Gregg_Seipp

P3D Dynamic Lighting impressions?

Recommended Posts

My impression, so far, is that the juice isn't worth the squeeze...especially with my GTX970.  I gave it a try at the new Miami and my two thoughts were:

  • Well, I see a little difference...airplanes naturally lit up by the lights at the stands.
  • Bad performance (again, GTX970).  My frames went from mid 20s to 6. 

I think that dynamic lighting is sorely needed in the sim but not at the cost of ruining performance which, it seems, dynamic ramp lights do.  What do you guys think?

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I love DL ... unfortunately it's performance impact will vary considerably based on the developer of the scenery/airport and how they setup/define their lights.  With DL enabled I operate 2XMSAA and FXAA at 4K and performance is excellent (very very minor FPS hit and not enough to drop below my 30 FPS threshold) as are the visuals (less of a need for AA at higher resolutions like 4K upwards).

A 1080Ti will make a huge difference over 970 when it comes to DL, but again it'll boil down to you AA choice.  Sounds like you might be ready for nVidia Titan V (Volta) ... let us know how it goes if you get one :)

For those airports that aren't well optimized with DL, I keep DL enabled in P3D Graphics options, but just disable the airport's specific DL ... that way I can still enjoy the DL from the aircraft and AI aircraft but not take the FPS hit from unoptimized DL capable airports.

Sorry, no more flat triangles for my night flying ground adventures.

Cheers, Rob.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

With DL enabled I operate 2XMSAA and FXAA at 4K and performance is excellent

Doing that, I was able to get my framerate back up to 20 at KMIA.  Not as bad.  Can't say I'm ready to upgrade that card just yet.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Gregg_Seipp said:

My impression, so far, is that the juice isn't worth the squeeze...especially with my GTX970.  I gave it a try at the new Miami and my two thoughts were:

  • Well, I see a little difference...airplanes naturally lit up by the lights at the stands.
  • Bad performance (again, GTX970).  My frames went from mid 20s to 6. 

I think that dynamic lighting is sorely needed in the sim but not at the cost of ruining performance which, it seems, dynamic ramp lights do.  What do you guys think?

20 to 6 is a huge drop.

At Latin VFR's KMIA v4 (latest version) my fps only drop from 28 to 20. The problem with DL is that panning is no longer smooth with the gtx 970 at 4xSSAA.

4.jpg
5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, DJJose said:

At Latin VFR's KMIA v4 (latest version) my fps only drop from 28 to 20. The problem with DL is that panning is no longer smooth with the gtx 970 at 4xSSAA.

Panning, you're right and that highlights the real problem...framerate only means so much.  I will probably have to turn down other nighttime settings to get better results.

Share this post


Link to post

I can't run 4XSSAA with DL enabled at 4K res ... drops below my 30 FPS threshold and will introduce stutters.

I don't have LatinVFR KMIA ... do they offer a configuration panel to turn On/Off DL at specific parts of the airport like other vendors?  If they install any FX files for DL, you might want tweak with those and reduce radius and/or direction ... that should improve performance (point them down and smaller radius).

Cheers, Rob.

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

I can't run 4XSSAA with DL enabled at 4K res ... drops below my 30 FPS threshold and will introduce stutters.

I don't have LatinVFR KMIA ... do they offer a configuration panel to turn On/Off DL at specific parts of the airport like other vendors?  If they install any FX files for DL, you might want tweak with those and reduce radius and/or direction ... that should improve performance (point them down and smaller radius).

Cheers, Rob.

The KMIA configuration panel does allow you to turn DL On or Off. THX

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

For those airports that aren't well optimized with DL, I keep DL enabled in P3D Graphics options, but just disable the airport's specific DL ... that way I can still enjoy the DL from the aircraft and AI aircraft but not take the FPS hit from unoptimized DL capable airports.

I’m the same here, I’ve been disabling just the airport DL and normally use 8 or 4 MSAA without any noticeable impact on FPS with my Titan X (pascal) and 4K TV.

Therefore I can enjoy just the DL from my aircraft and the AI planes only.

What has surprised me a bit and very annoying, when I use native VR my performance is great everywhere until I’m landing. As the landing lights show up on the ground around 100ft from touchdown I get massive stutters and the mighty Titan falls to its knees.

To fix this I need to use 2x MSAA and turn off just about all the landing lights except one set. (eg leave inboards on only PMDG 747) This still gives me enough DL to see the runway.

This proves how massive the drain on my system is when switching to VR vs a 4K tv. 

