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SpeedTree

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Will FSX support Speedtree? In one of the demos I saw at E3 for Speedtree, they had Huey flowing low over some trees and watching the trees sway as it crossed was very convincing. Other MS Games have included this such as Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends and PGR3, but I don't know the memory impact it would have. Here is the link to the video I saw. I realize the impact and expansion of these would be much bigger for the entire world, but if they could incorporate it I would be in heaven.[ur]http://www.speedtree.com/html/downloads_movies.htm[/url]Click on trees of pangea!!!

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>Will FSX support Speedtree? In one of the demos I saw at E3>for Speedtree, they had Huey flowing low over some trees and>watching the trees sway as it crossed was very convincing. >Other MS Games have included this such as Rise of Nations:>Rise of Legends and PGR3, but I don't know the memory impact>it would have. Here is the link to the video I saw. I>realize the impact and expansion of these would be much bigger>for the entire world, but if they could incorporate it I would>be in heaven.>>[ur]http://www.speedtree.com/html/downloads_movies.htm[/url]>>Click on trees of pangea!!!We've evaluated Speedtree in FS. No we won't be using the tech in FSX.Speedtree does a lot of stuff really well, but in the ways the FS world needs/uses vegetation it doesn't map well. Cheers,Jason

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I look forward to that day :9 Speedtree just blew me away.............

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> in the ways the FS world needs/uses vegetation it doesn't map well. Sorry I dont get this?

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>> in the ways the FS world needs/uses vegetation it doesn't>map well. >>Sorry I dont get this?It means that what SpeedTree does well: the way they code, the experience they build for, the densities at which they show best, so on and so forth, that stuff doesn't necessarily work with what and how Flight Sim needs to do or does things.Their solutions, which are good solutions for a lot of games, aren't really good solutions for Flight Sim.---- at least at this point.Cheers,Jason

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I think Jase is politely trying to say that Speedtree demos running 1 million trees with swaying branches and 10,000 polys per tree; or the eye candy found in Elder Scrolls Oblivion - is sorta going to chew a good 15% of CPU geometry calcs which FSX will , er .. want to use for more important stuff.For a first person shooter/RPG you can afford to use 10-20% on fancy trees; but for a seriously complex real-time engine like FSX has, uh uh - no can spare the horses.2D sprites rock anyway! ;)

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Hi Koorby, there should be a SpeedTree feature to display 'simple trees' when the distance is far or the altitude too high. If not, a simple 'if' statement could fix it :)

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While it would be awesome to have trees of that quality in the sim, especially for VFR/chopper or ultra lite riders, I can appreciate the performance problems at hand. One thing I would love to see, however, is trees casting shadows on the ground. This "detail" would bring the terrain the "depth" that is currently missing. If it would help ease the performance hit the shadow updating (as the sun moves) doesn't have to be real for all I care.

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>While it would be awesome to have trees of that quality in>the sim, especially for VFR/chopper or ultra lite riders, I>can appreciate the performance problems at hand. One thing I>would love to see, however, is trees casting shadows on the>ground. This "detail" would bring the terrain the "depth" that>is currently missing. If it would help ease the performance>hit the shadow updating (as the sun moves) doesn't have to be>real for all I care.Yeah good point Moggel. However, with good ground textures that depict the trees shadows and tight manual autogen annotation, you can have accurate static shadows underneath trees like we do now in the VOZ 1.1 beta. And there's zero framerate impact using that method.http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c114/mto...reenMate_80.jpg

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I have to agree that screenie does alot of the trick. However, with more CPU/GPU power coming I think (I'm no 3D coder so "think" is the key word here) tree shadows would be possible. Unfortunately I slipped a word in my post: "...doesn't have to be real for all I care" should have been "...doesn't have to be real time for all I care." Simply put: Wouldn't it be possible to simply render tree (and other ground stuff) shadows into the scenery every "n" minute or so to reflect sun movement? It would be like mixing Koorby's texture technique with semi-real time shadow rendering. Seeing the shadows from the vegetation grow steadily longer below, as night approaches would make the landscape look marvelous.

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You sounded like know how to design a system like Flight Simulation. I would like to know how you handle the transition between 'complex trees' and 'simple trees' without the user actually noticing it.

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You could easily achieve complex ground shadows by using black 2D sprites which are outlines of the actual tree textures (down to leaves of branches if you will), give the sprites a 50% transparency value and lay them sideways on top of the ground textures against the base of the trees then apply a scaling routine which squashes/stretches the sprite based on the time of day. If you had the 12 sprites for each daylight hour contained within the bmp it would use virtually zero CPU cycles for geometry calcs, and produce vastly complex shadows. The cost to framerates would be like doubling the number of trees in each scene.

