Track Modding noob questions

Discussion in 'Track Modding' started by Chris Lesperance, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Chris Lesperance

    Chris Lesperance Registered

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    I just want to start off, that I am a complete noob at this. My motivation and head can go into weird places and I'm not sure why I am doing this :confused:. After taking some time in the car world, I thought it was a good idea to look into track converting. After finding @SPASKIS youtube tutorial, I was stunned and shocked that I was able to get a track at least into Dev mode!



    So I had a couple rF1 track ideas in my head that I really wanted to see in rF2. Each one I'm hoping to build off the next. So I'm just looking for options as I'm not proficient in actual 3d modeling. I'm comfortable with 3DSimEd.

    (Sorry I don't have screenshots yet)
    My first project - Metro by Bassguy. I've always been a fan of this track and figured it might be good for the Formula E cars. For this one, it is just converting the track, and getting it working in game with the rF2 features. Currently I have it working, and got some of the shaders/textures to a working rF2 format. A lot of it needs to be updated, but I got it in game and working.

    Now my questions:
    General Questions:
    - What is a shadow group? I've seen it listed in a few spots. I'm not sure what that is (again, I'm a noob to this modding :) )
    - What is the policy for S397 assests? I will always credit them if I use something, but if a truck, grandstand, trees etc can be used and works, is that allowable for a release? Is there some kind of asset pack?

    For Metro:
    1. The grandstands need to be scrapped and replaced. I should be able to get another asset from another track. For moving that asset into place, does 3DSimEd have an easier moving tool, or is using the text based, XYZ coordinates the only way? Are you able to select multiple objects and move them all together?
    2. I applied the realroad shader from the tutorial video. But I don't think it is working. I have the track .gmt with the "racesurface" prefix. Does it need to follow the "racesurface_T#_S#" format? I'm not sure of what the T# and S# signifies. I'm currently using the racesurface_original GMT name format. If it isn't something with that, I think it might be down to polygon density. I thought that was a realroad thing. Is there an "easy" way to increase that, possibly using blender?

    I think I'll probably have questions on the puddle map and a lot more specifics as I dig into everything deeper.

    Second Project: Bullrun 1000k
    I've always been a fan of the original sim races. Bullrun I always thought as a huge one back in the day. I would love to give this the rF2 conversion treatment and add a lot more objects to give it more atmosphere and have it be more like a real track (How do the trucks get into the paddock? LOL!) So my plan for this is to add infield roads and a few bridges, a lot more trees and objects. I think I would have to do some landscaping as well o make those work. All of that is out of my current realm of 3d modeling. My question for this, is Bob's Track Builder a viable tool for this? Is Race Track Builder better? I've never used either. Is it possible to load a track into them or do I need to learn to do those items in Blender or 3DSMax? I know learning the 3d modelers will be more helpful in the long run, but I feel it is a steeper learning curve. But I'm wondering if Bobs would also make it a bit easier on the Metro question above.

    I'm hopeful that I can do a good enough job with them and get permission to do a public release eventually. If I can do a good enough job, I do have several future ideas beyond this...
     
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  2. dylbie

    dylbie Registered

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    Interesting thread as I'm in the same situation myself. Done a few cars, but want to do tracks in future. I've dabbled with Mallory after a visit in real life, but soon realised I'm way out of my depth, and also found out that @philrob has Mallory in the works.

    My goal would be to get all the tracks from this video for the 60s touring cars to race on. I know the creator so I'm sure permissions would be easy enough to obtain...

     
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  3. Coutie

    Coutie Moderator

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    I believe shadow groups are related to shadow settings, so you can hide shadows for different graphics settings.
    I think it's ok to use 397 stuff in rfactor2, not other games though.
    1. No idea
    2. Just needs racesurface as prefix, materials need _wet as suffix, or they'll look yellow.
     
