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No offense Burkhard but......


american747
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Do you think the models and textures could be better?  

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No offense ment for you Burhard but I think that you should make an update for the textures because I personally think that they are a little too less detailed. If you made an update I would really think about buying this! Oh yeah, and please use your own models instead of the default MSFS models because of when I saw the screenie of the old Varig planes, the default MSFS Dc-3 looked indefinatly superior to your model. I hope you are not offended.

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I do not take it as an offense, but an encouragement to continue :)

When you look into the development of MyTraffic, you will see that the aircrafts improved constantly.

MyTraffic started with repaints of the MS Stock planes, that are excellent in performance and free of similarity to the originals, and licensed models from PAI, which are no so well in performance, but nearer to the original.

With MyTraffic2004 version 2.0 and 2.1, most of the PAI models got replaced by models that make use of the same textures, so are bound to many geometry decisions made by them, but perform significantly better, and show a lot of characteristic details like the support structures for the flaps which are important to identify aircrafts.

With MyTraffic 2006, a new generation of aircrafts saw light, using a new texturing scheme - so it can be again more detailed and nearer to the original. Look at the 727-100 as example of this newer generation.

Any new model only got accepted if it was bettter optically AND performed better than the preceeding - others are still waiting for the next try.

This "optically better" required to switch from the economic 512x512 to 1024x1024 textures on many hundred models - this was done during the last updates. Now we encountered that this - when the number of models increases, together with the excellent frame rate lead to stuttering effects on some systems, which could not always be solved by changing system parameters.

This lead to long research jobs and development of yet another generation of technologie, called the explicit mip mapping, which is the current state of the art.

Now it is the time to clean up the MyTraffic history and get rid of the old MS paints and the paints for the PAI models, replace them by better ones for the new, so much faster models, and that is exactly what I'm doing currently, concentrating on the 737 family for the next months.

With 160+ models and 2200+ paints, it is not possible to change all of this treasure within a short year, but any feedback for what is considered as the "worst" examples is very welcome to define the order of what to address with priority within one FS generation - a project like MyTraffic only can be done if planned and worked out over very long times.

There will remain one distinct difference between my way to paint and the US-tradition, I call it the PAI baroque. When I look at a Lufthansa 737 as example, the fuseledge is pure white. Looking at the original or at photos at airliners.net - it does not carry a grid of long rows of dark screws lined up to hold it together - the white surface is purely white in the original. ( This is not true for some aircrafts parked in the Mojave since a decade ). MyTraffic will not contain details that do not exist in real life.

Also, the white of the top of the fuseledge is the same white as on the side, it is not a gray with a gradient. FS9 makes the illumination correctly, so making this in the texture and with FS9 is a double shadow effect that I do not support.

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That is why I voted with yes ;-) I'm spending 50 hours a week on this, so I cannot vote no :lol: .

On the DC3, I got these repaints of the stock FS9 by one of the friends from this forum at a late state of the MT2006 beta, and am very gratefull for it. Once the 737 job is done, making an own DC3 and DC4 model is on the long list of what is planned, with much more paints - but again this depends on the feedback here on the lists - which times do you want to simulate? I got quite some response from the 70-80 time frame, much less from others - any post and any feedback on this forum will influence the development.

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Glad you're not offended. I got some criticisim on the AIA (Ai-Aardvark) forums saying that your textures had no wing inserts. I have to agree with them. I looked at a picture of an AAL Md-82 and the AAL paint didn't look as close to AAL as AIA. Shoudn't you be using fake AAL paints due to AAL copyrights?

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MyTraffic contains 2200+ paints.

For thousand of them, you may find a better one on the web somewhere. For another thousand, you will not find. For 200 you may argue.

The AI Aardvark aircrafts and paints are leaders in quality and were in performance for quite a while. What exactly do you call a wing insert? I assume it is the part i marked in the attached image?

It belongs to the "baroque fashion" that these are mostly painted in different colors than the rest of the fuseledge, what I cannot verify from pictures. In the case of AA, it seems it has the same color, but is using less reflectivity, or is it just the different angle? - but the AAL MD80s are one of the rare examples were an extra treatment of these structures could make sense.

post-148-128689325577_thumb.jpg

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A far as I understand, reflective textures do give a hard hit on frames on DX8 grafics adapters, while an unmeasurable one on DX9 adapters. To my experience, the queston if the model supports reflections has less influence, if any at all.

The refections done by FS9 are so useless anyway that MyTraffic doesn't support them. They are nothing but an enhanced illumination from the primary light source, but no reflections at all.

Reflections will be an issue of FSX, but also not initially, but only once a version for DirectX 10 and DX10 grafics hardware exist with stable performing drivers, so somewhat in the end of 2007/early 2008 time frame.

There is a difference between code produced with the FS8 SDK ( like the PAI or Ardvark planes ) and the FS9 code, reflections and illuminations are treated completely different, as is all animation and movement, and the digital form is completely different, but you have to use FS9 SDK to have LODs above 200 pixel on screen supported. This makes the triangle counting a relative issue, an aircraft with 4000 triangles at LOD 400 and 1500 at LOD250 is much faster as AI than one with 2500 down to LOD 199.

The completely different code seems to indicate that FS8 stylish code is using DX8 grafics instructions, while FS9 code uses the FS9 instructions - this private assumption can explain a lot why a lot of knowledge accumulated about FS8 SDK ( and FSDS2) doesn't turn out to be true for FS9 SDK code - the main reasons almost nobody uses it - so if you read something different to the first paragraph that may be the cause.

MyTraffic aircraft have between 1600 and 3000 polygons for the first models, the newer ones going to the order of 1000-2000 at LOD 250 already, meaning at the size of 5 thumbs on screen.

Having the flaps and rudders formed detailed enough to be convincing, they do need many hundred of extra polygons. Not only at the highest LOD, but also at lower ones, because having the flaps switching around at the model that taxis before you is worse than just neglecting them - we had that a while ago and removed by intention.

Once we do have spare CPU ticks available, MyTraffic aircrafts will get more moving parts. But as I see t today,

- CPUs of today are not faster than those from a year ago, and FS9 does not utilize second cores at all

- Most of you are fighting with preformance problems already now, and if you aren't you should be happy

- None of you will upgrade his hardware now knowing no specs for FSX

- Hardware capable of the requirements MS places for VISTA isn't available by now.

A Vista ready computer, according to MS messages to the industry, requires Hard disks with very large (512 MB++ ) flash Cashes, Direct X 10 grafics, and industry isn't able to provide this in time.

That is at least my point of view, assuming you will have less CPU ticks to spend for AI traffic in 2 years than you have now. If I'm wrong on this, OK, performance can never be too good, and adding flaps to the wings is not such a big deal.

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Hope you're not offended that I answered 'No'... :-)

IMHO, many of the MT models look pretty good and I'm happy with what I got. Besides, isn't this an evolutionary thing? I sometimes wonder whether it would be as interesting as it is if everything was next to perfection already?

Hope you're doing well, Burkhard.

Kind regards

Jaap

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Yes, I'm doing well, thanks Jaap.

Besides the fact that porting aircrafts from FS8 to FS9 code is a really hard job to do... especially if you are improving so many little things on them, with main emphasize on performance, to high frame rates without stutters.

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A far as I understand, reflective textures do give a hard hit on frames on DX8 grafics adapters, while an unmeasurable one on DX9 adapters. To my experience, the queston if the model supports reflections has less influence, if any at all.

The refections done by FS9 are so useless anyway that MyTraffic doesn't support them. They are nothing but an enhanced illumination from the primary light source, but no reflections at all.

Reflections will be an issue of FSX, but also not initially, but only once a version for DirectX 10 and DX10 grafics hardware exist with stable performing drivers, so somewhat in the end of 2007/early 2008 time frame.

There is a difference between code produced with the FS8 SDK ( like the PAI or Ardvark planes ) and the FS9 code, reflections and illuminations are treated completely different, as is all animation and movement, and the digital form is completely different, but you have to use FS9 SDK to have LODs above 200 pixel on screen supported. This makes the triangle counting a relative issue, an aircraft with 4000 triangles at LOD 400 and 1500 at LOD250 is much faster as AI than one with 2500 down to LOD 199.

The completely different code seems to indicate that FS8 stylish code is using DX8 grafics instructions, while FS9 code uses the FS9 instructions - this private assumption can explain a lot why a lot of knowledge accumulated about FS8 SDK ( and FSDS2) doesn't turn out to be true for FS9 SDK code - the main reasons almost nobody uses it - so if you read something different to the first paragraph that may be the cause.

MyTraffic aircraft have between 1600 and 3000 polygons for the first models, the newer ones going to the order of 1000-2000 at LOD 250 already, meaning at the size of 5 thumbs on screen.

Having the flaps and rudders formed detailed enough to be convincing, they do need many hundred of extra polygons. Not only at the highest LOD, but also at lower ones, because having the flaps switching around at the model that taxis before you is worse than just neglecting them - we had that a while ago and removed by intention.

Once we do have spare CPU ticks available, MyTraffic aircrafts will get more moving parts. But as I see t today,

- CPUs of today are not faster than those from a year ago, and FS9 does not utilize second cores at all

- Most of you are fighting with preformance problems already now, and if you aren't you should be happy

- None of you will upgrade his hardware now knowing no specs for FSX

- Hardware capable of the requirements MS places for VISTA isn't available by now.

A Vista ready computer, according to MS messages to the industry, requires Hard disks with very large (512 MB++ ) flash Cashes, Direct X 10 grafics, and industry isn't able to provide this in time.

That is at least my point of view, assuming you will have less CPU ticks to spend for AI traffic in 2 years than you have now. If I'm wrong on this, OK, performance can never be too good, and adding flaps to the wings is not such a big deal.

AIA's reflectives DO NOT eat frame rates for breakfast lunch and dinner. No snack either. The frames eat the planes. :D

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Such a discussion is very fruitful, please do send feedback and do not take it too serious if I say no. I assume I do have a "never say never" bio-feedback in my back brain stimulating some anti-no peptides invoked by saying no :lol:

More seriously, if you looked at the newer aircrafts you will have seen that the wings got pure metal instead of textured. This has several reasons:

- It allows to use more texture pixels for the painted surfaces, mainly the fuseledge and tail ( this got introduced with the new 777 )

- it is faster

- reflections are made much better for pure than for textured materials by DX9

- most wings today are almost pure metal, structures you find on them are below one pixel size

- wings based on 500x200 pixel texture parts look too coarse.

Obviously, this makes objects like flaps easier, they do not have to be textured too. So I asked myself, if it is possible to use this fact, all we know about LOD design in the mid size model range between 399 and ~40 Pixel on screen size, and some bold simplification if it isn't possible to add simplified flaps without explosion of the triangles. Indeed I made a 739 tonight with active flaps that has only 48 more triangles on the near model, which isn't the world.

If you looked into the 721 deeper, you will have seen some strange textures and two models, B721.mdl and B721x.mdl.

These models are models for different performance.

The B721 uses B721_t.bmp, a 1024x1024 DXT1 bitmap, with a 256x256 32bit alpha channelled B721_l.bmp nightmap for the near models, and B721_t_3.bmp (128x128) with B721_l_3.bmp (64x64) for all below thumb size.

The B721x uses B721_t_1.bmp, a 512x512 DXT1 bitmap and B721_t_3.bmp for the near models,and the same as above for the far. In addition, the LOD switching points are nearer to the observer - thus these aircrafts are less demanding on disk I/O, I/O cache memory, FS9 texture cache, grafic adapter texture memory, memory to grafics FS9 fibre, plus less triangles to draw in average for CPU and grafics adapter.

Switching between the too models can be easily done by changing model.cfg, and I plan to do this like the switching between visible and unvisble entries in the aircraft selection dialog.

All this set up, why not add a third model, B721f.mdl, that carries a reasonable number of extra parts on expense of lower performance, and give you the choice. That means it may well be that you get the same frame rate with the x model and 100% density than with the standard and 80% and the f model with 65% - but I would give this decision to you than.

I will try this and publish an example for you to test and look at.

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Hi Burkhard, that's mouth-watering stuff! :-) The only thing I was able to observe in the past with LOD changes (hope this was a correct obeservation), was jumping aircraft. Any comments whether or how the new method has an effect on this?

Thanks for your hard work and kind regards

Jaap

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The new models will not jump, at least if beta testers will check them enough before release :lol:

Indeed, what I'm doing currently is more or less a complete redo of the most frequent aircrafts at least, concentrating on the 727 and 737 for the moment. New models in new technology with new from the scratch paints. Thanks to Microsoft for giving us so much time to improve things for FS9 :lol:

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>>Thanks to Microsoft for giving us so much time to improve things for FS9<<

Indeed, one of the advantages of a 3-year release cycle. What do you think, will there be significant changes in FSX? I certainly hope the improvements will benefit 'MT-X' too. I'll test the new 727 over the weekend.

On a sidenote, Burkhard, were you informed about missing data like some fx files?

Thanks and kind regards

Jaap

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It's more than 3 years :)

To be honest, besides some shots of what is possible nobody can say what will be in FS X - if that got fixed in all points already at all.

Most of the new grafics features will be available after the DX10 update only. Reflections and illuminations as example will be made in DX10 completely different than in DX9, as DX9 made them different to DX8 - no idea what will be used by FS X models.

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You're right, I totally forgot about DX10... :-)

HST, there aren't many mentions of DX10 yet (as far as I would dare to judge). The FS team mentioned it but if you i.e. look at Windows Vista information sources, there's almost nada. Additionally, I wonder whether DX10 will aslo be available for WinXP? To be frank, I could picture myself being a very happy FSX/DX9 user.

Sorry if I repeat this question, Burkhard, were you informed about missing data like some fx files?

Cheers and kind rgerads

Jaap

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Ha, that might be an issue when starting to add 3rd party content. ;-)

I've been on a sabbatical from FS and will have to look up the details. Just wanted to know whether you were aware or not. Please allow a couple of days for compilation, Burkhard. Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

PS, I heard Germany is covered with metres of snow, you too?

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