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Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

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Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby martinez » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:47 pm

Looks like everyone knows everything on trackbuilding, Wallaby etc. Still, I would like to share with some less known stuff that I believe can make tracks looking (or working) better. Here you go then (some random ideas I have found while making tracks - if I recall more, I will post later):

1. Vertex Paint - it can be also used for moveables and for Far Scenery. The only one mystery is that Wallaby will not show these "shadows"

2. Ambient Occlusion (Vertex color) - you can use instead of shadow generation service. There are several ways to make it in 3dsMax (as well as in Blender), here is one I used (on Mikolajki track):
http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Ambient_ ... rtex_color
... But on point 4 use Vertex Color (radio button) instead of Vertex Illum
... And must have checked "Vertex Color" when sending meshes through Panda Exporter.
The paintings from ambient occlusion are not very strong, so you can add more vertex paintings afterwards. Please remember that the amount of soft shadows and its colors are specified in TrackSettings.ini (Terrain Reflectance mostly).
Note: I will check soon if there's any way to avoid erasing of self made vertex shadows by Wally's tool - I think the key is set everything to 0 (zero) for soft shadows (both for ground and general mesh), and only use textured shadows generation.

3. A mesh for .col generation can be multimaterial, it can be also a huge single object (with all terrain, walls and other hard colisions merged together) - I believe it can make the .X file smaller, which can speed up .col generation for big maps.

4. Weathers - you can use fog for Far Scenery as well (the horizon looks nicer and more realistic) - it's the same fog as we see on tracks, but it has it's own distance parameters. Since I figured that original tracks' sceneries are much bigger than mine, I used smaller distances and it worked perfect. You may need to experiment with these setting for satisfactying results.

5. Panda Exporter for Max2009 - use only PandaDirectXMaxExporter_x86_5.2009.67.0 (I mean on 32bit system) - the never version (x86_6.2009.72.0) has very strange and confusing issues (I spent 3 days for finding a solution... which was a downgrade (!) - since I forgot I had switched to never version some day...)
The problems were for instance "grass effect" (but not special and not always - looked stupid on cars and buildings...) - the big problem were meshes seen only in Wallaby, but not in game (even with 3D Ripper DX I could not see any geometry). The only solution was not to use Alpha Channel for General Meshes, but that procedure usually crashed RBR... So beware on constant plugin upgrades ;) If you can't find the right version of Panda, let me know and I can send you via e-mail.

That's it for now, if you have some more tips, please share :) Have fun! M.
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby delu77 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:15 am

Thanks a lot mate for keeping alive this forum!
Best wishes!
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby martinez » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:27 am

Unfortunately, Wally's shadow service clears vertex painting that was made before - besides these painted around driveline (within range specified in settings while ordering shadows). Even these remaining shadows will get blurring (as in settings). There could be an option to leave existing soft shadows - I believe it would be possible, but since Wally's is away, the problem will remain unsolved.
The problem is mostly with small meshes like grass objects, when they don't obtain shadows.
That could be solved like this:
- generate all shadows by Wally's service (textured and soft/vertex)
- then load all shadowed "trees" (LoadLBS plugin for Max7)
- detach all things you want to be shadowed
- paint these small grasses (or more objects if you like) manually
- delete all General Mesh in Wallaby
- export updated General Mesh (I mean all GM), optimize etc.
For huge projects, it's much work if you ask me...

Since I managed to get very nice effects with ambient occlusion (after many trials..) for shadowing, I would decide to concentrate on my shadows only for a while. The other aspect is much time of wainting to get Wally's shadows and you probably know how difficult is to find proper sun coordinates.
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby casgra11 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:55 pm

Hi Martinez, thanks for sharing your knowledge.
I would not go wrong, but in my track Torre Vecchia have created shadow under the tunnel with vertex color, shadow generation with Wally service has not erased vertex color.
I have created shadows with vertex color in my track Berica, but spent many hours.
And I have not solved a thing, perhaps it is not possible, the shadows of the vegetation is the entire mesh, and not the visible part of the alpha channel of textures.
I enclose two pictures to try to explain better, given my bad English.
The images are of the render in 3dsmax, only to understand.
First image is what you get with vertex color.
Second image is what I would get.
Image
Image
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby martinez » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:16 pm

Your vertex shadows in tunnel were not erased because they were placed close to drive line. I was not exact - I meant Wally's service would delete vertex paint on terrain, general meshes. As I said "within distance from drive line specified" - will remain (but will be more blured/soften). I spent much time to paint almost everything on my new track and I like it better than result from Wally's machine (in my particular case).
Note: Don't get me wrong - I really like what Wally's service can do. I just dream if both methods could work together, to leave self-made shadows untouched - than my track would look exactly like original stages with shadows of different colors and depth :)
The best result (so far) I can manage comes from ambient occlusion. Default settings make it nice, but not so strong. There are several parameters to play with - takes time to find right settings of course...

About your shadows from trees - you would get better quality if your mesh would be much more dense. But then it would harm PC's performance for sure.
Vertex paint (shadows) means - only vertcices are painted and they cast triangular shadow on their polygons To get exact picture from tree's opacity/transparency is not possible with vertex paint. Maybe there's a way to create some other textures (as shadows), but I don't know how to do it...
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby casgra11 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:02 am

Hi Martinez,thanks for reply.
Perhaps i have found an solution.
I'm experimenting with a method most fast.
This is the result.
Image
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby martinez » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:17 pm

Looks fantastic, tell me please how to do it :) :clap:
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Re: Less important, but hopefully still usefull knowlegde

Postby casgra11 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:28 pm

i don't want deceive anyone, this result It was obtained with mesh very dense.
for the road polygons size 0,25m x 0,25m.
for grass polygons size 0,5m x 0,5m.
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