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jcomm

FG 2.10, most certainly a New Era of FG...

Question

I've kept an eye on this great Project since it's first steps.

 

I confess that I am not a contributor within the already huge network of code makers for this free, open, simulation platform, but I admire their dedication

talent and results.

 

The about to be released v2.10, of which I was able to test RC2, is IMHO a Marker Stone in the history of Fligh Gear.

 

Advances in scenery and weather rendering, AI, JSBSim are turning this free / open simulator into a serious competitor to what remains from the Golden Era of flight simulation.

 

The few worth alternatives are X-Plane10, Aerofly FS, DCS World and probably P3d 2.0... I am almost 80% on DCS World, which I still find to be the most perfect flight simulation

platform available, but following the XP10 progress, which is rather positive now with the stable 64 bit version about to be made final (10.20), and the very promissing AeroFly FS.

 

Flight Gear, OTOH, offers full World coverage, very acceptable flight dynamics, and in some cases (add-on b744 i.e.) very detailled systems simulation, has some professional

comercial applications already in teh market, and with the introduction of it new controllers configuration UI, it is now piece-of-cake to set and go...

 

FG 2.10 will certainly take a good share of my simming time in the next 6 months, while the nexte version get's ready to be released, bringing most certainly even more good news :-)

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I find it interesting that some folks are eager to point out FlightGear's deficiencies without offering any help to fix them...

 

You could help supply better cloud textures for instance. :)

 

mgh: Right-clicking and hitting "Open With" is something any experienced Windows user will automatically do if they suspect the file is a text file that doesn't happen to follow a 30 year old naming convention. :D

 

For those interested, you can find the FlightGear Continuous Integration server here:

http://flightgear.simpits.org:8080 - for the truly bleeding edge among you. :)

 

g.

 

I think the cloud textures in FlightGear are finely done. How to make them a bit more transparent or "wispy" looking I couldn't possibly understand without knowledge of the coding, which is done with a language I don't use (All my programs I've distributed are VB--just about anyone can create VB programs with no formal training, like I have).

 

Your spot on about use of "open with". However mgh is an experienced user--he's a developer. I found his feedback earnest and out of concern for others who might not know what to do. In my case, I don't even use "open with". If I suspect something is a text file meant to be read, I affix a .txt extension to it so I can review it at will with a simple open.

 

If I find an area where I can contribute in Flight Gear, I probably will. Since my profession is software testing, I think sifting through the programs for bugs, documenting them, and reporting them back to the developers is what I can do best. I'll certainly try to do that with the most current release.

 

John

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Then again, it is kind of self-explanatory, isn't it...?

 

Not really. there’s no indication whether the latrest version of FlightGear is 32 or 64-bit. "Force 32 bit install on 64 bit systems" is checked which with most installers means it the default/preferred/recommended option. Also, if it’s left checked FlightGear fails to install, even on a 64-bit system.

 

"My sixteen year old son can write now."

- "Eh?"

"He's mentally disabled."

- "Hahahahahahahaha, he's sixteen and learned to write only now!"

The FlightGear developers are disadvantaged and we should make allowances if FlightGear isn’t up to standard because its developers are disavantaged?

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mgh trash the Intel and buy a Nvidia card. Probably you were simply lucky to be able to run FSX with that. Intel might catch up in some years...

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Went to run FlightGear the other night, and ran into an odd issue. I was flying the Cub. FPS was very smooth looking in the direction of areas with high detail. But looking in the opposite direction where nothing of note was displayed, fps suddenly turned into a slide show. I'd pan away, and everything would be smooth again. It has to be some setting I played with. I am thinking of an uninstall/reinstall.

 

Also to note, given flight dynamics the cub is my favorite so far. Seems worth investing more time with this sim--seeems to be kind of a "learn as you go" and don't mess with more than one setting at a time.

 

John

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I think you took me a bit too seriously! During the work week I decompress when I get home so last thing I want to do is figure out what most likely was a self induced issue. I'll revisit this issue when I have time, which is usually on a Saturday afternoon while my wife and daughter are out shopping in those stores that dudes don't care to visit. Straight%20Face.gif

 

In that case, excuse my expression of discontent.

