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The Graphical Evolution of rFactor 2

An interesting comparison shows off the graphical development of rFactor 2.

rFactor 2’s open beta has been out for 16 months now, starting with build 46 as the first public version.

Since then, the simulation has made various strides, including the graphical side as an interesting new comparison made by stonec shows.

The previews below show off the same car & track combination in Build 46 and Build 218, the latest public release.

This allows everyone to judge the advancements that have been made in the graphics department, all previews have been made with the identical graphic settings in both versions.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve come a long way baby!
    (sorry couldn’t help it)

  • Matt Orr

    When did rF2 decide to fall victim for the standard FPS brown filter?

  • Anonymous

    This is something I wanted to see myself, so thankyou to the person who did it.

    I don’t think this is significant progress imo. Honestly, most of this looks down to programming changes rather than a conscious effort towards graphics development. What I really would like to see is track material shaders worked on, like the way ISI update the shaders on their cars; well now the environment shaders need work.

  • Anonymous

    I for one am more into the clarity of the graphics running on my machine more so than shader levels. I can’t stand jaggy broken lines and other distortions.

  • punkfest2000

    I’m sorry but the differences are marginal. The graphical engine is just way too old. The cockpit interior seems noticeably improved but the environment remains unappealing. It just hasn’t kep pace with the competition. In fact I think a modded version of Geoff Crammonds GP4 looks better than this:

    • Adam Hargreaves

      If you’re going to claim that modded GP4 is better, why post a stock screenshot of GP4?

      Have to say you’re right… In fact I’d say my modded rfactor1 may look slightly better (to me at least) (and performs better too)

      • Matt Orr

        It isn’t stock, the track is different, as well as the tires and perhaps the cockpit. But still the same ol’ wheel.

        GP4 looked great modded. But, it was totally stagnant and even still was a resource hog.

  • suttcliffe

    Is that Don Draper from Mad Men in pic 2?

    • Anonymous

      Lol yeah good one!

    • SKID

      yeah, and there’s another guy from Mad Men on pic 4 in left-upper corner ))

      • suttcliffe

        I take it you mean Pete in pic 5!

  • Noel Hibbard

    VR rarely posts rF2 news in a timely maner but is so quick to post this bad comparison. Clearly flame bait. Good job VR!

    • Anonymous

      Why this is a bad comparison?

      • Tim Wheatley

        Because it is designed to show cars/tracks which haven’t been produced since new tech was introduced.

      • suttcliffe

        So you are saying the above pics aren’t from build 46 and 218?

        stonec is an avid fan so I really don’t think he has a hidden agenda trying portray rf2 in a bad way.

      • Tim Wheatley

        It certainly isn’t build 46, as I think the first public build was 49. But no, I’m not saying that, and didn’t say that.

        I’m saying that a more accurate assessment would be to not use content introduced (which even with art passes, will never look quite like current content) prior to even the first public access, as a representation of anything current.

        A more apt example would be to compare build 49, and content released with it, to a current build, and content released with it. If you compare Spa (the first track made for rF2 back in 2008 or so, and based very much on rF1 tech), to Silverstone images (constructed now, and using all the tech available now in the rF2 engine), that is where you will see a real difference.

        The content in all these images of this post have only had basic art passes, I’m not that surprised to see only slight differences, as would anyone who understood software development and the timing of the content shown.

      • suttcliffe

        Thanks Tim

      • punkfest2000

        All I know is if some of those pictures were taken right out of build 218, then they have a lot of work to do.

      • Tim Wheatley

        It is a fairly interesting topic, no problem, happy to discuss. Saw the same with rF1 also, as the 2005 first shipped content differed a lot from the later content over the three years it was updated for.

    • Jason Cooper


  • Ross Siggers

    Barely registering these changes. And actually the shadowing on the trees looks better in the ‘old’ monaco shot

  • Jos

    looks like theres some sort of sun eclipse in the later build…

  • Tom Coombs

    Unimpressed, really does seem like a polished 10 year+ old engine. Pic #2 is particularly damning with the cardboard cutouts staring directly into your soul.

