WebMaximus

For the PTA and ENVTEX experts in here

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I just upgraded to P3Dv4 coming from P3Dv3.2 and figured I would give this PTA a go after reading lots of good things about it and how it transforms your simulator into something looking more real than ever.

So far I've only tried the preset called MattDavies_v1.1 that comes with PTA and pta2-preset-thopat-2_1 which I downloaded. Of these two I prefer the MattDavies one I think but might play around a bit more with the thopat one as well. Also noticed looking at the description of pta2-preset-thopat-2_1 that you're supposed to adjust both the HDR as well as many other settings which I didn't do at this time so maybe that will make things a lot better. Found it very dark unless it was during full daylight.

What I really would like to ask is about the integration with ENVTEX. There's a box in the ENVTEX interface where you can put in the path to PTA but I don't really understand the point doing that since PTA comes with its own UI where you simply choose your preferred preset (or make your own settings) and then hit apply.

Will do some reading in the documentation as well but thought I would just throw out a quick question here too hoping for some good advice how to use these two programs together for best results.

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I agree that it does get a bit confusing. If you have PTA mod for modifying shader files, I think it is best to use it separately from ENVTEX and turn off ENVTEX shaders. ENVTEX specializes in injecting textures. PTA specializes in manipulating shaders.

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I had the same integration pronlems, ended up going to Rex and ASCA. REX has its own PTA foles to chose from which seems to work well.

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I just bought v4 last night but will wait for 4.1. Within 3.4 I have been using thopat and yes you need to play with your lighting to your liking. I find it amazing.  

Personally I think people set their sim up way too dark. There is a good reason why pilots were ray bans when flying.

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2 hours ago, Nyxx said:

I just bought v4 last night but will wait for 4.1. Within 3.4 I have been using thopat and yes you need to play with your lighting to your liking. I find it amazing.  

Personally I think people set their sim up way too dark. There is a good reason why pilots were ray bans when flying.

Exactly! When I first used PTA and Ultimate Realism Pack, I opened up the sim, took one look, and said to myself "The sun finally came out!" I never realized that the sim never looked as if the sun was shining, even on a cloudless day! I could never go back to flying without these amazing addons!

 

Russ

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Thanks for the input and tips guys!

I still don't really understand why you want to point out PTA in ENVTEX even after reading the ENVTEX doc but I'll just continue to play around with it.

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Just downloaded URP which comes with a nice UI and all, very nice being a freeware/shareware tool!

Not sure though if I'm supposed to use either PTA or URP or both at the same time?

Things are getting a bit confusing here now...I have ENVTEX, PTA (which I bought yesterday) and now URP.

I figured I would spend this weekend actually flying and seeing what P3Dv4 is all about but right now I'm afraid I'll spend most of the weekend tweaking cloud and sun textures and trying out different HDR settings :biggrin:

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Hi guys !

I see you are a bit confused with the PTA integration feature, I must admit it can look unclear at first.

Currently this PTA integration only allows to export our own PTA preset (called PTAbsolute) to your PTA folder so you can load them easily into PTA. That said, we are looking into a full integration with PTA, meaning that PTAbsolute should be installable directly from Envtex without launching PTA itself (but you will still need it).

Also, ticking the "Use PTA" switch prevents the Envtex "shaders" feature to be enabled and prevents conflicts with PTA.

 

About URP and other presets, I recommend being careful because despites of our requests to the famous presets creators, they are using some extreme values with some tweaks that are creating an incompatibility with Aurora effects, resulting in not seeing them during night and seeing them as a black wave during dawn dusk. That's why we really recommend to use PTAbsolute instead which is fully optimized and compatible with Envtex.

We are going to provide a very important update to this preset in the next few days that will surely make it much more attractive than now thanks to tweaks which were never seen yet.

 

Hope this will help you :)

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Thanks Maxime for this very good explanation as well as for the heads-up using some other presets together with Envtex.

Much appreciated!

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On 9/29/2017 at 7:15 PM, Nyxx said:

I just bought v4 last night but will wait for 4.1. Within 3.4 I have been using thopat and yes you need to play with your lighting to your liking. I find it amazing.  

Personally I think people set their sim up way too dark. There is a good reason why pilots were ray bans when flying.

I use v4, PTA and the thopat, find ITT very dark, especially at night.

Does anyone know how to lighten it, any help/advice is appreciated.

Even a preset if available will be helpful.

