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Silverleaf Club - Nice work Mike!


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#1 Buck

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:14 PM

The Trackman course list continues to grow, I presume due to the continued design work of Mike.

 

The Silverleaf club in Scottsdale is the latest addition..  

Looks very nice in the TM video from instagram

 

wlfLmZN.png

 

Direct Video Link:  https://streamable.com/tfwst


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#2 Buck

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:15 PM

I wonder if the "overlay technique" will ever get used by Mike?

 

Perhaps TM doesn't want to get involved with having to license satellite imagery or something though..

 

The results from the overlay technique are so fantastic..

It really adds a whole new level of real world look to the latest 3rd party courses from the designers using it here.

So awesome 



#3 andrewjjones43#

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:10 PM

I’d be interested to know if this was done with Lidar. I was lucky enough to play this course last June and there are a lot of elevation changes that would be honorous to produce from scratch. If there is Lidar available there are a few courses nearby that would be great in PG.
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#4 NoPutt

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 10:20 PM

Trackman can afford to pay for LiDar anywhere on earth, (even Area 51), so I'm quite sure

the course is accurate. Mike is the one who allowed the Overlay slots in CF, so I'm also

sure he is aware of it's possibilities and drawbacks. Only the Shadow knows what he's up

to behind the scenes, but you can bet he and Andrew are on top of it. They always have been.


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#5 Buck

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 10:55 PM

Mike is the one who allowed the Overlay slots in CF, so I'm also
sure he is aware of it's possibilities and drawbacks.


What are the drawbacks anyhow?
Download size and licensing I’d imagine. Others?

#6 NoPutt

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:03 AM

What are the drawbacks anyhow?
Download size and licensing I’d imagine. Others?

Time, for a business, equals Money.  With the Overlay, right off the bat

you're going backwards by having to remove trees and such from the image,

and preparing the image to accept the transparency. And that's just step one

of many backward steps before going forward happens.


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" I haven't had this much fun since someone dropped a banana
down my pants and turned a monkey loose"

Dry Gulch Golf Club (Released)  

Millstone Golf Club (Released)

The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards (Released)

Pine Lake Golf Club (Released)

Dry Gulch v2  (Released)

The Walker Course at Clemson (Released)

The Reserve at Lake Keowee  (Nicklaus design) (Released)

Woodhaven Golf Club,  Par 3 Course  (Released)

Smithfields C.C.  (Released)

Kingsmill Resort, Woods Course (Released)

Trackman Par 3 Party   ( Release up to TRACKMAN)

The Ace Club  (Gary Player)  (Released)

The Olde Farm (In Production)


#7 shimonko

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:07 AM

I personally think the overlay technique looks bad from the player's point of view - great for distant screenshots which is what we normally see published and drool over, but not when actually playing. As NoPutt said, Mike put the facility ages ago and is well aware of it, yet didn't pursue it. I published screenshots using it in 2014 so it was capable back then, but I hated the blotchiness and decided not to do a tutorial on it. It's less blotchy now because Unity now can use 8192 resolution overlays (still too blotchy IMO) but I do recall the immense time it took to prepare the overlay for this use and feel that time is better spent using normal texturing techniques.


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#8 shimonko

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:16 AM

The other negative - I want to play a course in real life at its best condition. Satellite images are rarely taken when a course in its best condition, so even more time is needed photoshop the overlay into best condition. If that is not spent, the course looks realistic, but in average or poor condition.



#9 Dropzone73

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:02 PM

The other negative - I want to play a course in real life at its best condition. Satellite images are rarely taken when a course in its best condition, so even more time is needed photoshop the overlay into best condition. If that is not spent, the course looks realistic, but in average or poor condition.

You can also use overlay image only in rough areas and areas outside the course. Overlay gives a very nice touch of realism that way too. Those are the parts that need overlay most anyway, I think. You just can't paint the world alone with the paint tool convincingly.


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#10 andrewjjones43#

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:44 PM

The overlay works great on links courses where there is no uniformity to the appearance of fairways and greens. The more lush, manicured courses can look great with either technique.
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#11 Joe Habiger

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 02:31 PM

Trackman had openings for course designers so I bet Mike Jones didn't even have a hand in this.

 

My take on the overlay situation is I think it looks great but you also probably need a great overlay to start with. If you have great textures though I hope people don't think it is necessary that any designers out there now MUST think it has to have one to be released or other people will think less of the course and designer.

I am not sure how Axe360 did his textures on Dove Mountain but that looked so good I could care less about overlay's seeing that. Although it could be a mix of overlay and texture work in photoshop?? Want to spill the beans Axe?  But I think this is just texture's LOL


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#12 axe360

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 02:40 PM

Yup, just textures. I just made them from a base texture I found on Google and some gr8 tuts made by DPRoberts.I don't have Photoshop, wish I did.

My plot was 2900x2900 and it looks like for overlay would look better if you have  1500x1500. Not having PS and having colorblindess, kind of hurts but I am exploring the overlay on Inverness, it's 2000x2000,  which I have 16 holes done but I am finding it harder to get the spare time to do all this.

 

Thanks for the kind words.


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#13 Buck

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:57 PM

The other negative - I want to play a course in real life at its best condition. Satellite images are rarely taken when a course in its best condition, so even more time is needed photoshop the overlay into best condition. If that is not spent, the course looks realistic, but in average or poor condition.

