View Full Version : Terrain?

02 February 2003, 08:23 AM
Hey, people! I was sitting around the other day and started to wonder.....

How does one go about modeling a race track?
( Wipeout,F-zero, Grand turizmo, Nascar, Starwars racing )

If any pros or anyone at all could give us a simple 5 or 10 step breakdown, I and many others, would appreciate it!

Thank you

02 February 2003, 08:43 PM
imo, this is how i'd go about it. though i havent done it yet.

first start with your terrain and then build your track into it... instead of following the track and building outwards from there...

that help?

things like tunnels i may hold off.. i'd run the track through the tunneling area. and leave the walls and ceiling till i was done the track...

but this is just how i would go through it... seems most logical to me, without having tested anything yet

may also be a bit different depending on the program and the way you are modeling the terrain

02 February 2003, 05:24 AM
There was a good article in a recent 3D World magazine about how they made the tracks for Total Immersion Racing. Not sure of the issue number off the top of my head, but it has a snake on the cover.

02 February 2003, 07:19 AM
I've got no first hand game experience, but I was recently studying some old San Francisco Rush track models.

From what I can gather, it looked like they were built from the track up. The trackside detail was very minimal, mostly relying on billboards and simple backing geometry not too far off. Alot of backfaces were cut, and objects staggered so you wouldnt see the holes even if u went backwards.. or places you prolly shouldn't have. As most of the tracks were surrounded by walls, the outer background detail was usually kept seperate and moved back a fair way as you'd never see immediately over the walls.

Considering current technology these kind of hacks are less necessary, but you'd still only build enough to facilitate replay angles, intro flythrough vids etc.

I don't think u'd really need a breakdown to build your own. Just remember that it'll only be viewed from certain camera angles, and mostly going in 1 direction, so don't get caught up with things you won't see or have time to focus on.

02 February 2003, 10:26 AM
I have also litte experience in this Area but I'm almost 100% sure, that racing scenery is ALWAYS built from the track up. Any other approach would appear quite unprofessional. I mean, you got to pin down the track layout first and test it with your racing physics engine before you can begin with eyecandy.

Just take a look at some racing tracks and you will see that they are much less detailed then you might think. There are a lot of tricks that help to keep up the illusion. I was looking at GT3 tracks the other day and they have mostly VERY low quality textures (some even include lightning information - yuck!) and very low poly enviroment. Also, they repeat certain geometry quite often.

When designing you should always also consider at what speed the player is going to see the part of your track. At a 180 that has to be takes with 30kmh you should take care of more detail then this long section that the player will rush through with 300kmh. Which, by the way, doesn't mean that you don't have to put many objects in the faster parts of your track. If there are no surrounding objects, the player will have a bad impression of the speed.

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