New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.

Posted by Noog 
New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 12:11PM
Posted by: Noog
Hi All,

It's a long time since I posted, but I heard there were some new users around: so hello and a warm welcome to you! Hope you've been having fun.

Recently I've been reflecting on my learning curve with regard to this magnificent game and I decided to make a post to promote a valuable shortcut/tool/tweak which has been around for years.

It's something that new users might find VERY helpful, but which rarely gets mentioned.

You know how some tracks are just too hard, or too easy for you, even after you've got to the stage where you know it like the back of your hand?

Well, I find the Bellini patch is the quickest road to happiness. I didn't create it, but if you'll allow me I'll show you how to use it:

Requirements:

First you will need to install individual Performance Files (PFs) for each track in a given season*.

You can get some PF sets here. Some mods include their own PF set out of the box; others don't. Nevertheless, you can find plenty on this forum for most years - or failing that, pm me your requirements and I'll send you one of my sets to try.**

You can install a PF set by loading GPxPatch > Click the GPxSet tab > Click the MULTI button.

If you don't have a MULTI button, you need to upgrade to the latest version of GPxPatch. Get it here.

Done that? OK, here's how to use the Bellini patch.

By default, the grip of your car (and all the computer-controlled cars) is defined in the PF. So let's say you are driving Schumacher's car and the first few lines of the PF looks something like this (you may have extra lines too, but don't worry about that for now. I use my own format.):

** gp3edit - performance file **

[Team #00]
Name=McLaren,Mercedes
First Driver=1,Mika Hakkinen,15524,171,16202,384
Second Driver=2,David Coulthard,15454,291,16043,209

[Team #01]
Name=Ferrari,Ferrari
First Driver=3,Michael Schumacher,16113,472,15644,408
Second Driver=4,Eddie Irvine,15414,221,15366,360


etc.

As you can see, Schumacher (ie you) has a grip value of 16113 in the race and 15644 in qualifying.

Now let's say you know that the real Schumacher qualified 5th in the real world event, but you can't seem to get above, say, 9th. (Too slow). Alternatively, you might find you always take pole by several seconds. (Too fast).

There are a number of ways to resolve this problem***. But as you've found out, or you almost certainly will do eventually, it can be an awful lot of work and often takes ages to get it right.

Here's where the mighty Bellini patch comes to the rescue!

Somewhere in the PF for the track you're using (I put it right at the bottom), add a line like this:

[Player]
Grip=16384

That's the default for the Player Grip value (PG) and if you were to try it now you'd find that nothing has changed!

However, if you were to change that default value from 16384 to, say 15000, you'll find that everyone else (ie the computer controlled cars (CCs)) get much the same time as they did before but you'll come in slower and you'll notice that your car has lost a bit of grip.

Alternatively, if you were to change the player grip value to 17000 you'd notice that you are now quicker and your car handles a bit better.

That's all there is to it really!

But here are some answers to questions you might have:

So how much should I add or subtract from the default value of 16384?

Unfortunately, that's something you have to get a feel for, because it depends on several factors, but as a very broad rule of thumb, if I'm a half a second too quick I would try 15850 or so, while if I'm half a second too slow I would try 16850.

You may need to try several times to get the ideal value but it really doesn't take long to zero in on what you want. Just make sure you save the PF, then re-load the track again from the GP4 track selection screen to bring the new value into play.

So why not just change the grip factor for Michael Schumacher and forget the Bellini patch?

Well you could. But next season, if you drive in say, Hakkinen's car, you'd have to remember to change Schumacher's grip back to where it was and then change Hakkinen's grip to where it suits you in his car. With the Bellini patch in place however, you should find it works quite nicely without any more adjustments whomever you choose to drive next season because the PG value only affects YOU, the human driver. Clever stuff eh?

But surely I could just adjust the Magic Data file (the MD file) or something else instead to do the same thing?

Again, yes you could. But I've now spent literally years messing around with PFs and MDs (probably not as long as TomMK though, who's done some amazing work) - and while you CAN achieve the same result with those (most of the time), I usually only ever use the Bellini patch these days as I find it to be the quickest, easiest and therefore best way to tune your performance. Also, I find making changes to an MD can sometimes leave a track feeling lifeless and dull, so I avoid it now if I can. Worse still, messing with an MD can sometimes break it altogether.

One note of caution: try to avoid using extreme Player Grip values. I don't think I've ever used a value of more than 17850 or lower than about 14950. If you find you NEED to use figures outside that range it's more than likely because you're using a track with a very bad CC line, or because your PF or MD is not good enough.

If all this seems complex, I apologize. I've done my best to be clear and concise but I believe you'll find the process quite simple once you get the hang of it.

Today, I have 25 F1 mod years ready to roll and I can get into any car in any race in any year and chances are my performance relative to the other cars will be very close to my expectations; whereas to be brutally honest, the calibration of some of the older mods in particular seemed very unsatisfactory to me. That's not to detract from them of course. I'm extremely grateful for every one, regardless of how much I had to tweak them to my liking. After all, that's part of the fun of GP4 isn't it?

I hope this was useful to someone. Certainly for me, it was the most important thing I didn't know that I NEEDED to know when I first got back into GP4 - and it would have saved me hundreds of frustrated hours, had there been a post like this to show me the way.

Have fun. Cheers.


Notes:

* I said you NEED a PF for each track but that's not strictly true. If you only have one generic PF that is used for all tracks, you CAN still use the Bellini patch but it's very unlikely that the one PG value will work well for all tracks in the mod. Personally I ALWAYS use a separate PF for each track, whether a mod includes one or not. Without a PF for each track (track slot really - the actual circuit doesn't matter) you'll be very fortunate to get a satisfactory outcome.

