Track Maker's Guide

Welcome in the track making guide for Supertuxkart version 0.8.2 and upper

Note that making tracks for SuperTuxKart currently requires knowledge of Blender. If you are not at ease in Blender, it is suggested to start by following Blender tutorials.


Contents

Introduction

The objective of this page is to help you to make a track for supertuxkart 0.8.2 and upper with blender 2.7 and stk exporter version 6.0.

It is strongly recommended to read the Style Guidelines, stk universe and Licensing (if you are making tracks/karts for your personal enjoyment then you may not need this, but if you wish to submit your contributions for inclusion into SuperTuxKart having read these articles is an definite prerequisite)

Supertuxkart 0.8.2 and upper uses Antartica engine a new modern rendering engine that allow more freedom for artist. If you want more information about what's possible with the new engine you can go here

Getting started

Before jumping into the fun world of making tracks you need some tools.

See the article about Installing the tools to get the proper blender set-up. It's also a good idea to enable Artist Debug Mode.

This guide will give you several examples that can be found in the Media repository. If you wish to work on an existing track, or just see how core tracks are done, it's strongly recommended to check the Media Repository.

Converting an old track to the new engine

If you want to convert a track from SuperTuxKart 0.8 or 0.8.1 to the new engine (0.8.2), here is an outline of the procedure:

Data structure

Data are divided in two main repository. stk-assets which is where the game will find all assets, It's what is released with the game and the media repository where all .blend are stored. The media repository is never released with the game because it's useless.

A very similar tree exist with the media repository.

Modelling

Note that you need to be already somewhat familiar with blender. Tutorials are easily found with a Google search.

It's is strongly recommended to follow these step in the following order

Texture your models with UV texturing. Your texture images size must be a power of two, e.g. 512x512 or 1024x1024, in .png. Jpeg are supported but should not be used. Supertuxkart will use automatically GPU texture compression if available.

Blender procedural materials and Cycle material are not supported and most of what you enter in the material buttons window will be ignored. Vertex colors may however be used.

For static objects, most combinations of scale and rotation will export file. However please avoid giving a negative scale to objects (this is bad practice anyway).

More information about polycount, etc. can be found in the Style Guidelines

Track-wide properties

If you have installed the SuperTuxKart blender plugins as described above, a new panel called SuperTuxKart Scene Properties will appear in the properties window.

Properties panel 082.jpg

Note that in this screenshot, Is a SuperTuxKart track is checked; by default this checkbox is unchecked and many less options are visible. The first thing to do when you make a track is to check this checkbox.

This is only a general overview. The new version of stk export script has help embedded that describe each options. For a more precise information about a particular option simply put the mouse over it, a hint will appear.

Blender-export-help.jpg



Track main properties (in green)

These are the basic properties like the name of the track, the group where it will be placed, the sky texture, etc

The tracks that are shipped by default with STK are in group "standard"; add-ons have group "Add-Ons". The screenshot is displayed in the track selection menu. The screenshot file must be a 4:3 image scaled into a square size (this is because many GPUs require textures with power-of-two sides, and with powers of 2 you can't create 4:3 images).

For the sky, It's recommended to use the type box because the engine use the skybox for several light effects like reflexion or specularity as a source of colors and light

You can enable Is a battle arena if your track is an arena. The option Is a cutscene is used by the dev team to make cinematic, trailer etc. You can simply ignore it.

You can change the camera rendering distance with Camera far. It might be useful for indoor track. Note: The camera far distance will affect the Depth of field

Track advanced properties (in blue)

Advanced properties are optional, however if you want to use nice effects and make a track more interesting you might want to tune these.

Object properties

If you installed the SuperTuxKart Blender plugins as described above, a new "SuperTuxKart Properties" panel will appear for each object in the scene, in the properties window.

Blender-objet-menu.jpg


If you select a node from the library you can't change its option from the track. You have to change them in the node blend.

Properties are now classed by group. Here is a description of each group and properties

Object & LOD

See Level of Detail for more information about LOD

Lights & sun

These objects are light emitter. They are the only true light source in the game.

View in blender (green = sun casting shadows, blue = sun visible to the player

Sun-blender.jpg

Result in supertuxkart

Sun-godray.jpg

Options in blender

Stklight blender.jpg

Result in supertuxkart

Stklight stk.jpg


The green halo is due to the fact that the track has fog enabled. Without fog (like in reality) there is no halo.

Items

Items are used to give you a bonus during the race (like a booster) or to slow you down.

In blender you can easily add items and other stk related objects

Items stk.jpg

The result in stk

Item stkgrand.jpg

Cameras

SuperTuxKart supports different end cameras. For a track several cameras can be defined. The cameras will be sorted relative to the main driveline (which is where the karts will drive during end animations) - the camera closest to the beginning of the track first etc. All blender cameras will be used as end cameras, if you want a camera not to be exported, give its 'type' property the value 'ignore'. The following two camera types are currently defined:

Additionally a camera defines a property called 'start', which defines a start-sphere. If a kart comes into the start-sphere of the next end camera, this camera will replace the current camera. Note that for an 'ahead' camera the camera position you use in blender is only used to determine the start-sphere, i.e. when the camera should be activated. Once the camera is activated, it will instantly fly ahead of the kart, independent of the camera position in blender.

If you have a series of fixed cameras it is very common that the start-sphere of one camera overlaps (or covers) the previous camera. Otherwise it is likely that the previous camera will show the back of the kart, which might not be that interesting (though feel free to ignore this recommendation of course).

Other camera types might be added on request - so please let us know if you have a good idea for a different camera type.

Special effects

Trigger & AI

Animated Textures

Any objects that are part of the main track (i.e. no other special object listed here except objects of type object, see above) can mark one texture to be animated. The object must define the name of the texture in the property texture to animate, and should set the speed of movement by setting Animation X Speed and/or Animation Y Speed. See the following example:

Stk animTexture.jpg

This can be used to simulate liquids flowing like water in a river

You can also use a "movie" texture like this one, for complex effect (fire, clouds, etc). You need to enable anime the texture by step. Animation Y Speed become the number of frame in the texture (in this example 4)

Stktex animatedFire a.png


If you use a "movie" texture, it should be only for a very limited amount of frame otherwise you might have performance issues.

Material properties

If you have installed the SuperTuxKart Blender plugins as described above, you will see a new panel called "SuperTuxKart Image Properties"

TexturePanel.jpg

Properties are now separated in two groups

Display (in green)

Display properties are properties used to change the visual appearance of the texture, it's material and how it behave with lights. New materials are called shader. When you choose a shader only options relevant to this shader will be displayed.

Shaders

Global texture parameter

Interaction

Retrieved from "http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Track_Maker%27s_Guide"

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