Sign in to follow this  
kevinh

Instrument Glass Reflections

Recommended Posts

I took the plunge and bought the DC-6 after the first update as it addressed my worries about the initial release. Overall I'm very pleased with the sim, apart from one thing. The reflections in the instrument glass seems excessive.

 

I've never sat in a DC-6, but I've spent a lot of time on classic airliner flight decks and usually the instruments have non reflective glass. As a result you look straight through the glass and don't notice it. You might see reflections in the glass of instruments off to one side, but looking directly at gauges in front of you there is no reflection. Photos online of DC-6 flightdecks show almost no reflections in the instrument glass.

 

The glass in the PMDG DC-6 is almost like a mirror. The instruments in front of the pilot show a clear reflection of the seat cloth. This is doubly distracting as in real life if there was a reflection it would be of the pilot, not the seat fabric. It's a nice graphic effect, but I don't think it's realistic.

 

Is there a way reflections can be reduced or made optional so users can disable them if they prefer? Alternatively is there a setting in X-Plane which can switch reflections off?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

 

 


It's a nice graphic effect, but I don't think it's realistic.

 

No?

 

IMG_6796.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll add that if your reflections are too bright, you probably have cockpit shadows disabled.  We recommend enabling cockpit shadows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes cockpit shadows are enabled (3D on aircraft). The problem isn't that the reflections are too bright, it's that they make the gauges look dull and without contrast. Photos of DC-6 flightdecks don't look like this.

 

Aircraft instrument glass usually has an anti-reflective coating. I suppose if the glass gets polished then that coating wears off.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin, what is shown is very high fidelity representation of what is seen in the actual aircraft down to the miss matched dials due to replacements.

 

Prior to WWII the common method of providing some degree of anti reflection was simply a layer of tarnish.  Nice little article in Wikipedia here fyi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coating

I had to look because I starting wondering what the state of the art was in the 50's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I understand it is meant to be an accurate rendition o one particular aircraft. I don't have a problem with that, It's just an observation that I think gauges have more contrast and are more easily readable in DC-6 photos than they are in the X-Plane DC-6.

 

There is a photo of the actual aircraft flightdeck on airliners.net (which I can't link to here) and that illustrates what I mean. It's photo ID 685749

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


There is a photo of the actual aircraft flightdeck on airliners.net (which I can't link to here) and that illustrates what I mean. It's photo ID 685749

 

Yeah but..., photos taken off the internet shouldn't be used as a reference especially when trying to convince PMDG that their own photographic survey and eyeballs need correction.  Just looked, it is fairly blurry on my 31-in 2K Samsung. Ironic that about the only thing I liked about XPL was the way that the panel rendered. I find it beautiful and realistic.  The inclinometer parallax error had me chasing trim problems that didn't exist for a long time until I move the viewpoint normal to the gauge... haha. By the time I figured that out I was on their sxxxt list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I know photos aren't good evidence especially for colour, but they do show the reflections, or rather the lack of them. My question boils down to whether the glass reflections are an inherent feature of X-Plane, or something added by PMDG. In other words can they be made optional (like head shake)? I still feel the instrument backplate colour, which should be a very dark grey, looks too light. That is what creates the low contrast appearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I know photos aren't good evidence especially for colour, but they do show the reflections, or rather the lack of them. 

 

Actually you can remove reflections when taking photos: Since reflected light is (mostly) polarized you can use a polarizing filter to remove most of the reflections.

 

Left photo taken with properly adjusted polarizing filter - right photo without a polarizing filter

 

500px-Reflection_Polarizer.jpg

 

Depending on how the photo was taken, reflections can be dramatically reduced in photos.

So I'm afraid photographs can't provide good evidence of reflections or rather a lack thereof.

 

 

Martin Peters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


My question boils down to whether the glass reflections are an inherent feature of X-Plane

 

Hi, many X-Plane add-ons (aircraft) feature this glass reflection, frankly I don't know if this is plug in driven or not feature. Anyway is a nice effect (imho) WHEN the gauges have good contrast for readability, perhaps the DC-6 gauges with reflections could have a little bit more contrast or a switch in preferences for turning them on or off (a la Carenado style), very sorry for the comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prior to WWII the common method of providing some degree of anti reflection was simply a layer of tarnish. 

