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Mipmapping and the lack of.....

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Almost without exception all my addon planes need to be mipmapped, so I am wondering why the developers dont do this prior to release. Anyone care to speculate?

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Same here... I also convert to DXT3 or DXT5, when combined AC sure look a whole lot better.

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Almost without exception all my addon planes need to be mipmapped, so I am wondering why the developers dont do this prior to release. Anyone care to speculate?
It's funny you should say that, I had been wondering the same thing myself. After I had my FSX set up by FS-GS, the fellow over there showed me how to use some tools to do this. Made a huge difference in how planes and scenery look. I notice a lot of my addon planes and sceneries had some of the jagged edges and others anomlies that were fixed after mipping them. Ever since then I wondered why some of the devs dont do it them selves. The last a/c I bought, Aerosoft F-16, looks 10 times better in external views after I mipped it. I noticed also that some of the Aerosoft sceneries I bought need to be mipped as well due to some funny looking edges.I feel bad for the casual user who buys an a/c or scenery and then thinks that that must be the way it is supposed to look, and doesn't realize that their are tools available to make it look even better.

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There are many reasons why a dev may or may not mip all or some of their textures, but I think in most cases it comes down to how the dev wants them to look, a matter of personal preference. Mips can help performance in certain situations, and can solve moire problems with closely spaced lines in the texture, but there are a couple of drawbacks to using them. The first is that every texture with mips takes more vram to hold and takes longer to load in, not to mention increasing the disk space requirements and download size of the addon, possibly substantially (depending on what it is). The second is that mips worked great several years ago when the average display resolution for FS was 1024x768, but on anything higher than 1600x1200 they drop steps *far* too quickly in my opinion and actually make the textures look worse from any kind of distance. I'd much rather have a little sparkle or moire effect but really good detail, rather than a smoother blur. You can hand tune and sharpen mips in various ways when creating them, but its a heck of a lot of extra work if you're dealing with anything more than a couple dozen textures. As for bit depth, lower is always better if you can get away with it... which isn't always possible.-Mike

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The reason most of the releases dont include mips is that we get complaints that the textures look " Fuzzy " .This dosnt happen on all machines but it is enough an issue that the help forums get cluttered with complaints anda texture set without mips is demanded in short order .

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The reason most of the releases dont include mips is that we get complaints that the textures look " Fuzzy " .This dosnt happen on all machines but it is enough an issue that the help forums get cluttered with complaints anda texture set without mips is demanded in short order .
You might take some time and digest this rather long thread over in the Alpha India forum regarding the use of Imagetool to batch-apply mips. Basically the batch mode of imagetool is broke and will strip the alpha channel (if it's all white); which most AI are. Even with mips, the lack of the alpha channel will tank your frames.I have taken the time to manually apply mips to my entire AI collection by actually opening imagetool on each daytime texture and ensure each was DXT3, with alpha, and mips. No more shimmering windows or fuzzy textures. I would use DXT2Bmp to re-add the alpha channel if it was missing. Your GPU must be capable of supporting mips adequetly (i.e. newer GPU's) whereby in the past, mips on AI would look very fuzzy, etc...To the best of my knowledge, no-one has found a solution to the broke imagetool batch issue stripping the white alpha channel.As for the AI painters applying mips before they release them, some AIG painters (George Widner) have started releasing paints in both mip'd and non-mip'd format in the same zip. This gives you, the end-user, the responsibility of making the right choice as to whether or not your newer generation rig can accomidate mips without issue.

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Even with a cursory (short) investigation of the textures of any stock plane or scenery in FSX one can see that they are all mip-mapped and in the case of the planes are DXT5 when dealing with exterior daytime textures.These quite obviously do not create either blurry conditions or an increase in "fuzziness".Certain very very successful scenery add-ons (from a performance + visuals stand point) such as Fly Tampa Hong Kong show upon examination of their texture folders the full use of mip-maps + DXT5 and therefore seem to disprove the theory of increased loading times and vram overstress.The original question regarding mip-maps in this thread really was not dealing with the question of "batch" files in conjunction with imagetool and as has already been pointed out - there are work arounds to the issue.We should all applaud those developers who are offering choice to the user as loudly as we can.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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First of all, we need to carefully define WHAT we are talking about. What has been stated regarding the inclusion of mipmaps is perfectly valid......unless we are speaking only about aircraft designed to by used exclusively as "user flown," which is another matter entirely. In this specific case, the use of mipmaps is contraindicated, mostly due to the fact that aside from "Tower View," you simply will never be far enough away for even the first mip level to kick in, much less any of the other levels...

