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PTA and Tomato Shade

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Can someone explain the differences between Tomato Shade and PTA?  I use PTA now but became interested in checking out Tomato.  However, they appear to be conflicting products.  Is that the case or can they be used together?  I downloaded Tomato, but didn't see any instructions on how to install it properly.  Thanks

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PTA & TomatoShade modify shaders of P3D which is why there is a conflict. You can only use one of those at a time otherwise you're bound to end up corrupting those shader files.

PTA started off as the father of shader modding but TomatoShade was introduced when PTA was bought out by Matt Davies and turned into a payware product while TomatoShade remains a passion project that is also free of charge. 

Majority of the features in both are identical. However, TomatoShade is continually updated and came out with pseudo-reflections for aircraft in P3D. This isn't true reflections but an estimation which works pretty well for someone who only has access to shaders without any sim core files. Although there are a few more really nifty features in TomatoShade, aircraft reflections and moisture on surfaces (airport or aircraft) are some of the more popular ones. 

The plus side is that nearly all PTA presets work with TomatoShade out of the box. Where you may need to find a TomatoShade specific preset is in the scenario of the user deciding to add reflections to their aircraft. You can modify an existing PTA preset within TomatoShade to take advantage of this effect or simply download one of the many presets available in Facebook/Discord groups or websites created by simmers to document their own settings, presets, etc. 

The future of PTA is undecided as the developer is going through several personal issues so the software may never be adapted for future versions of P3D or introduce the new features TomatoShade already offers. 

You could go about switching from PTA to TomatoShade by doing the following:

1. Open PTA, find the setting which restores your shaders to their default condition and restore the shaders.

2. Delete PTA and install TomatoShade (a drag and drop function into a folder of your choice like PTA was when it was freeware)

3. Find a preset online (example: https://www.rdpresets.com/rd-tomatoshade-preset.html OR https://live-cockpits.weebly.com/tomatoshade.html)

4. Run TomatoShade so it can create a backup of your original shaders.

5. Apply the preset you downloaded from one of the two websites above. 

The next steps are only if you have dynamic reflections enabled in the preset (for aircraft reflections)

6. If you/the preset enabled dynamic reflections, the software will warn you that you have not applied aircraft reflection profiles for your add-on aircraft.

7. Download aircraft reflection profiles (*example: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bxcgdvznl0eear2/AAAsfpUBeVLtA-aS7hRTG5Cla?dl=0&lst=)

*The dropbox link contain profiles created by the developer of TomatoShade. They are not as good as user-created profiles but will give you an idea of how the aircraft will look with reflections turned on. To get more up to date and better profiles, it would be best to join the P3D groups on Facebook as they're usually shared there.

8. Close TomatoShade and open another program in the same folder called 'DynamicReflectionMaker'. 

9. The list is populated with all aircraft in your SimObjects folder so search for your add-on aircraft. For example, 'PMDG 737'. 

10. On the right, click on 'Open a profile'.

11. Browse to the profile downloaded on Step 7. 

12. Apply and click on 'Save' on the top right.

You'll notice the aircraft in the aircraft list on the left will turn red. This means the reflection profile has been applied successfully. 

Make sure you go into P3D settings and have 'Dynamic reflections' enabled. 'Medium' setting works and looks best, in my opinion.

It can seem daunting at first to go through it all but once you get the hang of it (made easier as the developer chose to keep a similar UI to the freeware PTA), it becomes a breeze to operate and the results are nothing short of stunning in sim.

If you need my help in expanding on a certain step, feel free to PM me. 

Edited by krazyk
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3 hours ago, krazyk said:

The plus side is that nearly all PTA presets work with TomatoShade out of the box.

Interesting. I mainly use PTA for the raleigh scattering effect. So I can simply load my PTA preset in Tomato and that's it? I don't care for reflections. 

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22 minutes ago, J van E said:

Interesting. I mainly use PTA for the raleigh scattering effect. So I can simply load my PTA preset in Tomato and that's it? I don't care for reflections. 

Pretty much. However, the differences between PTA and TomatoShade are growing at a rapid pace since TomatoShade is in constant development. You can try your favorite PTA preset (be sure to restore shaders to default first) and see if it works without errors. From my experience, I've rarely come across a PTA preset that wasn't completely compatible but it's been quite a long time since I've looked for any PTA preset anyway. There are plenty of dedicated TomatoShade presets, so for best results I'd say get one of those from the links mentioned in my previous post. 

If you really want the exact details of what can/can't be accomplished with TomatoShade, you can go through the manual.

Rayleigh scattering is just one of the features that you can tune to your liking. There is an entire section dedicated to improving performance and dynamic lighting in sim alongside advanced atmosphere scattering, specular lighting, fog scattering, autogen lights adjustments, precipitation opacity, shadows, post-processing, stars lighting intensity, particle size lighting (essential if you feel the runway lights aren't unique enough to the surrounding lighting at a distance) and the list goes on. In the end, you get visuals closer to what you see in XP11 (not as detailed obviously but better than what comes with P3D for the moment). It's best if you try it for yourself.

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6 hours ago, ade555 said:

Hope this will help how to install it

 

 

Thanks, the info is all there but with that languid voice-over and hypnotic music it’s quite a challenge to stay awake to the end. And it’s 9am here, LOL.

gb.


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10 hours ago, gboz said:

Thanks, the info is all there but with that languid voice-over and hypnotic music it’s quite a challenge to stay awake to the end. And it’s 9am here, LOL.