And that tarnish was nicotine, really!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

panel1.jpg

panel3.jpg

 

These are screengrabs from Just Planes DVD of the Everts DC-6. The Everts panel is a lighter grey, but the instruments will be largely the same as in the Namibian DC-6. You can see reflections in the glass but the contrast in the gauges is much greater and the reflections aren't distracting.

 

Having looked at the VC textures I've found a solution. I won't share it here in case editing those textures is against the EULA. Also I noticed that the low contrast is in the gauge textures themselves, especially the engine gauges. It is not related to the reflection effects. Personally I think this effect is overdone and the true colour of the gauge backplates should be more apparent in the VC than it is. Not being critical, just offering my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From V5-NGC (our study bird - though this is an internet image...we have higher res shots from our own survey obviously):

 

V5-NCG%2BDC-6B%2BK.Gaskell%2BEros%2B1203

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's subjective. The instruments in the above photo look clearer to me than how they appear in the sim. Obviously lighting differences could explain the colour differences between gauges in the photo and the DVD screeengrabs I posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that in all the videos I have watched on YT of the DC6, the instruments have been perfectly legible. If PMDG have modelled a transient high reflecability as the sunlight passes through the cockpit then that is realistic. That's how it is with steam instruments particularly with a/c of the DC6's vintage. So you guys clamour for more realism and when you get it, "Oh no, it's not what we wanted!" lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that in all the videos I have watched on YT of the DC6, the instruments have been perfectly legible. If PMDG have modelled a transient high reflecability as the sunlight passes through the cockpit then that is realistic. That's how it is with steam instruments particularly with a/c of the DC6's vintage. So you guys clamour for more realism and when you get it, "Oh no, it's not what we wanted!" lol

 

Hi "whatever your name is" (you know the rules here)

 

I think usability has to come before ultimate realism. It's a desktop sim. The AFE feature recognises this. It wouldn't be unrealistic to be able to read the instruments clearly most of the time, and when the sun can get into the cockpit it will make the instruments lighter and less readable anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baking in static reflections is not very dynamic or realistic. It is like back in the old monitor days, when you used to be able to bake an image into it, by keeping something open for to long. people complained about that because you would see the same thing over top of what you wanted to see. Then when dynamic screen savers came out you can see the pixel turn on and off and so that stopped the image from backing into the screen. Right so looking at the same pilot wearing the same Flannel shirt and it is the same angle for every flight and as you move the camera then that is not like real life right? it is like baking an image into the screen. When you move your head around the cabin of a real plane you will see the reflections "moving" relative to the angle that you are looking at the panel with. Like if we look at the panel perpendicular we will see our face. If we look at the panel with a different phi then you see the reflection "look down" or "look up" . And as your theta changes you will see the reflections of things more the the left and right respectively.

 

Best of luck and hope to see you in a dynamic mirror,

Nick Paine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baking in static reflections is not very dynamic or realistic. It is like back in the old monitor days, when you used to be able to bake an image into it, by keeping something open for to long. people complained about that because you would see the same thing over top of what you wanted to see. Then when dynamic screen savers came out you can see the pixel turn on and off and so that stopped the image from backing into the screen. Right so looking at the same pilot wearing the same Flannel shirt and it is the same angle for every flight and as you move the camera then that is not like real life right? it is like baking an image into the screen. When you move your head around the cabin of a real plane you will see the reflections "moving" relative to the angle that you are looking at the panel with. Like if we look at the panel perpendicular we will see our face. If we look at the panel with a different phi then you see the reflection "look down" or "look up" . And as your theta changes you will see the reflections of things more the the left and right respectively.

 

Best of luck and hope to see you in a dynamic mirror,

Nick Paine

The reflections in the DC-6 aren't static. The lightened effect on the instruments isn't a reflection as such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest update provides a noticeable and very welcome improvement on instrument readability. Thanks PMDG.

 

Reflections are still an issue for me and I still think it would be good if a toned down version was available as an option. Just one alternative texture would do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think reflections are an issue in the DC-6 I would recommend you stay well away from a glass cockpit where they are ever present and can be exceptionally distracting.

No complaints here about the DC-6 and its panels.

Darren Howie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darren,

 

I've got many glass cockpit addons, mostly in FSX, a couple in XP, with no issues regarding reflections. If you read the whole thread you'll see I edited a VC texture to tone down the reflections in the DC-6. PMDG have updated some gauge textures which improved readability. These changes have greatly improved things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this