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Dillon

What's with scenery developers and these framerate prob

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Try removing the static aircraft and that will fix the problem. I have never had any problems with SimFlyers scenery and my box isn't all that beefy either.

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Well, te only scenery I find TOO FPS intensive is SimFlyers KDFW.All otheres (incluidng SF KLAX; KIAD, EDDF) work great. You know, you get the occasional low FPS when you look at lots of buildings and AI at the same time. But forexample, when taking off from the panel, even with add-on panels, FPS are excellent, and most of the times too...For DFW, I can't seem to get good FPS anywhere. Not even in mid-air, when you look at your plane from the bottom while flying over the airport...FPS are horrible there too....

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I agree, Simflyers is not bad with static aircraft removed and never more than 10 miles of visibility in your weather setting. It makes a difference. Try it.Lee

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I agree completely about this frame rate issue. Generally I'll give on eye candy to maintain frame rates. As such, I've completely removed all 3rd party scenery from my FS2002 setup. I'd much rather have some AI traffic than detailed scenery, so AI gets priorty for me. One thing I will say however, is that GMAX will NOT improve frame rates, all other things being equal. Frame rates are, overwhelmingly, determined by the number of polygons in the field of view. Less polygons = better frame rates, period.

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Is that not what the detail slider is for?Those who want frames turn it down.Those who want eye candy turn it up.Everybody's happy.Or have I missed something?Take care,Ian

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Ian,It would be great if designers supported the slider but I've found that most scenery is all or nothing. I too have removed almost all of my 3rd party scenery with the exception of Lago Honolulu and MS OshKosh (haven't been there to see what it looks like in the winter though!).David

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And then someone designs a piece of scenery that is framerate friendly but doesn't have the rabbithole in the field next to the runway and lacks the birds singing in the trees near the cargo ramp.The doors inside the terminal don't open and the windows are painted on instead of transparent with a completely modelled inside of the buildings.Other than that, it looks great.Guess what will happen?He'll be flamed ten times to hell and back for having failed to implement those features and people will say you shouldn't buy from him because his work is unrealistic crap.

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>One thing I will say >however, is that GMAX will NOT improve frame rates, all >other things being equal. Frame rates are, overwhelmingly, >determined by the number of polygons in the field of view. >Less polygons = better frame rates, period. Sorry, but as a developer of a Gmax scenery ( Lago PHNL ), I have to strongly disagree. Gmax DOES improve frame rate, because a scenery designed with it uses a completely new instruction set that was only introduced with FS2002. The difference in performance is due to the fact that the new instructions are closer to how your 3d accelerator card expect data to be delivered. 3d cards only accept triangles, or triangle meshes. The old .BGL instructions allowed to simply specify a very complex polygon, without worring about triangulation. You can't upload an arbitrary complex polygon to a 3d card, it has to be transformed into one of the basic shapes first. With old .BGL code, this task had to be performed a *run time* by the FS graphic engine, and it took quite some cpu time. Now, this expensive step is done by Gmax itself, when exporting the file! Data get stored in the .BGL file already in the triangulated mesh format, so FS now has only to deliver it, as it is, to DirectX, ready to be displayed.FS2002, of course, for backward compatiblity reasons, supports both old and new instructions, but is working much better with the new ones.Since, usually, Gmax is only used for 3d structures and 3d objects, many developers initally had not been too much impressed by the gain in speed. This is because they use to design the 2D part with traditional tools, that seem more suited and easy to use for that task.Unfortunately, doing like this, they also forfeit a lot of the advantage, because all the ground layer done with the legacy code will almost nullify the faster stuff done with Gmax.I was able to overcome this for PHNL by doing *everything*, except some minor stuff, in Gmax, so all the complex polygons, even on ground, are getting the "native instructions" benefit. And on top of that, PHNL is still optimized like hell, because most of the complex objects are all designed with multiple levels of detail, autoswitching on distance. The "side effect" that one has to basically design all the objects twice or three times, with a bad impact on developing time.Gmax, of course, is not a magic silver bullet. Very often developers get carried away with its power. It's extremely easy, it just takes seconds, to create in Gmax 10000-polygon "monsters" that look nice, like spheres, arcs, and the like. It takes a lot of care and balancing to get the number of polygons right, and still look good.But, I assure you that, with the same number of polygons, a Gmax scenery it's more than three times faster that the very same scenery done with the old tools and instructions. This, roughly, account for a doubled frame rate, but it's difficult to estimate. It depends on the system. While old scenery it's a lot CPU limited, Gmax scenery it's more related to the graphic card power. So, the better the 3d card is, the more advantage you get from Gmax scenery.Or, if you want to see the other side of the coin, Gmax allows for much better looking structures e/o more stuff, at the same frame rate than before.It's all depending on what you want to achieve. At a certain time, you have to stop. I, being more a frame rate guy, consider anything less than 20 fps like "unflyable", so I try to design with this in mind, everyone, maybe using the complexity settings, should be able to reach at least this figure with the recommended target machine.best regards,

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Thanks Umberto for explaining the positives of GMAX in scenery design. You opened my eyes to more than I realized about the difference between the old and the new design tools....

