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Desaix

Flightsimcon 2016...any news on Austin Meyer's speech?

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Sadly, I wasn't able to attend, but i just saw this post on Reddit (hopefully he/she won't mind me posting): 

Hey everyone,

I attended FlightSimCon today and watched the X-Plane presentation. Austin Meyer and the Laminar Research team discussed the future of the sim and shared some really jaw dropping new features. For anyone interested who did not get to attend, here is what they are working on:

X-Plane 10.50 (Mostly old news)

  • Entering public beta this week!
  • Autogen now takes into account OpenStreetMap heights. This allows for cities to look like cities, where autogen buildings will be matched with the approximate height of their real world counterparts.
  • Updated King Air, Baron, and airports.
  • Static aircraft now park at terminal gates and GA spots.
  • Global winds aloft
  • Some other cool stuff that I forgot about...

Future X-Plane (X-Plane 11?) Laminar Research also announced some (in my opinion) game changing new features:

  • New UI: Finally a modern looking user interface! It sort of looks like a hybrid between Flight School and P3D. The plane selection screen lists all of the aircraft with images for each one in a grid. Both weather and time of day are changed with sliders, and it shows a preview of how each will look in the sim (i.e. 8pm will show a sunset image). Settings are very organized. Control mapping is incredibly easy, with images of the joystick or yoke you are using. Clicking a button on the image allows you to change the action of that button on your yoke. To top it all off, the new UI is supposedly much faster!

  • Physics Based Rendering (PBR): PBR is a technique used in most modern game engines. PBR essentially renders light reflections off objects based on both the color and material of the object. They showed before and after comparisons shots and the difference was jaw dropping. It's hard to convey how incredible the difference was. The example that stood out to me was a Cessna 172. The aluminum body of the plane reflected more light at angles parallel to the camera (as it naturally does). When looking perpendicular, the light reflections were diminished. Another example showed a Boeing 737. The landing lights naturally reflected off of the edge of the wing and engine cowling. This rendering happens dynamically for all surfaces (all planes, buildings, roads, grass, etc.) and is different depending on the surface's material. It makes the sim look incredibly realistic. Makes for some amazing sunset pics!

  • Ambient Occlusion: Ambient Occlusion is another technique commonly used in game engines. It essentially shades the image based on how much light is hitting the object. This didn't have as drastic an effect as PBR did, but it made objects in general look more realistic. Shadows looked more true to life. The example they used was an enhanced shadow under a baggage cart and jetways.

  • New Sound Engine: The new engine allows sounds to be mapped to physical events. One of the examples they showed was how the pitch of the Cessna's gyros was mapped to the frequency they spun at. By turning the battery on and off, you could hear the sound pitch go up and down. Sounds are also assigned location and direction, so depending on where the camera is located a different sound mix will be heard. Opening and closing the doors of the aircraft alters the sounds of the engine (as it should!). Noticeable air noise at speed and ground noise during taxi and takeoff. Essentially, all sounds will be dynamic.

No timeline was given for any of these upcoming features, but when they arrive I believe it will drastically change the sim experience. There were audible gasps from the audience when Laminar demoed each of the features. It's hard to describe to you how crazy this stuff was without screenshots.

For anyone else who was there, please let me know if I missed anything. It will be interesting to see what Dovetail shares with us tomorrow!

 

 

Sounds like the future of X-Plane will be great! Hopefully someone got some videos/ photos they can share with us.

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As usual everyone from the XP team was cool. It's a totally unique experience to be able to walk up and talk directly to the developers. Fun times

 

Ps: Don't be the guy that walks up and starts asking for tech support because too lazy to RTFM. It's embarrassing the whole community...

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He said it evolves with every version but speifics, no. They are adding a boatload more commands etc.

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These features sounds like a game changer !

 

OpenStreetMap heights ! Sounds like my poor fingers and hand are going to hate me from editing OpenStreetMap !

 

I hope somebody took some video !?

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These features sounds like a game changer !

 

OpenStreetMap heights ! Sounds like my poor fingers and hand are going to hate me from editing OpenStreetMap !

 

I hope somebody took some video !?

 

I think flight sim con itself takes videos and uploads them?

 

Any changes to the weather engine in X Plane 11? 

 

 

Good question, I guess not.

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Did they mention anything about VR? It would be a shame if they aren't developing XP 11 with VR in mind.

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Ps: Don't be the guy that walks up and starts asking for tech support because too lazy to RTFM. It's embarrassing the whole community...

 

 

Nailed it

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Did they mention anything about VR? It would be a shame if they aren't developing XP 11 with VR in mind.

Without the necessary APIs it would be difficult. It would mean a rewrite of a windows version to DirectX, which means more or less a rewrite of the rendering engine.

 

 

Good question, I guess not.

I would say it is too early to expect even a halfway compleate feature list for the next version.

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Physics Based Rendering is cool but only half the way to real Environment Reflections?

LR should support steamVR. In fact I only wait for them to buy a HTC Vive.

