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Guest Slacktide

VC Gauge refresh

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Hi all!I would like to share some experiences with you regarding vc refreshment rate, and hopefully get some feedback if any of you have some thoughts on this issue. Also I would welcome some answers from the 3rd party aircraft developers, they're the experts, not me:Usually I find flying from the vc the most realistic way, but sometimes I get so annoyed by the super-slow gauge refresh rate that it takes away a lot of the being there feeling. After all, with the limited pc-view, I think we rely more on the gauges than in the real world (and the panel looks so cool when it works, ref. Lomac and IL2).Then I got two new ww2 planes where the refresh rate in the vc is a whole different story, the wonderful RA Spitfire and ditto ** Mustang. I understand that the Spit is beyond smart when it comes to gauge implementation, it's completely different. But the P51 has normal gauge entries from a .gau file in a normal panel.cfg. WHY DOES IT PERFORM 10 TIMES BETTER THAN ALL MY OTHER AC ADDONS!At first I thought the P51 was the only one (beside the Spitfire). WRONG! There are some others

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Guest danowat

I think the reason behind "most" low refresh VC gauges is the amount of gauges in a certain VC.This can be seen if you take a VC with slow gauges (normally it is packed with gauges) and remove many gauges, you will see that the refresh rates increase.Which means to me that the fault doesnt lie with the gauges, but with the amount of gauges that are in a VC, which is why planes with a small amount of instruments, e.g. WW2 fighters, show much better refresh rates.I have a few freeware planes, for example the excellent freewre bucker jungman (sp?) and the VC gauges are extremely smooth, again due to the fact there are a minimum of gauges in the VC.I bet that if I placed a few CRT gauges, and a number of other ones, the refresh rate would drop through the floor.Dan.

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Guest Dianne_S

I'm the same way regarding VC gauges. I simply won't buy a new add-on unless I'm absolutely sure the gauge suite is free of stuttering in the virtual cockpit. I purchased the Realair Decathalon for both the fidelity of the flight dynamics as well as the advertised VC gauge refresh rate. I was dissappointed that the VC gauges in the Decathlon stutter just as bad on my computer system as with all other add-ons I've tried, even when low quality virtual cockpit gauge setting are selected from the FS2004 display menu. It just kills it for me right then and there, $25 down the drain (sigh) but what can you do?I've seen the Realair Spitfire perform on a computer similar to mine (Athlon 2100+ and 64 meg GF4 Ti4200 graphics) and it in particular is indeed stutter free, framerates are even bettr in the VC than with the default MS aircraft, it's amazing.But, again, I simply won't purchase an add-on now unless I have not doubt at all about VC gauge performance. I'm really wary of commercial reviews and developer's own advertising when it comes to virtual cockpit gauges - I have to get the 'street' opinion from other users before I'm convinced now :) One learns these things after awhile.

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Guest Dianne_S

I used to think this too but I've found that if one gauge stutters in the VC of a particular aircraft, it doesn't matter how many gauge there are for the most part. I think is has to with the complexity and polygon count of the virtual cockpit itself perhaps?I think one of the reasons the default VCs in FS2004 are so fluid is because of the low polygon count of all of the original aircraft.Just a theory :)

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Dan, I doubt that the amount of gauges is that important, simply because the Flight1 172R and even the Decathalon mentioned by Dianne have the same stuttering.Dianne, do you think that the amount of polygons in the external model affects the rate, or is it just the vc 3d environment that counts. And in that case, why do the Aerosoft Beaver have the same stuttering, I don't think that cockpit is much more complicated than the default DC3.But more important: The ** P51 has a very detailed 3d model, and more gauges than the 172R, still it doesn's suffer from slow vc gauges!brEagle

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Guest JeanLuc_

Please make sure to tour the Panels and Gauge design forum in here at avsim for more information :-)The key so far to faster refresh rate in the VC is the number of Virtual Cockpit windows in the panel.cfg file...So in short: the more details you want in your VC, the more entries they are, the slower the refresh rate is... You can't have both, demanding details, and fast refresh rate.Hope this helps!

