Laser scanned tracks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CordellCahill, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. CordellCahill

    CordellCahill Registered

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    Well iRacing has proved that the market is there. How about laser scanning some tracks and selling them?
     
  2. prentf1

    prentf1 Registered

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    I don't support the idea to sell additional tracks! It's like supporting the iR market and I hate that!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2011
  3. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    I'm not against paying for track but:
    - tracks should be high quality (only few rF tracks I know match this condition)
    - tracks shouldn't cost as much as iR ones. I could imagine some micro-payments or so.

    Some time ago, seeing much low quality tracks on rfc, I stated that tracks developed by community should be controlled by ISI receiving (or not) quality certificate. Such track might be released by ISI with some small price which would be shared between ISI and track developers.

    Unfortunately, nowadays laser technology is still not widely available to modders. Maybe in year or two.
     
  4. mianiak

    mianiak Registered

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    There is a laser scanner available that's been available for about 2 years and it only costs 400pounds(~650usd), but I cant remember what the name of it was. Plus I don't know how big of an area it works on, It might do a track, it might not.

    The problem with selling mods and tracks for rfactor is that you just get a heap of mates and all chip in a few bob, then one person buys it and gives it to the rest :D. You'd make more money by donations. If there was a key involved, someone would crack it.

    But in the end, this is not what rFactor is about and I think you would find modders will lose interest if it became a commercial thing, because once it becomes a commercial thing, the greedy get greedy and take all the fun out of it and the player base would drop off for lack of content. Plus the fact that if you do sell a track you need a license for it from the owner, then they would want royalties and in the end after paying all that extra tax for extra earnings and lawyer fees for contracts, etc, etc, you might end up with enough pennies to buy a red frog at the corner store. It would be too much trouble than what it's worth.

    If someone from ISI needs to inspect every track before it's released then that's a full time job which ISI will have to pay for, plus ISI will have to also pay for superannuation, holidays, insurance and so on for the person doing the inspecting, which will put the price of rFactor2 up to about $200 to cover costs :D

    If you don't like the tracks that people have spend month's building and putting their hearts into, using software they spent money on, to give to you for free, then don't download them... (that was not directed at the OP :) )

    But anyway, laser scanning is just one way to do it, there are other ways to get accurate data and in most cases you need to be in the location to do it, so in the end the amount of laser scanned tracks would be low anyway.
     
  5. unrealnoise

    unrealnoise Registered

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    So the old tracks could not be scan laser. :) The rfactor's concept is different.

    i'm think that, the ISI's traks is very good job, but unfortunately few of them will be.
    The laser scenned tracks not necessarily needed for the good quality tracks.

    I would support "the paying tracks". If a price would not be so expensive (up to $ 10-15 / track, would be an exception, if an old or very long track. + new (official) rfactor website.
     
  6. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    Depends on meaning of word: "good quality".
    If quality means "nice looking" - OK, laser scan is not needed. And even with that there are plenty unfinished tracks (but released as v1.0) with lo-quality textures, wrong lighting, shadows, lodouts etc etc.
    If it should mean "accurate" then laser scanning is only one way today.

    BTW: don't know if you ever compared tracks produced by SimBin hype-called "GPS scanned" to real world. Differences between real and what you got in-game are 2-digit numbers!

    And also note - more tracks today are conversions from other titles. Build accurate track from scratch, without laser scan technology is a work for a few years.
     
  7. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Registered

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    I'm not going to pay to download tracks. Donations I would do, but a required payment, no way. A good quality fictional track is a track that looks like it could be a real track. A good quality non-fictional track is one that will look a lot like the real thing. In either case, the track shouldn't be so detailed that it chokes out the graphics card when run at minimum detail, but when run at full detail, will look pretty much like the real thing.

    For those who don't have laser scanners, maps.google.com is the next best choice. As long as the images are up to date. If you know where all of the banking and hills are, that would be even better.
     
  8. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    Sorry, but we are talking about another 'dimension of quality'.
    If it is enough to you that 'non-fictional' track has the same direction turns than original one - your choice.
    But it is still far from what it could looks like. Just compare to Spa by iRacing.
    Usually in current rf tracks there are wrong turns (using goggle maps you may miss points more than decimetres), wrong elevation (you cannot do correct one with google maps), wrong curbs shape and finally no bumps at all.
    Even if you will measure a track by your own, you cannot get quality given by laser scan. You will even no close to it, cause you cannot get every detail manually.
    Without laser scan, tracks are like nfs comparing to other simulations.
    I cannot say it is what I want in rF. I can agree with it until I have no other choice. But day after day I'm starting to want better quality, closest to reality. And this is the thread about.

    So please stop those bull ****s about 'real tracks build using google maps' - looks like you don't even know what are you talking.


