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Racer v0.8.33 released

Discussion in 'Racer' started by Ruud, May 27, 2011.

  1. Ruud

    Ruud
    RACER Developer

    Things have been very busy, lots of things going on at the edges of Racer (not really core Racer), but here's an update finally. :)

    Get it at http://www.racer.nl/download/racer0.8.33.zip (75Mb)

    Known issues:
    - The current replay should be re-recorded
    - AI training is very alpha, it currently s*cks

    Changes:
    - Added 'gfx.show_traffic_lines' option to visualize track grid
    - Added 'show traffic' and 'hide traffic' console commands
    - Traffic improved to be usable
    - Added 'gfx.bestline.source' which determines whether the bestline is derived from AI or the ghostlap
    - Added log.buffer_time to be able to change the log buffer size
    - RTD logging improved
    - DXT3 dds format was flipped incorrectly (bad detection of DXT3 format)
    - dbg_controls.throttle/brakes/clutch/steer now work again (if dbg_controls.update=0)
    - Multiview camera were slightly off wrt eye position
    - Added 'show log' and 'hide log' console commands to show live log details
    - Cg dll's updated to v3.0.16
    - Added log.database.dir for eternal logging of RTD telemetry files (customer)
    - Added ghost.time_scale for slow-motion ghost laps (mostly for testing use)
    - Changes in thread creation (handle leak fix)
    - Added data/images/fadeout.tga where Racer fades to in menus and other situations
    - Added 'show ailines' (and 'hide') to visualize AI lines
    - Pressing Ctrl-F6 to drive an AI lap now accepts AI cars; they will try to train themselves.
    Use 'ai learn save' to save the trained lap.
    Let it run for quite a number of laps. See http://www.racer.nl/tutorial/newtrack.htm#default_ai
    - Added 'ai reset' console command to reset AI velocities to 50 km/h (for AI training purposes)
    - Added 'ai scale <v>' console command to scale AI velocities
    - Experimental friction circle method added; #6. Is like #3, only without clamping max_slip_len (dbg_car.friction_circle_method). Doesn't seem too viable though.
    - Per-wheel tweaking of 'max_slip_len'; an addition to the tire model to constrict large slip lookups
    See http://www.racer.nl/reference/wheels.htm#combinedforces
     
  2. Interesting additions.

    The per-wheel max_slip_len is interesting.

    The optimum slip ratio/angle values we set in pacejka section appear to help Racer determine from 0...1 how much the tyre is slipping, so then the friction circle method can do it's job properly.
    Then, we can determine how much beyond the circle the forces can go wrt falloff of values. So a value of 2, and an optimum slip angle of say 8deg, would mean at 16deg of slip angle, the curve would stay flat...



    What I feel a big weakness is, is that the optimum values are static settings, yet a quick play in pacejka player clearly shows these to be quite dynamic, especially with camber and load changes for instance.

    It's been mentioned before, but would adding a way for Racer to populate the optimum value be useful? Perhaps some internally generated look up table (a bit like a tracks collision file gets generated at runtime) that looks at camber and load and chooses a better value for the optimum slip angle/ratio at that time?

    Or maybe some way of interpolating between a few values we choose purely based on load, say 50% load, and 150% load, and then the current 100% static load value?

    Tweaking these values has a big impact as it stands, so even before we lose grip and go outside of the friction circle, behaviour under control will be heavily influenced by tweaking these values, ie, braking hard but not slipping, the load goes up a lot, and OSR goes up too, allowing easier control of braking vs the OSR value set at static loads.


    All that said, if MF5.2 and/or a new tyre model are on there way, then there is no point trying to improve the old pacejka model.



    I just wasn't so impressed by the MF5.2 implementation and data we had the chance to try. My Z4 using the actual real tyres I had the data for, span out like crazy steering even a little bit, and wouldn't spin the rear wheels when dumping the clutch from the line at full revs.

    Hmmm

    All good stuff, can't wait to try it all out properly. Hopefully the max slip len tweak might just add enough flexibility to make cars that bit better on old pacejka tyres!

    Dave
     
  3. Nice to see traffic in update and improvments list
     
  4. Already seeing a big problem.

    It is trying to connect to local host port 25000 even in Free Drive and Quick Race... And this is with no settings changed yet. Meaning, one like me can not use it, as I haven't opened that port... nor do I feel I should have to just to free drive/quick race ;). Should only be for hosting right?