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First of all, we need to carefully define WHAT we are talking about. What has been stated regarding the inclusion of mipmaps is perfectly valid......unless we are speaking only about aircraft designed to by used exclusively as "user flown," which is another matter entirely. In this specific case, the use of mipmaps is contraindicated, mostly due to the fact that aside from "Tower View," you simply will never be far enough away for even the first mip level to kick in, much less any of the other levels...
and I respectfully disagree with the comment that the use of mip-maps is contraindicated and say that actually the inclusion of mip-maps is very visible and not only in tower view.and I believe that the original post was concerned with "user flown" aircraft.and to tell you the truth I am absolutely sure that in my experience with dealing with visuals on various machines for many many clients I can state that you can see the effect of mip-mapping even at short distances far shorter than tower view.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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and I respectfully disagree with the comment that the use of mip-maps is contraindicated and say that actually the inclusion of mip-maps is very visible and not only in tower view.and I believe that the original post was concerned with "user flown" aircraft.and to tell you the truth I am absolutely sure that in my experience with dealing with visuals on various machines for many many clients I can state that you can see the effect of mip-mapping even at short distances far shorter than tower view.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com
Michael, I didn't know you visited the forum. Your reputation precedes you as many of your clients have had very good results and comments of your service here on these forums although I can't say I have had the oportunity to give you a holler.Do you know of a way to batch-apply mips without stipping the white alpha channel as does the busted cmd-line version of the Imagetool utility? I agree that shimmering windows on AI passing nearby at odd angles was solved by applying mips but it was so much work to do one texture at a time.

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Michael, I didn't know you visited the forum. Your reputation precedes you as many of your clients have had very good results and comments of your service here on these forums although I can't say I have had the oportunity to give you a holler.Do you know of a way to batch-apply mips without stipping the white alpha channel as does the busted cmd-line version of the Imagetool utility? I agree that shimmering windows on AI passing nearby at odd angles was solved by applying mips but it was so much work to do one texture at a time.
LOL I generally don't post unless I feel that the subject warrents it and enough of what I consider innocent (unsuspecting) users are affected.Sadly to my knowledge the issue of batch mip-mapping with image tool remains a question mark regarding AI. I would never recommend using batch files for anything other than AI.We have not experienced any adverse performance issues from using batch files but we are aware of the alpha channel question.So far, even with the issue being present, we still feel that the visual and performance benefits (when using a correctly set-up video card) outweigh the negatives.and again this is based upon the feedback of 1000s of users of both Fs9 and X and our own constant testing.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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Almost without exception all my addon planes need to be mipmapped, so I am wondering why the developers dont do this prior to release. Anyone care to speculate?
Nothing to speculate just knowledge as for mip mapping it's form the stone age of FS9 lol in which the engine in combination with the hardware gives blurriness on the outside view of objects.So what we did in the past was to leave out mip maps to have crystal clear textureshowever in the new age FSX lol the engine behaves as it should be on this point :-)Hence without mips the hardware and driver software has to compensate (more overhead).Now with FSX we can use mipmaps for the purpose they where intended to so less simmer too on ground textures ;-)No blurriness with the FSX engine and current hardware and drivers regarding mipmaps as it occurred in FS9.Performance blurriness is a total other subject ;-)Cheers,

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and to tell you the truth I am absolutely sure that in my experience with dealing with visuals on various machines for many many clients I can state that you can see the effect of mip-mapping even at short distances far shorter than tower view.
Yes, you are very well known for all of the high quality models you've released... :( Of course Mips are visible from even Spot View, because from the typical default camera distance you are looking at the first mip level, not the full resolution texture......that's why it's "fuzzy" In the past, mips wouldn't kick into play until the second-level LOD was displayed. With FS9 and FSX this is no longer true. That's why even with default aircraft, often the user will need to zoom in very close to (re)load the full-res bitmap, then zoom back out and hope the mip didn't "kick in" again. :(

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Tks for the replies! The one thing I do know is that my planes look like crap unless they are mipmapped, and once the are, they look great from close-in to max zoom, regardless of who produced them.

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If you use mip maps in FSX I believe Trilinear filtering will interpolate between mip levels.

