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Scawen
Developer
I'll close this thread now.

Costa, I would really like to ban you from the master server. But in that case you would be forced to stay on the cracked version. That's not what we want. It would be good if you could put your efforts into making sure people leave the cracked version and get onto the proper version, so we can continue to develop Live for Speed.

Or maybe you don't want it to be developed any more, and you just want us to go and get another job?

If I see another report of you advertising on our genuine servers, I'll remove your access to LFS services.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from RC-Maus :So still wonder why Wink

The main problem is latency rather than bandwidth. In other words, the problem is the time delay between the server and the guest computers, not the frequency of the position packets.

Of course, we can't solve this latency problem by increasing bandwidth. In some cases the latency can be made worse by increasing bandwidth.

Each time a packet arrives on your computer, LFS runs that car through the physics system from the time it was sent, to the time it arrived, to try to predict where the car is now. It is always a bit wrong, of course, or sometimes a lot, depending on how long the delay was and how many driver input changes have been taking place.

Increasing the number of packets per second increases your CPU load (which can result in lower frame rates and worse latency - imagine this at T1 of a race) but will not get the cars into better positions than they already are, because that error is due to latency rather than bandwidth.

I think when you and other drivers are connected with good connections to a server with low latency, the other cars are not jumping around all over the place. Is that true? The problems begin when you or someone else has a laggy, high latency connection to the server. That problem wouldn't be helped by increased packets per second. In that case the lagging remote car would just flick more frequently into more of the wrong positions.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Flame CZE :Fresnel reflections have been in LFS since 0.6K.

An interesting point on that is that although a correct calculation was used (in the current public version) the output effect is not fully realistic because the rendering is not done in a linear colour space. As the new graphics uses gamma correct rendering, the rendering takes place in a linear colour space, and is gamma corrected at the final output. Reflections come out brighter in the new correct version.

Quote from Gutholz :It has been difficult to keep up with forums in the last months, so is The_Great a new troll account of cargame.nl or what is going on?

Yes, exactly.

It seems to me he wants to keep telling people they are stupid for hanging around here, while he continues to hang around himself. He is telling people to accept reality, while using a fake account to post.

Quote from benjamin.torres :Funny how people with valid concerns are called trolls in this forum.

Why don't you use your real account too? Do you have something to hide?

Quote from David 96 :To be frank, devs probably have (or rather don't have) a weird definition of priority.
The game has been needing the tyre patch for a long time? Here's a graphic renewal.
Well, not what was really needed but still, nice for those graphic junkies.
Then: November """"progress"""" report
Look guys, slimmer fonts!

I mean, are we serious? How can you defend this way of thinking? And before I get labelled as a troll, I'm going to say that LFS is the only sim I play, despite having AC as well (believe me or not, I couldn't care less).
To be honest, it's like the devs themselves don't really care to bring back the old playerbase, or for what matters, to build a new one

It's always a danger if I actually tell people what I have been working on. So frequently it is some internal improvements, highly technical things that the average person has no concept of, or belief that's what coding could be about. We are just dealing with drawing pixels on a screen and vibrating your speakers, all with numbers. There is no car, no track, just triangles and code. People often cannot understand how vast the system is or how much time it takes to make improvements.

Anyway, I know that some people are interested in such seemingly small improvements, but was well aware of the 'danger' of people being unable to understand why I would work on them. Quite a few people now are using 4K screens and there were obvious flaws in the text rendering when drawing at larger screen sizes. So to someone like me, when I saw it that way, it comes across as a 'bug' or something that definitely needs improvement. Not a bad thing in any way to spend a week or two on those improvements, along with a massive graphical overhaul that has been taking place for years.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Degats :Long story short, LFS is using the wrong width for a lot of the characters, so some get cut off (LFS thinks it's narrower than it is, like the gif) and some show the left edge of the character next to it in the bitmap as well as the correct one (LFS thinks it's wider than it really is). The top couple of lines of the Japanese extended page 87 are a good example of the latter.

I looked into this today and found a fix.

