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Nav lights become huge at a distance


slepp
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Hi,

Just spent my first day with MyTrafficX5.a (patched to latest version) and I'm very impressed. I just have one problem: If I am adjacent or near to AI traffic they all display quite bright red and green nav lights on their wingtips. Actually they are not really lights but red and green representations of lights without halos or light effects. That's fine especially if it keeps frame rates healthy. However, the further away I get from each AI model these nav light grow in size way out of proportion with the dimishing size of the AI aircraft I'm travelling away from. At a distance of around half a mile, these nav light representations grow ENORMOUS in size until they look absurdly huge, like very large "Blobs" on the ends of the wingtips.

In the communicator I chose the option for lighting effects but I believe these are for strobes or landing lights and do not seem to affect these "blobs" or red and green on the wing tips.

I have a bog standard FSX setup....no graphics addons, no special effects, no special tweaks. I do however have a few standard tweaks in the fsx.cfg to optimise frame rates but I don't think any of these would influence what I am seeing. I would guess that the LOD implementation of distance to model detail ratio is being applied to the aircraft model but not to these extraordinarily huge wingtip blobs!

Is there any setting i have not come across that can alleviate this?

Otherwise, I am impressed by this software, and I'm seeing many more AI aircraft than I ever saw in two other products which, due to various flaws I have abandoned in favour of MytrafficX.

Thanks for any tips.

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Hi,

Just spent my first day with MyTrafficX5.a (patched to latest version) and I'm very impressed. I just have one problem: If I am adjacent or near to AI traffic they all display quite bright red and green nav lights on their wingtips. Actually they are not really lights but red and green representations of lights without halos or light effects. That's fine especially if it keeps frame rates healthy. However, the further away I get from each AI model these nav light grow in size way out of proportion with the dimishing size of the AI aircraft I'm travelling away from. At a distance of around half a mile, these nav light representations grow ENORMOUS in size until they look absurdly huge, like very large "Blobs" on the ends of the wingtips.

In the communicator I chose the option for lighting effects but I believe these are for strobes or landing lights and do not seem to affect these "blobs" or red and green on the wing tips.

I have a bog standard FSX setup....no graphics addons, no special effects, no special tweaks. I do however have a few standard tweaks in the fsx.cfg to optimise frame rates but I don't think any of these would influence what I am seeing. I would guess that the LOD implementation of distance to model detail ratio is being applied to the aircraft model but not to these extraordinarily huge wingtip blobs!

Is there any setting i have not come across that can alleviate this?

Otherwise, I am impressed by this software, and I'm seeing many more AI aircraft than I ever saw in two other products which, due to various flaws I have abandoned in favour of MytrafficX.

Thanks for any tips.

As you already found our, this just saves two draw calls even for far away models, and in average halfens the CPU need of the graphics of MyTraffic.

Now they are built at a size that they are at the limit of visibility when they then change to double dimensions - if the LOD system works as it should.

There are two ways I know to cheat the LOD system.

One is in the graphics drivers, if you do not choose highest quality, but a more performance oriented setting, the display driver will tell FSX that an aircraft zhaz in reality has 80 pixel size on screen only has 50 - and the coarser model will be displayed.

There also is a tweak on the net and used by some "enhancer" to apply another such factor inside of FSX by an FSX.cfg entry. MyTraffic definitvely is programmed hard at the visibility limits of effects without any of the two cheats - with these applied you see too large position lights as well as gears vanishing too early.

So I recommend you set graphics drivers to optimal quality and remove and LOD_ setting from FSX.cfg and check again. If still you see such effect an a specific modell too pronounced, please tell me the model and attach a screen shot how you see it - optical representations are different on different systems and whatever an eye sees is valuable information.

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As you already found our, this just saves two draw calls even for far away models, and in average halfens the CPU need of the graphics of MyTraffic.

Now they are built at a size that they are at the limit of visibility when they then change to double dimensions - if the LOD system works as it should.

There are two ways I know to cheat the LOD system.

One is in the graphics drivers, if you do not choose highest quality, but a more performance oriented setting, the display driver will tell FSX that an aircraft zhaz in reality has 80 pixel size on screen only has 50 - and the coarser model will be displayed.

There also is a tweak on the net and used by some "enhancer" to apply another such factor inside of FSX by an FSX.cfg entry. MyTraffic definitvely is programmed hard at the visibility limits of effects without any of the two cheats - with these applied you see too large position lights as well as gears vanishing too early.

