The online racing simulator
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Scawen
Developer
I thought we did quite a big progress report in December so I'm surprised people are getting a little impatient again. It doesn't seem very long ago.

We are working hard and don't have anything to say at the moment. I'm trying to get the graphics code finished and Eric is working on South City. But I don't think that is really new information.

I will close the thread now. Thank you all for the feedback and I'm pleased you like what you see, so far.
Scawen
Developer
Everything is fine, but my work takes so long to make apparently tiny steps, I don't want to write about it every month.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from nacim :Hello,

I finally had some time to do some testing, and here are the results:

Thanks for the test. It's interesting that the 'unequal screen widths' can be used to adjust the interface, even when you set the number of left and right side screens to zero.

I think that can be used as a temporary solution but I should try changing the 3-screen detection to 4:1 instead of 3:1 in a test patch, as discussed.
Scawen
Developer
Thanks. I've found the answer and can reproduce it with a stretched window.

If the width is 3x the height (or more) it assumes you are using a three screen setup (EDIT: and in that case confines the interface to the centre screen).

I think that is now outdated but I think it might work if it was changed to 4x instead of 3x.

Then it would still detect 3 screen setup if you connected 3 monitors with a 4:3 aspect ratio (12:3 overall -> assume 3 screens). But in the case of your setup it would not assume 3 screens and would display a 16:9 interface.
Last edited by Scawen, .
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Eclipsed :I have to correct myself - the menus are indeed squished a bit,wonder why... Uhmm

What are the settings in Options - View?

The way the menus are confined to the central third looks as if you have "multiple screen layout" set to 3 screens (1 left and 1 right).
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Vagner :Thank you Victor. Unfortunately I do not have any more unlocks left.

You do now!
Scawen
Developer
Thanks. I've found a slight difference between 0.5F2 and the current versions and I've asked Victor about it.
Scawen
Developer
Doesn't it use the same DNS as the current version of LFS? Confused
Scawen
Developer
Mine works fine and nothing has changed, so I can't understand why all yours have gone wrong.
Scawen
Developer
I've done a test and successfully unlocked.

Maybe make sure it really is 0.5F2 (bottom of entry screen) and try again now. Just in case there was any temporary problem with the master server when you tried before.
Scawen
Developer
Can you connect with your normal LFS? If so then I guess this version is being blocked by your firewall.
December Progress Report: South City
Scawen
Developer
Hello Racers,

In our July progress report we talked about the realtime sky that allows day to night transitions and showed screenshots of the Kyoto track area. Since then, Eric has been working on South City and I have continued with the lighting. More roads have been opened up and you can drive into the multistorey car parks. Road surfaces, fences, barriers, objects and various buildings have been updated. There is still a way to go but we would like to show you some of the changes so far.

December Progress Report: South City

We hope you like the pictures and videos!

Scawen
Scawen
Developer
Well that is not a very nice comment from double account holder "False hope".

But the truth is your posts are way too long again, Wizard. On my monitor both of those two posts are two pages high.

I've asked you before, even in this thread, to moderate yourself and avoid making such long posts with all these pictures and videos.

I don't know how I can explain it any more clearly.

Consider this:

1) If you make a post, that is short and to the point, people may take a few seconds out of their day to read it.

2) If you do a really long post that spans multiple pages, they will see it and become instantly irritated. They are very unlikely to read it. They will scroll down below it and in some cases they will report the post.

I wish you would take on board what I am saying. Your posts are:

1) too long
2) too extreme
3) too frequent

Not one or the other of those 3. All of them.

I've kind of had enough now so I'll close the thread. I've got too much to do and don't want to get into a moderating mode. Thank you all for your input and it's good to hear you like the progress and most of you are concerned about the environment too. Wink
Scawen
Developer
Yeah, VR is coming along. There is a definite problem with resolution in the old headsets I have (when I look into the distance) and I don't really find them comfortable.

The development is a gradual process of improvement in resolution, field of view and comfort. Hopefully price too! There's no reason to get VR if you aren't particularly interested and I don't think I've ever tried to suggest that anyone *should* get it. It's simply a really super thing that can be quite breathtaking and is gradually getting better.

Like Ronnie O'Sullivan leaning on the virtual snooker table in that video I posted, every time I lean to the left I want to put my hand on the passenger seat that I can see but isn't really there!
Scawen
Developer
Quote from Eclipsed :Fact you can't deny - we can't change the world order by discussing situation here,so why bother? Let's focus on the sim,which is quite big hobby for many of us around here.

