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Submitted by Paul Forgy, posted on April 03, 2001




Image Description, by Paul Forgy



This is a screenshot of Track Gen from RacecarSims.com. We developed this program to build tracks for our racing simulation products. The building process begins with an overhead bitmap of the track for reference. Then, by adding turn apexes with a radii, Track Gen figures the connectivity of the circles(crossing or straight, and which side) and calculates the entry and exit point of tangency to the previous and next circle. Once this track centerline is defined, the tracks polygons are constructed using parameters such as width, altitude, bank, and material. Track side features are built with extrusion objects for things like curbs, fences, stands, signs, trees, etc. The program also has a component to calculate and export the driver line for computer driven cars. The screenshots on the bottom are from road-courses that contain only Track Gen created objects, with the exception of the car and sky dome.

Paul


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Pants

April 03, 2001, 10:38 AM

Cool

 
Jamie

April 03, 2001, 10:54 AM

very nice indeed

it looks nice and realistic

 
L.e.Denninger

April 03, 2001, 11:07 AM

For a flightsimulator

 
Joseph Crevier

April 03, 2001, 11:09 AM

Impressive looking tool. Is this something that is available to the public to purchase for other users looking to develop racing games? If so how difficult would it be to stylize the graphics to make it less F1 orientated ( i.e. more urban type environments )? Is the polygon data easy to access, for intance if a application engineer wanted to add data for advanced multitexture effects? Does it split the track into sections for more optimized culling? I am asking because the company I work for is looking at speeding up a vehicle simulator and might be interested since you seem to have several problems solved that may speed up our development time.

 
1c4i4

April 03, 2001, 11:18 AM

nice work,

what about terrain elevation, ... is the editor usable for more than f1 track design?


jurgen

 
Willem

April 03, 2001, 11:29 AM

What's the artists opinion on generating the track using circles and apex points? Is it intuitive enough, and easy to control? To give more control, or a more intuitive interface maybe you could experiment with Kochanek-Bartels splines, which interpolate control points and give 3 extra curve parameters (Tension, Continuity, and Bias) on a per-segment basis, which lend themselves well if one would want to tweak more. The ordinary curve interpolation with default TCB parameters should suffice for most of the track's segments though.

Just a thought.

 
L.e.Denninger

April 03, 2001, 11:31 AM

Willem, you definitely think too much bro :)
By the way, what are you doing nowadays..?

 
Buster

April 03, 2001, 12:02 PM

groovy!

 
Willem

April 03, 2001, 12:05 PM

Think too much, how could one ever think *too* much? :)
I love (real-time) computer graphics, that's one explanation. ;)
Or are you referring to me not doing enough practical stuff enough compared to theoretical stuff? Not true, I'm coding graphics related stuff every day besides my work.

I'm working at the moment. ;)

 
malkia

April 03, 2001, 02:44 PM

What kind of physics you were using?

We were using PHOR (written by some guy from Microsoft) - it gave us what we need - but we didn't have fast simulation of real car engine. To gave us table with RPM vs. TORQUES and HP. Actually it was fast but on PC, on PSX it was 6000 times slower (no floating point)...

 
Paul Forgy

April 03, 2001, 06:14 PM

Joseph,
Everyhting's for sale, you'd have to speak with my boss about the price though :)...you can get his email from out webpage. The look of what's created is up to the texture maps and shapes of the extrusion objects. We use this tool for all types of racing (NASCAR, F1, and maybe rally). The source would have to be modified for multitexture effects. Yes, it bins the final objects.

Jurgen,
The track gets integrated into a height map land object. You could use the tool for any kind of road/track that has surrounding land. The tool is designed for circuits. The circuits can have segments which start and end some place on the main circuit.

Willem,
I did most of the UI, tool design, and programming. I am also the only artist, and therefore am the primary user of the tool. Some of the more complicated modules like AI, and clipping, were written by colleagues. I decided to use the apexes and circles because 1. it makes layout, and programming straightforward, 2. the results are a smooth, continuous track surface. When you build a track 3 miles long, I don't have to worry about little kinks that you can only see at 50x zoom.

Malkia,
Our company has a proprietary, high-fidelity, modular car physics engine. We have also written flight simulation, aero models.


Paul

 
Paul Forgy

April 03, 2001, 06:17 PM

Jurgen,
The track gets integrated into a height map land object. You could use the tool for any kind of road/track that has surrounding land. The tool is designed for circuits. The circuits can have segments which start and end some place on the main circuit.

Paul

 
Paul Forgy

April 03, 2001, 06:19 PM

Willem,
I did most of the UI, tool design, and programming. I am also the only artist, and therefore am the primary user of the tool. Some of the more complicated modules like AI, and clipping, were written by colleagues. I decided to use the apexes and circles because 1. it makes layout, and programming straightforward, 2. the results are a smooth, continuous track surface. When you build a track 3 miles long, I don't have to worry about little kinks that you can only see at 50x zoom.

Paul

 
Paul Forgy

April 03, 2001, 06:21 PM

Malkia,
Our company has a proprietary, high-fidelity, modular car physics engine. We have also written flight simulation, aero models. We also do custom software contracting.

Paul

 
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