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Guest Stamatis

Nice simple blurry fix for me anyway...thank Scoochy...

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I did a flight last eve at dusk with no clouds below FL300 and found that the terrain textures around my a/c were terribly blurred. I had a small radius of reasonably clear textures immediately around my a/c and beyond that it looked absolutely rotten. Remembering having read a post about this I did a search and found a reply by Scoochy in which he posted his TERRAIN section from the FS.ini and I did a back-up and then redplaced mine with his. I went back into FS at CYUL and started up. I found my FPS were really quite bad. So I then set my Terrain Mesh Complexity to "0". I found it made virtually no difference in the appearance and the FPS were right back to where they were. I tool off up to FL300 and there were no blurries. The textures extended off into the distance as far as I could see. This is a real coup. I've suffered from the terrible "blurries since I've had FS and this has made a huge difference.This may be old news, but I will post my present settings (which are pretty much Scoochy's) in case anyone wants to try them.[TERRAIN]TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=20.000000TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=1TERRAIN_USE_GRADIENT_MAP=1TERRAIN_EXTENDED_TEXTURES=1TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=50000.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=750000.000000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=0 Adam

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Actually I believe his is slightly different in the following lines:TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=75000.0000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=1000000.0000I did some mild modifying to mine. Anyway if you want his exact ones, just do a search under Scoochy.Adam

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Just use these (make a backup!)Only the last 3 lines have been changed.[TERRAIN]TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=5.750000TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=5TERRAIN_USE_GRADIENT_MAP=1TERRAIN_EXTENDED_TEXTURES=1TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=12.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=40.000000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=4Works for me with no noticable fps decrease.G.

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Edit#1:..Some of those numbers will never be realized as: #1 there is a proven limit. #2 DirectDraw API is written in such a way to use the mipmaping scheme that it would be redundant to even if it could.#3 anything much higher than default needs tweaked Video card driver settings in mipmaping (LOD set to negative values etc.) to really see the results, other than that once the settings are set beyond max FS2k2 seems to use default settings and just ignores what ever is in the .cfg file.Edit#2..Those settings do indeed have in impact on framrates, so study the info and be careful of what changes you make, and as stated some changes are just resetting back to default, but to each his own. :)If you want the real beef on these settings you might want to check some of the links below especially the "levels" link there are actual pics of side by side comparisons for your viewing pleasure. :)

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Thanks, Paul.Your work last spring with regard to FS2002.cfg Terrain section tweaks and video card set-up is, IMHO, the definitive study in how to make hardware and this sim work together best.I urge all who want to better understand how to maximise their simming experience to study Paul's link to the "long" explanation of the Terrain section settings. While I don't run the same settings as Paul, it is important to understand the purpose and function of each setting.Paul and numerous others are to be commended for their lengthy efforts on this subject. It would be really cool if Avsim could make this work readily available on the site to all simmers.Here's to ya, Paul :-beerchug

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Well, i did a search last night for anyone else who has tried this lil tweak with the terrain to find that there are quite a few opinions and threads on how to work it. Guess this has been a long talked about and tried out thing. I would also recommend anyone else who is interested in messin' with the terain values do a search, try some stuff out, use what works best for them.

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Problem is like driver updates and the like when folks try different things and rely on thier memory of what it looked like before, or when testing FPS they rely on the moving FPS counter in fs well then the results aren't based on any real hard evidence, that's why the real facts come out when the results are based on side by side images, benchmarking using repeatable "canned" flights and utilities like Fraps, and testing on several deferent platforms. Those links provide real results and where verified by many who work as FS developers as well as system builders.Just a thought. :)

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The topic interests me so I do intend to follow the links and do a bit of reading. However, what I said in my initial post stands. I DO NOT have the square blocky areas of clear texture bordered by blurred ones after making the above changes. Textures appear relatively clear all the way to the horizon. And I have not lost any FPS since I dropped the Terrain Mesh Complexity down.I haven't done any tweaking to my video and I'm using the drivers that came with the TI4200 (4.13.01 I believe).I personally done like making suggestions for changes to settings, but I just wanted to post what I found with regards to my system.Thanks for the responses,Adam

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Actually Paul, I remember when you first put the explanations up I was still running a Voodoo 5500 card. As a result, my system couldn't handle the improved settings very well, with stuttering reminiscent of FS2000 setting in (and the Voodoo was quite blurry in FS2002 at the best of times). After I got a Geforce 4 about 6 months ago, I tried the settings with much improved visual quality but little or no negative effect on sim smoothness.I have a bit of a theory though, and I wonder what you think. I'm wondering whether the two lines:TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=have an (almost) direct relationship to the amount of video memory FS2002 "tells" the OS it can use. Afterall, the impact of the settings is that far more terrain tiles are displayed at the highest mip level, therefore requiring more video texture memory. So it follows that higher settings require higher memory. For example in x-plane, when you adjust the terrain / scenery / rendering settings, the GUI actually shows the user how much video memory the current settings utilise. The crisper the images in x-plane, the more video texture memory is used. And interestingly, I've noticed on current 128Mb cards (as opposed to 64Mb cards or less) that increasing the terrain radius actually reduces stutters. My reasoning for this is that the higher radius settings forces FS2002 to preload far more texture data into local video memory, and therefore there is less data being thrown across the AGP bus and around in the slower, main memory. Perhaps MS decided upon the original 2.5 and 4 settings because at the time of development, 64Mb Geforce 2 cards were the norm, and those settings provided the best balance of performance and detail at the time.Well, it's a theory anyway.

