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Topics - pleclair

1
RIDE is falling apart by the day on steam.  Milestone is absent and do nothing to fix all the problems with their game, and there are a lot of unhappy customers, me included.

I tried getting a refund, but its impossible.  So I'm actively promoting gpbikes in their popular forum.  You will likely see some new people around, so please be nice to them :)



2
As I cannot start working on the nord yet, I thought I would get myself familiar with the rest of the process of getting a track into the game here, and I tried to convert silverstone-international from AC.  Well I succeeded, and I drove it in WRS.

But I noticed something...  the original kn5 which includes both mesh and textures is 350mb.  When I export in Max to .map, it becomes 815mb.  That's quite a difference for the very same thing.

As a result, the 815mb map file dont load in tracked (well loading the trp, that must acces the map file for textures), and crash.  It uses too much memory and tracked must be patched to use 4gb to load such a map file.

Silverstone is 315mb as a kn5, and Nordschleife have more than 900mb worth of kn5 files, as they aren't in one kn5 file.  So if I do some quick math, the map file of the nordschleife track will be around 2100mb... which I doubt is going to work in any way, even with a patched tracked.

Is something wrong with the map files?
3
Tracks / Shaders explanation
May 04, 2015, 11:02:47 pm
I have search every forums for informations on shaders... and its very shady (pun intended) at best. 

gpb/wrs have nothing on the matter, and kart have some. 

I have found this thread, that was linked in the track resources: http://forum.kartracing-pro.com/index.php?topic=1739.0, but really, its only some simple examples... this won't make any converted track from AC look anywhere near the original.  Plus, it doesnt really explain how it all works, all the possible definition you can add in the .shd file... if we are to create race tracks that looks anywhere near what piboso's is making.. then we must have this information.  AC and rF2 dont hide anything about their shaders... you select one, configure it, add the maps, and you see the result. 

So I'm grasping a bit how it works... if I understood properly, I must create a .shd file named as my diffuse texture, and it must be in the same directory.  But... where is that?  I mean, the textures are in the .map file, right?  So, do I really need to export the map file from Max everytime I want to change a shader?  Cause figuring out how it works and how to get the results I want, I will have to make many tries, and this whole workflow seems very unproductive.. so I doubt it is the way it works. 

I'm looking at victoria, and I cannot find any shd file, so they must be as I think in the map file.  Any way to crack open a map file?  I could look at the shd of victoria and pick it up very quickly.

So basically, it woud be really nice if piboso could details everything that can go into the shd file. 

I mean, from the simple example in that thread, to the track creation rules... I see no way of doing some basic detail mapping..  having a low res diffuse + an high res detail on a different uv channel + normal + spec. 

Any way of having two normal maps?  One for the diffuse, and one for the detail? 

Any way of doing some blending?  Using masks, vertex blending, or? 

4
Tracks / Tips for crashing tracked
May 04, 2015, 09:26:35 pm
I was eager to get started and see what I can do with WRS/etc, so I set out to convert silverstone-international from ac, since I also know that track very well, so I could use it to train gpbikes.

Trying to load the .trp, which is probably linked to the .map file for the textures, the editor was crashing since the .map file is 815mb.  This happened to me in the kseditor (ac editor) before, and I tried the same fix I did to make the kseditor work with large map files.

The problem is tracked is 32bit app, and by default, it can only access 2gb of system ram, even on 64bit.  This was likely not enough to load the track so tracked crashed.. so that means, even with the patch, I might not be able to load nord's full scene.. as the map file will likely be much bigger then.

Anyway.. so if you stumble upon this issue, go there: http://ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php

download the patch and copy the .exe to tracked.exe directory and run it.  Select tracked.exe (or any other 32bit executable that gives you memory issues) and patch it.  The app will now be able to use 4gb of ram instead. 

So then, I was able to load silverstone-international in tracked...

Hope it helps someone :)
5
Tracks / Sharing my textures to modders
May 03, 2015, 12:55:37 pm
Hello all,

If you haven't been watching WRS forums lately, you aren't probably aware of this. 

