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If you think shadows are not important...

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I was looking forward to P3D 2.0 for two reasons: no more autogen popping up and SHADOWS! Now I notice a lot of people turn them off because they aren't good for performance, but you can tweak that (see this topic: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/427529-simple-solution-for-shadows-and-loss-of-fps-or-the-tweaking-has-begun/ ). However, there are also people who say shadows aren't that important. Well, I think they make a world of difference when it comes to immersion. They make everything look more real. Well, imho.

 

Imagine it's a sunny summer day and you got out of bed early to do an early morning flight. I made two screenshots while flying above New York around 8.00 A.M., one with shadows on and one with shadows off. Now tell me, which of the two screenshots in the animated gif below makes you feel you are actually flying above New York at 8.00 A.M. on a sunny summer morning...?!

 

Take not that the shadows don't only make the buildings look more real (less like milk cartons) but they also connect the buildings to the ground and cover up the rather random ground textures. On the shot without shadows the buildings are almost floating above the scenery and all in the obvious wrong place too, right over other the buildings in the texture etc. But in the screenshot with the shadows, the buildings are standing there, connected to the ground and it's also a lot less obvious that the ground texture is a random one!

 

You really are missing out on a great feature of P3D 2.0 if you don't (try to) enable those shadows!!!

 

11120517074_c9976d4d26_o.gif

 

BTW The effect in the VC is of course very obvious and important. Without the VC shadows you get the feeling the back of your plane has been cut off and the sun is shining directly into what is left of your plane. In the picture with shadows you always can feel the warmth of the sun in your back... ^_^

 

There is no going back for me to any other sim, that's for sure. And I also refuse to use lower settings LOL

 

BTW Fps was around 24 with my GTX580 and i5 2500K @ 4.5 and very flyable and smooth (it seems that setting the limiter to Unlimited helps a little and also giving TrackIR higher priority helps with smoothness when looking around, something I always did with FSX and DX10). Imagine how good it will be with a GTX780!

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Hi,

Don't expect too much of a new GTX780.

 

I went from an i7-920 3,2GHz GTX570 to a i7-2600K 4,4GHz GTX780 OC system, but didn't see the improvement I thought I should get.

 

I didn't measured the improvement, but visuals and smoothness seems to be much the same.

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I didn't think I was going to be bothered about the shadows, but in fact I LOVE the VC shadows... they are amazing! ...... But I'm not bothered about ground or exterior shadows, and not prepared to pay the performance price for those.

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Only problem is, when at a complex airport, with a complex aircraft, it isn't entirely possible.

 

Flightbeams KIAD + AEX is making me turn down a lot of my settings, and I'm still not at a constant 30.

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Excellent shot Jeroen...

 

The shadows is what has me completely hooked...and the performance of course lol...

 

Is that with FTX Global?

 

Dave

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Hi,

Don't expect too much of a new GTX780.

 

I went from an i7-920 3,2GHz GTX570 to a i7-2600K 4,4GHz GTX780 OC system, but didn't see the improvement I thought I should get.

 

I didn't measured the improvement, but visuals and smoothness seems to be much the same.

 

I can't agree. I went from 580 to 780ti OC and the difference is quite big. With 580 I can get good visuals and smooth fps, but I have to sacrifice quite a bit on shadows, and turning terrain shadows on kills the fps every time. I also have to turn autogen a notch down etc. With 780ti I can turn on all the shadows and set nearly all other slides in graphics, scenery and lighting menus to max and I still get similar and smooth fps.

 

One thing still kills 780ti everytime is to turn shadow quality to Ultra, which makes 780ti micro-stutter all over the places. But Jeroen's shadow distance tweak works well to enable long distance shadow drawing at less than Ultra quality. I think the difference between 580 and 780 probably mostly boils down to shadows. If you want shadows full on you just have to go 780. Otherwise 580 can do pretty well too.

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I went from an i7-920 3,2GHz GTX570 to a i7-2600K 4,4GHz GTX780 OC system, but didn't see the improvement I thought I should get.

 

Did you delete the shaders folder? If you switch GPU's with P3D installed, you need to do that otherwise the new card will be trying to work with stuff that has been generated during your install with the old card. From what I've read this can mean the difference to results being the exact same or less and the results being a giant leap forward.

 

 

 


But Jeroen's shadow distance tweak works well to enable long distance shadow drawing at less than Ultra quality.

 

Good to know it's working for you too!

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Yes, it works great. I even pushed a step further: I increased shadow distance to 24000, and it works as I can clearly see shadows further than 12000 setting!

 

However and sadly, I believe it caused a strange problem: once I exit P3D2 and start again, it would give me a black screen and then crash. The only way I found to solve it is to use a copy of cfg before the modification. So apparently P3D2 can start and use 24000 shadow distance in cfg, but once it closes it probably makes some changes in cfg (I couldn't find any easily in the CFG though) that make the next start crash...

