The future of sim racing track design

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Patrick Schilhan, May 25, 2017.

  1. Patrick Schilhan

    Patrick Schilhan Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  2. Patrick Schilhan

    Patrick Schilhan Well-Known Member

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    hopefully the look of a virtual track in some years … *dreaming*

    details, details, details, ...
    [​IMG]
    (source: google street view)
     
  3. Andi Goodwin

    Andi Goodwin Moderator Beta tester

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    remember 2 things , laser scanning is a like a photo , its that moment in time that is captured ; after that tracks move ... bumps get bigger etc

    also it depends on how much of the scan info you can incorport into the game without making peoples rigs melt trying to process all this info

    Andi
     
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  4. sbtm

    sbtm Well-Known Member

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    Patrick, we all know you love laser scanned tracks.... but have you ever compared twin ring motegi in iracing and r3e? The iracing version has no details at all.
    Just saying.

    Scanning a track with a laser alone doesn't make it a good virtual track.
     
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  5. fufsgfen

    fufsgfen Member

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    Afaik, laser scanned data is just cloud of insects, then different techniques are used to get that cloud to surfaces.

    Amount of data is usually then drastically reduced for realtime model, it all takes time and is a lot of work, there is accuracy, but also there is lot of translation by one who does make track.

    Laser scanning is a tool, but just a tool, only human can tell what details are those that matter and which are just waste of computing power.

    For example Road Atlanta Lidar, while it is awesome experience, with different textures it can look whole different.

    Update: I can't remember if rF2 Road Atlanta is laser scanned, but it is like here:


    This is Lidar version of Road Atlanta (made by single person as a hobby), not sure why footage is so choppy, might be YT doing:


    Anyway, textures, grass etc. those make big difference, but also that last turn is different, I'm always ending to grass when I drive other one as turn is bit different angle right after crest.

    Track making is not easy, especially when making photo realistic tracks, even professionals can use too strong colors etc.

    Laser scanning helps though, but it's not quite holy grail, at least not yet, afaik.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  6. RWB 3vil

    RWB 3vil Member

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    Not only is it a matter of transferring the correct amount of data that becomes usable its also mega expensive to purchase laser scanned data.

    You can achieve the same overall detail from ariel photos for area detail, and video/photos of the track surface for the road detail if you pay enough attention to detail and have the time to build it, but of course the accuracy of the track elevation and bump detail will be much more accurate from laser scanned data but it comes at a BIIIG cost on top of the licence that you have to pay to be able to have the track in your game (€80-150,000).

    To be fair as long as the track is as close as they can get it and they dont add bumps that arent supposed to be there then im fine with it. If a company can afford to have each track they wish to add laser scanned for accuracy and partial development time reduced then great but if Sector3 cant afford to buy laser scan data every time yet they manually create each track and its as close as they can get it then thats great too.

    Having laser scanned tracks isnt absolutely needed if you have track developers that are keen on attention to detail and make great effort reproducing tracks.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  7. fufsgfen

    fufsgfen Member

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    Using that higher end of scale €150 000 would be like gross income of 2500 full content packages during sale, but there is then additional costs, taxes stuff and all that, so selling 5 000 track licenses for the price of 60€ each might not be enough to make profit.

    For 6€ per track pricing, volume would need to be far more than 50 000 I believe.

    There is not knowing how much content is sold, but I would be surprised if some track would of sold much more than 200 000 as group of buyers is relatively small. Then of course there are other content that can support sales of tracks etc. However it is not easiest business.
    Making track without laser scans, I'm not sure how long that takes from Raceroom developers, there is costs too.

    As long as track is not billiard table smooth and has enough close layout, characterstics like curb shape and height etc. I either don't care how track was made.
     
  8. Not Lifting Off

    Not Lifting Off Well-Known Member

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    I would guess that 200 000 is a conservative figure but even at that, x6 euro=1.2m, not bad for a few of months work, initial outlay 150 000k, staff say for four months another 175 000k, obviously a guesstimate, even at a total of 500 000k costs leaves a healthy profit for someone!