I guess I’ll be lining up for a new Volta card just to see if it helps, and by the time it arrives in the mail the Pimax 8k Headset will arrive in the mail too and I’ll be back to square one again.

S.O.B

Share this post


Link to post
59 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

 If they install any FX files for DL, you might want tweak with those and reduce radius and/or direction

Interesting point Rob,

I’m not at my Computer at the moment to check but I’m wondering if PMDG have a FX file that I can tone down their DL landing lights.

In VR (by not so much on the 4K TV) I’m finding that the landing light effect looks a little too bright on the runway when touching down, if that could be turned down a bit this could be the answer. 

Im assuming not as life is never that easy. ☹️

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Iceman2 said:

I’m not at my Computer at the moment to check but I’m wondering if PMDG have a FX file that I can tone down their DL landing lights.

Yes it uses FX files, the issue with PMDG is that they use multiple FX files for multiple lights (TurnOff, Taxi, Retractable Landing lights, fixed Landing Lights, strobe, etc) and when you turn these on all at the same time it cause a big impact hit as PD3 has to calculate the addition of all these lights toguether, etc.

Lately I use this procedure and is working great for me:

1) Turn off taxi lights.

2) Turn on fixed Landing Lights.

3) Leave retractable landing lights off.

4) Turn on Strobe Lights.

This way there is less DL going on and as describe by Rob the performance hit is much less, if you reduce the radius of the DL lights you will find the problem might persists as the issue with this model is that it contains too much DL coming from too many sources so sadly reducing the radius would not improve the situation very much.

Regards,

Simbol

 

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, simbol said:

Lately I use this procedure and is working great for me:

1) Turn off taxi lights.

2) Turn on fixed Landing Lights.

3) Leave retractable landing lights off.

4) Turn on Strobe Lights.

Dear lord.  Can I ask what video card you have?

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, simbol said:

Lately I use this procedure and is working great for me:

1) Turn off taxi lights.

2) Turn on fixed Landing Lights.

3) Leave retractable landing lights off.

4) Turn on Strobe Lights.

If PMDG had provided an option to use non-DL lights, I figure you would not need this do this contortion.  I would not care much about DL, which to me are eyes candy, especially if it does not perform.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Anxu00 said:

If PMDG had provided an option to use non-DL lights, I figure you would not need this do this contortion.  I would not care much about DL, which to me are eyes candy, especially if it does not perform.

I second that. PMDG skipped a feature (legacy lights) although P3D’s new feature (DL) is just not ready yet. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Gregg_Seipp said:

Dear lord.  Can I ask what video card you have?

980ti and I7 6600K OC 4.6Ghz.

It works fine, I do the above to avoid having to pan out to increase the FPS back to 60, which is another way around for people having issues with DL and the PMDG.

Simbol 

Share this post


Link to post

Well I think DL looks really really good. I don't want to miss it at my airports. It looks much more natural than without it.
I recently upgraded my GPU to a 1080TI and the performance is not that bad. Still not able to hold 30fps at big airports but it is somehow "flyable."

I tried x plane 11 at night... well performance vise it's definetly ahead of P3D and the looks is simply amazing... 
Man if there was a way to make one sim out of P3D and XP11. :D

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

For those airports that aren't well optimized with DL, I keep DL enabled in P3D Graphics options, but just disable the airport's specific DL ... that way I can still enjoy the DL from the aircraft and AI aircraft but not take the FPS hit from unoptimized DL capable airports.

Sorry, no more flat triangles for my night flying ground adventures.

Cheers, Rob.

Please, how do you do that?

Thank you and Regards,

Share this post


Link to post

Overall, dynamic lighting is a great feature in v4. But I do experience studders, sometimes, just before touching down at high-density airports. 

Regards, 

Share this post


Link to post

I guess what really bugs me about DL is that only a few lights requires an $800 video card upgrade to get smoothness.  Otherwise, you have to selectively turn the feature off or take odd steps for performance of an aircraft.  Yeah, we all want natural lighting but, unless some performance enhancement can be made, as more and more things are made with the new lights, perhaps when P3D5 out, people will have to upgrade again.  Chunk of change.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Gregg_Seipp said:

I guess what really bugs me about DL is that only a few lights requires an $800 video card upgrade to get smoothness.

