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neumanix

Here's how to eliminate cockpit shimmering without SGSS

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I have tried this on 3 different aircraft with great success, the Carenado Bonanza, A2A Cherokee and Alabeo Piper Sport, so it will for sure work for others as well.

 

The antialiasing in 3.2 seems improved, but the cockpit panels and gauges still shimmer alot in some aircraft if you don't use 4xSGAA, which as you know is a framekiller when flying through heavier clouds.

 

So to begin with, disable SGAA if you have it on, set 4x or 8x AA in the sim and then go download DxtBMP if you don't already have it. Imagetool for FSX/P3D should also work fine.

 

DxtBMP supports both bmp and dds files and can be downloaded from here: http://www.mwgfx.co.uk/programs/dxtbmp.htm

Link at the bottom of the page.

 

Let's take the Carenado Bonanza as an example.

 

First make backups of the texture folders, just in case. For the Bonanza we will make changes to the textures.common, texture.interior1 and texture.interior2.

 

So here's how you do it, it's all about mipmaps!

 

If you check the file sizes in textures.common for example, you'll see they are 257KB, 1025KB and 4097KB depending on their size. These numbers however tells you they are NOT mipmapped.

 

So load up DxtBMP and on the right hand side under "MipMaps" make sure the "Include when saving" box is checked.

 

Now it's just a matter of loading one texture at a time into DxtBMP and straight away save it again, overwriting the original file.

 

You'll notice the file size grew a little, which means it now includes mipmaps.

 

Do this at least for all the larger detailed textures. You can do them all, it won't hurt anything, You can do the exterior textures as well. Knock yourselves out :)

 

Also in P3D, the "Mipmap VC Panels" should be checked, otherwise your GPS displays will still be shimmering.

 

There you go, that should keep you busy for a while :wink:

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Are there any side effects with mipmapping? I am wondering why Carenado did not do the job for their aircrafts?

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I am wondering why Carenado did not do the job for their aircrafts?

 

I guess because in FS9 and FSX, not mipmapping textures that are always close, like cockpit textures, used to be the norm.

No obvious side effects, there should be some image quality degredation as you're effectively re compressing the image, but the loss has to be minimal, because I haven't noticed it.

Make backups before you try it so you can easily switch back if necessary.

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Hmmm, why did you change texture.common when we are dealing only with gauges? So "interior1" and "interior2" are important.

Anyway I will try this since I must use FXAA just for gauges, but they are a bit blurry then.

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

cheers

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Interesting... I already wondered why the Aerosoft Airbus with all its small knobs and buttons and loads of text on screens looks absolutely GORGEOUS while for instance the RealAir Legacy has shimmering jaggies all over the place and looks a lot less good! Why don't developers know about this and add mipmaps to all planes they offer for P3D...? I might have to give this a try (after figuring out which textures to edit or not).

 

BTW this also might explain why some are very happy with 3.2's AA and others aren't. I wasn't happy at all with the AA in the Legacy but became very happy with the Airbus! 3.2's AA has improved but you need a proper VC to actually see it!

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Flight1 have just released a P3D version of their great jet, the C510 Mustang. It is a bit of a frame hog though...    would any of these measures help with that. It uses large Garmin screens , can these methods be applied to them ? 

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Hmmm, why did you change texture.common when we are dealing only with gauges?

 

Because we aren't only dealing with gauges. Panel and other interior textures need mipmapping too.

 

And yes, Vic, that guide does indeed go deeper into the subject. I hadn't seen it before.

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There has to be a reason it's not being done on the developer's side. I simply cannot believe that they are all ignorant to this. It would be nice to get input from someone who actually is a developer and as to why  this method isn't being done 10+ years on since FSX?

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There has to be a reason it's not being done on the developer's side. I simply cannot believe that they are all ignorant to this. It would be nice to get input from someone who actually is a developer and as to why  this method isn't being done 10+ years on since FSX?

 

+1

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There has to be a reason it's not being done on the developer's side. I simply cannot believe that they are all ignorant to this. It would be nice to get input from someone who actually is a developer and as to why  this method isn't being done 10+ years on since FSX?

 

I repaint A2A aircraft and spend a good bit of time on the A2A forum, more specifically in the repainter forum. A2A does not include mipmaps in their textures to avoid ugly pop-in and blurry textures. I know firsthand because after completing my first repaint, the users complained that my textures were blurry. Come to find out - it's because I exported the texture files with mipmaps. Haven't made that mistake since.