Actually I think we can change the world by talking about it! It can't start any other way. We need to talk about that everywhere.

I believe online is a good place to talk about these things. Often in social situations people just want to have fun and not talk about important issues as they are too serious. Often in family situations it's not worth discussing because it can cause arguments. So we need to talk about it, and share views wherever we can.

A lot has happened this year to bring this stuff into mainstream conversation. Not as if it was hidden before. A lot of people have been trying to bring attention to the destruction of nature for a very long time, but somehow most people could avoid bothering to think about it, as if it wasn't urgent. But the truth is it has been increasing in urgency since the 60s and 70s. Finally environmental concerns are becoming mainstream and even politicians are talking about it, not only the Green party. Their efforts so far have been very minimal, quite pathetic in fact, and we have still been destroying our environment at an increasing rate.

We live in democracies so it is *us* who have to vote for the politicians who will take bold actions to drastically reduce environmental damage before it is too late.

Quote from Pasci :Scawen: Can we expect a new progress report for this month/in the next few days from Eric and you? Or are you not ready for that yet?

Thanks anyway

I haven't asked Eric about that, I've just recently sent him an update with the bloom and various lighting updates. I know he has been working on South City the whole time and I'm sure he'd like to show it soon. I've got some things to finish off. Like today I am trying to get the bloom working properly in VR.

I'm guessing we won't show anything this weekend, but it would be nice if we could prepare a progress report in mid-December.
Scawen
Developer
If you have a few minutes, please read the document I posted above, signed by 11,000 scientists.

It's not a long document, it's well written and there are graphs to look at if you like. Most of your questions are answered in there.
Scawen
Developer
The massive funding is from those *against* taking action - oil companies and the many rich people who have a lot to lose by converting to a low emission life style.

Climate deniers are being fooled by propaganda and false science produced by these wealthy businesses and billionaires. As I've said before, you only have to open your eyes, and take an interest in wildlife and the plight of millions of people across the world who are already suffering from climate change. You can see the truth.

You have got it all the wrong way round if you think that mainstream climate science is all a big con for someone to make money. That's just silly. The massive action needed to be able to deal with climate change will require a lot of changes in the short and medium term, some of which are quite disruptive and will harm the earnings of the wealthy. But if it is done right it could save nature and humanity as we know it in the longer term.

This is not about making money, it's about saving the surface of the planet as we know it. A lot of very rich people are trying to discredit this but are failing because it's all very obvious, if you open your eyes (and reinforced if you do some research - and I don't mean looking up stupid conspiracy theories promoted by rich people).
Scawen
Developer
Quote from RC-Maus :700 Scientist tell EU Parlement there is no Climate Crisis here are the Reactions :

Here is a link to the document released on 5 November 2019 and signed by over 11,000 scientists.
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806

As the woman in your video says, denying the huge problem is "a bit like closing your eyes when you see a train speeding in your direction, and saying 'oh, it is not coming, is it?'"
Scawen
Developer
Quote from cargame.nl :This VR hardware development blabla seems to have massively stalled. Hype over, time to collect dust?

This is one of these things where you really need to experience it before you judge it. To the people who have tried it, you look a bit silly saying this repeatedly (I'm referring to previous posts where you have talked about VR in negative terms).

The truth is it's a total game changer. It's really an amazing feeling to be IN the game (VR) instead of seeming to look at it remotely through a window (monitor).

I do hear that sales have been slower than expected and that is absolutely fine. The hype was too much in the first place, but that doesn't bother me at all. It's here to stay, which is obvious to anyone who has tried it. For cockpit-based simulator VR is really good, and it's good for a lot of other things too. It can be quite a breathtaking experience to feel like you are IN another world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMceVbo3Tm4 Big grin
Scawen
Developer
Jeremy Clarkson is one of these right-wing nutcases that just thinks we should burn whatever we can and have a jolly good time and **** the consequences. He writes in the same newspaper that Boris Johnson used to write in, a terrible paper called the "Telegraph" or "Torygraph" which indoctrinates its readers to hate the environment, cyclists and wind turbines.

I used to find Top Gear amusing but gradually got more annoyed with the stupidity of it that seemed to be increasing until it got taken off air after Clarkson punched a producer because he couldn't get a steak.

