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Fredrik Meyer

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May 3, 2018, 5:33:32 AM5/3/18
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Hello!

First of all, I have moved all my F1GP-related activities to the argtools.com domain. Check it out if you like.

Another big thing is that I have released ArgTrack, a track editor for F1GP!

ArgTrack allows you to edit track sections, pit lane sections, computer car/ideal line, various object settings, the horizon and the computer car setup. It's also actually possible to somewhat manipulate the 3D objects that are placed around the track, though this must be done in a crude, trial-and-error fashion, i.e. just editing various byte values. There is still lots to work out on that front. And also, unlike e.g. Chequered Flag or GP2 Track Editor, there is no preview of the track you are working on, so it's hard to have any idea of what you're doing. So it's certainly not perfect, but it means that it's relatively easy to play around with track data and see what happens.

You will see that it's user interface is currently very similar to ArgEditor, and this is because I created it as a tab in ArgEditor before realizing that it became too complex. I will probably rework the interface in the future.

ArgTrack is available for download at www.argtools.com/argtrack

The documentation at the site is a bit inadequate right now, but it will be improved.

On another note, I have also updated some of the documentation at ArgDocs with some more track-related stuff, and it has moved to www.argtools.com/argdocs

Also, the .NET API, ArgData, has been updated and now includes the track editing functionality that is exposed in ArgTrack.

I have also pieced together a related API, called Arg2Data, which allows reading GP2 tracks. It may blossom into a fuller API in time. Right now I just wanted it done with a view to reading GP2 tracks and turning them into F1GP tracks. As I think I've mentioned some time before, converting the track and pit lane shapes is easy-peasy, the computer car line not quite. The 3D objects should be somewhat similar, but I haven't gotten very far there yet. But I'm using GP2 Track Editor and Object Editor as a way of parsing and learning more about the GP2 shape data. I figure that the F1GP shapes should be similar, except for the texture mapping.

Anything happening with ArgEditor? Not at the moment, but putting Hrvoje's excellent tyre wear data in there - probably on the car setup screen - would be cool! :)

That's it for this time! Happy driving!

/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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May 5, 2018, 11:50:10 AM5/5/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Fredrik,

Very very impressive work!

The documentation is quite extensive. You've clearly put a lot of effort into it.
This is something that we really needed, to have the research data organized and stored in one place.

The work that you've done with the track editor is very significant.
Are you still in the research phase or did you already use the editor to create some modified tracks?

Were you able to figure out the issues that you had previously on the tracks with the modified kerbs? 
From what I recall, some of the kerbs were missing.

P.S. I've taken the liberty to include ArgTrack in our archive and publish the news on the website.



Cheers

Fredrik Meyer

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May 14, 2018, 4:50:39 AM5/14/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Hello!
And thanks! Well, it's a labour of love, so I'm enjoying things.

I haven't created any new track with the track editor. However, in the next version I will include a "Convert GP2 Track" button, which will read the track and pit lane sections from a GP2 track and replace the ones in the F1GP track with those. That's a start, at least. I'm also working on dumping all track data from F1GP and GP2 as documents in ArgDocs, so that it's possible to compare the tracks. The computer lines are in a completely different format, so it's not very straightforward to convert.

For fun, I took all GP2 tracks that also exist in F1GP and converted them, i.e. with the computer car line from F1GP but the track sections from GP2. A lot of the track had minor tweaks that meant that you couldn't drive them, only Interlagos and Hungaroring were drivable at all. Interlagos was the one that worked best, so I think that to learn how to convert a GP2 computer car line to F1GP, that's the place to start. But it's quite possible that it's too much trouble, or not possible, and that the computer car line will always have to be (re)created manually when converting a track.

I have also played around with making "inverted" tracks, i.e. every track section that goes downhill now goes uphill and vice versa. They're a bit enjoyable to drive, since it puts a new perspective on things. I might upload them somewhere some time. I have also tinkered with mirrored tracks, but then the computer car line must be edited, and I haven't gotten it working quite yet. Would be a bit fun though.