    • Anonymous

      That bloke’s Don Draper from ” Mad Men”.

    • C4

      The trees _are_ more or less indeed “cardboard cutouts”. Any improvements within the engine will only make them look worse as they stand out more (in a negative way) . Monaco and the other track’ trees look better even if the lighting doesn’t always seem to be perfectly coherent yet.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I’m the only one who think that old build looks better by far. I can’t really understand what ISI was thinking when they claimed that this “updated” graphics is better, do they have eyes?

  • itsme

    Their engine is capable for an excellent graphics and have everything to do so. They only need to abandon their everything dynamic day-to-night approach which never looks realistic in any given moment of a timeline.

  • Anonymous

    For me as a simmer physics are the far most important aspect. When I want graphics I would play Grid or something. So I don’t care if the graphics are “old”.

  • Racing jason

    i am really sorry to say….but these screenshots are ugly as hell! it could easily be
    a game from 2001 or so…shadows are even 90’s style. in days of competition to AC i would have hided these screenshots as highly confidential instead of releasing it…sorry ISI

  • Anonymous

    Sooo, which is which? I tend to think the first in every pair is the best looking one. All second pics seems to be with HDR off, no?

  • Anonymous

    What I don’t like about these silly comparisons is how they get out of hand and become definitive proof that the graphics must be poor in rFactor 2, and people who haven’t tried the game get put off for very pathetic reasons. Yet look at this video at Sebring:

    Does it still look poor and pre 2008 to you? So post that up, post some positive visual videos out there on rfactor 2.

    • punkfest2000

      Sorry…it still looks poor and pre 2008 to me.

      • Jos

        and the same goes for those awful engine sound.

    • suttcliffe

      Looks def better in the vid

    • Luciano

      On the beginning looks excellent because the colors present have a pastel like monotony. The rest is extremely ugly.
      After Metal Gear Solid 4 people figured out how to make anything look good: take pictures of the Middle East.

  • Jim. C

    The Silverstone preview shots give me hope that this game will turn out just fine in the graphics department. However, it’s hard to ignore these screenshots and how dated the game looks. With older circuits the game still does look poor.

  • Lemming77

    Sorta looks like before and after a PC upgrade to me.

  • Matt Orr

    I’ll just say this (again) – rFactor2 has and always will look like trash in a screenshot. It looks TERRIBLE in video form. But when you actually are driving, it looks very nice.

    Immersion, it’s goofy like that.

  • Frank Johansen

    Those screens cant be with the highest gfx settings, looks awful.

  • Anonymous

    Low rez recording, But I think this gmotor version is most immersive.

  • blockhead

    I don’t understand this. Why are second pics duller?

    Monaco trees don’t even have self shadowing in second pic.


    • Gniewko Ostrowski

      because it is the first shot which is younger.

  • Roger Wallentin

    I think rF2 is one of the best looking games when actually driving, screenshots does not to it justice.

    It also runs really good in 3D which adds to the immersion significantly

  • Anonymous

    As long as the FPS rate is good and the road surfaces look good that’s what I want. Remember, it’s a virtual world you are driving in. I think this obsession with photo realistic graphics is nonsense. I play PCars, but Rfactor, in my opinion, has a lot more going for it at the moment. PHYSICS and REAL ROAD.

    • Realkman666

      But the FPS isn’t great. :/

  • Anonymous

    Yer, I must admit that’s true on some tracks, but as far as the graphics go, they’re a little rough around the edges but I don’t mind that. When I’m driving I don’t really look at the scenery it’s just shapes in my peripheral vision. Like I said before it’s a virtual world.

  • Attila

    i have now rfactor 2 for more months and sorry to say the cgi sucks and the physics is totally crap. I can say I made a misstake to spent the money on this software, would be better to spend my money on REIZA Studios or iRacing

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