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https://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-wants-to-bring-back-flight-simulator-to-show-it-supports-pc/

Couple quotes:

"Flight Sim was a game in our past that sold millions and millions of units and had a very, very passionate community—in fact, they're still out there," says Spencer. 

Spencer says that 2 petabytes of geographical data is used to seamlessly stitch together Earth.

Spencer warned the team: "You're going to have to put at the bottom that it's in-game, because nobody is going to believe that's in the game."

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Very encouraging.  Looking forward to the full interview.

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2 petabytes (1024 terabytes) of geo data in play.  That pretty strongly suggests high-bandwidth streaming of scenery data.

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4 minutes ago, w6kd said:

2 petabytes (1024 terabytes) of geo data in play.  That pretty strongly suggests high-bandwidth streaming of scenery data.

I think they are just referring to the total sum of Bing Map satellite data used, to create the final product, just so it sounds impressive on paper. All that data is compressed, lower resolution and much more sporadic. Bing struggles to give you consistent results in mainland Europe alone, so I'm going to guess a lot of interpolation work of data, perhaps even filling in blanks with basic 'textures' that matches, stuff like that. However, some form of streaming technology might still be at play, it's going to be interesting to see if they choose that route, as that carries a lot of potential problems with it.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Samaritano said:

Unless Microsoft is planning to do something like this. 

Link

Except that turned out to be a major dud, complete PR fluff, like most of the "rendered by the cloud" promises. The final game is nothing like they showed or promised. We have decade old games that does destruction better.

Edited by Sethos1988

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1 hour ago, Sethos1988 said:

I think they are just referring to the total sum of Bing Map satellite data used, to create the final product

Yup. As a reference point, in Adam Szofran's paper on FSX terrain, they had over 1TB of source data, which was compressed and culled down to less than 15GB in the install. Of course now they are using imagery much more heavily than in FSX so there's way more data and they are streaming rather than having everything coming from local storage, so it's a very different design with optimization needed not just to deal with the raw bandwidth but also latency.

In the past MS was pretty good about sharing details and opening the platform to developers (and where they weren't a lot of inquisitive hackers figured it out anyway), I hope they will continue to do that.

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If you have a look at the scenes with the elephants, giraffes and bush flying at 1:22 you will see that the scenery doesn't show satellite imagery but a new issue of classical landclass textures with clever use of procedural, probably shader based overlays. The slightly polygonal river in the bush flying scene shows that vector data are used as well.

My conclusion is, that thy showed in that trailer mainly the HD areas that are built up of a photogrammetric mesh (like the 3D cities in Google Earth, probably made from aerial imagery and not just satellite scenes) and the MD areas with satellite ground texture and some (auotgen?) trees on it, but in the abovementioned three scenes the were honest enough to show us what the huge rest of the world will look like.

This absolutely makes sense as in most areas of the tropics due to cloud cover there is even a lack of medium resolution satellite imagery - have a look in Google Earth or elswhere. Moreover, natural landscapes with trees as photogrammetric 3d mesh look not soo good closeup as the trees look quite blocky and completely intransparent. It would also be a waste of bandwidth to stream thousands of km² of uniform tauiga forest instead of using the conventional texture and autogen tech. So, a mix of techniques for terrain depiction is the right way to go.

It also will open a lot of possibilites for scenery addon publishers, provided a SDK (which we will see in time, I'm sure - they will have learned from the FLIGHT desaster).

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2 minutes ago, meerkat said:

If you have a look at the scenes with the elephants, giraffes and bush flying at 1:22 you will see that the scenery doesn't show satellite imagery but a new issue of classical landclass textures with clever use of procedural, probably shader based overlays. The slightly polygonal river in the bush flying scene shows that vector data are used as well.

My conclusion is, that thy showed in that trailer mainly the HD areas that are built up of a photogrammetric mesh (like the 3D cities in Google Earth, probably made from aerial imagery and not just satellite scenes) and the MD areas with satellite ground texture and some (auotgen?) trees on it, but in the abovementioned three scenes the were honest enough to show us what the huge rest of the world will look like.

This absolutely makes sense as in most areas of the tropics due to cloud cover there is even a lack of medium resolution satellite imagery - have a look in Google Earth or elswhere. Moreover, natural landscapes with trees as photogrammetric 3d mesh look not soo good closeup as the trees look quite blocky and completely intransparent. It would also be a waste of bandwidth to stream thousands of km² of uniform tauiga forest instead of using the conventional texture and autogen tech. So, a mix of techniques for terrain depiction is the right way to go.

It also will open a lot of possibilites for scenery addon publishers, provided a SDK (which we will see in time, I'm sure - they will have learned from the FLIGHT desaster).