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Umberto,Thanks a ton for finally giving a real explanation as to why the FS graphics engine is so slow compared to other cutting edge sims like IL-2, or the soon-to-be released LO:MAC. (look at the smoothness in those vids!) I've always been told "It's because FS has so much to calculate in the background for flight dynamics, weather, etc", but that never made sense to me because other sims run at a constant 40+ FPS and some of the latest games out right now (UT2003, NOLF2, etc) run at even higher rates than that on my system at what looks to be a much higher detail level.Has anyone heard anything about MS ditching this inefficient BGL system for FS2004? You'd think that the company that develops Direct3D would know how to make a game run fast and efficiently... If the whole FS world was being sent to the vid card in the already optimized triangle mesh form, I have a feeling framerates would skyrocket, even with the addition of more advanced flight modeling etc.

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I think Microsoft would love to ditch the BGL model.But just imagine the outcry if people can no longer use ANY of their old scenery addons or aircraft (ditching the BGL model is only really usefull if they also ditch the MDL model which is as I understand it basically a BGL with some extras built in to link it up with FDE, animations, etc.).If they do it without telling anyone it will leak in the beta (count on it, someone ALWAYS breaks his NDA).If they tell people, there's no need for someone to break his NDA over it because he thinks it is his 'duty to the community to warns us all' or something like that.Whichever, people will scream to never buy a Microsoft product again (and might go through with that) causing at the very least bad PR.Sale of 3rd party addons will also collapse from the moment that it is rumoured or announced that nothing will work in the next version (nor can anything be patched and redevelopment will be too expensive to make free upgrades possible).At some stage, it will have to happen of course. I think that stage will be set in FS2004 where maybe a completely new system will be introduced but the old system kept for backwards compatibility (like GMax was introduced in FS2002 but the old FSDS models are still supported).As Microsoft usually drops support for old tech 2 releases down the line, expect FSDS aircraft to no longer be supported in FS2006 and current style scenery one release after that (IF my crystal ball which is extremely foggy showed me the correct future).They have to prepare the community slowly, give time to adjust and provide a good base of addons that will work with the new tech. Microsoft knows that 3rd party addons are the raison d'etre for their product. Without those, they wouldn't sell nearly as many units so cutting those addons all off at once will hurt them badly.With CFS3 it wasn't all that big a factor as the CFS addon market is a lot smaller and many people never install addons at all. But with MSFS proper I think every user will install at least something.

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Jwenting,I think your right about how people will respond to change but I don't agree about your point that abrupt change would hurt sales for MS. Yes users will complain about backwards compatibility but once they see the advantages (framerates, better systems modeling), it would get embraced whole heartedly. FS has been plagued by a lot of the same issues for far too long and unless MS finds a way once and for all to correct these problems, they would hurt their franchise a whole lot more with the next release than the backwards compatibility issue. I just like others who have been involved with FS dating back to FS4 are getting pretty tiered of the same issues release after release. Sometimes it's good to fire up a combat sim and see the frame rates at 30+. MS has no excuse for these kinds of problems this far into the series. Microsoft needs to make sure that when users load this thing up it should run just as good as comparable products on the market...Les--

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Hi Les,>Microsoft needs to make sure that when users load this thing up it should run just as good as comparable products on the market...http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Thanks Umberto for the explanation on the GMAX rendering system, I had an understanding of it, but you made it more detailed for me (and others hopefully). I design scenery, have a few in the library, I have tried GMAX several, several times, still don't have a grasp of it yet, but still trying. I always loved the posts by people that thrash the designs NOT made with GMAX, be it aircraft or scenery (try it first!!) I hava an athlon 1.4 with 1 gig of DDR and a G4 4600 and I have problems with some GMAX scenery still. Like he says, just because it is GMAX doesn't mean it is going to give you more FPS, it is more efficient, but with more polygons you are going to get about the same performance. With the rumors that FS2004 will not support BGLs and the flaming that non-GMAX designs get, I find little encouragement to design more. Regards, Michael

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