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tracked help

Discussion in 'Racer Physics and Technical' started by ammods, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. ok i have a couple of questions regarding track editing.

    i have a track file in, but i'm not sure where to go to from there.

    1. how does the splines bit work, do i need to modify my road mesh to be splines instead of polygons.
    2. how do i set the start finish/grid positions etc. i tried using arrow keys keypad etc but that doesnt seem to work. i have a guide here that says to select the track with the moouse pointer but that doesnt do anything either...
    3. anything else you think might be helpful

    (please dont suggest i look at other tracks because it's not gonna helpe me here, i'm really N00B when it comes to racer..i modded for wr2, we had an actual track editor, where you simply inputed the track file and everything else was alot more visual)
  2. I'll happily post up with some help later in the week, I'm a bit too busy for such in-depth stuff now.

    I might even make some videos for YT as that is probably easier all around and more useful too.


  3. cheers..thatd be great. i have a large number of tracks i want to use...bathurst is at the top lol...
  4. I've been meaning to start making some videos for Racer on my YT channel but I'm just so busy right now.

    I have a script that is kinda working too, which just takes a mesh in Max and makes the spline.ini file for you... you just select the first vert that will be the start line vert and it works around and back to the start.

    I'll need to finish it up, but I can show a few approaches to getting a spline.ini file asap. I'm guessing as you use 3DS Max then a script version will be the best.
    The trackEd approach is somewhat convoluted for silly reasons, notably trackEd destroying commented entries. Doh!

  5. if you need a tester. inbox me with instructions and yes im a max user
  6. Ude tracked for the things you listed. Info in the documents section of "www.racer.nl".
  7. ive been experimenting a little bit. my biggest problem is i cant figure out where to put the start positions or timelines. once i can figure that out then the rest "should" be easier...do i take the coordinates from within 3damax (grid positions) and put them in the special ini? this is all new to me
  8. No you draw the start positions in trackEd, holding down shift and click dragging on the road geometry iirc.

    But yes, eventually the entries in special.ini are just coordinates. You can easily set up geometry/dummies in Max and take the positions from them and fire that data to an output to copy/paste, or even build an entire special.ini from Max outputs eventually.

    I've sometimes output special objects from Max that are aligned perfectly with my grid in 3DS Max, loaded *just* that object in trackEd, and then made the grid start positions by snapping to the vertices in trackEd.

    I've also done it by hand, so taken vert positions in xyz and put them into special.ini manually... but note that the Max vs Racer coord system is different iirc. I can't remember for sure hehe, but pretty sure Y and Z are swapped, so Z is up in Max, but Y is up in Racer... or maybe that is just cars?! Hehe.

    It's all a bit of a faff really, but it's also flexible which is nice. Ie, the files are all human readable and easily editable by hand or whatever, so that gives you freedom to approach tasks in the best ways for you.

    As for timelines, all the same as above, just shift click to draw them and the pointer will snap to surfaces in trackEd... so often easier to turn off objects in trackEd to do these tasks.
    BUT, note that commenting out entries will delete them when you save (trackEd handy feature :( ), so you have to backup your geometry.ini, delete the entries you don't want, then make edits, then save, then revert the old geometry.ini... nice and convoluted approach vs just having trackEd respect comments hehe.

    Please note too, that the first spline cross-section is ALWAYS the first timeline too.

    Racer will force the first timeline to the first spline cross-section. That is both a good and bad thing... for me it caused issues with AI and point to point track setups like rally stages or drag strips.

    There may be ways around it but I'm not sure. Maybe someone else has found a way to get point to point working nicely with AI and timings working properly!?


  9. thanks for all the help so far, last night i actually got my track workiing, and to say i was feeling full of pride was an understatement, there is still alot to do, like setting up the time lines etc. and splines and all that fancy stuff, but was feeling quite proud of myself..not bad for an old fella lol...just another quick question with picture attached, what is this, and what do i do with them

    cheers again

    Attached Files:

  10. forgot to ask. is there a poly and material (texture) limit for track making/conversion?
  11. I've not bumped into any limits here yet wrt triangles.

    But I have a feeling there are DOF and shader limits, but they're pretty high... well beyond what you'd reasonably use on any well optimised track project.

    Even something like the Targa Florio track would be do-able with some batching/optimisation I'm pretty sure. It shouldn't be something that will limit your imagination I don't think, or hope :)

    Are you converting anything exciting?


  12. cheers yep, currently looking at Singapore and yas marina from f12010, I chose these 2 because they are high quality, i'm not sure I would even attempt to release them, as they appear to be 1.6m rendered faces,in total, when it's complete, i'm only at around 600000 and right now i'm getting around 30fps I've got a 2gb dx 11 vid card, amd r7 200s installed. it's mid range. I would need to seriously look at reducing faces for it. currently 7000 dofs installed. and i'm not even done with fences and the rest of the buildings yet for Singapore...I may have to reconsider this track and find one that's not so ppoly heavy....I like Singapore and yas marina they're unique...
  13. oh btw how does alpha channels work for fences and such?
  14. Yeah the alpha works for fences and stuff, you just need the right shaders to make them work as expected.

    As per poly limit, 1.6m isn't that bad at all really. The issue is 7000 DOF files.

    Each DOF will incur a draw call, which is expensive on the CPU side of things. If you bog the CPU down with too much work it'll just slow the GFX down for no real reason.

    Obviously culling and other things may mean many DOF are not actually rendered etc, but there is still probably extra processing because of checking 7000 DOF.

    Ideally what you'd do is combine all the fences that use the same texture on the track into ONE fence geometry.
    You can split it back up later if you think you need to for performance reasons, and even set an LOD for those specific chunks when you think they are not visible (turn them off basically)

    So for a track like Yas Marina, you may combine all items that share a texture into one object, and then split it perhaps 5 or 6 times depending on the view panorama down each straight, and cutting just around the next corner. That way you can tune the LOD so the stuff you can't see isn't even loaded.

    Combining items like this, and even further combining textures into texture atlases, can save oodles of CPU overhead and gain FPS.

    On my old system making the trees on Roggel from about 10 trees into one tree texture, and one big object instead of hundreds, gave me about 30% more FPS!

    So yeah, just optimise the content. 1.6m polygons should be a bit of a breeze with LOD's etc. You are probably only actually seeing about 200k polygons at a time.

    Your current slow-down is likely due to very high draw call count.

    You can check that on the CTRL 4 or 6 debug screen iirc.


  15. right ok, I might take another look then, what I had been doing is, adding layers in 3ds then exporting the exsisting layers plus the new ones out, but I figured out you don't need to export the whole scene out again, you can export out the new layers...ie I was exporting everything out, I figured out I only need to export fences for example...thanks dave for all y our advice and help thus far.

  16. Hehe, I'm a bit confused.

    In the end you want the batch count as low as possible.

    I have OGL draw calls count around 300-400 on most tracks and that should be fine... and I'm not even optimising really heavily.
    With more cutting for LODs and turning stuff on/off and whatever else you could really eke out a lot of FPS and cut GPU load.

    Just it takes time.

    But it's best imo to start from a point of having most stuff that can be run in an atlas, run in an atlas. Then combine all alike materials. THEN start to split them down based on viewing angles and visibility in scene. Ie, stuff like lamp posts might be invisible by 300m in game.
    And fences can have two meshes. One the wires, one a shadow caster. I can then turn off the shadow casting part at say 400m to save some GPU time.

    There is loads of stuff to get it running nice on your older machine :)

    Why not start a WIP thread so we can see what you're up to and help as you go along?! :D

  17. i'm not sure what "atlas" is, but ok. i've posted a wip progress thread for 2 tracks i'm envisioning. i tried to attach objects in 3dsmax, but when i go to export it, crashes it, like a bitch so i'm not sure what to do there, when i finally was able to export a piece of fence as a test, it split the dof's up again, what the hell, how am i supposed to get a lower dof count if the, dof epxporter is splitting them up. i'm wondering if exporting as ase. and importing into tracked will help with the frame rate. i'm not sure what else to do quite frankly...i've discovered an app called polygon cruncher, it reduces polygons..but that isnt going to help with the lods is it...i'm not sure how to create lod's i've never had this problem before..because the last game i modded for was wr2 it did it's own lod's..etc
  18. i've learned how to do splines courtesy of another thread here on the forums, so feeling pretty pleased with myself, on that regard. i considered looking at rfactor versions of the tracks i'm doing but they just arent asthetically(spell?) easy on the eyes....in other words i'm trying to stay in a high poly state of mind, i know it's not going to be entirely possible to have it high poly, unless i can work out what this atlas thing is you speak of, etc etc..but i will get there lol. it's funny this was supposed to be a time killing exercise while i'm waiting for summer to arrive, so i can fire up the spray gun and start spraying but i'm actually enjoying the challenge lol.
  19. How many polygons were on the fence object?

    There are limits to the polygons per material that the ASE > DOF parser will allow, despite DOF itself allowing many hundreds of k's of triangles with the same material, just in multiple geom within a geob.

    I've mentioned this to Ruud before, because it makes the ASE workflow really frustrating as you have to work around things just so that import part will work.

    So ideally stick to under 20k triangles per 'material' within any given object you export.

    Jeez, just explaining this makes me want to smash my head into a brick wall. It's so stupid. It worked ok back in 2001 when track poly levels were much smaller, but today it's really limiting flexible working practices.

    I promise I'll have a good bash at a DOF exporter from Max, or an entire track exporter eventually. One click, track ready to drive.


  20. i had been using the "CTR" for max, but found it was splitting objects 20:1 or something ie it took one object and was splitting it 20x. so i switched to using the dof exporter and then importing into tracked, now instead of having 7000 objects in tracked, i have maybe 300 or so. the biggest killer is still the fences, they are like 300 faces each and you combine that by a couple dozen it can slow things right down. i'm looking at buying (yes i said buying lol) poly crruncher license it reduces the amount of faces in the mesh, also reduces quality, but thats the price you pay for being able to race around a track and not having huge slow downs.

    when i first started fiddling with racer, it gave me headaches, because no one wanted to teach or share anything with anyone...but over the years you guys have become more friendly and racer has gotten better..

    therer is still alot i dont understand, but with time i'm sure i wil get to know it better.
    right now my biggest concern is getting a working track in racer..(you can get a fully working track ffor the most part at least using bob's builder) but i prefer max..i can see what i'm working with..

    again thanks for all the help you have been giving me,