Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Any issues, problems or troubleshooting topics related to the Prepar3D client application.
troykr
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby troykr » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:57 am

Thanks for your insight Andras!

ace293
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:25 pm

Re: Scenery Problem at every airport

Postby ace293 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:54 pm

Saul James wrote:As far as I know all Obrx scenery is not effected.


True but that's not really too important, they only do small airfields with low requirements on ground models.
Ground development in big hubs with complex layered grounds is currently not possible with the SDK-proposed z-bias technique. So, in my humble view, until this method is improved and/or tested properly then it should not be used as a replacement to fs2k ground.

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ronh991
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Scenery Problem at every airport

Postby ronh991 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:32 pm

ace293 wrote:Ground development in big hubs with complex layered grounds is currently not possible with the SDK-proposed z-bias technique.


Could you elaborate on what does not work with Z-Bias, as I am looking into using it and wondered what issues there are with this.
Ron

Aspiring Prepar3d beta tester

Alex Goff
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:14 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Alex Goff » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:30 pm

I am not sure what is impossible to do with the new z-biases, except for seasonal transitions, and perhaps visibility distance. I have used them for my past few projects and I can now include more advanced material settings than with ASM layers.

It operates under the same principal as ASM, each material has its own layer, in the P3D SDK it is using values -1 through -50. ASM could use values from 0 through 64, although multiples of 4 worked best and odd values created issues in general. My current workflow is to build ground polygons using the P3D SDK, and simply convert the layer values through ModelConverterX when I need to create the FSX version.

In fact, this is so reliable that I only work in Prepar3D and create the FSX version at the end. For seasonal variants either a manual switch with a user interface or an external module (I use ObjectFlow) can be used to control the seasonal variants. These methods worked fine at Meigs Field and Bar Harbor, and I don't see why they could not be scaled up to large airport development.

What initially kept me from using P3D native formats was lack of knowledge on development, and how easy it was to continue using FS2002 ASM layers. They were well documented and easy to consult other developers on. The only other roadblock was that for a while P3D native ground polygons felt less stable than ASM, ASM up until now simply worked and was incredibly robust. With 3.3 fixing the issues that cropped up in 3.2 I feel that the P3D native formats are stable enough for all uses.

Porting older sceneries where the source material is lost is the last area of difficulty. Some of the ground polygons were developed using gMax and would be difficult to port forward.
Alex Goff
Orbx Simulation Systems

lucavb
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby lucavb » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:35 pm

I will hold off with the install until the announced hotfix is out.

Andras
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Andras » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:44 pm

Alex Goff wrote:I am not sure what is impossible to do with the new z-biases, except for seasonal transitions, and perhaps visibility distance. I have used them for my past few projects and I can now include more advanced material settings than with ASM layers.


Alex,

It is indeed easy to use the z-bias method. That is not the question and those designers who did not do it until now, should indeed start using it for the ground layers.
But as you also mentioned partially, the problem is a bit more complex.
The "except seasonal transitions and perhaps visibility distance" part - as you put it - is a much more complex problem. Problem for those, who don't have ObjectFlow as you do, who don't want to make their own separate dlls for the purpose (which eat up VAS) or if they don't want to use SODE or something else for the purpose.

ASM offered much more than that, as you know it. A good number of internal variables were available to the designer to do just whatever he wanted or if those were not enough, there were user-variables available.
All these are missing from the available possibilities now, including a bunch of other things.

I don't really want to bore others with a full list of all that, but there were timers possible in scenery code, advanced visibility parameters, range parameters, scaling parameters, custom variables, custom tables, auto-rotation, transformations, wind and weather triggered object behavior, changing texture according to a timer or other variables, colors changing by the given conditions, conditional jumps, setting weather from the scenery code, thermal lift from bgl, shadow parameters, etc.

One could also influence on a per object or per material basis:
- Bitmap loading parameters
- Anti-aliasing
- MipMapping distances and qualities
- Transparency settings (apart from alpha channels)
- Bitmap boundaries
- Enable or disable textures on a multi variable basis
- Brightness values
- Dots and dot-lines
- Shading values
- Range values depending on the horizontal or vertical resolution of the user's screen
The list could go on...

Thus I hope you, as a fellow designer, would also admit, that the presently offered possibilities go well below 10%, compared to the 2002-SDK. If you consider that the FS2004 and FSX/ESP SDKs had already cut off quite a few of those capabilities, then we could agree upon the fact, that anything offered after 2002 was a step backwards in this regard.

ASN, GSX, FSUIPC, etc. are usually incompatible after each update or version, and it is just due to the admirable diligence of the companies involved, that in days there are working updates from them.
However with sceneries, the scenario is much more difficult and complex, there are dozens of companies out there doing those, some are large, some tiny, some are already out of business. Some of them are quick to adapt to new versions, whereas some of them became a bit slow-going after the 10 years FSX was their main, and STATIC platform.

