Space12

How do I make P3D look good?

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I've been watching some flight sim streams lately and looking at screenshots and everything looks very realistic and pretty however all of my attempts to make a somewhat similar looking sim seem to fail. I have TomatoShade, (I tried) ReShade, REX Sky Force 3D, Orbx Global, OLC Europe, Active Sky and a pretty good computer.

Looking at screenshots on the rdpresets website, they look great but I can't get anything even close to that.

Spoiler

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My sky is always a very light blue and the clouds are a dark grey colour, while the ground trees and fields look very saturated. I'm also having troubles with AA, anything below 4xSSAA looks really bad to me but that eats up frames. I cannot find a middle ground and if anyone can provide some tips I'd really appreciate it. Screenshots of my sim below (2xSSAA).

Spoiler

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My PC Specs:

i7-8700k, 2080ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM, I have P3D installed on my 1TB SSD and I have an additional 2TB HDD.

Edited by Space12

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Well you will need.

I Suggest the following.

ASP4 = For weather (A must have.)

SF= Clouds and structures since you have it. (I use it) Do not use the weather engine.

Orbx = Global, then OLC Europe/North America. (Vector but you have to turn most options off.)

A Shader that makes everything look amazing, PTA/Tomato/Envshade. (one you like the best?, I use PTA)

Use Addon airports.

You need to look up how to run the sim well even on your PC. If I can run it well you should murder it. But looks and running the sim are two big topics.

I've just stuck to recommendations on looks. Running the sim will can take pagers :) 

One from the flight I just did (That's aerosoft LEIB)

leib.jpg&key=2ad98aece16adb8dd1dd8045e85

You should have NP getting looks like this.(EHAM from last night's flight)

eham.jpg&key=3ed0686a1cbf79753e7f3d8b46b

Edited by Nyxx
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Did you try all the different sky textures within Sky Force?  They have quite a few so you would would have to go through all of them to find what you like.  Tomatoshade should have settings to help with the cloud color and ground saturation, etc.  I personally use PTA and that has made the sim visuals much better after tweaking the settings to my liking. Shader tweaks have been the big key for me and many others to get a more realistic looking sim.  If you have HDR turned on within the sim you can adjust the saturation and brightness.  I don't think your pics look all that bad but I agree, your clouds are a bit grey.  PTA has a setting that adjusts the cloud coloring...not sure if Tomatoshade does or not so you may have to experiment with the settings.

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14 minutes ago, Nyxx said:

 

Honestly I completely forgot that ORBX Global, OLC Europe and Active Sky existed for a moment, but I do have them. I also have a few add on airports like UK2000 Gatwick, Luton, some Aerosoft scenery etc. Thanks for the reply, I'll be sure to spend some time tomorrow messing with settings to try to find the sweet spot!

Edited by Space12

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4 minutes ago, Flic1 said:

Did you try all the different sky textures within Sky Force?  They have quite a few so you would would have to go through all of them to find what you like.  Tomatoshade should have settings to help with the cloud color and ground saturation, etc.  I personally use PTA and that has made the sim visuals much better after tweaking the settings to my liking. Shader tweaks have been the big key for me and many others to get a more realistic looking sim.  If you have HDR turned on within the sim you can adjust the saturation and brightness.  I don't think your pics look all that bad but I agree, your clouds are a bit grey.  PTA has a setting that adjusts the cloud coloring...not sure if Tomatoshade does or not so you may have to experiment with the settings.

I'll take a more in-depth look at the different sky textures in SF tomorrow but if I pick a darker one (like in the rdpresets screenshots) the entire sim looks very dark. In regards to the cloud color thing, I believe that the colour correction for clouds in TomatoShade comes enabled with the preset I'm using so I'm not too sure what's going on there.

I just have difficulty finding a good balance between having a bright environment and normal coloured ground scenery which is why I tried to copy settings from other people and streamers but it doesn't come close to (how in my mind) it should look.

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In other words .... spend a lot of money 😄 

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Don't be fooled by all the youtube videos you see. Many of them have post processing added in Vegas,  Motion, or most commonly, After Effects; a lot of them are recorded at half speed with the effects turned up and then speeded up in Premiere Pro or Final Cut etc to take them back up to normal playback speed but rendered at double the frame rate. This isn't always true of course, but on youtube, it's a lot more common than you might suspect. This sort of 'visual sleight of hand' has been going on since the Lumiere Brothers were around.

Edited by Chock
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Have you tried calibrating your display? If not, I suggest looking up a few test patterns that will assist you in dialing in the proper contrast, brightness, and gamma. You can try to play with every available option in the sim and in your add-ons, but you will never be able to make them look good if your display settings are wrong.

I have a Samsung monitor, and I used their Natural Color Pro "Color management system" to make some adjustments using it's test patterns and pictures. It saves them as a profile which Windows uses. 

I was chasing washed out, over saturated scenery problems for a couple of weeks until I did that, 

Also, check under display settings in the Nvidia control panel and make sure that "Output dynamic range" is set to "Full" and not "Limited".

Edited by MDFlier
more bloody spleling errors.