On a very positive note, this weekend I finally fully understood the format of the HELMETS.DAT file which contains the helmet images that are visible in the driver selection menus. Craig Heath's helmet editor (HELMEDIT.EXE) was very useful when it came to understanding the format. I hope to be able to include functionality for changing the menu helmets in a future version of ArgEditor. I had also hoped that this would allow me to read the menu background images and track images, but there is something slightly different about those files and their format, so I will have to look more into that.

Figuring out the missing kerbs has been on my todo-list since you reported it, but there has always been something else more "important" to do, so I haven't got around to it yet. But I'm hopeful that it can be fixed with the track commands 0x8E and 0x8F. I think someone wrote about the same behaviour in a GP2 track editing tutorial, I will have to look it up again and see if there's anything I can do.

I have some other stuff coming up as well. Stay tuned...

Cheers!
/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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May 19, 2018, 6:08:56 PM5/19/18
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Fredrik, it would be nice to play the "inverted" tracks. Let me know if you want to add the files to the file archive.

How complicated is to create the CC line manually, using ArgTrack and the knowledge you have about the track file structure?
Does it come down to changing random things in the track file and seeing what happens to the CC line, or do you have a better idea of what you're doing?

Btw, keep up the great work :)



I have some news of my own. 

For the past couple of weeks I've been dedicating my time after work to processing the data from the performance simulations. I've been writing the tools for each step of the data processing. The steps are as follows:
- Perform a qualifying simulation and export the print file with the qualifying results.
- Convert the print file with the qualifying results into a log text file containing the lap times and performance settings for each driver.
- Aggregate all qualifying log text files and export a full text database file.
- Convert the full text database to a full binary database file.
- Group the logs with the same settings in the full binary database, sort the data, and export the sorted binary database file with the time logs for each performance setting.
- Using the sorted binary database with the time logs, calculate the lap time for the given performance settings (grip, BHP, skill, track).

The core functionality for each of these steps has been implemented. There is still a lot of work to do with commenting and optimizing the code, as well as adding data verification procedures at each step, and finally documenting everything.

Given the large amount of data, I've run into numerous issues relating to memory allocation and variable limitations, compiler and built-in function limitations, etc. I'm not a programmer, so I have to test each step and figure out a way around the issues. I'm trying to find the right balance between managing the data in a safe and robust way, that can be used in the future, and not going overboard with making the tools more general than necessary.

At the moment, the simulations have covered the following performance range:
Track: 1-16 = 16 value
Grip: 1-15 = 15 values
BHP: 470-1240 (steps of 10) = 78 values
Skill: 0-59 = 60 values
Iterations: 10

Total number of data points: 16 * 15 * 78 * 60 * 10 = 11 232 000
Unique performance combinations (grip, BHP, skill) = 15 * 78 * 60 = 70 200

The full database file is taking up around 1 GB of space. 
However, the processed indexed binary database file, with just the lap times, will take only around 40-45 MB.
This can be further reduced by including only the processed time information (average time, median, maximum and minimum time, maximum absolute error, standard deviation, etc.), instead of including all the individual time samples. Given the realistic time constrains, the lap times could also probably be stored in less than 4 bytes each.

My first goal is to release a command-line tool that calculates the lap time from the given performance parameters (grip, BHP, skill, track). This functionality could also be implemented in the ArgEditor carset editor.

After that, I would like to release a performance matching tool. The user would enter the desired lap time at each track, and the tool would calculate the optimum combination of performance settings to make it happen (grip, BHP, skill). This tool would ideally have a GUI, but a command-line version is not out of the question.

Ultimately, I'm hoping to figure out an analytical formula linking the performance settings and the lap times. This would eliminate the need to have a database in order to calculate the lap times. In that case, the performance matching would also be reduced to calculating an analytical expression, or solving a simple numerical problem.



