Making tracks for games like MX vs ATV Reflex is a lot more complicated then people think. Many people think THQ can include a track editor for the console versions of the game. There are a lot of pieces and parts to a track. If there was a track editor included the tracks would be very simple and not very fun.

To make a track there is fairly simple set of skills required to get started, but it requires lots of patience and the willingness to try things over and over again. Once you can make a basic track, the skills required to make it ride well and look good increases tremendously. Lots of people that try get frustrated and quit. The good news is that it's easy to get started and it's easy to figure out if you will like doing what it really takes to make a good track.

Paint Programs:

The first thing is you need a paint program. This will let you create your displacement map and textures.

Several textures required for making Reflex tracks require using an extended BMP format (BMP's with alpha channels). Some programs support them and some do not.

Displacement Map/Height Map editor:

Reflex requires a higher resolution displacement map. You need to be working in at least 16 bits in order to get smooth results. The Reflex Track Compiler reads in a 24 bit bitmap. The old MCM 2 type of displacement maps that are gray scale are 8 bits stored in a 24 bit format, and they have very large steps between each of the 256 levels.

When working with an existing 256x256 MCM 2 type of displacement map and you resize it so that it is the correct size in the 2048x2048 Reflex world you will end up with stair steps. Those need to be smoothed out. I will be releasing a tool that will enable to you look at your displacement map and try various degrees of smoothing. There are other tools that will let you edit Displacement Maps/Height Maps and they are listed here. As we identify ones that work well I will add them to the list.
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