LiDAR circuit models

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by toodaft, Sep 28, 2011.

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  1. toodaft

    toodaft Registered

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    Hi All,

    According to the following source: http://rfactor-pro.com/Services.aspx related to rFactor Pro, some interesting tracks are available in a very accurate modelization.

    My question will not surprise anybody...
    Is there any chance that (some of) these tracks are made available in rfactor ?

    I have read some concerns about licenses and associated costs, but Iracing seems to offer this type of service for a price that is accessible to a wide audience...

    I have also read that some people would be willing to invest several hundreds of dollars/euros to benefit of this potential offer, and I am one of them.

    May I know your point of view regarding these topics ? Thanks.
    Wishing you all the best in your future development phases :)
     
  2. 88mphTim

    88mphTim Staff Member

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    No, when you license content you license them per product. For example I have licensed some stuff for rF2 and the contract states 'rFactor 2 and derivatives'. occasionally also you can buy laser scan data from a facility but they specify it's usage.

    iRacing charges for these tracks on a track by track basis. ISI are perfectly happy and capable of doing laser scanned tracks, just write us the check. :) Any investors are welcome to contact us if they want to assist in getting more laser scanned tracks available, but it's simply not a viable way of doing business without being accompanied by a pricing which most customers don't want. Also, it's really possible to argue the benefits, the real benefits of laser scanning, no-end.
     
  3. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    ... because people don't understand the inherent inaccuracies that are necessary (note: not optional ;)) to get a game running in realtime. They see iRacing with 'laser-scanned tracks' and think every cm is perfect. Funny thing is iRacing (to their credit) don't actually make specific accuracy claims as far as I know, they just state the technology used, and once again it's the users who make assumptions.
     
  4. CdnRacer

    CdnRacer Banned

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    Ah yes another "expert" Start at 40 seconds here and listen to dale jr. mumble and stumble through the nearest cm claim.

     
  5. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    If people want to believe a racing driver, good luck to them. I see they quote him on the site as saying 'every inch is modeled perfectly', which, of course, they can do because they're not saying it's true - it's just his opinion :)

    I stand corrected though - while they don't give a lot of specifics on their site, they do talk about 'recording every millimeter (sic ;)) of the surface'. Of course, even if that were true (pretty sure it's not) you wouldn't see that fidelity in the game.

    So, I said 'as far as I know', and it looks like I missed something. Very sorry :p
     
  6. PLAYLIFE

    PLAYLIFE Member

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    Thanks for that redundant point, comprehension not your forte?

    Lazza's comment remains true.
     
  7. roadhog29389

    roadhog29389 Registered

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    i'm sure CdnRacer meant that sarcastically, that's at least how i took it
     
  8. CdnRacer

    CdnRacer Banned

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    Me sarcastic?! Never! Especially about something as serious as the marketing of iracing. :rolleyes:
     
  9. 88mphTim

    88mphTim Staff Member

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    Obviously I have some insider knowledge on how the iRacing stuff works, but it's not ethical or probably legal for me to discuss it too much. I did scan a few race tracks so I am very familiar.

    I just don't see the financial benefits of doing it now (lidar is cheaper than the iRacing method, it's worth noting). Also, it's worth pointing out that every car is different (an F1 car is different to an F1 spare car for the driver, even though technically they are exactly the same), so even if you did manage to find the same car and track combination in iRacing you're still going to have to adapt to both the car and track (especially if they have resurfaced a turn at the real track) when you get there. Also, I think it would be extremely dangerous to learn any circuit in a simulation and trust it... You can go faster or slower around a real turn depending on shadowing from clouds (!!), track surface temp, rubber, etc, etc. None of these are going to be the same at the real track as you've ever experienced in a sim, even if (as in rF2) those things are modelled, as there's just way too many variables. So what are the benefits to real drivers? Familiarity, of course. And just how close does it need to be to be familiar? And is that small difference worth the associated costs? And are those differences even visible? Infact, depending upon the situation, are those differences making the scan data out of date, incorrect or less realistic than other methods?

    The benefits to the average simracer are even more questionable. What do they gain from a good, realistic track than they can't get without laser scanning? Laser scanners can't go back in time, they can't ever bring you 60's Spa or either of the other tracks we're planning for that series, they can't even resurface the turn or change the track which has a new layout without a lot of work (just to get the scan data, never mind construction).

    It's really, really easy to just dismiss one technology or another, and really that's not what I'm saying for anybody to do with this post (but I do enjoy reading discussion on this subject). Like with everything, you just have to look at what you want, what you're getting out of it and what you're putting into it to get out what you get out (usually money for this one). Same as if you go buy a car, a house, or any other purchase. Every technology (and software) has a place in the market.
     
  10. Johannes Rojola

    Johannes Rojola Registered

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    This. I don't have anything against laser scanning, I guess it has its purpose somewhere. But it cant be absolute value when talking about game/sim content. Sure it is matter of taste do you like to race super-realistic modern Tilke-tracks and enjoy all the bore in its full glory - or do you want to enjoy long forgotten classic road track in middle of forest hand built by skilled, also hopefully devoted, game artists.

    With laser scanning you can only go so far, while with other means you're possibilites are almost limitless. And if you have even one onboard lap from any lost track of past, you can get pretty good feel of the surface and transform it to sim track. I bet not many would complain...

    I love that rF2 comes with old Spa, hopefully there are other vintage circuits in this release too :)
     
  11. CdnRacer

    CdnRacer Banned

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    Laser scanning has been around for awhile now in the sim racing world(I don't know how long) so you think it would be getting cheaper? I'm talking about the equipment needed to do the scan. How long does the scanner have to sit in the one spot to read all the information? I guess the circuit itself charges licensing fees and track time to do the actual scan.


