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JLSeagull

Autogen buildings - the elephant in the room?

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With P3D, Orbx, AS2016 and PTA  I now fly above wonderfully crafted scenery ... through perfectly formed skies ... using incredible (JV endorsed) PTA settings... and then I come down through the clouds to my favourite airfield - and find the area populated by GIGANTIC houses.  Ho! Hum! 

 

Ben from Orbx said that they were working on a "buildings HD" addon which, I suppose, will be on a par with the recently released 'HD Airports' from REX - in that it will replace/update default buildings textures. No more - no less. Similar to HD Airports, default Cities will look a little bit prettier - but - they will still be out of scale?

 

Autogen buildings - the elephant in the room?

 

 

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When FSX was coded back in 2006 the concept with autogen even maxed out was sparse compared to how many houses/buildings you have in an urban area in the real world. So the idea was to make the buildings larger and less of them to achieve a more fullness effect and gain on performance. Here we are 10 years later with machines pushing FSX and P3D to the limit and we can now get a little more out of it. I bet Aces thought back then they could improve frequency and scaling with autogen in FS11 but that never happened, oh well

 

ORBX has adjusted scaling in some of its scenery and hopefully what they bring forth in HD Buildings allows us better scaling options in the interface

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The entire terrain, autogen and AI system is ready for a complete overhaul. It's already 10-12 years old, with even older legacy code. I have no idea what is being worked on by LM (or DTG) behind the scenes, but P3D look pretty much the same as FSX did back in 2006.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about DX11, HDR lighting and better VAS management, but I miss the real innovation that ACES did every two years in terms of graphics and features. Compared to Microsoft's FS versions, each new version of P3D feels more like expensive service packs.

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I don't think it's possible to render as many unique buildings as FSX does and not have a performance hit. If there was only one type of building and tree, it would be, but the world would look kind of bland. Not very realistic.

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This is something I have raised in the past and I completely agree with you. Trees and buildings are far too big.

It occasionally is brought up but usually gets dismissed as a non-issue. Id love more realistic building and trees heights like in xplane.

 

Chris

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I don't think it's possible to render as many unique buildings as FSX does and not have a performance hit. If there was only one type of building and tree, it would be, but the world would look kind of bland. Not very realistic.

 

it's definitely possible, the fsx/p3d engine is rather inefficient at that stuff, tho i have no idea what their technical reasons for that are, i'm sure there's some compromises they made for reasons but i dunno...

compare to something like this ps3 game.

for reference a ps3 is like a 3ghz processor with a geforce 7000 type card (from 2006, around the time fsx was release 10 years ago). the ps3 also came out in 2006.

now this game can have an easier time since it's just specific areas instead of the entire globe but there should be a way to cache those areas in and out like fsx does. 

 

https://youtu.be/DzWnQL5DbuM?t=4m54s

 

sorry i don't know how to embed the vid it's just a youtube link

cheers

-andy crosby

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Autogen buildings are probably the biggest single facet in the sim which visually compromises the illusion of realism. Over the years I learned to live with autogen buiildings  - but now they are becoming glaringly out of place - while most other visual aspects have moved on quite considerably.

 

Too big and too bright.

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Most autogen buildings are not particularly complicated objects.  Typically, they consist of 10 to 16 polygons (triangles or polys), of which only half typically are visible.  This is far less complicated than anything else one sees in the game.  At some point (lower than 2000 feet in altitude) they become indistinguishable from the photo or game rendered terrain.  With a cockpit view, they only appear on part of the screen.

 

Similarly, FSX trees are not particularly complicated.  Each tree typically consists of between 8 to twelve polys.  The typical tree consists of either 2 or three panels, with the same image rendered on all panels.  Each panel consists of 2 polys per side, for a total of 4 polys per panel.

 

The typical speedtree tree one now sees in Prepar3d is far more complex.  Similarly, the typical airport scenery has many more complex components than the typical autogen urban setting.

 

The only time this should have a really major impact on the game is when one has an exterior view at low altitude.  But, eat low altitude  there are fewer autogen objects on the screen than at higher altitudes.

 

It is interesting to compare these poly counts to those in other games (e.g. The Sims) where a single object can have thousands, or even tens of thousands of polys.  Poly counts in these games can be a source of problems.  But the poly counts in autogen is miniscule in comparison.  I have made many custom objects in the Sims, and would convert FSX objects to Sims custom content just because of the very low poly counts in most FSX objects.

 

I suspect at some point, some developer will produce an autogen replacement with smaller, to scale buildings.  The buildings and trees would vanish at some point below 2000 feet when one really cannot distinguish them from the ground view.

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Hi.

 

I see that this relates mostly to FSX and P3D, but for those of you who use FS9 and dislike those giant trees, the concept artist Feng Zhu made a new set of autogen trees: treegen.zip

 

Each individual object has several trees in it, of a reduced size. For FS9 at least, tht's not too difficult -- they're only two planes at right angles, some bits green and some transparent. They makes wilderness flying considerably more believable as the trees are of a better size and the apparent density is almost doubled.