Cheers,
Hrvoje

Endeavour

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May 19, 2018, 8:38:49 PM5/19/18
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Hey all,

Hrvoje, Fredrik, great work :) It's nice to see the progress you are
making in your respective areas.

Fredrik, I'm particularly happy to hear about your work on a track
editor. This has always been one of the areas in F1GP/WC that we've
always been close to achieving, but haven't really managed to pull it
off. It'll be wonderful if we are finally able to create tracks in a
sensible and practical way. Ideally, what I'd love to see is the ability
to edit tracks from a GUI without having to open F1GP after every few
changes. That would need some kind of graphical track and cc line
representation of course.

Your "inverted" and "mirrored" track ideas are interesting. I can see
how inverted designs can be automatically derived from other tracks and
created on the fly. I think the same should be true of mirrored tracks
also, reversing the bends and cc line data should work effectively.

I'll need to find time to see if I can create an effective, simple F1GP
track which could be used to aid research in this area. That should be
possible, but will take time.

Thanks

Regards,

Barrie
> On a /very /positive note, this weekend I finally fully understood
> the argtools.com <http://argtools.com> domain. Check it out
> if you like.
>
> Another big thing is that I have released ArgTrack, a track
> editor for F1GP!
>
> ArgTrack allows you to edit track sections, pit lane
> sections, computer car/ideal line, various object settings,
> the horizon and the computer car setup. It's also actually
> possible to somewhat manipulate the 3D objects that are
> placed around the track, though this must be done in a
> crude, trial-and-error fashion, i.e. just editing various
> byte values. There is still lots to work out on that front.
> And also, unlike e.g. Chequered Flag or GP2 Track Editor,
> there is no preview of the track you are working on, so it's
> hard to have any idea of what you're doing. So it's
> certainly not perfect, but it means that it's relatively
> easy to play around with track data and see what happens.
>
> You will see that it's user interface is currently very
> similar to ArgEditor, and this is because I created it as a
> tab in ArgEditor before realizing that it became too
> complex. I will probably rework the interface in the future.
>
> ArgTrack is available for download at
> www.argtools.com/argtrack <http://www.argtools.com/argtrack>
>
> The documentation at the site is a bit inadequate right now,
> but it will be improved.
>
> On another note, I have also updated some of the
> documentation at ArgDocs with some more track-related stuff,
> and it has moved to www.argtools.com/argdocs
> <http://www.argtools.com/argdocs>
>
> Also, the .NET API, ArgData, has been updated and now
> includes the track editing functionality that is exposed in
> ArgTrack.
>
> I have also pieced together a related API, called Arg2Data,
> which allows reading GP2 tracks. It may blossom into a
> fuller API in time. Right now I just wanted it done with a
> view to reading GP2 tracks and turning them into F1GP
> tracks. As I think I've mentioned some time before,
> converting the track and pit lane shapes is easy-peasy, the
> computer car line not quite. The 3D objects should be
> somewhat similar, but I haven't gotten very far there yet.
> But I'm using GP2 Track Editor and Object Editor as a way of
> parsing and learning more about the GP2 shape data. I figure
> that the F1GP shapes should be similar, except for the
> texture mapping.
>
> Anything happening with ArgEditor? Not at the moment, but
> putting Hrvoje's excellent tyre wear data in there -
> probably on the car setup screen - would be cool! :)
>
> That's it for this time! Happy driving!
>
> / Fredrik
>
> --
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Fredrik Meyer

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May 20, 2018, 2:34:37 PM5/20/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Hello!

Wow, Hrvoje, that is quite some performance data you have gathered! Great work! I'm looking forward to playing around with the tools you intend to create, and to be able to implement part of it in ArgEditor would be quite cool! With that amount of data it will hopefully be possible to come up with a more accurate performance formula than the one I have in ArgEditor at the moment :)

When it comes to editing the CC line in ArgTrack, I would say that I have a bit better knowledge of how it works than having to do trial-and-error editing, but at the same time I wouldn't say that I can do it from the top of my head either. I agree with you Barrie that some graphical view of the track and the CC line in ArgTrack is essential in making track editing viable. Especially since it seems that converting a GP2 CC line into an F1GP one isn't very easy mathematically. But I'm still researching those bits. Editing the track only in list form like now is a bit too painful. Right now it's a lot better to use Chequered Flag for the CC line editing.

