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Chris Willis

Scenery Textures in FS9

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Hi guys!I didn't know where to put this so I thought I'd just put it in the general forum.I feel FS9 is a little tougher on my PC (or Centrino Notebook, that is ;) ) than 2002 was, including the loading times, overall harddrive access, and frame rate. So I was about to install some reduced-size textures from avsim.Just then I noticed that (just like in FS2002), most scenery textures (and cloud textures) seem to be uncompressed. So, wouldn't it help to compress all textures to dxt format? Using DXTbmp to compress, there is hardly a difference to 32bit (I found imagetool is not as good). On aircraft, there already is a huge performance increase when switching from 32bit to DXT, as they are a fraction in size. Of course, it would be a large undertaking, as there are hundreds of textures, and I don't know of a dxt batch conversion tool (someone should make one :) ). So would it be worth it? Could there be problems? I really wonder...-Daniel

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"imagetool -batch -DXT3"Make a backup prior to this. :-)To see all options: "imagetool -?"Claudius

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Hi, "most scenery textures (and cloud textures) seem to be uncompressed"Most fs2004 texture use DTX texture like fs2002, nothing more to be compressed.-16 bit to 32 bits there is difference on quality.-DTX and 32 bits there is *HUGE* difference.-DTX and 16 bit 565 there is some differece 8 mip map lees blur at far and less grainy texture.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Thanks for the hint, ckfly :) I think I'll try that.I'm pretty sure that many cloud, ground, and building textures are 32 bit because when I go through the texture folder with XNView, most images are displayed (it even says 32 bit), while the dxt compressed textures aren't shown (e.g. the tree textures).Still, I find that using DXTbmp, the compression is far less notable than when using imagetool. But I guess that really depends on the type of texture (colors, sharpness, etc.). If you look closely though, you'll see blocky artifacts around details when you compress with imagetool; I never notice that with DXTbmp. (Granted, I never used DXT1 but rather DXT3, because I needed the alpha channel. Maybe DXT1 is worse.)-Daniel

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My wrong, the ground textures are 256 colors.However, I found about 37 mb other textures which I compressed with dxt3, now it's about 11mb. The batch processing is quite nice in imagetool. The clouds don't look as smooth now, but still better than 16bit. Not so bad.It's kinda dumb - when you consider that the largest textures are 1024x1024 pixels, thats just over 1 mio pixels. Take it every pixel had it's own color, that would be 1/16th of available colors in 32bit! I guess it will be even less with a normal texture. What a waste...I think I'll try dxtbmp with the cloud textures, maybe I'll get better results.

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The ground textures in FS9 are 256 colors? Not DXT1?Maybe that's why we are reading reports from people getting higher FPS when using FS2004 textures in FS2002...(Daniel, was there any effect on FPS after you converted to DXT?)Claudius

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I just flew the same route (standard settings, weather set to building storms or what it's called, takeoff and straight flight to seattle) first with standard textures, and then with compressed textures.To be honest, there was hardly a difference in frame rate. I guess the textures will just load faster and there will be less harddrive access, but other than that, it's pretty much the same. Of course, results may vary depending on graphics card etc., and maybe there is a difference when flying through thick clouds or so. I'll have to look into that.I found out before that the main reason for low fps on my PC was the traffic slider set to 100% - I set it to 50%, and frames almost doubled...before, I didn't get decent fps at acceptable detail levels whatsoever.You can check the texture folder, I use XNView which I find is the best (freeware) image browser. It won't load dxt textures, but it'll tell you the bit depth of "normal" bmps. Many texures are just 8bit. At least in my version ;)

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I just flew with real time weather and the normal textures, a little stormy over munich...framerates sucked totally. I felt there was a drastic improvement here with the compressed textures, I can't tell exactly because the weather had changed a little. I think it gets better in such a situation because I "only" have 64mb of graphics memory and at some point, textures need to be put in the system's memory, or even the harddrive, which slows things down a lot - also, very seldomly fps jump to my limit at 26, this could be an indication that I'm right. So, I think I'll go with the dxt ones from now on.

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Hi Claudus, "The ground textures in FS9 are 256 colors? Not DXT1?"NOT 256 color at all but fs2004 use FULL DXT1 Opaque on ground generic texture SceneryWorld use DXT1 Opaque most of the generic texture in fs2004, NOTHING have been change at all from fs2002, clouds use 32 bits like fs2002, never touch this to decrease the quality, you will have crap texture like fs2000 pixels, fs2004texture use the same format like fs2002 before, I have been beta testing this sim couple of month ago before the release.Nothing new from fs2002 texture format!ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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DXT textures can be stored directly in compressed form by the on-board memory of the graphics card. That's the big advantage over uncompressed formats.BTW, thanks for the hint to XNView. I've used IrfanView before, now I'm changing to this nice freeware program. :-)Claudius

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Chris,I don't have FS9 yet, so I was hoping to find something that could improve the performance of FS2002. As I said earlier, reports of people gaining some FPS by copying over the new textures.The same goes to the new reflective water textures, but this seems to be hardcoded, rather than an added alpha channel...?Claudius

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Hi, People reporting info with confusion too, NO performance improvement with fs2004 texture in fs2002 at all, same format, the reflection use texture format same as fs2002 but newer, clouds do not works in fs2002 at all, all environment/weather will never works in fs2002, there is many texture new texture name in fs2004 will never in fs2002. water bump effect in fs2004 will never works in fs2002, there is twice of water animation in fs2004 than fs2002.Confusion reported on the other sites.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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