Nemo

Permanent Terrain Adjustments - "Terrain Hopping"

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I'm not sure how to describe ... It looks like the mesh and/or terrain textures are refreshed every few seconds which gives an illusion that the terrain moves a bit up and down ... When it happens, it is an absolute immersion killer. It happens not everywhere but in some areas it is more prominent. And, it seems to be independent from the settings I choose in the P3D graphics interface. Even at low settings this ugly "terrain hopping" occurs.

I am not sure, but ORBX Regions with an additional airport scenery from another developer and hilly ground seem to be most affected. Two examples: ORBX FTX SAK + Anchorage (Aerosoft) and ORBX FTX NZNI + Wellington (Flightbeam).

Any thoughts?

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14 minutes ago, Nemo said:

I'm not sure how to describe ... It looks like the mesh and/or terrain textures are refreshed every few seconds which gives an illusion that the terrain moves a bit up and down ... When it happens, it is an absolute immersion killer. It happens not everywhere but in some areas it is more prominent. And, it seems to be independent from the settings I choose in the P3D graphics interface. Even at low settings this ugly "terrain hopping" occurs.

I am not sure, but ORBX Regions with an additional airport scenery from another developer and hilly ground seem to be most affected. Two examples: ORBX FTX SAK + Anchorage (Aerosoft) and ORBX FTX NZNI + Wellington (Flightbeam).

Any thoughts?

What is your cpu?

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2 minutes ago, mpw8679 said:

What is your cpu?

see my signature

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I notice this type of thing happening with coastline cliffs in ORBx TrueEarth GB South, and also the Rock in Gibraltar Professional.

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You're probably seeing the LOD switching on the mesh, as you get closer it'll get more detailed, which can be seen as a shift / jump in the terrain. Doubt you can do much about it.

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This has been an enemy of mine for ages. As Sethos1988 states, it's caused by LOD switching when approaching a certain point. As the OP says, it's not everywhere prominent. Moreover, I have found it's much more noticeable if you use a high resolution mesh (like Pilot's Ultra) and for obvious reasons in mountain terrain.

It's been a "feature" of Prepar3d as long as I can think back. Obviously, no one from LM seems to be disturbed by it. 

I should add that neither X-Plane nor Aerofly shows this issue. However, the short-lived Dovetail sim - for obvious reasons - shared it, and again, even more if you installed the Pilot's mesh. 

Kind regards, Michael 

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Posted (edited)

This means the better the mesh the worse the immersion?  So why do developers strive for 2m or even 1m mesh as recently in NZWN (Flightbeam)? This seems counterproductive to me.

Edited by Nemo

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In a sense, yes. On the other hand, high-resolution mesh is impressive in that it shows every ribble or needle in hills.

I am not sure if it's the pure resolution alone. It's well possible clever coders can mask the effect better than others.

Kind regards, Michael

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I have complained about some years ago:

 

 

Unfortunately we haven't found a solution till now.

(And a video I posted in this thread is deleted, sorry)

But yes, I have the similar problem!

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Posted (edited)

You can, of course, complain on the LM forum. First answer will be the issue doesn't exist. Next they will ask you for a proof. If you are tenacious you can even bring someone from LM to the statement they will look into it. That's it. 

Kind regards, Michael

 

Edited by pmb
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2 hours ago, Nemo said:

see my signature

My mobile device does not show it.  Anyways have you tried increasing your scenery draw distance in your config?

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If there is a way to avoid mesh LOD popping -- I would like to know.  LM largely solved autogen popping, so maybe they can do it with mesh as well.

Maybe some code to more gradually shift to a new LOD could be done -- this would of course require more horsepower -- but we have it these days.  Terrain is already a multi threaded process.  Or maybe it could be a function of DX12 / the gpu.  That would be nice.

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This is, of course, an issue mostly for VFR pilots like me. At FL300 you just don't see terrain hopping.

For those who are eager to enjoy that feature, take off from KSFO towards the West, e.g. in a C172, fly low and slow over the hills and decend into Half Moon Bay in ORBX NCA. You may detect some slight morphing in the hills already, but definitely at the cliffs surrounding Half Moon Bay on approach. 

Kind regards, Michael

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Lets hope LM fix this issue in P3Dv5..

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Nemo -- just a quick OT question -- why are you running at 3440x1440 rather than 3840x2160?

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5 minutes ago, pgde said:

Nemo -- just a quick OT question -- why are you running at 3440x1440 rather than 3840x2160?

Think it's an ultrawide monitor, not a 4K.

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Duh -- thanks for the insight!