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I think it depends on *how* the panel/gauges are designed more than how detailed the gauges are or how many there are or even how powerful your system is.It varies greatly from model to model - some run at only a couple of FPS, others refresh just like the 2D panel. Most sit somewhere inbetween. I have examples of extremely detailed VC's that update smoothly, such as the Aerosoft Katana. Others, while not being any more complex, such as the RealAir Scout, update much slowerFinally, computer performance seems to have little impact. After doing significant upgrades to my system, scenery and clouds now run much smoother but VC gauges haven't changed *at all*.Most reviewers don't even mention VC gauge refreshrate, only looking at the actual quality of the VC gauges and interior texturing. I think that needs to change. Any decent aircraft review (at least GA) should include a bit about VC gauge refreshrate and if it's too low, points should be removed from the final score of the product.

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Guest danowat

Thats interesting, I thought that by seperating the VC into a number of windows helped the FPS?, but it has a detrimental effect on the gauge refresh rates?.So, if the VC was one "window", no matter how many gauges were in the panel it would be smooth?.Dan.

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Guest danowat

You say that, but the refresh rate seems to be down to perspective.For example, I have the FSD Avanti, and to me the VC gauges update to slow for me to fly it well enough from the VC, but I have seen people post about how good the refresh rates are on the VC gauges in the Avanti VC.I agree with you about the system specs, they have very little to do with the actual gauge refresh in the VC.Dan.

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I was actually one of the first to complain about the VC gauges of the Scout while noone else seemed to agree, so to a point it depends on what the user expects to see. (the Scout is still an excellent addon BTW so don't let that stop you from buying it)However I do have addons with VCs that update *just* as smoothly as the 2d panel and are still very detailed in the VC view.

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Guest JeanLuc_

This is what comes out of several "designer" discussions in the aforementioned forum.Try this: remove all but Vcockpit01 window from your panel.cfg file and compare!Let us know about your experiment with this too!!

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>The key so far to faster refresh rate in the VC is the number>of Virtual Cockpit windows in the panel.cfg file...That's interesting JeanLuc, I think you're right. Look here:Aerosoft Beaver: 4 windows -> SlowFlight1 172R: 4 windows -> SlowRA Decathlon: 9 windows! -> SlowDefault Piper Cub: 2 windows -> DecentDefault DC3: 2 windows -> Decent** P51: 1 window -> Excellent (If you have FS Panel Studio, take look at the Mustang P51H model :-eek)So I removed 3 windows from the 172R, and Voila! All of a sudden I could actually use the turn and slip gauge! But the VC looks a bit damaged :(http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/104864.jpgThe thing is: In the P51 there's a lot of gauges missing in the one and only vc window in the panel.cfg, but they're there in the actual vc. Have they intgrated those (mostly buttons and switches) in the 3d model?brEagle

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Guest Zevious Zoquis

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the number of VC windows in the cfg is the main culprit. Virtually every one of the planes in my hangar that has really nice smooth guages in the VC also has only one or two VC panel.cfg window entries. And the ones that are particularly poor always have five or six entries. None of the other factors (number of guages, VC detail/complexity) seem to have as direct an effect on performance.

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Considering the RealAir ACA's have 9 windows and are slow that definitely has something to do with it. However the Aussim Warrior III has 5 windows and is actually very smooth. The Katana has 3 and has the smoothest VC I've seen of any FS9 aircraft, even some using only 1 or 2 windows (checked) so there may be something else going on. 3 windows seems to be enough for a typical GA IFR panel though so I don't see the need to use more if it causes or contributes to these problems with the refreshrate.

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Guest

well, there will be an effect when you add insane amounts of gauges but that effect will be less than when adding more VC windows.

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Guest

My guess is they combined those gauges into a smaller number of metagauges (clusters of gauges).So you have one entry which controls what on screen looks like a number of different switches and dials.