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14 hours ago, Chock said:

Don't be fooled by all the youtube videos you see. Many of them have post processing added in Vegas,  Motion, or most commonly, After Effects; a lot of them are recorded at half speed with the effects turned up and then speeded up in Premiere Pro or Final Cut etc to take them back up to normal playback speed but rendered at double the frame rate. This isn't always true of course, but on youtube, it's a lot more common than you might suspect. This sort of 'visual sleight of hand' has been going on since the Lumiere Brothers were around.

Yeah I thought that might be the case for quite a lot of screenshots and videos, thanks for the reply and for confirming my suspicions. 🙂

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13 hours ago, MDFlier said:

Have you tried calibrating your display? If not, I suggest looking up a few test patterns that will assist you in dialing in the proper contrast, brightness, and gamma. You can try to play with every available option in the sim and in your add-ons, but you will never be able to make them look good if your display settings are wrong.

I have a Samsung monitor, and I used their Natural Color Pro "Color management system" to make some adjustments using it's test patterns and pictures. It saves them as a profile which Windows uses. 

I was chasing washed out, over saturated scenery problems for a couple of weeks until I did that, 

Also, check under display settings in the Nvidia control panel and make sure that "Output dynamic range" is set to "Full" and not "Limited".

I went ahead and changed that setting to Full from Limited and everything became very dark and strange. Maybe my monitor is on its way out?

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What monitor and what resolution are you running?  I have a 4K so using the most basic AA settings which also helps with performance especially with dynamic lighting.  For shading, I use Envshade, set it and forget it.  Looks great.

Ilya

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4 hours ago, Space12 said:

I went ahead and changed that setting to Full from Limited and everything became very dark and strange. Maybe my monitor is on its way out?

The correct setting for your system really depends on how you connected your monitor (DP, DVI or HDMI) and whether your card is sending (simplifying things here) a PC resolution or a HDTV resolution to the monitor. Most will display both, and neither is "wrong". If changing that setting made it look bad on your system then by all means change it back. I find that "Full" is typically more suited to the equipment and environments I am in.

I still stand by my earlier recommendation to calibrate that monitor before making changes to your sim. Calibration will pay dividends in all of your applications. Just note that most people think a correctly calibrated display is too dark. Use it like that for a couple of days and you'll get used to it. 

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The only thing that has the potential to make p3d look good is Rex environment force, if it's ever released.  This is an all-inclusive tweaking utility that can produce changes in-sim, on the fly.  I've been fiddling with presets and textures from a variety of sources since before PTA came out.  Reshade was one of the best, but the latest updates, as well as an update to their libraries have conflicts with P3D now, so that's out the window for a while.  Unfortunately, developers at P3D didn't spend much time thinking about looking good as opposed to functionality- but what do you expect from a defense contractor.  The P3D world sucks, and even with all the fiddling I do to improve the appearance, something is always out of whack due to how one change impacts an assortment of other things.  X-plane is much, much better appearance-wise, and now they have an in-sim environment utility that does what Environment force promises to do.  Unfortunately, x-plane also lacks many features that are found in P3D which keep me from making a permanent switch to that platform.  So, in the meantime, we make do with what we have, and hope that someone at P3D may consider getting some kind of graphic designer to make the default world look a little bit more plausible, unless Rex lives up to their promises, that is.

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22 hours ago, ieydis said:

What monitor and what resolution are you running?  I have a 4K so using the most basic AA settings which also helps with performance especially with dynamic lighting.  For shading, I use Envshade, set it and forget it.  Looks great.

Ilya

I'm not sure specifically what model I'm using as I got it 3-4 years ago as a gift, but I'm using 1080p.

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18 hours ago, MDFlier said:

The correct setting for your system really depends on how you connected your monitor (DP, DVI or HDMI) and whether your card is sending (simplifying things here) a PC resolution or a HDTV resolution to the monitor. Most will display both, and neither is "wrong". If changing that setting made it look bad on your system then by all means change it back. I find that "Full" is typically more suited to the equipment and environments I am in.

I still stand by my earlier recommendation to calibrate that monitor before making changes to your sim. Calibration will pay dividends in all of your applications. Just note that most people think a correctly calibrated display is too dark. Use it like that for a couple of days and you'll get used to it. 

Thanks for the advice I'll definitely have a go at calibrating my monitor today.

17 hours ago, dal330200 said:

The only thing that has the potential to make p3d look good is Rex environment force, if it's ever released.  This is an all-inclusive tweaking utility that can produce changes in-sim, on the fly.  I've been fiddling with presets and textures from a variety of sources since before PTA came out.  Reshade was one of the best, but the latest updates, as well as an update to their libraries have conflicts with P3D now, so that's out the window for a while.  Unfortunately, developers at P3D didn't spend much time thinking about looking good as opposed to functionality- but what do you expect from a defense contractor.  The P3D world sucks, and even with all the fiddling I do to improve the appearance, something is always out of whack due to how one change impacts an assortment of other things.  X-plane is much, much better appearance-wise, and now they have an in-sim environment utility that does what Environment force promises to do.  Unfortunately, x-plane also lacks many features that are found in P3D which keep me from making a permanent switch to that platform.  So, in the meantime, we make do with what we have, and hope that someone at P3D may consider getting some kind of graphic designer to make the default world look a little bit more plausible, unless Rex lives up to their promises, that is.

XP11 looks great but as you said, I don't think I can really sacrifice the great add ons for P3D for X-Planes beautiful environment. It's a shame, but hopefully REX will be able to help us out!

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