Matthew James de Bohun

Does anyone recommend Black Marble?

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At the moment on P3D I use Orbx Vector and lights. The one massive problem I have is shimmering distant lights. I've Googled and tried everything to get rid of it to no avail.

So given the hefty price tag does it mean Black Marble comes with a plethora of optimisation options which can eliminate or vastly reduce the shimmering issue?

Or is it still a problem with this add on?

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Try using the lights configuration tool inside FTX Central and change the size from normal, to large. Maybe that will help with the shimmering.

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Black marble is good but you really need a KILLER system to use it if you are flying anything with a highly detailed VC. BM brought my system to it's knees with anything PMDG. I believe they do have a money back guarantee if it doesn't work out. 

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I also like to have some feedback about Black marble, because what they ask is not cheap...

Base $39.99 Vector $59.99 3D Bridges $29.99 Traffic Pack $29.99

And subscriptions 1 or 2 years? so you have to pay 159 to have the full product, which is very expensive just to have night lights, and still have to pay a subscription every year!?...i really dont understand, if someone could explain...

https://shop.chrisbelldesigns.com/shop/platform/3-PREPAR3D v4/

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2 hours ago, captain420 said:

Try using the lights configuration tool inside FTX Central and change the size from normal, to large. Maybe that will help with the shimmering.

Tried this and it makes no difference to the shimmering - very annoying. 8xsSSAA helps but tanks FPS.

Bruceb

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vas3_h.jpg

I don't get how anyone thinks that this looks realistic... looks like someone took some crayon on the roads 

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That's ugly. Although I've seen some pretty nice shots with Black Marble, but to me its not worth the price of admission, plus thats another addon to add to the long list of addons I already have to start along with launching P3D.

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Black Marble looks completely different than that in later versions of P3D, much closer to what you see at night in XP11 than what's in that pic. I'm not even sure why they would still have that shot up on their site. It really looks fantastic under P3Dv4.

That said, I can't recommend it because, as others have stated above, it made my sim unflyable. It didn't seem to have much of an effect on frame rates, but it introduced constant microstuttering over any populated area on my 3 image generators, each of which is running an i7700, Titan XP, and 32gb of RAM. I run locked at 50Hz with Vsync on (50fps), and the computers are simply providing an out-the-window view for my Aerowinx-based 744 sim, so no fancy panels or anything are running.

So far, BM has been the only addon I've thrown at P3Dv4 that's caused any performance impact whatsoever, so it was uninstalled within 20 minutes.

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5 hours ago, DLWbluues said:

Black marble is good but you really need a KILLER system to use it if you are flying anything with a highly detailed VC. BM brought my system to it's knees with anything PMDG. I believe they do have a money back guarantee if it doesn't work out. 

Correct.  My old system couldn't run it the new one can. Buts it's the bomb

IMG-20171114-_WA0001.jpg

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Hmmmmm interesting feedback. Thanks everyone.

I wish Orbx or someone would completely overhaul the night lighting. I love night flying but the current experience just leaves me with a flat Meh feeling!

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Overall it adds really gorgeous night nighting, I`d say it is similar to X-Plane11. By default it`s cheated a bit with oversized lights almost as big as Autogen houses, but you can adjust that to your liking in the Configurator.

That`s the good news. The bad news : Black Marble Vector really brings even my new I7-8700K with GTX1080Ti down to the knees, especially in road intense areas like Los Angeles or London Heathrow. 

So I can only recommend Black Marble base, it adds night lighting to your existing vector data. Looks good e.g. with UTX Ultimate Terrain. 

Mike

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37 minutes ago, mikealpha said:

Overall it adds really gorgeous night nighting, I`d say it is similar to X-Plane11. By default it`s cheated a bit with oversized lights almost as big as Autogen houses, but you can adjust that to your liking in the Configurator.

That`s the good news. The bad news : Black Marble Vector really brings even my new I7-8700K with GTX1080Ti down to the knees, especially in road intense areas like Los Angeles or London Heathrow. 

So I can only recommend Black Marble base, it adds night lighting to your existing vector data. Looks good e.g. with UTX Ultimate Terrain. 

Mike

So if I use just base that will work in tandem with Orbx vector, with base just providing the lighting is that right?

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43 minutes ago, Matthew James de Bohun said:

So if I use just base that will work in tandem with Orbx vector, with base just providing the lighting is that right?

Yes, exactly !

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Black Marble is the best you can get regarding nightlighting. I own it and also I have Night Environment and FTX Global. I have disabled all FTX lights in favor of BM and Ne. More realistic than BM and NE you cannot get.

NE Adam.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That's some nice FS2004 flashbacks from the screentshot @GSalden

If that's the best P3d can muster for night lighting I can understand part of the frustrations some purchasers have with this product. 

I am not a fan at all, looks very unconvincing, especially that intersection in the foreground.

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The subscription cost is ONLY for support, and it's a small amount at that. It is optional...

