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The cockpit view mod project
CWR created The cockpit view mod project on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:21 am
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I know that nobody cares about this, but that doesn't mean somebody here doesn't know the answer. When playing C1/SP recently I noticed that the views out of the cockpit to the left and right looked strange, like my car was tilted to the side or something even though I was still sitting at the starting line. Took screenshots and assembled them into a panorama:

Image

I think if I can make some adjustments to a car's txt file, I can fix this misalignment of the side cameras. I think they were designed for looking to the sides while using the exterior view.
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coffeycup on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:26 pm
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I don't know the answer, but what a great images that is. How cool would it be to have multiple monitors with a panoramic view!

Is there a setting to adjust cockpit side views? I'm less familiar with C1 paperwork.
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CWR on Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:00 am
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I made some more (I'm studying these so I can make a custom interior for my next version of ChromeGod) where I tried to make them match up like a true panorama, like I do with my MC:LA panoramas I have posted on DeviantArt http://cwrudy.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d3jqgsx Like so:
Image
While doing this I noticed that there's maybe 5 different interiors that are just slightly changed for different cars; Hawk 1&2, Eagle 1&2, Tashita and Carrerasaur (Stig O'Sore's ride in SP) all use the futuristic supercar; Towmeister, Fat Cat, The Bear, The Plow and the Monster Masher use the generic 1980's car interior; Suppressor and Rig O'Mortis used the heavy truck; Vlad, Dozer and Grunge Buster used the single-seat Rollcage; The Twister looks like the only unique interior of the lot.

The only reason that some cars are listed as cheats is that they had no interiors for them, so I'm proposing a mod project! Cockpit views for all cars in C1!! Cockpit views also include the hood in front, so the cockpit you start with makes a difference. Because of it's different hood shape, Fat Cat's interior view used for ChromeGod always looked odd:
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Whereas this is how '55 American cars look from the driver's seat:
Image

So mebbe Toshiba can use the original CG's low poly hood as the 3d bonnet object for V3...anyways - making interior for Leadpumper and Hevy Impaler from the Fat Cat's files should be super easy - a color shift should do it (except that the Impaler has that hood scoop) and the Towmeister's could be used for StiffShifter...I'm gonna go and take more screenshots from interiors before continuing. BRB.
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coffeycup on Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:27 pm
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Wow, those looks great. It's nice you can get some reuse.
In C1 I would drive using the cockpit view more often than I do in in C2 due to the lack of the side views.
Plus the cockpit views aren't always setup correctly on some addons, not that that can't be adjusted.
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CWR on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:44 am
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I went and took shots from all the driveable cars - they're not as similar as I had remembered them being, but there's a fair number of reused elements. Even though it looked very different externally, the Annihilator II (dragster) in SP used the same cockpit view as the Annihilator (funny car) in C1...and I forgot that the Stodge Barger was another car using the 70's - 80's interior:
http://sta.sh/#/01fxtsfms11f <link to fullsize downloadable picture
Image
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CWR on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:27 am
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The only reason that some cars are listed as cheats is that they had no interiors for them, so I'm proposing a mod project. Cockpit views for all cars in C1 - cockpit views also include the hood in front, so the cockpit you start with makes a difference. Many cars are based off the Fat Cat's cockpit views - the Impaler and Leadpumper should be able to use that with only slight color shifting and changes to the bonnet.pix (although Impaler does have the hood scoop that's lacking in Fat Cat's views). Cleaver could use Eagle's with bonnet.pix changes, Stiffshifter might use Towmeister's views and Electric Blue could use Hawk 1.
Mostly I'm tired of using interior view with Leadpumper and seeing a red Corvette hood stretching out before me...

http://sta.sh/#/01fxtsfms11f <link to fullsize downloadable picture

Image

Image
"I know, I know - the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. And to be fair...f**k you." Adam Ferrara Top Gear U.S. edition


Last edited by CWR on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Razor on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:58 am
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Here's a zip of all the interior elements if you need anything for reference.