    And even when everything is at default (minus custom controls), I'm still getting a fatal error.

    All of this isn't happening in 8.33 no_cg


    None of this is present in 8.32 full.



    qlog 8.33

    ----

    Fri May 27 23:56:51 (INFO): [racer/2212] --- application start ---
    Fri May 27 23:56:51 (INFO): [racer/2212] Racer version: 0.8.33 (May 27 2011/13:32:21) - customer: Internet
    Fri May 27 23:56:53 (INFO): [racer/2212] DGPUShaderManager::Init() Geometry shading is not supported on this card (ATI?).
    Fri May 27 23:56:53 (WARN): [racer/2212] DGPUShader:Load(data/renderer/fullscreen_shaders_hdr/bloom_shadows_f.cg): The profile is not supported.
    Fri May 27 23:56:53 (INFO): [racer/2212] WorldRenderer: you have an ATI graphics card (ATI Technologies Inc.). Working around some long-term bugs.
    Fri May 27 23:56:53 (INFO): [racer/2212] Physics engine: NEWTON v2.29
    Fri May 27 23:56:55 (INFO): [racer/2212] Safety changed to: SAFE
    Fri May 27 23:57:00 (WARN): [racer/2212] QImage ctor: can't load 'data/tracks/garage1/preview.tga'
    Fri May 27 23:57:01 (WARN): [racer/2212] No preview.tga image for garage1 track; please make one.
    Fri May 27 23:57:06 (INFO): [racer/2212] Loading track 'garage1'
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (WARN): [racer/2212] No splines found; minimap is disabled.
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (INFO): [racer/2212] QNClient:Connect() attempt to localhost:25000
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (INFO): [racer/2212] QNClient: connected to server (our clientID=71)
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (WARN): [racer/2212] No AI found for track garage1, car lambomurcielago (also no ai/default.ini)
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (INFO): [racer/2212] Loading car 'lambomurcielago'
    Fri May 27 23:57:07 (WARN): [racer/2212] No AI found for track garage1, car lambomurcielago (also no ai/default.ini)
    Fri May 27 23:57:08 (INFO): [racer/2212] Loading car 'lambomurcielago_ghost'
    Fri May 27 23:57:08 (INFO): [racer/2212] Crash detected - attempting to recover some data before displaying the crash dialog
    Fri May 27 23:57:11 (FATAL): [racer/2212] Exception 0xC0000005, flags 0, Address 0x0311A021
    (this dialog text is stored in QLOG.txt)

    OS-Version: 5.1.2600 (Service Pack 3) 0x100-0x1

    0x0311A021 [atioglxx]: (filename not available): (function-name not available)
    0x02AEE301 [atioglxx]: (filename not available): (function-name not available)
     
  5. KS95

    KS95
    RACER Moderator

    Enabled ATI in the racer.ini?

    And go open the damn port :D
     
  6. huh>? Now where does it say I need to enable ati and how? (I'm such an ass)

    Well, I did so... fixed that.

    Now we just need to find out why this game can't support higher resolutions (like 1080p) without dramaticly reducing fps. I can run the game fine enough at the lowest resolution available via the options>graphics screen with all other options maxed... but if I reverse this, with the resolution maxed and the fx tuned low... I get terrible 1-5 fps... yet other games with WAY more complicated stuff going on graphicly speaking can run with fx at max and the resolution maxed at 1080p or higher.... (though I don't go higher due to my monitor supporting 1080p natively).

    This to me, suggests that there is something going on.
    With everything maxed out in this, running the full program, I have trees that render mostly 99% translucent, frame rates that are in the tank, in-car shadows look appauling (like the entire model is craggy).... I mean I know Ruud sais there are outstanding bugs with ATI drivers, but if every other game I've found that's WAY more involved graphicly than this have either never encountered these bugs, or worked around them... why can't Ruud?...