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Thanks' a lot friends!This actually Made a great improvement to two of my (at the moment) most used planes, the Flight1 172R and the Aerosoft Beaver (I'm doing Misty Fjords right now). I just threw out the vc windows I don't need from the vc's (using popups instead). In the 172R that left me with the main instruments and radio whitch is ok by now.BUT PLEASE 3d PARTY DEVELOPERS! Don't give us more of those stuttering gauges, and to the good people at Flight1 (outstanding addons and service really!): Would you consider reorganising the vc to get the smooth gauges? It really would make this Cessna complete!brEagle

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Guest Dianne_S

Just experimented with the Realair Decathlon and commented out all of the VC windows except for the primary one as mentioned in this thread - works great, completely fluid gauge movement in the VC this way now. I still see microstutters in the scenery rate when the virtual cockpit is in high quality mode but the gauges themselves are completely smooth. Turning down the VC quality everything is smooth but gauges get blurry but still readable. Very good information here guys, thank you so much!

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The primary reason for RealAir's Spit having such a nice, fluid VC is that the majority of the gauges are coded in the .mdl file... which, of course, explains why there is no 2d panel, and cannot ever be a 2d panel, unless someone replicates the VC gauges as "normal" C or XML gauges... ;)

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Guest secks

>BUT PLEASE 3d PARTY DEVELOPERS! Don't give us more of those>stuttering gauges, and to the good people at Flight1>(outstanding addons and service really!): Would you consider>reorganising the vc to get the smooth gauges? It really would>make this Cessna complete!>>br>EagleThere's only one future a/c which will have smooth VC gauges (3d gauges, like the spitfire) that I know of, and it's an upgrade to an existing product. Interestingly, it has _both_ a 2d panel and smooth 3d VC gauges. I'm not sure if the resistance to this new VC technology is the result of few FS programmers being skilled in this technique, the difficulty of it, or what. But one thing's for sure .. it needs to become common practice for future addons.Carl

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And, would you mind telling us which future upgrade that is, hopefully I already have it in my hangar :)brEagle

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Guest Slacktide

>>>BUT PLEASE 3d PARTY DEVELOPERS! Don't give us more of those>>stuttering gauges, and to the good people at Flight1>>(outstanding addons and service really!): Would you consider>>reorganising the vc to get the smooth gauges? It really>would>>make this Cessna complete!>>>>br>>Eagle>>There's only one future a/c which will have smooth VC gauges>(3d gauges, like the spitfire) that I know of, and it's an>upgrade to an existing product. Make that two, and this one's freeware.

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Guest Milton

I am certain most designers understand the implications of multiple vcockpit sections, hundreds of gauges and high poly counts to FPS and gauge refresh. My testing shows the number of vcockpit sections has the greatest influence on gauge smoothness.All the examples above reference small aircraft panels. So, now is decision time for larger aircraft and their 2D and 3d panels.We are currently well along with the Dash 7 with VC (as of October 2004 actually). I have held the vcockpit sections to two to maintain good refresh rates. I have forgone ancillary gauges in places where there might be other vcockpit sections to handle them. I have left out the passenger and cargo areas of the fuselage to achieve lower poly counts. I have sacrificed VC resolution (but not gauge) a bit to reduce texture sizes. All this was done to keep refresh rates fluid.There are over 400 gauges and switches in the 2D and VC panels. These are the compromises designers must make to address concerns and threads like this one. 12-18 months ago the interest was clarity and realism of the VC so that is what has brought us to this juncture.The Howard 500 has 9 vcockpit sections and though the panel and gauges look okay, the refresh is horrible. That aircraft has over 350 gauges and switches. We could dumb it down, eliminate a lot of stuff, use dead bmps and more but that one is history. Feel free to yank sections from it if you wish. :-)

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This is quite amazing advice!I find that I can keep the first three VC windows in the Decathlon and still have very good VC gauge updates.This makes a BIG difference to the overall flying experience!Probably deserves to go into the MSFS Tips and Tricks section...

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