Technical explanation: For some characters, the Windows function GetCharWidth32W returns a width that is different from the width of the text drawn by DrawTextW, which is what I call to draw a single unicode character for a cache texture. I don't know why there is a width discrepancy but I've changed it to get the width by calling DrawTextW with the DT_CALCRECT option instead of GetCharWidth32W. It makes some sense because I'm now getting the width from the same function that is used to draw the text. This seems to work fine. Wide characters are still truncated on the right because these characters are copied into fixed size slots for efficiency as unicode characters need to appear and disappear on the cache textures and the slots are re-used. This is made a lot easier by all characters using the same size slot.

Quote from Brilwing :I use a 4K display and the fonts do not look very nice there because of the low resolutions. With the update of the font system are the fonts rendered with HiDPI?

I am considering 4K displays now and the updated fonts do look better in 4K than they did before. They are generated using slightly higher resolution and more accurately. I don't have my own 4K display but I can use a special 4K screenshot mode so I can check how it looks by zooming in using a separate program.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Degats :Yeah, it's probably something to do with either the font, or maybe how Windows is reporting something, because it started happening in Windows 10 IIRC.

I can reproduce this in Windows 7, which will be helpful for debugging.

Quote from Degats :Long story short, LFS is using the wrong width for a lot of the characters, so some get cut off (LFS thinks it's narrower than it is, like the gif) and some show the left edge of the character next to it in the bitmap as well as the correct one (LFS thinks it's wider than it really is). The top couple of lines of the Japanese extended page 87 are a good example of the latter.

The problem varies between fonts. MS PGothic doesn't seem to show the problem much but SimSun-ExtB does. That seemed the same here in a quick test in Windows 7 and Windows 10.

I would expect it to cut off characters that are too wide but don't know why it doesn't deal with narrow characters properly, so I'll have a look in the debugger.

Quote from Big Daddy :Just curious why every text uses their own function.
Using a global function for every text would only require to modify the global function (gpu implementation) and increasing the resolution scale globally.

They do use a common text drawing function but I changed the way that function was called. Now there is a standard text aspect ratio (which can be overwritten in some rare cases) instead of each caller deciding that for itself. So all the function calls needed to be adjusted and in some cases it was messed up where non-standard widths were used and had to be done a different way now.

Quote from Big Daddy :Looking forward to screenshots using the new Ambient Occlusion.

It was already used in the Aston screenshots. The main change compared with the old system is that it can now deal with transparent objects properly. There will be a slight darkening near fences which the old system ignores. Of course in reality a fence does reduce the influence of sky lighting a bit. On the other hand the old system drew trees as the entire polygons without transparency, so in that case the sky was too occluded near trees. The hardware-based render takes account of transparency and includes all relevant objects so the brightness should be correct now.

Quote from Racon :I was wondering if it's possible that the kerning mechanism could be used/abused to add a flag option to force monospaced text on a button? It could save us a huge amount of buttons under the right circumstances.

Maybe you could remind me of this in a test patch stage, as I'd rather avoid looking at InSim for now.

Quote from Degats :And make sure numbers are always fixed width with no kerning - columns of numbers must always align Wink

Numbers have not been included in any of the kerning classes. And it was some years ago the '1' character had some invisible points added to make it the same width as the other characters.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Degats :Liking the number plates Smile

Did you get a chance to look at the font width/alignment bug (attached) while you were digging around?
I can't find the bug report, but I know it was mentioned before - maybe buried in the hidden test patch section.

That seems to be using Unicode characters from one of the code pages. I can see circles like that in the Japanese code page under extra page 81. But it seems OK with most fonts.

Maybe the existence of the bug depends on which font you have selected. It may be an LFS bug in some way (with wide characters) but there may be a workaround by selecting the correct font with Japanese language selected.
November Progress Report
Scawen
Developer
Hello Racers,

We have decided not to do a graphics progress report this month.

On Eric's side, things are going well as you have seen in the progress reports. But it does take a while because of the level of detail. There are still two tracks to update after he finishes the one he is currently on. We plan to show you some more pictures in December.

On my side I was working on sharing the lighting between tracks, but recently got diverted onto improving the sharpness of the text for the interface which then led to sharper dashboards and number plates. I was aware that it wasn't really necessary for the release, but I got an idea for a slight improvement that would take "a couple of days" and ended up doing a few weeks' work because of the improvements it led to.

