IFM 2009: Before and after…

We introduced you briefly to our International Formula Master mod for rFactor2. As we mentioned the model was originally build in 2009 and we'd like to show you a comparison with of the original model with the one we will use in the mod.
In these shots you can spot the differences between the two models. One of them was made in the year 2009 and features the 2008 spec of the car. The other was overhauled 2012 and features the 2009 spec of the car. The differences in the spec include a pretty big fin on the engine cover, new endplates for the rear wing and brake ducts on the front and rear. Other adjustments were fixing normal issues on the whole car and updating the modeled joint lines on the body to CTDP standards we developed during our F1 1994 modeling.

Continue reading IFM 2009: Before and after…

Alii sementem faciunt, alii metent

Today we want to talk about money. A topic, which is currently also discussed in rFactor2’s forums. We spent a lot of money in all these years developing our mods and providing our website, devblog and forums. So far we handled all expenses ourselves, but to continue funding the required infrastructure for our future developments we’re looking into a few possible solutions to cover our expenses.

Where do we invest the money?

Let’s start with our current situation: at the moment we have a webserver which runs the website, the devblog and our forums. This server accounts for around 120€ a year. Also we have a server running Subversion-Server which is provided by one of our members.
As we had some technical problems with the SVN server lately and maintenance is all in done in our spare time, we decided to look for a different solution.

One idea was to rent a root server and to run the webservices and SVN together on one server only. Given the server is powerful enough another idea was to run a rF2 dedicated server on that root too. This solution would be pretty expensive with costs of about 660€ a year.

Another idea was to keep our current hosting package for 120€ a year and use a dropbox account as a SVN replacement. A suitable dropbox account for our needs would cost us about 10€/month. So that would account to at least 240€ a year and about 420€ cheaper than the root server idea.

We are currently evaluating further options. And are happy to get input in services and solutions we may have overlooked.

So far, we didn’t mention additional investments such as buying books about physics, F1 season overviews, technical analysis or magazines which help us in developing and improving our mods. Also we have subscriptions on websites to get access to high resolution pictures of the cars. That all did cost a lot of money and in the end everyone playing our mods profits from these investments. For example AndreasT bought all old Autosimsport magazines on e-bay to give the team a good base to start with F1 1994.

So you see that modding and providing forums/blogs/websites for our mods comes at a price. In our second article we evaluate our financing ideas and hope to get some feedback from you.

Inside F1 1994: Measuring Williams

We welcome Radu Teo, a new modeler who has started to work on the new Williams model. The first preview we have for you is a bit different than usual. Over the years we did alot of research on the cars to get as many technical data as possible. This also involves blueprints (if possible, usually impossible), specifications and measurements. Very often we find contradictory sources and especially the wheelbase is something of regular debate for many cars. Williams is another prime example, as we have found 3 different measurements for the wheelbase: 2990mm / 2950mm / 2890 mm
Radu did among others the attached photo comparison to find the correct wheelbase. The picture gives 2.84m,which is shorter than any of our sources. Unless we find something canon and concluding, we will probably opt for a compromise of 2.89m.

Edit: And another one.

DDSUtils updated

It’s been 2 years since my DDSUtils were released the first time and updates came a year later. As I work myself into rFactor2, I did some updates to Radds and Badds and made them available on CTDP’s website. Radds is a simple texture reviewer and Dropps a texture converter. You can start both apps right from the website and use them. I will make the download of the latest versions available later. Badds is not available yet, as it will also get another update some time in the future.The DDSUtils are Open Source and hosted at github.

I hope this helps many Modders with their texture management. 🙂

rfDynHUD avaliable at github

The first release of rfDynHUD was almost 2 years ago and last year we decided to make the project Open Source to allow Third-Party developers to write their own widgets, enhance the code and contribute to the development. So far we gave access to anyone interested. This week we decided to take the next step and release the source code to the public.

rfDynHUD source code is now available at github. You can browse the project, clone your copy and start hacking new features with Github giving a great interface to manage all contributions and integrate them in future versions. If you have never looked into git, we suggest you do, because it allows for a very comfortable workflow.