Attachments:
HUD.zip [4.16 MiB]
Downloaded 176 times
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coffeycup on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:00 pm
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I didn't know which thread to respond to. To me it looks like the horizon and sky do line up on all three views. I think it's the angle of the side view art that looks tipped on the Towmeister.
Attachment:
horizonSky.jpg
horizonSky.jpg [ 225.93 KiB | Viewed 9272 times ]
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CWR on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:12 am
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If you look at the fullsize download that I've added to my post (sorry, I thought it would be downloadable thru a link when I posted the pic) you'll see it aligning with the horizon in the forward view (sometimes) but then tilting - look at how the back of Stiffshifter is at a different angle in the left view of your example - the cameras look rotated.
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Toshiba-3 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:50 pm
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CWR, I have a hard time understanding where you're getting at with the angles there? (as in the first pic). You mean the internal camera seems too high when looking sideway?
I totaly agree about the missing hoods/cockpits annoyance. It's one of the main point of my upcoming C1 pack. Making the hoods is very easy with PT2, and adjusting them can be done from within C1 (Edit Bonnet mode). Then it's a matter of choosing the right pre-existing cockpit and tweaking it a bit to fit the vehicle.

About ChromeGod v3, I'll get on it asap but I really lack free time lately. For the hood model, I'll make it from the new model, no need to stick with the v2. That cockpit you're coming up with looks great, that'd be great ingame! If you can generate the three views from this as you'd like it to appear ingame, and even maybe prepare steering wheel frames, it would look awesome ingame :B

The whole idea reminds me of this btw:
'97 dashboard contest
Doesn't seem like it got very far, but at least Stiffshifter was done!

Also I took the liberty to merge the two topics you opened about this subject :swink:
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CWR on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:20 pm
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Well, I actually intended that they be two seperate topics but I didn't want to be a dick about it - especially as there is a relation here.

I think the side camera angles are set up for the external views, since that is a higher elevation view, that would explain why the angle looks odd when looking out the side interior views - hopefully this is adjustable in the txt file. Since the interior 'frames' were estimated artistically (as far as I can tell) rather than done using 3D reference, this further skews perception.

The cockpit mod proposal is a seperate idea that I used the same images for - more of a stopgap that can be built upon at leisure. Get the cockpits linked up with at least the same general type of vehicle first, then substitute fully rendered and/or designed versions when we can.

Just a note about aesthetics that I've noticed in my (actually really extensive) researches on dashboards throughout the decades. Interior/dashboard designs seem to lag about a decade behind the general design - i.e. late twenties/early thirties like Stiffshifter and C2's Coupe de Grace have an art nouveau style rather than that era's art deco; which shows up in the late 30's/early 40's dashboard design: art moderne/streamline for the late 40's/early 50's: whatever 50's style is called (Googie?) is late 50's thru early 60's. After 60's pop/mod art style for late sixties/early 70's interiors do they finally get in sync with their respective decades. Or perhaps design styles were so shoddy past the 70's that it made little difference...in my eyes, at least.

I realize I'm probably the only one who gets worked up about this stuff - can't help myself.
"I know, I know - the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. And to be fair...f**k you." Adam Ferrara Top Gear U.S. edition
CWR on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:08 pm
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Here's a super rough rendering of ChromeGod's 3 cockpit views with default lighting, missing damage screen & tach and no real texture work. More adjustments will be neccessary so that 2d animated elements line up - steering wheel rim, rearview mirror, speedo needle, tach needle, gear indicator and damage screen must all be properly placed; at least in the forward view:

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More as it's ready...
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coffeycup on Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:12 pm
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Jeez, that's a work of art. You've built a 3D model of the dash/interior?
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Toshiba-3 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:45 pm
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Thinking about it, I'm not familiar with camera tilting values in the per-car txt files or anything related to side view points. Never looked for that ofcourse so it might just be there.