So "porting sceneries" - as you said is not a simple matter for many of those, as we are talking about huge quantities out there.

I don't have the faintest idea which scenery-related companies or individuals are part of the beta cycles here at LM (I used to be a tester fort the entire FS venture from FS4 onward but I'm not involved now), so I have no idea what sort of problems or solutions the scenery related folks present to LM, but one thing is for sure: using the newer z-bias layers (which did not work 100% reliable till 3.3), does not mean everything was fine with the scenery-part, specially if we consider the constant loss of possibilities during the last, almost two decades.

Andras Kozma

Adam Breed
Lockheed Martin
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Adam Breed » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:02 pm

Hello All,

The issue has been identified. In the next couple days we will be releasing a hotfix to correct a bug that has caused issues with some third party sceneries. Thank you for helping identify the issue and to the third parties for providing more information. It will not conflict with the other performance changes in recent updates.

As part of this bug, we have identified some capabilities that are necessary to further support developers to use our recommended methods. We are developing those enhancements and expect them to be included in a future release. We will provide more information as soon as we can.

Thanks again for the feedback and your understanding - you all help us make Prepar3D great,
Adam
Prepar3D® Engineering Project Manager

stephenjdecatur
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:28 am

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby stephenjdecatur » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Adam,
Great news! I have not downloaded .3 yet; still using .2. Will the hotfix be included in future downloads of .3, or will it be necessary to additionally download this fix, and if so, where will it be found? Downloads?
Thanks, Steve

regulate
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby regulate » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:11 pm

Thank you so much Adam. This means a lot to the community at large. Amazing support.

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kevinfirth
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby kevinfirth » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:59 am

Adam Breed wrote:Hello All,

The issue has been identified. In the next couple days we will be releasing a hotfix to correct a bug that has caused issues with some third party sceneries. Thank you for helping identify the issue and to the third parties for providing more information. It will not conflict with the other performance changes in recent updates.

As part of this bug, we have identified some capabilities that are necessary to further support developers to use our recommended methods. We are developing those enhancements and expect them to be included in a future release. We will provide more information as soon as we can.

Thanks again for the feedback and your understanding - you all help us make Prepar3D great,
Adam


Thanks Adam &LM, I hope you would please give some advance knowledge of what capabilities you intend to include in the future, so that developers can both understand what they can be used for (and how, Sdk documentation often leaves much to be desired..I realise you cant write an in-depth tutorial for everything but a cpl of paragraphs explaining the broad outline of what can be accomplished and how in an easy to understand way may help idiots like me to be able to ask devs to use it!). It will also be useful to identify any necessary gaps that still need to be filled. It may not be something you wish to conduct publicly, but end user visibility of that process would certainly allow non devs to lobby devs to use any new capabilities that you provide :)

Thanks for your continued development and interaction with us all :D
Cheers K

Mike LM
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Mike LM » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:07 pm

stephenjdecatur wrote:Great news! I have not downloaded .3 yet; still using .2. Will the hotfix be included in future downloads of .3, or will it be necessary to additionally download this fix, and if so, where will it be found? Downloads?

Any hotfix that we release after an update will be included in all future downloads of that update. (You won't need to download the hotfix separately if you download v3.3 after we release the fix.)

It'll be available on the downloads page (basically) as a new update, and you would update to it as normal.

- Mike
Prepar3D® Software Engineer

Adam Breed
Lockheed Martin
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Adam Breed » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:31 pm

All,

The hotfix is live. For details please see http://www.prepar3d.com/news/2016/06/113614/

Regards,
Adam
Prepar3D® Engineering Project Manager

Martyson
Posts: 5840
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Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Martyson » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:17 pm

Adam Breed wrote:All,

The hotfix is live. For details please see http://www.prepar3d.com/news/2016/06/113614/

Regards,
Adam


JFI,
Downloaded, installed and activated on-line ok here.
Best Regards,
Vaughan Martell (KDTW)

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

Re: Scenery Problem with bgl airport add-ons

Postby Andras » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:07 pm

Adam Breed wrote:The hotfix is live. For details please see http://www.prepar3d.com/news/2016/06/113614/


Hi Adam,

It is great gesture and fantastic support from LM.
Many thanks!

Andras

finni
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:21 pm

Re: Scenery Problem at every airport

Postby finni » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:31 am

Carahir wrote:
ORBX airports ENNO and ENSD doesn't have this problem though, so it might just be that the aerosoft airport addon isn't compatible or something.

..


Funny though, because on ENNO, I actually used the old method and fsx-style.bgl to be able to use the automatic season switch!

- Finn
Finni Hansen
Orbx Developer


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