    Laser scans are nice but I always think of tracks like NeelJ's version of Mosport or nr2003s version of watkins glen and simbins version of okayama. I actually prefer simbins version of okayama and neeljs mosport over the laser scanned versions. Nr2003s watkins glen is right on par with the laser scanned version.

    Anyways my opinion on it is that they are a bit of a gimick. Nobody will ever be able to scan Machwerk 1967. :p
     
  12. theother5

    theother5 Registered

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    I've not driven on laser scanned tracks so I cannot claim there what the difference is or not. Honestly, my gut tells me I'm not missing much, judging on the commentary by those in the know!

    In the ideal world I do want as a realistic track as possible. Obvious things like straights, camber, entry, apex and exit of corners, track width, length, track slope and blind corners, kerbs and run-off areas, pit entry and exit, pits limit lines, start and finish lines are already done very well.

    The individual track signature characteristics such as bumps can be covered also in the above but then maybe the level of accuracy reduces some when talking about grip characteristics of certain sections of certain tracks etc. OK by me ... I'm not using rF as a tool for real life anyway and will never know what I missing ..... and I'm cool with that.
     
  13. 88mphTim

    88mphTim Staff Member

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    The issue with bumps really is that they are not always there. You may create a track without bumps because when you surveyed the track, there wasn't any. For example thinking of the most simplistic example like Daytona... They recently resurfaced it from a bumpy track and made it a smooth one. If you surveyed it now you wouldn't find many bumps, but check it again in a few years. ;) Another good example is a few tracks where they have constructed pedestrian tunnels under the track. They didn't intend to affect the track in any way but there can now be a big bump there. Ovals suffer from that a lot.
     
  14. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    I understand all three points of view:
    1. laser scanning isn't cheap since customers don't want to pay for that
    2. laser scanned tracks are not accurate forever - tracks got changing even from event to event
    3. some people says that in simracing as of kind of competition only racing against each other does matter. If track is more or less fantazy - doesn't matter.

    But, as said, there are people who want to have some reference. Believe that they are racing real track. Let's say, real track from July 2011. Then they will may say, I raced a track which indeed is like real one. Otherwise we may drop creating tracks based on real ones, and do only fantasy ones. Who cares. There will be racing and fun I'm sure. But there must be a reason why we want to race on Spa or Silverstone. And if we want it, we want to get most accurate representation as possible.

    Maybe nowadays laserscanning is expensive. Maybe there are a lot of people who are ready to pay for (sim)track (to be an owner of the content). Maybe some day, this technolohy will be cheaper and no one will say that it is not needed to get track into the game using LS.

    best regards
     
  15. GTFREAK

    GTFREAK Registered

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    If people want to believe they are racing the real track, I would suggest they race the real track. If you cannot afford to do that, you have to understand that no matter how much detail is put into a track or whether or not it's completely accurate makes no difference in the "feel" of it. That's up to whatever device you use for feedback and how the feedback is coded. Don't even get me started on how "real" these force feedback devices are (not). The only way to actually feel like you are there is to actually go there. You aren't going to come anywhere near as close to the real experience in modern games, even using expensive sophisticated hardware. You have to have some common sense when racing with these games (sims). I think more importantly, the question you should be asking yourself is how much fun are you having?
     
  16. mianiak

    mianiak Registered

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    Well said.
     
  17. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    just stupid. If you have money to do real racing, why don't buy rFPro instead of lamenting about too expensive LS content.

    As I said, some drives for fun, others to have some substitute of real racing (eg due to cost of real racing).
    In the second case, they want to simulate reality as best as technically possible - why not. So they will want to drive on Spa which is quite same toreal circuit instead SBT version which is 10 metres off.
     
  18. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    Every track is unique - different curb profiles, layout, corners profiling and specific spots around the track. All that can be laser scanned and all that makes the difference between racing on a "so-so" created track or the scanned one. I'm fully aware that simracing is not exactly the same as real racing in many aspects, but for me, the difference between laser scanned track and not scanned is big enough, that it does matter and it's NOT about FF! It's about how you drive a car around the track, how you plan your racing line. Which curbs to avoid and which use. All that matters...for me at least :)
     
  19. GTFREAK

    GTFREAK Registered

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    His opinions are just as valid as yours are. Please don't resort to calling his opinions stupid just because you disagree. I disagree with your opinions, but did I call them stupid? No, because I respect your opinion just as I would expect others to respect mine.
     
  20. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    Well, in the end it's obviously up to track makers how much work they want to put into making their track very close to reality. There are enough aerial photography resources, even free ones, on the net to get a track about as close as it reasonably needs to be (given all the week to week track variables and the fact that it's a sim - not real life - so will never be 'exactly right'). Some might argue that aerial shots and onboard cams aren't good enough, and they want laser-scanned tracks, even if they understand there are compromises in that process as well, but you can easily find a few anomalies in some popular rFactor tracks with a quick check against onboard footage and/or aerial shots.

    Sure, we could eliminate that with regulated track creation, but then we start losing the diversity that is one of the strengths of rFactor. Ultimately the community gets what it asks for, so if most people are happy with 'close enough' then it makes sense for track makers to get it to that level rather than spend increasing hours (with diminishing returns) making improvements that most people won't notice or care about.

    To me the fact that people have been using some of the 'slightly dodgy' layouts for literally years without complaint says that for all the apparent desire for accuracy most people don't care enough to check.
     

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