So I recommend you set graphics drivers to optimal quality and remove and LOD_ setting from FSX.cfg and check again. If still you see such effect an a specific modell too pronounced, please tell me the model and attach a screen shot how you see it - optical representations are different on different systems and whatever an eye sees is valuable information.

Hi Burkhard,

Thanks for that explanation. As a developer myself I'm aware of level of detail tweaks to reduce overhead. However the beach ball sized "lights" are in my respectful opinion not a solution. If the lights were proper representations with an alpha channel "glow", halo, or some other light-source effect I could understand it, but since the nav lights appear to be a quite crude solid objects attached in the mdl with plain primary colours of red and green, I think it would have been better to not do this at all and simply "paint" on to the wing texture a facsimile of the wingtip colours of green and red, so that the wingtips are simply part of the whole model/wing textures. In this way, the wingtip colours will naturally get smaller with distance just as the aircraft does. Using these "lights" as a separate, "stuck on" objects and then allowing them to be disproportianately large compared with the aircraft at a distance kind of spoils the whole look of the AI aircraft. The solution of disabling LOD functions in the graphic card setup is not really practical, as this seriously affects all the other LOD-based implementations in FSX which are very essential.

If you were to change the whole method, there is a way to tweak the lighting fx files in FSX so that lights do not balloon in appearance, by editing the "face" parameters of the wingtip nav lights. This stops them growing large at a distance....they remaining exactly in proportion to the model. However I am not sure whether using this method makes FSX draw the lights at large distances. I would guess that this param might also be available in mdl based objects but I'm not sure. You say in other posts that your method is in order to save frame rates. But I don't quite understand this necessity. If you load FSX and disable conventional fx based lights altogether (by removing the fx files relevant), the difference in frame rate is negligable compared with having the lights working. Now maybe with say 50 or more aircraft in view this might impact a little but I do not think so seriously that the beach ball solution is needed.

I also notice that if I use the low resolution AI then the beach ball size problem goes away. If this is possible on the low res models then why would it not be possible on the high res? I assume what is happening here is that on the low res models, small parts like wheels etc are tweaked so they disappear at a certain distance. Well, if that is the case surely a more elegant solution would be to apply the same priniciple to the hi res models but only in respect of the nav lights. In other words, where the distance begins to make the lights look grossly out of proportion, simply make them disappear. To me that would look a lot better than pretending that those huge globes on the wingtips have any connection with what are supposed to be lights!

If you want more information about how to apply the "face" tweaks in the fx files I would be pleased to help. Please pm me if you would like this info.

Having said the above, I do want to express my appreciation for a very good product with clearly much devotion. The military AI and sheer volume of AI aircraft makes your product streets ahead of the competition. If you could address those beach ball lights so they do not appear so large you would have a near perfect product.

Kind Regards.

Edited by slepp
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Hi Burkhard,

Thanks for that explanation. As a developer myself I'm aware of level of detail tweaks to reduce overhead. However the beach ball sized "lights" are in my respectful opinion not a solution. If the lights were proper representations with an alpha channel "glow", halo, or some other light-source effect I could understand it, but since the nav lights appear to be a quite crude solid objects attached in the mdl with plain primary colours of red and green, I think it would have been better to not do this at all and simply "paint" on to the wing texture a facsimile of the wingtip colours of green and red, so that the wingtips are simply part of the whole model/wing textures. In this way, the wingtip colours will naturally get smaller with distance just as the aircraft does. Using these "lights" as a separate, "stuck on" objects and then allowing them to be disproportianately large compared with the aircraft at a distance kind of spoils the whole look of the AI aircraft. The solution of disabling LOD functions in the graphic card setup is not really practical, as this seriously affects all the other LOD-based implementations in FSX which are very essential.

If you were to change the whole method, there is a way to tweak the lighting fx files in FSX so that lights do not balloon in appearance, by editing the "face" parameters of the wingtip nav lights. This stops them growing large at a distance....they remaining exactly in proportion to the model. However I am not sure whether using this method makes FSX draw the lights at large distances. I would guess that this param might also be available in mdl based objects but I'm not sure. You say in other posts that your method is in order to save frame rates. But I don't quite understand this necessity. If you load FSX and disable conventional fx based lights altogether (by removing the fx files relevant), the difference in frame rate is negligable compared with having the lights working. Now maybe with say 50 or more aircraft in view this might impact a little but I do not think so seriously that the beach ball solution is needed.

