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Why do developers neglect rain/snow on windshield effects?

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I hear developers for years say they do not do this effect because animations cause fps hits and bad performance. But I look at all the aircraft out today, and see such useless animations like moving windows, sun shades, seats, etc. So is that really a valid excuse? One of the most important aspects of flying is looking out the window and in bad weather the lack of ability to do this, in heavy rain and snow, having to use the wipers. This was a feature of FS9 but I have read not implemented well in FSX. But that excuse about not enough space for the animation does not sound truthful to me when all the other pointless but fun animations are littered through various addon cockpits. I would rather have rain and snow effects on a virtual cockpit windshield than to move a jump seat, open a side window, and so on.

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I hear developers for years say they do not do this effect because animations cause fps hits and bad performance. But I look at all the aircraft out today, and see such useless animations like moving windows, sun shades, seats, etc. So is that really a valid excuse? One of the most important aspects of flying is looking out the window and in bad weather the lack of ability to do this, in heavy rain and snow, having to use the wipers. This was a feature of FS9 but I have read not implemented well in FSX. But that excuse about not enough space for the animation does not sound truthful to me when all the other pointless but fun animations are littered through various addon cockpits. I would rather have rain and snow effects on a virtual cockpit windshield than to move a jump seat, open a side window, and so on.

From what I understand...for it to look any good each rain drop is animated and counted as one item. 

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Moving windows and seats do not affect frames while you are in the air because you won't use the animation then. However, you have a point about shades. While I enjoy them in P3D, I was able to live without it in FSX :)

 

The Realair Duke has raindrop animations without a big hit on frame rates, so it certainly can be done. I would expect that at least in GA planes this would be a good feature.

 

Peter

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From what I understand...for it to look any good each rain drop is animated and counted as one item. 

The effect is on some aircraft as Peter above mentions, RealAir have this effect.

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The effect is on some aircraft as Peter above mentions, RealAir have this effect.

 

So your comparing real air to more complex addons  and I guess  real air  had  more  room to play with  to add  these effects  than pmdg  does is  probably  why  they could  do it

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Animated rain is hard to implement and pull off convincingly, but even static bitmaps (accounting for windscreen wiper state) are better than nothing.

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I think they all should have,   PMDG/Aerosoft etc, most large aircraft climbs very quickly above the clouds, I don't think FPS is the reason.

here a video a made a while back:

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Good post. I agree with the original post. Really miss rain effects on wind screen.

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Wow, 500 hits on my video, only one like, and that was me. :Tounge:

Glad I'm not a passenger in that aircraft!  You might want to stay on the runway until you take off! :Shame On You:

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This was a feature of FS9 but I have read not implemented well in FSX.

It is more accurate to state that "VC Rain" isn't implemented at all in FSX!

 

While backward compatibility for FS9 compiled aircraft's "VC Rain" is supported, the necessary scheme for "VC Rain" in native FSX compiled aircraft is quite simply not available.

 

Hence, in order to implement something similar requires a lot of extra and custom coding by the developer for a "feature" that quite honestly isn't really all that important in the long run.

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Although I agree that VC windshield rain is in the same importance category as beautiful AI aircraft models and gorgeous cloud formations, flying the RealAir Turbine Duke IFR on a drizzly, foggy day is a step above anything else.

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Glad I'm not a passenger in that aircraft!  You might want to stay on the runway until you take off! :Shame On You:

In my defence, I had a Iphone 6S plus on my face. :P , There were no survivors.

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Good post. I agree with the original post. Really miss rain effects on wind screen.

Time to migrate to X Plane 10.50 then. They are amazing and the wipers actually WORK!

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Although I agree that VC windshield rain is in the same importance category as beautiful AI aircraft models and gorgeous cloud formations, flying the RealAir Turbine Duke IFR on a drizzly, foggy day is a step above anything else.

 

Yup, I was flying mine recently, through on and off cloud and rain, I just loved the rain effect.  I love the Duke. I would vote highly for this effect to be available with addons if it can be programmed and still allow my sim to run effectively. Mind you I now have a high end system.  Wonder if this is a VAS hit!

 

I don't know much about the big airliners, calling them complex so it can't be done, not sure what that means..perhaps they already take a huge VAS hit so adding more animation will bring them to their knees. I'll have to try a tube liner one of these days.

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Hence, in order to implement something similar requires a lot of extra and custom coding by the developer for a "feature" that quite honestly isn't really all that important in the long run.

 

I have to disagree with you for once Bill. While animated rain may indeed be too much trouble to invest time on, at least a static bitmap can do a lot to enhance the flying experience, actually forcing you to use the wipers or turning your attention to the instruments or getting out of the rain in the first place.

 

 

 

I love the Duke. I would vote highly for this effect to be available with addons if it can be programmed and still allow my sim to run effectively. Mind you I now have a high end system. Wonder if this is a VAS hit!