 

That's interesting.  

I don't disagree with wanting to play something when it's "the best", but I think there is a distinction between a course looking its best and being totally perfect looking.

 

The random little elements and lines and particularly coloration variations are my favorite part of blending in some overlay.

Something in the middle of the two concepts is definitely best and I think we've sort of seen that with the fantastic designer work here using this method already.

 

As @dropzone73 said above - even just using the technique as a base in the rough/outside course areas adds a tremendous amount to a realistic look (I think)



#14 shimonko

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 04:18 PM

You can also use overlay image only in rough areas and areas outside the course. Overlay gives a very nice touch of realism that way too. Those are the parts that need overlay most anyway, I think. You just can't paint the world alone with the paint tool convincingly.

I don't mind it in rough and outside the course areas only, as vegetation can somewhat hide the blotchiness and it's typically being viewed from father away with the player typically playing from the tees, greens, fairways, bunkers...


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#15 Buck

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 05:44 PM

I don't mind it in rough and outside the course areas only, as vegetation can somewhat hide the blotchiness and it's typically being viewed from father away with the player typically playing from the tees, greens, fairways, bunkers...

 

Yep - agreed

 

I'm not sure the "how" of the build out on Chambers Bay, but whatever technique was used with the base texturing and then grasses on top, really makes those grassy hills around the course look super realistic and awesome.



#16 pgadesertrat

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 06:09 PM

I've noticed in recent months that some designers are really trying to push the visuals.  This is always welcome IF performance is not seriously compromised.  Frame rate drops will adversely impact real time mouse swingers due to the forced tempo calculation.  As in any other game engine there are methods that should be used to optimize rendering in an open world level (golf course).  Using an uncompressed 8192x8192 texture instantly allocates 256MB of VRAM at all times since it is mapped to the entire terrain.  Foliage objects (Speedtree or other) should have proper LOD's setup and adjusted as needed.  Also, the modular style buildings used on many courses are horrendous with flickering materials.  Not only are these an eyesore also resource hungry with inherent seaming issues.

 

4096x4096 should be more than acceptable to blend the underlying color tones from the satellite image into terrain materials.  I've long been a proponent of gameplay over glitz.  In JNPG the impact of FPS drops on gameplay is a real killer and there is no excuse for it because performance can be optimized by the designer.  Unity's Profiler tool will provide performance numbers for GPU/CPU/RAM/VRAM/Audio, etc. There are also general, performance related practices that can be followed to help reduce rendering loads.

*Note, the link below pertains to the 2018.x versions of Unity but still good guidelines to follow.

https://docs.unity3d...erformance.html

 

Lastly, a course designer should target mid range system specs if they want their course to be enjoyed by most players.  If you have a beast of a system, take advantage of the Profiler tool for performance stats and optimize as needed.


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#17 Buck

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 06:45 PM

Re:  Performance

 

I don't know man..

It's 2019 and sometimes PG (older courses and situations) can still look like it's from 2005.

 

Even Trackman is now recommending GTX 1080+ for GPU's, and the 1000 series isn't even the current generation at this point.

At some point, it's time to keep pushing forward and evolving here.

 

I think the visuals focus by designers is literally the only/best thing going for PG in the last calendar year honestly.

 

I agree a balance is important, but I have to say that I've had phenomenal performance on basically all of the latest releases that were all totally gorgeous design/visuals work.



#18 DPRoberts

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 07:14 PM

@pgadesertrat

I think the designers are bored and trying to push the limits in some way and explore new avenues for course appearance. Intelligently, there are several discussions about optimization going on.

The overlay being used is typically a compressed 8192*8192 and is about 48 MB. It is significantly important over a 4096x4096 for any mow line type detail or dead grass type grunge in select locations.

As far as buildings, I agree and somewhat contributed to the cause. I totally would like to partner with Justin or Larry and push out a house set with like 12-16 houses built off of 2 texture sheets.

People have been using materials without any regard for draw calls in that regard. Additionally, modular building in Unity should utilize a mesh combine at completion but I don't think many do that.

Lastly, do we have access to the Profiler in the free version of Unity or do you need the Pro version? The only thing I ever look at it batches and Tris in the "stats" window in the game view.
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#19 RBarley

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 08:21 PM

The eye candy and GPU cards arguments have been well discussed over the past few years. The group of designers past and present are very open to new ideas and willing to work in that direction of what players are looking for. The real problem is Unity and the hardware in our computers that needs updating faster than our budgets can allow. Hopefully we can meet in the middle of this and satisfy a majority here.



#20 Dropzone73

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 09:54 PM

I don't mind it in rough and outside the course areas only, as vegetation can somewhat hide the blotchiness and it's typically being viewed from father away with the player typically playing from the tees, greens, fairways, bunkers...

I really don't understand what you mean blotchiness in today's overlays. Put terrain below up last night, Las Palmas course in Canary Islands. The overlay is definitely the best colour source for the textures. I think it's just elegal to use these overlays in commercial courses and that's one reason TM doesn't use them. I have discussed with Mike and he is very well aware of this technique. It's also faster to do courses in the old way. And quality stays about the same.

 

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