We invite everyone who has had a look at Java to have a look.

Getting started to … Q&A

In the comments of the past 2 tutorial articles we collected some questions. Admittedly it took a bit longer to prepare the answers, but I hope they satisfy. It’s not easy to give a straight clear answer without knowing how much basics we can assume. So we try to give pointers and if you we talk about stuff you don’t get. Ask again. Please note, we will never give a click-by-click explanation. 😉

How to map engine parts (like tubes and other parts…)??

Use the UVW Mapping tools in 3ds max. For tubes I would recommend the pelt mapping method using seams. Also you can create those tubes or wires using splines and let 3ds max create the shape and mapping.

To generate LOD B and LOD C i must start from zero, decrease manually from LOD A or have some script/tool to easily do that?

There are several ways of poly-reduction. You can use poly-reduction modifier (called multires) in 3ds max, you can use the poly reduce modifier in XSI or the reduce option in maya. All of them have their benefits and flaws. The best and most efficient way is still to do it by hand. Then you can decide where to reduce the polys and where you want to spent more polygons. Usually I would suggest to combine both variants. Doing it by hand for LOD B maybe and use some of the automatic methods to generate LOD C.

I’m an expert on Solidworks (I’m curious about did you hear anything about this software. It’s an engineering CAD program) and I model the cars on solidworks. Is it possible to use this models in a game? (like rFactor or any other)

Theoretically it is possible. But you’re using a CAD engineering tool and therefore you create your objects in NURBS. To get a polygon model, you have to tesselate and convert the nurbs into polygons.You can do that with stand alone Tools as Rhinoceros, VRED, Autodesk Showcase, or with special plugins for 3ds max & maya (like N-Power Translator), or you use RTT DeltaGen (that’s the best but the most expensive solution).

No matter which application you use to tesselate the NURBS, you will always struggle with the polycount. So you either reuse the CAD as base for a polygon model and do further reducing by hand, or you remodel it using the CAD as base. You can put a CAD part straight into rFactor, but you have to live with some limitations like low fps and/or tesselation quality issues.

Concerning finding the right logos – you say to never upscale a logo to make it larger. If you have a logo that is too small and need it larger, will you go about re-drawing the logo itself in vectors, or do you use another method?

We use all 3 methods. First we have a look in our private shared logo collections. Many companies have been sponsoring for years and chances are high somebody within the team already found the necessary logo. Obviously this does not help you. First stop are sites like or Vector-Logotypes. Both are public resources for vector logos. BOTW has seen its best days several years ago and before they took down most commercial logos. Try to look for press or media kits of a company. They often include vectorized logos.

If you can’t find it as vector, there are a few very nice places to visit and nicely ask. I can promote the GrandPrixGames forums, where they always have a public thread to share requested logos. Great guys! This is a good start for modern and topical logos.

Google Image Search can be a help, too.

Another nice trick is to look for company press statements with the official PDF-styles. PDF are usually vectors, so you can zoom in to a logo and grab a screenshot to work from. Same applies for fonts, if you can’t find the font online, or can’t get the commercial version. If you need it badly you can actually decompile the PDF and extract some raw data like fonts, look for Fontforge.

If nothing helps, you have to reconstruct it. When you can’t avoid this, do it right and do it as vectors. Some like to do it in Adobe Illustrator, I think Inkscape (Open Source) suffices. It’s easy for simple monochrome logos and gets tougher the more colors and effects you have.

Most Vector software has a way to vectorize logos. If you have highres-graphics you can vectorize them. However, for small logos or Logos based off images, this isn’t very practical.

Lastly, don’t be a prick, share logos so everyone can benefit.

We accept more questions and we will post more how-to-get-started-into-modding tutorials in the upcoming weeks. Post your questions in the comments.