Any texture you load into the simulator incurs a VAS hit. So if you have animated rain using 20 different bitmaps (that are displayed in a loop to invoke the illusion of moving rain) with each bitmap being 4 MB in size (2048x2048 pixel, DXT5 compression, no mip maps), the model will use an additional 80 MB of VAS. If you add a two speed wiper into the mix, which will require two additional bitmap variations to account for each speed setting, you'll end up with 240 MB of extra overhead in total. If you added that to, say, the PMDG 777 which is said to require 800 MB of VAS alone, one third of your available VAS would simply be wiped away (pun intended), leaving much too little for scenery and AI.

 

The more you trim the moving rain technique down by using lower resolution textures and less variety, you could end up with a more VAS efficient solution at the cost of potential complaints that the rain is too unrealistic.

 

 

Rain on windshields is a feature I'd like to see back in future FSX-based flight simulators based on shaders that automatically account for windscreen wipers. Dovetail uses this approach to great effect in its train simulators, so they might have the know-how to adapt it to the engine used in their upcoming flight simulator.

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Rain on windshields is a feature I'd like to see back in future FSX-based flight simulators based on shaders that automatically account for windscreen wipers. Dovetail uses this approach to great effect in its train simulators, so they might have the know-how to adapt it to the engine used in their upcoming flight simulator.

I was speaking of 'animated rain' of course, and your explication proved my point nicely. I personally disagree with the efficacy and desirability of 'static rain' even if the wipers create an illusion of wiping drops. :wink:

 

I agree wholeheartedly that the only viable option will be shader based rain animations. Even a relatively tiny developer such as SCS has very excellent "animated rain and wiper shaders" in their Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator. :Applause:

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I was speaking of 'animated rain' of course, and your explication proved my point nicely. I personally disagree with the efficacy and desirability of 'static rain' even if the wipers create an illusion of wiping drops. :wink:

 

I agree wholeheartedly that the only viable option will be shader based rain animations. Even a relatively tiny developer such as SCS has very excellent "animated rain and wiper shaders" in their Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator. :Applause:

I do not have any programming knowledge, but with all the animation tricks developers have learned over the years for FSX/P3D, there must be some way to get a good effect into aircraft.

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I do not have any programming knowledge, but with all the animation tricks developers have learned over the years for FSX/P3D, there must be some way to get a good effect into aircraft.

I've invested nearly twenty years as a 'professional flightsim developer' and believe me, it is not a trivial task. When the supporting code is removed from the core simulation engine, it makes the task much more difficult and time consuming (aka: expensive), since a complete engine must be coded and made efficient.

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Time to migrate to X Plane 10.50 then. They are amazing and the wipers actually WORK!

 

Well, default X-Plane has windshield rain only in 2D cockpits -- not sure if you want to use that.

 

Other aircraft only have rain effects if the developers cared to implement it, and only some of them do. Also, the methods used lead to varying results. So all in all the situation is the same as in FSX.

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Well, default X-Plane has windshield rain only in 2D cockpits -- not sure if you want to use that.

 

Other aircraft only have rain effects if the developers cared to implement it, and only some of them do. Also, the methods used lead to varying results. So all in all the situation is the same as in FSX.

No sir. You obviously haven't used XP for quite a while. My IXEG 737 shows real rain and sleet I also had to look twice when watching the wipers actually wiping the glass clean. For me, X Plane 10.50 is a head and shoulders above the others.

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Well, default X-Plane has windshield rain only in 2D cockpits -- not sure if you want to use that.

 

FSX has the rain drops on the windscreen when using the 2D cockpit as well, just not VC.

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I was speaking of 'animated rain' of course, and your explication proved my point nicely. I personally disagree with the efficacy and desirability of 'static rain' even if the wipers create an illusion of wiping drops. :wink:

 

 

Hm. You could use the technique from the Lotus L-39 or Ant's T-28 (gauge polygon over glass) and simply cut out part of it when the wiper is running (what I've always been doing with a static bitmap). Moving rain and "wiping" wipers.

You wouldn't, of course, get this past the quality control of your employers as it would need quite a bit of refinement to look semi-convincing and well integrated into the art style of the rest of the cockpit, but I have a bit of leeway. So consider this more of a mental note for me.

 

 

 

I do not have any programming knowledge, but with all the animation tricks developers have learned over the years for FSX/P3D, there must be some way to get a good effect into aircraft.

 

Well...

 

 

Was it worth a try? Yes.

Would I do it again that way? Hell f'in no!

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Well if RA could do it, then everyone else can as well. V2 even has rain on the side windows. Even the sound changes when it becomes sleet or ice.

 

Expensive; better planes get better money. I didn't even flinch for RA and Milviz $40-70 asking price.

 

I have hundreds of planes in the hanger... Car TBM, and RA v2 dukes have the most hours, with the dukes winning out by a mile.  When the weather is bad, you can see it and hear it with the Dukes.. and you feel like your in the weather, rather then just watching it.

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