Considering a graphical view of the track, that kind of programming isn't my strong suit, unfortunately. So it may take some time for me to get something working. I'll have a look at the source code of Chequered Flag for ideas and inspiration though, that will be quite helpful.

Hrvoje, I will send you inverted tracks some time next week. Feel free to upload them to the File Archive, of course! :)

Barrie, any help with research into anything track-related would be most useful and appreciated by me, so if you find the time to play around and create an F1GP track where you explore various ideas, that would be amazing.

When it comes to mirrored tracks, it should be quite doable. For some reason I can't quite get the CC line working properly, but it's probably because I'm not mirroring it correctly. All lines must be mirrored, and the start point needs to be moved across the track. It shouldn't be too hard, but I need to look into it more when I have time.

Cheers!
/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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May 26, 2018, 9:03:15 PM5/26/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Fredrik,

Thanks once again for sharing the inverted tracks. 
They're fun to play and offer a different perspective on things.

From what I understand, the F1GP physical engine doesn't distinguish between an ascent and a descent in terms of physical effects (slower acceleration, shorter braking distance, and vice versa), so the actual behavior of the car on the track remains the same? 


Cheers,
Hrvoje

Fredrik Meyer

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May 27, 2018, 4:15:38 PM5/27/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Hello!
It's good to hear that you enjoy the inverted tracks. Now if only I can get the CC line on the mirrored tracks working... :D

Yes, though I haven't made any thorough investigations, it is also my understanding that F1GP doesn't really care about ascents or descents from a physics point of view.

Cheers!
/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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Jun 10, 2018, 5:37:30 PM6/10/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Hi everyone,

I have a quick update on the performance simulations.

I'm currently in the phase of data verification. As part of that, I've prepared a report to see how the different performance parameters affect the lap times. The report is attached to this message.

As you can see, different performance parameters have a mostly linear effect on the lap times, so I'm hoping the effects won't be too difficult to model. There is a lot of randomness in the lap times, and the lap times can vary around +-1 second, depending on the track.

The all-time lap record at Monaco is still unreachable, even with this wide range of performance settings that was simulated. The CC cars would need a monstrous level of grip to match it.

I hope you find the data interesting.


Btw, Fredrik, I found a potential bug in the ArgEditor. The Team BHP field doesn't give an indication when an incorrect value has been entered, like the Driver Skill field does. E.g. you can enter a negative number, or a five digit value, and the field doesn't turn red.



Cheers,
Hrvoje
F1GP Performance Simulations - Report version 0.0.1.pdf

Fredrik Meyer

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Jun 15, 2018, 3:51:31 PM6/15/18
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Hello! Cool stuff, a very nice looking report! 

Interesting to note that the horsepower value graph is slightly curved, whereas the driver performance and AI grip graphs are more linear. But, as you say, with quite some spread.

Thanks for the ArgEditor bug report. I suppose there are still a number of places where I should be more careful with the data validation. I've added the problem to my todo list and will fix it in the next release.

As for me, I'm slowly preparing another release of ArgTrack. It will contain some small features and improvements, but still no track drawing/preview. After ArgTrack 0.2 is released, hopefully next week, I'll go back to ArgEditor and look at creating functionality for editing the driver selection menu images.

Cheers, and may everyone have a good weekend. It's time for the Le Mans 24 hrs...
/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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Jun 18, 2018, 3:19:34 PM6/18/18
to Formula One Grand Prix / World Circuit
Thanks :)

I can think of two reasons for such behaviour of the horsepower graph. 
The first is that by having a higher top speed, you need to brake earlier, effectively shortening the straights. Also, corners that would normally be flat out, now require more accurate throttle control. 
The second reason is the gear ratio used by the CC cars. I assume that at very high power levels the CC cars hit the rev limiter, which decreases the acceleration and top speed.

