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J van E

v2.2: cloud shadows don't bring light

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You probably will find this a bit premature moaning but I was thinking and wondering about the upcoming cloud shadows feature in v2.2 and how this would improve the illusion of light shining in the sim. I am starting to think that although it will be great, it won't be what I've been waiting for. After seeing various video's from v2.2 I still have the idea the sun isn't really shining.

 

I think it has to do with the fact that the currently available ground textures all look like the sky is clouded already. Adding extra shadows to a ground already covered in shadows will help but what we really need is LIGHT.

 

In real life when the sun is shining, I need sunglasses. Or I will at least pinch my eyes (if that is the right word). I never felt the need for sunglasses or pinching my eyes in FSX or P3D and when I look at the video's I still don't need them. So what we need are groundtextures that really reflect light and make you pinch your eyes when there are no cloud shadows.

 

Again, cloud shadows will be a very nice addition but we still need LIGHT imho.

 

Also again, you will probably find this premature moaning but I was simply thinking about this, why I am still not convinced we will be there yet with 2.2 and I was wondering if anyone thought the same.

 

BTW I could be totally wrong when I actually fly with 2.2 of course. ^_^

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"you will probably find this premature moaning"

 

yep :rolleyes:

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That's an 'effect' that you really do NOT want. Wearing sunglasses wouldn't make it so you could see, nor would 'pinching' your eyes. In short... if the ground textures reflected the sun like it does in the real world... you couldn't SEE. Your monitor would be a glazed donut view.

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That type of light control was one of the reasons behind the ENB Mod in FSX. The glare was downright annoying and ugly. Personally, I think the DR lighting in P3D does a decent job. I find some spots glary and others dark - much as IRL.

 

Vic

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You probably will find this a bit premature moaning but I was thinking and wondering about the upcoming cloud shadows feature in v2.2 and how this would improve the illusion of light shining in the sim. I am starting to think that although it will be great, it won't be what I've been waiting for. After seeing various video's from v2.2 I still have the idea the sun isn't really shining.



I think it has to do with the fact that the currently available ground textures all look like the sky is clouded already. Adding extra shadows to a ground already covered in shadows will help but what we really need is LIGHT.



In real life when the sun is shining, I need sunglasses. Or I will at least pinch my eyes (if that is the right word). I never felt the need for sunglasses or pinching my eyes in FSX or P3D and when I look at the video's I still don't need them. So what we need are groundtextures that really reflect light and make you pinch your eyes when there are no cloud shadows.



Again, cloud shadows will be a very nice addition but we still need LIGHT imho.



Also again, you will probably find this premature moaning but I was simply thinking about this, why I am still not convinced we will be there yet with 2.2 and I was wondering if anyone thought the same.



BTW I could be totally wrong when I actually fly with 2.2 of course. ^_^

 

I've used ENB and replacement textures for sky to improve things and it really has helped in FSX, though, it's a lot of work...tweaking, testing, tweaking...to get it closer to right.  The brightness we have in FSX without those mods isn't even as bright as when you where sunglasses.  I haven't tried P3D yet (soon) but it looks pretty dark too. 

 

One thing I did one day was to capture an image from FSX and run it through a color corrector (I have it somewhere) and the color corrector identified A LOT of extra blue-green.  The corrected image it created was WOW...spot on.  I tried using ENB to get that blue-green out but was only partially successful due, I think, to the color limitations of FSX.  I'll try to hunt down the pictures.

 

Gregg

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A good monitor profile helps a lot. I have a LCD-TV that has various presets, and I have one made for P3D v2 that is activated with one button on my remote. The contrast, gamma and black-level settings I use are pretty extreme, but I couldn't have used HDR lighting without it. When using P3D v2 on a professionally calibrated Eizo ColoEdge monitor it looks way too dark with HDR lighting (for my taste).

