Category Archives: Software Release

Working with Forza Apex car models.

Version 3.1h of 3DSimED can import car models from both carbin and modelbin formats.

Preparing For Import

Before importing is is very important to have decompressed the .zip archives which store the resources for the car models. The quickbms program does a wonderful job of extracting the files but, there is a problem. When used to process a folder tree of .zip files, the folder tree created by quickbms is not correct.

To overcome this limitation batch files and a Powershell script can be downloaded: ForzaRecurseUnzip.zip

  • The simplest option is to use the batch file unzipCars.bat. This batch file skips the tracks which, at present, cannot be imported with 3DSimED.
  • Open the batch file in an editor such as Notepad and change the source (game folder ) and destination folders so they are correct for your system (in Notepad you would use the Edit->Replace function).
  • If you cannot find the source folder you should make sure that hidden files are switched on in Explorer and then look for the WindowApp folder either in C:\Program Files\ or the root of the drive on which Apex was installed.
  • In Explorer, with the shift key held down, right click on the WindowApp folder and open an Admin Command Prompt. From that command window you should be able to see the full folder name for the Forza Apex installation.
  • The second batch file, unzip.bat  will decompress the cars and tracks.
  • The Powershell script will generate a batch file, this is useful when the Forza Apex content has changed or to unzip another set of .zip files such as those from another Forza title.
  • At the time of writing, the permissions to execute a Powershell script are switched off by default in Windows 10. A quick search will reveal how to enable permissions .
  • The Powershell is intended to help out please feel free to improve it and offer it to to others

 

Importing Forza Apex Car Models

With the Forza Apex resources decompressed and in the correct folders it should then be possible to import .carbin and .modelbin.

  • The .carbin files define a car while the .modelbin files are the components of the car.
  • The .carbin files contain addition material definitions so even when editing a single component for a better result open the .carbin and then isolate the object to edit it.
  • Many materials in Forza Apex appear to use procedural shaders and do not have diffuse texture maps. To help with compatibility  with other sim formats, solid color texture maps are created as the diffuse texture maps, for example, rgba#020202ff.dds.

Below is an example of how a Forza Apex car model should appear in 3DSimED3. The file imported was MAZ_70_B1280_14.carbin

MAZ_70_B1280_14.carbin

Working With FH3

Forza Horizon 3 files from a dump can be unzipped easily because there is no encryption but the filenames look very strange.

A Powershell script and example batch file can be downloaded here UnzipFH3.zip , the script and batch file use 7-zip to unzip.

After unzipping the files will need a renaming utility to process the filenames and when finished the layout and names should resemble those from an unzipped Forza Apex.

Apex/FH3 Materials & Textures

The files from a car folder are not enough to correctly import a .carbin. Many of the materials (.materialbin) and texture maps (.swatchbin) are located in the cars\_library folder tree.

The image below is the result with only the car folder:

FH3 1965 Cobra only car folder

With the full set of files this is the result:

FH3 1965 Cobra Full file set

 

3DSimED3.1i Released

Version 3.1i includes improved support for rF2, and adds Forza Horizon 3 Import.

Studio 397 have included a few new shaders in their release of rF2. These shaders are now supported by 3DSimED3 it should be possible to export models using these shaders. However,  please understand that as 3DSimED3 remains a D3D9 application you will not see the same quality rendering in 3DSimED as in the DX11 rF2.

FH3 Woody Ford

Support has been added to import Forza Horizon 3 cars. Also, for both FH3 and Forza Apex Import the user can now choose the LOD to import.

Note that 3DSimED3 cannot automatically detect the difference between Apex & FH3 Carbin so please make sure the correct format is chosen from the drop-down box on the Import dialog.

Visit the download page for new version.

 

3DSimED 3.1h Released

Version 3.1h is released with support added for Forza Apex car import. Complete cars can be imported (.carbin) and individual components (.modelbin).

Apex 2017 Ford GT EcoBoost

Please note that tracks and track objects cannot be imported.

Clone Object has been added to the Object Instance Edit Pane.

The rendering of cube map shaders has improved, drag rotating a drawing should be faster,  Import Collada DAE support is better and more Forza Apex SwatchBin formats are supported.

Windows 10 users have had problems on AMD graphics hardware due to changes made in the Windows driver, 3DSimED now has less screen tearing than before.

There are also fixes for exporting to PNG, corrections have been made to the order of the SearchPaths in scenes and to the bone positions in an rF2 .GMT when a pivot point has been set.

Visit the download page for new version.

3DSimED 3.1g Released

3DSimED 3.1g is released.

This is a maintenance release including a few enhancements.

FBX Export & Import now support  multiple UV texture coordinate channels.

The Edit->Object By Name function selects the previously selected Object.

Support has been added for DirectX 10 format DDS, and for Forza .Swatchbin .

