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dukeav

VAS / OOM and Textures

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Many third-party airplanes today are shipping with 4k/2k textures. While we can debate its usefulness to no end, the fact remains that they are quite memory intensive. 

 

There are ways to reduce texture sizes and mip them, but I came across an easy tool which makes it a breeze, http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/12801/?, developed by AdPipino for Skyrim and other games. I let this program run through my airplanes folder, to reduce texture size to 1k and mip them also, and then I measured the results. 

 

All tests were done on runway at supposedly the most isolated airports in the world, Mataveri International Airport / SCIP. All situation were loaded after fresh start of P3D from saved flights. After loading I panned/zoomed around in both VC and spot view, measured VAS using ProcExp and GPU using MSI Afterburner.

 

While VAS and its effects we all know, I am not sure about GPU memory and its effects, but I still measured it. GPU experts can chime in.

 

 

depxtm1p8kc0dhh6g.jpg

 

System Specs: i7-4700MQ @ 2.8, 16GB 1866Mhz Ram, 755M SLI 2GB DDR5, 128+512GB SSD

Settings of note: FFTF=0.0, AM=244, TEXTUREMAXLOAD=27, TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024

 

Observations:

 

We are saving about 150-300MB VAS, depending upon the Airplane.

 

None of these aircraft had mips in their original textures. Some have 4k textures, some 2k.

 

You might think that just by selecting 1024 as texture size in the P3D settings, it might reduce memory load. But this is not true as you can see above. This maybe because, none of the original textures are mipped, my guess. So if you want you can choose not to reduce the textures, but just mip them. I have not tried this. 

 

After reduction, I did not see any visual difference.

 

There were no FPS differences between the textures sizes, so this does not do anything for FPS performance.

 

The B1900D has shimmer in the cockpit controls with the original textures, but after reducing/mipping there is no shimmer :smile:

 

 

So how can you do it easily?

 

1. Make a copy of the Airplanes folder in SimObjects directory. Let the copy be in the SimObjects folder itself.

 

2. Run Ordenador tool (link above), and select the folder copy you just made. And other settings as below

 

sddnh213kfb46hw6g.jpg

 

Also in the More/Extras tab, un-select backup option, as we already made a backup.

 

3. Click Start and wait for 10-15 minutes for it to finish. (You may have to confirm the no backup and reduce textures options in the subsequent dialog prompts)

 

4. After finishing, I suggest you copy the log window and save it as text for future reference if need be. 

 (for me the original folder size was around 21GB and it came down to 10GB after reduction)

 

5. Rename the original Airplanes folder to something like "Airplanes_ORIGINAL".

 

6. Rename your folder copy to "Airplanes"

 

You can switch back and forth between original textures and reduced ones just by renaming the folders in future. 

 

 

I also want to try out the new BC6/BC7 texture formats supported by DX11, but the conversion speed is pretty pathetic with the tools today. Maybe in the future.

 

Mega Airport experiments are next up, till then just imagine the savings!

 

 

Edit: I just realized that the textures more than 1k and being cut in half, but not cut to 1k. E.g. 4k texture becomes 2k, 2k becomes 1k. So finally we are left with 4k converted to 2k. If we run tool one more time, it should convert the 2k (4k originally) down to 1k also. So more savings!

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Very good tutorial !

Thank you very much.

 

Keep us informed regarding the airports.

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Duke, That looks very promising.

 

Can this work on all textures in the sim?

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Very good tutorial !

Thank you very much.

 

Keep us informed regarding the airports.

 

Welcome! Job for the next weekend if I can hold the tweaking urge.

Duke, That looks very promising.

 

Can this work on all textures in the sim?

 

I think so, the adventurous can let it run on the P3D folder itself!

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I think so, the adventurous can let it run on the P3D folder itself!

 

That sound like a challenge Duke! :lol:

 

maybe I will try BC6/BC7 texture formats on the entire P3D Folder :lol:

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That sound like a challenge Duke! :lol:

 

maybe I will try BC6/BC7 texture formats on the entire P3D Folder :lol:

 

Well, we are waiting then ;)

 

BC6/BC7, I am going to guess, is going to take a few weeks to convert. A single 1k texture conversion itself was taking 10-15 minutes.

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BC6/BC7, I am going to guess, is going to take a few weeks to convert. A single 1k texture conversion itself was taking 10-15 minutes.

 

I'll make a backup of the entire P3D folder and convert it as per your instructions.

I assume the program won't just convert the textures in the selected folder. It will also

go down through the sub-folders within that folder?

It might take a few hours right? I will start it tonight before I go to bed and hopefully it will be done by the time

I get home from work on Monday.