 

Best regards,

Dave

treegen.zip

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I'd like to add that an issue I have observed for far too long were not only the buildings out of scale, but the mere increase and decrease of altitude wasn't as accurate as it should be.  For example, I watch a lot of Youtube videos of sim pilots coming in for landings, and as the countdown begins as 500ft down to contact, the point of view (perhaps) or just the descent seems like it doesn't change much.  To me, the environment on the ground doesn't appear to get bigger, properly.  That may sound weird, but with the scale of buildings and houses being much bigger than they should, it just never felt right when coming in for a landing.  Another example is when you are over 30,000ft, the ground scenery objects don't appear to be as small as they should.

 

I haven't seen this issue with XP though, and it's realism for take-offs and landings appear to be much more accurate for ground scaling.

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What about just rendering some buildings (e.g. residential areas) as 2D sprites, with a number of viewable angles, leaving full 3D for more important buildings, landmarks, etc. Would that be a way to hugely increase accurately-scaled coverage while minimising the performance hit?

 

Something tells me some fireproof clothing might be useful now...

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..... Something tells me some fireproof clothing might be useful now..

 

:p0128: :rofl:

 

Hi.

 

I see that this relates mostly to FSX and P3D, but for those of you who use FS9 and dislike those giant trees, the concept artist Feng Zhu made a new set of autogen trees: treegen.zip

 

Each individual object has several trees in it, of a reduced size. For FS9 at least, tht's not too difficult -- they're only two planes at right angles, some bits green and some transparent. They makes wilderness flying considerably more believable as the trees are of a better size and the apparent density is almost doubled.

 

Best regards,

Dave

treegen.zip

 

 

This guy has just released a freeware package for fsx/p3d that seems to fix the 'over-sized' trees issue. His YT channel certainly has some interesting content.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJvZXDwOQPA

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzTKE8AjNyeCT1BvM1BqVkNtU28/view

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If I'm not mistaken, ORBX is presently working on a replacement for AutoGen buildings.

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If I'm not mistaken, ORBX is presently working on a replacement for AutoGen buildings.

 

They are Dave, but I'm not sure that they are addressing scale.

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Loving the avatar Dave! Have they completed Terminal 2 yet? :wink:

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Loving the avatar Dave! Have they completed Terminal 2 yet? :wink:

Find new worlds, transcend the rational;

Fly Llandegley International.

 

I think the Smelterville project is still on the go but I'm waiting to see updated photos. A knowledgeable Radnor man told me the owner is in conversation with Richard Branson regarding a scheduled service to the ISS but the Radnorshire hills are well known for their abundance of certain fungi.

 

D

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I'd like to add that an issue I have observed for far too long were not only the buildings out of scale, but the mere increase and decrease of altitude wasn't as accurate as it should be.  For example, I watch a lot of Youtube videos of sim pilots coming in for landings, and as the countdown begins as 500ft down to contact, the point of view (perhaps) or just the descent seems like it doesn't change much.  To me, the environment on the ground doesn't appear to get bigger, properly.  That may sound weird, but with the scale of buildings and houses being much bigger than they should, it just never felt right when coming in for a landing.  Another example is when you are over 30,000ft, the ground scenery objects don't appear to be as small as they should.

 

I haven't seen this issue with XP though, and it's realism for take-offs and landings appear to be much more accurate for ground scaling.

I totally agree. I have spent years playing with different sceneries and zoom levels, in FS2004, FSX and each version of P3D, and have always been disappointed with the results.

 

I find that it is often impossible to judge altitude from the visual appearance of the ground with any kind of accuracy. From my background in both low level and high altitude air reconnaissance, I have a fair idea of what I expect to see at any particular altitude. There should be a marked difference between 200 ft and 1000 ft, or between 20000 ft and 45000 ft.

 

In general I always feel that the rate of change of the scenery appearance with change of altitude is insufficient. But I would say that it needs something more sophisticated than a simple increase in the rate of change.

 

When almost at the threshold the autogen buildings close by don't look to me to be as oversized as the buildings beneath the aircraft when at 3 miles and 900 ft. I think the reduction of size with altitude needs to be greater than it currently is at the lower altitudes. This would have the knock on effect of making the objects smaller at all altitudes. How this should be done I don't know, but it must be possible. 

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For reasons above (mostly performance) I rarely use autogen at all. Most of my flying is airliners and I don't even miss it.

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For reasons above (mostly performance) I rarely use autogen at all. Most of my flying is airliners and I don't even miss it.

 

I agree and I now have my building autogen set on 'sparse'.  I don't find them to be realistic at all as you don't see that amount of buildings IRL.  Usually they are hidden by trees so I prefer to increase my vegetation autogen over the buildings. 

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it's definitely possible, the fsx/p3d engine is rather inefficient at that stuff, tho i have no idea what their technical reasons for that are, i'm sure there's some compromises they made for reasons but i dunno...

compare to something like this ps3 game.

for reference a ps3 is like a 3ghz processor with a geforce 7000 type card (from 2006, around the time fsx was release 10 years ago). the ps3 also came out in 2006.

now this game can have an easier time since it's just specific areas instead of the entire globe but there should be a way to cache those areas in and out like fsx does.

 

The viewing distance in that game doesn't look very large. That's probably why it runs so well compared to FSX.

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