I also notice that if I use the low resolution AI then the beach ball size problem goes away. If this is possible on the low res models then why would it not be possible on the high res? I assume what is happening here is that on the low res models, small parts like wheels etc are tweaked so they disappear at a certain distance. Well, if that is the case surely a more elegant solution would be to apply the same priniciple to the hi res models but only in respect of the nav lights. In other words, where the distance begins to make the lights look grossly out of proportion, simply make them disappear. To me that would look a lot better than pretending that those huge globes on the wingtips have any connection with what are supposed to be lights!

If you want more information about how to apply the "face" tweaks in the fx files I would be pleased to help. Please pm me if you would like this info.

Having said the above, I do want to express my appreciation for a very good product with clearly much devotion. The military AI and sheer volume of AI aircraft makes your product streets ahead of the competition. If you could address those beach ball lights so they do not appear so large you would have a near perfect product.

Kind Regards.

Thanks for that comment. The big problem with all fx_ based lights is that they get tracked all through the reality bubble, and cannot be coupled to the LOD system unfortunately. I made a lot of experiments with the result that the question IF Shipol is filled with aircraft with usual lights entries has a strong effect on the frame rate in London. Therefore the fx_ way is no way in the performance class we want to be. Same applies to any texture that contains an alpha channel, they make a big slow down.

I will carefully look if I can identify this effect for a model here, the A320s had been reported to have an effect and got changed for version 5.3a.

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Thanks for that comment. The big problem with all fx_ based lights is that they get tracked all through the reality bubble, and cannot be coupled to the LOD system unfortunately. I made a lot of experiments with the result that the question IF Shipol is filled with aircraft with usual lights entries has a strong effect on the frame rate in London. Therefore the fx_ way is no way in the performance class we want to be. Same applies to any texture that contains an alpha channel, they make a big slow down.

I will carefully look if I can identify this effect for a model here, the A320s had been reported to have an effect and got changed for version 5.3a.

Hi again, during my final checks for the 5.3b releae I carefully looked for too big NAV lights, but cannot detect any on screen. I attach two tyoical screen shots how it looks on my system. If you see it different on yours, I would welcome a screen shot which shows me what you see.

post-108-0-16519700-1302337684_thumb.jpg

post-108-0-86741600-1302337734_thumb.jpg

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Attached are a couple of screen shots from 5.3b Beta. Look in the center of the picture three inches or so above the helicopter. You can see at the end of the pad that the helicopter is over there are two planes that you can see the nav lights. The nav lights on the screenshot with 30% zoom are larger than the screenshot with 40% zoom, but even those are large compared to the nav lights on the planes just under or just ahead of the helicopter.

I agree that they do not seem as bad as they were in 5.3a, but to me they still seem to large at times. I read what you said about LOD and the GPU, if it makes a difference all my hardware is in my signature. Using NvidiaInspector I also have texure filtering set on high quaility. Also my monitor resolution is 1920*1200.

In the Communicator under Configure MyTraffic there is a setting to turn off the strobe lights, will this setting also turn off the nav lights?

post-12540-0-89632000-1302437013_thumb.j

post-12540-0-75208400-1302437024_thumb.j

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There supposed to be bigger so you can actually see them at night at distances up to an beyond 10 miles, if they were not like this then the skies look empty at night and I think that looks far worse than slightly over sized lights at medium range. When you start using zoom levels of 30/40% all sorts of effects in FSX act strangely and don't look right, the simple fix is don't use such wide zoom levels.

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Attached are a couple of screen shots from 5.3b Beta. Look in the center of the picture three inches or so above the helicopter. You can see at the end of the pad that the helicopter is over there are two planes that you can see the nav lights. The nav lights on the screenshot with 30% zoom are larger than the screenshot with 40% zoom, but even those are large compared to the nav lights on the planes just under or just ahead of the helicopter.

I agree that they do not seem as bad as they were in 5.3a, but to me they still seem to large at times. I read what you said about LOD and the GPU, if it makes a difference all my hardware is in my signature. Using NvidiaInspector I also have texure filtering set on high quaility. Also my monitor resolution is 1920*1200.

In the Communicator under Configure MyTraffic there is a setting to turn off the strobe lights, will this setting also turn off the nav lights?

