Thursday, June 21, 2012

Placing lotsa lofts

So you downloaded a loft. You are probably thinking "Wow, this is going to be so cool. I am going to save time by following tracks, roads, mountain goat trails.... um... yea"

Well you can.

But you can't follow the goats. (are there goats in RW?)

Anywho... five simple steps to lofting!

Here on the left side we have bare track. You need to open up the editor and pin down all three left fly-outs.

Step one is to select an area of the track. Click on the 'Select' tool from the 'Linear Object Tools' toolbox and select the length of track you want the loft to cover. In this case since we are using my concrete track pad lofts I would advise selecting a slightly larger length of track or you may find the loft is too short. I'll talk about this some more near the end.

Now select the 'Offset' tool. This will turn the selection into a yellow widget with arrows. We want to add this loft to the center of the track, so enter '0.001' (it will not like 0), in the 'Track Offset' field (bottom fly-out), then select 'Scenery' (because that is where I put my loft... others may vary), then select the loft item you want to use, and click on the arrow you want the loft to offset to.

In this case its the center of the track, but you can use these same steps and enter '3.0' in the offset field and add a platform on the side of the track you want. Finally you will need lower the loft until you see the thin yellow network lines of the track (they usually show up).

So why select a larger length, and why do you need to lower the loft? When I made this loft I used an invisible cross section and added my 10ft concrete pad as middleware. I did this instead of making the texture follow the cross section because the pad are square in real life. If I made a single texture loft it would have curved with the track. Because its middleware the loft will not be able to cut off part of the model so it simple shows what it can fit within the are you selected. The reason why you need to lower the loft is a bit harder to explain. It seems when a loft follows a network it wants to be above its center. I tried to offset this in 3DCrafter but it did not seem to work. Honestly I did not put a lot of time into it so there may be a way to correct this, but the model is already released, and it would mess up the users which are already using the model.

Extra Credit: Since my lofts are freeware (please remember what that means) there is a way to clone one of my lofted items and replace the middleware with a different child.

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