    If we are talking about payments: I believe that if quality track will cost, let's say 2-5-10$, most of us will pay for it. Doesn't matter if it will be required or donation. Who cares how it is called? Some one payed a lot of money/time to create great thing - why should it be spread for free?
    Or we may use tracks drawn-by-hand, far from reality but for free. There is always a choice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2011
  9. unrealnoise

    unrealnoise Registered

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    Yes, but unfortunately the old tracks are now with laser can't be created.
    The very old tracks use not laser, but the new tracks (current ones), are using with the laser scan. I would like to see old, classic tracks as well.
    If every track are very good quality and detailed (FFB and graphic), i would pay for all (Laser scanned track or not) ISI tracks.

    -- sry my bad english - again :)
     
  10. TChapman500

    TChapman500 Registered

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    So maybe nothing beats laser-scanning. That doesn't mean that you can't get very good accuracy without it. Like I said earlier, if you know the details of a track well, all you need is google maps for an overhead view of the track and you can place whatever features that google maps can't cover.
     
  11. beatnik

    beatnik Registered

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    As a current iRacing subscriber, I can definitely say you get what you pay for in track quality. HOWEVER, mianiak is right. You go more commercial then the rFactor modding community will become even more and more thinned out.
     
  12. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    I would like to see how do you map any 1cm wide bump manually ;)


    That's why price shouldn't be as high as for iR tracks. Symbolic payments should be enough - just to help track creators with buying laser scan services (at least until we all be able to scan objects using common mobile phones or so ;) )
    And I don't think so, that community may become thinner. There will be tracks done manually for free (let's sey from google maps, lol), and top quality for some small price. Without it, I believe we end up with inaccurate tracks or conversions from other titles (which are more or less inaccurate too)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2011
  13. beatnik

    beatnik Registered

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    I will say this, using Google Earth I have gathered an insane amount of data for creating tracks. As a new track creator, I am pleasantly surprised at how accurate things can be with Google Earth.
     
  14. lordpantsington

    lordpantsington Registered

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    And where was it stated that iracing tracks have 1cm gridded resolution for bump modeling? Link to source please?

    Google Earth pulls data from the same sources used to engineer roads (at least in the US). Those sources are freely available to use for building tracks. Is that accurate enough for you?

    Laser scanning is a bit of a farce. Put simply: there is way too much data to use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2011
  15. Uff

    Uff Registered

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    Which is not a bad thing, I think: imho it's better to have muche more informations and then remove what's not necessary, instead of guessing what's missing. :)
     
  16. mianiak

    mianiak Registered

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    Very easily actually, although its faster to use the uvw map modifier, but to manually do it you select the poly's you want to map, select the uvw unwrap modifier, in the uvw editor window, move the verts around the picture of the bump, collapse the modifier stack and there you have it. A 1cm bump, mapped with ease [​IMG]
     
  17. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    Do you really think I talked about how to make bumps?
    I'm talking about how to do bumps reflecting real ones on real track.
     
  18. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    Then rF 2 also should be for free, because of the same reason?

    I'm thankful for the community, making good tracks and mods, sharing with them, but with all those fake bumps on track and curbs you will NEVER get even close to what proper laser scanning can offer. As Maxym said - rF tracks are just similar to their real world equivalents. Directions are good, there is also a chance that elevation changes might be more or less correct... but that's it. All that niuances about corners camber, how curbs are layed out, surface imperfections... all that defines the "feeling" of particular track and how you can have a use of all that.
    Things are different now, than a few years ago. So called "sims" from SimBin have lots of fakes. Their tracks that used to be called pretty accurate some time ago... in fact, are not that accurate at all.
    I would not call having payed content for rFactor as "like supporting the iR market". If someone put effort and money to create high quality laser scanned track, then why he could not sell it (of course for a decent price)?
    I wouldn't mind paying ~10 dollars for a track with quality beeing like on par with what is in iRacing, because I will be racing on that track for a next few years. Of course, not all rF tracks must be laser scanned... but those most popular could be.

    And how long would take a few guys to "manually" recreate particular track characteristics just based on their visual observations? How many months? And that is only gathering data.... with laser scanning, you get raw data within 1-3 weeks. And the final effect with proper laser scanning will always be better.
     
  19. Pandamasque

    Pandamasque Registered

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    Just a few points.

    First of all. Try the laser scanned Eastern Creek for example and you'll see that scanning doesn't guarantee accuracy. 1cm 'micro-bumps'? Really? No wonder it feels like a washboard to drive.
    [​IMG]
    Can rFactor actually handle something more accurate then that?
    Laser scanning is a great way to acquire data. The important thing is what you do with it afterwards.

    Secondly. If someone called, say, Scott_J releases a track for download free of charge on RFC, that's fine, business as usual for the modding community. If the same track is released as purchasable DLC then the whole licensing issue arises, if the track represents a real world venue.
     
  20. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    Laser scanner itself is just a tool. And some tools are better, other can be worse - that's the first thing. Then, you have to know how to use that tool (and we are not talking about knowing how to extend its legs... ;-) ). Then, you have to know, what to do with the gathered data and it looks like we both agree on that.
    Like you also noticed, there can be laser scanner tracks that are not like you would expect. That's why I intentionally bolded terms "high quality" and "proper".
     

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