 

I thought you were going to throw the towel for good, which would be just as useful for others having the same problem as exclaiming "I SOLVED IT!" without ever explaining how. :)

 

 

 

Or if you prefer the command line, you could type (in Linux):

 

fgfs --enable-rembrandt

 

You can probably do something similar in Windows.

 

If you start FG via command line, I think yes.

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It's not a problem with OpenGL. Rather, there's just a lot more going on under the hood graphics wise in FlightGear. You probably need to dial back some of your settings if you're finding performance unacceptable.

 

That's not what was said in post #5

 

EDIT

 

Following the advice in that post #5 increased my frame rate from 5 to 6 fps.

 

PS - The stream of errors appears unending.

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Maybe OpenGL is the wrong choice for Windows?

 

OpenGL runs just fine on Windows. At least when you have a decent GPU with good OpenGL support. Nvidia has long been excellent in this area, AMD has improved greatly and Intel is at the other end. Intel's GPUs have never been aimed at anything more than entry level 3D needs, primarily enough to support the Aero interface on Windows. On the other hand, both Nvidia and AMD have high end workstation video cards aimed directly at OpenGL based CAD and 3D modelling programs. These GPUs are usually very similar, if not identical, to the GPUs used in consumer level video cards.

 

In fact, OpenGL can even be faster than Direct3D on Windows.

 

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/133824-valve-opengl-is-faster-than-directx-even-on-windows

 

Have to go give FlightGear another try. It's been a few years.

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FlightGear is doing a hell of a lot more graphically than FSX.

 

What more exactly is it doing in the situations I illustrated?

 

That doesn't matter. As I've said, as long as the file anme indicated a text file, Notepad can open it.

 

But why make it difficult by forcing the user to respond to a Windows popup and pick Notepad for everyone of the files before they can be read?

 

On the same theme, why is the download simply an .exe file which requires FG to be installed before any documentation can be read? why not bundle it into a .zip file together with installation instrucrtions - such as when to uncheck Force 32 bit install on 64 bit systems?

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I was talking about the terrain shadows on the plane, not the sky.

 

And yes, I am using your soft horizons in FS9 and FSX, Mr. Cillis.

 

I ran the video again with an eye on the plane, and the shadowing on the plane does look good. I like flying from spot view a lot in FSX. I'll have to try that with FlightGear tonight.

 

Glad someone still uses Soft Horizons. I don't get much feedback anymore on it--a lot of payware add-ons overshadow it these days. All told Soft Horizons took about eight hours' work between both sims and I like the way it turned out in FSX a bit more than FS9. FS2002 did a great job by default on atmospheric haze so I was disappointed with FS9 and FSX when I first saw them. Fortunately a FS9 developer gave me some documentation on the bitmap that controls the haze effects in FS9/FSX which helped in my efforts. I even made (for myself only) "Mars Horizons" which made the sky reddish and added a reddish hue to the ground and ground shadows. It's amazing what one small bitmap can do in the hands of the bored.

 

FlightGear's greatest potential, I think, is that it performs pretty well out of the box, with every option maxed. One does have to take the time to dig through the configuration options since by default they don't show the sim at their best. Water especially, can be vastly improved by moving its slider to the right and I did not see any hint of a performance penalty.

 

I'm going to check out some of the other add-on aircraft that I've been alerted to, but its a pity there are not many GA options.

 

John

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The FlightGear developers are disadvantaged and we should make allowances if FlightGear isn’t up to standard because its developers are disavantaged?

 

mgh for the last time LEAVE. I've reported your spam and hope to never see you again in this section.

 

I build FG in 64 bit with:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Scripted_Compilation_on_Linux_Debian/Ubuntu

 

but that's a no go for you as you don't have the needed hardware.

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I’ve just download Flightgear 2.10.0.3 and it won’t run.