Thanks

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5 hours ago, kmax59 said:

We are going to provide a very important update to this preset in the next few days that will surely make it much more attractive than now thanks to tweaks which were never seen yet.

Where will you announce when this new preset is available? 

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1 hour ago, ozflyer said:

I use v4, PTA and the thopat, find ITT very dark, especially at night.

Does anyone know how to lighten it, any help/advice is appreciated.

Even a preset if available will be helpful.

Thanks

See the Mega Presets thread.

There are multiple presets to choose from.

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2 hours ago, ozflyer said:

I use v4, PTA and the thopat, find ITT very dark, especially at night.

Does anyone know how to lighten it, any help/advice is appreciated.

Even a preset if available will be helpful.

Thanks

I still haven't bought PTA because all screenshots I see look too dark and the colors are too saturated. Very unrealistic. I've been told you have to see it in action in order to appreciate it but I just don't dare to spend money on it. I also absolutely HATE tweaking (after having done it for many years) so I will also HATE fooling around with all the possible options and settings (which seems to be necessary even with presets you can download). Whenever I see screenshots that look real to me I might get it but until then I still don't get what all the fuss is about. 

Also: after getting back to P3D I see ENVTEX is mentioned a lot: seems to be something like REX textures: do we really need more textures? It all looks the same to me but maybe I am not looking good enough. I still love my free HDE v2 clouds.

Still, these are interesting developments... just don't know if it is all worth the money and trouble.

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1 hour ago, J van E said:

I still haven't bought PTA because all screenshots I see look too dark and the colors are too saturated. Very unrealistic. I've been told you have to see it in action in order to appreciate it but I just don't dare to spend money on it. I also absolutely HATE tweaking (after having done it for many years) so I will also HATE fooling around with all the possible options and settings (which seems to be necessary even with presets you can download). Whenever I see screenshots that look real to me I might get it but until then I still don't get what all the fuss is about. 

Also: after getting back to P3D I see ENVTEX is mentioned a lot: seems to be something like REX textures: do we really need more textures? It all looks the same to me but maybe I am not looking good enough. I still love my free HDE v2 clouds.

Still, these are interesting developments... just don't know if it is all worth the money and trouble.

Well you said it, You do need to see it in action and there is no going back afterwards.

As for being too dark just adjust the lighting within v4 it really is that easy. Also PTA it's not hard to tweak to your liking within it.

Is it worth the money and trouble? DL PTA, DL thopat. See the sim looking like nothing you have seen before is that a lot of trouble? It's only £15. Have many people do you read that have un installed it?

If you Don't Dare it really is your loss. I spent around 30 mins getting it how I like, you never have to touch it again. P3D looks wasted out, bland and void of depth without it. But like you I thought it looked fine before I saw the light.

People monitors are all different with different colour casts and contrasts levels. Looking at photos is almost a waste of time. But its upto you :biggrin:

You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make it drink :biggrin: 

But like everyone its your Sim enjoy it how your please :biggrin:

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@Nyxx is absolutely right there. Full Ack. I use the Thopat preset and it is so nice. I agree, the nights are pretty dark. But that's the same in reality. On my last night flight from Greece to Germany all i could see where some lights on the ground, the rest was pitch black - and that's what I get in P3D.

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5 minutes ago, swiesma said:

@Nyxx is absolutely right there. Full Ack. I use the Thopat preset and it is so nice. I agree, the nights are pretty dark. But that's the same in reality. On my last night flight from Greece to Germany all i could see where some lights on the ground, the rest was pitch black - and that's what I get in P3D.

Also to add to that. You can set up a "Day" setting profile within P3D and a "Night" one. When I finally get v4 next week I will do just that. I will turn Autogen trees down to low as you cannot not see them at night until very low. I will turn lots of thing to match a night scene and  that should help DL fps also. FSX and P3D have always been way to bright at night.

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1 hour ago, J van E said:

I still haven't bought PTA because all screenshots I see look too dark and the colors are too saturated. Very unrealistic.

From my point of view you're completely right when it comes to saturation we see in nearly all screenshots.

I have mine set to 0.59 in game and irc the digital color or whatever its named in the NVCP i also lowered a bit. 

But on top of that i use PTA since the first day and i love it. 

 

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Did any of you guys test out the PTA presets that come with ENVTEX called PTAbsolute and recommended to be used when you also use ENVTEX?

Haven't tried it out myself yet but instead I've been using URP which I think is also very good. Will do some more playing around though with PTA and different presets to see which one I like best.