Some people might be interested to know how one thing leads to another and can cause apparent delays in development. Warning: Technical details in the following paragraph! Feel free to skip to the before and after screenshots! Smile

In fact this started from an improvement in the editor. Recently I had removed the software-based render for ambient lighting so now the images for the ambient lighting are rendered on the graphics card. After that update, which was important to help improve the graphics, there were just a few software-based drawing functions remaining. They include the editor text and guide lines, which were drawn by locking the back buffer and setting pixels directly. I converted these functions to use the graphics card's version of line drawing and the texture-based text as used in game. This finally allowed anti-aliasing to be used in the track editor which is helpful for Eric. But it did require some improvements in the accuracy of the in-game text. I decided to go through the font characters, thinning them a little, which took a couple of days once I had been through all the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic characters. Then I realised some of the character drawing wasn't really under control and I went through making sure it all made sense and upgraded the resolution a bit. This included visiting all places in the code where text was drawn, including the dashboards, so I doubled their resolution while I was at it. Also I noticed the number plates were looking quite bad so their resolution has been doubled as well along with more accurate text positioning. One more thing I implemented was "kerning" which is when you move some characters closer together for visual reasons. For example a classic case is A followed by V. The gap looks too big unless the characters are moved together. I had added a small tail onto the small L and this was causing a particularly bad gap between the l and t in "multiplayer" so I finally succumbed to the temptation of implementing kerning which I had wanted to do for years.

Here are some comparison shots to demonstrate some of the improvements.
Scawen
Developer
I've checked and if I select Autocross X or Skid Pad X then there is nothing at the Drag Strip start, only the red tarmac.

There is an uphill area at the end of the drag strip that starts to rise gently about 620 metres from the start. At the 750 metres point it has gone up by about 0.8 metres. At 800 metres it's up by about 1.5 m and finally at the end, around 960 metres from the start, the height is nearly 6 metres.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Degats :Scawen, are the /CP values correct for the second image?
The camera seems to be in the right place, but pointing in the wrong direction. The other ones of that area seem to line up properly, but that one looks way off.

Correct, that was wrong and is fixed now if you go back to the page.
We've done a new image for the same /cp values.

EDIT: https://www.lfs.net/static/screenshots/ast201810/-40092390%20-420737%20915489%20828%20419%200.0%2040.0.jpg
Last edited by Scawen, .
Scawen
Developer
Thanks for the comparisons!

I'm planning to make a converter for old layouts, that simply adds two metres height when loading. Clearly that won't work everywhere but it should mean that old layouts can be repaired relatively easily.
Scawen
Developer
Yeah I know what you mean, I see those roads too and wish I could drive on them. Smile

There are similar things at Blackwood. I don't know what the future holds for the external roads. I know Eric enjoyed doing that massive update at Westhill but it takes so long to do the main racing areas, there isn't really time at this point.

The trouble is all the tracks must be updated for us to be able to release the new graphical system at all. To do all the external roads can add months per track.

I hope some tracks might get a sort of Westhill treatment one day but I'm guessing it might be more important to do some car models first and then it might be time to add a new track. I'm just making this up though and this sort of prediction is usually wrong!
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Eclipsed :Still curious about the new roads around track,will be interesting exploration and new course creation I hope.

Aston hasn't gained a Westhill style open config, so there aren't roads to explore around the track. The only new road to drive on is the connecting track section in the screenshots. This is mainly an extensive graphical update with track width and corner tightness adjustments.
Scawen
Developer
The Aston screenshots are now available!
https://www.lfs.net/forum/thread/92748
Graphics Progress Report: Aston
Scawen
Developer
Hello Racers,

In the August and September progress reports we talked about the new shadows and lighting system and showed pictures of the updates on the Blackwood and Rockingham tracks. All our tracks must be updated to use the new lighting system and some older tracks need more changes to bring them up to date. Aston is one of them and is the subject of this month's report. Eric has made various adjustments to the track and tightened some of the bends while keeping the original flow. We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Aston screenshots: https://www.lfs.net/report-oct2018-as



