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driver mesh
02-09-2008, 08:27 PM,
driver mesh
he's more or less ready now.
[Image: driver01.jpg]
[Image: driver02.jpg]

* thoughts on short term development
right now he sits up real high (so i can see him better for screenshots). this is very easy to change in blender, but how much should be done in code?

might be good to center his geometry at his approximate center of mass. then, when attaching a seperate driver to a vehicle you'd be able to adjust his mass position visually.

but it could be a better long term idea to give each driver an text file with their mass and perhaps a center of mass offset. that way you leave each driver's center of geometry at the origin in blender.

* thoughts on visuals
he could be drawn sortof like a car model.
interior could be most of him, including a face
body could be the shiny helmet (maybe shiny eyeballs)
glass could be the visor

adds some complexity to the system. if loading more that one mesh per driver it would probably be better to have the whole system be interchangeable through the interface. i.e.; select a driver then select a helmet.

any thoughts??
02-10-2008, 02:32 AM,
I think the idea of making separate models for different parts is a good one for the reason you mentioned. In the future, we want the driver to be able to move most of the parts of his body, to turn the wheel, press the pedals, or get thrown around with the motion of the car.

I agree that the driver should be positioned by his center of mass. That would fit nicely with the driver position that is already in the .car files for weight calculation purposes.

There is an issue in the tracker here:
02-10-2008, 07:50 PM,
I also agree, position the driver by his center of mass.

I don't think there's any reason to have more than one model & one texture for the driver, though. All of the shiny and transparent changes can be easily done with texture alpha and a specular map (misc-map1 channel R).

If people want to customize their driver, I don't think we need to have multiple sets of geometry, just multiple textures. I don't see why someone would want to select a different shape of helmet, just different colors & stickers (which they'd probably want to match the jumpsuit)... just my two cents.
02-11-2008, 12:02 AM,
there are some reasons for the more complicated setups

* girls generally have a lower center of mass than guys.

* seperate meshes for helmets or whatnot allow for more ingame customization.

i think these are both good ideas. but i *don't* really think they're worth much effort at the moment.

i'm also still wrestling the game balance philosophy of different drivers having different stats (everyone would want to drive as a 60 lb. elementary school kid, provided he could see over the wheel).

edit: i think i see a few complications with the center of mass approach. when standing up it's 57% of height (so says random google search result). but i don't know where it is for a guy with his legs stretched forward.

also thinking it may be good to set the origin at his butt. i think that will likely be the easiest way to get things to look right. the system for making new driver models could be: position your driver so the x axis is the line between the seat, and the seat-back. then to get an accurate mass position it could be shifted forward and up a little (in code even). the downside is lack of consistency in the .car file cause driver isn't really a mass anymore. more of a part location.

if it's center of mass the driver building rule would be something like: position the driver so the origin is 10cm in front of, and 8cm above his navel. or, download the .blend build your driver approximately like this one. this is sorta lame, but not really *that* bad as you just have to make sure he looks ok in 2 or 3 different cars (maybe 360, f1, and mi).

in either case there might need to be a size scalar (or something else entirely) to get him to look right in the ff. thinking about this, cars where you sit more reclined might need skeletal to work right.

thats all i can think of at the moment. just tell me (a final time to confirm) which center to use in the export, and i'll have a prefab dude ready for business.
02-12-2008, 07:54 PM,
a problem with alpha
ok, he's gotta face and eyeballs and a transparent visor. which looks good in theory. but not so good in practice.
[Image: driver03.jpg]

i've tried splitting the visor vertexes, and even nudging them out a little (and allot). but whenever the visor is between the viewpoint and his face it gets kinda freaky looking.

also tried recalculating normals on both driver and visor. and also made sure they are only 1 sided.

any ideas what's going on here?
here's a strange car the driver is the body.joe, and there's a .blend in there too, if anyone wants to try out any ideas.
02-12-2008, 08:07 PM,
You got me thinking ... positioning the body to fit in the car isn't going to be easy at all. It'd probably require skeletal rigging *and* in-game inverse kinematics, because not only does the body need to be positioned differently to sit correctly, it'd also need to grab onto the wheel. That would mean the cars would also need to be modified with markers to tell the driver what angle to sit at and where to grab onto the wheel....

Maybe an easier way to handle this is to standardize the cars (distance to wheel, seat angle, etc) for a standard driver model...?

