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Trees vs. Framerate

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Davesta, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. [​IMG]


    As you can see by the pictures, the track I am creating has a lot of trees around it which looks great and gives the track a really good atmosphere of being in a forest. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I have a relatively good PC (AMD Athlon X2 6000+ 3.1GHz, 3GB RAM, ATi 3850 512mb) framerates are beginning to suffer, and that's without the shadows from the trees which are required to create that feeling of driving through a tunnel of trees. The reason for this is evident when I look at the wireframe view - the trees have so many polys it's ridiculous.

    I could use tree walls to create the same effect, but I feel this would not look anywhere near as good, so I was wondering what you guys think, whether I should get rid of some of the trees and use tree walls instead as a compromise.

    I was also wondering whether it is possible to create shadows without them ruining the framerates?
  2. I play RBR and the original tracks have a lot of vegetation but they have also tree walls. Without tree walls you can see "lights" among the trees and this looks unreal, unless you have a huge amount of trees. If you use tree walls properly nobody will notice it.

    If we could plant millions of trees, bushes, grass, the models would be marvelous. But we can't.

    With tree walls may be you could try to plant trees not so close to each other.
  3. I also think you should use tree walls. They may not look as good but we always need to find a balance between framerate and appearance.

    Try driving very slowly round the Lienz Rally track and see how ISI disguised it the tree walls. You should also remember that while people will look at the track in screenshots, most of their time will be spent driving as fast as possible and not worrying too much about whether you 3D or 2D.
  4. Maybe do the tree's close to the track normally and then use tree walls behind them. That should be a good compromise.
  5. That's what I've decided to do. Thanks.

    I'm still interested to know - is there any way of having realistic shadows without compromising framarates?
  6. I had the same video card. And same problem with my Cravens Creek track. It has over 300 trees. When I upgrade to my ATI HD4670 cards I get 80+fps , thats up 50+ fps.

    I just kept in my head that with the way computers change that it would not be a problem for most systems in the very near future. (2 weeks :laugh2:)

    My 2 cents worth.
  7. You have now found out what has always sucked about making complex tracks ...

    It is Always a compromise when building any track ...

    It is not just the number of polygons for a given area ... its textures as well, How they get rendered, the size of the texture, does the texturing have Bump and specular rendering as well ...

    All these these things are fair game as far as the CPU/GPU is concerned ...

    So you must always be aware of "How much stuff" you place in any drivable area ...

    For instance ... the number one FPS killer on most tracks (Crank up your system to get the maximum graphic display to witness for yourself) is the Pit road and start/finish area ...

    Why? this are always seems to place where most love to go overboard in detail.

    Don't get me wrong, eye-candy is great, but you don race on eye-candy ... you race on the racing surface and the terrain that surrounds it. You must always compromise to achieve the best FPS without destroying the "RACE" ... Atmosphere vs. Race-ability ... How may cars are you going to have on track visible? Is it a Night race (A REAL FPS KILLER), Is it going to be a tightly joined pack of cars in a small circuit, or will the cars be spread out ofter a lap or two?

    All this is part of the compromises ... you have to always be willing to give up something to have something else ...

    For me, ITS the EYE CANDY ...

    RACING experience is #1, What I drive on and and the terrain the course is laid out on always wins over "How main grandstands with people taking pictures and seeing flash bulbs going off", or "driving down pit road and have a fully decked out tool box in the garage, and being able to count the number of tools in each box".

    It is great for effect but does not do squat for when you are racing, other than drain off FPS ...

    Just my humble opinion ... So cheat where you can get away with it in terms of creating a forest .... when you have lots of objects to place and when close to the racing area
  8. check mine
  9. The other thing I noticed in your screenshot is alot of those trees are out of the line-of-site of the driver. Therefor, they arent necessary at all.
  10. Tree issue solved.

    I am, however, still wondering what is the most effective way to add shadows to this part of the track:

  11. I would make a shadow object with 4 planes in a plus shape (+) and add it next to only the deep looking parts of your trees.

    The shadow object is more less a single tree (x shape) turned sideways.
  12. what about try to create a shadow texture and apply in the tarmac like a skid mark using walls.

    i try to make some example... hope you know what i try to say with the eaxmples are the same with change in colors i never work whit transparence before firt time i do and i donĀ“t check if works.


    Attached Files:

    • DDS.rar
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  13. Could you possibly expand on this? I'm not sure how it would be done.


    Also, thanks liquido. This is a good idea and I will try it if nothing else works, but I was looking more for the whole area (including terrain, walls and cars) to be under shadow, not just the track.
  14. I think the following images will help you.

    Im just using a basic tree from BTB. I will try and get one up for you to d/l by tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

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    • s2.jpg
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    • s3.jpg
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