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DX11 and VR open beta released for rFactor 2

James Allen On May 3, 2017

DirectX 11 and VR support has been brought to rFactor 2 via a new open beta build for the PC racing sim.

Available to download on Steam separately from the main rFactor 2 release, the new open beta currently contains five cars and five tracks from the base game that have been upgraded for operation in DX11 and VR.


rFactor 2 developer Studio 397 is stressing the open beta isn't fully representative of what the finished project will be, and is aware that further optimisations are required. Studio 397 has also confirmed plans to add additional content, fixes and improvements to the open beta in the upcoming weeks.

The full release notes as published by Studio 397 for the rFactor 2 open beta have been added below.:


Switching to the DX11 “open beta” (and back)

To try the DX11 open beta, you must first opt-into the DX11 branch – this means essentially you are downloading the DX11 version of rFactor 2 – don’t worry, though!  You don’t have to download everything again, it will be a small download to switch between DX9 and DX11.  So, here’s how you do it:

Open Steam and on the right hand side right-click on “rFactor 2” to bring up the menu.
Click on the “Betas” tab at the top.
From the drop down list, locate and select the beta called “v1108-DX11-open-beta”
Now at the bottom of your Steam window you will see the download starting.

If you encounter any problems, make sure you validate your locally installed files.

To do this, from your library in Steam, right-click on rFactor 2.
Select “Properties”.
Go to “Local Files” then click on “Verify Integrity”.

The game will verify the files (this might take a moment).

If you ever want to revert, follow the same procedure, but instead of selecting a beta version, select “NONE”, which will opt you out of any betas, straight back to the latest DX9 release.

Your first steps in VR

Setting up VR and Post Processing:

Open the rFactor 2 Launcher.
In the Launcher click on the settings icon wheel.
Then click on the ‘Video Settings’ button.
In the pop up config window check the box ‘VR’.
Set your screen resolution to 1920×1080.
Start by setting the Post Effect Level to “None” (see release notes below).

STARTING RFACTOR 2 IN VR:

Important: First open SteamVR manually before starting single player. (We have a known issue we are working on where you will not get FFB if SteamVR is not started first)
Now just click on the single player icon in the Launcher and open rFactor 2.
The menus and UI are all in the VR space, but you will need to use mouse and keyboard.
There is a known issue with the replay cams, only one eye has an image.

Release Notes

We’ll start these release notes with a few hints on how to setup the DX11 graphics (regardless of VR):

In the same config window where you set your ‘Video Settings’ you have a drop down for post effect levels. Post effects provide you with some exciting new graphical options that look great, but as with any graphics option, need to be balanced against a good framerate. Therefore, we recommend you start at a conservative level (none or low), and if you have a graphics card of the latest generation, try the higher ones (medium or high). The highest setting (ultra) gives the best quality effects, but will also require a really fast graphics card. Note that even the “None” setting gives a better graphical quality than the DX9 graphics we had before! An overview of the levels:

None
Low = Glare Effects
Medium = Glare Effects and Depth of Field
High = All Effects at High Quality
Ultra = All Effects at Ultra Quality

At this point we would also like to thank the people from YEBIS for providing a great library to work with. It has definitely contributed to the overall look of the end product.

With the DX11 implementation we also introduced new features to improve many aspects of the final output:Improved MSAA rendering.
Improved Clouds resolution and depth.
Static AO; This is adding Occlusion to bottom of objects and cars. It does improve the overall depth in the environment.
Dynamic AO. This is adding a subtle low-frequency Ambient Occlusion to the scene and cars, improving the “connection” between terrains and structures in the scene, and also balancing cockpits brightness.
Shadows Normal renders shadows, taking into account the shadow receiver normal map.
A new Tone mapper which improves both colors and histogram, a perfect companion for our dynamic weather/sky engine!
New Car Ambient Shadow, now working for the entire 24h cycle.
Fixed some “pixel” artifacts caused by invalid calculations in shaders.
Dedicated dynamic exposure simulation for each main camera set.
Realistic simulation of Depth Of Field, Lens Flare, Bloom and other Optical aberrations, with scalable options.
Track Lights and Car Headlights now can use the realtime glare simulation and get rid of the old technology and custom shaders.
New Shader for car Dashboards, Rev Meters and Motecs.

Content updates as part of this initial build. To get these, you need to subscribe to the workshop items (because of technical reasons we had to move them to the Studio 397 account):

The USF2000, Nissan GT500, Howston G4 and G6, Dallara DW12 and the Stock Cars have been updated with new shaders, better headlights and overall better textures.
Atlanta Motorsports Park, Silverstone, NOLA Motorsports Park, Mores and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have all gotten texture updates, and we painted the curbs at Silverstone in the current colors too!

Modding:

There are new guidelines for content creators, please make sure you read them here https://www.studio-397.com/guidelines-for-artists/

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