 

If it goes well I will Copy the P3D Folder to another computer and Run the BC6/BC7 conversion

and leave it running for however long it takes or better still brake it up into sub folder and run conversions overnight

on my much faster FS system.

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What do the textures look like though? There's a reason devs stepped up from 1024 hehe

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I'll make a backup of the entire P3D folder and convert it as per your instructions.

I assume the program won't just convert the textures in the selected folder. It will also

go down through the sub-folders within that folder?

It might take a few hours right? I will start it tonight before I go to bed and hopefully it will be done by the time

I get home from work on Monday.

 

If it goes well I will Copy the P3D Folder to another computer and Run the BC6/BC7 conversion

and leave it running for however long it takes or better still brake it up into sub folder and run conversions overnight

on my much faster FS system.

 

This tool does not do BC6/BC7. It will only do DXT5 max and that does not take time. The 20GB aircraft took 15-20 mins, so whole P3D, may an hour or two?

 

The only available tools I found for BC6/BC7 are VS 2012/13 and DxTex. VS 2012/13 conversion is CPU based and takes more than 30mins for small texture itself, If I recall correctly. DxTex does it on GPU, so much faster than VS.

What do the textures look like though? There's a reason devs stepped up from 1024 hehe

 

They looked perfectly fine to me, even quite close up. But then, as they, it lies in the eyes of the beholder...

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The difference between 4096 and 2048 IMO is miniscule and virtually indiscernible. The difference between 1024 and the HD textures is only marginal and again IMO which is entirely experienced based with no technical knowledge to it at all is that the price for HD textures is high for the small Improvement in image quality. I like like a balance between my sliders to the right and FPS and there is no question about it that HD textures will get you into OOM territory much quicker than SD textures. So its a choice between HD textures and slider a bit to the left or SD textures and sliders to right. I choose the later.

 

 

 


DxTex does it on GPU, so much faster than VS.

 

I'll try to do this with ES IOM and see if I can bench mark it.

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I'd be very curious about how this works with scenery textures.  I have a couple of sceneries that I've been suspicious about in terms of their textures...whether they're optimized.

 

Gregg

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Great thread and definitely agree with you on how adding mips to textures are great for performance and reducing VAS. I still don't understand why most aircraft developers make their textures non-mipped.

 

Why not at least provide both mipped and non-mipped versions and let us decide which ones to use.

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Great thread and definitely agree with you on how adding mips to textures are great for performance and reducing VAS. I still don't understand why most aircraft developers make their textures non-mipped.

Mostly because when viewing from spot view, depending on the initial view distance, the a/c will be displayed with the first MIP, which typically is rather blurry. One then has to zoom very close for the full texture to load and be displayed.

 

In addition, the second MIP level won't be shown until the view distance is >2,000'. How often would you ever view the a/c from that far away?

 

In short, this was determined many years ago, and at that time much effort was devoted by users to get rid of MIPs entirely to eliminate the problem! It appears we have now come full circle... :LMAO:

 

MIPs were designed to be mainly used for AI aircraft and scenery models, where the different view distances will produce the greatest effects.

 

For interior (vc) textures, MIPs are totally useless. The only thing that changes is that the texture sizes are increased slightly for no gain or advantage whatsoever.

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Mostly because when viewing from spot view, depending on the initial view distance, the a/c will be displayed with the first MIP, which typically is rather blurry. One then has to zoom very close for the full texture to load and be displayed.

 

In addition, the second MIP level won't be shown until the view distance is >2,000'. How often would you ever view the a/c from that far away?

 

In short, this was determined many years ago, and at that time much effort was devoted by users to get rid of MIPs entirely to eliminate the problem! It appears we have now come full circle... :LMAO:

 

MIPs were designed to be mainly used for AI aircraft and scenery models, where the different view distances will produce the greatest effects.

 

For interior (vc) textures, MIPs are totally useless. The only thing that changes is that the texture sizes are increased slightly for no gain or advantage whatsoever.

Agree, I am not sure mips are doing anything here, just reducing overall texture size helps with VAS.

 

There was another thread in here which said mips were not really working FSX, but fine in P3D. So mips may still be used correctly in P3D, but since there is anyway no performance gain, it may not be of much help.

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If you reduce size of files, you always cut into the detail of the testures, I have no doubt about that. But on the other hand, with the level of detail we have available now, I wouldnt mind letting a little slip in trade of performance. If the result is satisfying in the eye of the beholder, it fine, I guess.

I'm runing 4096 textures and I'm pretty spoiled when it comes to that, also with most aircraft I fly, but I wouldnt mind taking my chances and doing some tests.

 

I'll make some time for it tomorrow and I'll report back with the results.

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