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With the build I have, with an earlier version of the cloud shadows, I can say the effect is to make the terrain look even more lit-up. The contrast between the light and dark enhances the perceived sensation of the sun shining... I just hope LM have not toned down the depth of the shadows, as most of the vids and shots seen from those with the proper beta/final builds do look less contrasty, in which case the effect will be diminished and feeling of light reduced... though most when questioned say they have not toned them down.. maybe its the softer edges that makes them look less intense.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the final build will look great, and the shadows will only serve to make the sim look better, and far more realistic.

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One thing I did one day was to capture an image from FSX and run it through a color corrector (I have it somewhere) and the color corrector identified A LOT of extra blue-green.  The corrected image it created was WOW...spot on.  I tried using ENB to get that blue-green out but was only partially successful due, I think, to the color limitations of FSX.  I'll try to hunt down the pictures.

 

Do you still have both the original and the colour-corrected image? I'm curious of the difference it would make.

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I tried using ENB to get that blue-green out but was only partially successful due, I think, to the color limitations of FSX. I'll try to hunt down the pictures.

 

SweetFX is a far better tool for in-game colour correction, with the ability to add or subtract RGB as well as contrast, saturation, gamma, and a host of other values that allow very fine control of the lighting. I have FSX looking quite sunny and close to P3Dv2 which has a default colour tone that is much warmer than FSX... the lack of shadows really show when I go back to FSX however, making it look very flat - they really are the icing on the cake.

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I have the same concerns.  However, there are DirectX 11 mods like SweetFX and ENB that will do this.  I've seen some beautiful results in FSX.  Many games don't have the most realistic lighting attainable, and DirectX mods show up for most of them.  Last I saw in December SweetFX doesn't work with Windows 8.1;it may now.  It will probably be something I work towards early on once I get going through my clean Win/P3D install.  There have already been nice results for P3D2 in a thread somewhere in this forum too, but for Windows 7. 

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 there are DirectX 11 mods like SweetFX and ENB that will do this.

There have already been nice results for P3D2 in a thread somewhere in this forum too, but for Windows 7. 

I was not aware that SweetFX worked in P3D.  I will have to check that out. 

In any case, I just adjust the color settings on my projector or monitor  in order to get the visuals that I like.  I do, however, very much like the way P3D renders the visuals currently.  

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EDIT: Just to be sure everyone understands before they read the rest of this post...THIS IS FSX...I don't have Prepare3D so I can't compare.

 

Okay...I didn't find the color corrected image I was looking for but I went ahead and created a good example.  Below is an image I captured from FSX and below that is a link to the color corrected one...

 

Non color corrected:

jVU3eZn.jpg

 

And here's the link to the color corrected one.  Note that all I did was use Adobe Fireworks and just chose "Auto Correct"...no fancy processing....  Here is the image it corrected next to the non-corrected version.

 

http://imgur.com/a/cbzun

 

Gregg

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Is this what you are sort of thinking of JE? Maybe could use more light in the cockpit though:

 

http://cloud-4.steampowered.com/ugc/3298066830205832905/EDFB6C0F7432DB38549DFA5DB0BB284BB53E4B84/2048x1280.resizedimage

 

That also helps indeed. And a lot too. But my main concern (don't forget I posted this on a saturday and had nothing better to do ^_^ ) is that the ground textures look like the sky is clouded already: they have shadows baked into them, so to speak. And adding cloud shadows to them will not make the sun shine. It will help to give some sort of sun/no sun effect but it won't bring LIGHT. Since the ground textures already look as if the sky is clouded, adding cloud shadows will only make things darker. And making things darker is something else than makeing the sun shine. ^_^

 

But well, maybe I should indeed fool around with my monitor settings a little. Enable ColorBright or whatever Samsung's enhancement's mode is called (can't check it right now). There is a mode that makes everything SPLASH off your screen. Never looked realistic, very cartoonish instead, but it's been a while since I gave it a try and maybe with the new cloud shadow system and P3D's darker default colors it will help.

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It's not going to happen Jeroen, because IMO it's not possible. The amount of light that would be reflected off a surface, would be governed by the maximum light value that the monitor can display. So unless the monitor could display illuminance to such a degree that you needed to squint, then it won't happen :wink:

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Since the ground textures already look as if the sky is clouded, adding cloud shadows will only make things darker.