    My question then, Ruud, is it a lack of knowledge and/or time on your part, or an unwillingness to bring in someone else, or what? I mean I know I'm being a presumptive ass here, but... It sounds like this kind of issue could already have been dealt with. If I had the knowledge to provide here I would... but sadly I'm ignorant on the subject of coding... mostly. I do however know that it is entirely possible for something as graphicly simple as this sim is to have MUCH higher frame rates on even my, by current Top-End standards, sub-par video card and proc.
    I mean, what's the issue here really? I want so much for this sim to be all it can be, yet sadly it seems limited by the fact that it's having issues with ATI video card drivers, and can't even do 1080p without a card that is current top-end... It's graphicly simple, so this shouldn't be so, yet it is. (graphicly simple when compared to say... Modern Warfare 2 or Crysis 2... Yea they're not simulating car physics and dynamics at the same level as this, but that shouldn't be limiting frame rates from the video card... should it?)
     
  7. It'd make your life a whole lot easier if you read the docs on racer.nl
    All these threads are easily answered by reading through them.

    You don't even need to open the port if you're just doing a quick race or free drive, it only really starts to matter when you're using your LAN or racing over the net.

    The crash does seem to be ATI related. Open your racer.ini and search for ATI, then make sure it's set to 1.


    I think it's down to an API thing. Most games these days are DirectX, whereas Racer uses OpenGL - this was to make sure the game would run on all platforms (mac, linux and PC). I think it's just that GPU manufacturers are largely ignoring OGL these days and concentrating their efforts on DX (Especially ATi/AMD since they don't even support for loops or something)

    TL;DR - Ruud isn't lazy, he works hard and it's really your GPU that sucks. Get something newer (I assume if it starts to lag at 1920x1080 you've got a pretty ok GPU but not new). I have a GTX 470 (I think...) and I run it at 1920x1080 easily with mostly everything higher than stock. It also depends on the content you're running, a lot of newer stuff might look nice but it's badly optimised. There's some stuff coming that'll hopefully change that a bit and you'll get better framerates but really if you want to run 1080p, get a new GPU.
     
  8. Then the question seems now to be, why isn't everything here "badly optimized"? I mean it seems to me that everything should be optimized to it's most without sacrificing too much quality in the looks department... which isn't that hard is it?

    And believe me, I am getting a new gpu when I can. One of the reasons I was hoping to get the job I recently got, among many others.

    And as far as my gpu... yea it's ok. But to run graphics that seem, at least via the default track, to be of the early 2000's,... my card should really suffice for this at 1080p.

    But I did do some snooping around in racer.ini and also ran no_cg.... no_cg gets frame rates in the 300fps range... but the lambo I use goes all white, the fog goes white, and lots of other things are going on.

    So it's not really useable, even with the high fps.

    Then I go back to the full racer program and it's racer.ini...

    I found motion blur... and when turned off I get 60 fps, but everything goes like a negative photo... the track goes white with specs of blue except where it's solid black, the curbs go all white but with streaks of red where some of the red is in em... though finally the trees display correctly, but again until close up they appear in negative form... ish.... I tried 2 and 3, but one has the same fps issue, and the other has the same negative issue.

    And as far as OGL and Dx.... why not do like some other programs have done and support both?

    And please don't take any of this as being rude, facetious, and confrontational. I'm just confounded as to why this is going on, OGL or not... it shouldn't be this finicky. But with what I mentioned about motion blur...

    Is there a way to turn off motion blur without getting those results? BTW, I do think this sim is awsome, it just needs some time I guess, just like No Limits did. lol.
     
  9. Thanks for the new beta Ruud. Dave already mentioned the max_slip_len feature and my understanding of how it works is pretty much the same - now, I'm just wondering what the intended usage is. Thinking about it, we already have pretty good and distinctive control over the post-OSA/OSR region of the pacejka curves and we can also specify different sets per axle/wheel already.
    I guess this max_slip_len feature is more convenient as a form of driving aid then. Certainly when testing it out, the impression was similar to what happens in simulation inspired games, where vehicles get some leeway but ultimately are hard or impossible to spin out. Is that what you were after or am I misunderstanding, misusing it this way?

    AI and traffic features will have to be checked out still, from a couple of quick attempts on various tracks it seems a timelapse function could be nice to speed up the AI learning process a bit, similar to fast_time maybe?

    Ctrl+G gear indicator now also shows speed and rpm - makes it a bit more difficult to get only the gear position information for me, when I'm relying on this feature on cars with (semi-) automatic transmissions and no HUD (which I think is the only reason to be using it in the first place).



