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Assetto Corsa – Spa Laser-Scanning Started

Kunos Simulazioni has started laser scanning Spa Francorchamps for Assetto Corsa.

Back in June, Kunos Simulazioni announced that Spa Francorchamps would be part of their upcoming Assetto Corsa title.

Now, the guys have kicked off their laser-scanning operations on the Belgian Grand Prix venue as you can see in the photos below.

Spa Fracorchamps won’t be part of Assetto Corsa’s stock content but will be released as part of a Premium DLC pack alongside some additional cars. The DLC pack will be available for free for all pre-order customers of Assetto Corsa.

Assetto Corsa will be powered by a brand new DirectX 11 graphics engine and will come with advanced features such as blur & DOF. The title will offer extensive modding support as well as ten laser-scanned tracks and fully licensed cars as well as AI – A first for a Kunos title.

  • Anonymous

    Should be another good location to do iRacing comparison videos on. I think the only changes since then are a bit of extra paved runoff and repainted kerbs.

    • GamerMuscle

      The ideal situation would be for a game like AC to make i racing change its pricing structure , if people see that AC has high quality tracks cars and physics then they might find it harder to justify the price, probably wont happen though.

      As it is i racing has in many regards a good format and its own thing going for it , but the pricing is so ridiculous they have hardly any users.

      AC has a good chance of becoming the default mod platform/general driving simulator replacing RF1 and GTRE as the go to staple sim.

      Personally I can see myself playing both AC and i racing into the future, but only if i racing drop there insane prices.

      • gtrNL

        Hardly any users? I was in a 42 racer server yesterday on iRacing, and the day before, and the day before, etc.

        If anything that has me worried for AC is the fact the servers won’t be full.

      • GamerMuscle

        What were you driving ?

        Every time I look at the events for iracing there are often less than 9 people , unless its ridiculously slow cars.

        To clarify I’m not talking about oval , i racing is by far the best platform for that and i believe it has good numbers of users for that as well.

      • gtrNL

        Yesterday was a hosted event to be honest, the other official series had 20-30 drivers but it’s week 13 (update week) so nothing is really official).

        But I’ve never had a problem with finding races with at least 20 guys in it, never.

        At this moment, the last day of the update week, no official sessions, a tuesday (about the worst time to check for numbers) I see 2339 iRacers online.

        In my opinion it’s very well populated.

      • GamerMuscle

        which cars ?

      • Anonymous

        This last week I ran a 30+ driver figure 8 race with the Miata, Solstice, and Jetta; and a 20 driver Lotus 49 race. I think the Radical got pretty decent numbers at Montreal as well.

      • Anonymous

        exactly, all the slow rookie cars which are boring as hell to drive, one of which doesn’t even work physics wise (the mx5). The lotus 49 will be populated just because its a new car thats been introduced.

        Up until last week I was playing iracing most nights to get my safety rating up so I can play the F1 cars. Every evening, thered be maybe 1 or 2 races MAX where the grids were nicely populated with the class B cars. Then it would immediately die (hmm i wonder why, maybe because theres a 2 hour time gap, which means you can only ever practically do 1 race an evening after work).

        It would then perk up again around 1am GMT+1, by which time you’re in bed.
        This notion that iracing is populated is complete nonsense. It might be for the rookie cars but not for anything class C upwards. The stupid 55 minute races simply kill it.

      • Anonymous

        “all the slow rookie cars which are boring as hell to drive”


        The faster cars seem, naturally, to require more commitment. This means that members spend more time practicing, which means naturally less time racing. There are usually more races than you’ll find with a league once a week, but these fast cars require too much effort to ever be as popular as the pick-up-and-race lower classes. I’m not sure we would want them to be, there are already complaints about drivers in these series who have never turned a lap in official practice and wanting to keep them out of races.

