Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Any issues, problems or troubleshooting topics related to the Prepar3D client application.
troykr
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:00 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby troykr » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:04 am

downscc wrote:a change that suddenly makes a large segment of available products incompatible means that it will take years not months for compatible available add on airports to come to market.


It's now been years not months since LM warned 3rd party developers to update their techniques.

Therefore LM and customers should have expected very few problems with the 3.3 update.

kakusso
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:02 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby kakusso » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:30 am

Progress generally waits, but progress can't wait forever...

72westy
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby 72westy » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:55 am

troykr wrote:
downscc wrote:a change that suddenly makes a large segment of available products incompatible means that it will take years not months for compatible available add on airports to come to market.


It's now been years not months since LM warned 3rd party developers to update their techniques.

Therefore LM and customers should have expected very few problems with the 3.3 update.


While I understand that LM gave heads up a couple of years or so ago to developers. Customers of those 3rd party add-ons are more or less at the mercy of the 3rd party developers to keep up. In most instances customers are likely completely unaware of whether or not the developers have indeed kept up.

What would help is if LM gives head up just prior to release rather than allowing years pass that 3rd party software will NOT be compatible. Only LM has the ability to do this prior to release when issues like this are noticed prior to public release. Granted LM can't catch everything...but when it's as wide spread as this...
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maca11
Posts: 143
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby maca11 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:54 am

Dear all, understanding all what is being repeated here.
However, I have slightly different question on that. Assuming all developers will adjust to new methods and all sceneries will work well on new version of 3.3, will there be any significant benefit for user ? (quality of scenery ? system performance ?).
I tried 3.3. with all the same set-up I have slightly lower FPS (cca 2-3) and also more micro-stutters..
Is it because new code is more hungry or is it because old sceneries are not adjusted to that ? (to be precise only add-on on the top of LM 3.3 which I can use is CS777 and ORBX..)
many thanks for your experience...
JM

Pete Dowson
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Pete Dowson » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:41 am

troykr wrote:Hey wait, none of these problem airports affect me. Is re-supporting bad and out dated development techniques from lazy developers going to spoil my performance at all?


Who says they are "bad"? Not all so-called 'progress' brings improvements!

The UK2000 sceneries for FSX were built for FSX but certain specific elements used an FS2002 technique in order to get seasonal changes in airport polygons as well as on grass and other vegetation. Apparently this is either not possible, or cumbersome with later developments. Full tech details are explained by Gary, the author, on his support forum, and are quite illuminating. http://www.uk2000scenery.org/forum/index.php?topic=8548.15

Pete
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kakusso
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:02 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby kakusso » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:40 am

maca11 wrote:Dear all, understanding all what is being repeated here.
However, I have slightly different question on that. Assuming all developers will adjust to new methods and all sceneries will work well on new version of 3.3, will there be any significant benefit for user ? (quality of scenery ? system performance ?).
I tried 3.3. with all the same set-up I have slightly lower FPS (cca 2-3) and also more micro-stutters..
Is it because new code is more hungry or is it because old sceneries are not adjusted to that ? (to be precise only add-on on the top of LM 3.3 which I can use is CS777 and ORBX..)
many thanks for your experience...
JM

I have tested it, 3.2 is actually faster than 3.3.
Same conditions stopped aircraft.

Saldo
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:26 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Saldo » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:35 am

Gary Summons , developer UK2000 :

"One of the other reason for using FS2002 code for ground tiles, it that is can switch seasons within the precedule code. FSX/P3D native code does not have this ability for 'normal' polygons/objects.
P3D can only have seasons for Autogen and 'Terrain images' Terrain images are a lower visual quality than normal polygon tiles, and is the other reason why I stuck with FS2002 polygona.

However the quality difference is not that big, and most will not notice, so I will have to use it as the first layer of airport bases. This initial layer will have the grass and any green vegetation so it can change colour in autumn and Winter.
The second layer is a photo of taxiways, runways and all hard surfaces that dont change their colour. This layer will use native P3D code with a transparent sections to allow the grass (first layer) to show through it.
Then will come the third layer, again using P3D code which will be all the lines, bays, runway markings, holds ect. "

maca11
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby maca11 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:33 am

OK, then my question is probably too naive, but what is the benefit of new development methods and abandoning the 'old' approach. Quality of image improvement ? Speed (FPS) - does not look so far ?
Many thanks
JM

Andras
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:15 pm

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Andras » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:51 am

maca11 wrote:However, I have slightly different question on that. Assuming all developers will adjust to new methods and all sceneries will work well on new version of 3.3, will there be any significant benefit for user ? (quality of scenery ? system performance ?)
I tried 3.3. with all the same set-up I have slightly lower FPS (cca 2-3) and also more micro-stutters..
Is it because new code is more hungry or is it because old sceneries are not adjusted to that ? (to be precise only add-on on the top of LM 3.3 which I can use is CS777 and ORBX..)


JM,

I can give you a simple answer on the technical background:

- Those FS2002 methods are actually 2002, 2004, FSX, ESP and P3D 1.4 methods.
Those people who often angrily talk about a "14 years old method" are practically mistaken, as until the P3D 2.x series that - and only that - was the standard method and there were no other methods available to make airport ground sceneries.

