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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Re-encouraging track modeling

  1. #21
    freew67's Avatar

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    I mainly do short ovals and have tried multiple ways to create the track surface. Splines for the track surface just never seemed to work for me. Bend modifier was even more painful. In the end, Im sorta using the ISI tut way, creating road, walls, fence, texturing, etc. in about 50 m sections. Then I will add 2 or 3 sections together and use the ffd 4x4x4 to bank and bend. With the current way I do my dirt ovals, I will loft the walls and fences after I create the track surface. Granted I tend not to stray from anything over 400m long, it works for me.

  2. #22
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Juliano View Post
    After you extrude the spline up by a set amount--say 10 meters for example,
    Thanks for the info Scott, I'm just confused with 1 thing, are you extruding the spline you laid out as a path for the track, or the spline from a cross section?
    I tried the process on the spline I laid out as a path and it all went good. But I'm confused because when I think extrude I think extrude a cross section bit by bit (similar to building a car) and snap it to the path spline.

  3.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #23
    Scott Juliano's Avatar ISI Staff

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    Quote Originally Posted by mianiak View Post
    Thanks for the info Scott, I'm just confused with 1 thing, are you extruding the spline you laid out as a path for the track, or the spline from a cross section?
    I tried the process on the spline I laid out as a path and it all went good. But I'm confused because when I think extrude I think extrude a cross section bit by bit (similar to building a car) and snap it to the path spline.
    Well, the spline is the outer perimeter of the track layout. use the extrude modifier on it and it will create a "wall" of geometry, with mapping coordinates already generated. The upper perimeter of that is what you will push over to create the tracks width... That's what you're looking for, yes?
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  4. #24
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Juliano View Post
    Well, the spline is the outer perimeter of the track layout. use the extrude modifier on it and it will create a "wall" of geometry, with mapping coordinates already generated. The upper perimeter of that is what you will push over to create the tracks width... That's what you're looking for, yes?
    Ok yep I get it now, I was picturing a spline in the centre of the track, not along the outer perimeter. Now it all makes sense to me and I can already see how this technique will overcome a lot of issues I have always found when using a centre spline. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me.


    Cheers

  5.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #25
    Scott Juliano's Avatar ISI Staff

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    Quote Originally Posted by mianiak View Post
    Ok yep I get it now, I was picturing a spline in the centre of the track, not along the outer perimeter. Now it all makes sense to me and I can already see how this technique will overcome a lot of issues I have always found when using a centre spline. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me.


    Cheers
    No problem at all. And, by the way, you COULD use a center spline if you'd rather. You just need to make a clone of it. You'd extrude one up and push over to the inside of the track. The second you'd extrude up and push to the outside. But, that will make adding camber a bit more work as now you have the inside, middle and outside edges to worry about....
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  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #26
    Scott Juliano's Avatar ISI Staff

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    And, while I'm at it, I always wanted to try using a spline cage to create the track surface. You'd create splines for the inside and outside of the track, and then add some splines for cross sections. The geometry gets filled in automagically. I use to model EVERYTHING this way, but have never tried it with a track yet. Might be a good experiment after rF2 is finished when I finally have some free time again
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  7. #27
    GT VIRUS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Juliano View Post
    And, while I'm at it, I always wanted to try using a spline cage to create the track surface. You'd create splines for the inside and outside of the track, and then add some splines for cross sections. The geometry gets filled in automagically. I use to model EVERYTHING this way, but have never tried it with a track yet. Might be a good experiment after rF2 is finished when I finally have some free time again
    I use this technique for most grass areas's, makes things fairly easy. Usually i'll make a spline from the edge of the track to where i want to make a wall. Doing will allow you to use less poly's for the walls, and create an optimised mesh between the wall and track

  8. #28
    mianiak's Avatar

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    I had a bit of a mess around with it last night, one thing I got stuck on was, how to make all the track panels an equal distance apart?
    I also tried a spline cage too and couldn't find a way to generate the mapping co-ords.
    I can't get loft to work either lol, (I must be doing something very wrong). I create the spline in top view, I create a cross section in front view, I click loft and select path, but the object that's created doesn't follow the path, it goes up in the air and is back the front, I tried many many ways to get it right, rotating the cross section, resetting the xform, etc etc, but no luck.

    On the subject of mapping, I usually use Blender, there is a neat unwrap function in Blender where you can unwrap the mesh following the active quad. You select the quad at the start of the track first to make it active, then you select all and when you click 'unwrap follow active quad', it unwraps the whole mesh in a straight line. I haven't yet been able to find a function like this in 3dmax.

  9.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #29
    Scott Juliano's Avatar ISI Staff

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    After you have the spline all shaped, you'd add verts (using refine) with fairly equal spacing, probably a bit tighter in the corners than on the straights. Then, turn off "optimize" in the spline's properties, and set the numbers of iterations you'd want between each spline vert. When you extrude you'll get a pretty nice even spacing of the segments.

    To unwrap the spline cage you could create a simple version of the track with the spline method and project the mapping down onto the detailed version of the track. I do this a lot--works great.
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  10. #30
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Ok, cool, I finally got it to a point where I am happy with it. Thankyou. Hopefully from now on I have less questions


    Cheers

  11. #31
    Alex Sawczuk's Avatar
     

    Registered
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    Quote Originally Posted by mianiak View Post
    I had a bit of a mess around with it last night, one thing I got stuck on was, how to make all the track panels an equal distance apart?
    I also tried a spline cage too and couldn't find a way to generate the mapping co-ords.
    I can't get loft to work either lol, (I must be doing something very wrong). I create the spline in top view, I create a cross section in front view, I click loft and select path, but the object that's created doesn't follow the path, it goes up in the air and is back the front, I tried many many ways to get it right, rotating the cross section, resetting the xform, etc etc, but no luck.

