ErichB

Xplane and my simming future

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2 hours ago, jh71 said:

you said it: you are comparing X-Plane with 3rd party weather in the other sim. This is comparing apples with oranges. Also does P3D still use flat bitmaps ? From screenshots I see, I believe it does. 

To each its own, some like sharp bitmaps, I prefer 3D clouds where you can really surf the clouds. Also weather is much more then the depiction of clouds.

Er... afaik XP (X-Enviro) also uses bitmaps...? Or did I miss the introduction of real 3D clouds in XP? 

 

15 hours ago, janbergwall01 said:

and cartoon ground colors

Is that default or addon or...? It seems to me at least the Orbx addons (when looking at screenshots and video's) look the same for P3D and XP when it comes to colors. 

 

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23 minutes ago, J van E said:

It seems to me at least the Orbx addons (when looking at screenshots and video's) look the same for P3D and XP when it comes to colors. 

ORBX sceneries have a specific colour palette so everything is consistent, airports blend in, and it works with other regions, global etc. However, both sims treat colours differently, especially X-Plane. If you add a very bright blue sky and set it to midday in X-Plane (using xEnviro or some addon), then the colour palettes for the orthos look pretty similar between the two sims, but that all really changes a lot when you add in clouds, change the time of day, etc.. whereas in P3D the colours stay somewhat consistent. 

A lot of people in X-Plane use various plugins such as reshade to oversaturate everything because the default sim is so dull. It's possible to recolour X-Plane so it looks like P3D scenery, but I don't think it's possible the other way round.

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8 minutes ago, tonywob said:

It's possible to recolour X-Plane so it looks like P3D scenery, but I don't think it's possible the other way round.

With PTA  it is possible to make P3D look as dull and washed out or as colour saturated as you like.  The same when adding cloud shade or different times of day. With the various plugin's available, there really is no difference in what you can achieve in that sense between the two sims anymore . It is for all intents and purposes, a current day, non-issue.

I think the race is now about functionality, real atmospherics and physics - and most importantly, who provides better tools to allow developers across the board to make the simming experience better.

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1 hour ago, J van E said:

Er... afaik XP (X-Enviro) also uses bitmaps...? Or did I miss the introduction of real 3D clouds in XP?

I think default XP uses a somewhat different technique from FSX/P3D for cloud depiction. The latter uses a small number of very big sprites as "sheets" to form the cloud shape, whereas default XP uses a very large number of small sprites as "puffs" to form the cloud.

For this reason, while both sims use 2D sprites, the rotation of the sprites is more noticeable in FSX/P3D, because you have a very large sprite with a well defined shape doing a very large rotation, while in XP you have small, less defined sprites doing "small" rotations.

However, there are cloud mods for XP that increase the size of cloud sprites, producing better looking clouds, but also making more evident their rotations when changing the point of view.

I don't have X-Enviro, but from past videos I watched, it seemingly uses big 2D sprites that rotate unrealistically in some situations. I don't know if the current version solved this issue.

 

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1 hour ago, tonywob said:

A lot of people in X-Plane use various plugins such as reshade to oversaturate everything because the default sim is so dull.

Okay, well, LOL, as usual it's very personal: some say P3D looks cartoonish while others say XP looks dull... In the end it comes down to the same :happy: and everything can be 'edited' on the fly with plugins and addons.

 

40 minutes ago, Murmur said:

For this reason, while both sims use 2D sprites

Thanks for the information. What's clear now anyway is that jh71 was mistaken when he said XP has 3D clouds. 

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33 minutes ago, J van E said:

Okay, well, LOL, as usual it's very personal: some say P3D looks cartoonish while others say XP looks dull... In the end it comes down to the same :happy: and everything can be 'edited' on the fly with plugins and addons.

 

Thanks for the information. What's clear now anyway is that jh71 was mistaken when he said XP has 3D clouds. 

Well, the end result is clearly more volumetric, while the other is obvious a flat rotating image. To each it's own.

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3 hours ago, J van E said:

Er... afaik XP (X-Enviro) also uses bitmaps...? Or did I miss the introduction of real 3D clouds in XP? 

I'm not sure about default clouds, but SkyMaxx Pro has had 3D clouds for a while now.

Actually it's probably a mix of volumetric 3D close up, and what they call "dynamically generated imposters" (i.e. 2D) in the distance to keep frame rates higher. Anyway, it certainly looks 3D when flying through clouds, including the way they cast shadows on the ground.

I know SkyMaxx Pro isn't everyone's cup of tea, especially at higher altitudes (where I don't fly). Personally, I like the way SkyMaxx's low level clouds blend with mountain terrain. It's the most realistic look I've found for the kind of bush plane and helicopter flying I enjoy in XP. At least until we get internal weather engine improvements some day from Laminar.

 

2 hours ago, tonywob said:

A lot of people in X-Plane use various plugins such as reshade to oversaturate everything because the default sim is so dull. It's possible to recolour X-Plane so it looks like P3D scenery, but I don't think it's possible the other way round.

