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A question about vegetation and the sun

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When I fly over the simulated landscape of FS9 (and, from what I've seen so far in FSX) is the lack of "depth" coming from the difference in how surfaces reflect light. The vegetation below looks almost identical regardless of the weather or angle towards the light source (the sun). On a gray day the trees look very dark and doesn't stand out much from the ground textures. That's pretty ok and fairly realistic (after all, it's a 2D screen). However, on a bright sunny day, things look very different in reality: The sun is reflected by the trees, making one side much brighter than the other. This accounts for making the trees appear to have volume. (In reality, their shadows on the ground adds even more depth but that has been deemed impossible to mimic in the simulated world due to processor power needs.)Now, in FS9, trees aren't modelled with much volume so I can understand why they cannot reflect light in a realistic way. With FSX, however, trees appear to have been modelled very differently, and more detailed...Check these screenies out:http://www.flightsim.com/feature/firming/grab_147.jpghttp://www.fsinsider.com/NR/rdonlyres/E05C...NSIDER_Bell.jpgSeemingly, the tree mesh faces now produce a "canopy" of leaf textures. They don't however, reflect the sun. If they do, the effect is unnoticeable.I have observed this effect (or lack of effect) in fs9 as well, on buildings. While the surfaces facing the light (the sun) are brighter than the surfaces facing away, the difference is too small to be realistic, at least for bright sunny days.My question is: Why? Does it require too much CPU/GPU power to reflect various degrees of brightness, making a it necessary to come up with a compromise that "works ok" for most conditions? Is there some other explanation?Cheers/Jonas

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Excellent question Jonas.This question has been raised for 7 or 8 years & there is alwaysa notable silence from those who should know the answer.The default daylight textures never look sunlit. Just have a lookoutside, on a clear sunny day & see how bright it is!There much coughing & wheezing & sneezing & squinting & snorting,whining, alibi-ing & hic-cupping, & shrieking & squealing about why itcan't be done but still there's no progress.Peter Sydney Australia

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Guest PC509

How you looked at the Elder Scrolls Oblivion game? It uses HDR for lighting effects. At times, it can be too much, other times it just looks amazing. This may be a way to get the effect you're after. I imagine that they are going to implement some form of HDR in this release, either in the first version, or the later DX10 version.

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>See - the strange silence!>Peter Sydney AustraliaIt's been milled over many times even in this forum that FS is not a FPS shooter or as Oblivion is (that is, a small "area" is computed/modelled at one time unlike FS), and to compute the details as mentioned PLUS all the things being calculated now (your aircraft, weather, world/texture/mesh below) would require a computer the size of Chicago.

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Hi,The trees in the pics above are created exactly (AFAIK) the same way as in FS9 - they are really two geometric planes at right angles to each other (i.e. a cross). Look at the tree in the first shot that partially covers up a sailboat - you can see the X in the canopy. I agree the texture itself is far better than in FS9, partly because of higher texture resolution. But they are created the same. And of course the side of these X's facing the sun are brighter than the other side, but there's only so much shading that can be done with two planes...Hope this helps,--Tom GibsonCal Classic Propliner Page: http://www.calclassic.comFreeflight Design Shop: http://www.freeflightdesign.comDrop by! ___x_x_(")_x_x___

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Guest skruer

You are absolutly correct. I don't really care about the trees anyway. Most of my flight takes place at 33.000 feet, so what I see is clouds below and terrain - maybe a plane or two. So what I really care for in FSX is gameplay. If they have fixed that and made it even better, then i'll make an atlantic crossing.

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Guest PC509

>>See - the strange silence!>>Peter Sydney Australia>>It's been milled over many times even in this forum that FS is>not a FPS shooter or as Oblivion is (that is, a small "area">is computed/modelled at one time unlike FS), and to compute>the details as mentioned PLUS all the things being calculated>now (your aircraft, weather, world/texture/mesh below) would>require a computer the size of Chicago.I was just after the technology, not the actual engine specifics. HDR is used in a lot of games, from FPS, RPG (Oblivion), racing games, RTS (Age of Empires 3). It's doable, and with the newer cards, easy to implement. The bloom you see in the pictures can be done with HDR, and possibly is. With the newer cards, it doesn't take that big of a frame hit, either.Even at 30k feet, it'd make a difference (flying into the sun, reflections off the water, other planes on the runway.... )

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Many scenery textures in Megascenery SC are brilliantlylit. Certainly, they never change but could MS defaultground textures be similarly lit or are they different animals?Peter Sydney Australia

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Guest Andre_Hedegaard

>See - the strange silence!>Peter Sydney AustraliaWell, since you're only listening for "coughs" and "sputters" and "wheezing", it'll be quite hard for you to hear anything of value.......

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But Andre, We're all awake here in thesouthern hemisphere. All you lot in the northare snorin' now! So noisy!!!Peter Sydney Australia

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>How you looked at the Elder Scrolls Oblivion game? It uses>HDR for lighting effects. At times, it can be too much, other>times it just looks amazing. >>This may be a way to get the effect you're after. I imagine>that they are going to implement some form of HDR in this>release, either in the first version, or the later DX10>version. >What is "HDR"?/Jonas

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Guest JSPuonti

HDR comes from "High Dynamic Range" (Lighting) and as the name says, refers to a method of dynamically changing the colors in a scene in an effort to better simulate different lighting conditions. One great application for HDR lighting is the simulation of the way human eyes perceive light.As an example of such simulation of the human eye, imagine you're playing a game where you're standing outside in bright daylight and looking into a building through a doorway.In a non-HDR game you'd either see the insides of the house clearly, or you'd see darkness (as the insides are in shadow). If you moved into the building, the inside textures would remain light or dark depending on how they looked from the outside.In a HDR-enabled game the insides of the house would look dark from the outside, but when you moved into the house they would brighten up as your "eyes" adapted to the lower level of light. Subsequently, the outside would look "overly bright" when viewed from the inside.This refers to the "dynamic" nature of HDR lighting. It's really great, but at this moment quite demanding on hardware.HDR can also be used for other great effects such as blooming. In general, HDR is used to make a game look more dynamic and real and less like a painting.

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Guest

those texturs are photographs and never change because they are photographs.To achieve the same effect over huge areas (in FS you can depending on weather and settings see for over a hundred nautical miles in all directions) in real time (rather than using static images) would cause a massive drain on CPU and GPU resources. Hardly worth it.

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