NOTE: For comparison shots, Aston has been raised by 2 metres so 131072 must be subtracted from the Z coordinate.
Scawen
Developer
Thanks for the information. We have contacted the museum again. This time we got a reply and they are now displaying the logo and text on a banner beside the simulator.
Scawen
Developer
OK, this has been reported as spam and I have to agree so I'll close the thread.
Scawen
Developer
When you visit youtube it will show you things you've recently watched as it thinks you might be interested in them. They make more money (from advertising) when you watch more videos, so they try to show you things that may interest you (so you watch more things). It doesn't matter which site linked you to youtube. If you click a youtube link on LFS forum, you are visiting the real youtube. It's not an 'LFS version' of youtube or something like that. So as usual it will show you videos related to things you've recently watched.
Last edited by Scawen, .
Scawen
Developer
Quote from mbutcher :@scawen: Might it be worth adding a disclaimer to some of the screenshots (https://lfs.net/screenshots) saying that it's WIP and not actually part of the game yet. It seems some people are getting confused about that point, seeing it as false advertising.

Thanks, done!
Scawen
Developer
Quote from borja_s13 :Just a question @Scawen, will the new light and shadow system help to create a night version? I mean, to add some lights to the cars and play it at night, because now that you guys are updating every shadow, I think that it will work very well.

As three_jump says, this is just a step in the right direction. I don't think there is time to add night version support in the next release because too many complications e.g. headlights. But what I do plan to do for now is share lighting between tracks, so each track doesn't have to just have 3 weather configs, but they can all use any of them.

Quote from Degats :I'm trying to work out whether the shine on the wet grip area is supposed to be water or shiny rubber.
I'm going to regret saying this, because it's another shader rabbit hole to go down (sorry if this delays the release Wink ), but for "overexposed" shine like this, it could probably do with a subtle amount of bloom.

It's just an experimental water shine effect as there are sprinklers there at Rockingham but it isn't currently supported by physics.

I don't expect to add any post-processing effects at this release. I need to finish up on the lighting and shadows so I can get to sort out the tyre physics and get that to a releasable state if at all possible. I can't bear the thought of trying to merge the current changes you see in the development version, into the public version. I want to get past that point where there are two branches and I want LFS back on the right track again.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from theodu69 :My bad, I don't usually check the forums, but thank you for taking the time to respond, the new graphics are amazing Thumbs up

Thanks! I need to remember that every time someone asks the same question, for each of them it was the first time! Big grin

I do know what you mean that although the cars don't look any worse than before, and in fact look better now with the self-shadowing and improved lighting, they can start to stick out when everything around them is up to a more modern standard.

Anyway I am sure that Eric is very keen to update cars when the tracks are done. I believe he could update some of them and we could do another patch some time after the tracks release. It shouldn't be necessary to update all cars at once. Ideally the oldest ones would be done first. But I'm not saying that's what will happen, because it depends what comes up and what seems to be the best thing to do at the time.
Scawen
Developer
I keep getting that question.

It somehow seems a bit of an annoying question, because it is quite obvious that many of the cars need to be updated (have a look at the RB4 for the most extreme example) but we are on the tracks at the moment. There is only one Eric. He does one thing and then another. Not both at the same time. It is obvious that he would not have failed to notice that the cars and drivers could do with an update.

What I do keep saying, every time I get this question, is that the tracks MUST be updated before we can do a release of the new graphical system, because with the new system, the graphics and shadows are broken unless the tracks are updated. So if we released now, you would have a game full of bugs. But the cars are no worse than they were before. Therefore they do not stop us doing a release.

This means, the cars have a lower priority than the tracks. There is no reason to delay the release by several more months in order to update all the cars. It is a separate subject, though it is quite obvious that they need an update.
Last edited by Scawen, . Reason : stay calm
Scawen
Developer
I really hope not!
Scawen
Developer
Nice old vs new comparisons Smile
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Aleksandr_124rus :Nice job! This grass.. these plants and earth looks so amazing! But imao now asphalt looks too clean. And for the curb too glare i think, it just how i see.

Hmm, the plants and earth really look amazing in the real photo Smile and the tarmac seems cleaner in the real photo, than in LFS.

Strangely the kerb glare in LFS looks more realistic than the real thing! Face -> palm
Scawen
Developer
I think the sausage kerbs were added after our first visit to Rockingham and the laser scanning.
https://youtu.be/hP9tIAsMBKQ?t=828
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