    Yo, boss man, can i have profit related pay please ;)
     
  9. pixeljetstream

    pixeljetstream Well-Known Member Beta tester

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    steamspy owners 50-100k: ACC, AMS, GTR2, rfactor1. So would consider that the simracing hardcore group, that likely has all the sims
    200k-500k: Rfactor2
    500k-1M: AC
    R3E data is skewed by free to play, likely not too different to Rfactor2.

    So 200k of all paying folks wanting a track is not that conservative imo.

    Ontopic: as someone who has experience with modelling and that sort of technology, laser scan is no magic solution. Like the previous posts said, the point cloud is mostly unusable for actual modelling purposes in today's game content pipelines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  10. Not Lifting Off

    Not Lifting Off Well-Known Member

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    Like i said, a guesstimate, based on steamdb and old figures of 2.1m owners now showing 2m-5m, i dont honestly know but i doubt a 10% conversion rate would be way too liberal either, the only people that really know work for S3 or other.
     
  11. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    Even if bumps change over time and a laserscan is just a current snapshot. But the point cloud of a laserscan is a big help for track creators, to get corner radius, camber and elevation changes right. The overall layout is more important than a few changed bumps.
     
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  12. RWB 3vil

    RWB 3vil Member

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    i was over zealous with the track price cost. i recall a youtube video with SpotTheOzzie & Ian Bell from SMS talking and Ian brought up prices as the conversation had gone to Forza and how much budget they have and how much this and that costs. Either miss heard that its 150k for a whole licence for a series or Ian was talking out of his exhaust pipe that a single track licence can cost this much. Considering how much BS he has said about why they cant re add the kick function (legal issues) but they can re add it on their new own brand console Im not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to Ian Bell and SMS.

    So glad i stopped playing pcars2
     
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  13. Patrick Schilhan

    Patrick Schilhan Well-Known Member

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  14. FlakNine

    FlakNine Member

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    Have a look at this pretty interesting video to get a true sense of the work involved in creating a track from a laser scan.

    The scan is just a cloud of millions of points. The 3D artists use this as a reference and "trace" 3D splines over the cloud to build up the 3D model - there is still a LOT of manual work to align the 3D model over the point cloud. None of the scanned data ends up in the game, it's just used to make sure the 3D model is all in the right place. The video mentions 1.5 man years of work to create Circuit of the Americas in iRacing from a laser scan! It took them 60-80 hours just to scan the track.

     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  15. Patrick Schilhan

    Patrick Schilhan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you're right. Until now laser scanning needs a lot of manual (re)work, but in the future it will be more than just a tool how you can already surmise and see in the video "Accurate track planning with the RIEGL RiCOPTER in Spielberg, Austria". Everything what we need is a smart laser scanning software solution. And here is how it could works:

    at the track:
    1.) determine the area which should be scanned
    2.) set some reference points on the ground of the define area
    3.) a helicopter or a drone is scanning the ground of the define area (like in the 2x videos above)
    4.) additional to the measuring process a camera take texture pictures of the scanned area
    5.) a drone is scanning all necessary track objects like houses, grandstands, guardrails … and take texture pictures

    back in office:
    6.) on the basis of the reference points the scanning software program put together all data (point cloud + texture pictures) and create a ready 3D-model of the scanned area incl. buildings and vegetation by database access of already existing 3D-tree models, 3D-bush models, … like in the last video
    7.) on the basis of the taken texture pictures the scanning software make a pre-selection of the different ground structures in the form of a material assignments (asphalt, curbs, sand, grass, guardrail, trees, …)
    8.) the sim track designer control the material assignments, if necessary he make some manual changes by creating or moving the material lines and define / change the default grip levels of the different track parts (asphalt surface = 1,0 , grass surface = 0,25 , ...)
    9.) a additional software program which work to the same extent like the scanning software program create all 3D-models of the objects (incl. textures)
    10.) the sim track designer control the 3D-models, if necessary he make some manual changes
    11.) the 3D-objects get positioned on the 3D-model of the scanned area by the sim track designer or the software itself (additional reference work necessary at the track)

    … and that's it. Just an idea but possible in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  16. fufsgfen

    fufsgfen Member

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    In machine vision one interesting area of research is how to get materials to be recognized, future improvements in that area certainly might bring something interesting to digitizing the world.