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More track customisation ideas, shadows mainly.

Discussion in 'Racer' started by Mr Whippy, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. I was just thinking about tracks and customising them more, to give them more mood and character. Right now the best tracks are still done using fixed TOD, and the added support for f32 suggests HDR skies appearing soon (and they are quite cheap to buy in high res from cgskies.com these days)

    But any way, I think a big problem for us is still CSM shadows. I remember suggesting we had a way to tweak some variables in TOD but we never really got anything back at the time.
    However, a good alternative might be to simply hard-code some variables for CSM per track? That way the racer.ini and shader settings are updated pre-track load?
    Ie, under track.sun settings?


    csm_blur (a factor to multiply the hard-coded shader variable by, so we can blur the map more or less depending on the sky. Slightly cloudy or misty days have softer shadows, so softening the map adds to realism a great deal (we can do this manually but it's not really user friendly unless you run batches etc))

    csm_scale (a factor to increase/reduce the map size, so 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2 etc... softer shadows can use lower resolution I find, so run lower res and use less of the costly blurring method)

    csm_dist (a factor to scale the csm map swap distances, then for smaller tracks we could add a bit more quality, larger tracks could have them go for further. You wouldn't spot so much on the close ranges but 20% might make a lot of difference on the farthest shadow map on a specific track, it could also be set very small (say 10x smaller) for studios or other tracks where you simply want very high quality shadows for screenshots or showing off the car in the car selection scene etc)



    Just throwing these out there to see what people think.

    Right now we could do this via batch/ini.exe but ideally we want it to run per track. Maybe this is something we could ask Ruud to implement fully?
    Cheers

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Double post, oops.
     
  3. Good stuff Mr Whippy. One problem that has bugged me for a long time is shadows with an overcast sky or no cloud shadows.
     
  4. It does make sense to have them as a variable in special.ini under the gfx section.

    Alex Fobin
     
  5. it would also be nice to be able to give static track objects movement. I want to add some objects, such a ferris wheel and an Airport, For roadside Eye-candy. Just a simple path would do!
     
  6. We do have animation available. Only problem I have is exporting from Blenderr. Exporting from 3ds max may be a problem also, and there was a version with an animated guy at start finish on Carlswood.

    Another thing I have been looking at is trees made with a tree generator. "Sapling" works good in Blender but the trees have too many leaves. Another good one is tree(D), google it, which is quite simple to use and makes nice trees but again one has to watch the number of leaves.
     
  7. Trees are tough.

    Stuff like Unity does auto impostors ok and SpeedTree does it ALL for you, but coming back to what you really need, Assetto Corsa shows good old xtree a nice texture with smart shading can be enough almost all the time.

    I looked at doing 3d trees with bough textures and they look nice but the issue is elegantly turning them to 2d or replacing with impostors etc... You need to clump them up to save on batches, but then getting an lod swap distance far enough away means they are 3d longer than you'd like...

    If Racer had a 'tree' system fine, but without one it makes doing elegant 3d > 2d impostor trees really hard in anything but occasional use as 'hero' trees IMO.

    Assetto Corsa does without so I think we can too.

    What Id love to see though is instances for grass and trees etc via a vert shader so they run in one passant take up low dof memory!

    Hmmm

    Dave