 

It’s installed in C:\FlightGear. I accepted all the offered defaults on installing. My system is Win7 64-bit Home Premium with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3 and 4Gb of RAM. I.ve 504 Gb unused on C: It runs FSX and the X-Plane demo out-of-the-box with no problems.

 

I launched FlightGear and the FG Wizard opens

 

Select an aircraft

Select C172P Skyhawk (1981 model), 2D panel)

Aircraft image displayed

Click Next

 

Select a location

Select KFSO San Francisc0 Intl and runway 01L

Click Next

 

Display

Click Run

 

After a pause it returns to Display and shows unhelpful error messages.

 

I retried by clicking Defaults then Reset. FG returns to Select an aircraft. I re-select C172 again and then KFSO and click Run again. There’s another pause and the same error messages.

 

I retried yet again with 1024*768 screen resolution set in Display (FG doesn’t support my native resolution oif 1366*768) This still gives in the same error messages.

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FG has a number of text files in its doc sub-folder named README README.3DClouds, README.airspeed-indicator, etc etc. Windows doesn't recognise those file types so asks what application to use when trying to open them. Why not give the the type .txt and not make it inconvenient for users?

 

Even extensionless files can be opened with Notepad. In the worst case, you'll see gibberish, but as they're readmes, they're in plain text format.

 

Linux doesn't need file extensions for text files and as most of the developers and users are on Linux...

 

 

 

Yes I have. Now it runs, the FG default C172 gives only an useable 5 fps at the end of the runway 01L at San Francisco International - my default FSX C172 gives 40+ fps there, as shown in the attached images. Maybe OpenGL is the wrong choice for Windows?

 

- FlightGear is not FSX

- OpenGL is platform independent, i.e. can be used on Windows, Linux and Mac

- Intel integrated graphics are not the best choice for FG

- FG is even more of a resource hog than FSX

 

So try again with even less details, but I doubt you'd still want to run it then.

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What more exactly is it doing in the situations I illustrated?

 

Maybe it would help if I used an analogy: It's a bit like comparing the original Half-Life to Doom 3 and then complaining that OpenGL is inferior because Doom 3 doesn't give you 300 frames per second. To be frank, comparing a program released 7-years ago to current state-of-the-art software is rather ignorant. The difference in performance has absolutely nothing to do with OpenGL not being "the right choice for Windows".

 

This graphics FAQ at the official FlightGear forums might be of interest to you. In fact, it directly addresses your question:

 

* My system is unusably slow - why?

 

Nowadays there are vast differences in the processing power of GPUs. Especially laptops are usually equipped with a very modest graphics card (often just an integrated chipset) which is very good for long battery lifetime and delivers not much processing power and graphical memory, just enough to work with the laptop. On the other hand, gaming computers come equipped with graphics cards which have more than 10 times the graphical memory and 20 times more processing power (needless to say, in a laptop these are very battery-hungry). Especially Mac computers, despite their relatively fast processors, are known to have usually rather weak 3D rendering capabilities. The shaders written for Flightgear come with different quality levels - at the upper end, they run comfortably on gaming computers, at the lower end they run comfortably on low-powered laptops.

 

Flightgear does not recognize automatically which setting is appropriate for your computer, and hence this has to be configured manually. This is done in-sim in the menu View->Rendering. Bring up the detailed shader configuration dialog, switch every shader to zero and uncheck every option - this should result in a high framerate. Start switching shader effects on till you have an acceptable balance between visual quality and framerate.

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mgh how the hell are you getting 50 FPS in FSX with integrated INTEL graphics ? and 122 FPS with a GT520 ? I just can't believe this !!!!

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Thanks for all the healthy discussion on this, it has gained my interest. Off to download now.

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mgh how the hell are you getting 50 FPS in FSX with integrated INTEL graphics ? and 122 FPS with a GT520 ? I just can't believe this !!!!

 

Maybe with all the sliders to the left?

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The fact remains the FlightGear shows inferior frames rates and inferior graphics compared with FSX on both my PCs. Whythen should I spend money replacing graphics cards that run FSX satisfactorily in order to be able to run FlightGear?

