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Tracks NJMP Lightning

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa Modding Discussions' started by LilSki, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. LilSki

    LilSki
    Premium

    Messages:
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    So I wasn't going to make a WIP thread for this track but I figured why not. This is my first LiDAR based track and maybe someone could learn something from the process that I used.

    The track is New Jersey Motorsports Park: Lightning. This is a track that I did my first ever track days at with NASA:NE 2 years ago. It is a great little circuit and reminds me a bit of Lime Rock. There is another higher profile course called Thunderbolt also at NJMP BUT the data I have was taken in April of 2008. At that time Thunderbolt had not been paved yet. I have yet to see how final the grading was at Thunderbolt to see if the data can be used to actually build that circuit. I would like to have both maybe someday but for now my main concern is Lighting.

    So here is the data in Cloud Compare.
    Capture.JPG

    using cloud compare I convert the data into a mesh. You then export that to stl format which then can go right into blender. This is how it looks in blender.
    Capture1.JPG
    The data is not quite dense enough to build directly off of. For example if you tried to drive on this the bumps would be enormous. So I thought of a few different ways to go about this. I settled on a conventional spline like I did my last two tracks. I simple would lay it over on the data as close as possible by hand. Sounds like a horrible task but it went very quickly. Here is the spline and road laid onto the data. You can see it isn't perfect but you simply set the heights and cambers by hand. You try to keep the "noise" even across the whole surface.
    njmpdata.JPG

    To line up the actual layout I made an image of the point intensity data from within cloud compare. Doing this I was able to make sure the aspect ratio and scale was perfect to match the height data. Here you can see the intensity image along with the google images I lined up my hand. Google images were only used for object placement.
    njmpdata1.JPG

    Here is a shot of my low poly terrain over the data.
    Capture2.JPG
    After that it is simple track making 101. The nice thing is the guess work is removed. All the splines for guard rails, tire walls, fences, etc all simply get lined up to google images and shrink wrapped to data.

    here is the complete track from within blender in its current state. Capture3.JPG

    And here are some shots in sim of current build.
    Screenshot_bmw_z4_gt3_njmp_lightning_7-2-117-1-36-24.jpg
    Screenshot_bmw_z4_gt3_njmp_lightning_7-2-117-1-38-24.jpg

    Screenshot_bmw_z4_gt3_njmp_lightning_7-2-117-1-39-19.jpg

    Screenshot_bmw_z4_gt3_njmp_lightning_7-2-117-1-41-8.jpg

    Most of the modeling is done at this point. Most textures are placeholders and will get much more detail in the final stages. I am hoping for maybe a release by the end of the month but there is no guarantee.

    Also for those that haven't seen it here is a video @Andy-R made comparing the real thing to this AC version.
     
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  2. Fat-Alfie

    Fat-Alfie
    David Pemberton Premium

    Messages:
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    Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us all :thumbsup: I know that sometimes when you are in the flow of a build it can be hard to break out of that 'mode' and to sit down and think through, and then document, your methods and workflow. But this is the kind of information that could help bring more tracks that are of a higher quality to AC, which can only be a good thing.

    This is a great little track, deceptively simple, easy to drive but difficult to master (cliché, I know, but true for someone with my driving abilities :rolleyes:). The quality is superb already with some lovely details. I can't wait to see how the final version looks, and drives. And built so quickly too! :geek:
     
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  3. norbs

    norbs
    That cams guy. Premium

    Messages:
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    It is a bastard of a track to get right. I love it and hate it at the same time.Thanks @LilSki for giving me the chance of an early look.

    Look forward to the finished product.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. cerebralvortex

    cerebralvortex
    Premium

    Messages:
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    Wow ! I did not expect the track to be in the sim yet and that polished ! My jaws dropped even further watching how you even had a car running at approximately the same distance up front. Short track with great corners. Looking forward to it too, looks really good already. The grass looks great too !
     
  5. James Nance

    James Nance
    I like Race cars? Premium

    Messages:
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    +284
    Doing us a huge favor, adding quality, real tracks vs this fantasy stuff, AC really needs to be adding tracks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  6. Gunja

    Gunja

    Messages:
    15
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    +18
    Thank You!
    ps. started learning Blender to qualify for seeking help here :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Andy-R

    Andy-R

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    Best. Grass. Ever!

    (Even for someone like myself who doesn't make mods it is nice to gain some insight into how you created this track using LiDAR :thumbsup:)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. aphidgod

    aphidgod
    Premium

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    I'm not sure what all the excitement is about concerning this track. It's just some lefthand turns, and some rights... :rolleyes:

    :p
     
    • Haha Haha x 4
  9. Rodger Davies

    Rodger Davies

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    Stunning track and a really insightful thread, thank you so much for bringing these great, real circuits to AC. Can't wait to give it a try.
     
  10. Ryno917

    Ryno917

    Messages:
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    This looks like a great little circuit :) Eagerly looking forward to the release, and watching this thread. :)
     
  11. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
    Premium

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    Love your track choice.
    I wouldn't know Bridgehampton, Riverside and now NJMP without these mods.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Chris

    Chris
    Administrator Staff Premium

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  13. garyjpaterson

    garyjpaterson

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    Never heard of the track, but looks like fun! And ace insight into the build process :thumbsup: Looking forward to seeing more :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Andy-R

    Andy-R

    Messages:
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    Some virtual track day footage at NJMP Lightning
     
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  15. Amir Vodokotlic

    Amir Vodokotlic

    Messages:
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    @kunos
    hire this guy!

    not only is @LilSki ridiculously talented.

    but sharing his knowledge with rest of community hats off.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  16. Lankyleo

    Lankyleo

    Messages:
    13
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    Wow the progress looks great!:)
    Agreed with norbs, this one often tricks you into thinking you're leaving more tenths on the table then you actually are. Tricky to find and maintain the limit on a few corners. Great flow and very quick.

    Well done on the videos Andy, the precision is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. guidofoc

    guidofoc

    Messages:
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    @Andy-R Nice the idea of the trackside "eye" view, the AC cameras feel very unnatural to me, this makes it all look more realistic and shows how good is car behavior in AC. How did you do that? VR?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Andy-R

    Andy-R

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    182
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    Thanks! I used @Stereo 's joycam app. I was trying to keep the camera moving all the time a little bit like someone's holding it but it is tricky to make it look natural when it has to be sensitive enough to catch a car going by as well :p

    This track really is fantastic, visually stunning and the layout is a joy to drive in pretty much every car i've tried. I think it suits road cars especially well. Turn 1 feels very aggressive, it's a leap of faith. Giving the powerful cars like the Supra TA or SLS a boot full of throttle between 2 and 3 is possibly my favourite part of the track. Turn 9 can be taken so many different ways, when you get the power on early and come flying over the crest onto the main straight :inlove:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
  19. LilSki

    LilSki
    Premium

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    Busy day at the track.
    Screenshot_bmw_z4_s1_njmp_lightning_20-2-117-1-58-20.jpg
     
    • Love Love x 11
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  20. Tom Blackett

    Tom Blackett

    Messages:
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    Looks like it's finished to me! Great job as always.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2