Actually if you do ONE airport beacon light that points parallel to the terrain with a very high distance and large radius it will cause a Titan XP to stutter when using 4K and high levels of SSAA.  So it can just take ONE light to drastically reduce FPS.  But "light" is what defines reality ... a single rotating airport beacon increases the complexity of rendering considerably ... you have to render the object, then render textures, render particle effects, then render the object shadows, then render reflections, then apply HDR, then render the varying density light calculations over the distance/radius the light is defined for, then apply AA ... the single beacon light source has the potential to adjust each and every pixel (in 4K that's over 8 Million pixels per frame) at a variable amount based on the light definition and view angle relative to the light source.  

For the old school flat triangle lights (X,Y axis) this is relatively easy, fixed light value adjusts each pixel over a given area (the triangle) - GPUs can handle this type of pixel adjustment very easily.  For "dynamic lights" this process now has volume (it's not a flat X,Y triangle but a cone of light with volume - X,Y,Z) ... and the intensity of the light "fades" over distance in all three axis of the virtual world (X,Y,Z) so we no longer have a fixed light adjustment value for each pixel (it's now a calculated value based on radius and distance), and because DL is a cone it impacts pixels in X,Y,Z virtual space so many many more pixels are needing adjustments.

Now, the options to improve these light calcs comes by shifting the render pipeline so that light calculations are done in a more optimal phase of render so calculations are less complex, often called deferred rendering ... (this is what XP11 does).  There are some benefits to deferred rendering when it comes to light calculations but there are also some penalties to deferred rendering, specifically shadow calculations.  If you notice XP11 shadows are pretty horrible (most people turn them off). Have you also noticed that XP11 and P3D do NOT render shadows based on the DL source, adding shadow calcs to dynamic lights would bring even a new Titan V to it's knees. 

So the warning here, is be careful for what you wish in P3D V5 and hope there is an option to turn the feature off because any flight sim that "adds" to visual improvement IS going to require more GPU processing power, especially anything that is "light" related.  For night flying only, I recommend:

1.  2XMSAA + FXAA
2.  Turn all Shadow calcs off with the exception of cloud and Internal and External Vehicle (not really going to see those anyway)
3.  Turn Dynamic Reflections off (again at night doesn't add much to the visuals)
4.  Adjust DL settings (if possible) at the airports being used ... you can have a lot of DL lights at large airports, really depends on how the developer sets those lights up

I keep multiple Day/Night graphics settings as it's relatively easy to switch between the two during any flight session.

Cheers, Rob.

   

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Actually if you do ONE airport beacon light that points parallel to the terrain with a very high distance and large radius it will cause a Titan XP to stutter when using 4K and high levels of SSAA.

Not going to quote all of that but, the entire thing makes a lot of sense.  I see it in 3D development software...when you render even one object can bring your system to its knees.  Imagine a rotating beacon...constantly changing direction...

Seems like the best we can hope for is a kind of lighting pre-render where it do as much of that work during startup.  On the other hand, simpler things might still pay off.  The 'artificial' night lighting is still steadily improving.  Perhaps we'll see more of that.  

Share this post


Link to post

I don't get why Lockheed Martin can't improve the DL performance, they were the ones who implemented it, so they should fix it!!!!!! They obviously don't know how, or don't care enough to want to fix it. 

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Mitch24 said:

I don't get why Lockheed Martin can't improve the DL performance

I recommend you read what I wrote above.  Can't fix what isn't broken ... you can however buy better performing GPUs or use the above suggestions to improve the performance of DL.

Cheers, Rob.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Mitch24 said:

I don't get why Lockheed Martin can't improve the DL performance, they were the ones who implemented it, so they should fix it!!!!!! They obviously don't know how, or don't care enough to want to fix it. 

Honestly, for me, as long as they keep a way to turn it off, I'm pretty okay, mostly.  I'll have to see what my PMDG performance is, though.  Rob's suggestion does, indeed, help.  And his point about developers carefully monitoring their performance is important.  They need to be careful.

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

I recommend you read what I wrote above.  Can't fix what isn't broken ... you can however buy better performing GPUs or use the above suggestions to improve the performance of DL.

Cheers, Rob.

Any idea what the future roadmap for Prepar3d will be? 

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

I recommend you read what I wrote above.  Can't fix what isn't broken ... you can however buy better performing GPUs or use the above suggestions to improve the performance of DL.

Cheers, Rob.

+1 Rob! Hopefully, they can optimize it, though.

12 minutes ago, ssair1 said:

Any idea what the future roadmap for Prepar3d will be? 

Regards,

I hope, some kind of optimization of Dynamic Lighting. Although, I must admit, that I don't struggle with it. I seems to be mainly users, who either use very high resolutions and/or extreme AA/AF settings... 

Also, some kind of overhaul of the weather engine and cloud depiction is (in my opinion) solely needed.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now