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Make ourself "day to night transition" tracks

Discussion in 'NR2003 General Discussion' started by KikiFranLoui, May 3, 2017.

  1. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Hello there,
    I'm new in this forum. I have played Nascar Racing 2003 Season since 2005, I was 8, but I'm interested about working on the game's possibilities only since 2015. I've decided to log in this site because I'm asking myself a question for a long time now, that no one asked in this forum, I think. Does anyone know how to transform a night or a day track into a "day to night transition" track, if it's actually possible? Thank you so much for reading ;)
     
  2. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is possible and has been done already with a few tracks. The process to accomplish the day-to-night transition in a track for NR2003 is VERY labor intensive, time consuming and requires re-texturing a ton of mip files among several other things. I believe that is the reason why we do not see very many of them made anymore. It's simply way too much work and too difficult to do on the NR2003 platform.

    Go to www.smiffsden.com in the SDT and PST tracks section and get Kentucky Speedway 2011, Kentucky Speedway 2012 and Chicagoland Speedway 2011. All of those are DtN transition tracks. Revamped Reloaded also made a Daytona DtN transition track although I'm not sure where that can be downloaded since RR closed.
     
    KikiFranLoui likes this.
  3. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Thanks for your answer! Yes I know and I already have them ;) What a good news it's possible! In fact my project is to recreate and run 2007 Cup, Busch and Truck Championships in full distance on the game. I already made some races, and one of my goals is to try to realise races like Coca Cola 600, Ford 400 and others with equivalent sky changes than it was, using Nextel tracks if possible. The problem is that this didn't exist at these times. Firstly I'm hardly trying to transform the 2007 Lowe's Revamped, without finding any satisfying results. Can you just explain what do you know about the subject and what to do please? :)
     
  4. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    In the simplest terms, the track has objects and an overall environment in it that are textured to look as they would during the day. These textures for the objects, ground, horizons, skies, etc. are called mips. In Sandbox, this daytime environment and all of the objects, etc. that are in it is created on a file called a ptf. To make the transition work, you have to slowly darken the environment over a given period of time. For the sake of this very simplistic explanation, let's say there are 10 stages required to go from day to night. Each stage becomes a little darker than the previous one until you get to the final stage #10. To do that, you need to take all of these mips (and there can be up to 100 or more of them in a track) and create 10 versions of them with each version being slightly darker than the previous one. Then there is a program in the track that very slowly changes all of these mips from stage 1 (day) to stage 10 (full darkness) in such a slow subtle rate that it is barely noticeable that it is occurring until the whole place is dark.

    Trust me when I tell you that this was a very simple explanation of how it's done. There is way more to it and way beyond the capabilities of anyone starting out in track making to do it and make it look right. Not trying to discourage you, just saying that this is "advanced" track making in Sandbox.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  5. HJimenez42

    HJimenez42 Well-Known Member

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    Great info here!
    I'll take advantage of this thread to make a question: What if I want to convert a night-racing track (i.e. Richmond) to a daytime racing track? What would be the process?
     
  6. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Thank you so much! I already tested things in Sandbox, WinMip 2 and 3DOed but I had no ideas about this notion of stages. But these stages work in every race you do whatever the track or you need to create a process to have it on your modified track?
     
  7. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    These stages are not necessary in a day track. It is sunlight all the time and stays that way throughout the race. Same thing for a night track... it starts out dark/night and stays that way throughout the race.

    Now with that being said, I suppose that if someone really wanted to create an awesome daytime environment where the shading on the buildings, walls, ground, etc. starts out at 1:00 pm where the sun is high in the sky and then have the shading and shadows grow throughout the race as the sun gets lower in the sky, that would utilize the same principle as I described above. In order for this process to look realistic, one would have to keep in the race for an hour or more to start to notice the transition happening. I would guess that most people probably don't race at a track that long. ;)

    The transition process is basically like setting up an animation on an object. Kind of like what you'd see on the waving flags or the animation of the video on the Big Hoss TV screen at Texas or the one at Charlotte. Same principle. You can set the environment transition to advance as fast or slow as you want.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
    KikiFranLoui likes this.
  8. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    Take the night Richmond track and unpack the dat. Open it up in Sandbox. Go to the tab "Adjust/Track Lighting Options.." and uncheck the box for "Night Track". Then go about the long difficult process of changing all of the mips of the objects, walls, ground, etc. from night textures to day. Changing dark mips of night objects, etc. to day is a much harder process than darkening textures of day objects, etc. to night. This is probably why finding a day version of Richmond is so hard.

