Release Notes

Here we outline the effects of each release on modders.

Build 1121 - 4th September 2020

This build release focuses on the release of new modding documentation and tools to allow the use of the new PBR pipeline. 

  • Large update to modding documentation, will full documentation on PBR material system, dedicated Development Tools section and more.
  • First official release of 3ds Max 2021 Plugins
  • First official release of Material Editor
  • First official release of Maps Converter Tool
  • Added Loch Drummond (PBR Track) to ModDev
  • Added ability to disable auto albedo correction on pre PBR shaders
  • Added ability to choose cube fresnel default settings on pre PBR car body shader
  • Corrected Deformable Tire shader naming in Max Plugins
  • Exposed Amtospherics section in Wet file to configure Haze and other settings.
  • Updated ModDev to use main game HUD
  • Small refactor of glare settings in PostFX
  • Added ability to save preset positions in the Scene Viewer
  • Many other minor tweaks to various shaders and settings.

Build 1119 - 4th June 2020

A few weeks ago we released a rather large update to our game which adjusted the lighting calculations in various places on all content. We have now released a small update which focuses on improving the compatibility of those updates with old content, although some content will just need to be updated due to settings used.

  • We have corrected the light intensities in the showroom, so all cars should now render correctly there, previously older cars were rendering quite dark.
    • Authors of custom showroom may need to adjust their diffuse maps to be brighter though if they find the showroom is rendering dark.
    • This will only be the case when using the shader "T1 No Shadows" or "L2DiffuseNoShadowT0".
  • We had several reports of a degrade in the visual quality of older cars. So we investigated this and took a look into the settings being employed on these cars. We found a couple of issues.
    • Firstly the Cube Fresnel settings on many cars had been set really low.
    • Secondly many cars are employing Diffuse and Ambient scalars, meaning our corrected balance was being adjusted incorrectly.
    • As a result on the CarPaint shader used by these cars only, we have hard set the Cube Fresnel settings to reasonable defaults, for a lot of content this wont make a difference since they were setup correctly already.
    • For the material settings, I'm afraid we require the modder to fix these values at this time.
      • In general we recommend not to use any diffuse or ambient material scalars.
      • With the specular mask it is generally not recommended except for any special materials which genuinely do colour the reflection.

  • We took a look at was wet road reflection progression on non PBR materials.
    • Here we have adapted the changes made to PBR tracks to improve the reflections a little.
    • However the major issue with wet road is that a lot of content does not have a puddle map setup.
    • At present when no puddle map is authored everything becomes a puddle and results in excessive mirror reflections, so please try to author a map even if it is very basic. 
    • There are also further updates to wet reflections in development.
  • We have added a Headlight Configurator to ModDev. This comes up as an option when you go in game where the AIW/Camera editor etc are.
    • This allows you to modify your cars headlights in real time. Useful for fine tuning them.
    • You have to manually save your changes into the gen file.

Build 1118 - 21st May 2020

This build saw a large update to the graphics engine, with various changes. Beneath is an outline of those changes and possible action that maybe required by modders.

  • Lighting balance on all pre-PBR shaders was drastically changed. Resulting in a large increase in ambient lighting.
  • Mod Tracks should pay close attention to the positioning of Ambient Probes.
    • In our tests we found that mod tracks with poorly setup ambient probes resulted in bad lighting. Examples of this include them being in areas of strong colour cast (such as over a lot of very green grass), or underneath the terrain (resulting in the bottom of the ambient probe being brighter than the sky), or really high up in the sky (so the ambient probe receives much more sky contribution than you would expect, making it very blue in general).
    • On content that had good ambient probes, we found that there was minimal difference, other than a slightly blue shift, due to the increased ambient lighting.
  • Custom Showrooms may require some updating. Especially if the background is looking darker than you would expect.
  • PostFX was extensively reviewed and many settings changed and tweaked.
  • AutoExposure was enabled on all but cockpit cameras.
    • If you have a camera inside the car you should assign mPostProcessPresetIndex=(1) for it to adapt correctly to being inside. External cameras should have mPostProcessPresetIndex=(4).
    • Trackside cameras can use either mPostProcessPresetIndex=(2) or mPostProcessPresetIndex=(3). These come with a different range of auto exposure.
  • Glare settings have been adapted for daytime, to allow for the full range of specular to be used, especially on PBR materials.
  • Sky and Atmospherics have all been reviewed. As a result customization of Fog or Haze has been disabled at this time. It will be enabled in a new format soon.

A full recap of the release can be found here: https://www.studio-397.com/2020/05/release-of-build-1118/