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Terrain extended textures visibility/range

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What is the maximum range that terrain extended textures can cover? If I set visibility to say 120 miles using FSUIPC, how far out will I be able to see the extended textures on the terrain, assuming I am using the settings in FS2002.cfg that allow for maximum range of such textures, whatever these settings may be?Reason I ask is that I have noticed that when flying an airliner at say FL380, with unlimited visibility (120 miles set in FSUIPC) I can never force the terrain textures to appear at anything further out than approximately 80 statute miles ahead of me.I have tried several settings for the various entries under the section of my FS2002.cfg file.Stamatis

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So nobody knows the answer to my question?I remember "Paul01" had written what amounts to a... dissertation on the issue, surely someone must know the maximum range these textures can appear?Stamatis

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I saw your question yesterday--sorry I didn't respond. 80 miles seems about the limit. I have tried Paul's settings, and my own experience doesn't coorrespond. Regardless of those settings, 80 miles seems about the limit. FS2000 was a bit different. You could indeed stretch the max limit, at a steep fps penalty. But there wasn't as much to look at...lakes, rivers etc in FS2000 were cartoonish compared to FS2002.I fly often on business in the Southwest, where our dry air yields amazing visibility in the Flight Levels. In most instances, the 80 mile limit of the detailed terrain seems about right. I can see for 150-180NM in the flight levels when flying between PHX and SLC, as I often do. But the extent at which I can make out features on the ground, that extends about 60-80 miles...-John

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"I have tried Paul's settings, and my own experience doesn't coorrespond. Regardless of those settings, 80 miles seems about the limit."Thank you for confirming my own experience."I can see for 150-180NM in the flight levels when flying between PHX and SLC, as I often do. But the extent at which I can make out features on the ground, that extends about 60-80 miles..."Indeed, but what annoys me a little in FS is that you can clearly make out the limit where textured land ends and untextured ground starts. It would be much more realistic if one blended into the other, rather than having a distinctive 'line" telling them apart.Also, when there are mountains visible further than 80 miles away, seeing them in this untextured look does not seem real to me.Stamatis

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"Indeed, but what annoys me a little in FS is that you can clearly make out the limit where textured land ends and untextured ground starts. It would be much more realistic if one blended into the other, rather than having a distinctive 'line" telling them apart.Also, when there are mountains visible further than 80 miles away, seeing them in this untextured look does not seem real to me."That's a good point--I find I can reduce this "limit" effect a bit by lowering the vis to around 100 miles. I find the detailed textures blend with what's beyond much better in this case. I think 100 miles is a more than ample max visibility for everywhere but the dryest climate..... But I do wish there were a way to up the limit, for those of us who want to try.... I'd love to see the detail go all the way out to 150 miles, even if it were at a slightly reduced mip level...Oddly, when I saw Paul's presentation and pics, although I could detect differences in the clarity of textures, I could never see differences in their limit, as he cited in his shots. I've found the limit the same in every case, and I've proven this to myself by starting at a known point, and slewing "backwards" under each of the FS2002.cfg settings until that point just met the limit of the detailed textures.

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"That's a good point--I find I can reduce this "limit" effect a bit by lowering the vis to around 100 miles. I find the detailed textures blend with what's beyond much better in this case."Hmm... After "our" conclusion I was thinking of setting my visibility range to around 70 nm... Very reluctantly though :-("I think 100 miles is a more than ample max visibility for everywhere but the dryest climate"Last time I was in the cockpit, visibility was an astounding 200+ miles, and a very crisp one it was. What a sight! It was flying over Greece towards Italy."Oddly, when I saw Paul's presentation and pics, although I could detect differences in the clarity of textures, I could never see differences in their limit, as he cited in his shots."That's because his shots are always taken at a relatively low level, nothing like the FL380 or FL410 I am referring to. In his shots, textures were visible till the horizon, but the "horizon line" in his shots was not that far away, see my point? The lower you are, the closer "your" horizon line.Who knows, maybe altitude plays a role in FS2002, not just horizontal range wen it comes to "extended textures"?Anyway, the clearest examples of seeing the "line" dividing textured and untextured ground should be taken at high altitudes."I've found the limit the same in every case, and I've proven this to myself by starting at a known point, and slewing "backwards" under each of the FS2002.cfg settings until that point just met the limit of the detailed textures."Hehe! I did exactly the same, taking a VOR/DME location as the reference, going to a high FL and then very slowly slewing away from it until the textures at that location disappeared :-)I must say though that on certain such tests, at exactly the same spot with the same FS2002.cfg settings, the textures were gone at a much lower distance, nearer to 45nm rather than 60nm... I do not know why.One or two times I could have sworn that they were there even when at 80 nm away... But this was very rare.Stamatis

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Hi all.The texture limits are hardcoded. There's no CFG file fix.Here's a pertinant discussion that eventually mentions the "cross" which is the extent of mesh and terrain textures:http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho..._id=10998&page=Slew to the max altitude of 30479 meters, and you'll see the cross. Then use a topdown view and scale it with the "-" key, and eventually you'll again see the cross. CFS has the same type of restriction. FS2004 will most probably also have this restriction. The only "cure" is to restrict your visibility limits.Dick