    On the subject of mapping, I usually use Blender, there is a neat unwrap function in Blender where you can unwrap the mesh following the active quad. You select the quad at the start of the track first to make it active, then you select all and when you click 'unwrap follow active quad', it unwraps the whole mesh in a straight line. I haven't yet been able to find a function like this in 3dmax.

    Select the path before clicking loft, then get the shape. Also its the pivot point and spline direction that matters in lofts.

    Also check out the normalize spline modifier, rather handy

    In the later versions of 3ds max there is spline mapping, although it'll probably require some manual editing too.

  12. #32
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Thanks Alex, that worked , I haven't tried the normalize spline modifier yet though. Curiosity got the better of me and I'm going through the process using the bend modifier atm, trying out all different ways .
    You know what would be very useful? If you could set out the track like in the rf tutorial with a 10m section, then once you have set your elevations, make it attach itself to a spline.
    The biggest problem I am finding is setting smooth transitions between elevations. Setting them in a straight line is the best way I have found so far.

    I have a question about fdd's, I don't think I am setting them up properly, if I load enough points to be able to manipulate things, it really slows my system down and as a square/s over a twisting and turning track I find it hard to manipulate things smoothly, I also tried doing it little bit by little bit and found it a lengthy process, I found that grabbing each vertice and moving them one by one faster so I must be doing something really wrong

    [ED] I think I have got a handle on the ffd modifier, breaking the track up into smaller parts made it a lot easier to work with.
    Last edited by mianiak; 10-21-10 at 11:27 AM.

  13. #33
    Emery's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GT VIRUS View Post
    (I edited a chunk out)
    I used to make tracks, unforcinatly never getting to the stage to producing a release-able track. For me, the lack of motivation has been what has stopped me continueing with track-making. With the release of iRacing and it's laser-scanner tracks, every attempt I have made to restart track-making has felt sub-standard, and that now stops me from continuing on.

    So what can be done? I do not know. It is obviously not possible to just give everyone laser scanners and tell them to crack on, but the development of techniques to improve track accuracy and feel I think are vital, and hopefully rf2 will help on this front.
    The laser-scanned tracks are one reason why I'm modeling ghost tracks and minor tracks. We can expect the big boys with laser scanners to eventually do all the major tracks, but the minor tracks and ghost tracks are where individuals will make the most difference.

  14. #34
    mianiak's Avatar

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    I have come to a situation with this track where I have got some elevations wrong and I need to fix it. Is there a way to attach a spline to an existing track so the track can be altered? Like pairing the spline with the mesh so the spline controls the mesh.

  15. #35
    mianiak's Avatar

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    GT Virus, Alex, Scott, I just wanted to pop back in and say thanks heaps! You got me started on this and now I can't stop I really appreciate all your help and advice.
    It probably doesn't mean much to you guys but this is something I have always wanted to get a grip on and have found it really hard to get started on it. All I needed was a kickstart and since you guys have pointed me in the right direction I finally am able to get into it. Once again thanks heaps!

    Cheers!


  16. #36
    elwood's Avatar

     PC Specification Modding Group: Free/Virtua_LM 

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    Oct 2010
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    It's not matter of price, you need to learn how to model for a reatime engine, the uvmapping and the shading of a mesh.
    This can be done in Blender or in Zmodeler or gMax, cheap or totally free.
    A lot of 3d i did on first release of Varano, was done in zmodeler, terrain and buildings, with mapping too.

    BTB.... mmh, i'm with Alex Sawczuk, from my point of view is really useful for previews but not for really good stuff.
    A waste of polygons, bad shading control, i don't like it but i can understand that is a lot easy to learn, but imho, a 'cheap' shortcut for making racetracks.

  17. #37
    McFly34343434343434343434's Avatar
     

    New Member
    Nov 2010
    I would love to make tracks, dirt track to be exact. I live in central Iowa and have raced on at least 10 tracks in the area, which I would like to construct a few for the game. I make a living using CAD, but the tutorials I have found make my head spin. I have 3ds max, 3dsim, turbo cad, rhino (dont like), and solid works. I have even downloaded Bobs track builder. I've made several cars for the dirt track portion of the game and understand how to create them,but not the tracks. Is there any step by step tutorial out there that can help me. I have tried the ones listed on this site with no success. With winter starting I will have a lot of free nights to work with. Please help.

  18. #38
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Hi McFly, I'm a bit like you, I can make cars, but just couldn't get my head around making tracks. These guys probably know a lot more but what gave me the edge to get started was a mixture of the rf track making tutorial and this forum thread.

    The tutorial can be found here under Misc Tutorials and useful links
    http://www.mbdevteam.com/download/Tutorials/index.html

    I found the extrude method most practical.

  19. #39
    elwood's Avatar

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    I'm glad to help in some way, i placed those tutorials but there are a ton of hidden areas, i know.
    But for starting, it's a good thing to have a good idea of the area you had to recreate, light and environment are very important.

  20. #40
    mianiak's Avatar

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    Thanks Elwood! Yes there is a lot of hidden areas and if the community want quality tracks, you guys need to share it with people who have the potential to build quality tracks.
    I feel starved and it's starting to frustrate me somewhat, I know I have the ability to do well, Jan Kohl knows my quality of work, that's why he has me building cars for NAGT. But the lack of information is the biggest problem. All I know to date I learned from a few sites like yours and the rest of the stuff I know is from reverse engineering and spending hours and hours figuring things out. It's almost like a secret society with a special handshake.

    But anyway, thanks for sharing what you and others have shared, without it we'd be completely lost

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