And that ChromeGod cockpit... wow!
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CWR on Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:55 am
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Yes it is a work of art, and no, I didn't create it. I will, however, be modifying the hell out of this model. There are a number of free detailed automotive interior 3d models available on the web for anybody who has no life to research and download.

Well, as for the camera angles, I guess it's only these lines at the top of the txt file:

-0.112,0.2,0 // Offset of driver's head in 3D space
80,-70 // Angles to turn to make head go left and right
0,0.2,0,60 // Offset of 'mirror camera' in 3D space, viewing angle of mirror

On original cars there's a really long list of numbers between END OF GROOVE and START OF MECHANICS STUFF (which I just realized you left out of the Chromey2.txt, so I guess they aren't vital) but I had thought maybe the camera angle stuff was somewhere in there.

I did find the camera angle of 55.55 (I'm assuming this stands for degrees of field of view) in the general.txt file. That's all I got.
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Toshiba-3 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:35 pm
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The long list of numbers are the three crush datas (simple, complex and bonnet models). As we can't generate them, we replace them with static datas. This way the models don't turn into spaghetti's at the first hit, however they don't deform.

Really looks like there's nothing to change that side view angle/height :/
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CWR on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:29 am
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I'm starting to think that the problems I'm having with the camera angles aren't solvable - mainly because they may be standard for all computer 3D space.

I run into this problem both in 3d graphic programs and in released games - cameras in computer 3D space are only rough approximations of the human eye: this is most apparent when you try a wide angle camera; since there's no curved lens as in a camera (or your eye) and everything in computer 3D is calculated point-to-point, it's oddly distorted, with only straight lines where in RL there would be curved distortion.

There are solutions, ranging from cheap and cheerful (rendering a scene by shooting it's reflection in a curved, perfectly reflective surface - everything in the render is reversed; have to guess at camera placement since you can't actually see the reflection in the 3d scene [wait an hour for a render, adjust the camera, another hour, oops adjusted it wrong, another hour etc.], perfectly reflective surface is neither perfectly reflective nor smooth enough). Imagine you are in a fully darkened room with your back to your subject, you have an instamatic camera - the flashbulb of which is your only light source, you're using a hand mirror to take the photos of the subject behind you, instead of a minute you have to wait an hour for each photo to develop - this is good only if you are being paid by the hour; moderate (free fisheye lens plugins - you can't see the distortion in the scene camera, but at least it's pointed AT your subject; render for 45 minutes, adjust camera, another 45, oops, etc; using simulated refraction gives you plenty of the 'black speckles' artifacts caused by 3D refractive surfaces being as imperfect as the 3D reflective surfaces and again, not smooth enough) and expert (Blur's Brazil renderer allows you to see how something will render in the scene camera; long render times and black speckle artifacting but no need to constantly re-render to find your shot; if you can afford this there's no need to try and impress potential sex partners with your 3D artistry - they'll sleep with you because you are rich.)

Those are just the still render solutions - I don't think there's any realtime in-game solution this side of a quantum computer...I guess I'll just live with the cameras that we have.
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CWR on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:56 am
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Sorry for this double post - if your post's too long you're typing 'below the window' it's annoying to not be able to see your words as you type =\

While creating my long-winded diatribe above I realized that likely the actual reason for the skewed side camera angles: rotation order!

The interior forward view camera has a slight downward angle to view the road ahead, maybe as little as 5 degrees from the horizontal. Pointing each camera in it's intended direction (-60, 0, 70 degrees, as seen from above) and THEN tilting the camera down 5 degrees would yield the correct results. But if you tilted the camera down FIRST for the most important forward view and then rotated/copied that camera -60 and +70 degrees to make the side cameras, then you'd have the slightly skewed angle like we're seeing in-game. This may have been dicated by the coding architecture -or just an oversight; nobody noticed for 16 years, after all.
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CWR on Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:23 am
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An update on the ChromeGod cockpit - I actually found a render setup that feels like the original cockpit views to me. Now I just have to finish modeling the mesh and then run it through the 2d graphics programs...