** Note that unlike the ones recommended above, MY PFs are NOT focused on or calibrated to the real-world times at all, nor will they ever be, because I use my own selection of tracks, ie not the real-world ones. I don't see the point in racing the same 17 historical tracks each season when I can enjoy a selection from the more than a hundred other fantastic tracks we have available too. If you want to give one of my PF sets a try, be sure to tell me the race distance percentage you use (so I can make the failure rate somewhat accurate) and which back-markers you want to include (because mine are sometimes different than the original mods). Be aware also that my PF sets only go up to the 2002 F1 year, because I'm an old git and I've been working forward from 1977.

*** Your time relative to the other cars CAN be adjusted using either the PF or especially the MD, but take it from me, it isn't easy and often leads to frustration, because try as you might, there are some tracks where tweaking the MD will NEVER lead to the desired outcome, no matter what you do. The old Long Beach in particular springs to mind. I spent days on that one and never got it right, but once I started using the Bellini patch I was able to calibrate even that one perfectly within a few minutes.


PS: So what if you did all of the above and you now qualify 5th (or thereabouts), but the track feels too slippery (or too grippy) overall?

OK. That should be rare, but at that point you'll probably need to start tackling MD files after all. I did write a post on them a couple of years ago but I would no longer recommend it, since not everything in it is as accurate as I thought it was back then. Chances are, not everyone would necessarily agree, but in a nutshell I would adjust desc=42 up for more grip or down for less grip and then go back to the Bellini patch and start again.

Good luck!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2020 09:17PM by Noog.
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 12:41PM
Posted by: Carl_gpgames
That's really helpful, thank you very much! would be great if this topic could be pinned to the FAQ!



GP Files | GP Videos
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 12:58PM
Posted by: fongu
Thanks Noog. Gotta say, I didn't know that!


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My GP4 and model review blog
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 01:10PM
Posted by: Noog
Carl_gpgames Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That's really helpful, thank you very much! would
> be great if this topic could be pinned to the FAQ!

More than welcome m8.


fongu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Gotta say, I didn't know that!

Blimey! I never imagined I'd be able to show YOU anything! I think you just made my day.
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 03:09PM
Posted by: petrus
Very useful and detailed information. Thank you, Noog.

Remark: If you are running a CSM mod, you can use the custom profile feature (see Unterstanding a CSM mod - Tips) and edit the values in the profiles ini file.


petrus' gpaedia files
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 03:57PM
Posted by: Turbo Lover
Very good research.



My Grand Prix 4 Files

I'm a total dick. How many people can say that?
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 05, 2020 10:58PM
Posted by: huskyman49
Very helpful... thanks a lot (I)
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 07, 2020 06:27PM
Posted by: phantaman
is a variant of the original spreadsheet



----signature--------------------------------------------------------

RELEASE => 2019 physics (under FIA Technical Regulations) !
MagicDatas? Setups? Pit Stop Strategies? Track Specific Performances? Up2Date France GP?
Power Torque Curve? Where's this stuff? All download is available at Upward - GPx !
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 07, 2020 09:01PM
Posted by: AustinF1
Did you mean in GPxPatch go to GPxSet and use the Multi button to install individual track PFs?
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 07, 2020 09:15PM
Posted by: Noog
AustinF1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did you mean in GPxPatch go to GPxSet and use the
> Multi button to install individual track PFs?

Fixed.

Thx for pointing out the error.
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 07, 2020 09:21PM
Posted by: Noog
phantaman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> is a variant of the original spreadsheet
>
> [i.imgur.com]

Probably. I can't open xlsm files, so I've never seen that spreadsheet before.
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 08, 2020 03:54PM
Posted by: phantaman
this spreadsheet, I modified it myself from the original. because I include this patch in the performances I produced until 2019.

----signature--------------------------------------------------------

RELEASE => 2019 physics (under FIA Technical Regulations) !
MagicDatas? Setups? Pit Stop Strategies? Track Specific Performances? Up2Date France GP?
Power Torque Curve? Where's this stuff? All download is available at Upward - GPx !
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 08, 2020 07:17PM
Posted by: Noog
phantaman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> this spreadsheet, I modified it myself from the
> original. because I include this patch in the
> performances I produced until 2019.


Any chance you could convert it to .xls for me please?

I ask because I did consider trying to calculate the Bellini patch value automatically in my Performance Calculator spreadsheet, but quickly came to the conclusion it wasn't possible, so I'd love to take a look and see how you did it.

EDIT: Actually I should rephrase that. I came to the conclusion that it couldn't be done in my Performance Calculator unless I included physics file data, torque file data and magic data - and that that wasn't something I wanted to take on.

My PFs are based solely on the real world GP qual, race, failure and fastest lap times - and because I tend to vary my track selections in most seasons anyway, it wasn't viable to calculate the Bellini value without actual GP track time. That's what I meant.

I'd still like to see yours though if I can. It sounds good and I like seeing how other people construct their spreadsheets.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2020 07:37PM by Noog.
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 21, 2020 03:57AM
Posted by: TomMK
Here's a little easter egg involving the Player grip value - try setting this to a very low value, say 0 or 100, and watch the AI behaviour. It shows that this "Player" value is still involved in the AI performance in some way.

That's not to negate the usefulness of it in the way Noog describes. It's just interesting (well I think so anyway!)

=====================================================


Intel NUC 8i3, 8GB RAM, MS Sidewinder Wheel
Re: New Users. Useful tip. The Bellini Patch.
Date: May 21, 2020 05:30AM
Posted by: mortal
The Bellini patch is already in the FAQ, however I updated the link to this thread.

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