Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marathon weekend

The wife and i had such a busy week last week that we decided to stay in for the weekend. I figured i'd get some work done on the track, but had no idea i'd end up putting in more than 20 hours on it. So where to begin...?

I decided a few days back to just start at the beginning and treat every inch of track as though i was finishing it off for good. My first mission was to create some better blends on the track edges and on the various intersections. I also took my first stab at a gravel-to-pavement blend. There's a specular map on the pavement texture that i also applied to the dirt half of the blend texture and it looks a little weird, but i'll fix it up right later. Here's are some screens of that stuff:

Gravel intersection

Fork in the road - shows the track edge

Gravel to pavement blend - needs some work, but it's getting there.

Once i was finished screwing around with textures i started in on putting shadows on stuff. This ended up being a lot of trial and error work. I started by putting medium detail shadows on buildings and light poles through town. The end result looked all right, but it hit the framerate pretty bad, so i started digging around the support forums for some ideas on how to improve my methods. 

There ended up being a few different things i could do that implied a ton of work, but would help tremendously. So this is where i decided to just bite the bullet and do a major overhaul of everything i'd done thus far. 

I started by turning off shadows and collision for damn near everything on the track. I then went through and meticulously placed invisible walls along the track edges and invisible shadow-casting walls where ever there was a building that needed to give off a shadow. This made it so that not every side of a building had to cast a shadow and i could control exactly where i did or didn't want them. It was a pain in the ass, but i'm done with everything through the first town and the garage/pit area.

There's still some tweaking to do in places where it can chug a little when the shadows get long. If there are a lot of terrain polys in an area, or there's anything funny about how they're put together, they take a lot of processing power to deal with shadows. I've cleared up the worst areas, but there are a couple other spots i could improve on next time i'm feeling that patient.

Anyway, check out some of this sweet looking shadowy shit:

While cranking away on all that, i also made a point of fixing anything that was buggy looking and polishing everything as i went along. Every time i run a race i see more stuff i want to fix or improve on, but the first town isn't that far from being completely finished. With all that about where i want it for now, i decided to string trees all the way down to the turn-around. They're not all polished up like what you've already seen, but it won't take long now to make the straightaways look pretty good. The fact that i spent the time to figure out how to optimize stuff correctly and get it all polished means that i can build the next town without any guesswork or having to do things twice. Anyway, here's the beginning of trees on the straightaways:
So that's the end of that marathon. Hopefully i can finish detailing everything out for some racing on Dead Man's Loop by next weekend. Or - at least have a good beta ready to roll. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment