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baksteen33

Jetways and Performance

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My friends,

Some of you might know we've been talking about removing the jetway animations at the airports in favour of performance.

Here's a screenshot of San Francisco International at almost 900 movements when the aircraft don't move them. With jetway animations this shot would show max 2/3 of the FPS. Scenery Complexity setting 'Dense'

We are still working on procedures how to implement this in the most useful manner. This is just a sample screenshot I can link to if necessary. More news shortly.

Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

post-5896-128689569968_thumb.jpg

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Hi!

I have to agree with you. On large airports with many jetways moving, my frame rate dropped from around 20fps to 6-9fps at most.

I did not know that there were possible to stop the jetways from moving.. The overall frame rate would be more stabile which would generate a smoother simulation, right?

I'm looking forward to see your research regarding this. If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask.

Have a nice weekend.

Regards,

Mikael

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There are two possible ways to achieve this, and both can be combined even.

Method a) is in the aircraft. It is possible to make a small change ( and to revert it ) so that an aircraft does not trigger the jetway animation. If you just do this on the B737 family , the MD80s and the all the A320s, this brings already most of the gain, since at large airports these dominate.

Method b) is in the airports. A few jetways appear at scenery normal, more at dense, still more at very dense, and all at extremely dense. By shifting all one step up, one could have effectively the rest of the scenery at very dense, only the jetways as they are with dense now, with the performance as it is with dense. This brings me to the question: Which scenery density do you use normally?

The advantage of method b) is that also the static jetways are expensive in terms of frames, each of them has at least two draw calls, maybe more. With 200 jetways in sight at KORD (including those at KMDW ), this makes 400 draw calls. A mid range system can perfrom 40000 drawcalls per second - so at a desired 25 fps the static jetways already eat one quarter of your CPU.

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Method 1:

I'd like to have the choice of which main A/C models (B737, A320, etc.) could be turned off and on, maybe through a batch file if possible?

Method 2:

Great idea, but what about freeware/commercial addon scenery that was written to have all jetways come on at normal or even lower?

I have my slider set for normal scenery now.

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Personally, I like method 1 best, fewer files to edit and a more simplier way to change the values.

I method 2, every AFCADX file must be edit and by now it's several thousands.

And as if I understood correctly, if we set the jetways' code in the bgl files to "Extremely Dense", any settings below this (in the settings menu) will not show any jetways.

If we use method 1, we could have two separate cfg files for those who want's to jetways to move and those who doesn't.

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Normally, I keep scenery at very dense or extremly dense for better (more) view of downtown buildings and other scenery objects. So I would prefer method (a) or if possible in combination with (b). Are both methods usable right now or will they only be accessible after a further upgrade?

my default settings (traffic at 35/15) autogen at sparse and scenery at very dense works good enough for KORD or EGLL (Aerosoft) but not for KJFK which is a real fps killer.

edit: maybe it is possible to replace the dynamic jetways with static jetways (50/50 for example) at least for the mega airports.

regards, harry

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Normally, I keep scenery at very dense or extremly dense for better (more) view of downtown buildings and other scenery objects. So I would prefer method (a) or if possible in combination with (b). Are both methods usable right now or will they only be accessible after a further upgrade?

The method 1 is possible today by changing the aircrafts cfg file. Exactly how this is done, I don't yet know. Since this is a very friendly and helpfull forum, someone will have some answers, so stick around:)

Method 2 can be possible with changes but more work than method 1.

my default settings (traffic at 35/15) autogen at sparse and scenery at very dense works good enough for KORD or EGLL (Aerosoft) but not for KJFK which is a real fps killer.

regards, harry

I agree, KJFK goes not give me a smooth flight, but a very impressive airport :) Since I am more of a AI freak, I have the AI traffic at 100% :lol:

Regards,

Mikael

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The trick on the jetway to aircraft is a very simple one. Every aircraft.cfg of a FSX plane containsd a sections

[exits]

number_of_exits=2

exit.0=.....,0

exit.1=.....,1

Now the first exit with type 0 is were the jetway attaches, the first with 1 is a cargo door where the cargo vehicle goes.

A type 3 is an emergency exit, which has no animation. So,

[exits]

number_of_exits=2

exit.0=.....,3

exit.1=.....,1

does the trick and is easy to change back.

Jaap is going to prepare a set of file containing these little changes.

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Hi everybody,

What seems so simple sometimes, has a couple of consequences.

De-activating the jetways stops all the animations around the aircraft. So far, I can't for example keep the luggage carts moving whilst the jetways don't. Maybe Burkhard knows some - yet - secret parameters?

FWIW, this is an easy mod everybody could do themselves in a couple of minutes if one doesn't want to wait for our solution. Particularly if you don't want to do all the 50+ AC which move jetways:

- Open an aircraft.cfg

- Search for the string [exits]

- Change the last digit in 'line'.0 from 0(zero) to 3

I would suggest to not disable everything at once. Perhaps start by disabling only the largest aircraft series? A319, A320, B732, etc., plus a couple of others. A few moving jetways shouldn't hurt too much. ;-)

Please stay tuned...

Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

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I adjusted the Airbus A319 and here's what I see for a departure:

- The jetway remains detached from the aircraft, never approaches.

- The baggage handlers are indeed on strike. The baggage cart just sits and watches.

- The fuel truck turned up and gave me service!

- The push back truck, well it pushed me back. It did not attach to the nose gear, but rather a position below the nose cone. Maybe it has always been like that, never really noticed either way.

- All FSX state progressions are normal, and unaffected. Indeed the preflight period might be shorter due to baggage inactivity?

So perhaps if you live without jetways and baggage animation, still not a bad "tweek"?

Simon

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Method 1:

Method 2:

Great idea, but what about freeware/commercial addon scenery that was written to have all jetways come on at normal or even lower?

I have my slider set for normal scenery now.

Hi Mike, indeed, that doesn't seem the ideal thing to do. OTOH, with AI which doesn't move the jetways it's not much of a prob. From an FSX perspective, best certainly is to scale.

Something to keep in mind in this context, it's the density in the (tracking) area plus the rest which matters. NY, Chicago and a couple of other very dense FS areas will always require an extraordinary AI- and scenery complexity settings approach.

Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

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I checked through this now, indeed the luggage handling requires a type 0 exit to exist, and even the order cannot be exchanged.

So, changing it to 3 helps a bit on performance, and if we do it for the frequent working horses, this might help.

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Exactly... :-(

I would have loved to keep the ground vehicles around the aircraft moving. Oh well, at least we have a starting point now.

Kind regards, Jaap

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Dear friends,

you already know that I wanted to test the airport solution. I made the following test:

Overlooking EDDF, MyTraffic at 100%, Ground vehicle sparse, Autogen off, I got the following fps depending on the scenery density slider:

Normal: 22

Dense: 19

Very dense 15

Extremely dense 12

My talking since long is that this massive degration comes from the jetways almost only. So I made a special version of BR2_EDDF.bgl with the following small changes:

All jetways at very dense were shifted to extremely dense, and all at dense to very dense. Result:

Normal: 22

Dense: 22

Very dense 19

Extremely dense 12

This shows indeed all the frame rate hit comes from the jetways ( To illustrate this I often cite the fact that the hit the jetways at Midway have in O'Hare is bigger than the hit MyTrafficX 100% has).

So I made this little modification to 25 large airports:

EDDF,EDDM,EGKK,EGLL,EHAM,KATL,KDEN,KDFW,KDTW,KEWR,KIAH,KJFK,KLAS,KMCO,KMEM,KMIA,KMSP,KPHL,KPHX,KPIT,KSFO,LEMD,LFPG,LIMC . I think this list already covers a good fraction of the areas were FSX has performance problems - if you know more just tell me, all this including tests was a one hour work.

I uploaded them to

http://www.fsrail.com/BR2_Acc1.zip

- if you want you just can drop these airports into the MyTraffic\scenery folder - you can allways undo any changes there by running MyTrafficAircraftInstallers\scenery.exe .

What will be the effect. If you are running at scenery densities: Very_sparse, sparse or extremely dense, there will be no effect.

If you run at normal at one of these airports, you can switch to dense without any hit.

If you run at dense, you will see no jetways but more frames, and can try to switch from dense to very dense.

If you run at very dense, you will see less jetways but more frames.

This technique does not replace the technique proposed by Jaap, but can be used in addition. The advantage of it is that the jetways will remain fully functional at all the other (smaller) airports, and ground vehicle service remains working.

This method does not help with addon airports using the FSX animated jetways, but are there any already?

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Thanks a lot, Burkhard. This will definitely help scale or fine-tune even further. Excellent. :-)

The aircraft.cfg modifications are also complete now and ready for a quick field test. If anybody would like to test it beforehand, please send me a PM with your email address.

Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

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This trick really helps. Yesterday I was testing some elder aircraft with hungry nose at CDG . I could run with scenery at VERY dense, so all the buildings are there, 100% AI traffic, also all the old models, there aren't many left at Paris, autogen normal, with 23 fps constant. FSX arrived where it should be.

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I haven't yet tried Burkhard's scenery/jetway tweak so my initial results are only with the aircraft.cfg tweak as mentioned above by Jaap. The following aircraft.cfg files were replaced for this test: A318MX, A319MX, A320MTM, A320MX, A321MX, A332MX, A333MX, B734MX, B735MX, B737MX, B738MX, B752MX, B763MX, B772MX, DC91MX, DC93MX, DC94MX AND DC95MX.

My initial minimum sustained results are the following (I'm comparing pre to post on my system with same settings):

KLAS +5 fps

KLAX +3 fps

KJFK +3 fps

EDDF +3 fps

KBOS +4 fps

My Control - KIAD Blueprint Simulation add-on +0 fps (no moving jetways at this airport so I wouldn't have expected an improvement)

My viewpoint and aircraft for testing was the same pre and post. The tweak has obviously made a difference. My second test (later today) is to include Burkhard's scenery/jetway tweak with this combination to see if there are additional fps increases.

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@Jaap

I have tested the Airbus aircrafts and have made overall performance increase in fps.

Large US airports as KJFK, KLAX etc ~4-7fps increasement

Large Euro airports as LEMD,EGLL etc ~3-5fps increasement.

So this really works. 8-15fps instead of 6-8fps make a hugh different!

Is it possible for a batch process of all MTX aircrafts? Or at least the most common ones that uses gates...

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Test Part 2: I now included Burkhard's scenery/jetway tweak for two airports along with the aircraft.cfg tweaks mentioned above. The results were:

KJFK: Minimum sustained +2fps (scenery tweak) + [3fps (aircraft.cfg tweak)] = minimum + 5 fps increase.

EDDF: Minimum sustained +2fps (scenery tweak) + [3fps (aircraft.cfg tweak)] = minimum + 5 fps increase.

I should add that I fly using scenery dense and I noticed no jetways at either airport at this scenery level (maybe I'm blind and missed a few). This would essentially render the aircraft.cfg tweak moot for this particular test.

I should also add for the reader that I only included 18 of 80 aircraft.cfg tweaks for my test. I'm now going to include ALL of the cfg tweaks to see the results once again for scenery dense.

I'm also planning to test at a higher scenery density to see the effects of Burkhard's tweak. More fun to come!

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@ Kagazi,

First off, thanks a lot for the feedback, very interesting results. With Burkhard's Afcads the jetways only kick-in at scenery complexity 'Very Dense'. IMHO, modded Afcads will mainly help in areas with large airports in close succession - the notoriously notorious Phillie - NY - Washington triangle comes to mind. They also allow more airport buildings without paying the price for the moving jetways yet.

Out of curiosity, what were your framerates roughly before? Were the 3fps in NY roughly the same increase %-wise as in KLAS? Were the increases somewhat uniform?

@ Mikael, thanks a lot too. We're thinking along the lines of a 'manual release' for the moment being - further implications pending. ;-) Since the choices and possibilities differ from region to region and the proceedings are fairly simple... As I mentioned, IMHO these efforts 'only' make a big difference in the densest regions and/or with large airports in quick succession.

@ Kingfish, please send me a PM with your email address.

Cheers and kind regards

Jaap

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Hi all,

I did some testing with the two modifications. As we have discussed earlier in this forum, there is a big performance gap on approaching the large airports. Means that at a distance of about 15-12 nm to the airport the frame rate drops down significantly for about 1 minute but increases again after this.

My results on approaching KORD 32L (B747 default):

MTX51a: 35-40 fps --> 10-12 (1 min) --> 30 fps

MTX51a + BR2_Acc1: 35-40 fps --> 8-12 (1 min) --> 30 fps

MTX51a + Jaaps cfgs: no significant decrease!

I think this is an interesting result, since the modified airport.bgls seem to have no effect at all for the approach. For my feeling it was even a little bit worse. Maybe on the airport it is different. OTOH, when using Jaap's modified ac cfgs (all of them!) there was no noticeable performance gap at all. This lets me think that the performance issue is not only the result of jetway animation. Couldn't it rather be also a problem with the baggage handlers?

My settings: traffic at 45/15, autogen sparse, scenery very dense.

Sorry, can't continue testing for now (have to leave for a beer or two... :wink: )

Cheers & Kind Regards

Harry

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