For the designers adapting to the new layering method is easy, but there are some catches. Namely:

1. The new layering that was given by LM is not as versatile or reliable as the old method was and provides less possibilities.
2. The new method doesn't allow textures to be changed according to the season or other conditions
3. LM gave the layering method to designers, but still there are no "conditional jumps" possible, meaning textures or objects changing by a defined condition. By the lack of this, with the new method, no safegate systems, opening doors or the like are possible to design, or anything that changes somehow depending on distance, altitude, seasons, etc.
4. This is also a question of QUALITY, as many designers are reluctant to lower the qualities of their large airport depictions, but alas, by the newer single and simple method, the older qualities are not truly achievable.
5. Those airport sceneries will be slightly faster if they comply the newer requirements, but the cycle will only be full, when LM also provides additional design possibilities, besides the single layering option, which is available right now.

Do not bring Orbx into the picture here, as they mainly do terrain depictions and smaller airports. The older method in question here are important mostly for large airports.

Andras

maca11
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby maca11 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:58 am

Andras, many thanks for som more detailed info.
So still I do not see too much benefit to go away from what is working well so far....
thxs
JM

fjacobsen
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:01 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby fjacobsen » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:06 pm

Great explanation Andras !

Maybe that also explains why the new method will slightly increase performance at Airports using it.
It also means that though it will make the sim running smoother, we will alos have to accept slightly decreased quality and features.

For me thats not progress, but just a matter of priority between performance and quality.
Not all old stuff is bad and regardless of the age of the tools used, sometimes such old tools are better than newer.
And please stop speaking about not following the SDK, cause the complex aircraft and sceneries we have come to know would simply not be possible following the SDK.
I´m an Aircraft addon designer and believe me when I say that striclty following the SDK would mean that I would just be allowed to develope aircraft not more complex than the default aircraft that are part of the FSX / P3D installment.

Both FSX and P#D are restricted in many ways and to progress most developers simply had to use non SDK compliant tools to give us the quality we all so badly ask for.

I have no problem that LM will have to leave compability at some point inorder to be able to enhance P3D, but that should happen with P3D 4.x and not with a sub version like 3.x.

I´m not bashing either LM or any 3rd party developers, cause both are legal to do what they do right now.
LM is not bound by any 3rd party compability contract and the 3rd party developers are not bound to keep updating their old products.
At some point (which ORBX has declared) the developers will need us to pay for keep updating their stuff.
That their product are compatible with P3D VX.X only means that it was compatible at the time of release or after being checked with the P3D version that was available at that time.

Maybe the problem is rather that we - the FS community - has not been used to major updates when we used FSX. We simply knew what we had and was very confident that it would not change.
Happily with P3D we now see steady progress in the right direction and we shoul really be happy about that.

I just find that it´s the wrong time for LM to make such drastic changes, or at least give the option to choose, either by a checkbox in the settings menu or as an entry into the P3D.cfg file.

The announcement of an upcomming hotfix is really great and clearly shows that LM doesn´t listen to it´s customer base, despite the fact that it never was announced as being for public use.

FinnJ

jetblue291
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby jetblue291 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:31 pm

I can confirm after 3.3 update all flight beam airports have flickering ground textures and gates no longer work.

troykr
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:00 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby troykr » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:21 am

Pete Dowson wrote: The UK2000 sceneries for FSX were built for FSX but certain specific elements used an FS2002 technique


The acronym FSX or FS2002 (Good googly moogly!) should not be appearing in this forum. They are different platforms owned by a different companies for a different purpose. LM warned users and developers years ago that P3D is not FSX.

Saldo
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:26 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Saldo » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:53 am

Aerosoft has a Season Tool that works with several of their sceneries.
It now changes vegetarion but could be used for everything.

Such a tool could also made with 2 choices : manually look it is now or automatically.

Perhaps in the future seasonal textures could be loaded on the fly in realtime...

Andras
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:15 pm

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Andras » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:22 am

As far as sceneries and scenery-design is concerned, there is no "new" SDK as yet.
There is a single work-around for doing textured layers provided for designers, to circumvent what they used to do with those earlier and elderly methods. This covers options and possibilities about 20-30% compared to the old techniques.
This is not real progress yet - as far as scenery design goes - as designers cannot do MORE with the SDK, but they are in a cage doing LESS, although the cage is placed on a vehicle that moves forward, no doubt about that.

WHEN a more complex and reliable SDK provides those missing functions, no doubt, designers will happily grasp the possibilities. The problem is that there no 'giant leap' for the designer at present.

I think it is not "bad" if PMDG or ASN, FSUIPC and other add-ons use techniques "not recommended" or even not known to the actual platform. It has been always like that, since a long time.

As far as sceneries go, I can tell you that constantly and angrily beating upon the 14 years old FS2002 methods sounds even mild, compared to what those would say, if I told them that the actual methods were born for FS5 back in 1994-95!
That base changed marginally or just a little since FS5.
And mind it, the first SDK came for FS2000, there were no SDKs before that, but designers still made wonderful sceneries by clever tools.
At the same time those methods provided wide possibilities for scenery designers, that are not present at this moment.
I remember, I could do a scenery in 2000, where I could make a working visual clock on a tower, by just using scenery related code.

The platform naturally progressed tremendously since 2002, but those options that were present 14 years ago are still lacking. That's why most designers used the old methods and possibilities, as long as they worked.
LM will eventually close that gap, no doubt about that, nevertheless progress in that direction is very slow at present. LM works on the core engine and understandably there's little time to deal with those necessary "detail". But it will come for sure...

Andras


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