The online racing simulator
Question for DEVs - Track textures avaible in HI-REs?
(194 posts, started )
#26 - Jakg
i memorised the first 19 digits in 10 mins once. I got bored...
mmmmmmm pie!
I'd say there is actually a fair chance that higher res versions do exist. Most digital artists I'm aware of (when it comes to textures and digital paintings etc) work on massive canvases, then shrink the file later.

The whole reason is that it is much harder to add fine details to small textures than it is to add them to a large one and shrink it.
Also, scaling stuff down looks inifintely better than scaling it up.
Quote from Bob Smith :Meh, just be a man and learn it (all).

you only need to know the first digit since pi is 3 for small values of pi and large values of 3
Guys,
Please can we get back to topic.

I hope for an asnwer from Eric if the hi-res textures would be avaible as optional donwload.
I just still hope the hi-res version exist.
I haven't asked Eric but as far as I know, there are no higher res version of the textures. There are of course the non-dds versions of them (24 bit raw files).

By the way, your LFS can convert raw files into dds files. I don't think many people know this technique. If you delete the dds file and you put a raw file of the same name (but .raw instead of .dds) in the pic folder, then LFS will create the dds file for you.

That may be confusing so I'll describe it a different way :

you want a new version of a texture named xxx.dds
save xxx.raw in the pic folder
delete xxx.dds
run LFS - it will create a new file xxx.dds from xxx.raw

But that doesn't help you get any higher res textures. And I guess that giving you a pack of uncompressed raw files won't help either...

Eric does already use higher res textures than early versions of LFS. What do you want them for anyway, are you taking close-up screen shots of the road? Or is it for some adverts? Do you think there are just a few things that are too low res or are you talking about everything?
Quote from Scawen :Do you think there are just a few things that are too low res or are you talking about everything?

I can't speak for the OP, but it seems like most everyone feels the graphics could easily all be changed to twice their current size. Texture memory usage is very low in LFS right now, especially considering that most people have at LEAST 64MB capable video cards.

I would love to see LFS default to higher resolution textures for pretty much everything. There's already an option to use half size textures for those people that really need the lower memory requirements (32MB cards). Video card memory has grown exponentially, but LFS's memory usage has stayed pretty much the same. Virtually every graphical add-on in the Misc Addons sub-forum is twice the resolution (four times the pixels) of the original graphic, so it's quite obvious that the demand for higher resolution textures is there.
Quote from Scawen :Do you think there are just a few things that are too low res or are you talking about everything?

Personally im perfectly happy with all the signage and scenery etc, the road could be a little better graphics wise, but personally i dont think theres that much wrong with it and i certainly wouldnt make it a priority to update. Id rather have better detail car cockpits to a new track, especially after seeing how the FOX and FO8 were dealt with as those are very very nice.
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(Schooner) DELETED by Schooner
Quote from Cue-Ball :I would love to see LFS default to higher resolution textures for pretty much everything.

I am sure that Eric increases a texture's size here and there as time goes on, when he is working over a track. For example I know various textures at Aston were increased recently. When he sees one that looks too low res he increases it, I am sure of that.

It would be a bad idea to spend several months doubling the resolution of every texture where it's not needed. We would just eliminate all the people who are running on slightly older hardware, and reduce the frame rate across the board (even if that's only slightly in many cases).

There are more important things lacking in the graphics, than texture resolutions. Some of the DX9 effects available on modern cards would have a far greater effect. Look at the grand prix on your TV, it's low res but looks better than LFS. Each pixel is rendered better in "reality" than it is in a game. We currently expect to be doing things like that for the S3 stage. For now, we use a DX8.1 engine and that's great because it runs on the older hardware, while people across the world gradually upgrade to DX9 cards. One problem is that every pixel of the track looks just the same colour no matter which angle you look at it, when in reality there is a specular effect on everything. You would then say, well, older card users can have the option for low res. And then that brings up more problems, larger download size, the need foir users to select the appropriate setting, a bug forum full of new bugs about how LFS doesn't work properly, etc.

Video card memory is taken up by the screen and objects as well, which people seem to forget when they look at "texture memory usage". The objects in the world, the screen itself, the backbuffer, the z buffer, take up several more MB. Every car which joins takes up more memory for the car skin. All in all you are better off and LFS runs well and stable by not overusing the memory. It MUST be optimised as a racing simulator, not a screen shot generator.