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Yes, you are very well known for all of the high quality models you've released... :( Of course Mips are visible from even Spot View, because from the typical default camera distance you are looking at the first mip level, not the full resolution texture......that's why it's "fuzzy" In the past, mips wouldn't kick into play until the second-level LOD was displayed. With FS9 and FSX this is no longer true. That's why even with default aircraft, often the user will need to zoom in very close to (re)load the full-res bitmap, then zoom back out and hope the mip didn't "kick in" again. :(
Now now Bill did I ever say that i was a designer DID I?Can you do anything without the personal insults which were folowed by a "just kidding" (I suppose to "soften" what was totally uncalled for and infantile) but that type of behavior really diminishes you in my eyes and in the eyes of quite a few others who don't share your personal conflict with me ( you've never worked with me or my company and know nothing but what you ASSUME which I'm sure you remember the old saying about the YOU and ME............well you get the picture)You are still not addressing the following:1) ALL the stock planes in FS9 and in FSX are mip-mapped (day time exerior textures signified by a "T") and there must have been a reason.2) In all my experience with Fs9 I have never seen a condition in which it was "necessary" to "close in" on a stock planes. although i have seen it with add-ons.3) In my experience and in my work it is never necessary to "close in" with FSX. 2) The textures for Fly Tampa Hong Kong (an example of what really can be done to enhance visuals and performance in FSX with absolute minimum performance loss) are also mip-mapped (I don't have any affiliation to them)Now either ACES and Fly Tampa knew or didn't know what they were doing and had a reason or they were just "pissing in the wind', so make up your mind and if they were then come out and say it to their faces.That I'm sure should be fun!!!Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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Now now Bill did I ever say that i was a designer DID I?Can you do anything without the personal insults which were folowed by a "just kidding"
That wasn't an "insult." It was my not-so-subtle way of saying that while you know far more than I ever will about hardware, you yourself are just as equally ignorant about FS9/FSX modeling requirements and techniques...I do honor and respect your superior knowledge in the area of your expertise; why can you not reciprocate?
You are still not addressing the following:1) ALL the stock planes in FS9 and in FSX are mip-mapped (day time exerior textures signified by a "T") and there must have been a reason.
The nice folks at ACES have stated many things in the SDKs that are simply incorrect. They claim for example:
For Aircraft, texture maps cannot currently exceed 1024x1024 pixels in size.
FALSE: As has been proven over and over again, FSX will happily consume 2048x2048 or even 4096x4096 bitmaps. Now, that doesn't mean that it makes sense except in special cases to actually use such enormous bitmaps, but......that isn't the point. ACES claims that it can't be done, yet it can.and has been done!Ever since FS2002, the ability to backlight gauges in the VC via an emissive lightmap has been available, yet until I "beat ACES over the head" during the beta of FSX SP1, no one at ACES was aware of that ability. Instead, a couple of the ACES developers spent countless hours inventing an entirely new, and quite unnecessary method for FSX SP2. Apparently ACES reconized my expertise in this area, otherwise they'd not have asked me to write a White Paper for them to publish on their official develper's website: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/esp/cc788741.aspxIt's only a case of serendipity that the "new method" managed to open up new possibilities for lighting that were not possible before, most of which actually have nothing whatever to VC gauge backlighting... :( In the FS9 SDK, ACES made the statement that all bitmaps "must be square." This is also demonstrably FALSE, as any modeler skeptical enough of their claim has proven, time and time again. Both FS9 and FSX will quite happily consume any bitmap one cares to use, provided that the x and/or y dimensions are a exact power of two.I could go on and cite several dozen other "mistakes" and/or "errors" in the official SDKs, but I think the point has been made. You simply cannot assume that everything ACES has said is necessarily accurate. Worse still, there are many "errors of omission." For example they've made absolutely no mention whatever about having changed the algorithims for LOD and Mip display. It has been the hours spent by modelers in trial-and-error that've exposed how the new system actually works.It is long past time that you recognized that there are quite a few people who are just as intelligent and knowledgable within their own field(s) of expertise as you are within your area of expertise, and quit being so bloody patronizing and dismissive of them.

