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PROJECT: Chapman Track Creator

Discussion in 'NR2003 General Discussion' started by TChapman500, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Hello. I was redirected here from the Studio-397 forums because of my development of a track editor designed to replace the Sandbox track editor. I hope nobody minds that this is my first post. Here is what I intend for the track editor to have:

    Improvements over Sandbox
    • Far more stability.
    • Multiple guides and backgrounds.
    • Higher track mesh resolution.
    • Properties Window docked to main window (no switching between the two).
    • Viewport switches between various modes (no switching between windows).
    • TSD and TSO selection based on Mesh instead of axis-aligned bounding box.
    Other Features
    • Manage entire track inside the editor (AI lines, cameras, INI stuff, etc).
    • (Almost) Seamlessly create multiple-course tracks with shared geometry (within what NR2003 will permit) in a single project.
    • Type-in the exact positions of segments and sections.
    • Always know exactly what will keep the simulator from loading the track.
    • Use texture/resource packs (eg: stock tracks as resource packs) and create your own to use in your project.
    • Auto-pack only what is used into a DAT file.
    The project just recovered from a major setback and I'm working on implementing the graphics engine.

    Official Webpage
    Official Forum
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  2. RacerXero84

    RacerXero84 Obnoxious old fart

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    I was just wondering what became of this; I remember hearing about it some time ago, then I lost track of what was going on. Good to see it's still kicking, a more efficient track building tool I think would be a HUGE welcome asset in the community.

    Do you have a place where we can see progress, notes, etc.?
     
    4WideRacing likes this.
  3. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Originally, I was using Reddit as sort of the "official" web page, but then I quit Reddit. I've been trying to put up a website, but the server has proven to be so unreliable that I have removed it from the network completely so that I can experiment with it to see if I can get it working properly. I'm currently looking at some dedicated web hosting options.

    I have somewhat of a progress tracker in my Google drive here, but I don't update it that often and I think it needs a bit of revamping. Most of the update notes are in the form of weekly progress updates at the Studio-397 forum. I'm planning to also make weekly updates here as well. Here's a basic list of planned and requested features so far which I copied from the thread on the other forum.

    Planned Features
    • Debug tracks with absolute precision before you even attempt to drive on them in-game.
    • LUA interface to allow for scripts that make it easier to build tracks.
    • Keyboard entry to make absolute positioning of track segments, walls, etc. very easy.
    • Hierarchical object browser for easy navigation of the objects that will make up the race track.
    • Multiple types of guides to help in the construction of track features.
    • Guides are saved to the project files.
    • Multiple background images allow for higher resolution maps without sacrificing performance.
    • Easy-to-use context menus with detailed tool-tips on what everything does.
    • Edit not only the track geometry and scenery, but also cameras and AI lines.
    • Create meshes of the track geometry for different resolutions with a fixed-resolution physics mesh.
    Requested Features
    A short list of features that have been requested. Requested features already planned are in blue. Requests under consideration are in orange, requests that have been accepted are in green, and requests that have been rejected are in red. Requests that are not necessary (eg: because of how the editor handles certain things) are in plain text. Some feature requests may be a mix of colored and plain text (only requests that affect NR2003 track developers are listed here).
    • Allow control points of splines to be constrained.
    • Ensure a fast undo response.
    • Copy Texture/Object Packs into local track folder.
    • Easy reload of updated objects/textures in Object/Texture Packs.
    • Make seamless transitions of different courses on multi-course tracks very easy.
    • Allow customization of sky object.
    • Allow overlay of the track and surrounding terrain onto a heightmap image.
    • Linux or Wine compatibility.
    • Make the track editor a global solution. (See Note 1)
    • Track editor with blender support or as a blender plugin.
    • Sketchup Support
    Notes
    1. I'm interpreting "global solution" to mean "support for all simulators". Support for a specific simulator will be done via a DLL file.
     
  4. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    First weekly update on this site. I'm implementing the rendering engine that will be used when building NR2003 tracks. I'll be testing it as I finally implement the mesh generator. I may be able to implement the mesh generator AND the grid generator at the same time. The mesh generator is going to be in the graphics card because it will be much faster at generating the mesh than the CPU (since the mesh will be updated often). The first step will be to test to see if the track editor can call the appropriate functions from the DLL in order to initialize support for any simulator. The second step will be to see if it can initialize the renderer. I've also re-implemented the original event system that I made as my "updated" system doesn't work.
     