+1000

Man, I got totally depressed after 4 minutes already and cried all night long afterwards. Watching this video is like attending a funeral. 🙄

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I just released PTA All Months set v14 :

 

 


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I also have a question about Tomatoeshade and hope someone can help. Currently, I have Envtex/Envshade/Envdir combined with PTA + ASP3dv4  sky textures and weather engine . I am also using Skyforce for everything else but their weather engines and sky textures. If I wanted to use Tomatoeshade, do I need to also get rid of Envtex/Envdir or can I use those in conjunction with tomatoeshade like I do PTA?

 

Troy?

Edited by troyboy66

Troy Kemp

Win 10 64 Pro on 1TB ssd + 500GB ssd  / P3Dv4.5 on 1TB ssd + 250GB ssd P3D addon / i7 8700K@ 5.1ghz / 32GB DDR4 3600mhz OC @3733mhz/ ASUS Maximus X Code /ASUS GTX 1070 Strix, 

 

 

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Have performance been improved with the latest tomato shade releases? Last one I used was version 23, now they are in version 25, but, I was wondering if performace has improved in any way? Specially reflections


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2 hours ago, troyboy66 said:

I also have a question about Tomatoeshade and hope someone can help. Currently, I have Envtex/Envshade/Envdir combined with PTA + ASP3dv4  sky textures and weather engine . I am also using Skyforce for everything else but their weather engines and sky textures. If I wanted to use Tomatoeshade, do I need to also get rid of Envtex/Envdir or can I use those in conjunction with tomatoeshade like I do PTA?

 

Troy?

I don't use any of those ENV products so I'm not sure if they can be used together. However, if you're able to use them with PTA, then it would suggest that none of them modify the shaders for the sim like PTA and TomatoShade do so it should be safe. Still, I would advise you backup relevant files before experimenting.

28 minutes ago, rafikihd said:

Have performance been improved with the latest tomato shade releases? Last one I used was version 23, now they are in version 25, but, I was wondering if performace has improved in any way? Specially reflections

Performance is a direct function of your settings in sim, especially related to reflections. TomatoShade offers the feature of reflections on your aircraft and different settings will reflect different objects but the general consensus is the higher your Dynamic Reflection setting in sim, the more it's going to cost you in performance as there's more for TomatoShade to reflect. 

I use the 'Medium' setting and see no loss of performance with TomatoShade reflections enabled which give me just enough reflections to make it look realistic and not overly polished.

If you have a strong GPU (I run a GTX970) then you could go with higher settings of dynamic reflections enabling even more objects being reflected on the fuselage and other parts of the aircraft.

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5 minutes ago, krazyk said:

I don't use any of those ENV products so I'm not sure if they can be used together. However, if you're able to use them with PTA, then it would suggest that none of them modify the shaders for the sim like PTA and TomatoShade do so it should be safe. Still, I would advise you backup relevant files before experimenting.

Thank you for your response. Much appreciative.


Troy Kemp

Win 10 64 Pro on 1TB ssd + 500GB ssd  / P3Dv4.5 on 1TB ssd + 250GB ssd P3D addon / i7 8700K@ 5.1ghz / 32GB DDR4 3600mhz OC @3733mhz/ ASUS Maximus X Code /ASUS GTX 1070 Strix, 

 

 

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I see Tomato-Shade has been updated to 2.6 ... does anyone know what was added/fixed?

TIA.

Adam.


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On 10/27/2018 at 6:12 PM, J van E said:

Interesting. I mainly use PTA for the raleigh scattering effect. So I can simply load my PTA preset in Tomato and that's it? I don't care for reflections. 

Same for me, I use PTA pretty successfully and the main reason I have not moved to Tomato is that (1) I don't wanna start from scratch, provided that I have my own preset that took considerable amount of time to build up and (2) I don't care for reflections since it has an impact on frame rate (and I fly mostly inside the cockpit anyway) - at least I suppose that, since I run at 4k resolution.

But are you saying that I can just open my personal preset of PTA inside Tomato and it will work flawlessly?!


Thanks.

Edited by Wanthuyr Filho

Best regards,

 

Wanthuyr Filho

 

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2 minutes ago, Wanthuyr Filho said:

Same for me, I use PTA pretty successfully and the main reason I have not moved to Tomato is that (1) I don't wanna start from scratch, provided that I have my own preset that took considerably amount of time to build up and (2) I don't care for reflections since it has an impact on frame rate (and I fly mostly inside the cockpit anyway).

But are you saying that I can just open my personal preset of PTA inside Tomato and it will work flawlessly?!

I tend to agree! I've left the reflections functions of TS well alone (I didn't like the way it messed with the .mdl files anyway).

That said, TS in "regular" mode does everything [else] that PTA does, with a few extras.

I would *absolutely NOT* recommend importing an existing PTA profile though. Some tweak names have changed names and you may be missing key entries.

I was able to keep both apps open simultaneously (but only applying TS) and manually checking/copying values from PTA to TS. The beauty of PTA is that you have those preview shots that help you remember which tweak does what. No such help in TS, so I wonder how non-PTA users get on. If you're already familiar with PTA, it won't take you that long.

It's not altogether clear whether Matt will continue to support PTA (it's gone dormant), but at least it looks like TS is being actively worked on, so I'm hedging my bets in case I'm forced to swap horses!

Adam.

 


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