No word of Vulkan hence they probably stay with OpenGL?

Sound update was needed.

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Very promising news indeed. I'm sure there will be a video at some point, and maybe even some screenshots on the blog.

 

 


OpenStreetMap heights ! Sounds like my poor fingers and hand are going to hate me from editing OpenStreetMap !

 

I wonder how this is going to work? I would presume they'd have to recut the entire global scenery as well as HD Mesh

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I meant to record it again for you guys this year but i ended up way in the back and couldn't see it well.

 

The OSM data they are using is for building heights. That shouldn't make recut necessary? In my mind why not just have it as a separate data source for that layer.

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Did they mention anything about VR? It would be a shame if they aren't developing XP 11 with VR in mind.

 

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 The OSM data they are using is for building heights. That shouldn't make recut necessary? In my mind why not just have it as a separate data source for that layer.

Good question ... a few months ago I did that data extract for Ben for his experiments (and some "clean up" in OSM, as there were a bunch of totally whacky heights in OSM ... like people tagging the height with house number ... which can be extreme in some cases).

But I can't tell you if he wanted it to be an additional data layer (then it could be added independently from existing DSFs) or as part of the DSF scenery (well, this latter would be easy ... as this "tech" would be nothing new for DSF scenery ... but would need a re-cut).

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Did they mention anything about VR? It would be a shame if they aren't developing XP 11 with VR in mind.

Austin said the had it working internally a few times but it broke whenever they updated the SDK. It is definitely on the drawing board. I asked the Flyinside people if they were considering Xplane too and he said yes in the future.

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No changes on weather system is a big disappointment. I hope they just kept something for later announcement because looking at REX news for other platform we risk to stay several steps behind.

Weather depiction and trees looking is what should be improved for sightseeing.

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I'd not get this list as a definitive one, there's not even an hypothetical timeline.

IMHO is too early to (try to) understand what will be in XP11 and what not: good to know about those features listed by Austin, but nobody except Laminar knows their plans.

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XP with PBR and ambient occlusion will just kill any other simulator graphics wise..

In terms of lightning and how objects will appear , it's what games like GTA V are using , XP looking like this is a dream comes true!

 

Everyone should be excited , even those who are on FSX/P3D , finally a simulator that is a true "Next gen".

 

Although they didn't talk about times , if they can show pictures it means it's in a very advanced development , so I think this will most likely be V11.

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, but nobody except Laminar knows their plans.

And even they can't be certain what exactly will be ready when they release X-Plane 11.

It´s really ridiculous if people now start to think that everything that they don´t talk about right now won´t be a part of  X-Plane. If they show contents now it means that they feel pretty confident that these features will be a part of X-Plane 11.

 

I would think that they have a pretty good idea about their graphics, since I believe that htey currently try to get WED on the right track for X-Plane 11, so that they all genrate sceneries which are easily understood by X-Plane 11, before X-Plane 11 is released.

This was a big problem for X-Plane 10. The tools were far from ready..

It would be better if the tools are already present, before the release so they can see and check if the new features really work in the new renderer.

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Anybody had the chance to hear him talking about XP future?

 

I wish I could have attended, here is a video from the Flightsimcon 2016 X-Plane presentation:

 

 

The bad cloud depiction and terrible performance in clouds are key areas that need improvement.

 

Cheers,

 

Jerome

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And even they can't be certain what exactly will be ready when they release X-Plane 11.

 

 

Exactly!

I should have write "but nobody except Laminar knows their plans (maybe: things could change many times in the meantime).".

 

 

It´s really ridiculous if people now start to think that everything that they don´t talk about right now won´t be a part of  X-Plane. If they show contents now it means that they feel pretty confident that these features will be a part of X-Plane 11.

 

I would think that they have a pretty good idea about their graphics, since I believe that htey currently try to get WED on the right track for X-Plane 11, so that they all genrate sceneries which are easily understood by X-Plane 11, before X-Plane 11 is released.

This was a big problem for X-Plane 10. The tools were far from ready..

It would be better if the tools are already present, before the release so they can see and check if the new features really work in the new renderer.

 

 

I second all of that.

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I wish I could have attended, here is a video from the Flightsimcon 2016 X-Plane presentation:

 

The bad cloud depiction and terrible performance in clouds are key areas that need improvement.

 

I saw the video, very interesting. The improvements should finally put X-Plane in line with FSX/P3D with regard to the rendering of some material/surface effects, and with regard to the basic features of the sound engine.

 

The new UI is very nice, and also the improvements in autogen and ATC already planned for 10.50 are welcomed.

 

In my opinion, the only other feature that presently is severely lacking is seasons. I'd be very disappointed if X-Plane 11 wouldn't have them.

 

From the video, the weather engine doesn't appear to have been changed for now, but of course nobody knows if they'll revise them for X-Plane 11. However, as in need of improvements as the weather engine is, I still think seasons have an even higher priority.

 

Now we only need an external flight model to plugin (I vote for JSBSim) and it'd be perfect. :wink:

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