Thanks for these, when I look at the upper picture all the scene is completely blurred, far less sharpness then the lower one, so your grafics driver at this settings seems to display at a far worse resolution than your screen could do. I will try if I can reproduce such an effect.

If I'm right these aircraft are Jetblue A320s?

Andy, yes you are right, there is a narrow path of optimization and we have to fine tune this again and again. What actually happens on screen depends on the grafics adapters, its drivers, its settings, screnn resolution etc. FSX grafics is worse in full screen compared to windowed mode, and what we have to find out is how the hardware the users have develops to get again the optimal result for the actual mix.

On a large airport, the number of aircraft within a given range goes with the square of the range. So when going from a 1280 pixel screen to 1920, the amount of work CPU and GPU have to do to draw the grafics of A aircraft increases by a factor of 2.25. Since normal games never use high resolution grafics, drivers tend to cheat the application a lot to get good benchmarks.

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if they were not like this then the skies look empty at night and I think that looks far worse than slightly over sized lights at medium range.

Many things are a matter of opinion and in this case your opinion and mine are different.

the simple fix is don't use such wide zoom levels.

Not using zoom is not an option.

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Thanks for these, when I look at the upper picture all the scene is completely blurred, far less sharpness then the lower one, so your grafics driver at this settings seems to display at a far worse resolution than your screen could do. I will try if I can reproduce such an effect.

If I'm right these aircraft are Jetblue A320s?

Andy, yes you are right, there is a narrow path of optimization and we have to fine tune this again and again. What actually happens on screen depends on the grafics adapters, its drivers, its settings, screnn resolution etc. FSX grafics is worse in full screen compared to windowed mode, and what we have to find out is how the hardware the users have develops to get again the optimal result for the actual mix.

On a large airport, the number of aircraft within a given range goes with the square of the range. So when going from a 1280 pixel screen to 1920, the amount of work CPU and GPU have to do to draw the grafics of A aircraft increases by a factor of 2.25. Since normal games never use high resolution grafics, drivers tend to cheat the application a lot to get good benchmarks.

If you turn off the strobe effect in the Communicator does it turn off the nav lights?

I do not know about Jetblue A320's, I did not get in close.

I realize everthing is give and take, I also realize that you can not release a program that will suit everyone 100%. I do think the nav lights look better with 5.3b than they did in 5.3a. This is something that I can live with, but I would like to know if the strobe effect in the Communicator will also turn off the nav lights.

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If you turn off the strobe effect in the Communicator does it turn off the nav lights?

I do not know about Jetblue A320's, I did not get in close.

I realize everthing is give and take, I also realize that you can not release a program that will suit everyone 100%. I do think the nav lights look better with 5.3b than they did in 5.3a. This is something that I can live with, but I would like to know if the strobe effect in the Communicator will also turn off the nav lights.

No, they are just a normal textured box drawn in the same draw call as the aircraft body and the illuminated tail - they come for absolutely free.

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No, they are just a normal textured box drawn in the same draw call as the aircraft body and the illuminated tail - they come for absolutely free.

Thanks and like I said, I know that you can not make everyone 100% happy 100% of the time and everything is give and take will all the differnent combinations out there of hardware and addons.

Also everyone does have the option of reverting back to plan old 5.3 if they do not like the nav lights, if just depends on what works better for you and your sim experience.

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Thanks and like I said, I know that you can not make everyone 100% happy 100% of the time and everything is give and take will all the differnent combinations out there of hardware and addons.

Also everyone does have the option of reverting back to plan old 5.3 if they do not like the nav lights, if just depends on what works better for you and your sim experience.

The effect was stronger in 5.3 than in 5.3a as I read.

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You know I was really thinking that 5.3 did not have nav lights, I do not recall even noticing them until 5.3a.

I made the following observation:

I have a system with an ATI adapter and two screens attached, one wide screen 1600x1050 and one 1280x1024. On the wide screen monitor, I can see Nav lights being too big in some distances, on the standard screen never. Nothing else changing, just moving the window between the screens. Also I see

SO LOD treatment is not done properly by the graphics drivers in widescreen mode. Also the sharpness of textures is better on the standard screen than widescreen, I can read airline titles from further away on standard than on wide.

I will make a poll about which screen resolution the users normally use currently to see for what future version 5.4... shall be optimized - optimzation for wide screen means worse performance for all screens, and it is not the lights only, but also the removal of other details that still should be visible.

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