Layout Creator 2.0

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PageHeader LayoutCreator.png

The New Layout Creator added in Final version of BallisticNG in december 2018 simplifies the track creation.

Arrow Introduction

The Layout Creator is an in-game tool that lets you very quickly build and playtest new track layouts in real-time. The editor uses splines to generate your track so all you need to do is place down nodes and move them about to get creating. This page covers everything you need to know from basic camera controls all all the way to the process of exporting your track ready for the Ballistic Unity Tools.

It's important to note that this tool is only for building the layout, you do not make the final playable track at this stage. If you're using the editor in the game's demo then you will not be able to export your track, only save it.

Arrow Camera controls

The camera is controlled using the keyboard and mouse, if you're used to first person shooters then you'll feel right at home controlling the camera.

To take control of the camera you hold down the right mouse button, with it held down move the mouse and you can look around. While still holding the right mouse button use W, S, A and D to move the camera. Q and E can also be used for vertical movement. While controlling the camera like this you can also use the scroll wheel to change the base camera speed and holding down left shift will further increase your movement speed, adjusting your movement speed will be more vital when you want to quickly move around your track and slow down to focus on specific points.

Arrow Get to grips

Before you begin using the tools it's a good idea to understand what you're doing to build tracks in the first place.

The layout creator uses splines to generate the track, splines are basically just paths that you lay out. To lay out your path you use nodes, these are points which tell the editor key positions that you want the track to pass through. You can create as many paths as you want, these are referred to as routes in the editor.

Routes by default will snap to each other so you can move the entrance or exit of a route near the side of another path and it will automatically create an entrance/exit for you! Routes can also either be open or closed, by default they’re open. The difference between the two types is that open means the route can have a dead end while a closed one will loop back round on itself.

So now that you know the basics of how this all works you’re ready to get creating!

Arrow Terminology

This section is a work in progress!

There are several terms that you will come across when learning how to use the Layout Creator. This table gives you a rundown of which each one means.

Term Meaning
Node A node is a point in 3D that determines where your track is going. These are represented in the editor as the spheres that you interact with.
Route A route is a collection of nodes that make up a bit of track. Routes can be detached from each other or connected through the use of junctions
Junction A junction is a bit of track where two routes connect together. These are automatically generated for you if you move the first/last route in a node near a piece of track that is in another route.
Active Route The active route is the route you are currently working with. When you select a node it changes the active route to the route that the node you selected is in.
Tangent Tangents are points in 3D space relative to a node that define how the track flows through that node. These can be adjusted to increase node tension and the angles at which the track approaches a given node.

Arrow Reference Image Plane

The reference image plane shows an image that you can load to display in the editor (useful if you've already got a layout you've drew). The file path to the image is saved in your CTL file so make sure you don't move the file if you want it to be present again next time you open your layout!

To load an image navigate to File -> Open and then select a PNG file. Please note that only PNG files are supported! You can update the image by opening it again.

To remove the reference image navigate to Edit -> Clear Reference Image

See the hotkey reference below or in-game for the reference image plane controls.

Arrow Hotkey Reference

General Tools

Action Binding
Toggle Grid Snap G
Decrease Grid Size , (comma)
Increase Grid Size . (period)
Set/Remove Straight Lock L
Undo Ctrl + Z
Redo Ctrl + Y
Toggle Play Mode F2

Camera

Nota : you need to hold Mouse Button 2 for camera mode.

Action Binding
Move Foward W
Move Backwards S
Move Left A
Move Right D
Move Down Q
Move Up E
Speed Up Left Shift
Change Speed Scroll Mousewheel

Reference Image Plane

Action Bindings
Move On X/Z R + Space + Mouse
Move On Y Left Shift + R + Space + Mouse
Scale Left Shift + R
Lock Transform Double Tap R

Selection Tool

Action Bindings
Select Left Click
Add To Selection Shift + Left Click
Remove To Selection Ctrl + Left Click
Clear Selection Backspace

Node Tool

Action Binding Additionnal Notes
Add Node A Adds a new node at the end of the active route.
Insert Node S Inserts a new node in the active route. Uses the first node in the selection and inserts it between it and the next node in the route if there is one.
Delete Node D Deletes the selected nodes. Deleting every node in a route will delete the route. Deleting a single node will select the last node in the route the deleted node is part of.
Add Route At Mouse Shift + A Creates a new route at the mouses position and rotates it to face in the cameras direction.
Add Node In Place Ctrl + A Adds a new node to the active route at the cursors position.
Move in X/Z Space Moves the selected nodes along the X and Z axes relative to the cameras rotation.
Move in Y (Up/Down) Shift + Space Moves the selected nodes along the Y Axis.
Tilt T + Mouse Horizontal Adjusts the tracks tilt through the selected nodes.
Tilt 90 Degrees Shift + T Increases the selected nodes tilt by 90 degrees.
Reset Tilt Ctrl + T Resets the selected nodes tilt to zero degrees.
Adjust Tangent Distance F + Mouse Horizontal Adjusts the selected nodes bezier tangent positions, useful for controlling the tension of curves.
Adjust Tangent Yaw Shift + F + Mouse Horizontal Adjusts the selected nodes beizer tangent yaw, useful for fine tuning the flow of tracks.
Adjust Tangent Pitch Ctrl + F + Mouse Horizontal Adjusts the selected nodes beizer tangent pitch, useful for fine tuning the flow of tracks.
Toggle Left Wall [ Toggles the left wall for the selected nodes. Disabling the wall will remove it from the node with the wall disabled to the next node.
Toggle Right Wall ] Toggles the right wall for the selected nodes. Disabling the wall will remove it from the node with the wall disabled to the next node.
Toggle Side Connection P Toggles side snapping for the selected nodes. Using this allows you to create routes that run alongside each other in parallel.
Toggle Maglock M Toggles the magnetic lock for the selected nodes. This allows you to debug the feature before implementing it later in Unity.
Toggle Jump J Skips track section generation between the selected nodes and their next nodes.
Flatten To First Selection H Requires multiple nodes to be selected! Takes the height of the first node in the selection and copies it to all other nodes in the selection.

Track Shape Tools

Action Binding
Modify Left Floor Width Q + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Left Floor Height Shift + Q + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Left Wall Width Control + Q + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Left Wall Width Ctrl + Shift + Q + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Right Floor Width E + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Right Floor Height Shift + E + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Right Wall Width Control + E + Mouse Horizontal
Modify Right Wall Width Ctrl + Shift + E + Mouse Horizontal

Route Tools

Action Binding Notes
Toggle Entrance Snap Shift + [ Toggles the junction snapping function for the active routes entrance.
Toggle Exit Snap Shift + ] Toggles the junction snapping function for the active routes exit.
Toggle Route Closed C Toggles whether the active route is closed. A closed route will loop back round to its first section.
Set Section Link V Lets you toggle a continue link to another route. Select the node in one route, another node in different route and press V to have the first route connect its exit to the second.