Sethos1988

What's the word on the shadows?

30 posts in this topic

Yeah, X-Plane engine is the more advanced in several features (atmospheric scattering, artificial lighting, PBR, reflections) but on the other hand, it still has many visual imperfections and many missing things. I hope it sees some advancements during the v11 run.

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2 hours ago, Murmur said:

 I hope it sees some advancements during the v11 run.

Parts of these problems are simple growing pains. From its basics it is now far ahead of even P3D v4. It simply has to follow its way that is already scheduled. And Laminar now has more developers. They have aclear road map, but it is extremly risky to predict, when a specific bug is really fixed.

If we look at the current payware: Look at Aerosofts Bergen:It uses a new Custom Mesh System which might, in the long run, fix the Mesh problems of airports. Everywhere developers really improve their products. vFlyteAir made with their Twin Comanche the first pure X-Plane 11 plane, where X-Plane 11 meant more than just PBR.

And if we look at the FSX market: More and more developers go to X-Plane. Just a short time ago most expected a pure move to P3Dv4, but in fact many go to P3D v4 and X-Plane 11.

But these new players also add pressure to Laminar to fix their basic problems, or at least add interfaces, to let other developers do this task.  

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Regarding shadows Ben wrote in the comments of Flightsimcon Videos:

Quote

Shadows should be better in 11.10 - the tech from VR helps fix them too.

 

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Scenery shadows are quite useless for now, as no currently available CPU is able to run max world details with shadows (not even talking about the glitchy look). And who wants to turn down world detail? But Ben stated that it's only a matter of time until shadows become viable - with more CPU time optimizations incoming.

But as this thread turned into a little agony column, how about the goddamned flickering roads when viewed from altitude? The so called "Z-trash". How hard is this to fix? Ruins so many otherwise stunning exterior views - especially when using ortho images.

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The effect on shadows you see is "normal", i.e. not a bug. Used to be the same way in XP10:

If you have no scenery shadows (light CPU load), XP11 will render the "airplane shadows" super-crisp.

If you have scenery shadows on (heavy CPU load), XP11 will render ALL shadows rough to save on CPU time.

 

XP10 had some detailed settings to determine how sharp you wanted your shadows to be (highest level was "melt your CPU").

There was a thread somewhere with a settings.txt tweak that enabled the "super crisp" aircraft shadows, even though scenery shadows are on as well.

Cheers, Jan

 

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1 hour ago, Janov said:

There was a thread somewhere with a settings.txt tweak that enabled the "super crisp" aircraft shadows, even though scenery shadows are on as well.

For those interested, this tweaked settings.txt (the original one is in the "resources" folder) should give better cockpit shadows when scenery shadows are on. Of course, in case of issues, do not nag Laminar Research for support: :-)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5fyJwRhjar5UWJWazJlVmdBSjQ

 

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On 7/8/2017 at 4:19 PM, Paraffin said:

I'm not seeing a problem with shadows in the default sim with no tweaks, but maybe it depends on your acceptance level for aliasing.

With the current 11.02RC2 version, there is a tiny bit of aliasing on the edges of plane and cockpit shadows if I really look hard for it, but not enough to bother me. No shimmering. This is with a fairly low anti-aliasing setting too, of 2X SSAA+FXAA. I could bump that higher if it bothered me, but I find this acceptable:

Shadow-aliasing-01.jpg

Shadow-aliasing-02.jpg

 

I wonder if there are any plans to soften the shadows?  Because hard-edged cutouts like that don't exist in real life.

Yes, I'm nitpicking.

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5 hours ago, Mountain Man said:

I wonder if there are any plans to soften the shadows?  Because hard-edged cutouts like that don't exist in real life.

Yes, I'm nitpicking.

Wel that made me go look - think it depends on the surface - in this video there are some pretty hard edged shadows on smooth surfaces (throttle binnacle) and not on the rough (e.g. tarmac, sheepkin seat cover). Even more nitpicky :)

cheers

Peter

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12 hours ago, Colonel X said:

Scenery shadows are quite useless for now, as no currently available CPU is able to run max world details with shadows (not even talking about the glitchy look).