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That wasn't an "insult." It was my not-so-subtle way of saying that while you know far more than I ever will about hardware, you yourself are just as equally ignorant about FS9/FSX modeling requirements and techniques...I do honor and respect your superior knowledge in the area of your expertise; why can you not reciprocate?The nice folks at ACES have stated many things in the SDKs that are simply incorrect. They claim for example:FALSE: As has been proven over and over again, FSX will happily consume 2048x2048 or even 4096x4096 bitmaps. Now, that doesn't mean that it makes sense except in special cases to actually use such enormous bitmaps, but......that isn't the point. ACES claims that it can't be done, yet it can.and has been done!Ever since FS2002, the ability to backlight gauges in the VC via an emissive lightmap has been available, yet until I "beat ACES over the head" during the beta of FSX SP1, no one at ACES was aware of that ability. Instead, a couple of the ACES developers spent countless hours inventing an entirely new, and quite unnecessary method for FSX SP2. Apparently ACES reconized my expertise in this area, otherwise they'd not have asked me to write a White Paper for them to publish on their official develper's website: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/esp/cc788741.aspxIt's only a case of serendipity that the "new method" managed to open up new possibilities for lighting that were not possible before, most of which actually have nothing whatever to VC gauge backlighting... :( In the FS9 SDK, ACES made the statement that all bitmaps "must be square." This is also demonstrably FALSE, as any modeler skeptical enough of their claim has proven, time and time again. Both FS9 and FSX will quite happily consume any bitmap one cares to use, provided that the x and/or y dimensions are a exact power of two.I could go on and cite several dozen other "mistakes" and/or "errors" in the official SDKs, but I think the point has been made. You simply cannot assume that everything ACES has said is necessarily accurate. Worse still, there are many "errors of omission." For example they've made absolutely no mention whatever about having changed the algorithims for LOD and Mip display. It has been the hours spent by modelers in trial-and-error that've exposed how the new system actually works.It is long past time that you recognized that there are quite a few people who are just as intelligent and knowledgable within their own field(s) of expertise as you are within your area of expertise, and quit being so bloody patronizing and dismissive of them.
I doubt very much that i am patronizing or dismissive at all to tell you the truth. When and where applicable I use everything that I read and study so that I can enhance my own and my clients enjoyment and knowledge of the sim. But I do not worship the ground you walk on nor do I accept everything that pops out of your mouth just because it's you.Nor do I expect anyone to accept whatever I say just because it's me.In my work if I can't deliver than I have failed. My obsevations are based on my NOT FAILING and if my clients are dissapointed with their performance or their visuals than I take responsibility and that includes fiscal responsibility.I've already heard it all on these forums. I've heard how my service was "snake oil" by, people who never even did it, except of course when some (and only some) of the techniques were handed out for FREE than it was "the greatest thing since flush toilets".Every time I post here someone starts something and I'm still standing and so is my business.I find your tone and your attitude to be obnoxious and it's not the first time I've said so.It's not your knowledge it's your delivery always taking a superior attitude getting agressive when someone doesn't immediately accept your gosple.You need to calm down. My experience clearly points out that mip-mapping is to the benefit of the user in FSX and in most cases in Fs9 and I have seen it both throughmy clients and my own experience over and over again.So excuse me for introducing the real world here where we see results through real people who day in and day out fly their sims and not waste their time looking for the next "word of G*D. I am absolutely sure that if my clients weren't so busy flying and NOT complaining about FSX they would post here and say the same.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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Hey guys, I just asked a simple question, no need to stsrt WW3 over it! :(

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Not to barge in, but this is a question for both you guys:1. SP1 is better for photoscenery clarity over SP2? this has been my result in an apples to apples same driver, same Lod bias etc settings.2.As per both of your opinions, has everyone checked on the settings in which this is better than that? I mean, if you done have the right AA, alphAA and other things selected such as high quality LODS (vs. Performance LOD) things will look blury and this or that. Jusy saying, many argue over things that are not relative.Peace!

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This is just a thought on the observation that all of the stock planes are mipped...:( The stock planes are also used as AI planes, and mips would be useful there. All I know is what I have experienced while building models. Mip maps always look bad, so I choose not to use them.

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This is just a thought on the observation that all of the stock planes are mipped...:( The stock planes are also used as AI planes, and mips would be useful there. All I know is what I have experienced while building models. Mip maps always look bad, so I choose not to use them.
Always?What are all your relivant video driver settings that you are using?

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I have seen the same thing over the course of at least three or four different video cards (and may drivers) over the years, and it has been discussed in designer forums many many times...

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This is just a thought on the observation that all of the stock planes are mipped...:( The stock planes are also used as AI planes, and mips would be useful there. All I know is what I have experienced while building models. Mip maps always look bad, so I choose not to use them.
and my experience is that everytime one of my clients loads an FSD aircraft they have to mip-map it.Different strokes for different folks.Michael Gwww.fs-gs.com

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