Image

Of course, I also hafta figure out what personalizing touches to include in order to differenciate ChromeGod from every other Shovey Bel End in the Carmaverse. I'm thinking a 50s style car phone...or if I can be bothered, I could concept up a driver and personalize it to them...okay, him.
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Toshiba-3 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:55 pm
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CWR, I really like how it's progressing.
I must advice you to tweak the red paint so that it converts best to the ingame C1 palette.
The palette work can always be done in Photoshop afterward, but IMO it's best to prepare the whole render setup for the goddamn palette :ssad:
Also don't forget that the mirror must be a rectangle, the glass at least (ingame mirror view can't have slanted sides).
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CWR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:07 am
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Here's the latest:
Image

I still need to add some elements to the model, but I always planned to adjust the rearview in PS - I just scaled the mirror so that it would look correct in the right view.

Is there a way to render a 3d scene to a specific 256 color palette? I've been looking online but I've found no mention of how to do so.

I had an idea for the sides of CG - just turn the center stripe 90 degrees to place the number on the doors as well:
Image

Do you think this works? If so, should I apply it to the 3d model and resend to you, or would you want to do it yourself?
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CWR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:42 am
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Here are the nearly final views rendered in 256 color bmps:
ImageImageImage

Of course, this is rendered to 256 colors optimized. The only way to render directly to a custom color palette is to render as a FLC/FLI. Unfortunately that feature was last available on 3ds Max 8 and not since - my older versions of Max no longer open on my current OS, and there's no plugin that does the same function (why would there be? Nobody needs to worriy about restricted color palettes anymore) I wish we could have separate palettes (ACT files) for each cockpit, but they all use the same one.

So I kludged it into the game's color table in PS and it looks pretty passable:
Image

I still need to adjust some elements that are not quite lining up correctly, but this should be ready by the end of the week. I'm gonna experiment to find whether rendering these views 2-3 times larger and reducing them in PS yields better results - the pics above are rendered to actual size in the game.
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Harmalarm on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:18 am
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Freaking nice work, really!
CWR on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:13 pm
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Thank you - here are the finals I've sent to Toshiba-3:
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Next I'll try my hand at changing colors of the Fat Cat to make a Leadpumper cockpit - it can't be as easy as I'm anticipating...
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coffeycup on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:50 pm
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Yeah nice. I like the added touches.
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CWR on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:19 pm
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Thank you coffeycup! Here are the Leadpumper's 3 views, bonnet texture and exterior damage overlay all in their respective 256 color palettes - only thing I didn't do was a steering hub mask. Other than that it's all synched with Otis' interior...not quite sure what to do next:
Image
Image
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So...what next?
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coffeycup on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:14 pm
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CWR wrote:
So...what next?
Next step - release these. They look great. :smile:
Does the Chrome God Tosh has on his site have the new interior?
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Toshiba-3 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:08 pm
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Nope, the one on RR is the re-release of the one on your site (you should host it as well I think). So no cockpit. The cockpit is meant for ChromeGod v3 at the moment :ssmile:

However I think you could easily grab the PNGs CWR uploaded and modify CKPTCHF.PIX, CKPTCHR.PIX and CKPTCHL.PIX.

CWR, as much as you can, try to avoid diffusing pixels when applying the C1 palette on graphics. Especially on model textures or small bitmaps. These diffused pixels are often more of a nuisance than a good way to simulate half tones. They are ok in cockpit images as these are large enough but it's always better to lower the diffusion anyway and tweak the diffused colors.

What about Stiffshifter for the next cockpit? :sbsmile:
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CWR on Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:27 am
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coffeycup wrote:
CWR wrote:
So...what next?
Next step - release these. They look great. :smile:
Does the Chrome God Tosh has on his site have the new interior?