      • Anonymous

        ‘faster cars require more commitment’.

        no its just that about 80% of iracings user base are complete noobs, quite frankly. Just plain slow, cannot drive.

        i dont bother practising at all because why would i want to play a racing game lapping on my own. I also dont practise because theres no need. I simply bolt on iracings fixed setup and lap about 3 seconds off the ultimate pace, which seems to get me in the top 10 constantly.

        theres normally a guaranteed 1st lap crash which takes out 5-8 cars, then people cannot cope and fall off after 10 minutes, its pathetic.

        its unfair to pigeon hole iracing for noobs though, its in every sim it seems, and its the source of many of the conflicts and debates over FFB, physics etc. Most people driving aren’t at the limits of the sim so they feel games like gmotor games are fine.

        i hope when i start racing the f1 cars in iracing things are more competitive.
        even then, due to iracings overly sensitive and unrealistic damage model, people are scared to have any kind of close racing. Any overtaking attempt could potentially stop your race, and you then have to wait 2 hours to play again.

        yes yes you can link me to plenty of examples of seemingly close races, which on the surface look competitive, but in reality each driver has to give such huge margins of error that in reality when a side by side moment does occur, you are pussy footing around each other.

        all part of the myths of iracing anyway, which you continue to predicate.

      • Anonymous

        Like I said, YMMV.

        Well, hopefully I see you in the Lotus 49 this season. I suggest holding off on the FW31 for a bit, the latest tire updates haven’t worked as well on that car as most others. Hearing rumors they’re working to fix it and push a mid season update.

      • Matt Orr

        Oh god you are hilarious. Especially for hoping the FW31 helps anything, considering it’s the biggest turd in iRacing and a quick check on the forums would easily back that up. lol

        The iRacing setups are better than any default setups you will find in other sims. They really only require about 3 clicks of driver preference at most to get things working ideally. Open wheel cars are marginally more sensitive, but still more than good enough to be competitive. It’s not an excuse.

        When is the last time you saw an F1 car drive through another car and get no damage, btw? Hmm.

      • gtrNL

        Grand-Am series always has good participation (McL + DP). So does the Le Mans (Proto/GT) with the HPD, Corvette GT1, Ford GT2.
        The hosted session was MX-5.

      • Anonymous

        Slow cars tend to be easier to race, since they’re usually easy enough to drive that drivers of lower talent levels can focus on something other than just keeping them on the track.

        Fast cars require more dedication before drivers are willing to enter races. That sometimes means dedicating the time to pick the agreed upon race times for participation, few people want to jump right into the high downforce cars with a few minutes practice to be 7% off the pace and lose iRating, especially when they could spend the same time getting within 2% in the Miata or Skippy and possibly get in a split race and be something other than just a backmarker.

      • Anonymous

        And that’s exactly why competition is good. Options are good in and of themselves, but competitors push each other to improve.

        I do wonder if iRacing could be more profitable and populated with a subscription-only or content-only model (perhaps augmented with cosmetic microtransactions for the more hardcore users, think TF2 hats). If AC is as much of a success in the multiplayer space as some speculate, that might be the incentive it takes to get them to try something different.

        Fortune favors the bold, sometimes you just need a little push, though 😉

      • Mark

        Hardly any users on iRacing? There’s plenty! I just looked, there’s 31500 active users on the road side and there are plenty of people to race with. If for example you wanted to race the Skip Barber car today there has been a race every hour with an average of around 40 drivers registered for each race – and this evening there’ll be many many more per race as we get into European prime time.

      • Matt Orr

        Will you please stop with the iRacing pricing rants? ffs man, it is what it is.

  • GamerMuscle

    I hope there is some way for users without the DLC tracks to still access them in some limited way , If not then I cannot imagine many people wanting to run DLC tracks on servers.

    • Anonymous

      Hard to imagine a way to allow people to drive DLC tracks. Remote viewing of other people in DLC cars is relatively easy, but if you can drive DLC tracks without buying them… why buy them in the first place?

      • Big Ron

        From a Gran Turismo-point of view, in Multiplayer people without DLC-content could still join DLC-tracks if the hoster bought the DLC-tracks and set the server up to drive on them.

        Bit controversial IMO. But it´s possible.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, didn’t know GT5 allowed that.

      • StarFoxySxv550

        When they realized, they soon corrected it.

      • Anonymous

        And as another interesting point, Forza 3’s DLC tracks were not playable unless everyone in the lobby owned them, and thus nobody ever raced on them and sales were low enough for all future DLC tracks to be cancelled.

        The GT method seems to be the way to go, personally.

      • Big Ron

        What? How crazy is that? They harm their own sales.

      • GamerMuscle

        GT method would not work for AC because most people don’t run p2p servers like on console.

        This is why AC would need to Simpy lock higher graphical details for people that have not unlocked the DLC , similar to what ARMA did with there free version.

