Modding NHeat - Pitcrew

Some nice enhancement on a mod would be to have a customized pitcrew - that's those blocky guys that use to change your tires in the pits ;-). Fortunatly, all pitcrew related content is stored in pitcrew.res in Heat's data/run folder So all we have to do is to crack it open by using WinresToolsWizard's RESCRACK mode and have a look at it

  • There's a lot of PAM and BAM files in there. Those are 3D files of a special kind; you cannot load them to Zmodeler. Those PAM files define the pitcrew 3D model and BAM it's movements. So unfortunatly, we won't be able to work on the pitguys' 3D model or their movements

  • There's MOD files in pitcrew which we could load to Zmodeler und thus work on them
    • gun.mod is the screwdriver's 3D model
    • gascan.mod is the fuelcan's 3D model
    • catchcan.mod
    • pittire.mod - you should replace the object in that MOD file by some of your mod's custom tires. Preferably by some tire1.mod file
    • jackh/jackb.mod - the car-jack's 3D model

  • TEX files for the pitcrew's and it's tools 3D model's textures
For customizing at least the pitcrew's suits, we'd need to work on pitcrew.tex. And that's fairly easy to do, as there's a template for this purpose out there
  • get pitcrew template (thanks to TWChad for the template)
  • load it to your graphics editor program
  • customize it to your needs
  • save the result as 24 bit TGA pitguy.tga file
  • Use WinresToolsWizard's MKTEX mode to convert it to TEX format
  • copy the resulting pitguy.tex to the folder where you had extracted pitcrew.res to
  • Use WinresToolsWizard's MKRES mode to create a new pitcrew.res from that folder's content
  • Copy your new pitcrew.res to your mod's main folder

FR2K mod's pitcrew
using original NASCAR Heat pittire.mod

SCGTS mod's pitcrew
using customized pittire.mod

If you'd like to have team specific pitcrews for certain or all cars in your mod, you'll have to paint a pitguy template for each one of the cars. Save and convert it the same way described above. Then rename it to the car number the pitcrew has been made for: The pitcrew file assigned to car #30 (corresponding car paint file = car30.tex) for example would have to be saved as 30.tex.

Pack each team specific pitcrew TGA to pg.res; put pg.res to your mod's main folder.

Modding NHeat - Victory Scene

Another nice mod feature would be having a customized victory scene - that's what you'll get displayed at the end of a race in NHeat if you have managed to win arace: your pitcrew cheers at your car on some kind of podium.

Now we know we cannot change the pitcrew's behaviour or 3D models; we CAN change it's suits. But there's more to it on customizing victory scene. The biggest part of that scene is static 3D - and that we can work on.

Like all the pitcrew releated stuff is stored in pitcrew.res, all victory scene related stuff is stored in victory.res in Heat's data/run folder. So we just have to crack that one open by using RESCRACK and have a look at it's content. Once again there's some PAM/BAM files that we cannot customize, but most of all there's a lot of TEX files. And
  • victory.mod
For customizing the victory scene, you'll have to load victory.mod to Zmodeler and work on it's 3D objects and mappings. It would be nice to have some template for the textures, and - tataa - there IS some template, thanks to Blaxman After having customized 3D model and/or textures, export the model to victory.mod, then create a new victory.res. Remember to put in your new texture files as well. Copy the resulting new victory.res to your mod's main folder

FR2K mod
using default NASCAR Heat victory.res

SCGTS mod's pitcrew
using customized victory.res
Modding NHeat - Car Shadows

The default car shadow that NHeat displays on the track shows the rather blocky shape of a stockcar. In case of mods where the car(s) have a rather different shape - for example for open wheel cars - it would be nice to have a custom car shadow

For displaying shadows NHeat probably uses a flat plane (MOD ?) which the alpha channeled texure file carshad.tex (located in race.res) is mapped to. Unfortunatly NHeat will always only use carshad.tex for displaying car shadows, no matter what car type... which means there's no way to have car specific shadows on a multicar mod.

Customized shadow for this GroupC car
Never made it to the mod, though

But since that shadow shape is just a TEX file, it can at least easily be customized

The default carshad.tex's source TGA file looks something like that. Basically it's a stockcar's outline, with a little shape added. Notice that the shadow is a little wider on the back (left) than on the front (right) to match the car's streamlined shape

The TGA has transparent background; the shadow shape has less than 100% opacity. On it's border it is blurred, so there's no sharp edged transition

Though the default stockcar's length/width ratio is somewhat like 2.25:1, the default shadow's outline in carshad.texis almost square. Obviously the stockcar has been squeezed to fit sharshad.tex's square dimensions

This is what the carshad.tex's source TGA from some open wheel mod would look like.

Again you can clearly see that the car's outline has been squeezed (or rather it's width stretched) to the TGA's square dimensions.

It probably needs some trial and error testing to get a custom carshad.tex look right

Remember that you'll have convert your custom carshad.tga to carshad.tex by using MKTEX, and put that new carshad.tex back to race.res. That now customized race.res has to be copied to your mod's main folder

[ Pitcrew ]