Jay wrote:He is relying on the overlay for more detail than it can offer at such a large scale
The past year and couple of this years rounds, yes.
The main reasoning behind this was to increase visibility of ruts and bumps which is the largest complaint of outdoors tracks.
Honestly the overlay can hold alot of detail and if used properly and played in game at high settings. Haggavist is basically the master of this technique but unfortunately many of his updated GP tracks are so visually demanding, hardly anyone can play them. Go download and play http://www.mediafire.com/file/v75dcy97dp5dd43/mxs.gp.st.jean.d.angely.7z
and you will understand this aspect of high detail overlays.
Where I noticed problems with the overlay being used in high detail is when the packaging script resizes the overlays. This takes away alot of the the detail in the overlay and hence causes visibility issues. Best way to try to solving this is by using low detail overlays saved with low opacities and high detailed decals. While this method does look very good, it can increase file sizes and depending how strong the decals normal mapping are, can affect shading to where you cant see rough and ruts.
The method I have been trying is basically the Hagg approach. I would like to say that the tracks I have done this year have been a nice balance of medium detailed and high-medium performance. My goal is to essentially give a feel of a replica but try to offer some detail to those guys that have good PC's and some decent performance to those guys that have not so good PC's. It is a large group to cater for and I still have not and probably wont have a perfect method for this but I try my best. I am sure there are ways to achieve high detail, high performance, perfect shading and enviroment but I honestly have not had enough experience to create this yet.
Jay wrote:It looks like he is using a max of 3 decals 1 grass 1 possibly 2 dirt and that's the extent of the variety offered at close range- without the overlay this track would look like a glorified stock track.
True. This is the most efficient way to do a replica (time wise) for me. And like I said previously, I still think this is the best method overall.
I would love to see a non-overlay national, I think the detail would be awesome but it would be a massive project. Definitely not possible within the week in and week out schedule for nationals based off of one person working on it.