Creating a Minimap

From Custom Mario Kart
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is a part of the Custom Track Tutorial. Back to the main tutorial page.


This page will guide you through the process of creating a minimap model. The minimap, in-game, might look like an image, but it is actually a 3D model displayed from the top on the corner of your screen.

Using CTools and Wiimms SZS Tools

Step 1: Creating a Minimap Model

To make your minimap model, you should usually start from the optimized collision model; starting from the normal course model is also possible. To do this in SketchUp, make a copy of your original SKP (SketchUp file) and name it with a descriptive name. In your new file, remove any and all meshes that should not appear in your minimap in-game; this includes walls, offroad sections, fall boundaries and possibly shortcuts (it is up to you if you want to make them appear in your minimap or not). Leave only the models which represent the main road. You might also want to include objects in your map model, such as red and green mushrooms from Mushroom Gorge. For more information on this, check the KMP tutorial and Object.

After you have removed everything that should not appear in the minimap (and possibly added extra stuff you want there), delete every texture from SketchUp's material window, leaving everything with the blank default material. Export the OBJ the same way you exported the course model OBJ.

Step 2: Importing the Minimap Model

It is recommended to use the CTools Pack's BRRES Editor to import your map model. The process is similar to importing a course model, as we did in the Creating a BRRES with CTools tutorial; however, you should check the "map model" option. Save the file as map_model.brres and overwrite the previous one if needed.

Step 3: Fixing positions with Wiimms SZS Tools

The BRRES file created in the previous step does not display correctly in-game; the map appears incorrectly and out of place. You must fix and center it using Wiimms SZS Tools. Use one of the commands (the first one is recommended):

    wszst minimap --auto FILE
    wszst normalize TRACK.szs --minimap
Where FILE can be a SZS, U8, BRRES or MDL0 file and TRACK.szs is a SZS file. More details about the minimap command and the --auto option can be found on Wiimms SZS Homepage.
If you have used the bottom code and you got an error opening the SZS in CTools or SZS Modifier such as "Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow", then you should try again using the top code.

With the new file imported, your minimap should display correctly in-game now.


With your minimap working, proceed to the Solidity article to begin work on your collision model and KCL file. Refer back to this tutorial as needed, in case you need to come back to working on your map model.

Additional/Advanced Topics

Create minimaps with darker areas

Multicolor minimap used in N64 Koopa Troopa Beach (zilly). (Texture Method)

A multicolor minimap is useful to show things like offroad location and submarine paths.

With vertex colors
  • You can paint vertex colors onto your model in 3ds Max or other advanced 3D Tool and export your model as a DAE. Import your model into BrawlBox.
With textures
  • Make a minimap model similar to the one described above, but instead of having no textures, it should have two: one for "regular" map and another for the darker one. Import it using CTools as course model (not map).
Replacing the bones
  • Open a map model from another (Nintendo or custom) track with BrawlBox and export the three bones from the MDL0: "map" and the two children "posLD" and "posRU".
  • Now open your map model, rename the model from "course" to "map" and import the first bone over the existing one; name the first one "map" and then right click and select "Add New Child" twice (you can also use twice the sequence Ctrl+Alt+N); now replace these references, posLD first and posRU second, naming them accordingly.
  • The last thing is replacing textures. You only have to do this if you used the texture method. Otherwise, you are done. Create two 8x8 pixels images, one with white color and the second gray (any shade) or black; replace the "regular" map's texture with white and the other with gray/black in BrawlBox (both CMPR format).

Now you can save and fix the positions with Wiimms Tools as described above, import the file in your track's SZS and test in-game. This can also be done to create minimaps with various colors (other than gray) for battle arenas. Track maps cannot be colored as the game forces them grayscale.

Change the Minimap Colors

Wii Layout Editor can change the colors for you. This will change the color of the map in your entire game.

  • Extract the "game_image" folder from Race.szs (including all subfolders, otherwise the program will not be able to open the file).
  • Open Wii Layout Editor.
  • Click "Open" and go to the "blyt" folder you just extracted.
  • Open "common_w40_map_set_position.brlyt".
  • On the left side, click the "+" next to "Brlyt".
  • Click the "+" next to "Mat1".
  • Click on "race_null".
  • On the left side, click on the numbers inside "BackColor".
  • You can either start typing in a value here or you can press "..." and choose a color.
With gradient
  • Follow the same steps as above until you have clicked the "+" next to "Brlyt".
  • Click on the "+" next to "RootPane" and click on "race_null".
  • On the left side, find the "Vertex Colors" section, where there is a value for each corner of the minimap color.
  • You can change the colors for each corner of the minimap by clicking "..." next to each value.