      • GamerMuscle

        Just limit texture resolution and or have a water mark on the screen or something and have it so players car is bright pink if they don’t have the DLC lol.

      • Anonymous

        ARMA 2 actually did this with its DLC – a ‘Lite’ version was released for free but the textures were super low resolution and the sounds were extremely low bitrate. It wasn’t really playable in Lite form, but it meant that the game remained 100% online-compatible regardless of what each player had bought. Don’t know what effect it had on sales though.

      • GamerMuscle

        Yep forgot about that , people always dismiss this idea when I bring it up as if its some insane proposition.

        Yet its proven to work and what’s more insane is having users divided or not want to run content because people wont be able to play with you.

        Its simply not the case that people will see a server running content they dont have and they will go “OH BOY IM GONA BUY THAT SO I CAN JOIN IN !”

        The reality is that people that are fans of the game will already have it and casual or new players will say “F~~k that ill just play on another server” giving the people the option to play a limited version advertises the content to them and gives them the itch making them then unlock the full detail version.

      • Matt Orr

        Low res versions of the track, maybe even only able to use certain cars there? Rising Storm does something similar, anyone who owns RO2 can play RS without buying it, but they can only be a rifleman, for example. Little bit easier in an FPS game, but still possible.

        Plus a nice taster to get people to buy a surely wonderful track.

      • GamerMuscle

        Exactly , I’m not sure why this is so alien to some people.

    • Anonymous

      With many FPS games it’s very common to use DLC’s at multiplayer servers.

  • Olivier Prenten

    Please Kunos let’s start the pre-order process so we can already have a foot inside the AC world! Thumbs up guys!

  • Dave Robinson

    Awesome I love Spa!

  • Anonymous

    Yesssss, they are scanning the historic part of the circuit too?
    Or am i drawing too many conclusions from that second image?

    Before anyone says what use is it because the roads may have changed and been widened and of course the surface will have.
    Well, it is still useful as it gives a solid starting pointing to base the historical track on.
    With a laser scan of how it currently is now, you can then go through the detective process of finding out what has changed and by how much.
    For stuff that hasn’t changed and is largely the same, it is invaluable. Especially for stuff like elevation data.

    But yes, historical tracks seem to be a black art, and the almost archaeological skills required are kind of fascinating. I guess consulting locals and the council and things would help with road changes and old photos and stuff.
    Obviously old spa is well documented anyway (especially being in Grand Prix), but for other historical circuits, this kind of approach would probably be quite helpful – for example Rouen or Opatija or something.

    • Big Ron

      Could be, even if it´s not overly correct to laserscan enviroment which has changed a lot over the last 40 years. Even the road is repaved already. But they still can use it to get a basic shape.

      • Ben Lee

        I would think it unlikely that the shape of the road has changed that much if at all in the years that have passed. Certainly resurfaced many times, but I doubt the camber / elevations have changed at all.

      • Anonymous

        Especially not in that part of Belgium.
        Not some highway that need to be broadend and repaved every 5 years.

      • Anonymous

        Hmm actually, the road layout has been changed to add a roundabout on the masta straight.
        No doubt the road has been widened.
        In order to find this out, research needs to be done.
        At least spa is well documented, with footage from Grand Prix and other sources.

        But yes, the laser scan should provide a good overall picture of the surrounding landscape and basic layout, so it is still rather useful – especially for parts that haven’t really changed!

        The problem comes when you completely rely on modern data. This not only applies to laser scanning but also satellite imagery or any other way of obtaining data.

        For example, Rouen in pCars (not laser scanned but obviously based on modern imagery / street view) is FAR FAR FAR too wide all around. It appears to base the road width on the modern roads there, which are much wider than it was back in the day (which you can see from footage on youtube).
        The normal road sections have been widened a lot and the back straight has become a huge multi-carriage way that is far wider than it was back then – it looks like a runway when you remove the central armco and view it in pCars!!

        So yes, laserscan data for historical layouts is very useful but you still need to do a lot of research and discover what has changed and where, like going through and ticking off all the changes. Then you can find how much you have to alter the data, and which parts have or haven’t changed.
        For the surrounding areas it would be very helpful.

        That’s just my view anyway.

      • Mario Strada

        The only other alternative is time travel anyway.

