Segments and Stripes
Segments are the track building blocks. Segments are created and deleted with the New Segment and Delete Segment buttons in the Control Panel.
When you create a new Segment, it’s appended to the one currently selected; if the selected Segment is in the middle of the track, the new one is inserted into the track just after the selected one; the newly created Segment inherits the Stripes and Materials characteristics of the selected one. When you click the Delete Segment button, the currently selected Segment is removed from the track; the Segment just after the selected one is appended to the previous one so that the track is always continuous.
The selected Segment can be modified directly from the Track Preview window: press the 'm' key on the keyboard and then select the Segment endpoint position by clicking the mouse in the Track Preview window; TKD3 will bend and rotate the Segment so that its endpoint follows the mouse pointer.
To modify the currently selected Segment properties, click the Modify Segment button to open the Segment/Stripes Editor.
The top controls in the Segment/Stripes Editor modify the global Segment properties. From left to right, you can control:
- X, Y and Z: The Segment endpoint coordinates (in meters), in the TKD3 coordinate system; track lies in the XZ plane, where X is positive to the right (east), Z goes down (south) and Y is the altitude (OpenGL conventions); if you modfy these values, TKD3 will bend and rotate the Segment accordingly; please note that you cannot control the Segment startpoint coordinates because the Segment starts where the previous one ends, so in that case you should modify the previous one endpoint coordinates (the first Segment starts always at 0, 0, 0)
- Alfa: The Segment endpoint orientation, expressed as the angle (in degrees) between the final endpoint direction and the North (up) direction; if you modify this value, TKD3 will rotate the Segment so that its length remains the same but its final direction matches the angle inserted; the endpoint coordinates will be recalculated accordingly
- Beta: Currently unused
- Slop: (READ ONLY) Shows the Segment medium slope; this value is read only, it cannot be directly changed because it’s controlled by the Y endpoint coordinate
- Leng: The Segment length in meters; if you modify this value, TKD3 will maintain the final direction of the Segment, changing its length and the endpoint coordinates accordingly
- Copy Succ: Copies the current Segment properties related to Stripes in the following Segment (if any)
- Copy Prec: Copies the current Segment properties related to Stripes in the previous Segment (if any)
Below the top controls, a second set of controls can be find in the Segment/Stripe Editor to edit properties of Stripes subdividing this Segment. The < Left and Right > controls can be used to manually select the Stripe you want to modify (you can always select the current Segment/Stripe combination directly from the Track Preview window, but sometime you may need to select a particular Stripe with better precision). Each Segment is subdivided into 64 Stripes, numbered from -32 to +31 (Stripe number 0 is the reference or central Stripe).
The left and right columns of controls (Xend, Xstart, Yend and so on) represent the current Stripe width and relative coordinates into the Segment. These values are the offsets from the Segment startpoint and endpoint of the Stripe sides:
- X(start/end): The left and right Stripe offsets from the Segment center line; a negative value means “to the left”, a positive value “to the right”; as an example, a Stripe with values -8, 8 (left, right) has a width of 16 meters and spans 8 meters to the left of the Segment centerline and 8 to the right; a Stripe with values 5, 10 (left, right) has a width of 5 meters and is placed 5 meters to the right of the Segment centerline; you can specify different offsets for the Stripe startpoint and endpoint (Xstart and Xend) so that a Stripe can start with a width and finish with a different one
- Y(start/end): The left and right Y (height) offsets of the Stripe from the Segment center line (default: 0); these values can be changed to create banking in Stripes, useful for kerbs or banked turns; as an example, in a Segment representing a (piece of) right turn you may want to add some positive Y offset to the left side and some negative one to the right side of tarmac Stripe(s) to design a parabolic turn; please note that these controls represent offsets and should be used only for banking, if you need to modify the whole Segment altitude use the top left global (Segment) Y control
- Z(start/end): Normally Z offsets should be left to 0, especially for “track” Stripes. Such offsets can be used to start or finish “early” the Stripe, useful when you need to design tight corners and you find that inner Stripes are “wrapping around” (more on this topic later)
- Rectify: This toggle button rectifies the left or right side of the Stripe,useful if you’re designing a curved Segment but you want some Stripes to have straight limits
The central set of controls changes the Stripe attributes. The Mat control (along with its < and > buttons), the most important, changes the Stripe Material; the controls below modify additional information:
- Link: Connects the Stripe, modifying its XYZ Offsets, to the corresponding one in the next/previous Segment. “Track” Stripes are always connected
- (Out)Track: Flags the fact that the current Stripe is a “track” or an “out-track” one. Middle Stripes are usually “track” ones, ouside Stripes are “out-track”. You cannot directly modify the current Stripe type, however you can create (or delete) new “track” or “out-track” Stripes using the New and Delete buttons (see below)
- Copy: Copies the Stripe attributes to/from the corresponding one in the next/previous Segment
- Pitlane flag: Stripes intended to be outside the normal track course but accessible when entering/exiting the pits must be flagged “Pitlane”. Pay attention to the fact that the starting and ending point of a “Pitlane” must be connected to the track, otherwise weird results will happen
- Pits flag: Stripes intended to be the pits (ie where cars should stop when refuelling or changing tyres)
- Outrun flag: As explained before, Stripes normally to be avoided by cars, as an example grass lanes around the track or gravel traps. This control overrides Material settings
- Wall flag: Stripes “extruded” from the reference plane. You can control the actual wall height (the Hwall control, in meters) and the Materials (the two Mat controls below) that should be used for the left and right sides of the wall. Please note that, because cars and other live objects aren't allowed to reach “out-track” Stripes, VGP3 will always consider the leftmost and rightmost “track” Stripes as walls (in order to confine objects to the “track” part)
- Tile flag: As explained before, changes the way Stripes are texture-mapped. This control overrides Material settings
The remaining controls modify the lighting conditions (LL and LR controls) of the Stripe four corners (1.0 = default lighting), and offsets (O controls) that can be added to texture coordinates in order to better control how texture are applied to Stripes.
- New and Delete buttons
The Delete button can be used to delete the current Stripe. In that case, the current Stripe will be removed; if it’s a “track” Stripe, the adjacent one will be extended so that it’ll cover the area previously occupied by the deleted one.
NOTE: if you remove a Stripe it’ll be removed all over the track, and not just in the current Segment!
The New button creates a new 0-width Stripe, in the same position of the current one. “0-width” means that the newly created Stripe will have no width (left and right XYZ offsets will be the same) and no Materials associated with it, so that the current track shape will not be altered until you manually modify the new Stripe attributes.
Given the fact that, at any time, you can always access all the 64 Stripes of a Segment, there is normally just one reason to create a new Stripe: you need to add something “in the middle” of the Segment, maybe you need to add “track” Stripes while retaining what you have already done in the “out-track” ones.
As an example, you may want to add a “kerb” Stripe to a track previously made of just three “track” ones (grass-tarmac-grass). In that case, select, say, the right “grass” Stripe, then click “New”: a new 0-width “track” Stripe will be inserted between the “tarmac” and the “right-grass” ones, now you can assign it a kerb Material and modify its width/height.
NOTE: if you create a new Stripe, it’ll be created all over the track, and not just in the current Segment! Moreover, even if you “create” a new Stripe, the maximum number of available Stripes remains 64; this means that if you have already used all available Stripes and you “create” a new one, the newly created Stripe will be correctly inserted where you want but one of the outmost ones will be removed!