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Racing Track Texture

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Alex Kyriak, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Just wanted to canvass opinion. I use 1024x1024 textures for my race track surface (road course / asphalt, not dirt). I was wondering, does anyone use anything higher - like 2048x1024, 2048 x 2048? Does it kill performance? My gfx card handles rfactor really well so it's hard to guage any hits to performance. I've seen some track shots out there that look fairly photorealistic for the track surface, and wondered what techniques they used.
  2. I've been happy with the textures in the XPacks that someone provided early on. I'm not sure how big they are.

    I know that track textures are a tough thing to get right because they have to look good from a distance, look good close-up, AND look good while moving and standing still... that's a tall order!

    Visually, I don't see much of a reason for 2048x2048 textures for a road surface, especially when viewed from the cockpit on, say, a 1024x768 monitor... even with my 2560x1600 monitor, a 2048x2048 road texture is wasting pixels unless I'm much closer to it than cockpit level as it won't fill more than 1/3 of the screen (unless it's a parking lot). I strongly suspect it's better just to make a good artistic texture (or three and use them wisely) than to have a high resolution texture.
  3. Kyle Puttifer

    Kyle Puttifer
    @ Simberia @Simberia

    Check out the road textures by ennis_fargis.
    They're in the downloads section somewhere.
  4. Thanks lads. Yeah I have checked out ennis's stuff in the past (very good it is too). These are 1024x1024.

    I just made and tested a 2048 wide x 1024 where width is across the track. It adds more perceivable detail over 1024. However this is on a 2560x1600 monitor like Emery. I guess as you say it's down to the artistry of the graphics and the monitor resolution it's displayed on.

    when I compare my textures to some rF tracks I see out there, mine don't seem to have the same sense of scale however. For example, when you look at a photo of a real track, 13m of asphalt across the width of the track looks like 13m (obviously!!!), whereas a texture of 1024 pixels wide trying to represent 13m doesn't quite have the same sense of distance or scale. Some rF tracks seem to get close to this however. Hence my question about upping the pixel dimensions. Some rfactor tracks do achieve this sense of scale however. Will post an example or two later.

    I guess maybe my rambling post is more about how to achieve a good texture technique then! :confused: :)
  5. Here's one of the shots. It's actually from iRacing. But it has a great level of detail on the track surface (as well as the rest of the track for that matter)

  6. stunning, looks like a photo.. well done :)
  7. It's not mine...! I'm trying to make mine to look like this.... I think the texture work in this shot is stunning, as you say.
  8. It's not just the basic track texture that counts. If you look at the material settings for the default road texture you'll see that the bump and specular maps are scaled differently. That makes the texture look more detailed than it really is, and I liked the effect so much I actually grabbed the bump and spec maps from the zip file and used them for my own track.
  9. Agree with R Soul, bump and spec maps are part of the artistry.
  10. yeah, bump and specular maps are key to the fine detail. I think i'm using 512x512 for Longford, and they're tiled over the road four or five times, so that makes something like 2048x2048 worth of detail, over the top of my 1024x1024 road texture. FWIW i've just scratch made some new road textures for Longford. In terms of the regular diffuse road map, it seems to me that you don't really want too much detail in that, or at least not too much unique detail. If you have, say, a light spot, dark spot, tyre mark on your regular map then you'll see that every 10-12 meters or so, and at high speed, that's many times per second, and it just doesn't work well.

    So the principals i've used are (nothing new) high detail, uniform, seamless bump and spec maps at 512x512 (tiled 4 or 5 times), over a seamless, uniform (if not bland) 1024 diffuse map (stretched to cover 12 meters in btb)

    Also (without having played iracing) it looks like they've used an alpha 'decal' of tyre marks over that part of the road to add some flavour (and yeah, it sure looks tastey). But the small details like individual stones will be from the bump and spec maps i'd say.
  11. Can someone post the link of the Ennis' track textures xpack download? I can't find them.. I just found some track objects and high speed ring....
  12. The Ennis road textures are ok but if I had my time again I would do it differently.
    The detail on them is more in the diffuse & less in the bump when really it should be the other way around.

