Basic TKD3 Concepts
There are four key concepts you should understand before starting to create a new track: Segments, Stripes, Materials and Objects.
A TKD3 track is made up of Segments. A Segment is a piece of track of some length with a constant radius of curvature. If you have some experience with slot cars racing, you can think of Segments as slot cars track blocks; but with two important differences: Segments can take any length and any curvature radius. A TKD3 track is assembled connecting many Segments together. There is currently no limit to the number of Segments a track can be made with; however, the last Segment must be connected seamlessly to the first one (TKD3 currently supports only closed-loop tracks).
Segments are laterally subdivided into Stripes. Stripes are used to assign different “material zones” to Segments. As an example, a Segment can be made of five Stripes: one central “tarmac” Stripe (the track itself), two lateral “grass” Stripes and two further lateral “wall” Stripes. There are two types of Stripes: “track” and “out-track” Stripes; “track” Stripes are zones that cars or other live objects are allowed to reach, “out-track” Stripes, on the opposite, are only visual, they are showed by the 3d engine but cars and objects aren’t allowed to reach them. As an example, in the previous case you may want to add some additional “external grass or trees” Stripes outside the “walls”, these areas won’t be reachable by cars but will be displayed by the 3d engine. A Segment, currently, can have up to 64 Stripes, either “track” or “out-track” ones.
Note: Because cars and other live objects aren't allowed to reach “out-track” Stripes, VGP3 will consider the leftmost and rightmost “track” Stripes as walls (in order to confine objects to the “track” part)
Materials are what Stripes are made of; before starting to create a new track you should define some of them. When you create Segments, you can assign Materials to Stripes. Materials are made up of two parts: a visual part and a physical part. The visual part controls how Stripes made of a particular Material should look into the 3d engine (colors, textures, and so on); TKD3 imports directly A3e (the VGP3 3d engine) materials for the visual part. The physical info, on the opposite, controls how cars or objects should interact with such zones (roughness, grip, and so on). Of course, the physical info is important only for Materials used for “track” Stripes.
Objects can be placed around in the track, in order to enrich the final track quality and/or to represent real structures (buildings, bridges, trees and so on). TKD3 imports directly A3e (the VGP3 3d engine) objects. Objects can be of two types: “visual” or “live” ones. The first type of Objects is simply displayed by the 3d engine, but no interaction happens with cars (these Objects should be placed in zones not reachable by cars, and usually represent bridges, grandstands or other “external” structures); “live” Objects have some dynamical info associated with them and will interact with cars and other “live” Objects.