    A more general observation, you keep using regular .zip format for the releases, but a simply recompressing of the contained folder with 7-zip reduces the archive size down from 75MB to 45MB, so surely would be preferrable for both the server and some user sides :) That said, I'm always getting nice high speed connections from racer.nl, but not everybody downloads 75MB in a few seconds.
     
  10. Well, after further study... I got almost everything sorted out.

    It's all down to AA's multi-sampling in renderer.motion_blur.samples

    If set to 0 I get NICE frame rates, BUT I get a glitch where parts of the track disappear and it goes black like it's some sort of shadow from the road, and the grey of an untextured object. Other parts of the road do render normally though...

    Though I don't get this on tracks like swiss stroll.
     
  11. Ruud, is there any chance of the camera definition sub-tree angle.x/y/z being used for SMD cameras? Right now if you make a camera SMD the angle cannot be used.

    I think we should be able to have the SMD work, and THEN offset the camera for more interesting effects. Any reason why we can't?


    Thanks

    Dave
     
  12. Currently Racers CG isn't really separate from stuff like Motion Blur etc - Multisample is a method of smoothing the image (anti-aliasing).

    I'd say both Motion blur and multisample should be mostly independent of the rest of the rendering engine.

    Currently, if you want to use the CG Features you will also have to use multisampling as well as the motion blur, which is why it slows down, especially on older cards or AMD Cards (they changed from ATI to AMD).

    If you don't mind a little bit unsharper Textures you could also try to modify max_anisotropy and set it to 1. ( see image here to get an idea what it does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisotropic_filtering )

    Writing Racer for both DirectX, or more specifically Direct3D (9, 10, 11 etc) is far too much work, as Ruud would have to write a Wrapper - it would also mean that he now has to account for AMD and NVidia Cards in Direct3D AND OpenGL.

    Racer is also meant to be cross plattform capable, so switching to Direct3D only is not an option either (Linux does not support Direct3D natively, only by using Wine for example).

    Though currently there are no new builds for Linux or Mac, so these OS have to use something like Wine (for Linux, Mac has also one I think) to play racer.


    ----

    By the way, am I the only one who has a problem with racer not shutting down correctly? I'm on Win 7 x64 and if I shut down racer, the exe itself is still run as a process (using about 25% of CPU) albeit I'm not able to make any use of it. I have to kill it by running Task Manager (or Process Explorer on my System - I hate the default Task Manager)
     
  13. KS95

    KS95
    RACER Moderator

    Bit of a moot point in the end then? lol

    Afaik, it hasn't happened to me :|
     
  14. OGL is a good API, it's just ATI being lame that is the issue really hehe.

    Anyway, as for ways to get speed, turn CSM shadow mapping off. That will net you loads of fps.

    Alternatively you could keep it on, but reduce the shadow map size to 512 from 1024. Also turning off shadow map blur might gain you some more speed!

    Dave
     
  15. Actually, turning off the shadow map blur gains more FPS than reducing the shadow map size. :)
     
  16. Trying to get anything other than the default Carlswood/Murciélago working seems like a lost cause now..
     
  17. Why? What happens?
     
  18. Nothing in particular, really. Simple case that not enough stuff works. I've had a myriad of various errors from both tracks and cars. It's all just so out-of-date for the new Racer, and a lot (almost all) of the old stuff will be relegated to obsoletion. I feel like with this release, the CG version of Racer has reached a watershed where it's better to make new content, and forget everything that's gone before. I understand that it's progress, but as yet there's been no truly up-to-date stuff released, other than the default car/track, or any full overhaul of any content to make it completely up to the level of the illusive v090.

    Also, I mean more personally than generally.
    I know that many people here can update content to a useable degree for the new versions. But not enough of the updates are being shared, and for dinosaurs like me that find the new changes increasingly difficult to digest, or new users who want to try out Racer, we're at the mercy of the content creators to make stuff work, we rely on that, and as I said at the top, not enough released stuff works.
     
  19. KS95

    KS95
    RACER Moderator

    It's hard to make truly up-to-date releases, so much is added with each release. But I'm definitely in support of updating the old content, but the good shaders can show up flaws in the older models :/

    And yeah, you're right, there isn't a lot of updates being released, but if it's someone elses content or like me, it's only some quick updates, I can understand why people could be reluctant to release.

    And notice how a new release has got more activity in the forum?
     
  20. I'm all for abandoning old stuff IF we have something better to put in its place - and not just in Racer.