      • Anonymous

        Time travel in a vehicle with equipped laser scanner. 😀

    • stenyak

      The official AC facebook page mentioned this morning: “Laserscanning the Classic Course (Malmedy)”. So I guess that’s a YES.


    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t AC have the classic Silverstone layout as well? (Maybe I’m thinking rF2)

      They seem less orthodox about being 100% laser scanning only (like, say, iRacing) which is good in this case. Use the LIDAR data to capture the coarse data (elevations and such shouldn’t have changed much since then) and paint the older road surface on it.

      • Nick

        Why is being less orthodox good for AC?

      • Anonymous

        Well, it’s the only way to do historical track layouts, to modify the last data.

  • MatzeLoCal

    Their method of laser-scanning looks totally different then the method that iRacing uses.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe the tech and the scanning is cheaper, but the results are not as detailed as iRacing data. Who knows.
      But who cares if the track looks and feels authentic at the end. It’s all about what the track artist is making of the scanned data.

      • MatzeLoCal

        “Maybe the tech and the scanning is cheaper, but the results are not as detailed as iRacing data. Who knows.” I didn’t dare to speculate that because avoiding lots of complaints from the AC fanboys

      • Anonymous

        It’s a different method, the raw data of about half the precision of iRacing (still quite good, mind you), but a more evenly dense point cloud (the farther from the scanner the fewer datapoints you get).

        Realistically, I don’t think we’ll much notice any difference. The iRacing Interlagos scan data came from a mobile scanner like AC uses and there haven’t been any complaints I’ve heard.

      • Tim11

        There’s a great article to read if you’re more interested in how the mobile scanning works:

        The first time I read about it was in a CAD magazine, where a contractor had to re-do about 300 miles of road in the Middle East, and he had it scanned this way to get existing conditions into the CAD program quicker, and more accurately, and it even included overhead obstacles such as power lines which aided in knowing if his equipment would fit or if additional expense of dealing with the lines was coming.

        Glad to see this being used for scanning tracks, as I can’t imagine the overlapping fields method used with scanners on tripods being feasible in such places like Le Mans, that I would hope would be scanned one day. Imagine the week leading up to the race, it would only take a few hours each day to get what they needed with all the temporary barriers and such in place!

      • Anonymous

        Mobile scanners are the norm. That’s how the pro teams get their data (iRacing Interlagos scan is the same data that an F1 or WEC team would be purchasing). The iRacing tripod method is probably overkill (or even more of a hassle than a benefit) but I’m not sure what goes on behind the scenes with the data to know what benefit they may or may not be gaining.

  • Mirko

    What’s the purpose of Spa DLC when game will be moding-friendly so we’ll have Spa for free? Can someone explain me?

    • Silvio

      can you expect laser scanned track from mod-makers?

      • Mirko

        I honestly cant notice the difference between laser scanned and non-laser scanned track, so that DLC is rubbish to me. Dont know for others….

      • gt3rsr

        I disagree, e.g. Oran Park is clearly different from other rFactor tracks. More bumpier, more natural and more ‘alive’.

      • Anonymous

        That’s more to maker of the track, it’s just a that many tracks are based on old tracks with low poly counts..
        Higher poly track can be just as bumpy as laserscanned.

      • Joco Gorenc

        you must be kidding…or maybe you’re just a sunday driver 😛

    • gt3rsr

      Modders are not almighty. How many scratch made high quality versions of Spa have we seen on the modding scene in the last couple of years? Exactly zero. I’ll gladly pay for top notch laser scanned tracks.

    • Michael Hornbuckle

      If laser scanning doesn’t matter to you then don’t buy the DLC and wait for a mod team to scratch build one. Could be a long wait though.

    • Jesus Bautista

      I think the guys developing AC said that this DLC is for free when you preorder. It’s a sim so I guess the purpose is to get it as close as the real thing, I wouldn’t complain man.

  • Walter Conn

    I may regret it, but I am not pre-ordering my copy of A/C yet. I would like to know which cars are included in the DLC pack? How long do I have before the offer expires? Thanks, WC

    • Walter Conn

      I was thinking about pre-ordering. Does anyone have a link? or is too late?

      • gt3rsr

        No AC pre-order yet. The price should be 40-45 euros according to the latest news…

  • Gulyás Tamás

    Started ??? 😀

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