Here's the last bit, the speedo mask:
Image

I'm not really sure how to release these, precisely. I can e-mail the 256 color bmps to you, coffeycup; or people can 'save picture as' .bmp right from this thread and work them up themselves. Personally, I've yet to try using the plain Otis cockpit with the Leadpumper (agento) - once I manage that, I'll try swapping in the new art. I'd like present this as a more finished product, but I'm not sure that I'm the guy who can do this: coding is not my strong suit.

This is sorta unexplored territory - since Stainless released CG officially, they did all the heavy lifting, even giving it an interior which enabled you and I, back in the day, to just swap in new art - remember this?
Image

But modders making interiors from scratch has not been done before (to my knowledge)...not having posted to either of my Carma websites in a decade, I doubt I can remember any of my webmaster passwords - I'll send you a zip file of the LeadPumper bitmaps (including the ChromeGod version 3 interior views) if that's okay?
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CWR on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:33 am
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Toshiba-3 wrote:
Nope, the one on RR is the re-release of the one on your site (you should host it as well I think). So no cockpit. The cockpit is meant for ChromeGod v3 at the moment :ssmile:

However I think you could easily grab the PNGs CWR uploaded and modify CKPTCHF.PIX, CKPTCHR.PIX and CKPTCHL.PIX.

CWR, as much as you can, try to avoid diffusing pixels when applying the C1 palette on graphics. Especially on model textures or small bitmaps. These diffused pixels are often more of a nuisance than a good way to simulate half tones. They are ok in cockpit images as these are large enough but it's always better to lower the diffusion anyway and tweak the diffused colors.

What about Stiffshifter for the next cockpit? :sbsmile:


Actually, the CG V2 on RR has the slightly altered Otis cockpit views (shown in detail in the ChromeGod thread).

The zip file I sent you contained the renders before I applied the 50% diffusion when I indexed them in PS. I rendered them as 256 color .bmps, but it was an optimized 256 rather than a specific 256 color palette - so you can run them through PS and save them out to the carma interior 256 palette (all interiors seem to use the same palette to my eye) using little or no diffusion, if that is preferable.

I think the car exterior maps each have their own palettes, at least the txt files all call out to individual .ACT (Abdobe Color Table) files - so dithering should not be as necessary (assuming we can encode ACT files that the game can read)...

Once I've successfully managed to change the LeadPumper interior to the Otis cockpit views, I'm gonna also give those views to Hevy Impaler and the Cullwing; StiffShifter the TowMeister views; King Merc, Lumberer, Pink Pulveriser and Squadcar get the Suppressor views, but with Tashita's bonnet (the Suppressor's bonnet mesh is really obscuring and much too elevated for those vehicles); Fraud Broko the Bear's views; Electric Blue, Fearari666 and Count Slash get the Hawk views; Volkwerker gets Carerrasaurus' views and Clever keeps the Eagle views, but with different bonnet pix. THEN I'll go back and start start rendering specific views for each car & swapping in the art...and I can start with StiffShifter, sure.

What would be really great would be for someone to figure out how to get each car's individual bonnet (hood) mesh so we wouldn't have to do this 'closest match' stuff - StiffShifter doesn't really look like Towmeister, but it's the only other fendered car with an interior in the game.

Since I just spotted the the file attachment upload thingy, I'll add the Leadpumper bitmaps.


Attachments:
File comment: LeadPumperBMPs
LPcockpitViews.zip [233.37 KiB]
Downloaded 134 times
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CWR on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:40 pm
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I've successfully given the LeadPumper the Fat Cat's interior views:
Image
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The only downside is that damage to the car is greatly exaggerated on the hood (bonnet) mesh: thankfully, the repair costs reflect the car's damage, not the hood's:
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Tonight I'll import those .bmps into pix using Carmagedit, and if successful I will then post the whole thing here in a zip file :banana:
"I know, I know - the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. And to be fair...f**k you." Adam Ferrara Top Gear U.S. edition
CWR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:25 am
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Okay - stupidest problem ever: I can't assign index #0 black in my .bmps. So all 0,0,0 black is transparent and PS won't let me assign index #240 to those black areas I don't want to be transparent. Or I can't remember how to do it. Or something. LeadPumper looks like this:
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Image

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At least the external damage icon looks right. I swapped in my ChromeGod views and it looked better, but still full of holes. And crashed the game before I could get screendumps.

