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Enable Shadows and improve graphics in Pantherea

Discussion in 'Racer' started by Undercover, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Hello everybody,

    as Panthera is somehow Racer and I need to use Panthera for reasons like Simulink I am asking here:

    I am struggling with getting shadows working in Panthera: The Tracks I use (not created by myself) have values for the sun in the corresponding .ini file and the textures on the objects are getting brighter and darker depending on the sun setting but I wont get any shadows from bridges, buildings, barriers and so on. As far as I understand there are two different shadow options and the newer one seems to be shadowmaps. I already "added lightning" in TrackEd as I thought this would add the shadowmap in the corresponding .dof file. But unfortunately this hadn't any affect at all.
    Is there also a way to see the shadows in TrackEd or is this only rendered in Panthera.
    I saw a couple screenshots here which show shadows of trees, bridges, sign and so on. How do you make them? And even if you have to make them all by your hand (like those in swiss stroll and overlay them) I would be thankful for a little guide on how to do this. I wont mind learning a bit 3DS Max or something for this purpose. TrackEd and everything is completely new for me and I am trying to close those knowledge gaps.

    Furthermore, motion Blur is enabled but it does not seem to have any effect. But according to a post here in the Forum this seems to be a bug.

    As powerful Hardware isn't a problem for me, I am thankful for any help how to improve graphics a bit.
    I already read about ReShade and Master Effect but what I really need is a good setting for the standard parameters (ini files).
    E.g. like here: Post Pictures Thread (part 4)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. The main issue with Panthera generally is features have been removed. Cube map TGAs specifically.

    They were one of the core ways to make Panthera look like a 2016s graphics engine rather than a 2006 graphics engine.

    While there is no sign that these will be added back in I'm kinda hanging back and waiting to see what happens.

    I can give you a hand, but Panthera is so generally bad in terms of graphics (long term issues unfixed, short term changes made without changelogs, no apparent interest shown in improving them), I honestly just can't be bothered wasting my time with it any more.

    I'd invest my time in UDK and Unity if I were you. If you're a professional rather than a hobbyist any way.

    Serious simmers will be moving to these increasingly in the coming 5 years imo.

    Being able to link a Simulink model with one of those two will get you an insta-job out of university!
  3. Thank you for your honest answer. Of course, there are several options like making your own "game" and putting effort in the api to communicate with eg. Simulink but this isn't an option for me right now. I am sure Cruden is going improve their software in the future and racer will have his comeback with panthera. So I deal with panthera for the next time:
    I was able to get shadows by adding the castshadow tag in the track.shd. Additionally I am trying to create normal maps for my textures to make the scene more dynamic (or at least not so flat).
    I would be really glad if you have some additional advices on how to tune the shaders.
    Are you sure that cube maps are broken? As far as I understand cube maps enable reflections and I can see some (not the best) reflections on my car.
  4. The live cube map is functioning, but the static ones that you can generate to simulate soft-reflections and true photo-realistic (close) lighting, are missing.

    Normal map shaders in Racer work ok.

    There are some default shaders to make them work.

    But really, imo, if you're working so hard, it's a shame because PBR is actually less work, more standardised (can bring in assets from any other modern game, or 3D resource site etc), and makes stuff look like the latest Forza or GT games, or better.

    This is why it's frustrating, because these features are loosely in, and have been for half a decade now. Just they're ignored.

    It means we spend *more* time making tracks and content to look worse. It's just totally backwards.

    I'll help you out though. Very busy right now if you can wait some weeks...

  5. By now I totally know what you mean. It can look pretty cool but takes a lot of work. But as I said I will stick with it!
    I would love to hear your tips and tricks as soon as you have time to help me.

    Thank you for your held in advance.
  6. I have installed Unreal Engine 4 and unity. What does the workflow look like? Do you use both UDK and Unity?
  7. The workflow to UDK and Unity should be pretty industry standard, given they're the platform for oodles of realtime graphics stuff.

    I've used neither for anything yet, I just know that everyone else is or will be using them soon because they're just what people need.

    I just need to look into the higher end physics stuff, like how fast can it run to do things like high-accuracy wheel position/kinematics... but I'm sure it'll be pretty good already.

    There is a basic car model in UDK which already has about 70% of the physics stuff in there that you have via car.ini files.
    They even have tyre models, I think one can implement a pacejka system too if you wanted.

    The only missing piece is the motion platform intergration.

    Imo Cruden will just make motion platforms and interfaces for them from UDK/Unity etc, because that is what people will want to run.
    10 years ago, 5 years ago, things were different. But now these systems are out there and thousands of people understand them and use them and can be employed to do things with them, it won't be long till pro users just use them and wire them into a motion platform.

    I'd argue that someone out there has already put simulink and UDK or Unity together, and just like Racer Pro, uses UDK for the visuals, audio and all that stuff, and drives around on 'simulink' models.

    Any decent UDK artist and a decent programmer could get an F1 car and model linked to simulink in 6 months probably. After that why bother with Panthera or rFactor pro or the rest of those kinda systems?

    Engineers have simulink, great. Visuals are done with industry standard systems that you can get talent for from anyone around the world.

  8. That's not to say it's not worth trying to do good stuff with it of course.

    But as a paid/work/professional system, I don't think it's got any legs at all for students looking 5-10 years down the line to be investing any significant amount of time on doing things with it beyond the basic out of the box things.

    The learning curve to make Panthera look any better than it is out of the box, would be enough to learn a good chunk of the basics of Unity or UDK which would look about 100x more useful on your CV!