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Trying to add shadows in Racer

Discussion in 'Racer' started by dangar, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. I'm trying to improve some tracks to make it more realistic.
    The common miss thing in all of them are... shadows.

    Without shadows the track seems plain and some kind of unreal.

    I've started to investigate the Racer documentation, but, as usually, does not clarify so much.
    Apparently, if you add som cast objects around your abject, you should get some kind of shadow effect.
    You define your cast object in geometry.ini inside 'shadows', but if you open the track, nothing different happens.
    Plus... if you open the track in tracked, when you save the track, the shadows{..} definitions for objects in geometry.ini simply dissapears... quite annoying.

    Maybe using CGs?
    I' noticed a neat shadow effect in Swiss-stroll track, creating a semitransparent object with the shadows on it...
    How can I generate 'automatically' this object?

    Kind regards!
  2. Hi. The shadows on Swiss Stroll are just polygons which are placed just above the track surface, with a shadow texture and blend shader to make them blend with what's underneath. The shadows themselves would've been made when the track was created, you'd need the track in Blender or 3DS Max to do them I'm afraid - no way of making shadows in TrackEd. Another problem with those is that you can't change them depending on the actual track lighting, seems a bit strange having shadows pointing east when the sun is shining from the east side of the track too :tongue:

    If you're asking about the volume shadows mentioned on racer.nl, most of the track making info on there is years out of date and I can tell you from experience that the volume shadows don't work any more, I tried long ago. As far as I know they were introduced probably 6 or 7 years ago and only worked for a couple of versions before they were taken out, caused other problems apparently.

    I agree with you totally about the lack of shadows - other games have had shadow maps for years now (even those baked into the map lighting itself like in the old Unreal engine) and it would really add a lot to the visuals in Racer.

    Hope this helps :smile:
  3. Hi Bruce,
    This brings up a thought I've had for some time. Why can't we use swiss strolls shadow texture to shade cars as they drive over them, nothing elaborate but it would just darken the lighting. I know some people will bring up TOD and such but I've been waiting for any kind of decent shadows for 10 years now.
    This would work as a stop-gap measure and add a lot to Racers feel.

    Alex Forbin
  4. Pfft. Unbelievable, I check the blog for months and the one day I don't, it gets updated with the very subject I mention. LOL

    Looks good, I hope it's not horribly slow like the old system was.

    Go Mitch! :cool:

    Alex Forbin
  5. 40 fps on GTX285? :s On mine 250 I think it will be 30 lol. "/ I hope not happen (yn).
  6. He, he, he :tongue:.

    Mitch, we want more screenies! :smile:
  7. Alex - yep, I remember you mentioned that when the Cg first came in, I think the problem we had back then was that Cam or someone said it would need some kind of camera system to project the shadow upwards? Pretty much the same issue that I had when I tried doing projected lights.

    The shot on the blog looks great though :tongue:

    Nah, it might not be that bad, you'll probably be able to turn the quality of the shadows down anyway :smile:
  8. I agree it looks like Mitch has something much nicer in the works.

    Hey Mitch! beta beta beta. ;)
    At least we could tell you how fast/slow it might really be.

    Alex Forbin
  9. I'm running on a 8800 and it runs ... ok (30 fps with high detail car in view).
    The problem (i think) is that renderengine needs to be optimized so it can handle multiple renderpasses.

    Let's (try) do it right the first time so Ruud does not have to spend hours reading emails about people having bad performance. :p
  10. What do you think of the method I mentioned? While it wouldn't be preferable to what I've seen on the blog it might be a cheap (resource wise) way to get shadow like effects on non CG machines.

    Alex forbin
  11. But the we have suddenly 2 options for shadows and everything becomes a mess again. No offence, but non Cg machines really should not be supported any more... :)
  12. np. True, at the rate hardware improves it's probably a moot point anyway.

    Alex Forbin
  13. Shadow mapping is great in the way that it does not need any additional work on the content side of things, just enable/disable shadowmapping and youre ready to go. I dont really understand your method but shadowmapping is the way to go nowadays with a straight forward renderer (non-deferred).

    Some1 is right about non-cg machines.
  14. Speaking of, is Racer heading the way of deferred rendering?
  15. Racer has no benefit in using a deferred renderer, i feel. What do you guys think?
  16. Wouldn't it allow multiple proper light sources with shadows?
    Proper headlights etc.?
  17. Yes, and thats about the only thing it adds. Extra lightsources are only interesting for night tracks or tunnels.
    The drawbacks like no anti-aliasing or transparency issues are to significant.
    All these issues can be fixed but it comes at a cost.
    Deferred shading is not always better, its slower and visually not as interesting as the forward renderer we use at the moment.

    Deferred rendering is not a revolutionary rendering technique that replaces the forward renderer, its a choice that should match the type of software you are making.

    Thats how i feel about it, though, i could be wrong, im not an expert at deferred shading
  18. Ultimately, it would be very awesome to have headlights and streetlights cast dynamic colored shadows and whatnot. But in reality, I think I isn't that easy to implement a fundamentally different renderer in an existing rendering pipeline, is it?

    I would be happy to have the shadow mapping (with self shadowing) and light mapping for headlights and streetlights without the dynamic shadow castings from those sources. Something, that just works, looks ok and is complete!
  19. From what little I understand about it, it looks like it'd be a huge amount of work to do for little benefit?

    Just my humble opinion but Racer has the potential to look pretty damn good now, now we're getting to the point where things on the graphics side are starting to work nicely together again, people are getting to grips with the Cg system and we're starting to see some nice ideas come out of that..

    What it really needs is everything adjusted to work well together - textures, lighting, atmosphere etc, that's the major thing now IMHO. Really making everything work together for a new stable version, so there's a chance to get some nice content out there again.