Ray Proudfoot

Why is P3D v3 so dark?

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I've installed P3D v3 yesterday and my first impression was how dark everything looks. I haven't changed my TV settings which were fine for FSX.

I do have HDR enabled on the Lighting and switching it off does make things brighter externally but overall it still seems very dark. Are there other settings that can cure this?

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22 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

I've installed P3D v3 yesterday and my first impression was how dark everything looks. I haven't changed my TV settings which were fine for FSX.

I do have HDR enabled on the Lighting and switching it off does make things brighter externally but overall it still seems very dark. Are there other settings that can cure this?

Look here for an excellent application that radically improves the default graphics of P3D, it's called PTA (I suggest reading the instructions carefully, before using):

http://1coder.ru/PTA/

Enjoy, Cheers, Ed

 

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3 minutes ago, edpatino said:

Look here for an excellent application that radically improves the default graphics of P3D, it's called PTA (I suggest reading the instructions carefully, before using):

http://1coder.ru/PTA/

Enjoy, Cheers, Ed

 

Thanks Ed but before I read that is this something you found too? I have increased the brightness of my TV and once I've finished installing FS Global Ultimate (several hours) I will see how it looks then.

Does HDR require a compatible display? Like 4K TVs having HDR? My Sony 32" HD TV doesn't have HDR.

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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

Does HDR require a compatible display? Like 4K TVs having HDR? My Sony 32" HD TV doesn't have HDR

I don't think so, but I'm far for being an expert about monitors/HDR. I had an old HP 2511 monitor and I've always used P3D with HDR on, without noticing any issue at all. I'd recommend asking to the experts but in the meantime I suggest you to use your P3D with HDR ON.

When you're done try PTA, it will absolutely enhance everything related to graphics in P3D, including skies, water, vegetation, shadows, to name only a few. PTA has also an option for those who want to try different settings for HDR. It also has a support section in these forums.

Cheers, Ed

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Thanks Ed. I'll definitely take a look when I've finished installing about a thousand products! :biggrin:

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Ray, try also turning up saturation in lighting settings.

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PTA works for many folks, and although I gave it a spin and did like some of the results I got, I also noticed a hit in VAS. I decided at the end to just remove it completely, and restored my originally shaders, Stopped trying to over tweak P3D, and kept it as default as possible. No more problems for me in performance and look.

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Make your adjustments within P3d using the lighting settings, Ray. They are more than adequate to do what you wish. After that, you can try PTA to enhance what you see  - sort of like fine tuning.  But get your base visuals set up first or you could be chasing your tail.

Vic

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8 minutes ago, tamsini said:

Ray, try also turning up saturation in lighting settings.

I'll try it but isn't that the amount of colour? That's my understanding of it. The LM manual seems to confirm it. But let me try again once I've finished installing some software. I've increased the brighness and that may solve it.

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7 minutes ago, vgbaron said:

Make your adjustments within P3d using the lighting settings, Ray. They are more than adequate to do what you wish. After that, you can try PTA to enhance what you see  - sort of like fine tuning.  But get your base visuals set up first or you could be chasing your tail.

Vic

Thanks Vic, sensible advice. But first I need to make sure my TV has reasonable contrast, brightness and colour settings. Funny, they were fine in FSX but checking a gray scale the brightness was definitely too low.

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The sim itself is more than capable of being bright  although the way things get darker with lower visibilities seems not quite right to me.  Your sky and cloud choices will matter as well.

I've found that its best to lower bloom a little and then increase saturation and brightness to get the look you want because brightness tends to remove the color.  The sim needs some bloom though.  Its just too flat without it.

 

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Thanks Dave. No-one else has mentioned how dark it appears with default settings so it sounds like my TV settings are wrong.

I look forward to tweaking things once I have the time. Only 999 downloads to install now. :biggrin:

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48 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Thanks Dave. No-one else has mentioned how dark it appears with default settings so it sounds like my TV settings are wrong.

I look forward to tweaking things once I have the time. Only 999 downloads to install now. :biggrin:

Calibrate your TV-Monitor. 

 

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P3D can look a bit dull and dark out of the box, and one of the main culprits for things looking dark is the HDR adaption, which tries to mimic an iris, stopping down when looking up, and opening when looking down. So you can go from too dark, to too bright depending where you look; for this reason I use PTA and disable adaption, and then tune the settings to achieve a good balance between the two. This is combined with using the in-build HDR brightness/Saturation/bloom sliders, which will make a huge difference.

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Hi Ray,

Once you have completed your download/install marathon and have setup P3D the way you like it, turning your attention towards the P3D Tweak Assistant could prove to be a daunting experience for any first time user. A heck of a lot has been written about this wonderful utility and it won't be long before confusion reigns supreme as you wade through all the posts. Instead, I suggest you cut through it all by following these straightforward guidelines:

1. Create a backup of the ShadersHLSL folder in P3D root. Currently PTA modifies 8 of the files in this folder. Many issues that have been encountered by users relates to the fact that PTA, at first run, requires those files to be the default versions. If one or more is not default then errors will be encountered. PTA will create all the necessary backups for you at first run and you can easily restore those default files by selecting the appropriate menu item in the GUI. However, no harm in having a fallback.