On the other hand, increasing the grip results in higher cornering speeds, and some corners that were not flat out, now become flat out.
The skill level is a bit more complicated, but it can be compared to the grip level. The worse the skill level, the lower the effective grip is for that driver.


Well, Toyota finally won Le Mans. It was no one of the most exciting races, but still interesting to watch.



Cheers

Endeavour

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Jun 21, 2018, 10:57:19 AM6/21/18
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Hey all,

Great work on the editors Fredrik, looks like you are really making
progress :)

I've always thought that the car seemed faster on downhill stretches,
but I've never done any investigations either. Should be fairly easy to
test though, so maybe I'll give a downhill track a try. I think there is
a downhill Monza in the archive though. Be worth a look.

Moving onto the track editor, I did have an idea to create a track with
only a chicane. My thinking was that eventually I could make a program
that simply generated a track with a chicane of varying degrees and a CC
line that matched. However, after spending about an hour on it, I
realised it is going to be much more complicated than I thought. Even
creating a straight track with a pitlane that works correctly isn't that
easy :) So that is my first ambition now. What I want is a track that is
entirely straight and a very simple pitlane. From there, I can work on
producing the first and only chicane successfully.

Regards,

Barrie
> <http://www.argtools.com/argtrack
> <http://www.argtools.com/argtrack>>
> >
> >             The documentation at the site is a bit
> inadequate right now,
> >             but it will be improved.
> >
> >             On another note, I have also updated some of the
> >             documentation at ArgDocs with some more
> track-related stuff,
> >             and it has moved to www.argtools.com/argdocs
> <http://www.argtools.com/argdocs>
> >             <http://www.argtools.com/argdocs
> <https://groups.google.com/group/f1gpwc>.
> <https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/f1gpwc/7db026b1-f7f5-4542-9c0e-e4d16d7053cc%40googlegroups.com?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer
> <https://groups.google.com/d/optout>.
>
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Fredrik Meyer

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Jun 24, 2018, 3:30:58 PM6/24/18
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Hello there!

Yes, it's quite possible that I've come to the wrong conclusion about whether the car accelerates faster downhill or not. It would be interesting to perform some tests to see what effect the gradient of the track has on acceleration and deceleration.

I'm thankful for any help with getting a better understanding of the computer car line and its relationship to the regular track, so any work done on that front is most appreciated. I too have been thinking about something simple to start off with, an Avus-type track with two straights joined by two corners. Haven't gotten around to it though. I suppose that the Estoril track is a good starting point, since the pitlane entry and exit are both on the main straight, without any curvature at all.

I was playing around a bit with track editing and noticed that just manipulating track sections has an effect on the computer car line. In my example, all I did was shorten the small straight after turn one at Phoenix. Without changing the computer car line, I expected the CC line to go as before down the start/finish straight, turn as expected into the first corner and then try to keep driving straight where the old second straight would have continued. But no, after only shortening the second straight, the computer car line now veered into the left wall down the start/finish straight. I guess that there's some relationship somewhere between the track sections and the computer car line, perhaps that they need to join properly at the end of the lap? I'm not sure, I didn't investigate it any further.

I'm currently finishing up some documentation for the ArgTrack track editor, and will hopefully release version 0.2 this coming week.

Cheers!
/ Fredrik

F1GP Archive

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Jun 24, 2018, 7:08:52 PM6/24/18
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Hi guys,

Regarding the acceleration on uphill and downhill sections, I've done some tests with the inverted tracks that Fredrik has released.
I compared the speed at the end of certain inclined parts of the track. The best example is the flat-out section at Brazil, from the final corner to the first corner. The maximum speed was the same for both versions of the track.

What I did notice is that some corners like Eau Rogue are more difficult to drive flat-out on the inverted version of the track. But that might be a problem of perspective or maybe something happening with the CC line, and not the car having different acceleration.


Cheers,
Hrvoje
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