If you see a texture which is unreasonably low res, why not point it out in the track bugs forum? But don't just say "all textures are too low res" because that will be quite unhelpful for all the reasons I've just tried to explain.
I'm tempted to have a look at the textures and see if I can make a new hi-res set as an optional download - because i've got two 256mb cards and I just way *more* for the sake of it .

LFS textures are actually very good, on ocassion there's something in the background which looks mipmapped to hell but the track surface is great.

But look at the race overalls, my arms look blurry and yet they occupy a major part of the view, they could do with being higher poly too btw.

I've just bought Paintshop Pro X so i'll see if i've got a dds importer and raw/dds exporter in it when I install tonight, if not ... I guess I will have to keep dreaming Otherwise i'll get to work... !
I can only agree with Scawen, the textures are not that low res. Actually they are much better than for example in Doom3. The reason why LFS looks liks it looks, is (imo) something different:

1. generally rather low contrast
2. colors seem a bit green / grey
3. 16 bit style textures
4. sometimes the light color doesnt fit perfectly to the sky texture
5. shadows are not grey in real life.
6. lightmaps look horrible (just look at some of the walls around the track)

Im wondering, if its possible to use jpg textures instead of dds. Quite a while ago, I rendered some skies with Terragen and used them for Counter-Strike - those 32bit tgas look really damn good

I can post some screens of lightmaps in the Half-Life 1 engine when Im back home. Those lightmaps are generated when compiling the map (which takes several hours), and it even uses global illumination to create lightmaps / shadow maps, which looks very realistic. The compiling works like this (at least I think so):
1. everything is black
2. There may be some different types of lights, like sky light or point light.
3. For every light, it's rays are traced until the light energy is under x percent, and each pixel on the lightmap that is hit by the light ray, will be brighter. A nearer object will be hit by more rays, and thus be brighter. A ray can have different colors, which means that it contains only some parts of the white light. A green object illuminated by red light will be black
4. The texture of an object has influence on which part of the light ray is reflected. A green object will only reflect green light, thus a white plane, which is only illuminated by the green reflected light, will be green.

You can already see why the compiling is that slow. You need MANY rays to hit all pixels Thats also a reason why big rooms result in insane compile times.

The compiled lightmaps are low res (like the LFS car shadow), and are saved inside the map file. Those lightmaps have the same texture coordinates as the actual texture - their res is just significantly smaller, and thus the scaling must be changed too, in order to fit it onto the polygon.

Would be cool to render the lightmaps in 3dsmax and export them to LFS

You cant imagine how much better it will look. Only disadvantage is: It's not dynamic, like nowadays DX9 engines, which render everything in realtime, including soft shadows and all that eye candy


[EDIT]
about the textures:
You need to be careful with the details, in order to avoid flickering and, most importantly, a repeating effect. Just look at GTR, it looks so ugly because of this. LFS has one of the best textures you can ever get, because they almonst dont reapeat at all. I tried to make some new asphalt texture for blackwood, but I couldnt get it as good as Eric.
Most ground textures are really good, even though the BL rally texure sucks, specially because the sand on the concrete wall is yellow, and the ground is brown
Attached images
bl_rally.jpg
Quote from Scawen :I haven't asked Eric but as far as I know, there are no higher res version of the textures. There are of course the non-dds versions of them (24 bit raw files).

By the way, your LFS can convert raw files into dds files. I don't think many people know this technique. If you delete the dds file and you put a raw file of the same name (but .raw instead of .dds) in the pic folder, then LFS will create the dds file for you.

That may be confusing so I'll describe it a different way :

you want a new version of a texture named xxx.dds
save xxx.raw in the pic folder
delete xxx.dds
run LFS - it will create a new file xxx.dds from xxx.raw

But that doesn't help you get any higher res textures. And I guess that giving you a pack of uncompressed raw files won't help either...

Eric does already use higher res textures than early versions of LFS. What do you want them for anyway, are you taking close-up screen shots of the road? Or is it for some adverts? Do you think there are just a few things that are too low res or are you talking about everything?

Thats really nice feature with automatic conversion to DDS format.What other hidden suprise is in LFS Scawen? Is there anyway still possiblity to ask Eric if some hi-res exist?

Ok,more seriously.
The pretty low-res look:

rally road surface
sand textures
grass textures
some sky textures(I updated LFS with Don+Kidcodea`s hi-res version but not all track and day time configuration are included )
background textures of surround (looks ugly with deep FOV)
trees textures
drivers textures

This is just quick list but if you need more accurate list I can continue.
You need to admit that most people when searching for new simulators/games looks first at graphic.Just look how many people already looked at this thread so I think the demand is here and I know that only Eric work on this so its not a matter of days.