  5. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Guess it's time for another weekly update. This week, I went to a dedicated web hosting service to host my site on (link in my profile). It will be the official website for the Chapman Track Creator. I have been having problems sending emails from the site, so I've spent most of the week trying to fix that to no avail. So not much work has been done on the track editor. I have however, been working on the mesh generator today. By the end of today, I hope to have enough of the mesh generator done that at least the track's wireframe can be rendered. And I still need to add in the code that looks for and loads the simulator-specific DLL files. Without this feature, the track editor won't be able to support any simulators.
     
  6. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    I went in search of what had become of the progress and found TChapman. I directed him over here to SRD since we've got a large group of track makers and track maker enthusiasts alike. While I've made by with Sandbox for years I no doubt have always looked forward to any possibility of a better program to take its place for sure.
     
  7. RacerXero84

    RacerXero84 Obnoxious old fart

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    If a track creator could be stabilized and streamlined... I'd likely be more apt to retry building a track. After getting a basic oval done (which probably took me much longer than most) and having Sandbox essentially tell me to piss off the next time I booted it up, I figured it wasn't worth my time to deal with the headaches. Even opening existing tracks in sandbox has proved migraine-worthy. Which is why I was excited seeing this pop up again.
     
    crazyboy335 and ThatOneShredder like this.
  8. S. Yogurt

    S. Yogurt Well-Known Member

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    Excited to hear this project has gained traction. Sandbox can be a real PITA.
     
  9. David24

    David24 Paint Crew Paint Crew

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    Not sure how I missed this thread. Commenting to follow. It would be nice to have something easier than SandBox and while I have never tried building a scratch track it would be fun to think about and attempt on a more user friendly program. Although I do like to make personal edits to existing tracks so I'm sure this would be helpful for me anyway
     
    TChapman500 likes this.
  10. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Interesting. I never really liked modifying existing tracks. I'm just fed-up with all of Sandbox's instabilities and limitations. And since there is no suitable alternative that I know about, I'm having to build my own.
     
  11. zaw24fan

    zaw24fan SRD National Series Director Paint Crew

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    I'm interested in seeing how this goes. I probably won't do much in the way of track building, but any way to make editing/changing/replacing logos in the grass and on the walls as simple as possible would get a lot of use out of me.
     
  12. RacerXero84

    RacerXero84 Obnoxious old fart

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    Honestly, if you manage something more stable/easier to use than Sandbox.... it would get more people into building I think and draw in others who gave up dealing with Sandbox's issues. A massive boon to the community, to put it mildly.
     
  13. canadienhits

    canadienhits The Dominator, Cup champ.

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    I'd start building if this would do everything as advertised. I'm so not smart enough to do Sandbox.
     
    SpiderTre and RacerXero84 like this.
  14. nj9703

    nj9703 Very Stable Genius

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    Sandbox has always been nothing but trouble for me. This sounds like something that could be huge for the community.
     
  15. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    I intend for it to be able to do all that I've said it should be able to do. Although that won't necessarily be the case during the beta, it will be the case upon the official release.
     
  16. BaCruise

    BaCruise New Member

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    I'm looking forward to this. I've always wanted to be a track creator, but Sandbox didn't like my computer, so I settled on designing and beta testing instead. One of my earliest designs (Bacs Road Course), I'd love to rebuild from the ground up (although I appreciate Jon_Spdwy's work and bringing it to life) and update it with modern specs (run-offs, curbs, slow sections, etc).
     
  17. horseman89

    horseman89 Well-Known Member

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    If this stuff someday will be finished and all things what you describe be able to do there, then this will be HUGE addition to whole community! Sandbox is glitching pin in the @$$ for me and I haven't gone further than to edit some track walls, or racing surface, or fences.
     
    InsideLine likes this.
  18. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Sandbox's instability is the primary reason I never got any tracks out of beta.
     
  19. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    Progress Report Time:
    It's been a busy week this week. Early on in the week, I got the editor to load a DLL file that implements simulator-specific support. There's only one problem: When I implemented the DLL in a manner that simulates how another user would implement a DLL, the track editor simply refused to compile. I'm currently working on a solution to that problem. And I was so close to being able to implement the 3D graphics engine!

    On another note, I started to move my website to a new host today. One that will allow stuff like activation emails through to those who register with the site. If you were to visit the site right now, you'd get a 404 error and a "not secure" warning. Once the site is back up, I'll resend the activation emails on any accounts that are still inactive (once I confirm that the new settings are working). The site should be back up on or before Monday.
     
    J.R.Franklin and Mystical like this.
  20. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Active Member

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    I got permission from the site administrator to post links to the official Chapman Track Creator webpage and forum. The first post has been updated with the links.

    EDIT: Emails for that website are working!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

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