Do I have to get GIMP or something to fix this?
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Toshiba-3 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:57 am
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CWR: I think you're rushing a bit before knowing enough about C1 modding :grin:
A lot of C1 modders have used custom bonnet meshes or even made new cockpits for addons (famous one being Econobrick's Lemans which he won't release until he's done with said cockpit).

You loaded the FatCat's bonnet model but it goes all spaghetti's when it gets damage: it's because it is using CRUSH DATA from another model and the vertice IDs don't match etc. The third crush data in AGENTO.TXT must be set to be static.

Making a bonnet model out of the complex model is very easy with PT2 (just select triangles, detach, then save as) then you can adjust it to the view directly from within C1 using the Edit Bonnet mode (F12 to save the act file).

About the index #0 problem: are you using the palettes I linked you to in the last mail? In these palettes I swapped the transparent index with pink to make it easier to set transparency and avoid black colors to be asigned to the first black index.

Finally those screwed cockpit images (making the game crash at times) are like that because of having too much transparency. The game hates that :ssad:

Be it known that I was planning to make all these bonnets+cockpits later this year for the Gourmet Carmageddon.
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CWR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:21 pm
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You're right, I am rushing too much without knowing enough about C1 modding...any longer. Problem is, I used to know a lot - when I first started working in videogames 22 years ago, this sort of art stuff was boilerplate; now I can't even run PT2 because my machine's OS (or my graphic card) is too advanced (and they're already ancient in modern terms). I had totally forgotten about color #0 being transparent and was wondering where the alpha maps were in C1!

I'd never seen seen any custom cockpits for C1 addons, but for most of the time my only concerns with C1 was importing it's tracks and cars into C2; my lack of knowledge regarding actual C1 add-ons is something I plan to remedy right away. Econobrick's LeMans was like, 5 years ago I thought...

If I can find the 3rd crush data in AGENTO.TXT I will set it to static.

I can no longer run PT2, unfortunately.

The last time I was working on a game with indexed color I was still running PS7 - I may need to re-install that to manage the palettes you linked to me - I can't seem to figure it out with CS2; it's like using 3D printing to make a sharpened stick.

I think I'm gonna switch my ChromeGod cockpit views back and wait for your finished CG version 3 for the new views to be properly implemented. I'm gonna try to make your palettes work with the color shifted Otis bitmaps I altered for LeadPumper, but if I can't I'll just continue to use the plain Otis interior and send you any new interior renders for hopeful inclusion in Gourmet Carmageddon :grin:
"I know, I know - the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. And to be fair...f**k you." Adam Ferrara Top Gear U.S. edition
CWR on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:59 pm
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I was going to give up, but I stupidly came back to it and have been successful, thanks to your advice, T3! I DLed a trial version of PSP (still remember when it was shareware - guess I'll need to get GIMP for a permanent solution once 30 days are up) and using the .pal file you made, managed to properly index the transparency - I'll attach the files below this comment:

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Proof that the damage indicator works - although it looks slightly mis-aligned in the cockpit view (it should be moved 1 or 2 pixels to the right) I obviously didn't figure out how to make the 3rd crush data static:

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Plus, I fixed the CG V3 cockpit as well - unfortunately, this is a long road to have travelled to find out that my render is not dark or contrast-y enough...I may have to re-render and process this again *sob*

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The corner of the hood mesh seen in the right view demonstrates how oddly angled the side cameras are...


Attachments:
File comment: the files needed to have Leadpumper with interior driver's views.
LeadPumperCockpit.zip [246.62 KiB]
Downloaded 195 times
"I know, I know - the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. And to be fair...f**k you." Adam Ferrara Top Gear U.S. edition
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