I like taking pictures but sometimes its a matter of avoiding situations with those "bad" looking textures.

And ofcourse I did not say that this must be included in LFS as default but I strictly mentioned optional download of hi-res version would more then welcome and I am for sure not the only one.
I also agree that overal texture quality is very high but there are still some flaws I mentioned above.As I said nothing serious but some updates/additonal download would be really welcome.

Since you mentioned DX8.1 engine its a shame LFS even doesnt use so many features DirectX8.1 offers.

I am really looking forward for S3 3D engine update and off-loading more CPU with help of GPU as you mentioned that the graphic cards are still not utilized in LFS really much.
Scawen:
As it's DX8 is there any chance of using specular lighting on the tyres to add a shine when they are new, that then fades out as the tyres wear please?
#40 - axus
I think the actual driver model needs a bit of an update... the arms look rather bad whilst watching a replay or watching someone else drive - I don't pay much attention to them when driving. I love the road textures, especially on Blackwood, Aston and Kyoto. Fern Bay textures could use a few updates (as well as making the curb models use a few more polygons) but that's understandable - its the oldest track of the lot . The tyres could do with being a bit "blacker"... now they look a bit brown - not sure why they have so much red in them. Making them reflective would be a great touch also. Whilst on the subject of tyres, having a few random skid marks on the track's racing line when the race starts would look great. The racing line simply looks darker and doesn't have skid marks as if it had been driven on.The track-side grass seems well textured but a bit "gray" and make the grass look poorly maintained in comparison to the grass at GP tracks as you can see here. Adding more green to the texture might go a long way in solving the issue. A great touch would be if the green "run-off strips" or whatever they are called could be "shiny" - but that's probably a DX9 effect, same goes for the road. Westhill's road textures aren't quite seemless and it can look a bit odd. That's about all I've noticed. In general LFS looks really good especially considering its a DX8.1 game and if you get updated reflection textures for the cars, they look mind-blowingly good. It manages to do something most DX9 games don't manage - it looks real. The cars look like they are on the track and not photoshopped in.

One more question... as I understand it, DX10 is coming out at the same time as Windows Vista - will LFS go straight to DX10 or will it go through DX9 to allow people with outdated hardware to maintain performance? I suppose it depends on what DX10 allows you to do in terms of optimization for lower end systems to some extent though.
Becky, all I can say is that at some time, the tyre tread appearance will change with tyre wear. It's on my notes, but I don't know when or in which version it will be, as it just depends on what happens. I've noticed that a lot of things come up unexpected while working on LFS.

Devil 007, when I talk to Eric I can ask him if he would sometimes like to provide a high-res optional download, for example in cases where there was a borderline decision and he went for the memory saving option, maybe he'd like to set aside a high res version. Though that kind of thing does lead to more complication trying to keep track of things when there are multiple versions. Don't worry, Eric does like to use higher res textures but as a game developer, he always keeps a check on himself to avoid the temptation of using unnecessarily high res textures all over the place - remembering that doubling a textures resolution uses four times as much memory, so can easily cause glitching and memory swapping hesitations. Also each track has it's own "age" because Eric does focus on one track at a time. Next one to be updated is Kyoto.

We can't just pretend everyone has the newest graphics card, while a lot of people are still concerned about low frame rates at the start line, glitches and hesitations when driving and that kind of thing. It's about trying to get a balance and make this sim work on a wide range of computers, and gradually increasing the specification over time.
Quote from Scawen :
Devil 007, when I talk to Eric I can ask him if he would sometimes like to provide a high-res optional download, for example in cases where there was a borderline decision and he went for the memory saving option, maybe he'd like to set aside a high res version. Though that kind of thing does lead to more complication trying to keep track of things when there are multiple versions. Don't worry, Eric does like to use higher res textures but as a game developer, he always keeps a check on himself to avoid the temptation of using unnecessarily high res textures all over the place - remembering that doubling a textures resolution uses four times as much memory, so can easily cause glitching and memory swapping hesitations. Also each track has it's own "age" because Eric does focus on one track at a time. Next one to be updated is Kyoto.

We can't just pretend everyone has the newest graphics card, while a lot of people are still concerned about low frame rates at the start line, glitches and hesitations when driving and that kind of thing. It's about trying to get a balance and make this sim work on a wide range of computers, and gradually increasing the specification over time.