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And that's what is most important... for you and your simming experience.No one should dispute what works for you. The most important aspect of Paul's work last year is that we as a community developed an understanding of what Terrain settings actually do in the sim.Tweaking these settings is not unlike tweaking the video card. What works for one may not be acceptable to others. The key is in understanding what the tweaks do.Glad your simming experience has improved with your current settings,

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Hi Adam,This is all not as simple as it might appear, as one setting can effect another."And I have not lost any FPS since I dropped the Terrain Mesh Complexity down"Just lowering this setting alone will allow your system to display more textures to the distance and help keep the blurries at bay, another is lowering the frame-rate lock and visibility as well as turning scenery shadows off and "detail textures" just setting these power hungry settings back a bit will give a system room to breath, and if you don't do one thing at a time you might not catch what does what.Glad you have good results. :)

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It's rather interesting, the influence of tweaking these values on memory. Even mainboard RAM is influenced, and I saw that even on my old Voodoo, which did not exploit the AGP bus. The max "tweaked" settings seem to use 30-40 megs more memory than the default, whether it was on my Voodoo with its 16 megs, or my current 64 meg GEF/2.There is a complex relationship between the scenery texture settings, and the bitmap complexity of certain aircraft, as well. I first saw this with the Flight1 421C. Initially, I noticed flying it caused my normally sharp textures to be a bit more prone to blurring. I reasoned that it had something to do with the texture load of the aircraft itself. So, just for fun, I converted the textures of one or two paints to DXT1 old format, and stripped them of the alpha channel. I didn't care for reflections anyway, flying mostly as I do from the cockpit. The total byte count of the bitmaps involved was reduced on something like a 4 to 1 ratio. My scenery was returned to its normal sharpness. As I backed up the "reflective" 421 in its own folder, I'd sometimes load it for screenshots. Sure enough, whether from the cockpit or spot view, my ground textures were more challenging to maintain their sharpness.The holy grail of optimal image quality is the understanding of all these relationships. You hit the target quite square when you mentioned video RAM. Keeping the texture count down in video RAM, through a combination of modest AI settings, modest autogen settings, and modest aircraft complexity, helps maximize the video RAM available for ground textures. I generally use two FS configurations--one for "photo processing", and one for flying from the cockpit. And most of my favorite complex aircraft I've configured with two sets of textures, for the same reason. Oddly, the recent influx of FSDS-2 aircraft has been very interesting--I tend to see very clear ground textures when flying them, vs. GMAX or older FSDS 1 aircraft. This may introduce something else--the impact of aircraft poly count on the cpu's ability to manage the fps lock, along with the ground texture updates.I've long since hit that "happy medium" where my ground textures approximate what I see during the couple of dozen real flights I take a year. My fs2002.cfg settings? At their default :)

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Thanks guys. Yeah, these setting have really made a difference. I keep my FPS lock at 30 FPS and it pretty much hangs around 28-29 frames - though sometimes dips down to 23-24. I spent a few bucks on my new system and am generally happy with the performance. I just finished another flight and I had no blurries to speak of. You CAN see where the textures are a little less defined the farther you look from the plane, but before , I'm tellin' ya, it was really terrible. I'd have a clear radius around the a/c and then it was like a green/blue/brown soup out any farther than that.The point about limitations you make Paul seems to make sense to me. Likely my settings are way too high, so just for the heck of it I'm gonna try some lower ones to see what happens.I do have a question for you guys, since you know what you're talking about. I want to put some more sys RAM in my WinMe based system (512DDR - 786DDR). Using FreeRam I often get down to 0MB and get stuttering and HDD access. I had 786 in my old system - same OS and almost never had any swap file activity.Do you guys know anything about this? I read a bit aboutVcache. Just looking for more advice.Thanks again, Adam

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You lucky bloke John :-) A couple of dozen real flights a year. Back when I was working, I think I averaged maybe three a year, but that was three more than I average now. And back then I wasn't into flight simming, so I never took much notice, even though I always asked for a window seat. And to think I moved right near my local airport too :-lol Actually I do intend to go on joyflights every so often when funds permit.otoh, I do live quite high up on an athol, and when I look down on the city and suburban terrain from my "highpoint", I am actually quite surprised at how realistic FS2002 is, especially when using Ruud Faber's replacement textures. When those radius settings are tweaked to Paul's recommendation, it is actually almost exactly like what I see in real life (excusing, of course, the lack of resolution, etc).Interestingly, the only time my terrain blurs a little now is when I go cycling through the views (cockpit -> tower -> spot -> cockpit) or go into slew mode. I guess in these instances, FS empties the video texture buffer and reloads the new textures from scratch. At least the textures clear up much faster now when this happens than they did on my old machine.Interesting comments about aircraft texture loading having an influence as well. I have also noticed this, although I'm not really sure how I can tell whether an aircraft is FSDS2 as opposed to GMAX unless it says something about this in the documentation.

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Hi Paul,Although I am in no position nor do I wish to doubt what you quote as maximum values forTERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=9.90000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=9.90000I can confirm that when I increased these values from your quoted maxima, which I had set them to, to something much higher, like 40.0000 and 80.0000 respectively, I definitely experienced much sharper textures far out on the horizon (i.e. less blurries)This was the only change I did, so the results cannot be attributed to another factor.Just my personal experience though...Stamatis

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