Other developers have different business models, some of whom make you pay twice for different versions of their products.....

SAS443 - go to the forum and have a look at some of the videos (or on youtube), because BM is configurable - you may find that it can be quite realistic, and Vector gives you every road out there (at the time of programming!)

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Gentlemen, I also went ahead and just purchased BE base, when it comes to realism, it's all in or nothing! Let's see how it turns out, so I should disable the night lighting for my FTX global and Vector? 

Cheers...

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Hi,

Along with many other early adopters of Black Marble I too was disappointed with the performance impact in Prepar3D 4.0. in certain situations. The 'elephant in the room' turned out to be conflicts with ORBX and the fact that it quickly became clear that the BM product had not been tested alongside resident ORBX installations. Fortunately ORBX came to the rescue and, recognising the exceptional added value BM brings to the sim, agreed to work with the BM Developer, Chris Bell, to identify and resolve those compatibility issues. 

If you purchase BM it's worth going for both BASE and VECTOR as the latter is a much more detailed and accurate product and replaces ORBX Global Vector roads and highways without affecting the shorelines. These changes are visible both day and night. Indeed the density of road coverage is extraordinary and, like ORBX Vector, you do need to be sensible and select what you need to see while disabling anything in ORBX Vector which would conflict with BM. The same goes for Night Lighting - ALL ORBX night lighting should be disabled. What BM offers is so much better along with the added realism of darker skies (as seen in Night Environment).

Everything is configurable using the 'Black Marble Manager' and, while it does a decent job, there are aspects that need to be improved such as the automation of undoing stuff changed each time you run ORBX's FTX Central 3. If you followed my recent thread regarding 'Flying Trees at LOWS!' I described the necessary steps I have to follow to ensure BM and ORBX continue to work together where Night Lighting is concerned. Again, regarding FTX Central 3, each time it is run it restores terrain.cfg to the ORBX defaults. There are numerous additional entries added by ORBX to terrain.cfg. Many are unnecessary while flying at night (and really not missed during the daytime either). I have a modded terrain.cfg where these entries have been removed and this has a significant positive impact on performance.

Suffice it to say that I am now very happy with the setup as it stands. At first it was a bit of struggle and it took some time to get there, but the journey has proved to be very interesting and worthwhile. Black Marble is an excellent product and can be described as a work in progress with a very enthusiastic and skilled Developer, Chris Bell, at the helm. What he has achieved is extraordinary and should not be dismissed out-of-hand. Give it some time, read the Black Marble Support Forums at Creative Design Studios and get to know how to optimise the product to suit your requirements.

Regards,

Mike

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59 minutes ago, ssair1 said:

Gentlemen, I also went ahead and just purchased BE base, when it comes to realism, it's all in or nothing! Let's see how it turns out, so I should disable the night lighting for my FTX global and Vector? 

Cheers...

Yes, you should turn off ORBX's FTX lighting. There is a detailed thread on how to do this in the Black Marble support forum.
In my opinion, the 'BM Vector' package is what makes it after-dark simming really come alive. I don't feel there's a need for the bridges and traffic add-ons.


I think a better video demonstrating what BM looks like, is this one here:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/2qgDpohVxdM

To note, this is being run on a multiple PC setup with several 1080Ti cards, so you *must* dial down the eye candy or it will turn into a slide show. That being said, I really like it on my setup.

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I just bought BM base, vector, and traffic; it looks amazing! I must confess that I've ventured into Prepar3D from Xplane 11 and the biggest drawback was the night lighting! Now, I understand the BM replaces landclass scenery and that there are BM add-ons for particular photoreal regions. But some of my photoreal regions come with night lighting, how can I disable them?

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5 minutes ago, ssair1 said:

I just bought BM base, vector, and traffic; it looks amazing! I must confess that I've ventured into Prepar3D from Xplane 11 and the biggest drawback was the night lighting! Now, I understand the BM replaces landclass scenery and that there are BM add-ons for particular photoreal regions. But some of my photoreal regions come with night lighting, how can I disable them?


BM is a global product and doesn't have particular regions, that's Night Environment (NE) from the same developer, which can be run at the same time as BM.

You can disable photoreal by deselecting them (active=false) in scenery.cfg. You won't see photoreal textures at night anyway.

Dusk / dawn is heavy on system resources. Photoreal + lights is probably too much for most PCs to handle, so it's a choice between one or the other.

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@737NG, thank you! Now, I'm thinking of buying some NE regions, do I have to modify any existing settings with BASE and VECTOR? Also, when I purchased BM traffic, it did not come with a downloadable file, just a license key...

Kind regards, 

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@ssair1  I don't have NE regions, nor know of how to deal with them i.r.o. BM, I'm afraid.

I suggest you have a look at the BM support forums and look for the 'Black Marble and ORBX Compatibility Patch for v4 Released!!!' thread. For NE, you might need to create a new thread.

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