 

Can anyone demonstrate the areas where FlightGear is actually superior, not just different, to FSX?

 

My observations with Flight Gear (the latest version).

 

~Install was smooth and went perfectly--even as I changed Flight Gear's default location. I ran the 64 bit install.

 

~Frame rates are excellent with all the FlightGear rendering options tweaked to their full extent. But not as good as FSX or FS9 if I dial back the detail in either sim to match the look of Flight Gear.

 

~While the new sky features look good--FS9 or FSX with my own add-on, Soft Horizons or other payware and non-payware add ons that modify the sky effects looks better. Clouds appear much more natural in those sims.

 

~The aircraft in FlightGear still don't approach FS9 or FSX default aircraft. I fly GA aircraft in VFR conditions. The aircraft have to look believable--the aircraft in FlightGear need the most attention, I feel.

 

~Water in FlightGear has fine texturing but does not look as good as FSX or FS9--reflections is where it's most lacking.

 

~Clouds in FlightGear still look unnatural.

 

~Ground texturing is still low res, especially when compared to FSX. For VFR flight, ground texturing is very important.

 

~Landclass is lacking. Cities just abruptly appear--you don't see the gradual transitions from city to countryside like you do in FS9 or FSX.

 

~FlightGear does not do "much more under the hood than FSX". It is what it is--a good open source effort which is evolving and improving with every release but not the equal of payware sims.

 

~Flight dynamics with the default 172 are very poor. The takeoff roll takes forever, for example. But once in the air the 172 seems to do a bit better. I didn't try other aircraft--I'd load some, like the Cub, but the VC just made me feel I was running a cartoon.

 

In conclusion, you won't change minds here in this forum. This is a forum for FlightGear fans--it is their domain and their place to enjoy happiness with what has been achieved in the sim to date. FlightGear is an option for those who can't run FS9, FSX or Xplane well. It does show signs of promise--the latest version is by far the best to date. Install is smooth--if it isn't working on some systems that's a mystery to me. Something must be amiss in such systems--don't know what. I do run Vista as a full admin with all of the account control features turned off. That may be the trick for a clean install, but I don't really know. I think much has been achieved in terms of making the sky look more natural. Framerates, at least on a modern system with an Nvidia graphics card, are good--I don't care whether they are better than FSX or not--they are good, smooth and make for a fluid sim. They seem better than the last FlightGear release I tried, but I am also working with the best video card I've owned to date. Based on what I've seen, I would encourage FlightGear fans to keep supporting their sim and keep supporting those who develop it. I would discourage FlightGear fans from making comparisons with commercial sims, especially XPlane or FSX. That just invites comments you probably don't want to hear and it invites developers to keep things status quo thinking they've achieved the best sim available. I think FlightGear has potential, if it stays in development.

 

John

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But why make it difficult by forcing the user to respond to a Windows popup and pick Notepad for everyone of the files before they can be read?

 

You do realize they've got a Wiki with almost all necessary information, don't you?

 

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Main_Page

 

 

 

This means FlightGear isn't a replacement for FSX as some seem to claim.

 

FIMF - FlightGear isn't Microsoft Flight Simulator.

 

 

 

Can anyone demonstrate the areas where FlightGear is actually superior, not just different, to FSX?

 

Shaders.

(Which are also the reason for ###### poor graphical performance on old or onboard video chips.)

 

Demonstrations of the shader capabilities in FG:

(Terrain does not affect object lighting in FSX)

 

http://users.jyu.fi/~trenk/pics/ultra11.jpg (Puddles on the landscape after a rainshower)

http://users.jyu.fi/~trenk/pics/ultra12.jpg (Swamps)

 

And this:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Atmospheric_light_scattering

 

 

FSX is all textures, FG is all shaders and hence more accurate, but more demanding.

 

 

 

It sounds a lot like you're not too satisfied with Flight Gear. Perhaps you should ask for a refund?

 

*Chuckle*

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what AV program are you using? Do you have Defender scanning that dir?

 

do not choose "force 32 bit install on 64 bit systems"

 

I use Microsoft Security Essentals which has never caused problems in the past intalling into C:\xxx.