I'm a bit puzzled by that statement Colonel. I'm running both at Max on an i7-4790k with no problems at all.

I'm not quite sure what defines the 'glitchy look' though.... (the Memsahib wouldn't let me Google it in case I found a replacement for her :biggrin:). 

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59 minutes ago, J.L.Seagull said:

I'm a bit puzzled by that statement Colonel. I'm running both at Max on an i7-4790k with no problems at all.

I'm not quite sure what defines the 'glitchy look' though.... (the Memsahib wouldn't let me Google it in case I found a replacement for her :biggrin:). 

Well, it depends where you run it I guess. Try a KLAX 25R approach at 2pm in the default 737. I am pretty sure the FPS will drop to the low 20s. For rural areas I suppose you are good! With glitchy look I was referring to the low resolution cockpit shadows (and other quirks) when running with scenery shadows.

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1 hour ago, CaptCWGAllen said:

Wel that made me go look - think it depends on the surface - in this video there are some pretty hard edged shadows on smooth surfaces (throttle binnacle) and ot on the rough (e.g. tarmac, sheepkin seat cover). Even more nitpicky :)

 

That looks pretty close to the XP11 shadow rendering to me, with scenery shadows off (my PC-12 shots above).

Sharp edges are normal with bright sunlight like that. Maybe the cockpit interior shadow is a little too dark in the XP11 version, not allowing for diffuse ambient fill light from the interior surfaces. The sharp edges look about right to me.

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1 hour ago, Colonel X said:

Well, it depends where you run it I guess. Try a KLAX 25R approach at 2pm in the default 737. I am pretty sure the FPS will drop to the low 20s. For rural areas I suppose you are good! With glitchy look I was referring to the low resolution cockpit shadows (and other quirks) when running with scenery shadows.

Well then Colonel ..... that scenario certainly answered my query and I doff my cap to you Sir.  As predicted - 19 to 31fps (highly dependent on direction of POV).

As for the 'glitchy'.... I am currently running an 'unofficial'  Lua mod which seems to temporarily address the cockpit shadow anomaly;

set( "sim/private/controls/shadow/cockpit_near_adjust", 2.1)
set( "sim/private/controls/shadow/cockpit_near_proxy", 30)

Very unsatisfactory I know, but it serves as a stop-gap for the time being.

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8 hours ago, J.L.Seagull said:

Well then Colonel ..... that scenario certainly answered my query and I doff my cap to you Sir.  As predicted - 19 to 31fps (highly dependent on direction of POV).

As for the 'glitchy'.... I am currently running an 'unofficial'  Lua mod which seems to temporarily address the cockpit shadow anomaly;

set( "sim/private/controls/shadow/cockpit_near_adjust", 2.1)
set( "sim/private/controls/shadow/cockpit_near_proxy", 30)

Very unsatisfactory I know, but it serves as a stop-gap for the time being.

Since I almost exclusively fly heavy metal into big hubs, scenery shadows are out of the question for me on a 4790K (and no other CPU would perform significantly better) and a 1080ti. But there's hope for improvement. Ben will have to lower CPU render time to achieve a solid 45 FPS for VR this fall. I don't think that's possible with scenery shadows, but maybe they'll become viable for a 30 FPS monitor setup. Anything is welcome, as a CPU upgrade doesn't make sense at this point.

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1. Cut and paste the text in the grey window below into a new document in a text editor e.g. Notepad++.

2. Save this document with the filename hi-res-shadows.lua and place it in the X-Plane 11\Resources\plugins\FlyWithLua\Scripts folder

3. Start X-Plane

 

This lua script increases the resolution of cockpit shadows to maximum, you can choose between 2048, 4096 and 8192.

Your fps might take a slight hit, it depends on the complexity of the shadows to be rendered, but you won't have jagged shadows in the cockpit any more.

YMMV

 

set("sim/private/controls/fbo/shadow_cam_size", 8192.0)
set("sim/private/controls/shadow/csm_split_exterior", 2.0)
set("sim/private/controls/shadow/last_3d_pass", 2.0)

 

X-Plane-2017-07-14-00-10-28.jpg

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