 

I won't be adding mipmaps to my cockpit textures as a solution for shimmering.

 

But if it works for you, go for it! It doesn't have adverse affects as far as I know. In fact, you may GAIN performance, which is the intended purpose of mipmaps.

 

For those who don't know, this is what a mipapped texture looks like:

 

f08xi01.jpg

 

Several resolutions of the same texture are included in one file, and the game calls up the appropriate instance, depending on a variety of conditions. If the texture is NOT mipmapped, the single hires texture will load by default.

 

So, if you see a blurry texture on your aircraft, understand that a lower resolution instance of the texture is being called upon from within the mipmapped texture.

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There has to be a reason it's not being done on the developer's side. I simply cannot believe that they are all ignorant to this. It would be nice to get input from someone who actually is a developer and as to why  this method isn't being done 10+ years on since FSX?

Yes i agree, its like that other post a while back that said to reduce all your scenery textures resolution to 1024 using a program called optimise textures, it opens a can of worms.... and i found to reduce shimmering and gain clarity in the VC i just unticked the mipmaps feature in P3d options.

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Haha, why doesn't a developer do this themselves? It requires extra work and if no one is going to complain about it, why should a developer bother with it? It's rare to see commercial products these days without mipmapped textures, though.

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 It's rare to see commercial products these days without mipmapped textures, though.

 

Not THAT rare. Every single A2A aircraft. If you prefer flying airliners I understand why these may not be on your radar, though.

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I haven't encountered any blurry textures yet, but if that starts happening then clearly this should not be done. I guess more testing is needed.

 

I threw together this little video to show it in action. You need to watch it in fullscreen 1080p.

 

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I haven't encountered any blurry textures yet, but if that starts happening then clearly this should not be done. I guess more testing is needed.

 

After a little contemplation, I may indeed try this, just on the VC textures and test it on my own. Thanks.

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I have been wondering for a long time why default airplanes have almost perfectly smooth edges with just 4x MSAA, while some (even reputable) add-on planes show ugly jaggies on their wings even with 8x MSAA. Seems that the answer lies in mip maps...

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I haven't encountered any blurry textures yet, but if that starts happening then clearly this should not be done. I guess more testing is needed.

 

I threw together this little video to show it in action. You need to watch it in fullscreen 1080p.

 

 

SUPER video!

Nice nice work...

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If you check the file sizes in textures.common for example, you'll see they are 257KB, 1025KB and 4097KB depending on their size. These numbers however tells you they are NOT mipmapped.

 

According to this rule then there is alot of airliners which are not mipmapped. Including Aerosoft Airbusses, and the Majestic Q400. Why would reputable devs like these not be using mipmaps?

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Not THAT rare. Every single A2A aircraft. If you prefer flying airliners I understand why these may not be on your radar, though.

The reason that some vendors do not use mipmapped textures is that they are operating under the assumption that the pilot is almost always using the VC view and not looking at the outside of one's own aircraft. With panel textures, they assume that no one is going to "zoom in" to look at the detail on the knobs and bezels. They also assume that people are not interested in seeing the aircraft in great detail in the external spot views either, which is probably true. A2A packs all the external textures into one 4096x4096 texture sheet. The interior textures are packed into multiple 1024 and 2048 texture sheets.

 

Like I said in my original post, why should an aircraft author mipmap the textures if no one is complaining about it?

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Turn off AA to make things easier to spot. Then take the A36 VC for example, the chronometer display for example shows off the mipmapping nicely. Turn off mipmap the VC in the display settings and the facia and clock become shimmery.

 

So these are mimpapped and working well.

 

But apply some mipmaps around here and there and it seems not to help everywhere. I'm still seeing shimmers on items when I zoom out the magnification. So it seems some objects don't mipmap so well.

 

This only appears to happen in DX10 FSX and DX11 P3D. FSX DX9 seems unaffected.

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I threw together this little video to show it in action. You need to watch it in fullscreen 1080p.

 

Nice , thank you.

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According to this rule then there is alot of airliners which are not mipmapped. Including Aerosoft Airbusses, and the Majestic Q400. Why would reputable devs like these not be using mipmaps?

 

Same with my Alabeo DA-42. I thought it looked nice too. Going to see what happens when I mipmap it.

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