    I pretty much agree with woochoo's method.
    I now use these factors
    Diffuse - 2048 x 1024 (Edit Materials) Scale X=1 Y=0.5 MIP= -4
    Bump - 512 x 512 (Edit Materials) Scale X=4 Y=4 MIP= -2
    Spec - 512 x 512 (Edit Materials) Scale X=1 Y=0.5 MIP= -2
    (Edit Surface) Per Meter=12

    The critical one for detail is the bump map.
    Experiment with different levels of detail & your scale untill you find a good mix.
    It's a good idea to take screenshots in RF & keep track of your settings so that you can compare them for the best result.
    Put some detail in your diffuse but not too much variation otherwise you will see it repeat down the track.
    The spec doesn't need to be too high in detail.
    I usually just use my diffuse & darken it a bit.
    Try driving in the late afternoon to see the true effect of the spec.
    Above all experiment.

  13. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven

    Maybe a noob question, but what does a "bump map"?
  14. Well lads, thanks for all the tips. I am growing to love my 2048x1024 texture...! :) It works a beauty (on my monitor at least), nice level of scale and detail.

    Totally agree with the fine tuning of the bump and spec. Never really used it before but have been experimenting alot, just refining and refining. Will hopefully reach that iRacing screenshot quality soon...!

    Eric - what monitor do you run on?

    Seems that random variation is very important. To that end I've been making several subtly different versions of the same track texture to pick out minor details - a crack, different tarmac, etc, at different parts of the track. I'm sure some of you guys do that already though.
  15. I'd like to do that, but i'm affraid i'd be poopooed by users saying it's excessive etc and hurting their fps. But why should car modders have all the fun with huge polycounts and hires textures?
    I could be wrong but these days we could be at a crossover point, going from the past where devs/artists want to include more detail but can't, to a point where we can include huge amounts of details but it takes a lot of work. In this crossover point, for me atleast, i'm not sure where the boundaries are anymore. how many track textures and of what resolution can i reasonably include without affecting someone with a decently speced computer? Sure, i have a decently speced pc, but then i'd have to do all the work to test the limits... :D
    So, my plan is to rF2 proof my version of Longford with more polys and higher-res textures, assuming most people will upgrade their boxes at some point.

    But yes, i agree, variation is good. dare i make several road textures 4096 long?
  16. well, in my opinion we need to inovate too. we need high detailed track's to bing more people to simulators. I really love nice phisics but i love graphical eyedcandy too, so at this point we should first do high detailed track's and after that create some optimizations for players that still playing with callculators :p.

    Alex, after create a nice detailed road texture please share with us.

  17. This could be tested easily. I have tested all sorts of limits of rF track rendering with BTB. Only tested drawing distances and polygons so far, but not texture limits.
  18. Talking about normal maps... There a great tool called "CrazyBump", it's the best texture related tool I've seen.. You can load diffuse texture and it automatically makes specular, bump, normal, displacement maps... And its increadibly smart even if its "automatic", like if you put rocks it will make EXACTLY proper stone bumps, if you put bricks, it'll do bricks, a shop window... it'll do it perfectly! And no, by saying "automatically" I don't mean just make 3 more files without you knowing what it did.. You have a hundred adjustment sliders, and its not only previewed on texture (like in photoshop), but also on 3d model with lights! And the best thing is that if it's sometimes not that smart, and if your own try in PS was not enough realistic, you can actually blend the two samples into the perfect one!

    And it's not only for setting up , but you can edit original diffuse as well, such as removing shading and highlights, like when you make a seamless texture and you look in game, and it actually looks very artificial cause you see various spaces lighter, and other darker, and it's very obvious they repeat.. You just move these sliders a bit... And... It's gone!!! There's no such thing in PS, and I was looking for this the whole time!

    I have no idea how it works, but it's just ..... MAGIC! It saved me so much hours of work just in PS.. ...My god! I sound like a promoter! ... ... but, really, just try it, theres a trial I think, I got the full..