 

I uninstalled it, which didn't remove C:\Users\xxx\Appdata\Roaming\flightgear.org . Why?

 

It now runs after I reinstalled not forcing a 32 bit install. But wow are users supposed to know what's the significance of that, given that it appears during installation before any documentation's available and without any indication of what it means?

 

FG has a number of text files in its doc sub-folder named README README.3DClouds, README.airspeed-indicator, etc etc. Windows doesn't recognise those file types so asks what application to use when trying to open them. Why not give the the type .txt and not make it inconvenient for users?

 

mgh: I'm guessing you've got an Intel integrated graphics card, rather than a discreet Nvidia/ATI one right?

 

Yes I have. Now it runs, the FG default C172 gives only an useable 5 fps at the end of the runway 01L at San Francisco International - my default FSX C172 gives 40+ fps there, as shown in the attached images. Maybe OpenGL is the wrong choice for Windows?

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FSX is all textures, FG is all shaders and hence more accurate, but more demanding.

 

That's what I've been trying to say. You just said it a lot more concisely.

 

Having said that, it's fair to say that FlightGear's art design is not up to par with its commercial counterparts.

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*Sigh*

 

I think you took me a bit too seriously! During the work week I decompress when I get home so last thing I want to do is figure out what most likely was a self induced issue. I'll revisit this issue when I have time, which is usually on a Saturday afternoon while my wife and daughter are out shopping in those stores that dudes don't care to visit. Straight%20Face.gif

 

John

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Woah!

http://www.flightgea...=178221#p178200

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, right. Stupid "data" folder.

 

 

 

 

Software testing doesn't work that way. ;)

 

You could try to disable everything and enable optios one by one or do a bisection*.

 

 

*Enable 50% of options. If good, disable them again and enable other 50%. Once the error pops up, disable 50% of the enabled options and see if it's still there. If not, disable the other 50% and test again, etc...

 

Don't want to quit my day job for this testing, so yes, I'm giving it a rest. :)

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Why would you want to do that?

 

The great thing about FG is that nearly every setting can be activated/deactivated without leaving the simulator.

 

It could be that no-man's land was covered in clouds or using a special shader that dragged down performance for you. Instead of using the "shader quality" slider, you can also use the "custom" button and deactivate shaders one after another to find out what was incurring the performance hit.

 

 

Also, depending on how well FG runs, you can also try to enable Rembrandt. But that has to be done in [FG folder]\preferences.xml (search for <Rembrandt> and replace the "false" with a "true").

 

I tried working with FlightGear a little while longer but consistently ran into the same issue--fps would go from 30+ to as low as 5 given the view direction. It didn't matter if I lowered shader quality or not. I've decided to give it a rest for now. It has to be something I juggled, because the first night I flew the sim it was fluid in all directions with all the sliders cranked up. I had to have changed something that was best left alone.

 

John

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Went to run FlightGear the other night, and ran into an odd issue. I was flying the Cub. FPS was very smooth looking in the direction of areas with high detail. But looking in the opposite direction where nothing of note was displayed, fps suddenly turned into a slide show. I'd pan away, and everything would be smooth again. It has to be some setting I played with. I am thinking of an uninstall/reinstall.

 

Why would you want to do that?

 

The great thing about FG is that nearly every setting can be activated/deactivated without leaving the simulator.

 

It could be that no-man's land was covered in clouds or using a special shader that dragged down performance for you. Instead of using the "shader quality" slider, you can also use the "custom" button and deactivate shaders one after another to find out what was incurring the performance hit.

 

 

Also, depending on how well FG runs, you can also try to enable Rembrandt. But that has to be done in [FG folder]\preferences.xml (search for <Rembrandt> and replace the "false" with a "true").

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That's not what was said in post #5

 

I missed that. In that case, your hardware simply doesn't meet the minimum requirements for FlightGear, but suggesting that "OpenGL is not the right choice for Windows" is incorrect. OpenGL works just fine in Windows as long as you have the hardware to run it.

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