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Hi Dick,"The texture limits are hardcoded."And their visibility limit is?Stamatis

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About 80 miles, not allowing for slant range. The cure for your texture viewing problem at altitude is to create a cloud layer close to the ground. Even 2/8ths masks the effect greatly.ChasW

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Hi Stamatis.ChasW is right, about 80 miles. If you reviewed that other post, and then viewed the "cross", that I made reference to, from a top-down view in the sim, you would note that the cross of textures updates as you slew around. But it doesn't constantly update. It waits until you cross a Lat/Long threshhold, then updates to the next set of quads that comprise the texture display cross.So there is a range for viewable textures depending on your proximity to the threshhold... maybe something like 70-80nm. You'd need to restrict your visibility to less than the lower amount to prevent the display from revealing this is a sim and not the real world. :(===================I wouldn't expect FS2004 to change in this regard. MS isn't about to fix what they consider functioning well.The limitations of displaying textures and mesh, the simpler display projection of a flat world, the severe distance limitation of objects, all means increased framerates. That in turn, allows us to have AI planes, and complexly modeled airports. Not a bad tradeoff.This texture limitation was introduced , among many other items, in CFS2. The experimentation of CFS2 allowed the FS design team to give us a great sim in FS2002. I expect they will build on this successful foundation for FS2004.Some noise was made about MS rushing the release of this next sim. It is not rushed... the FS design team had nothing to do with designing the misbegotten CFS3, so they actually had an extra year to make FS2004! Dick

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All good points Dick....I believe the way MS implemented texture display and handling is one of the reasons that hesitation went away in FS2002. Granted, we see a stutter from time to time, but I've always tied that to HD activity, as I always get a little HD light flicker in such cases. In FS2000, you could manually edit the config to get the detailed textures to extend 150, even 200 miles. But the fps just died, with the system having to shuffle all those textures around.One thing I have found with landclass edits, is that these generic, distant textures are not changed. They seem to be coded in another bgl or perhaps in the sim itself. One can even replace the default worldlc.bgl, and the distant textures (although that's a bad thing to call them) are still the same. I'd love to figure a way to edit those, as I wouldn't mind making cities appear a bit brighter at night outside of the 80nm limit. I've often passed Vegas on the way home to Phoenix from SLC....I can't remember exactly, but I know it is at least 100nm distant. Still, it is quite bright--much more so than it appears under similar circumstances in FS.I'm hoping FS2004 is what it appears to be--an improved weather engine, some improved ATC, some new aircraft, and perhaps even a few FDE surprises. I'll take FS2002 as a base foundation, even with its dynamic blurring, any day. I'd also be willing to bet that FS2004 based on such a foundation may still even run well on lower end, sub 1GHZ systems as long as such systems aren't owned by a "slider right" fanatic. I believe the weather system may not tax cpu's as much as it might appear--if rewritten from scratch or something close to it.-JohnP.S. I thought Chas made a great suggestion as well. Setting a deck of clouds at 2/8 coverage can really help break up the effect of the "limit" of the detailed textures. If one isn't using real weather, I think it is a great way to improve the view from the flight levels.

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>Oddly, when I saw Paul's presentation and pics, although I>could detect differences in the clarity of textures, I could>never see differences in their limit, as he cited in his>shots. I've found the limit the same in every case, and I've>proven this to myself by starting at a known point, and>slewing "backwards" under each of the FS2002.cfg settings>until that point just met the limit of the detailed textures.Your Right, It doesn't extend any further than the limit as noted by Dick and others, at the time I wrote that it extended

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'What the fs2k2.cfg settings did was only increase the display of higher Mips out to the extents of the "extended" range and that is what maxing out the "TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=" line (value 9.900000) will do for you as clearly seen at 1600x1200 along with the use of decent Aniso and negative LOD in the D3D settings, as the pics demonstrated. "That part I did notice Paul--I think I noted that in one of my replies above that the clarity changes did correspond to the .cfg settings you posted. One slight side effect--there is a larger RAM footprint involved with those settings, to the tune of approx. 40 megs. I made a suggestion some time ago that a system should be equipped with 512megs before applying the changes. 256 megs is really close.... I graphed the difference over time, and it caused a substantial increase in swap file hits on my 256meg system. Still, I think the tweaks and the evidence you posted make the effort worthwhile.

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"One thing I have found with landclass edits, is that these generic, distant textures are not changed."By "distant textures" you mean the extended textures or the untextured ground beyond them?"They seem to be coded in another bgl or perhaps in the sim itself. One can even replace the default worldlc.bgl, and the distant textures (although that's a bad thing to call them) are still the same."Is this the reason I sometimes find that the border line where landclass textures end and generic untextured land begins can be very distinctive?Stamatis

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"If you reviewed that other post, and then viewed the "cross", that I made reference to, from a top-down view in the sim, you would note that the cross of textures updates as you slew around"Yes, of course I reviewed the thread and saw the cross. Now I have a much better understanding of what it's all about, thanks to all of you who replied and participated in this thread."ChasW is right, about 80 miles."Actually my tests indicate it is even less, somewhere around 60 nautical miles, or 70 statute miles. By the way, the visibility range in the FS menus, is it measured in statute miles or nautical miles?Stamatis

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GREAT thread, I thank all of you for the information.

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