Yeah, was actually giving this some thought earlier and even wrote out a post in the other thread, that I decided to skip for the time being. While not a clear-cut case, the image that kinda stood out to me was this;

https://i.imgur.com/ywmHFW5.jpg

Beautiful scene for sure but there's something about how those mountain textures look, how the snow looks and sits, how it stops and blends that reminded me of what you see in FSX / P3D with OrbX. Then I noticed the corner of it;

EKMiT2N.jpg

That looks exactly like photoscenery with a hard edge into textures. I've seen that jarring transition many times in X-Plane when using Ortho4XP. It doesn't even look like a seasonal transition, only the mesh matches up, rest is just completely different.

Though I don't mind at all, I have nothing against the texture approach if done well. All I'm hoping for is nice, blended transitions.

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I also saw this tiny triangle of misfit ground - appears to me like a seam in the satellite scene: main part was taken during winter while that small piece shows a summe scene. You can see it on the lake that is half ice covered, half water colored. This is one of the obstacles in establishing a seamless worldwide satellite ground coverage.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, meerkat said:

I also saw this tiny triangle of misfit ground - appears to me like a seam in the satellite scene: main part was taken during winter while that small piece shows a summe scene. You can see it on the lake that is half ice covered, half water colored. This is one of the obstacles in establishing a seamless worldwide satellite ground coverage.

But you would have two ways to overtake this obstacle: By hand, Using AI. They have Azure to correct those issues. As I said before, if microsoft provide them enought time on the supercomputer, they can do the magic. We will have to see if Microsoft is willing to go this deep in the immersion aspect.

Edited by ca_metal

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With all respect, I don't think it's possible to change a winter satellite image to a snowless one that convincingly (if not correctly) shows what the satellite would have seen in summer, and that even without manual retouching but only AI procedures. The other way round would be much easier and still seems very hard to do as we get no winter season in satellite scenery.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, meerkat said:

With all respect, I don't think it's possible to change a winter satellite image to a snowless one that convincingly (if not correctly) shows what the satellite would have seen in summer, and that even without manual retouching but only AI procedures. The other way round would be much easier and still seems very hard to do as we get no winter season in satellite scenery.

Orbx did it with their True Earth Netherlands, they took one set of orthoimagery and using their own technique they managed to convert the single-season imagery in four more seasons (they claim TE NE has 5 seasons).

Also you can use shaders (white and green) to turn summer into winter or vice versa. Xenviro is doing it to create seasons for X-plane, with shaders they can change the textures and orthoimagery.

Edited by ca_metal

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Just now, ca_metal said:

Orbx did it with their True Earth Netherlands, they took one set of orthoimagery and using their own technique they managed to convert the single-season imagery in four more seasons (they claim TE NE has 5 seasons).

Also you can use shaders (white and gree) to turn summer in winter or vice versa. Xenviro for X-plane is doing it to create seasons for X-plane, with shaders they can change the textures and orthoimagery.

Think he means turning winter-only to snowless, that is definitely impossible to do right, as you lose all data underneath. If you start with summer, it's easy to run through some filters to mimic all the seasons.

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Just now, Sethos1988 said:

Think he means turning winter-only to snowless, that is definitely impossible to do right, as you lose all data underneath. If you start with summer, it's easy to run through some filters to mimic all the seasons.

Hmmm Maybe you are right, but I saw a lot of wonderful stuff Nvidia could do with their supercomputers. I don't think Microsoft's tech would be far behind.

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Since Google Earth have already stream it's "scenery" for decades, I think streaming a 3D scenery is not that unrealistic.

If it could be supplemented by local detailed airports/cities just like the Layer of Scenery Librarywe use now, I feel promising with that.

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1 hour ago, C2615 said:

Since Google Earth have already stream it's "scenery" for decades, I think streaming a 3D scenery is not that unrealistic.

It's not unrealistic if you have a fast and 100% reliable, always online Internet connection, and probably a solid state drive for buffering the incoming data (like then new Xbox MS is releasing in 2020). That seems to be where MS is going with their Xbox cloud project, and if we're seeing streamed scenery in the new MSFS it will probably tie into that.

I'm in a semi-rural area that can't get fast Internet. I'll bet I'm not alone. But I'm still looking forward to seeing where this new project is going, because we won't all be in the slow-bandwidth areas forever.

 

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Wasn't Phil Spencer also involved with FSX?

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Phil Taylor 

17 minutes ago, ErichB said:

Wasn't Phil Spencer also involved with FSX?

 

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Just now, simmerhead said:

Phil Taylor 

 

That's it

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He is now married and is using his wife’s last name.. 😎

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, simmerhead said:

Noticed what he said about weather too! 

'You're going to have to put at the bottom that that's in-game. because nobody's going to believe that's in-game." You notice the video says '4K in-game'. And then I said, "why does it look like that?". There's 2 petabytes of geographical data behind that game, that they're then using as your AI to stitch the seams together so as you're flying, you're seeing a seamlessly connected Earth. I was like "you've gotta put that in the video because it's one of the coolest things I've ever seen". It's using real geographical data, real weather data, to give you the ability to literally fly around what looks like a living planet.

 

So that amazing looking weather/clouds is powered by real weather data.

Umm - YES PLEASE!!!  - awesome..

 

Edited by irrics

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