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ejoiner

DXT3 Textures

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This is driving me nuts. All the DXT3 textures I've seen on my unit are blurry. Is there some setting I'm missing to get them to look sharp? The DXT1, 8, 24 and 32 bit textures are all fine. Thanks for any help.ToddKCOE

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Heres the answer that worked for me and all the skins I havemade so far for FS2002. Do use DXT3. However only use 1 MipMap.Multiple MipMaps not only makes the texture file size larger,but it also will cause blurring. My personal opinion is thatFS2002 doesnt handle DXT3 as it should. With CFS2, multipleMipMaps was critical to having your airplanes look decent atdistance and it worked great. Does NOT work great in FS2002.In any case, I removed the blurry problem by only using 1 mipmap.Eric

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Surely, the point about DXT3 is that it includes a 4-bit (i.e. 16 level) alpha channel for partial transparency etc. Only a couple of other bitmap formats acceptable to FS2002 offer the same, e.g. 4444 or full 32-bit (which gives full 8-bit, 256 level, alpha), as far as I know. The corollary is that DXT3 certainly shouldn't be used unless one needs the 4-bit alpha - it seems that there are better choices!The advantage of the DXT formats is improved frame rate performance in FS2002, thanks to the mips, the smaller file sizes, and because they are the 'native' format for DirectX.The drawbacks stem from the use of lossy compression, unique amongst bitmap formats, which results in loss of detail. From what I have seen, this is made worse by a seemingly poor algorithm for creating the mips in the imagetool.exe utility supplied by MS. Martin Wright's DXTBmp is better in my experience. The only pity is that Martin hasn't included any facility for editing or replacing the mips, as he did with the now-obsolescent FS70 extended 8-bit format in his earlier tool, Bmp2000 (the FS70 8-bit format unfortunately gives slow performance in FS2002). Does anyone know of other tools that can be used, and whether they have any advantages? (I only use PSP 7, plus Martin's tools for format conversion, so my experience and knowledge is limited).One point that has been pointed out to me is that, in scenery design, a degree of smoothing/blurriness is actually often an advantage as it helps prevent flickering of textured objects due to aliasing as they move across the FS screen. I think that probably explains why some of the MS default textures for 3D objects are rather blurry. But I don't think this applies to aircraft design, where fine, sharp, detail is highly desirableAnother little point that shouldn't be overlooked is the need to set the aircraft texture size slider in FS2002 to maximum ('huge') if any 1024x1024 bitmaps are used - otherwise one gets appallingly low resolution and blurriness on the textures.But I'm not any expert on any of this - all I know comes from reading Martin Wright's documentation and a few forum posts etc. Chris, who contributed earlier in this thread, must know a fair bit if the standard of his fantastic FSW stuff is anything to go by ;-), and Martin Wright is the real guru it seems.Hope this might help a little anyway ...Kind RegardsGerrish

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I recently had a big problem with the Cesna 421 add-on and the really nice YS-11 from AFG. Im using a voodoo 5 so this may not apply to other cards, but by changing the textures to 1 mip dxt3's it solved all my problems. The card was choking on the big textures and causing the terrain to stay extremely blurry and would drop aircraft textures here and there. There is only a very slight loss of quality on my system and it allows things to run very well now so I can enjoy these fine aircraft. Hornit

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Thanks for the great information guys! My main concern is with the Project AI skins. They are using DXT3 with mipmaps, I guess to keep frame rates good, but they look really terrible. I will try some of your suggestions and post my findings if anyone is interested.Thanks again,Todd

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You can get full DXT textures for the 421 to replace the 32bit bitmaps here, http://www.the-hangar.net/dxt3.zip .The service release for the 421 also includes a DXT option for Text-O-Matic, http://flight1.com/esd-products.asp?product=421C-001 .To sharpen existing DXT textures, you can also download RivaTuner at http://guru3d.com/rivatuner/ . With RivaTuner you can crank up the anisotropic filtering in D3D and get rid of the blurriness of DXT textures.I noticed an acceptable, but noticeable framerate hit when anisotropic filtering was turned up to 8, but all DXT mipmapping blurriness was eliminated.Best,

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Roger, the way I handled this was to leave the fuselage 32 bit, and make the wings DXT3. Reduces the file sizes by half, but leaves all the detail in the fuselage, where you really need it. Ya have to do this by hand, but its easy.Eric

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