First, let me introduce myself.  Some of you might know me already, I have been working since 2012 on nordschleife conversions.  It started with a conversion of the Ring 2007 2.2a by com8 for rFactor 1 to rF2.  The track wasn't looking very good originally in rF2, and the textures were dating a lot. 

With the donations I received from the generous members of the rF2 community, I have been able to purchase a lot of textures, plugins, apps to make my life easier to work on the conversion.

For a while, I wanted to share the textures with some modders, but having only 100kb/s upload speed doesn't make the process easy.

Now, my harddrives are aging, and they have seen a lot of work in the past 3 years, so I would feel better anyway if I had a backup of these online.  So now is a good time to share them as well.

What I'm offering is this:

3 collections of rendered alpha masked trees (3000x3000 for the first collection, and 3500x3500 for the other two, and 1000x1000, 1500x1500 for the smaller bushes)
and a lot of textures coming from gametextures.com.  I subscribed for a month to a dev account so I could have access to unlimited download, 2kx2k textures and requests, and made good use of my subscription.  I have about 5-6 textures made for the nordschleife itself, but can be used for any fantasy race tracks, or other race tracks using similar fences, guardrails, etc...

All I'm asking is that you don't download a folder as zip, and get what you need as you need it.  Everything is uncompressed to make this easier.   And of course a little credit for them.  I would also like to see your project, so if you could send me a pm to let me know about it, so I can download and see your track live, I would also highly appreciate.  It would be good for me to see how you used the textures that I'm familiar with, and see how you applied them differently.  I still have a lot to learn.  And most of all, please, don't share the link by yourself.  If you know someone who can be trusted, who could benefit from having these, let me know, or have him contact me, I'll hand him out the folder link.

You can check out pdf thumbnails for the trees here:

http://www.evermotion.org/files/pdf/textures4ever_vol_7.pdf
http://www.evermotion.org/files/pdf/textures4ever_vol_8.pdf
http://www.evermotion.org/files/pdf/textures4ever_vol_9.pdf

All the best,

Pierre-André
6
That's funny, cause when I started my com8 conversion of the nordschleife, I wasn't very good at driving it.  Well, at least when trying to set a good time.  So when I had to do the AIW, I was having an hard time, and I dunno, I feel more pressure when I drive while doing this then when I hotlap and I'm relaxed.  So my driving is affected a bit.  When you have over 150 corners, it becomes hard to do the perfect lap on it :)

So I was thinking, what if we could do it with a spline instead. 

Well, it turns out I now know how it would be, since I'm currently in the process of doing the centerline for it, and wow..  its really more a pain this way.  I got 3.7km done, and I can't get it dead center 99% of the time.  It always goes either way.  It doesn't seems to work quite like Max's bezier or smooth curves.  I also noticed that when you select a previous segment, and move the ending point, the rest of the track moves with it.  So if you want to adjust later one, you are screwed.

It would be so much easier to be able to create the centerline and bestline while driving, or at least having this option added as well.  I have noticed the bestline is often not very accurate, and might be the reason why, if it is created like the centerline.

This way of doing the centerline is likely to turn off some modders away, specially those wanting to bring longer tracks in...
7
I'm currently having a shot at converting the laser scanned nordschleife to wrs. 

I have all my objects named properly for WRS, and I exported to fbx, since I'm using Max2012 and there is no edf plugin for it.  So I guess that's why the fbx2edf tool was made.

I'm reading the rfactor to krp conversion in the krp forum, and I have set the options in the tool the same way as he mentions setting up the edf exporter window. 

It works for a while, then it starts spitting out a few the object (name) has no matching parent and then the fbx2edf tool crash.  I tried to find a log file in the user and windows dir, but I can't find any.

Any ideas of the problem?
8
General Discussion / Textures
May 01, 2015, 12:43:50 pm
Well, I was talking about the tree textures in Victoria in my other post, and I can actually help with this.

When I did my com8 conversion of nordschleife 2.2a for rF2, I bought a lot of stuff to make it better, with the donations I received. 

