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Assetto Corsa Competizione | Interesting Read: Laserscan Technology in ACC

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
An interesting read from Assetto Corsa Competizione developers Kunos Simulazioni and 505 Games popped into the world recently, explaining a little more about laser scan techniques employed in Assetto Corsa Competizione.

What is laserscanning? I'm sure the vast majority of you know all about it, however just in case you don't it is basically the now industry standard way of capturing exactly how a track looks and feels before transferring it into a simulation - giving players the advantage of enjoying incredibly close to real life and detailed racing surfaces on which to drive our virtual cars.

That's my idiot description of it anyway. Better hand over to Marco Massarutto of Kunos and his interviewer Antonela Pounder (hi Ant!) of 505 Games to explain a little more, and how it improves the experience in ACC:

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What exactly is Laserscan technology? Can you give us a brief explanation for those who know little about it?
MARCO – Laser scanning combines controlled steering of laser beams with a laser rangefinder. By taking a distance measurement in every direction, the scanner rapidly captures the surface shape of objects, buildings, and landscapes. In short, the result is a massive amount of data that consists in a very dense 3D point cloud, allowing the artists to understand with max precision exactly where all details are placed in the space. This includes circuit kerbs, the grass, poles and the little bumps that affect the way car suspensions behave on them.

Can you talk a little bit about how the laserscanning technique works in Assetto Corsa Competizione?
MARCO – When laserscanned data for a specific circuit is already available, we can decide whether we want to purchase it or capture the data ourselves. If we go for the second option, we then request access to the track with our supplier via the circuit themselves. Once the data has been grabbed and processed, (more on that later) we deliver this to our 3D environment department, led by Simone Trevisiol. From here they can import the data and start to model the 3D mesh copying the 3D surface shown by the point cloud. We began using this technology ten years ago, during the development of Ferrari Virtual Academy. Since then, we’ve improved in several areas, from the capture itself, to the way we use the data in the game. Once we get all the data we need to start, a single circuit can require up to four months of development time.

ACC 1.jpg


How long does it take on average to Laserscan a circuit?
MARCO – Since renting out a circuit can be far more expensive, compared to laserscan survey costs, we’ve gone for a mobile solution, that allows us to reduce the time we need to spend on track. The LS device is installed on the roof of a van, that completes X number of laps on the circuit at very low speed, while the infrared cameras capture the scene. The amount of time depends on the complexity of the track, the buildings surrounding it, track layout and details, etc. On average, it usually takes half a day to complete. While this is ongoing, photographers shoot all the pictures we need to recreate the 2D textures that “dress” the 3D mesh.

How many circuits take advantage of Laserscan technology in Assetto Corsa Competizione?
MARCO – All of the circuits featured in game take advantage of Laserscan technology. The only exception is Zandvoort, as this was recreated by an external company for the previous Assetto Corsa title. As it was well received by our community for its appearance and precision, we didn’t feel the need to re-do it from scratch.

ACC 2.jpg



How will the player be able to tell they’re racing on a laserscanned circuit?
MARCO – Nice question! The player will tell you “wow, this feels the same as the real circuit” once they take a car to the real track and compare. Because they will feel the same bumps, over time they will find themselves taking the same driving lines of the simulation, finding the same kerbs (shape, height) in places, as well as the same reference points they use for braking. Of course, jump online and you’ll see a bunch of comparison videos that show how accurate a laserscanned track really is, but nothing is more effective as driving the real thing to recognise it.

Huge thank you to Marco for taking the time to answer some of our questions today. The attention to detail gone into Assetto Corsa Competizione is astonishing and hopefully today’s deep dive into the Laserscan technology highlights that! There is a lot to get excited about with this Official GT World Challenge title. Experience it for yourself now on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox.



Original Source; 505 Games

Assetto Corsa Competizione is available now on PC and console.

Got questions about the sim? Want to know how to make the most from your instal? No worries, fire up a new thread in the Assetto Corsa Competizione sub forum here at RaceDepartment, and let the community be your guide!

ACC Footer 2.jpg
 
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Slapped

Premium
The only outstanding about ACC is their marketing-blabla and the motion-dynamics in this game are IMO subpar with a severe lack of what I call 'Newton law's a physics'-simulation. These cars just have no proper weight in ACC and it's all about doing strange setups to pivot the cars faster around the corners. Certainly no sim is anywhere perfect, but ACC is just totally off for me and overrated af.

One man's "off" is a perfectly aged cheese/wine/meat for another.

As for overrated, well all sims are overrated as far as a certain sections of the community are concerned - I consider rF2 overrated, and a bit off, but I ain't going to complain about it, apart from the fact the 90% of the time it's been running it's been loading.

I enjoy ACC, really I do. I don't enjoy rF2, but I'm not going to tell anybody else not to enjoy it.
 
If you have never been to the Niurburgring, Bathurst, Daytona, Silverstone, or any other track, laser scanning won't make your experience any better. You don't know sh!t to begin with. As long as you get some FFB to use as a driving aid, you will just drive the circuit as it is. You have no idea what the experience should be.

Until you drive the laser scanned version, because of accurate data being used to create the most real world construct for the user to experience. Plus you have the satisfaction of knowing its as close to real world as current technology can get us, rather then the product of poor data and guesswork.

Laser scanned tracks definitely makes my experience better, on multiple levels, and its become the expected standard for good reason. High quality representation in a simulation is one of the goals these games are built upon after al.

Odd that you think you are in a position to tell people what aspect of the experience they will enjoy, or that there is even a faction pushing for lower quality tracks.

whats next? Tire models too detailed?

after all, not having driven that car, on that track, with those tires, in those conditions, we have no idea how they would act. Detailed tire physics wont make your experience any better, you don't know **** to begin with, You have no idea what the experience should be. (oh wait, there's that straw man again)
 
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One man's "off" is a perfectly aged cheese/wine/meat for another.

As for overrated, well all sims are overrated as far as a certain sections of the community are concerned - I consider rF2 overrated, and a bit off, but I ain't going to complain about it, apart from the fact the 90% of the time it's been running it's been loading.

I enjoy ACC, really I do. I don't enjoy rF2, but I'm not going to tell anybody else not to enjoy it.

Exactly, if I could I would upvote this comment several times over. Seriously, why the negativity, it just hurts simracing in the long run.

I own almost any game available, some I play more, some less and some not at all after some testing. Do I have to diss every game I don't like? Certainly not, it's a personal choice, I choose the games that fit my needs, and I'm well aware others have different ideas what the best game has to deliver, and that's fine.

If a game fails in the end, which might cater to a niche in the niche simracing because of to much negativity of some "fans", the only thing we accomplish is to have fewer games to choose from in the future.
 
Exactly, if I could I would upvote this comment several times over. Seriously, why the negativity, it just hurts simracing in the long run.
If you know that simulator aren't perfect. You will read critic it is overrated? That sentence comes from something simracers have done. :)

That term is not created out of nothing.
 
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