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There are lots of ways to hack this. The every n-th minute thingy would be a derivation of so called imposters, something FS2004 is using for the cloud system. If you think about it, clouds and trees are very similar, in principal they are 3D volumes and can be handled with similar algorithms (to a point). I'm quite convinced one could integrate 3D trees making heavy use of LOD and imposters and get good framerates. However, this would take some very significant development time to get right. Probably too much for the FS team to tackle right now...As for SpeedTree, I actually was very close to trialling it for the work I'm was about 2 years or so ago. The real-time demo back then looked stunning. I could see though that it would be quite resource intensive to include into existing applications.Cheers,Christian

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It's called Level of Detail management and has been around for many many years (and yes MSFS is using it and has so far many years). What you do is simply swap highly detailed models with less complex ones, depending on how far you are away. The reason the user doesn't notice is because a tree that is far away gets rendered to a whole lot less pixels, ie you can't see any difference because the tree is very small on your screen.Christian

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>I have to agree that screenie does alot of the trick.>However, with more CPU/GPU power coming I think (I'm no 3D>coder so "think" is the key word here) tree shadows would be>possible. Everything eventually will be possible, even having mushrooms under the trees. But at the moment and in the next say 2 years CPU and GPU power will still be grossly inadequate to achieve even the simplest of effects. For example at the momet we can't even increase density of autogen trees to depict a good looking forest or to have truely volumetric clouds.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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Michal, based on the FSX shots, the amount of autogen objects has increased significantly in the new version (Jase, any comment on this?)And to say "GPU power will still be grossly inadequate to achieve even the simplest of effects" is a puzzling statement really, and not true IMHO ;)

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"...FSX shots, the amount of autogen objects>has increased significantly in the new version"All I can say is that the density seen in the shots released so far for vegetation are around an order of magnitude greater than FS9. That number is not final yet. :) It could go up, or down.Cheers,JasonAs to the other speculation with regards to SpeedTree and/or shadows, I won't go into much greater length here (simply because I don't have the time to write about all the reasons :)), other than to say that many of the proposed solutions (including LODs) add a much higher overhead to the cost of displaying vegetation than our current system.Cheers,j

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>And to say "GPU power will still be grossly inadequate to>achieve even the simplest of effects" is a puzzling statement>really, and not true IMHO ;)It all depends what your definition of "simplest" effects is. Mine includes things like very dense forests (with crude trees), true 3D volumetric clouds, smooth transition in atmospheric effects, sky loaded with 100% AI. etc. Any GPU of today would simply not be able to deliver on that score. All this definitely not even coming close to having "Far Cry" effects in the scale of the MSFS world.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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> All I can say is that the density seen in the shots released so far for vegetation are around an order of magnitude greater than FS9. That number is not final yet. Is the performance an 'order of magnitude' higher too? :(

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Koorbs,Any ideas on the overhead a forest 3D polygon (ie with depth) would place on the current engine. I mean in a very dense forest, all that would have to be modelled would be the forest canopy, would it not?I have no idea on what it takes to do this, hence the question.Cheers,Chris Porter:-outtaPerthWestern Australia

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Hi,I assume the overhead for the polygon alone would be quite small. However, there would have to be some way of hiding the edges (I assume 3D trees ringing the polygon) and this would cause some increased overhead. If this was rendered at run time the overhead could be substantial - as opposed to autogen forests that were pre-determined on the given ground texture. Forests would then probably have to be smaller than one texture square, though.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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>Koorbs,>>Any ideas on the overhead a forest 3D polygon (ie with depth)>would place on the current engine. I mean in a very dense>forest, all that would have to be modelled would be the forest>canopy, would it not?>>I have no idea on what it takes to do this, hence the>question.>>Cheers,>>Chris Porter>:-outta>>Perth>Western Australia>Hi Chris. I'm not a 3D coder, so I'll defer an expert opinion to the devs here; but for what it's worth I do have lots of experience with 3D engines of various sorts. To have any sort of 3D polygon based "forest" (i.e. more than 100 or so trees in the immediate vicinity) is going to take a huge amount of processing power, purely from the aspect of the amount of polygons being thrown around. The FSX engine presumably cannot afford those CPU/GPU cycles and understandably so. From my perpsective I'd much rather have 4-5x the amount of 2D sprites in my scenery versus the same number of 3D polygon trees - the visual effect will be much better.

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Chris, I've seen this done (and we've been thinking about implementing this too), but so far I haven't seen any implemtation of this that looks satisfactory. It just looks like that: a polygon surface that tries to simulate a forest canopy.There is no point trying to implement such crude models anymore anyway. Despite some other comments that high-res vegetation on large scales isn't possible on modern CPUs, it actually is - I've seen this done in specialist software, and running very nicely on todays systems. The problem is that it takes significant man power and resources to develop this, something of the order that the FS team surely can't afford. But the good news is that this technology will slowly creep into the entertainment sector over the next years - such is the nature of progress...Cheers,Christian

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