Part of X-Plane's "dull" look is the color palette, but the other part is the haze effect, which is overdone in my opinion.

I'm sure you know this, but as info for others, it's possible to use LUA scripts to knock back the haze without using any palette or saturation adjustments. I don't like overly saturated colors with other adjustments, so just reducing the haze looks the most realistic to me.

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As an avid flight simmer who touted Prepar3D ver 1 over FSX and SE, I have come to stark realization that I really like X-Plane!  When Version 11 came out I  was not that impressed, but after hearing some of my friends tell me to check it out just recently, I reloaded and can say that I am now very impressed.  The one thing I noted right off the bat was that I was able to set up my Logitech X-56 controls along with my Saitek rudder in just a few short minutes without having to revert to FSUIPC. Load time and FPS - Awesome, Plugins and the availability of free quality plugins I wish P3D could do.

X-Plane 11 I am going to start leaning more on and weaning myself off P3D.  Why you may ask? Simple, even though X-Plane does not have the 3rd Party developers like FSX or P3D, Research is doing a pretty damn good job and I think after looking at other sources its add ons will only become more available.

Things I would like to see in 3rd Party as soon as possible:

A quality weather add-on.

More quality commercial planes (X-Plane is still pretty General Aviation Heavy)

That is really at this time I can say that I would like to see soon!

So if you haven't tried X-Plane 11 lately, I recommend giving it another shot!

 

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33 minutes ago, jh71 said:

Well, the end result is clearly more volumetric, while the other is obvious a flat rotating image. To each it's own.

REX Skyforce has changed volumetric size limitations on clouds, including the altitude limits. They are still 2D and they do still rotate, but SF has done a great job with taking the general look and feel to the next level.  If XP developers can achieve the look and feel of a SF environment, it would catapult XP to major league. 

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3 minutes ago, Sirxamoc said:

 

3 minutes ago, Sirxamoc said:

Things I would like to see in 3rd Party as soon as possible:

A quality weather add-on.

Not going to happen unless Austin and team provide the (extra) tools to make it happen.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jh71 said:

Well, the end result is clearly more volumetric, while the other is obvious a flat rotating image. To each it's own.

That wasn't the point: you said P3D uses bitmaps and implied XP didn't, that is has 3D clouds. But that's not the case. And I seldom, if ever, see rotating flat clouds in P3D. Which btw also may have to do with SkyForce (EDIT As Erich posted before me). So it's not that obvious and flat as you think. And btw you can't judge that by looking at screenshots... :happy:

Edited by J van E
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43 minutes ago, J van E said:

That wasn't the point: you said P3D uses bitmaps and implied XP didn't, that is has 3D clouds. But that's not the case. And I seldom, if ever, see rotating flat clouds in P3D. Which btw also may have to do with SkyForce (EDIT As Erich posted before me). So it's not that obvious and flat as you think. And btw you can't judge that by looking at screenshots... :happy:

Well, using VR you can clearly notice that XP’s implementation is superior. Everything rotates with your head in P3D using AS. In XP11 clouds are much, much more stable. 

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1 hour ago, GCBraun said:

Well, using VR you can clearly notice that XP’s implementation is superior. Everything rotates with your head in P3D using AS. In XP11 clouds are much, much more stable. 

Yeah, but VR really is a completely different issue.  VR is at best - still experimental. 

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5 hours ago, ErichB said:

Not going to happen unless Austin and team provide the (extra) tools to make it happen.

And this will have to wait ,till it has made the jump to Vulkan. It is quite difficult to plan usefull APIs before you can really determine what the engine might do.

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2 hours ago, ErichB said:

Yeah, but VR really is a completely different issue.  VR is at best - still experimental. 

Yeah, but VR does not change/modify clouds in any way, so the statement above "XP’s implementation is superior" remains true.

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In regards to the current state of weather engines in X-Plane (Disclaimer : I own X-Enviro 1.08 beta...take from what what you will)

 

ActiveSky : Have not seen or heard a thing about them for a while, so I can't really comment if they are inferior or superior because there is nothing there atm. Perhaps some inferences can be made in regards to cloud systems and the level of integration with third-party add-ons.

 

SkyMaxx : I've had mixed relationships with. I started v3, which was definetly an improvement over stock. However... cloud systems seem very limited, textures are poor, colours often seem wrong, FPS and draw distance is poor...and I have not really seen any evidence to see that SkyMaxx is actually volumnetric. Perhaps our terminology is different, but I've only ever seen rotating billboard clouds. But again...perhaps I've had a bad experience with the software.

 

X-Enviro : This to me, is where the current interest lies. Having beta-tested 1.08, I can say it is an almost night-day transition from 1.07. Clouds are built up with voxels...though not visually rendered. However, this does mean that 1.08 blocks out city lighting (in answer to @Tonywob ). The sky is physically rendered and is much more accurate to the real thing. The cloud textures are created dynamically, so no two clouds are the same, and cummulus does build up under certain conditions (although the algorythms are not fully there yet.) There is also alot of work to try and get the weather radar implemented (called openwxr) and is going to be adopted by the Flightfactor 320 and other future add-ons.