There are fixes for GPL Import & Export and N2003 PTF Import.

For a full list of the new features and fixes in 3.1g please see 3DSimED 3.1g release notes.

Visit the download page for new version.

 

 

F1-2016 Import Plugin Update

An update to the F1-2016 Plugin is available.

Enhanced:  The alignment of car objects has been corrected.

Enhanced:  Cars and tracks both use high resolution texture map mipmaps if available.

Enhanced:  The import of tracks now includes the sponsor layers

If you have previously downloaded 3.1f then just download the .zip of the plugin. The download page.

2016-10-05_16-53-05

 

3DSimED 3.1f Released

The latest version of 3DSimED includes support for importing cars and tracks from F1-2016.

For those creating rF2 tracks there is also now support for the Decal object tag.

Assetto Corsa support is enhanced with the ability to set object transparency.

Multi-map materials for F1-2002 can now be imported and saved

 


For a full list of the new features and fixes in 3.1f please see 3DSimED 3.1f release notes.

For more details and to download a free 20 day trial please visit http://www.sim-garage.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Importing F1-2016 Cars and Tracks

Version 3.1f of 3DSimED includes a plugin to import cars and tracks from F1-2016, below is a short guide to importing.

  • Locate the F1-2016 folder which should be a sub-folder of your Steam installation, for example:
    "S:\steam\SteamApps\common\F1 2016“.
  • Tracks will be found in the asset_groups\environment_package\tracks folder and then within the chosen track folder find the wep folder. Select the track.erp or track_2016.erp  file in the wep folder.
  • The car folder will be a sub-folder of asset_groups\f1_2016_vehicle_package\teams.  As with tracks, the sub-folder required for opening a car is the wep folder which should contain one erp file.
  • The 3DSimED3 plugin will import from ERP archives which are packed files which need to be decompressed. For this reason importing from tracks may require some patience even on a powerful system.
  • If importing tracks a 64-bit operating system is very useful because 3DSimED will then have 4GB of memory to use by itself whereas on a 32-bit system the 4GB has to be shared with other applications, services etc.
  • Textures are written to temporary sub-folder of the 3DSimED3 folder, if 3DSimED3 crashes you should find and clear these temporary folders.

3DSimED 3.1e

Version 3.1e has just a few fixes but one is important to a number of users which explains the release.

Fixed: Mouse wheel use in the edit boxes of grid controls on the edit panes, there should no longer be a loss of focus. It should also now be possible to use the up and down arrows to change values.

Fixed: FBX Import could fail if there were a number of objects in a model.

Fixed: The Fresnel reflection intensity was capped at 5.0 it should now be possible to enter values up to 100.

Fixed: The Import as Objects function was missing the recent folder button.

Fixed: The zoom multiplier has been restored as the zoom multiplier in 3.1d was too slow for some users.

To get the latest version go to the download page.

 

3DSimED 3.1d

New:  Automobilista support added. Car and track shaders from Automobilista are included as are new functions to export .gmt with the correct encryption (requires rfactordec.exe).

New:  Texture Replace from Folder adds two new functions helping with quickly adding textures from a folder.
Replace Missing and Loaded Textures searches a folder for textures to replace those already loaded and those which are missing. Replace Only Missing Textures searches a folder for those textures that are presently missing from a drawing.

New:  Export Plugin Export as Objects saves objects to disk as individual models.

New:  Shader for Assetto Corsa to show car liveries.

New:  Import Plugin for F1-2015 to allow individual objects (*.render.erp) to be imported.

Enhanced: Shader selection dialog now includes a game filter.

Enhanced: FBX Export Plugin includes option to store vertex information by control point which can considerably reduce the size of the FBX.

Enhanced: Vertex and Pixel Shaders are compiled when required, this reduces start-up times particularly if there are many custom shaders.

Enhanced: The pivot points are always written when saving an rF1 or rF2 model. When saving objects the moveable or billboard attributes need to be set to true for the pivot point to be saved.

Enhanced:  F1 MTS objects always use pivot points and handling of transparency has been improved.

Enhanced:  Texture browser dialog has a new ‘Show Alpha=0 as magenta’ checkbox which allows the rgb of a transparent texture to be shown if unticked.

Enhanced:  Texture browser dialog has a new ‘Recent Folder’ button.

Enhanced:  The Tag Attributes for objects now include Day/Night and VisGroups.

Enhanced:  The Tools->Missing Textures and Objects now lists missing shaders (these are the shaders missing this session for all drawings opened).

Enhanced:  The handling of ‘wildcard’ materials for rFactor vehicles and GTR2/Race cars is improved.

Fixed: Decompressing a PSSG could fail because too much memory was reserved.

Fixed: F1-2015 DDS texures had an incorrect number of mipmaps set in the header which caused problems in some image editors.