A lot of British people have a similar kind of attitude. You can tell by the popularity of SUV type cars and so on, designed to look big and tough. They are quite sad people really and are obstacles to progress.
Scawen
Developer
Sunrise at Kyoto
Scawen
Developer
They are not very easy to resolve. Antialiasing doesn't work very well in HDR when very bright pixels are next to dark pixels. Because when the GPU takes the average of the bright and dark samples, the result is still 'very bright'. The effect is also noticeable in some of the night pictures, where there seems to be no antialiasing on the edges of the street light lens.

EDIT: Actually this doesn't seem to be the same issue. This is more about reflections on edges and I guess you can see it in the public version too (maybe less so as you don't have such bright patches on environment maps). Anyway I don't think it's that noticeable, maybe worse if you are examining a screenshot.

I like the effect of bloom in the day when there are occasional bloom effects when you see the sun reflected in the window of a building, and when the sun itself is seen, flickering in and out of brightness behind some trees. I've found it looks best when moving rather than in screenshots.
Last edited by Scawen, .
Scawen
Developer
I like how the bloom works with highlights.
Scawen
Developer
Quote from nacim :What's the use of the "CPU generated sky" ? Is it used to generate the ambient Spherical Harmonic or something like that ? Can't you reuse the GPU skybox, downsample it and upload it back to CPU ?

Yes, the CPU sky is for:
- ambient lighting spherical harmonic (for directional ambient lighting)
- maximum brightness value (needed before the GPU sky is generated - see below)
- average sky colour (I'm trying to move away from any uses of this)

The GPU sky can still be stored as a 32-bit SRGB texture, doesn't need to be 64-bit HDR if I know the maximum value (from the CPU) before it is generated on the GPU. Each pixel is then multiplied by (1.0 / max_brightness) so the sky uses the full 24-bit range of colours.

I'd sometimes like to be able to generate things on the GPU and read the texture back into system memory for analysis by the program, and I do this, not in realtime, in a few places:
- baked ambient and artificial lighting render
- path-based echo map
- path-based ambient lighting render for cars (called 'lightmap' in LFS)
- path-based occlusion test (called 'optimiser' in LFS)
- calculating average colours from textures

But as far as I know, reading back the texture from GPU to CPU will always cause a small glitch or hesitation, because the CPU must stop and wait, when it calls GetRenderTargetData, until the GPU is ready to send the data. I'm not sure if this is the case with later versions of DirectX - I think later versions are better for getting data back from the GPU because of compute shaders and so on. But I think this is a limitation with DX9 so I've avoided using that in real time situations. Anyway the CPU sky at 64x64 only takes 3 milliseconds in the debug build, and as it's on that separate thread there is no glitch at all, so I think it's quite good now. The lighting system judges that the sun has moved enough to need a new sky, asks the CPU sky thread to make a new sky, then when the CPU sky is generated a few ms later, the main thread tells the GPU to generate the new sky (seems to take no time at all).
Last edited by Scawen, . Reason : typo
Scawen
Developer
In the interests of explaining how development goes...

Warning, totally technical and not interesting for most people!

Most of the day was on restructuring the generated sky system a bit and removing some old code that is no longer needed so that yesterday's test has now become proper code to stay instead of being rapidly hacked in for test purposes. Although generating the sky on the GPU instead of the CPU, which is much faster, there was still a quite perceptible glitch long enough to cause a click in the sound each time a new sky was generated - that can be about once every 20 seconds around sunset / sunrise. The click was in my debug version of LFS and might not have happened in the release build but it's best to make it glitch free in the debug version, then it's sure to be OK in the release build, and also won't annoy me all the time while developing. Smile

The glitch turned out to be because I started a new thread to generate the sky each time. A 'CPU sky' still needs to be generated for reasons related to lighting (in addition to the GPU sky) but now the CPU sky can be much smaller in size because it is not for direct display. Still, it's good to use a separate thread to do it to make use of our multiple core CPUs. The solution to the glitch was to have a sky generation thread running the whole time, just waiting for the command from the weather system to generate a new sky texture when required. It turns out that starting and stopping threads is quite expensive in debug builds.

Quote from Scawen :There are still some bright pixels around I can look into but they aren't causing random blooms.

While testing the updated sky I was driving around South City at sunset and started looking into the remaining white pixels, now that the worst offenders were cured by bounding the fog exponential. I applied the _centroid interpolation modifier to various inputs to the pixel shader until I located the one that was causing the white pixels. It turned out to be the ambient lighting data from artificial lights. Now I can drive around South City or visit those camera locations at Blackwood without seeing any bright pixels at all.

So, a good day's work, though not the sort of thing that sounds very exciting to most people.
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