Many thanks Scawen for asking Eric of hi-res version.As I repeated already I meant it to be just a optional download.

I just somehow cannot agree with the second part.I highly doubt the start low framerate is due to textures resolution or graphic.
I am currently testing NVIDIA 7900GT(24pipelines,huge memory bandwith etc - not importnat info ofcourse) and the FPS at start is same(0.00deference) as on GF6600 or 7900GT.Thats with Athlon A64 3500+.
The 7900GT is like 5times faster then 6600.
Shame I noticed around 10-15FPS drop at start with new patch.I think its related more to physic calculation done now,right?

And I am really aware of the other guys using older hardware.There is always possibility to turn off/on things as the other games do.I started playing LFS with like Athlon 1.2Ghz and GF2mx400 32MB ram.There is however some line in LFS when adding better graphic card in LFS doesnt boost FPS at all.You must be very welll aware of that.
I'd much rather see Pixel shader 2.0 (direct X9) features for LFS than higher res textures.. So if there is a choice for spending time on higher res textures or updating the game for DX9... that s a no brainier.
Quote from BWX232 :I'd much rather see Pixel shader 2.0 (direct X9) features for LFS than higher res textures.. So if there is a choice for spending time on higher res textures or updating the game for DX9... that s a no brainier.

Yes, that is what I would rather see too.

I love this quote...

"It MUST be optimised as a racing simulator, not a screen shot generator."
Scawen
Quote from Scawen :If you see a texture which is unreasonably low res, why not point it out in the track bugs forum? But don't just say "all textures are too low res" because that will be quite unhelpful for all the reasons I've just tried to explain.

I don't think anything is "unreasonably low res", but I do think many things could be much improved. The top things on my list would be items that aren't flying by on the track. In other words, the interior textures, suit textures, glove textures, etc. These are some of the first things that I recommend friends mod on a fresh LFS install. The second things on the list would be some of the signs that are close to the track and the barriers. It's easier to see the jaggies on these items because you've got two dissimmilar colors next to each other that should be a crisp line (on signage, for instance). This is the opposite of something like grass or asphalt where the lower res is not as noticeable because the color palette for that object is more similar.

In the end, I think the car and driver textures would make the most difference because of how close the objects are and the fact that you see them constantly. Next would be near-track signage. Last would be asphalt, grass, buildings, etc.
#46 - Vain
Just for the protocol, I think LFS should feature driver-suits in two resolutions.
The current lowres-suit is used for all drivers in the field, except the player himself. As the player's suit is the only one viewed from a close distance it should be in a high resolution. You may just aswell work with fancy LOD-stuff that also works when making pictures in replays, but I just wanted to point this out.

Vain
I can understand LfS wants to provide a big gamers market but isn't it possible to scale down Dx9 graphics like I see in Call of Duty 2 and NfW:MW? There's an option in the menu to switch DirectX version.

I just hope LfS will be up to date for graphics one day... for now I think when LfS S3 is developed with DirectX 9 we can use Windows Vista and Dx10.

By the way: I agree on the quote "It MUST be optimised as a racing simulator, not a screen shot generator."
i will be really happy if a Hi-Res Pack would be available for separate download.
since eric as every graphic artist surely have the original textures at much higher resolution, so why don't let us push our PCs to use all the power they have?

i agree that the official LFS must be optimized for the wider audience, but an unsupported hi-res pack, will make many users very happy.

i have always at least 130 fps in lfs as many others...and that's a waste!

also such hi-res pack would require very little work, only a resizing script i guess, so less than a day...so i really hope we can have it

i would like to have ANY texture at high res, then everyone of us can choose wich texture to update...
concerning graphics...
/thread hijack...

2 pics, same scene, car moved aprox 4 meters forwards, the detail i'm talking about, dissapeared.

I mean the 2 clips wich (i think) lock the trunk-door closed.
While on duty, I think it's very annoying to always see then Dis/appear when in close Racing...

any idea for help, maybee using higher LOD values in *.cfg file?

thx for your attention

/thread hijack... done
Attached images
with trunk clips.jpg
without.jpg
options.jpg
Try to disable dynamic lod?
Well, with your ugly fps I would rather reduce the settings. You have only one car and almost no scenery, and already unter 50 fps. In an average race you will not get more than 30 fps, which is unplayable.

Question for DEVs - Track textures avaible in HI-REs?
(194 posts, started )
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