How to set a Map Background Image

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How to set a Map Background Image

Postby RaceRender LLC » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:57 pm

There are three ways to overlay a RaceRender map plot onto a background image:

Basic (when no zooming or rotation options are in use)

1) Bring the background image into RaceRender as its own display object.
2) Use the display object controls (double-click to open the properties box) to align your track map plot above it, adjust the sizes as needed, etc.
. a) If you need to stretch either display a bit to make it fit better, un-check the "Maintain Aspect Ratio" checkbox.


Advanced (needed when using zoom and/or rotate options, and provides other capabilities)

This capability is available in RaceRender 3.3, and requires the Ultimate Edition

Note: This will be easier if you capture a map background image that covers a slightly larger area than needed. It can also be useful for it to be high resolution.

1) Configure your track map plot in RaceRender as you want it, and make sure that the "Draw Map" option is enabled for now.
2) In the track map plot's properties box, click the background image (box to the right of the "Label:" text), and import your map background image.
3) Click the "Preview Entire Object" box to see how RaceRender's plot lines up with your image.
4) Use the Rotate option to match the background image rotation to the plot rotation, if applicable.
5) Use the Zoom-In feature to match the background image size to the plot size.
6) Use the horizontal and vertical scroll bars to adjust the position of the background image so that it matches the plot.
7) Check the alignment (toggle "Preview Entire Object" turn the map plot on/off), and repeat steps 4-7 for additional fine-tuning, if necessary.

Note: If you don't want RaceRender to draw the track outline, RaceRender 3.3 and newer will enable you to simply un-check the "Draw Map" option, and then only the vehicle position will be marked. (Version 3.2.2 and prior have an issue where doing this might not show the entire map background).

If you make any changes to certain map display object options (other than zoom), then you may find that you need to repeat the above steps. In many cases, the background image and settings you created should also work for other sessions on the same track configuration, but some situations might need you to recreate it. You could simplify reuse by exporting this track map display object as a new style, and then just use that for any other sessions at that track.


Manual (use this if you need maximum control and precision)

This capability requires the Ultimate Edition

In a nutshell, you'll use image editing software to get your map background image centered and the right proportions (with the help of an overlay image exported by RaceRender), and then you can import that result into RaceRender as a background image. In actual practice, this is a bit more involved to do for a map image than doing it for something else (like a gauge background), but I was able to accomplish it using the steps below:

1) Configure your track map plot in RaceRender as you want it, and make sure that the "Draw Map" option is enabled for now.
. a) If you wish to use the Rotate Map option, it is important to have this enabled now, as it will change the plot size. Seek the preview to a portion where you are driving straight North, so that the map plot image is again oriented the normal way (this is to match the orientation of your desired map background image).
2) Right click on the track map display object, select "Export Object Snapshot", and then save it to a file. (This will create a 32 BPP Bitmap image that you can open with an image editor.)
3) Open your desired background image in a multi-layer image editing program (GIMP, Photoshop, etc).
4) Add your RaceRender map plot image (the one you exported) as a new layer on top of it.
5) Align your map background and plot layers so that they match up. Make any needed size adjustments to the background image only; do not change the size of the RaceRender map plot layer.
6) Crop the map background layer to be centered under your RaceRender map plot layer.
. a) How to do this in GIMP (as of version 2.8.10):
. . 1) Go to the "Layers" window and click to select the top layer (the RaceRender map plot overlay).
. . 2) Use the selection tool to carefully select just this top layer (to match its yellow outline box); using "Select All" will not work.
. . 3) Go to the "Image" menu and select "Crop to Selection".
7) Remove or hide your RaceRender map plot layer.
8) Save the resulting map background image in an image file format that RaceRender supports (like JPEG).
9) In RaceRender, open the track map plot's properties box, click the background image (box to the right of the "Label:" text), and import the map background image you just saved.
. a) You can double-check the sizing by checking the "Preview Entire Object" box, and then adjust the zoom level if needed.

Note: If you don't want RaceRender to draw the track outline, RaceRender 3.3 and newer will enable you to simply un-check the "Draw Map" option, and then only the vehicle position will be marked. (Version 3.2.2 and prior have an issue where doing this might not show the entire map background).

If you make any changes to certain map display object options (other than zoom), then you may find that you need to repeat the above steps. In many cases, the background image you created should also work for other sessions on the same track configuration, but some situations might need you to recreate it. You could also simplify reuse by exporting this track map display object as a new style, and then just use that for any other sessions at that track.
Last edited by RaceRender LLC on Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Updated
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