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  4. Chris Lesperance

    Chris Lesperance Registered

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    Well just an FYI, Bobs Track Builder does not have an import function. You can only import .csv or a Google Earth .KML. So that is disappointing
     
  5. Gilles Benoit

    Gilles Benoit Registered

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    Bonjour Chris,

    Bullrun (if it is the one you are talking about) was a Papyrus track made for N2 (I think) and I redid it later for the 2008 The Pits Bullrun 1000. I just checked and I still have the 3DSMax files so I can export it to a Blender format if you need it.

    Cheers !
    Gilles
     
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  6. Corti

    Corti Registered

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    It would be a good pack to add to this thread and learn all of all. :rolleyes:
     
  7. lordpantsington

    lordpantsington Registered

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    *COUGH*
    [​IMG]
    And here I thought no one cared such that I could just plod along at my leisure. I would say that neither Bob's nor Race Track builder are going to be sufficient tools to do what needs to be done. In life the more I've tried to find the quick way, the more I understand that just doing it full out would have been easier/more efficient, even if it comes with a substantial learning curve.

    I like your approach, been there myself, but I also did not not want to 'modernize' the track in such a way as to step on the toes of those that came before me, I want to respect the work that was done. I've seen people disown rf2 Mills, there is a fine line to tread.
     
  8. davehenrie

    davehenrie Registered

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    I looked at that without reading the prior posts by Gilles. And I thought, 'gee whilikers, that looks like the Bullrun 1000 track." But then I thought, Naw, nobody would be remember that beast. All I can say is AWESOME! We put a-lot of miles on that track every year. It evolved into one of the first true team driver online events. I should point out, there were two versions, the first with two mega-banked turns as if one corner of Daytona rose up out of no-where and then another rose up and entered a switchback.
    The 2nd version mostly flattened those two corners so the track more closely resembled a true roadcourse and not some hybrid.
    (now I'll have to find the P-51 Mustang skin we ran one year there.)
     
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  9. Gilles Benoit

    Gilles Benoit Registered

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    Dave, I opened a few Max files and I have a few different versions including one with the chicane before entering the last banked turn. I remember the hard braking and snaking out of the corner there ! :)

    If I was to redo it for rF2 I would certainly start from the basic layout and do a new a new loft with a mesh fine enough for rF2. The rF1 mesh would be the "template".

    I agree with Lordpantsington that it's better "doing full out would have been easier/more efficient". If you need files - Write me back ! (Chris has already done :))
     
  10. Chris Lesperance

    Chris Lesperance Registered

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    With that going on, I'll scrap my plan as I need to just learn the basics. That would be a great addition @lordpantsington!!

    In the mean time I'll stick to the Metro track., and I'll see what I can do from there!
     
  11. R Soul

    R Soul Registered

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    One thing that is very important is to increase the poly count/density. I've driven some conversions which cause a terrible amount of bumping because the corners were too low poly.

    I think ISI/S397 provide an example of one of the small ovals. That's shows you what sort of poly density the track should have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  12. Chris Lesperance

    Chris Lesperance Registered

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    Yup, I noticed that on my initial conversion of Bullrun. The banked corners were pretty rough. I do need to figure out how to do that with Metro.

    I'm in the middle of redoing my PC, and moving into a new apartment. So it'll be a bit delayed. Progress with Metro has been pretty good so far, and I have been enjoying it. The textures from Lester mostly line up with the ones from Metro. So I'm placing in the Formula E signage. I might try and do more of an Indycar look as a look alternative.

    So the things that I have left (before a beta release) are:

    Increase poly density of track surface
    Figure out some higher resolution building textures
    Put in high resolution/3d grandstands
    Confirm realroad/rain etc works
     
  13. Brent

    Brent Registered

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    Increasing the poly density of the track surface also improves the resolution of the real road. I ran into this with a low density track where the real road would build up but the groove and marbles was not very defined. Both were more defined after increasing the poly density.

    My suggestion is extract some tracks you like into a separate library folder to use as reference, I started with Joesville as a baseline but it's so old that I started looking at other tracks to get a feel for what shaders other modders were using for different objects. It gave me a better idea of how I should setup specular and bump maps, alpha blending alpha chroma transparancy etc.
     
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