2. Successful use of Shader mods in P3D relies on choosing a good set of Sky textures. Poor selection can easily break the results. Before substitution make sure you backup the default textures. I use a set of Sky textures from REX4 Texture Direct as recommended by a PTA Preset Author, Adam (aka adamski).

3. Do yourself a huge favour by avoiding trying to tweak the numerous parameters provided in PTA. There are several very knowledgeable individuals out there who have done an immense amount of work with the common aim of producing optimal visual results in P3D. This magic is embedded in their PTA Presets. Using a Preset is a very easy procedure. You simply load and then Apply the Preset.

I have had the greatest success using Adam's 21.11 Preset. This produces the best results for me. You will find it here along with guidance and recommendations as to the appropriate choice of Sky Textures:

http://www.nzfsim.org/index.php?dsp=PTA

Note:

1. HDR must be active in the sim and Adam's Preset will apply the appropriate values automatically. Take note of the default values.

2. The Prepar3D Shader Cache will be handled (deleted) automatically by PTA each time a Preset is Applied so be prepared for an increase in loading time (plus a black window) the next time P3D is run. This is caused by the time taken for P3D to rebuild the base sim Cache. On my system this lasts for approx 10-12secs before details start to appear. Also, when you load each a/c there will be a brief delay, and for the same reason. Once the base Cache is rebuilt all will be well and loading times will return to normal.

3. Each time you action something in PTA a log item is created at the foot of the GUI window. This way you can easily confirm the absence of any errors. 

The use of PTA has transformed my simming experience. For me the modified colours, texture lighting and use of haze and Rayleigh scattering brings this Simulation as close to reality as I'm ever likely to see. We owe Yuri (aka KNOSSOS) a huge debt of gratitude for the provision of this wonderful utility to our community.

3. Monitor/TV Calibration can be very important for accurate lighting and colours. When I first calibrated my monitor I was surprised to find that the factory brightness setting was reduced from 80% to 22% by the Calibration tool. At first I was very pessimistic about accepting this, but over a few days I soon realised that the colour balance was so much better and P3D, after the application of Adam's 21.11 Shader Preset, now looks incredible! Also, I am finding P3D is now best viewed under more subdued ambient lighting. 

Hope you find time to give this a shot. I don't believe I'm sticking my neck out by saying you won't regret it!

Regards,

Mike

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34 minutes ago, Cruachan said:

3. Do yourself a huge favour by avoiding trying to tweak the numerous parameters provided in PTA.

 

NO!!! don't. Learn to use it yourself (yes, it takes some time) and make a preset that works for you. Adam's preset are reasonable, but look cartoonish/gamey, with odd at sunrise and sunsets, as the clouds have odd over-bright values; there are far better ones out there. PTA is a great tool, so do not limit yourself to someone preset, other than a starting point.

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Bob,

Thanks. I'll take a look at that one tomorrow. I have used the Windows 7 calibration utility before but it doesn't take long to see how far out my display is.

Mike,

Thanks for the advice and thorough instructions. Once all my scenery is installed and I've had a chance to have a few flights I'll take a look at that in slower time.

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P3D is definitely darker than fsx, with or without HDR.  It's a big negative imho.  I don't use hdr because it washes out colors and over does the highlights .  

I believe you can turn off cockpit shadows and it brightens things up inside a little.  But that's no fun.

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Good information on PTA Mike. Thank you .

Turn of hdr and shadows p3d looks like fsx..

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1 hour ago, Novation said:

Adam's preset are reasonable, but look cartoonish/gamey, with odd at sunrise and sunsets, as the clouds have odd over-bright values

Hi Novation,

I'm not going to get into an argument over this. Take a look at the images on Adam's website. These are typical of what I am seeing and I could provide some of my own if you like. I do not know why your experience is as you have stated.

I think we should allow Ray to make up his own mind. I have suggested he starts by applying Adam's latest Preset which, unlike the many other freely available Presets I've tried, I truly believe provides an excellent balance of results. Then, if necessary, Ray can take it from there.

Again I should emphasise, that the choice of Sky Textures will determine how good your results will be. Adam's Preset was tuned using his recommended Sky Textures from REX4 Texture Direct. Other textures are likely to produce different results and this might explain why some other users have found further tweaking to be necessary or have rejected a particular Preset as being unsuitable.

Regards,

Mike

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Hi Ray, just found this thread after taking a break from the Concorde-X forum ;) 

To find out whether the brightness of your monitor is too dark or the brightness of P3D itself, I would look at some screenshots and/or videos of P3D found in the world wide web (there are tons of them out there). If these screenshots will seem dark to you, you can assume that your monitor settings are too dark; if those images will appear OK to you, then it must be an issue with the P3D brightness (or in some cases with the GPU brightness settings). As simple as that!

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2 hours ago, ryanbatcund said:

P3D is definitely darker than fsx, with or without HDR.  It's a big negative imho.  I don't use hdr because it washes out colors and over does the highlights .  

I believe you can turn off cockpit shadows and it brightens things up inside a little.  But that's no fun.

Thanks Ryan. I didn't have the energy to adjust my TV after I'd installed FS Global Ultimate for Europe (5 DVDs) so will experiment tomorrow.

I want to keep cockpit shadows on because that's a really nice feature and my Nvidia 1080 8Gb card can cope with it with ease.

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