1.4 Importing object to your track in PT2, and cleaning up the hierarchy
Now we'll learn how to import those pre-made objects to your track to make it a detailed track. Let's imagine an object called "02Lamp" in this example.
Take the &02Lamp.act, .dat, and .mat-files, and the Tiffrgb-folder (which contains the textures of the lamp), and copy them into your track's folder.
You can overwrite the existing track's tiffrgb-folder, because it just adds the textures there, but doesn't delete the existing other textures. (track's textures) At least not in Windows 98.
Now you have the files ready. Open your track in PT2, and import &02Lamp.ACT with CTRL+I.
Now the object appears to the center of your track, and the name appears to outside the hierarchy. Now wait a moment before you do anything, and read the following.
If you save right after importing, your track will vanish when you load it again. You have to drag your imported object in your track's hierarchy (Example: under Mytrack.ACT), after that you can save the track.
But if your object will use various kinds of textures (like speed limit signs use different numbers), you'll have to rename it (SHIFT+G) right after importing: add four-digit numbers to the end starting from 0000, like this: &02Lamp0000.ACT.
This is the only way how you can make them use different textures. If you rename them later after you have already dragged them to track's hierarchy, then it's too late to rename them. (You have to delete, re-import, re-position and re-apply the textures to those signs)
So rename them outside your track's hierarchy, right after importing. Now you can drag it to track's hierarchy, and save. Let's move the objects now, or rotate them.
Don't use object/object menus/modify geometry to moving or rotating (except in smashables!), because it just affects to appearance, and your car will just go through them in the game.
Instead, use mouse rotating or object/object menus/translate object for moving the object, and mouse rotating to rotate the object.
Mouse translating: Press O (letter), then select your object (in hierarchy or camera window), right-click on some camera window and choose translate.
Move the object with left mouse button. Note: sometimes when you have moved the imported object with mouse translating, it jumps to another place when you import another object.
If this happens, use some of the following methods:
- Mouse-moved objects jump, "Translate object"-moved (ALT+T) do not. Use mouse-moving only with the two last methods below.
- Don't import another object in the same PT2-session, if you have already imported and moved some earlier object.
- Save and exit PT2 to keep the positions of the existing objects. Then restart PT2, and load your track again.
- To import multiple objects in one session, import them all first, and only after that move them. Just be careful not to save when they still are outside the track's hierarchy!
So import them all, move and/or rotate them around in the track, put them to track's hierarchy, and then save.
Translate object: Again, select your object, then press ALT+T. Either use "offset" to move it in some direction from the current place, or use "to specific" to exactly enter the coordinates in the world.
Mouse rotating: See "mouse translating", except that this time you'll have to select the "rotate" in camera window menu. Another thing, if you want easier rotating: press SHIFT+P, go to interface-tab, and change the "rotation method" to "rolling ball".
Now, on the left you'll see a toolbar with X- , Y- , Z- and arrow down-buttons. Press "arrow down"-button, and choose YZ to rotate the object like how a car rotates in road intersections, or XZ to rotate the object like how a wheel spins when car is going straight forward.
Note: the object jumping-bug affects to mouse rotating too. See the four methods again.
Making power-ups (Thanks go to Econobrick for this one!)
First, make the power-up's box (or any kind of model), and then open the data/powerup.txt, and get the two-digit number of the power-up you want to insert. (Let's say 15)
Now import the power-up box, and rename it: &£[two-digit number of the power-up][four-digit number for separating the power-ups].ACT. Example: &£150003.ACT. Increase the four-digit number every time you insert a new power-up box, otherwise, in the game, you can collect multiple power-ups by hitting only one of them.
Well, that could be useful if you make a pile of power-up boxes.
After renaming drag it to hierarchy and save the track. That's it.
Amalgamating (joining) models
This is very useful command: you can combine grassy fields into one, combine small parts to tippable objects, and more. With this you can get a simple hierarchy with no extra trash.
Be careful, though, if you join a tippable object with solids (road, cliffs), they won't be tippable anymore. And don't join too big parts with tippable objects, because the cars won't collide with joined parts.
Of course, the players won't easily notice if the car doesn't collide with some small plate which is joined into a sign, but they will notice if their car doesn't collide with a tank which is joined into that same sign.
(Not the best possible example: who would attach tanks into speed limit signs?! Well, at least you'll get my point) And the colliding object doesn't have to be a car, it could be the ground as well: when the object falls and hits the ground, you'll see if some part goes through the ground.
So watch what you attach to tippable objects.
And then there is this thing when you are trying to amalgamate an imported object with some other object: the imported thing will return to the center point of the track after amalgamating.
to prevent this from happening, use modify geometry's (SHIFT+T) "force identity matrix" to keep the object's position during amalgamating. Did I already tell you how to amalgamate? No? Sorry.
This is how you can amalgamate things: select two or more objects you want to amalgamate together (make sure you have the object mode toggled, once an object is selected, a green rectangle appears to cover them), then press ALT+J.
PT2 asks you to write an identifier. If you are combining something with a tippable object, write tippable object's name. But if you are just dealing with solids, you can write anything you want. When you press OK, the amalgamated model will go outside track's hierarchy.
Drag it back to track's hierarchy, and then save your track.
Cleaning up the hierarchy
When you are going on with your track, you'll notice that there are loads of components in hierarchy, and you might want to clean it up a bit. There are two things you can do: The first is that you combine some parts together with that amalgamating. I think you could even mix roads and grassy areas together to the same model, because it doesn't seem to affect texture mapping.
Of course, amalgamate those only when the textures are mapped, because "Select all faces" will now select both grassy and road triangles!
Another option is, that you make "directories". Actually that's not their real name, because they are just empty models, but you can use them as directories. Let's try this: press INSERT. Choose "empty", and write a name, such as "trees", "signs", or some other name for the "directory". Click OK.
Now a new name appears in hierarchy list, and you can put all your trees under it, for example. A simple thing, which makes things cleaner, and easier to find and manage.