Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain

I am slowly but surely catching up with this. Having finished an absolutely massive project yesterday, I figure it was probably time to post this.

Nation: Bahrain
Locality: Sakhir
Track: Bahrain International Circuit
Purpose: F1 race host (2004-Present)
Lap Record: 1:31.447 (2005)

Overhead shot

Angled view

The start-finish straight.

Turns 1 and 2. Sacrifice exit speed on 1 to give yourself a better line into 2 which launches you down a long almost-straight.

Turn 4. Really open corner. The road is positively cambered on exit so you get a lot of grip on the exit

A series of weaving corners introduces you to the infield section

The infield section is dominated by weaving corners, heavy braking zones and a DRS straight.

Turn 10 is probably the trickiest braking zone on the calendar. The braking point is during turn 9 leading to an almost certain lockup into 10.

Turn 11 is a decent left hander. Following this are some more weaving corners and a long straight, bringing you to...

Turns 14 and 15. Sacrifice entry speed to get a good line out of 14 and through the right hand kink of 15. The start finish straight awaits you!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Overhead shot

Angled view - note the terrain.

Start-finish straight. It's a short run out of the final turn - on a flying lap in qualifying you stick right on the exit of the turn to shorten the track. Cross the start-finish line about half way across otherwise.

The first turns. Extremely tight but you can carry a bit of speed through the first part. Second turn is slow though, as you focus on your exit for the straight coming up.

Well, it's not so much a straight - but in an older (2013) spec car, is flat out. We saw numerous drivers get this bit wrong in 2014 as the lessened downforce meant the car wasn't glued to the track anymore.

Tight braking zone following this. Right hander that launches you down toward the pit buildings again.

Following two long sweeping corners, you find yourself at a double-apex right hander. Don't be greedy though - those kerbs are deceptively rough to drive over.

Throw the car right on the exit and look for your braking spot into this left hander. The track tends uphill from here, but it is still easy to lock a tyre on entry. Use the track incline and camber to your advantage on the exit though.

The incline becomes apparent soon enough - as you face an almost-blind right hander. Hit your braking spot perfectly here or you will run on.

A open right entry to this tight right hander makes braking difficult and can easily see you get on the throttle too early. Coming up is a long DRS straight, so don't be greedy.

Following that long straight, you've got a tight left hander to navigate. Focus on exit speed again here - the start finish straight awaits you!
OK, so unfortunately I am a little behind. I have been ridiculously busy and otherwise preoccupied. But I promise I will catch up on this - starting with Malaysia and coming soon - my personal favourite, Bahrain. Wait until you see that one - it is worth the wait!

Nation: Malaysia
Locality: Sepang
Track: Sepang International Circuit
Purpose: F1 race host (1999-Present)
Lap Record: 1:34.223 (2004)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Albert Park International Circuit, Melbourne

Welcome to the 2014 Formula One season. It promises to be one long and very interesting season with the Red Bull cars struggling for reliability (though a little birdie makes me think that they might be sandbagging a bit too). Anyway, it is time for Round 1, and my home race at Albert Park in Australia

Nation: Australia
Locality: Melbourne
Track: Albert Park International Circuit
Purpose: F1 race host (1996-Present)
Lap Record: 1:24.125 (2004)

Overhead shot.

Angled view. Albert Park is located around a large body of water. During the year the track is public roads and people can drive most of the circuit (provided they stick to the speed limit, of course).

Start-finish straight. As public roads, there are a lot of road markings on the track. Facilities are almost entirely temporary and are assembled each year before the race. 

Turn 1 and 2. Braking is crucial here. Drivers come in under DRS and fling their cars through the first turn which if done right lines them up for Turn 2. Following this is a second DRS straight making it possibly the most important spot on the track.

Turn 3-4-5. This is one of the few sections one cannot drive during the year as it runs through a carpark.

Typical of the Albert Park circuit are the right-left corner combinations.

After running along the banks of the lake, drivers face this high-speed left-right sequence. Another part of the track that cannot be driven in a roadcar as the road is much more open than these corners.

Another crucial section is this one at turns 14 and 15. Turn 14 is a flat-out right hander, with cars rapidly having to pull right and find their braking point into the deceptively tight turn 15. Easy to lock up or run wide here.