By the way, I think we need steering wheel models that are separate from the car interior so that they can rotate independently.
02-12-2008, 10:20 PM,
My take on this is that we should just start out with a static driver, get it in every car, positioned at the center of mass. That takes the least amount of work. The driver may not reach the steering wheel in every car, or look quite right, but at least it will be there. After we get it in, we'll have a better idea of what we need to do to make it look right in each and every car, and how configurable it needs to be in order to sit the right way.

So first static driver model, second positionable driver model; then finally we can get to a moving driver that does things like turn the wheel and press the pedals, and gets slung around by the motion of the vehicle.
02-12-2008, 11:41 PM,
yeah, to get the driver all setup and perfect it'll take some form of skeletal system. static is probably best for now. just make sure to have his drawing be optional on release - it would suck if your favorite car had a driver with a head stuck through the roof or feet through the floor.

any ideas on what's up with the face not rendering correctly through the transparent visor??
02-13-2008, 01:43 AM,
A "draw driver" option is a good idea for the early stages.

I'm unsure what is causing the visor to have those black spots. Your normals appear to be going in the right direction. From looking at the picture, and the .blend, I don't see how it could be a certain set of the faces could even make a shape like that. That's very strange.

If you like, you could color the visor in, or just remove it altogether. A visor is only really necessary if you are on a motorcycle or in an open car, where you might catch some bugs. And everybody knows, VDrift doesn't have any bugs, right? :lol:
02-13-2008, 02:43 PM,
ok, in blender appearantly there were two guys there, identical, and overlapping each other. so when i cleaned that up i got this

[Image: driveralphacrazy.jpg]

some different results. at least. anyone want to chase this in code, or should i just delete the visor for now?

in any case, here is a folder with a drive-able driver, and "body with visor.joe" as well. there's a .blend file which was the source for both.

same link as before, but now a newer file is on the other end.
02-13-2008, 03:08 PM,
I thought it seemed like there were two driver meshes. I ended up deleting one figuring I had done it myself or something. Your current problem might be because of single-sided visor faces. Try making them double sided?
02-13-2008, 08:49 PM,
yeah, that must've happened when i split the visor in blender. but i tried double sided, flipping the visor faces and it's all the same result.

i really have no clue what blender was doing before that caused a partial face render with z-thrashing (at least i guess it that's what the problem was) because there was still only 1 object (body.joe) but anyways, now there are files with and without visor. so if anyone wants to try to chase down the alpha bug there's a good example of it. i think i looked at the tc6 behind a chainlink fence on laguna seca and saw only it's interior.joe. perhaps they're related, specular behind alpha or something.

thanks again for the "uv_project_from_view" tip. that is much better most of the time. i didn't know about u_key menu cause i'm mostly a mouse user. not quite a panacea though, since (often) parts need to mirrored, then one side needs to be tweaked differently from the other, then there needs to be a uv map, but it should make the texture work allot nicer and easier.
02-15-2008, 08:31 PM,
Good call guys, let's do the easy thing for now and just deal with static stuff.

About the visor -- let's just leave it off. The problems you're seeing with the fence & car are due to the transparency & draw order problem, an ooold problem that is solved by drawing everything from back to front order. Doing that sorting takes CPU cycles that I'd rather spend somewhere else, though... so, if we can avoid it, let's avoid it.
02-15-2008, 11:58 PM,
groovy. in the above link should be the needed driver.joe
another one with a visor
and a .blend file with the visor as the same mesh, but split (so it can be selected and deleted with ctrl+L)

i've been spending most of my blender time lately overhauling the tc6. trying some different strategies for windows with molding.

thinking i might do the grill work with texture alpha (instead of a ton of faces). and was pondering this other idea. if i make a grill texture with (full transparency in between). and have it set up perfectly vertical and horizontal. and have the uv map at 45 a degree angle. it might make it just as nice looking as the mesh version (no pixelation what-so-ever, even when close).
02-16-2008, 09:32 PM,
Re: groovy
zimluura Wrote:if i make a grill texture with (full transparency in between). and have it set up perfectly vertical and horizontal. and have the uv map at 45 a degree angle. it might make it just as nice looking as the mesh version (no pixelation what-so-ever, even when close).

I think it'll still have some blurriness if you got really close; the texture magnification filter is bilinear ... but I think it'd still look really good.

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