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On 4/3/2019 at 9:21 PM, pmb said:

This has been an enemy of mine for ages. As Sethos1988 states, it's caused by LOD switching when approaching a certain point. As the OP says, it's not everywhere prominent. Moreover, I have found it's much more noticeable if you use a high resolution mesh (like Pilot's Ultra) and for obvious reasons in mountain terrain.

It's been a "feature" of Prepar3d as long as I can think back. Obviously, no one from LM seems to be disturbed by it. 

I should add that neither X-Plane nor Aerofly shows this issue. However, the short-lived Dovetail sim - for obvious reasons - shared it, and again, even more if you installed the Pilot's mesh. 

Kind regards, Michael 

I am still wondering why this issue is so prominent in some areas and in other areas it is not. Comparing the area around Wellington (NZNI) with the area around Orcas Islands and Friday Harbor (PNW), I get strong anomalies around NZWN but nearly none around KFHR. Both are ORBX FTX Regions together with other demanding scenery as well as small mountains and hills next to the sea. That's why I don't believe it's only a mesh problem. There must be something else in the equation.

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My assumption is (and it is only a bare assumption), that it is also tied to performance.

I have this issue more prominent when I have more clouds or demanding weather, or different daytime (shadows) etc. I would tend to say, the issue is always present, but depends on overall systems current workload if you could see it better (nearer?) or maybe farer away.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, guenseli said:

My assumption is (and it is only a bare assumption), that it is also tied to performance.

I have this issue more prominent when I have more clouds or demanding weather, or different daytime (shadows) etc. I would tend to say, the issue is always present, but depends on overall systems current workload if you could see it better (nearer?) or maybe farer away.

But then my above comparison would not be as it is. I have much better performance around Wellington as at Friday Harbor area. But "terrain hopping" occurs at NZWN and not at KFHR area. Weather is comparable (scattered clouds from ASP4/REX SF). I agree that performance plays a role but there must be something else.

Edited by Nemo

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Nemo said:

But "terrain hopping" occurs at NZWN

Just done a flight out of NZWN up to NZTG, didn't experience anything like you described, Running FTX NZ.

just a thought did you run the FlightBeam Manager and check the ' Troubleshooting' tab for conflicts, I had quite a few.

bob   edit ….  see also the FAQ's

Edited by onebob

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3 hours ago, onebob said:

Just done a flight out of NZWN up to NZTG, didn't experience anything like you described, Running FTX NZ.

just a thought did you run the FlightBeam Manager and check the ' Troubleshooting' tab for conflicts, I had quite a few.

bob   edit ….  see also the FAQ's

Yes, I did. Maybe sth. else is wrong at my side.

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I don't know if this will help, and maybe you've already tried these, but a couple of thoughts:

1. What Mesh Resolution setting are you using? Orbx "full fat" regions come with their own 10 meter terrain mesh. Orbx suggests using a 5 Meter Mesh Resolution setting to get certain POI's to show (like helicopter pads in the mountains or such). I find that using a 2 Meter Mesh Resolution or higher in those Orbx regions seems to increase LOD popping (as well as hitting FPS on my aging machine). 

2. I see you're using a third party mesh FSGlobalNG. If possible, try turning that off for the Orbx full fat regions you're flying in, and see if that makes a difference. I have Pilot's Global Ultimate, which shows in the scenery library divided up by continent, so it's relatively easy to turn continent mesh on or off as required. I find that turning it off when flying in the Orbx full fat regions not only seems to reduce LOD popping, but also stuttering as well.

As said, I don't know if that will be of any help, everyone's system seems to produce different results, but they're easy enough to try.

-Bob 

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Bob, according to my experience you're right in both cases.

1. I always use the suggested 5 Meter setting in ORBX regions. This is also the best gurantee against elevation anomalies around airports and others. 

2. I always deactivate (using SimStarter) any Pilot's mesh when flying in ORBX regions. These regions come with their own Holger mesh optimally fitted to the rest of the scenery (and being tested together).

I agree these two measures help fighting "terrain popping" but don't completely eliminate it, at least not on my system. Outside of ORBX regions I use the "mild" Pilot's 2008 mesh instead of Global Ultimate now. Less ripples and peaks, but also less popping.

Kind regards, Michael

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8 hours ago, onebob said:

Just done a flight out of NZWN up to NZTG, didn't experience anything like you described, Running FTX NZ.

Please, could you fly a RW 16 right traffic pattern @ 1500 ft with a slower a/c and report if you still don't see the anomalies? I have them very present, no matter what setting I use. Mesh is set to 5m as suggested above. I use either FTX own mesh or Pilot's 2018 mesh which seems to make no difference.

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