 

Sorry I don't get this, as most terrain textures look like the sun is shining permanently, esp. with baked in tree shadows in FTX's case anyway... Maybe P3D's HDR helps, with a degree of adaptation, but with the shadows on, and the subtraction of brightness, there is without doubt a greater feeling of light, and the sun shining [kind of like the perception of loudness (not volume) in music.]........... but, hey, if you don't like it turn them off.

 

It's not going to happen Jeroen, because IMO it's not possible. The amount of light that would be reflected off a surface, would be governed by the maximum light value that the monitor can display. So unless the monitor could display illuminance to such a degree that you needed to squint, then it won't happen :wink:

 

Exactly.. so it all comes down to effects and the perception created by them. We will see what the final result in P3D's case looks like tomorrow.

 

BTW J.. do you think the cockpit shadows add to the sensation of light or not?... I think they do, and its the same for the terrain.

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Weren't LM going to add reflectance values to textures? So snow would reflect a lot of light, etc?

 

Edit: From LM's website: "Regarding lighting, one of the biggest features we have implemented is the support for specular terrain lighting.  What that means is that land classes now support specular values that will affect how they reflect light (snow and roads now reflect light differently, snow is shinier, etc.)."

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Weren't LM going to add reflectance values to textures? So snow would reflect a lot of light, etc?

 

Edit: From LM's website: "Regarding lighting, one of the biggest features we have implemented is the support for specular terrain lighting.  What that means is that land classes now support specular values that will affect how they reflect light (snow and roads now reflect light differently, snow is shinier, etc.)."

 

I think they removed that in 2.1 to prevent shimmering.

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Just for grins, I took some recent Avsim Screenshots that folks uploaded and put them through the '1 click' Adobe Fireworks color correction to see what they'd look like.  Here's the album.  (There's one image I hadn't color corrected that snuck in there...just ignore it.)

 

http://imgur.com/a/v9TGv#1

 

Here's one example...

jBNmfn3.jpg

And here's the color corrected version...

PX7v4RP.jpg

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You can achieve the same thing in-game with ease using a warm coloured palette in ENB or reducing blues with SweetFX... I think Tim from REX has an ENB which gets something similar.

 

You can also use SHADE to make the 'Light' (and shadow) values warm... but we're taking about FSX here, not P3D which is warmer and more contrasty by default.

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You can achieve the same thing in-game with ease using a warm coloured palette in ENB or reducing blues with SweetFX... I think Tim from REX has an ENB which gets something similar.



You can also use SHADE to make the 'Light' (and shadow) values warm... but we're taking about FSX here, not P3D which is warmer and more contrasty by default.

 

I couldn't pull it off myself using ENB.  I did try the REX one but, while it was interesting, I didn't find it more accurate.  Haven't tried Shade yet...looking forward to trying Prepar3D.

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BTW J.. do you think the cockpit shadows add to the sensation of light or not?... I think they do, and its the same for the terrain.

 

Yes, they do! And I know what you mean! As I already said in the OP "I could be totally wrong when I actually fly with 2.2" but so far the video's didn't convince me. Hopefully I am totally wrong indeed. And hopefully I can say so tomorrow... :rolleyes:

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BTW J.. do you think the cockpit shadows add to the sensation of light or not?... I think they do, and its the same for the terrain.

 

I had another close look at it all and I think you are right. I also did some tests with the current shadow options and posted about it here: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/438849-what-a-difference-shadows-make/ Look at the difference between the first and last shot in the animated gif. Cloud shadows will have a similer effect indeed.

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Yeah, good example, I think its going to look just fine and add a great deal, light wise, unless LM have dialled them back and they end up..... er, a shadow of their former selves :ph34r:  ....LR diminished the cloud shadows in XPX and it ruined the effect.

 

For best affect you'll need both buildings and vegetation set to receive shadows, or a lot of the darkening will be lost...edit: opps you said that anyway :blush:

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