I bought some 4000+ trees collection (3 collections of 1000+ alpha trees each), which are all in resolution of 3500x3500 for the big trees, and a bit smaller for the little and bush style ones.

You can search for Textures4ever vol 7-8-9 to have a look at them.

I would gladly offer them to Piboso so he haves some better trees to work with.  I also subscribed for a month to gametextures.com (developer sub), and got many textures from there as well.  These are pretty good textures, and again, I would be glad to share them with Piboso.

I'm sure that he's working on a very tight budget, so if that can help, I'd be glad to offer them to you Piboso.

I have all receipts for these textures and I could show it to you so you don't think they are pirated textures.  They are all legal, and can be used for profits as well.  But I never used them to make money myself.

So if you are still actively working on your simulators, let me know if you are interested by my proposition.  I would ask of course nothing in return, maybe some credits if you wish.

9
General Discussion / New to WRS
May 01, 2015, 12:34:55 pm
Well, I was looking at WRS, KRP and GPB for a while, but being on a tight budget made me wait a bit  (euro -> cdn isnt very good for me :P).  Tax return time now, so I was able to finally get my hands on them.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my purchases I must say.  KRP is very interesting and I will likely be playing this a bit.  That's just too bad we cannot record an ai racing line and build up an AI, cause I'm an AI racer (or hotlapper, I hardly play online)

However, I'm terribly deceived by the content made available by/for the community.  I've downloaded first the nordschleife (I dunno where this comes from, but its worse than com8 version for rfactor 1...  and I won't be talking about accuracy of the track here... its just an eye sore really. 

I also downloaded lime rock park, spa and croft.  I tried lime rock park, and again, its really horrible.  Spa is making me cry as well.  I haven't tried croft, cause at this point, I can no longer handle it. 

I cannot imagine that people aren't seeing the potential of this engine.   It's certainly not the most eye candy engine you can have, but looking at victoria, one can do much better than these half-ass conversions.

Sorry if I seem rude or ungrateful, but this is just wrong.  It serves no purposes to have tracks like these made available, it only hurt the game.  These are probably some 10-20 years old tracks.  And they look worse than they did originally.

When rF2 picked up a bit, and tracks/cars started to show up, most of these were quick rf1 conversions, and the reaction was the same.  It doesn't do the game justice, and make it look bad to new players coming in.

I have also noticed while reading the forums that the physics are encrypted so modders cannot make cars that handles differently from the stock ones.  This is just plain bad...  Why make a simulator, if you don't release the needed infos so that modders can make good/valid content for your game? 

I'm not interested in having more cars that handles just like the 4 ones I have now. 

Victoria ain't a bad track, but it could actually be much better.  The trees are relatively bad (It looks a bit like those in City Car Driving...).  It would highly benefits from better looking trees.  The skybox is also highly pixelated.  A generated skybox like rF2 would be a very good idea.  The old school skybox should go.

But what could victoria benefits the most, is bumps and racesurface made uneven.  It's way too flat, there is only some small elevation changes and cambers, but no other relief than this.  It feels like an LFS track. 

I have been modding for rF2 and AC (and a bit of beamng) and one thing I noticed, the feedback is highly tied to the track mesh density.  The track mesh of victoria seems relatively low poly (seeing the roadlines and corners are pretty jagged)... so feedback will only be as good as the track mesh.  For instance, the laser scanned nord in AC have a track mesh consisting of roughly 35k verts.  In rF2 it drives like crap.  I needed to bump up the mesh density to 300k verts so it was driving fine in rF2.  If we can lower the filtering on the FFB in the game (WRS), then it might highly benefit more verts on the track mesh... at the moment the feedback feels highly filtered.

It doesn't feel bad but it feels bland.  I'm curious to see how WRS would handle a track like the laser scanned nordschleife.  So I think I'm gonna have a shot to bring this track to WRS.  I have watched some track threads, and it doesn't look so different from what I'm used to.

However, I won't be able to share this, so if I manage to make it right for my own use, I would likely convert the gtr evo version then and release that one publicly.

If you want to see the nord conversions I did, have a look at my youtube page here:  youtube.com/pleclair75