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surface bugs

Discussion in 'Racer Problems & Fixes' started by animusalex, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Hello from Virginia!

    I am a 3D Artist working for the Virginia Institute for Performance and Research maintaining and building tracks for our Hexatech simulator. I am fluent in Max, and Maya, but a novice at Racer. Currently I am debugging our Mid_Ohio track with success. The track is complete and only has a few minor issues to work out to get this track ready for demonstrations. It has 3 bugs. The first bug was ambient noise that caused the simulator to shake constantly while the car was in motion. I fixed that by comparing the noise settings in the special.ini from 0.006 to 0.001. It got rid of the grainy constant noise, but there are a couple of spots where the car feels like it is impacting speed bumps. I think there are different bugs causing these flaws. The first is located at start line. The Qlog gives me this error, "RSplinerep: degenerate spline detected at line 1; skipped". I have resplined the track, but the error still exists. I just got to the point where I can interact with the TrackEd, but I am not very confident in my understanding yet. Also when I click ,"go to startline" button the TrackEd zooms to a point in space off the track. I think this different then the other problem areas on the track. There are 3 places on the track where the simulator will jump if you drive over them at speed. I think this could be a repeated element in the geometry.ini that is flagged for collision so I am going through that now. I would appreciate any advice or guidence :)
  2. Hi.

    Splines I can't help you with, that error isn't something I've seen myself.

    Car jumping at certain points could indeed be two overlapping objects, for instance if you had a bridge object set to collide which cut into a terrain object also set for collide - sometimes Racer doesn't like that and the results can be explosive.

    It depends how complex your track is model-wise but you could try removing everything except the actual road object from the geometry.ini and drive a lap on just the road, then go from there - sometimes loading the road object alone is the quickest way to do things such as splines.

    Hope this helps :)
  3. Thanks Tiberius!

    I found that the noise was a combination of different errors. The graininess was a present because of the road noise settings in the special.ini. The starting line and most of the other bumps were because of the quick spline job the author made. I resplined the track and had to flip the track upside down along the banked turns to get the spline tool to snap to the verts on the edges of the road. From my own research I know the recommended way is to import the track and spline it by itself, but I am novice so I am still working on the workflow from Max into the TrackEd. I am used to being able to set projects so I am not used to exporting geometry into existing scenes and moving files. My uncertainty comes from a lack of knowing what exactly is supposed to happen when you cut the .ase apart. The TrackEd creates the .dof's, but I cannot see them. So this leads me to the final troubleshooting technique I am currently working on which involves exporting the surface as a .wrl file from the TrackEd and applying a turbo smooth to the road surface. I have been able to export the track using "cntrl-W" button. I got the environment back into Max. Now I need to reapply the materials, create a new multisub material, weld all the verts of the track surface , smooth the surface and export back into the TrackEd. I was told that some tracks function nicely on a regular PC, but require more refinement for a full motion simulator because of its sensitivity. If you could give me any pointers on this process it will be great because once I get this workflow down I will be able to concentrate on making a quality track.

    Thanks for the help! :)
  4. Hi there,

    I am unsure what you are trying to achieve by sub-dividing the track surface. The graphics will improve by doing this, but the physics engine will use the splines in full which will always be smoother than any sub-divided polygonal surface.
    There will be no benefit for the motion simulator by providing a higher density mesh to drive on if you utilise the splines.

    However, there is a feature (not yet implemented properly) that allows you to define splines, but have the car ignore them and drive on the polygons.
    It is called 'use_mesh_hits' and appears in spline.ini in the tracks folder, but appears so far to not work.

    As per your work flow with Max > TrackEd > Racer, it is a challenging process. After almost 8 years with Racer I still don't enjoy taking tracks from Max > Racer via TrackEd.
    A member on RSC, username Some1, was developing a nice plugin for Max that would send files to DOF and generate the geometry.ini file all for you automatically. It had a great deal of potential, but for now has stopped development.
    If you are working in a commercial environment and use 3DS Max then I would certainly look towards coding a plugin for Max that generated your ini files and dofs from Max (use object flags, layers, groups, material properties, whatever you can, to define the ini files properties)...

    Not to put TrackEd down, it does it's job, but if you are dealing with large tracks a great deal from scratch in Max to Racer, and doing bug-fixing along the way, you will save time and money in the long run by avoiding TrackEd (in my experience)


  5. Way back when I started out making tracks I used the .ase files exported from Blender and tracked, what a pitb. Then Brent Burton generated a .dof exporter for Blender that then allows .dof files to be imported directly into tracked.

    This allows one to use just the track dof to do the splines which makes generating a track extremely easy.

    In my humble opinion Blender is the easiest 3d program to use to make tracks and I did make a step by step tutorial to do just that.

    3ds studio max is a great program but I can't find a version for less that $3000, Blender is free.

    Just my 2 cents.
  6. I'd only really justify using 3DS Max at a very low cost, cough cough, because I am not commercially active with it.

    I use it at work where we have license and subscription and I am commercially active with it.

    I'd never have learnt how to use it back 14 years ago (3ds dos/r4) when I was a teenager, and then go on to purchase many versions via where I work as the sole user of it had I not used it freely for my own fun/hobby.

    Autodesk can only benefit from you learning their app freely and then being a potential future customer in a commercial role, than not.

    As per splines, yes, that is the only real way of doing them nicely. It's stupid really why we can't just load a mesh in as a reference model for the splines, and toggle it on/off, or just have trackEd 'see' the geometry of a file you point it at, and make the splines automatically from it.
    TrackEd isn't nice to make tracks full stop. My main problem with it is that it destroys any nice nesting or formatting in your ini file, which is often essential to manage the large amount of stuff you need to in there these days... because managing it via TrackEd is just so slow and repetitive!