load correctly in the games (either icr2 or grand prix 2). I always end up having to save it in GIMP as a PCX, and then load it into paint shop pro 5 or 6 (I can't remember) and change the PCX into the right pallet.

There is a way to do this in GIMP but it never seems to work for me. I probably am doing something wrong. I use GIMP 2.8 in linux.
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#29
I'm on GIMP 2.8 as well - Windows 10 but it should be the same cross-platform. Here's the process I follow.

To save a palette (say for example sunny.pcx):
1) Open sunny.pcx
2) Go to the "Palettes" window (not "Colormap" or "Palette Editor")
3) The first palette is probably the palette of the sunny.pcx you just opened. It'll be called "Colormap of Image #6" or something like that.
4) Right click on that palette and select "Duplicate palette"
5) You can now rename that duplicate palette to something like "ICR2 palette" or whatever.

Then, let's say you've got some image that you need to convert to ICR2 palette.
1) Make sure the image is in RGB mode first. Image > Mode > RGB
2) Then Image > Mode > Indexed...
3) A dialog will appear. Select "Use custom palette" and find the "ICR2 palette" you saved in the above process
4) Uncheck the box for "Remove unused colors from colormap"
5) Now you save it with File > Export...
6) Assuming you will use WinMip. So you need to save as a .bmp and then under Compatibility Options, check the box for "Do not write color space information"
7) The file should now be able to open in WinMip (either v1 or v2)
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#30
(04-02-2020, 09:36 AM)checkpoint10 Wrote: - The Tutorial might be a little too step-by-step for me - I believe to erase some doubts about what the purpose of some of the steps are, there is room to add explanation of what each .pcx and .stp/.str file is ultimately used for, especially how/where the game finds the palettes. For example, I believe map.pcx is the palette for htshotc.stp, but it's not really discussed. I also have a question about what is the purpose of htshotc.pcx vs. htshotc.stp, although I am pretty sure the DOS game uses the .stp file. (Perhaps the .pcx is the file used by Windy, but I do not have Windy and cannot currently test this.)

As you know DOS version of the game can be run in SVGA and VGA modes. So for each mode there are high-res (begins with 'h') and low-res (begins with 'l') screen files.

hdiagram.stp, ldiagram.stp - track maps, use standart game palette colors: usually 0 (black) - invisible background, 35 (white) - map.
htshotc.stp, ltshotc.stp - main pictures, use palette from map.pcx
htshotg.stp, ltshotg.stp - blue background for game menues, use standart game palette blue colors 13-24.

And there is mtshotc.pcx picture that is used in Windy game.
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