As for PTA presets, those I heard most of are the Thopat one and one called Adam something where the latest one I think is Adam_PTA_25_04 but of course these are only a couple of hundreds out there.

I guess the hardest and most time-consuming thing is to find which one you prefer but I agree without these P3D looks pretty washed out once you've seen these shader mods in action. For someone who only watched screenshots I would recommend to at least find some good YouTube clips. IMO it's once you get up in the air you see the real different with all shadows, how the mountains in the far distance have this blueish tint to them just like IRL etc etc.

It's really the kind of thing that can transform your simulator!

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50 minutes ago, WebMaximus said:

Did any of you guys test out the PTA presets that come with ENVTEX called PTAbsolute and recommended to be used when you also use ENVTEX?

After trying the different presets, this is the one I ended up with (specifically, the one with less haze). Thopat and Adam's preset look good at lower altitudes, but this is the one I liked best up high. It's all very subjective, of course, as well as dependent on monitors and other variables. So your experience is likely to be different. But it only takes a few minutes of your time to try it out...

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Nice to hear someone using these presets provided by ENVTEX because up until now I've rarely seen anyone using them.

I'm just about to do my first flight using the preset simply called normal (no less and no more haze) and see how I like it.

Also looking forward to next version of these presets that should be close to release according to one of the ENVTEX developers mentioned earlier in this thread.

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I have a question regarding PTA.

When using a preset that will modify your Prepar3D.cfg file what is the best thing reverting those modifications if you decide you don't want to use this preset?

I found an option in PTA under the Actions menu called Restore initial config file which will restore my Prepar3D.cfg but as far as I can tell that will restore the file from what it looked like at the time PTA did this backup. However the file might have changed since then meaning using that option I would miss out of any changes done to the file between the time of the initial backup and now when restoring it.

I'm all new to PTA so might be something I'm missing here but to me it seems weird there isn't a simple and proper way restoring whatever is changed including Prepar3D.cfg by a preset you apply.

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In theory, PTA shouldn't even include an option to modify the Prepar3D.cfg because it is illogical. PTA is about shader files and that is all.

What I do as a hack, is save a default shader file in PTA with any cfg changes I use but no shader tweaks, and revert back to that when I need too.

Then, when there is a new shader preset I want to try, I make sure that the option to tweak the cfg in the preset is turned off.

Unfortunately, if you are not aware of it, some PTA presets do modify the cfg file.

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Got it and thanks for the explanation.

After posting about this I also had a look in the PTA documentation and it does mention this and how it will make an initial backup of your Prepar3D.cfg but again that might not be the version of the file you want to restore if other things changed since this initial backup was made.

Personally I think it's very convenient PTA can make changes directly to your Prepar3D.cfg file such as automatically setting the recommended HDR values for that particular preset.

However, with that functionality in place there should also be functionality that will allow you to fully revert everything back to what it looked like prior to applying the preset and not only when PTA was installed/used for the first time.

Let's hope this will get some attention for next version of PTA. Until then just like you say you need to make sure to always check if a preset you want to try out will do any changes to your Prepar3D.cfg file so you're aware of this before it's too late.

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4 hours ago, WebMaximus said:

Let's hope this will get some attention for next version of PTA. Until then just like you say you need to make sure to always check if a preset you want to try out will do any changes to your Prepar3D.cfg file so you're aware of this before it's too late.

Personally I detest this type of backup. It would be fine if this would be the only program doing it but it is not. unless the USER keeps track of the order in which they use various programs, it can easily become a mess. Consider - you have programs A, B & C. Each program, when first run creates a backup of the p3d.cfg file and makes changes. So you run program A and it creates backupA, but later you run program C and it creates backup C which is really programA. Then you use program B which creates backup B which is really ProgramC. Now, you uninstall program A which restores the ORIGINAL, thus losing program B & C mods.

See where I am going with this?

I'd like the dev's to either discontinue the auto backup or caution the user to keep close track.

Same thing will happen when you install a new P3D Client over an installation that has been modified by several progams, etc.

Messy, IMHO.

Vic

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On 10/4/2017 at 0:12 PM, WebMaximus said:

Nice to hear someone using these presets provided by ENVTEX because up until now I've rarely seen anyone using them.

I use them as well (the less-haze one in particular).  Most of the popular presets look way too dark and saturated for me.   It's "dramatic", but seems a lot less realistic to my eye.  PTAbsolute adds rich haze and shadows without making everything look cartoonish.   To me, anyway.

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