    Once you've re-textured the ground, walls, objects, etc. you'll need to replace all of the light pole objects with light pole objects from a day track. That's pretty much the process you'll need to follow. Good luck. (I do believe that someone has made a day version of Richmond, though). ;)
     
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  9. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Yes, there is a 2008 (I think) version made by SBP, you have the Day and the Night version ;)
     
  10. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    You are not that right, It's been a long time I didn't made short races on nr2003, or only to train ;) Yes, I understand more. So tell me if I'm wrong: each .ptf of a track contains 10 .mips of each kind of sky (cloudy, clear...etc...), for example, beacause the active mips change all along the race 10 times, but in traditional tracks, all these mips are the same because the environement don't evoluate significantly. So what I have to do is to create a progressive scale of 10 mips? And I have some questions: Why are there 79 dtn_sky.mip files for "day to night transition" tracks and how long does the stages dure during the races?? :)
     
  11. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    I only used the number "10" as an example. There can and probably will be many more than that, hence the example of Revamped Reloaded's DtN transition tracks using 79 mips to transition the sky from day-to-night. They have a separate object for the sky (sky.3do) and it's an animated object. The speed for that sky.3do animation is set in the ptf file. The more mips you have to make that gradual transition from day to night the smoother, more subtle and realistic looking it will appear. BUT... the sky isn't the only thing that needs to transition. Just about every single object and the ground needs to be animated as well. Otherwise the sky will be dark, but the ground and all of the objects will still be bright as day. That would not look very realistic, so they have to be animated as well.

    As you can see this is a very detailed undertaking and I have attempted to explain it and very simple and non-complicated way. However, this is as far as I'm willing to go on this subject as I could be writing explanations for pages and pages. I merely wanted to give you an overview of how it's done. :)
     
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  12. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    Yeah unlike modern day games where we take things like shadows, ambient occlusion, and overall light for granted it all must be done manually in NR2003. Every mip must be redone to reflect whatever time of day setting you have. It is a super long process which requires a lot of repeating the same thing over and over again.
     
  13. S. Yogurt

    S. Yogurt Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if there's a way to use a batch file to darken textures a few dozen at a time. Without much knowledge of how that would work, it might at least speed up the process. Really makes you appreciate all the work that goes into building a track.
     
  14. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Yes and thank you so much for all of that, maybe it was simple, but at least thanks to your explainations, I understood some principles I wouldn't have suspected. Sorry for answering you too late, but I had lot of things to do last days. But do you think I have to modify the sky.3DO file to make it work with more mips?
     
  15. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Hello there,
    Let's talk back about this request, I have a new question :p
    I've succeed to import the "Day to Night sky" 3do on my track from an other one thanks to sandbox. When I launch the track in the game, the sky is the right 3do but a problem remains, it doesn't progress, all along the race only the first .mip appear...is a .pth file or something like that required to make the transition work correctly?

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  16. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Hello there, I hope you had a merry Christmas and you'll have a happy New Year!

    I wanted you to know that I finally found a satisfying solution on mid august after hours and big parts of nights spent on researching! I imported a "Day to Night" sky from a Reload Revamped or SDT (...etc) track to an other night (or nighted) track with success, and it's not so hard to do, just had to find it!

    How do I do??

    Firstly, with WinMip2 I Unpack the .dat file of the track having the "day to night sky" I want and the one of the track I'd like to transfom. Then, in the Unpack folder of the transitioning track, I copy the appropriate 3do file for a transitioning sky (dtn_sky.3do, 24h_sky.3do...no matter the name) with its 79 or 80 dtn_sky.mip to paste them into the Unpack folder of the other track. Afterwards I open the .ptf file of my new track with Sandbox and go to "Object Placement View". I right-click near the track and click on "Add Track Side Objects" and choose the dtn_sky 3do to put it at the best place in relation to the track area. I help myself with the camera view. Then comes the most decisive step of the manœuvre, THE MOST IMPORTANT TO KNOW! In the "Object Parameters" Box, I click on "Fixed object" and then I tap "animation" (or anithing else) as the name of the animation and put 256 as "Number of frames" and 0.011 or 0.022 as "Frames per second", depending on the natural speed of the animation. THIS IS THE KEY, IF YOU NEGLECT THIS STEP, YOUR ANIMATION WON'T WORK AT ALL! And finally I save the work, copy the .ptf and the sky .mips and .3do past all in the track's folder and then open the game to test in race session! That's all folks ;)

    If you have questions, answer them :)
     
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  17. J.R.Franklin

    J.R.Franklin Well-Known Member

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    Good for you, man! That's how you learn how to do things like this.... by research and hands-on experimentation.
     
  18. KikiFranLoui

    KikiFranLoui Member

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    Thank you too man, you helped me so much to understand all that business and put me on the way! It's been a long serie of tentatives, trying and trying again until, after months it finally worked on a Nashville Superspeedway track! If you want some of the tracks I modified, you can ask me for it ;)
     
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