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somiller

Airport load distance

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Does anyone know if a programming facility exists to control the distance at which airports load into the P3D? Is there a LOD parameter specific to airport scenery?

For example, it seems that no matter the setting I try in P3D, airports (3rd party) load into the sim at about 15 nm or so. Sometimes, especially in other than ideal visibility, it would help for the hires airport scenery to load further out.

Steven

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Hello Steven,

personally, I don't think that this can be influenced by a parameter. The only ones that come to mind are the scenery LOD and the small particle reject radius.

P3d (or rather ESP) has a funny way of managing airports. The data is kept in an internal cache, but the rules when an airport is loaded into that cache are unclear to me. When I query the airport list from SimConnect, it is often the case that airports that are close by are not part of the cache - and more often than not, even the one I am currently on is absent.

I think that this is a fixed limit, established to help performance. All those custom objects, reflections and the current dynamic lights would probably kill our sim dead. 

Best regards

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Oliver,

Your answer is just what I expected, and it indicates you have a depth of knowledge that far exceeds most of the rest of us.

There is another thread floating around on AVSIM regarding this very issue, and some seem to think airport load distance and the black texture issue share the same cause. Would you mine if I quote your response in that thread...I think it might be enlightening to some. If you would prefer I not quote you, I certainly understand.

Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise.

Steven Miller

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6 hours ago, somiller said:

Oliver,

Your answer is just what I expected, and it indicates you have a depth of knowledge that far exceeds most of the rest of us.

There is another thread floating around on AVSIM regarding this very issue, and some seem to think airport load distance and the black texture issue share the same cause. Would you mine if I quote your response in that thread...I think it might be enlightening to some. If you would prefer I not quote you, I certainly understand.

Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise.

Steven Miller

Hello Steven,

this is only my personal opinion, nothing more. There are a few more of these artificial thresholds in the sim. For example, particle effects are only visible when you are closer than 9nm (7 in FSX). I first noticed this with my FireFighter X, where even the largest fires were only visible inside that radius. And I guess everyone knows the issue with the runway lights that only become visible in an even smaller range.

What I have no knowledge about is what parameters there are in scenery design, if the scenery developers can set visibility ranges when creating the airport.

Black objects are a different issue. When an object comes into view, a loading process is triggered to texture it. The texture files are either cached or they are not. When they are not, then they are loaded from disk every time, and while they load, the object is black. It seemed to me that starting with P3D V3.x the black texture problem became worse, because the algorithm clearing the cache was more aggressive (or the cache was reduced in size, or - who knows). I got around that by moving for example my AI aicraft models to a RAM drive. So the inevitable loading process was a lot faster than usual. I suspect that this is also influenced by applying tweaks that control texture loading or incorrect affinity masks.

IMHO, there is nothing that we can do as users, apart from working around it. I wonder if it may be possible for an external tool to trick the sim into loading an airport, even if it doesn't want to. Have to make a few experiments with that.

Best regards

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Lorby_SI said:

Hello Steven,

this is only my personal opinion, nothing more. There are a few more of these artificial thresholds in the sim. For example, particle effects are only visible when you are closer than 9nm (7 in FSX). I first noticed this with my FireFighter X, where even the largest fires were only visible inside that radius. And I guess everyone knows the issue with the runway lights that only become visible in an even smaller range.

What I have no knowledge about is what parameters there are in scenery design, if the scenery developers can set visibility ranges when creating the airport.

Black objects are a different issue. When an object comes into view, a loading process is triggered to texture it. The texture files are either cached or they are not. When they are not, then they are loaded from disk every time, and while they load, the object is black. It seemed to me that starting with P3D V3.x the black texture problem became worse, because the algorithm clearing the cache was more aggressive (or the cache was reduced in size, or - who knows). I got around that by moving for example my AI aicraft models to a RAM drive. So the inevitable loading process was a lot faster than usual. I suspect that this is also influenced by applying tweaks that control texture loading or incorrect affinity masks.

IMHO, there is nothing that we can do as users, apart from working around it. I wonder if it may be possible for an external tool to trick the sim into loading an airport, even if it doesn't want to. Have to make a few experiments with that.

Best regards

 

 

 

 

Oliver,

Once again, an insightful response that taught me much about how P3D works. Come up with an idea for user control of the airport load variables, and some of my money would be happy to become some of your money.

Thanks,

Steven Miller

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