The final turn - this features a long right-hander. Clean acceleration is crucial here as the car is then launched down the start-finish straight.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wrestlemania XXX

Welcome to Wrestlemania!

With news coming out that Hulkamania will be walking as briskly as his walker allows him to all over Wrestlemania, one must ask themselves - whatcha gonna do?

Well, I'm going to make the set.

Unfortunately I don't have a great deal of time to dedicate to it, and the absence of a model of the Superdome (of usable quality) makes it very difficult. However, I am going to have a go at it.

The main focal point is an 18m high fleur-de-lys. Wrestlers enter through the base of this. Two videoboards extend out from either side. There's still a lot I want to do but it is very difficult unless I can accurately represent where everything behind the set is located. Expect though a lot of light and a lot of colour.

I apologise for how harsh the yellow lighting is - it will be toned down but I wanted to emphasise the shape of things.

Early render of the model.

First lighting test. I am pleased with how clearly apparent the fleur-de-lys is even from a distance.

Some more videoboards added.

Experimenting with some lighting tubes running along the trusses. I like it.

Angled view of the set with more lighting added.

Front on view of the set.
Feel free to provide feedback.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Istanbul Park, Istanbul

The first of the 'classic tracks' I will upload is Istanbul Park.

Nation: Turkey
Locality: Istanbul
Track: Istanbul Park
Purpose: F1 race host (2005-2011)
Lap Record: 1:24.770 (2005)

Overhead shot. Start-finish straight is on the bottom.

Angled shot

The start-finish straight. The track drops away from drivers into turn 1 making braking here difficult and easy to lock up. Aim to brake just before the dip.

Once the driver makes it through here, there is a long, curving, uphill section to contend with. The car is constantly pulling toward the outside of the track making it difficult to stay on the road.

Turn 4 sees the track drop away again, aiding in getting a good drive away.

But be careful - coming up soon is a double-left hander. Easy to run wide

The famous turn 8. A quadruple-apex left hander ensures the drivers neck muscles are strained to the limit.

A left-right chicane follows this, providing good overtaking opportunities as well as a chance to launch yourself down the DRS straight.

The end of the lap features a slow and tricky left-right-left sequence. Be careful on the throttle here as a car can easily run off the road.
 Unfortunately there will be no video of this circuit as my controller has no battery and driving by keyboard is interesting to say the least. Take care and happy modelling.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Circuito de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera

I strongly hinted on New Years Eve that my blog will have a slightly different focus. I provided a teaser picture last August. I spoke about the project last December and January. It's been well over a year in the making, but it is finally here. My grand project.

This project involves a recreation of every single circuit on the 2014 Formula One calendar, along with several additional circuits. These are not photo-realistic models - these are representations designed to better delineate the differences between track/grass/gravel run-off and that. Each will be textured accordingly.

Included in each post will be a series of images highlighting the key aspects of each circuit, different aspects of the track history, and on some, you'll get to see me drive a lap of the circuit in F1 2013! (Please note: actual lap recorded for purposes of uploading may not be very good). The basis of each of the circuit models comes from the different F1 games, along with GRID and such. These are then feverishly edited to present this.


Nation: Spain
Locality: Jerez de la Frontera
Track: Circuito de Jerez
Purpose: F1 race host (1986-1990, 1994, 1997), F1 Pre-Season testing circuit (current)
Lap Record: 1:23.135 (1997)
Typical lap-time: 1:19.000 (2013)

Overhead shot. Start-finish straight is in the middle.

Angled shot.

The start-finish straight. Turn 1 is quite steep and the opportunity exists for late braking into the turn, making it an ideal overtaking spot.

Turn 1 as the driver sees it - it is still quite steep from this view.

Turn 2 - Deceptively tight and it's very easy to get eager on the throttle and run wide.

A high-speed change of direction makes it very easy to run wide through this corner.

The hairpin is another of those corners that one finds themselves over-eager on the throttle. Back off and open up the section from here because it's long and near full throttle.

The final turn. Stay clear of the inside of the corner to begin with - it's far more important to clip the apex through the second part of the corner and launch your car down the start-finish straight.

Despite the relatively flat nature of the circuit, the track is surrounded by hilly areas. The track is highly abrasive, making tyre management critical to success at this circuit.
And now - my lap of the circuit showing you pretty much the exact opposite of what I told you before. Enjoy.