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Alright dog pile me if you want to but shadows are one of the reasons why I found it so hard to go back to an FSX VC after getting use to an XP10 VC.  Once you get use to them they are damn hard to do without. When you bank and a crisp shadow line pans accross your VC screen there really is no going back, 

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I didn't measured the improvement, but visuals and smoothness seems to be much the same.

 

Delete your shader cache.

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Alright dog pile me if you want to but shadows are one of the reasons why I found it so hard to go back to an FSX VC after getting use to an XP10 VC.  Once you get use to them they are damn hard to do without. When you bank and a crisp shadow line pans accross your VC screen there really is no going back, 

 

Indeed! The effect is great! I also can't imagine flying without it! It so important for the immersion!

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I 2nd the emotion to the 4th power! Not only the shadows, but the lighting also with the shadows leaves less doubt in interpreting time of day, orientation, direction, weather, proximity...... Etc etc. The presence of Shadows gives back information to the scene which is always available in real life. To not have it, is against nature!! :-D

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

 

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There one of those things you don't appreciate until you have them. Once you have them you don't know how you did without them.

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There one of those things you don't appreciate until you have them. Once you have them you don't know how you did without them.

Exactly... Theirs no way I'm giving them up voluntarily.

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Great image showing the effect of the building shadows!

 

Indeed the shadows are one of the greatest things that add immersion to this sim, in my opinion. I personally love the vegetation shadows just as much or more so than the building shadows; it can really make terrain look stunning in the right lighting.

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Flyice do you think that I could get by on a gtx 660 with some payware and moderate settings? Or would I be getting pretty weak performance?

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okupton, I really can't say much about it. My video card experiences so far are only limited to GTX 580 and 780ti and I haven't played with any other cards. All I can say it's that if I'm willing to sacrifice on not having terrain shadows and having autogen setting just one or two notches down, 580 can perform pretty well too.

By the way, since I using a big TV my resolution is always 1920x1080 which is not demanding at all,

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Yea Im.on a 42 inch.plasma as well. Interested in different configurations since I'm in the market for a new gpu but dont want to whipe out my xmas bonus in a video card. What's your processor if I may ask

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it's in My PC info. i5-2600k overclocked to 4.93GHz so probably it's one of the best matches to 780ti. I bought the 780ti superclocked with AC which is like $750. But based on all the reviews I read you can just get a 780 for $499 and it's not that much slower than the ti version anyway.

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Not going for a 780. I was more interested in your statement about the 580. Thanks for the help though!

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I have an i5 2500K @ 4.5 and a GTX580. I have all airplane shadows enabled (internal and external, both cast and receive), terrain cast and receive, buildings and vegetation cast only (although because of what probably is a bug buildings receive is clearly enabled anyway). Some other relevant settings: autogen at very dense, objects (or whatever you call them) at extremely dense. Tessellation one notch down. I applied the tweak which I posted about in the other topic so the terrain shadows cover a wide range (Ultra setting) but all other shadows are at Medium. With all this fps above New York (only FTX Global installed, no ther scenery or addon planes yet) is around 23. Above the mountains in Norway I get around 25. I tested with the limiter on 33 and unlimited and the latter seemed a bit smoother but that's hard to test.

 

So all in all the shadows do have a clear influence on performance but the sim is still very well flyable and usually everything is smooth. It's totally worth the drop in performance! I am planning to get a new GPU (probably the GTX780) and I am sure that will improve performance and even enable me to set some settings a bit higher.

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I've found that with unlimited, I do get a small frame increase but at the same time, get some stuttering. Although I'm on an amd card I'm guessing that its performance is similar to Jeroen's I've ended up setting the counter to 33 which gives me a stable scene.

 

I'm not using vegetation shadows and have left tessellation at medium. All scenery sliders at max and building shadows on cast and receive. This is what it looks like in New York. The FPS on this is around 15-16 as I lose around 3-4 FPS due to the video programme. I took it to show the interaction of scenery shadows when your in the cockpit. It also shows the shadows on the buildings. I'm using the shadow settings J van E posted.

 

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As an artist, shadow to me is very important. When I played fsx in 2007, I thought, how can I live with those graphic? Without shadow, objects just look "floating" and unrealistic. In fact, I nearly switch to XP10 just because of the shadow and non autogen pop up. Now I know that in v2, the sun and moon can cast shadow, I wonder is there any other dynamic light possible in the new SDK? In XP10, you have thousands of dynamic light in a typical scene, though the lights are not casting shadow for performance issue). Imagine in v2, when you taxi your aircraft at night, the lights in the airport cast realistic shadow into the cockpit.

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