 

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On a closing remark, yes it's painful now, but I believe we're going to see alot of interesting developments with weather coming over the years, with or without Laminars assisstance. Just a little patience needs to be excercised

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xEnviro badly needs custom weather themes instead of real weather. This is a huge limiting factor for me who likes to fly GA and helis in places like the UK (where the weather is always rubbish) and I don't understand why they haven't implemented this yet. 

 

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13 hours ago, ErichB said:

Yeah, but VR really is a completely different issue.  VR is at best - still experimental. 

Disagree. VR is natively implemented on stable versions of both P3D and XP11. Of course VR improvement is ongoing, as its the case with every other technology.

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Erich, maybe you can live with this implementation of cloud drawing in MSFS derivates, I can not. The fact that in VR it even stands out more, is enough proof. Maybe I should have called them billboards, instead of bitmaps. But you can call it what ever you like, the clouds remain flat and rotating, there are methods to camouflage it, like Active Sky has done, but it remains the same.

In XP also, I shy away from any "improvement" that pronounce the rotating billboards, even if they, in some circumstances, give pretty visuals and nicer cumulus. Probably because I prefer VFR and do not fly 'tubers.

As I said, to each its own.

And I agree with Tony, for VFR (nice weather flyers), xEnviro badly needs custom weather.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tonywob said:

xEnviro badly needs custom weather themes instead of real weather. This is a huge limiting factor for me who likes to fly GA and helis in places like the UK (where the weather is always rubbish) and I don't understand why they haven't implemented this yet. 

 

Ah, thanks, forgot about that. Yes, I also need custom (or better said historic) weather badly. I am still unsure about reinstalling XP just for TrueEarth (can't see any advantages in it yet apart from some possible graphical improvements) but I certainly won't add X-Enviro to the mix if it doesn't come with custom/historic weather. (The addon also is a bit too expensive considering I might only use XP for testing, comparing and some GA flights.)

Edited by J van E

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5 hours ago, jh71 said:

Erich, maybe you can live with this implementation of cloud drawing in MSFS derivates, I can not. The fact that in VR it even stands out more, is enough proof. Maybe I should have called them billboards, instead of bitmaps. But you can call it what ever you like, the clouds remain flat and rotating, there are methods to camouflage it, like Active Sky has done, but it remains the same.

I don't disagree.  'Camouflage' is a good way to frame what AS (and SF) has managed to do with it.  And as i don't really have much of an alternative, given the types of aircraft I prefer to fly, I have learned to live with it.

Neither sims are perfect - although sometimes - they come close to being so.    It's more a case of which levels of imperfections you are more comfortable with.  

I've not seen much of flightsim in VR.  I did when the DK2 first came out and I got so ill from the stutters I gave up.  Things have moved on since then quite significantly I guess but I haven't gone back to VR since.  Never did get the CV1.  I couldn't get over the screen door effect.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, J van E said:

The addon also is a bit too expensive

How did you arrive to that conclusion?

Do you realize the complexity and the amount of time it takes to develop?

Im a software developer (medical) and I sell my software 20 times higher and its not even close to the complexity of xE.

Come on, $70, its about the same you would spend on a nice evening in a nice restaurant with the wife and next day that $70 will end up, well you now where. So no, I for one don't think is expensive at all, but that is just me.

Edited by CarlosF
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5 minutes ago, ErichB said:

I've not seen much of flightsim in VR

AF2 is a clear winner for me, the others are just unusable. With X-Plane I have to turn down the settings to minimum and it looks like I'm flying over a lifeless, dull world whilst suffering from cataracts. P3D is better, but the movement is delayed and makes me feel not great.

With AF2, I can run on max settings and it's super smooth throughout. To care rid of the carpet orthos effect, I have to fly quite high up or in an area covered by autogen, but taxiing around KEGE or LOWI for example is really amazing. I'm really happy AF2 is shortly getting a helicopter.

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3 hours ago, tonywob said:

AF2 is a clear winner for me, the others are just unusable. With X-Plane I have to turn down the settings to minimum and it looks like I'm flying over a lifeless, dull world whilst suffering from cataracts. P3D is better, but the movement is delayed and makes me feel not great.

With AF2, I can run on max settings and it's super smooth throughout. To care rid of the carpet orthos effect, I have to fly quite high up or in an area covered by autogen, but taxiing around KEGE or LOWI for example is really amazing. I'm really happy AF2 is shortly getting a helicopter.

Of course, AF2 has no weather, no water rendering, no plugins and no real airplanes. Your 1070 is also not ideal for VR in XP11 and P3Dv4.

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Yep I accept that, but not everyone can afford a 1080ti (Especially with the mining mania going on at the moment)

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